Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Mutyumu - イリヤ -Il y a-

Mutyumu is a Japanese post-rock/black metal band, but this isn't your simple crescendo-core post-rock album. They incorporate avant-garde elements as well. Aside from the standard guitar/bass/drums, these guys also have a vocalist, keyboardist and a violinist. Like I stated in an earlier post of mine, I love the use of violins in metal and this is no exception. The sounds these guys produce is epic and chaotic, sometimes at the same time. The vocalist (mostly clean with some screams) does a great job and just blends perfectly with the instrumentation, which is absolutely fantastic. The piano is an excellent addition,  playing everything from beautiful somber melodies to out of control madness. I tend to like the latter over the former, especially during the more climactic parts of the album. The atmosphere on the album can vary a lot, from a more cheerful, upbeat sound to a dark Gothic one. This is definitely an album you'll want to add to your collection.

9 out of 10 people will like this.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Kommisar - Eternal Squarewave Crusade

Kommisar is the one-man Canadian bedroom chiptune project of Christophe Goulet-LeBlanc. He has made a name for himself around the rhythm gaming community for his neat 8bit compositions. This EP is probably my favorite of his work. Some really catchy tunes and lots of different influences, from metal to electro. Check it.

7 out of 10 people will like this. Here's a sample from another EP.


Monday, 23 January 2012

A-1 - After School Special

A-1 (real name, Adam Rashid Traore) is an American rapper from San Francisco. This album is called "After School Special" for a reason. The concept of the album is that A-1 pretends to be sick one morning so he can stay at home and watch his favorite TV shows. Of course, this happened when he was a kid, not as an adult. Every beat on this album is basically a hip-hop version of well-known TV shows opening themes from the 90s and earlier. Although this sounds like a very gimmicky and cheesy, it's executed amazingly well. Most would expect geeky nerdcore lyrics, but instead, you get social commentary about A-1's life and generally growing up as well. Some of the opening themes include shows like the Pokemon Theme, Goosebumps, Golden Girls and even Reading Rainbow. He really uses the samples extremely well, playing off the lyrics, sometimes in really creative ways. For example, in the Reading Rainbow sample, he uses the "butterfly in the sky" line as a reference to the effects of drugs. His flow is pretty good, and generally the wordplay is fantastic and he has quite a few memorable lines.

And it's free. His other stuff is also free.
A-1 Bandcamp

8 out of 10 people will like this.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

TotW - Boris - Missing Pieces

This song came from one of Boris' albums from last year, Heavy Rocks. I've known about this song for a while, but lately it really started to grow on me and I now consider it to be one of my favourite songs of the last year. Boris is a Japanese band that really tries out a lot of different sounds from different genres. Most of their albums sound completely different from one another. They mainly produce Stoner Rock, Drone Metal, and Sludge with many influences from other genre like Shoegaze and Post-Rock. This song falls under the Post-Rock/Stoner Rock genre (probably, I suck at genres). This song really gets me pumped up, which is rare for any song to do. I start head-banging like if I was at a live show. The instrumentation is really great. Right from the get-go, the guitar pulls these strings inside me that make me feel, well, I don't really know. I can't explain it properly. This track is a little lengthy for some, passing the twelve minute mark, but to me, it starts and finishes very quickly. Love the shit out of this.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Anamanaguchi @ Il Motore

Last night, I went to the first show of the year for me, and what a show it was. Anamanaguchi was the headlining band with Extreme Animals and Moon King opening for them. And the show itself was really cheap ($12) so it was impossible to pass up. I went with a few friends, so it made the hour of waiting a little more bearable. Moon King was the first band up, and I wasn't really impressed. They are the prototypical lame opening act. I wouldn't have been that bad if all the songs didn't sound the same. It felt like I was listening to the same thing over and over. At least it was hilarious.

Speaking of hilarious, Extreme Animals was up next. I'm pretty speechless about this band. I was speechless because I couldn't stop laughing. They basically play weird mixes of famous songs with a projectors flashing random imagery on the screen. And the final song was a Harry Potter remix with the weirdest video I have ever seen and several inflatable pumpkins rose up from seemingly nowhere with the words never forget on it. Well, I certainly won't forget an act like that.

And after a little more waiting, I finally got to see Anamanaguchi. They were at the top of their game, playing some of their bigger hits like "Penpal" and "Blackout City". After the first song they threw a ton of glow sticks into the crowd. At some point after a couple of songs, one of the band members says something about getting stopped at the borders with drugs, guns and a pink switchblade, which the officer sternly frowned upon. He told them that they had to cover a Canadian artist. So they "covered" Nickleback. But really they just played what they usually play, and thank God for that.

Oh and I got myself some Anamanaguchi swag.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Toe - Book About My Idle Plot on Vague Anxiety

Toe is a Japanese Math Rock outfit that has built up a name for themselves. They are heralded as one of them best Math Rock bands around today by some people. They do have a nice blend of Math Rock and Post-Rock elements. The one thing that really stands out is the drumming. The drumming is so good in fact, that it kind of puts the rest of the instrumentation to shame, even though they are played decently. There are vocals on some of the tracks, but the album is mostly instrumental. People mostly talk about their sophomore album, For Long Tomorrow, though I'm not sure why. I thought this album was a lot more memorable. Opinions, whatever.

8 out of 10 people will like this.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

TotW - Moonbeam - Secret Feat. Tomomi Ukumori

I found this from a random link while browsing a certain imageboard, and I quite like this. This appears to be the title track off of their latest progressive house album. Nice spoken word japanese vocals with pleasing synths and interesting percussions throughout the track. I can't vouch for the album being good since I haven't heard it, but I can surely say that this track is worth a listen.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Hiromi - Spiral

Hiromi Uehara is one of my all-time favourite pianists and musicians. Her phenomenal talent and great personality that she pours into her Jazz-Fusion music is a blast to listen to. Her latest album made my top 10 of 2011, but I mentioned that it wasn't her best. This one is, or at least tied for 1st. This one is her third studio album. While the first two were very energetic and fast-paced, this one goes in the opposite direction (though not always), focusing more on composition. This is by far her most beautiful album. The mix of piano, bass and drums just go absolutely perfectly with each other (gotta give credit to bassist Tony Grey and drummer Martin Valera). Hiromi plays masterfully on this album, never sounding boring or uninspired. Each track has a different idea developing and evolving over time. These tracks aren't afraid of getting near the ten minute mark, or even exceeding it. If you're a fan of Jazz-Fusion or just Jazz in general, this album is a must-have.

9 out of 10 people will like this.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Boy is Fiction - Broadcasts in Colour

Boy Is Fiction is the IDM project of a mysterious Australian with no name (couldn't find it lol). This is his sophomore album, which follows up on his well-received self-titled debut LP. His downtempo style in the IDM game makes for some very beautiful and relaxing music for any night. The piano is quite prominent, making for great textures with the rest of the reverb-laden instruments throughout the album. Although most tracks have some sort of bleak or sad title, most of these tracks feel optimistic. I know that feel.

7 out of 10 people will like this.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Antoine Dufour - Convergences

Antoine Dufour is a French-Canadian acoustic guitarist who primarily gained popularity through YouTube fame (though he is also popular because he's an incredibly talented musician). One of the best fingerstyle acoustic guitarist in the game right now. He can really compose memorable songs as well as make great covers. The melodies are catchy and just stick with you all day.

8 out of 10 people will like this.

And here's another which was from his latest release, which ultimately was a little disappointing but this song is still one of his best.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

TotW - Timeless Truth - Memorex Massacre

Not much is known about Timeless Truth, other than they're a hip-hop duo (I think) from New York (I think). They've released an EP earlier this year, and it was quite the nice surprise. They have the nostalgic sound of old school gangsta rap that brings me back to the good old days. These guys spit hard and have pretty good flow and wordplay as well. This was a really great way to start off the year in the hip-hop game.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Top 10 Venetian Snares Albums/EPs

Venetian Snares is arguably the king of Breakcore. Nobody is as well known as this Canadian-Hungarian in the Breakcore scene, and for good reason. He's a constantly evolving musician, never sticking to familiar territory. Every single one of his albums sound completely different. He's also known for making an incredible amount of music, releasing up to 3 albums in a single year. Here's my completely subjective list of his top 10 albums and EPs.

10. My So-Called Life (2010)
Ultraviolent Junglist

9. Infolepsy (2004)
Where's Bill?

8. Pink + Green (2007)
In case you haven't noticed yet, he has some pretty weird album covers. Standouts:
Husikám Rave Dojo
Pink + Green VIP
Sporto Fucking Sellout Cocksuckerface

7. The Chocolate Wheelchair Album (2003)
Marty's Tardis
Ghetto Body Buddy

6. Hospitality (2006)
Frictional Nevada
Beverly's Potatoe Orchestra

5. Cavalcade of Glee and Dadaist Happy Hardcore Pom Poms (2006)

4. Higgins Ultra Low Track Glue Funk Hits, 1972-2006 (2002)
We Are Oceans
Dance Like You're Selling Nails
Walmer Side

3. My Downfall (Original Soundtrack) (2007)
The Hopeless Pursuit of Remission
If I Could Say I Love You

2. Detrimentalist (2008)
Miss Balaton

1. Rossz csillag alatt született (2005)
Szamár madár
Kétsarkú mozgalom

Don't like my list? Make your own.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Dhal - Cacophony

Dhal is an experimental Trip-hop trio from Japan and this is the only album they've release, which is such a big shame. These guys are really good. Every track feels like I'm a huge empty room and I'm all alone, for no purpose and waiting for nothing. It feels dark and unsettling. Strange sinister sounds appearing here and there add to the atmosphere. The vocals also dims the mood with dark thoughts about loneliness, among other things. They're often just lingering around like a spirit, accompanying the wonderful instrumentation. The reverby guitar/bass sound great as well as the drums. A solid release.

8 out of 10 people will like this.

Monday, 2 January 2012

maudlin of the Well - Part the Second

maudlin of the Well (yes, that's how it's capitalized) is a Progressive Metal outfit from Boston. This is their 4th studio album and it was completely funded by fans and therefor is available for free (link below). Most of these songs are fairly lengthy, not afraid to venture past the ten minute mark. They play with an experimental style, often taking influences from other genres such as Sludge Metal and Post-Rock. The instrumentation is heavenly, creating beautiful textures and a wonderful atmosphere. The guitar is a definite stand-out in most of these tracks. The albums comes with abstract artwork accompanying each track as well as the lyrics. It definitely adds a nice personal touch which is greatly appreciated.

8 out of 10 people will like this.