On this 12-hour mix collection entitled Greatest Hits, Keith Fullerton Whitman takes a foggy, languid trip through his personal history and its relationship to pop music. The process is both simple and unique as the ambient master takes particular songs from his youth and passes them through a series of generators to create airy aural memories – a dense, sprawling nostalgia trip created over ten years of recording and processing.
At their peak, Growing were the best live band in New York City. For years, they exploded power supplies and made concert-goers all tearful with nothing more than two guitars, a penchant for razory drones and some brain-splitting rhythms. Quiet since 2010, we finally have something new from one-half of the duo. Check out "Bender" - a cut from Kevin Doria's solo joint Total Life. It's totally fucking immense.
I'm loving the current artistic counter-reaction to music becoming so disposable. As The Knife prep a 90-minute opus, Dirty Beaches mastermind Alex Zhang Hungtai is bundling two albums into one with Drifters and a stark instrumental set called Love Is The Devil. Check out the title track, which is kind of a severe bummer (while also very beautiful and raw). "I was crying my facing eyes out when I wrote this and punching myself in the face," explains Hungtai in the video's YouTube comments. Well, then.
Street noises, reverberated piano, synths-as-wind, dripping beats and stabs at beautiful purity populate this In Transit EP by Recycle Culture. Call it new-new age, because the entire effort, which consists of four equally gaseous parts, is about as relaxing as it gets without flying off the handles into cornball territory.
Ethernet, the project of one Tim Gray, knows exactly how to send a shiv right through your heart with little more than gaseous sound. On "Correction," it feels like one of those moments in a (bad) movie where a club-goer becomes too overwhelmed by drugs and drifts into a mental world of perpetual blackness and falling. It's scary – that feeling of being just out of control. Hear more when Opus 2 drops January 7 via the great Kranky.
There's guitar dreamers, guitar shredders and guitar players. Rarely do all three fit into the same world, but Mark McGuire and Charles Berlitz go intergalactic yet stay a-rippin on this new one "MR" – a dedication to surfer Mark Richards. If you love those old Fripp & Eno albums, get on this.
For those of you guilty of assuming all Kiwis are chummy sprites forever seeking the next hacky sack, meet Kerretta—a blistering New Zealand metal trio. They make explosive rock with heart, maneuvering their angst-ridden guitars into something sparse, melodic, and at times, even catchy. Think Mogwai or ISIS, but leaner and less grandiose. Kerretta is fresh off their SXSW dates and on to the rest of the country. Those stops can be found here, while their oft-lauded ‘silent to violent’ LP Vilayer is out through Midium Records now.
Some music is just so desperate to make an impression, battering you about the head with obnoxious noise, screaming at you in motto-punk couplets, blasting coruscating bass synths all over your sore, sorry face. But not Tangles. The impression Tangles make isn't immediately obvious. It sort of creeps on you and puts brains into drift. If you've clicked play you've not even reading this. I know you're not. But it's OK. You're entangled. Just let us know what you saw.
Sounds Like: Ducktails, Durutti Column, Emeralds
Alessio Natalizia's world must be an endlessly rewarding place. His covers series eked new life from artists as diverse as Amy Winehouse and Burial and on the evidence of this the man seems able to listen to a fine but ultimately limited indie rock song and hear hidden galaxies, his take on Bombay Bicycle Club's "Dust on the Ground" exploding the Big Music ambition at the heart of the track into something satisfyingly vast. Shimmering with Katana guitar and evaporating horizons of fuzz, this Banjo Or Freakout version recalls a ton of bands and none all at once; too pop to be considered noise, really, but too noisy not to be compared to the sound of blowing brains.
Sounds Like: Aphex Twin, The Present, Phaseone
For a name that didn't fit early incarnations of both The Velvet Underground and The Grateful Dead, The Warlocks has done right by Bobby Hecksher, who adopted the name for his then eight-strong band of pranksters in 1998. Since their inception, Hecksher's Warlocks have released five albums of very strong, cataclysmic psych-rock, and "Red Camera," from their newest one, The Mirror Explodes, extends the trip further. After building on python-ish drones and tambourines hits for the better part of four minutes, the band really hit their stride in the closing moments, when what seems like the trillionth guitar covers everything in inches of beastly drone. MP3 premiere below; The Mirror Explodes is out May 19th through Tee Pee.
Sounds like: The Brian Jonestowne Massacre, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Black Mountain