Okay, I had a headache yesterday. Fuck that! But today, I'm leaving the awful climes of Philly for the even more awful climes of New York City, though at least there are more than five awesome people living in the five boroughs. Philly is weird, like a ghost town. I know so few people here any longer that whenever I come to visit my parents, I spend most of my time reading and listening to punk rock in my bedroom. Guess things don't change much in ten years...
So, a jazzy, pseudo-house number for you, courtesy of Mandy. Just can't wait to get out of here for a few days!
Mandy- I Just Can't Wait (Cool & Breezy Jazz Version)
Have a good New Year's Eve, and be prepared for some soothing music for your hangover on the 1st!
I was gonna post a breezy, sexy pseudo-house track today, but then my (actual, real-life) uncle started regaling me with stories of seeing Human Sexual Response all the time back in Boston in the early '80s. I decided to post something from them because, well, they were one of the punkest, gender-fucking bands of their time. Even now, their sound and aesthetic is just right on. Watch the video above, for example— that was LIVE TELEVISION. Imagine that happening today! Sad that such a thing is almost impossible to fathom. Nevertheless, dance around your room to "Blow Up," and then go here to download their second album, In A Roman Mood.
Human Sexual Response- Blow Up
Tomorrow, we'll see.
On the venerable Crass Records label, The Cravats were a British band who were around from 1977-1982. Penny Rimbaud of Crass describes the group as "an aural assault which, although showing some kinship with the then current punk modes, was closer in its intelligence to experimental freeform jazz, which I have always loved, and German 'industrialist' avant garde." A better description could not be given of the group's weird inheritance of many different modes of noise-making, from records containing entirely found sounds to the post-punk political skronk of "Rub Me Out," featured below. Love this band, and encourage all to seek out The Land of the Giants, probably their best recording.
The Cravats- Rub Me Out
Tomorrow, something a bit more breezy.
Sorry for the wait! I'm visiting family and friends on the east coast, and the internet connection is slow...as...fuck. So much so that I am sitting in a café with free, fast wireless right now, just so I don't tear out my hair trying to upload tracks and pics for you. Hope you've enjoyed the first two installments of 2009 boners, and that this installment is just as illuminating and hardening.
1. DJ Sprinkles Midtown 120 Blues (Mule)
Given that nearly every electronic music site has placed this record in its top five records of the year, if not the number one spot, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I'm giving it props as well. A treatise on house music, appropriation, and notions of gender and exclusion, Midtown 120 Blues is a timeless piece of electronic music that will outlive many of the other records released in the past year. And with the atmospherics, flowing bass-lines, lush synths, and piano elements displayed in the track below, I'm sure we can all agree on this record's 'classic' status.
DJ Sprinkles- House Music Is Controllable Desire You Can Own
2. Redshape The Dance Paradox (Delsin)
Redshape's analog opus is the sort of record that makes people say, "This is just so fucking good." And yeah, it is: perfect mixture of atmospherics, deep kicks, lush pads, squelchy moments, and bass-lines that are straight-up second-wave Detroit shit. A perfect record in every way, choosing between this and DJ Sprinkles was actually a rough decision to make... but I went with my politics, though my ear pulls me towards Redshape's sounds so much more. Seriously, check out the track below— the bass drops in so unexpectedly, and then when it does, it's like an aural epiphany. Fucking excellent.
3. Luke Hess Light in the Dark (Echocord)
A lot of reviewers didn't like this album, and I don't really blame them— it is a rather cold affair, but something about it has stuck with me since its release, and I've found myself getting really into its icy veneer. With a more jackin' style than Echocord contemporaries, Hess manages to produce dub-techno that isn't appropriate for naptime, instead being more apt to make an appearance on a 6 am dancefloor. "Son Beams" is certainly my favorite track on the record, with its expansive pans, high-frequency whooshes, and weird little vocal elements, as well as its echo-driven synth stabs. In fact, this track sort of reminds me of driving around Detroit on a cold, snowy day...kind of perfect, yeah?
Luke Hess- Son Beams
4. Alland Byallo Brick by Brick (Nightlight)
Alland Byallo is one of the West Coast's hidden secrets, a techno producer whose sophisticated dancefloor jams can compete with the best of what comes out of Europe, but whose profile has remained low despite his residency at San Francisco's [kontrol] parties and excellent releases. His first full-length finds him in top form, mixing deep techno vibes with some dubby textures, Detroit gestures, and nods to the weird tribal African house vibe that has been sweeping the Innervisions crew over the past few years. "Casual Sax," in some ways, is exemplary of this mixture of sounds, with blaring horns, astounding polyrhythmic percussion, and spacey squelch that would make Detroit denizens proud.
Alland Byallo- Casual Sax
5. Lawrence Until Then, Goodbye (Mule)
Taken from my review in XLR8R: Peter Kersten's output has never been filled with sunshine; in fact, one could argue that his oeuvre is downright melancholy, filled with minor-key melodies and sentimental chord progressions. For his latest full-length under his Lawrence moniker, Kersten continues the trend, delivering an album that is more cloudy Sunday than clubby Saturday. Tracks like "Grey Light" and "The Dream" channel Angelo Badalamenti, and "Todenhausen Blues" recalls European seaside towns awash in drizzle. There are beat-oriented moments, of course, like the hazy synth shuffle of "Jill" and the organic house stylings of "In Your Eyes," but overall, Until Then, Goodbye, is a gorgeous and moody trek through sonic textures that invoke intense emotions; if there was ever a perfect example of 'teardrop house,' Lawrence's latest would be it.
6. Moritz von Oswald Trio Vertical Ascent (Honest Jon's)
Moritz von Oswald, with the help of Sasu Ripatti and Max Loderbauer, has created a record that perfectly combines contemporary minimal classical, dub-techno, electronic ambient, and dancefloor efficacy. It is difficult to imagine anone else achieving such a feat, or achieving it to such pleasing effect.
Moritz von Oswald Trio- Pattern 1
7. White Rainbow New Clouds (Kranky)
Taken from my XLR8R review: Adam Forkner (a.k.a. White Rainbow) continues to astound on his second full-length for Kranky. The Portland resident's loop-based jams have always had a truly organic, 'free' feeling, but New Clouds emphasizes these tonal elements while simultaneously being the best-sounding record he has ever created. With synth washes and guitar lines whipping in and out amidst Forkner's soaring vocalizations and subtle percussive elements, the music floats in the ether—a track like the epic "All the Boogies in the World" recalls traditional Irish music, Brian Eno's ambient works, Enya, fuzzed-out garage punk, Underworld, and jazz-fusion percussive styles. There is no pinning White Rainbow down, as Forkner defies easy definition in favor of creating gorgeous aural structures that uniquely bend both time and genre.
From the first time I saw Forkner live, playing from the back of a truck on the site of a cement factory in the Hunter's Point section of San Francisco, I knew that his was a unique talent. Do pick up this record— it is gorgeous.
White Rainbow- All the Boogies in the World
8. Meanderthals Desire Lines (Smalltown Supersound)
Gorgeously balearic, slo-motion, hazy disco: only a combination of the Idjut Boys and Rune Lindbaek could craft such sounds without seeming like a bunch of oldsters. With just enough Scandinavian disco, Jan Hammer, and California acid-folk thrown into the mix, Desire Lines proved one of the most endearing records of the year, if only because it was probably the best to get blazed to while driving along a coastline. Just check "1-800-288-SLAM" below, and tell me that you don't wish you were on the PCH, digging this and watching the sun set.
9. port-royal dying in time (n5md)
From my XLR8R review: Though the album's starkly snowy cover might have something to do with it, Genoa's port-royal do evoke a crystalline, wintery quality on their third full-length. High-frequency washes, plaintive delayed guitars, and tinkling synths abound amidst rhythm structures that evoke Squarepusher and Aphex Twin. The icy sheen is spread over eleven tracks, so that the listening process feels a bit like a slalom ride down Mont Blanc, the apex coming towards the album's midpoint with the M83-like glassiness of "I Used To Be Sad." Other tracks, like "Susy: Blue East Fading," recall a louder Stars of the Lid, but with a nice shuffle behind the synth swells. if one can stand its brilliant cold without shivering, dying in time might be one of the most fulfilling records of the year.
This record really is unbelievable, and I highly recommend it for any fans of ambient music, Pantha Du Prince, and crystal-clear production.
port-royal- Susy: Blue East Fading
10. Black Jazz Consortium Structure (Soul People)
I've played this record for some people who have absolutely despised it, saying that it isn't jackin', isn't jazzy, isn't really much to write home about. Well, those people don't know what the fuck they're talking about, because this is old-school style shit à la Larry Heard, with jazzy undertones, and some moments of real synth bliss. Love this project, and can't wait for Fred P. to make more! (And yes, 'vogue' is spelled wrong on the CD, so I've left it unchanged).
Black Jazz Consortium- Watching You Vouge
11. Hieroglyphic Being So Much Noise 2 Be Heard (Mathematics)
Old school readers of the blog know how much I adore Jamal Moss and his Hieroglyphic Being project, and so when his latest double-LP came out, I bought it, and quickly wore it out. Keeping with his insanely rhythmic, noisy, acidy Detroit techno, So Much Noise 2 Be Heard is a pleasure to listen to. Peep the track below.
Hieroglyphic Being- Behind the Green Door
12. Italoboyz Bla Bla Bla (Mothership)
From my XLR8R review: Techno is often an over-serious genre, so listening to the first Italoboyz full-length is a breath of fresh air—the duo crafts rich, funky tracks that are full of humor, esoteric influences, and the London transplants' penchant for intense rhythmic play. A prime example is found on "Chinese," a piece that utilizes extensive bits of Chinese-influenced piano, cut-up vocal portions culled from Chinese language instruction software, and jazzy house percussion that shimmers in just the right spots. "Techno Tower," on the other hand, recalls a more playful Gaiser, but it is "Bahia," a hypnotic techno slice based entirely on licensed John Coltrane loops and deep kicks, that really stays with the listener.
13. Dam-Funk Toeachizown (Stones Throw)
The only reason Dam-Funk's boogie-funk opus is at the bottom of the list is because there are definitely some tracks on the four-volume collection that are better than others. That said, the collection might be one of the most fantastic achievements of 2009, finally bringing Dam-Funk into a well-deserved spotlight. Now roll up that blunt.
Dam-Funk- Boogie Slyde
Dig all of these tracks, and if you especially like something, seek it out and support the artists! Coming up tomorrow: some anarchist post-punk for you, from the Crass Records label!
When I was in sixth grade, my favorite band was either Philadelphia's The Boils or Boston's The Showcase Showdown. The other day, whilst flipping through an old CD booklet, I found Appetite of Kings, the only Showcase Showdown full-length album. It is still such an amazing record, full of speedy, bouncy punk, clever and erudite lyrics, and some of the more excellent vocals that came out of punk in the 1990's. Below is "Ancient Chinese Secret." Enjoy, and be prepared for full-length boners of 2009 tomorrow!
The Showcase Showdown- Ancient Chinese Secret
Labels: The Showcase Showdown
As promised, here are the top ten remixed boners of 2009. Some old-school readers might be aghast at the dearth of deep house and techno fare, but if it isn't already evident, I kind of lost touch with a bit of that scene this year, mostly because I was poor and the whole vinyl-purity thing makes releases hard to buy when one's broke. But! The best album boners of the year will not disappoint, as the trend this year seems to suggest more quality house and techno albums are the new thang.
Without further ado...
1. Pictureplane "New Mind (Teengirl Fantasy Wide Open Edit)"
The Teengirl boys get two number ones in a row, but only because this remix (it isn't an edit, IMHO) just opens up Pictureplane's original in such a lush, delay-ridden way that it emerges more dubby, housey, and jackin' all in one fell swoop. Not to knock the original, which is a masterpiece of frenetic, early-'90s synth energy with a lovely stutter.
Pictureplane- New Mind (Teengirl Fantasy Wide Open Edit)
2. Rustie "Keesha Resmak"
Though it appeared on his Myspace only a few weeks ago, grime/dubstep wizard Rustie's unofficial remix of Keyshia Cole's "Shoulda Let You Go" is just so disgustingly good, it raises his game to new heights. As I said to one of my editors at XLR8R, "If all of this shit coming out of the UK had soulful female vocals over it, I'd be the happiest faggot in the world." And girl can really sing, which is no surprise since she's from Oakland. Seriously, this is a MAJOR JAM and will force people to get down.
Rustie- Keesha Resmak
3. Glasser "Apply (Lemonade Remix)"
The boys of Lemonade really outdid themselves here, taking the gorgeous vocals of Cameron Mesirow's original and laying them over what could be called a tropical dubstep beat, making the already-danceable original into something a DJ could lay on a floor during an early club set. Did I mention that Mesirow's vocals are just unbelievably gorgeous?
Glasser- Apply (Lemonade Remix)
4. Djuma Soundsystem "Bipolar (dOP Morning Remix)"
Take a rote tech-house track that sounds like a Booka out-take and give it to the boys of dOP and they're sure to mine some gold out of it. Adding super-processed vocals, delaying bits of the original's percussive flourishes, and building to an insane peak that I would LOVE to hear late night at a club sometime, this is certainly my favorite tech-house remix of 2009.
Djuma Soundsystem- Bipolar (dOP Morning Remix)
5. Omar ft. Stevie Wonder "I'm Feeling You (Henrik Schwarz Remix)"
Another unofficial remix that hasn't even seen release, as far as I know. A mastermind of remixes, Schwarz literally takes the original of this track and fucks it up so hard that all that's left are the soulful vocal intonations of Omar and Stevie. Nothing else remains, and quite honestly, this is a great thing.
Omar ft. Stevie Wonder- I'm Feeling You (Henrik Schwarz Remix)
6. Monika Kruse "Don't Come Close (Mark Broom Remix)"
It's a bit weird how much I like Monika Kruse, given that she's been doing the same sort of thing since the late '90s. Nevertheless, Mark Broom's remix of "Don't Come Close" darkens the original's tonal color, adds some excellent pans, and most certainly crafts a more tense peak, which explains why this piece was on all the Euro club floors this past summer.
Monika Kruse- Don't Come Close (Mark Broom Remix)
7. Hunx & His Punx "Dontcha Want Me Back (Teengirl Fantasy RIP NRG Remix)"
A work of gay house wizardry. Love everyone involved here, love this track, and despite my comments a few months back, really miss NRG.
Hunx & His Punx- Dontcha Want Me Back (Teengirl Fantasy RIP NRG Remix)
8. Codebreaker "Follow Me (The Juan Maclean Remix)"
This is the transformation of an Azoto-like Italo-disco number into a Chicago house track, replete with lovely piano flourishes and stretches of acid squelch. A summer jam if there ever was one, I can honestly say that The Juan Maclean are one of my favorite groups around, and I can only hope that everything fares better for them in the new year.
Codebreaker- Follow Me (The Juan Maclean Remix)
9. Toecutter "Best Party Ever (Flight Facilities Remix)"
As I wrote at XLR8R.com in September: Australia's Toecutter incorporates a Kool And The Gang sample into a filter-house track par excellence, then Flight Facilities reverse the process, using the original source material and pumping it up into a beardo-disco number that actually improves on Kool & The Gang's "Tonight," a near-impossible feat. Essentially, Flight Facilities just take out the stupid, stupid verses, and make this track all about the AWESOME SAX SOLO and the earworm of a chorus. Fuck yeah.
Toecutter- Best Party Ever (Flight Facilities Remix)
10. Tortoise "Gigantes Version (Mark Ernestus Remix)"
The Basic Channel member dubs out the best track from Tortoise's last album, adding subsonic bass, weird claps, and a foreboding sense of impending doom that the original just doesn't contain. Though I do like the remix that Eye (from Boredoms) did of a different Tortoise track, I find this one to be a lot more subtle in its slight tweaks of the original.
Tortoise- Gigantes Version (Mark Ernestus Remix)
FUCK YEAH. Coming at you on the 24th are the FULL-LENGTH BONERS OF 2009. WATCH YOUR EYES, GIRLFRIEND!!!
After a break in year-end lists in 2008, I am happy to present my top fourteen music boners of 2009. These are all singles (or singles culled from larger works) that appeared high on my iTunes Most Played list, or simply those I consider the most interesting music of the year. Some, if not most, have mp3s attached, except in cases where it seems a bit superfluous. So, on with it, and remember to SUPPORT THESE ARTISTS.
1. Teengirl Fantasy "Love Don't Live Here" (Dick Move)
I know, Logan and Nick from Teengirl Fantasy are good friends of mine, so it might seem a bit unfair to name this the track of the year. But you know what? Fuck being fair. This is the most played song on my iTunes, the most spun 12" from the past few months on my decks, and genuinely the piece that gets stuck in my head the most. From their first official show in Oberlin (which was awesome, by the way) to insane European tours and mentions in BUTT magazine (among others), these boys got it going on.
Teengirl Fantasy- Love Don't Live Here
2. All Leather "I Don't Hate Fags, God Does" (Dim Mak)
I posted the video of this track a while back. For some reason, I totally adore this band, and though people have laughed at me for it, I'm not really one to care that much. The lyrics (after a bit of deciphering) are totally bizarre, transgressive, sexy, anti-capitalist rants. And there's so much bile in Justin Pearson's screaming that listening to All Leather is sort of like someone throwing up in your ears. In a good way.
All Leather- I Don't Hate Fags, God Does
3. Ancient Methods "Else (Ugandan Methods Mix)" (Ancient Methods)
Another weird one. Intense, stripped-down techno with an industrial bent that just fucking slams. If you're ever up at six in the morning and want to stay awake, just turn off all of the lights and play this polyrhythmic, raw-as-hell filth until your ears bleed.
Ancient Methods- Else (Ugandan Methods Mix)
4. Culoe De Song "African Subway" (Innervisions)
The tech-house wunderkind of the year, Culoe De Song's first EP actually lived up to the hype. However, "African Subway" was pushed aside by "The Bright Forest," which seems a bit cloth-eared to me since this piece is more interesting rhythmically and melodically, as well as being infinitely more anthemic.
Culoe De Song- African Subway
5. Lusine "Two Dots" (Ghostly International)
If you aren't singing along with this track by its mid-point, there's something wrong with you.
Lusine- Two Dots
6. Jackpot "Night Flight" (Rvng)
The Scandinavians continued to bring the disco insanity this year, and this piece by Jackpot sounds like it could have come out of the golden age of Italo. All that it needs now are some ridiculous lyrics, and you'd have the perfect throwback, replete with bouncing bass and lush synth groovage.
Jackpot- Night Flight
7. Azari & III "She's An Illusion" (I'm A Cliche)
Another Italo-inspired piece that also has some serious debts to pay to Detroit. Though "Reckless With Your Love" and "Hungry for the Power" are a bit more my style of well-produced gay diva house, something about "She's An Illusion" is really special.
Azari & III- She's An Illusion
8. Girls "Lust for Life" (True Panther)
As I type this, I'm in an airplane 37,000 feet over Colorado. I'm listening to this song, and I already want to insist that they turn the plane back because leaving the Bay Area is something that feels good in theory, but in practice, kind of sucks shit (in the bad kind of way). This song IS California, as far as I'm concerned, and I can't wait to get back so I can cruise around Oakland on my bike blasting this like I have during the past few months. Check the NSFW video below, featuring a cast of Bay Area miscreant homos and gender-fucks, including Hunx and Alexis from SORE.
9. Hunx & His Punx "Hey Rocky" (True Panther)
True Panther is the best new(ish) label in the states, duh, and though the original single of this track came out in 2008 (I believe— correct me if I'm wrong), it is still the best track from the Gay Singles album: catchy, fun, hip-shaking, and sexy in that cute-boy-you-smile-at-on-the-BART kind of way.
Hunx & His Punx- Hey Rocky
10. Sugar & Gold "Slice Me Nice" (Antenna Farm)
Not an original, so maybe it shouldn't be on here, but it is so catchy and so much gayer than the original that I sort of fell in love with it. With a fuller, brighter sound, along with vocals that are considerably less creepy than those of schlag-crooner Manfred Alois Perilano, the track actually makes the connection between cake and sex work quite well. Hungry guys eating pies, ha.
Sugar & Gold- Slice Me Nice
11. dOP "Horny" (Eklo)
These guys are the best thing that happened to techno in the past five years. Live instrumentation, jazzy arrangements, great rhythmic energy, and a lyric playfulness that just kicks the shit out of most other dance music out there. I gave this track to my girl Alie, and a week later she texted me like, "HOLY SHIT "HORNY" IS THE KILLER SHIT." And I was like, "DAMN RIGHT. LISTEN TO DAT SHIT WHEN YR FUMBLING WITH HER BRA, GIRL."
12. Electrik Red "We Fuck You" (Def Jam)
It's confusing to me that Electrik Red haven't caught on with anyone except journalists and faggots (LOL big dif right) in the US. "We Fuck You" is like the sonic equivalent of this hot bitch in heels kicking the drunk, sexist Tucker Max clone so hard in the balls that he wishes he'd never been born. Only Tricky and The-Dream could have helped these ladies pull this shit off so well. (Because I'm scared as fuck of Def Jam, just peep the vid below).
13. Nima Gorji "Hopp Hopp" (Murmur
I'm a sucker for ethnic vocal samples in techno tracks. The fact that the peeps repped here are the Romany nomads of Europe and not the usual (though still awesome) South American street kids or African shamans makes it all the more interesting.'
Nima Gorji- Hopp Hopp
14. Bookworms "African Rhythms" (Solos)
People in real life and on the internet keep on talking about this track, and how it should be released on vinyl, and how it is just so effing deep. And yeah, it is. I never want it to end.
Bookworms- African Rhythms
So party through the new year with all this biz. It was a great year, and I'm hoping that excellent stuff just keeps coming!! Stay tuned for the 10 best remixed music boners of the year, cumming at ya on Monday.
So, a while back Brontez from Gravy Train!!! gave me a CD of his ga(y)rage project, The Younger Lovers. It is full of lovely gems of punky, gay garage hits, including one of the most catchy tunes of recent memory, "Sha-Boo-Bee." Totally tight, yeah? Yeah! He also sent me the past two issues of Fag School, which is his awesome porno punk zine that made me spit out out my 40 while I was reading because shit is so funny. And look at him in the picture above! What a fuckin' hot number! Get down with the two tracks below, then go out and find some ass to squeeze.
The Younger Lovers- Can I Come Over?
The Younger Lovers- Low Top Chucks And Skinny Jeans
Tomorrow, the top 15 singles of 2009, including mp3s!!
Love this image— so ridiculous.
Anyway, sorry for the long wait. School, parties, and sex kept me from fulfilling my duties.
But I'm back. Tomorrow, the massive end-of-year lists begin. First up? Top ten tracks of the year.
Today, though, felt like I should give you some love, so I got a copy of Mai Tai's "History" and digitized it. This one goes out special for Nick (aka DJ DICKTIP) and Hannah Salty Pienerz, who played this endlessly last May when I was visiting them.
Mai Tai- History
Another post for you later today!!! Gay-rage...
Today, I'm going to dump some related and unrelated YouTube videos on you.
First, I've become obsessed with Baby Ford and Ian Loveday's Minimal Man project. Especially this track:
Sick, right? Everything that techno should be.
Next up are two tracks that mix gorgeously, so try to do that YouTube mixing thing that everyone's doing nowadays. Though a vinyl or Ableton mix would obviously be preferable...
Lastly, my girl Sade has a new album coming out in February. It has been ten years since Lovers Rock, and given the new album's cover art, the new record should be as totally fierce and amazing as one would expect. So here's my favorite old school Sade track for your pleasure...I have a friend who used to call me 'The Sweetest Taboo,' which is probably the most excellent nickname anyone has ever given me.
Tomorrow, some downloadable tracks for your pleasure.