Sunday, February 17, 2008

Orange Alert's Music Minute

"PWRFL Power's Kazutaka Nomura doesn't especially care for pop conventions", and that attitude usually leads to interesting and challenging music. However, Kaz has managed to create an album that is artistically appealing and lyrically challenging, but essentially folk music. Born to an architect and a calligrapher in Hokkaido, Japan in 1984, Kaz began studying Classical and Jazz guitar at the age of 13--moving to Seattle at 18 to study musical composition. His guitar playing is a unique blend of folk and classical and quite pleasing. Just remember... "It's okay to be yourself!"

Listen to: It's Okay (mp3) and Alma Song (mp3)

Minnesota strikes again! Batteries play rock music with a nod to the a few legends. It is really a nice formula... one part fuzzy horn of Morphine, one part bouncy organ of The Doors, and equal parts hushed "Velvet" vocals and workmen like guitars. It is a powerful cocktail on a frosty mid-western morning. Their debut album, That Great Grandsuck of the Sea, was self-released is not easy to find, but it is worth tracking down.

Listen to: Childproof (mp3)

Chicago blues by way of Cologne, Germany. T-Man and Mighty Mike have the sound down as they make their Voodoo Rhythm debut with BOOGIE THE HOUSE DOWN - JUKE JOINT STYLE.

Listen to: Seasons Love (mp3)

Formed in 2001, this beat oriented group combine fantasy, art, and "urban grit" to create dance music like no other. Based in Minnesota (yes, you heard me right), Solid Gold has yet to release a full-length album. With an aggressive touring schedule and high expectations the debut (Bodies Of Water) has been a long time coming, but is planned for this summer. On February 26th, this trio will release an Ep entitled, Who You Gonna Run To?, featuring three new song and three remixes.

Listen to: Bible Thumper (mp3)

I understand that is hard to settle on a great band name. You want it to be memorable, you want it to roll off of the tongues of the masses, but F$@# Buttons seriously? Conceived by Andrew Hung & Benjamin John Power in 2004, F$@# Buttons was initially born as an outlet for their nihilistic-noise tendencies but they quickly realized they could harness the use of noise as a tool to immerse and evoke. No longer afraid of melody or rhythm, the group started fusing all these elements to the point when drone becomes melody becomes rhythm. Their latest album, STREET HORRRSING, will be released on March 18th.

Listen to: Bright Tomorrow (mp3) *link*

The highly debated Radiohead remix album, Rainydayz Remixes, from producer Amplive is finally going to be released. While the Oakland producer/DJ acknowledges that he probably should have contacted Radiohead (who were not involved in the project) to seek approval prior to making his interpretations publicly available, an agreement has been reached between all involved parties and Amplive has been granted permission to release Rainydayz Remixes for free to the general public. And guess what -- it's available now.

Listen to: Videotape (Remix Ft. Del The Funky Homosapien) (mp3)

The Peel Back: Portishead Dummy (1994, Polygram Records)
I don't have to tell you that this album was groundbreaking. The mesh of styles on Dummy, that later became unfortunately labeled "trip-hop", had never been done before. Sure Massive Attack had certain elements, but the raw hip-hop elements mixed gracefully with electronic beats were simply genius. On top of that blend to add the hauntingly beautiful voice of Beth Gibbons, it was almost too perfect to repeated. In fact, the main story surrounding this legendary duo is the lack of productivity. We have waited 10 years for the third album to be released, and they say 2008 will be the year. As we wait, let’s take a look back at the shocking sounds of Dummy.

Mysterons/Sour Times (mp3)/Strangers/It Could Be Sweet/Wandering Star/It's a Fire/Numb (mp3)/Roads/Pedestal/Biscuit/Glory Box

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Del the Funky Homosapien and Radiohead... what a combo.