OMD Shows The Kids How To Do It

Synth pop, new wave, dance pop, whatever you want to call it, has its roots in the late 70’s and early 80’s with groups like Visage, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan and many more. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark was among those early pioneers with tracks like “Electricity”, “Messages” and “Enola Gay” setting a foundation for their pop stardom in a shift to a more mass-market approval and mid-80’s movie soundtrack domination. We recently saw OMD here in Austin and one thing is for sure, they still love those songs and they still love the genre.

The band is currently back to the core lineup and they are making new music. It seems they want to show all the kids how to do things. The first real release from the forthcoming record The Punishment Of Luxury, due 9/1 on White Noise Records, is called “IsoType” and it is wonderful reminder of the roots that is back to being contemporary. Put on your headphones to revel in stereo effects and dream of the heady days of Kraftwerk, Ultravox and The Human League…

Hot Luck Fest’s The Hi-Lo @ Fair Market (5/19)

…and now for something completely different.

The wife and I love to cook. We like to make things that taste good. We like to go places to eat things. I’ve put notes in show reviews about our diners beforehand, whether a pretzel at Easy Tiger, a burger at Salt and Time or a series of small plates at Second. When James Moody and Aaron Franklin announced their collaboration to bring a new feel to the normal food festival, I was pretty interested. That they would tie in some music related events, I though, “cool.” And while the music is my normal, I really wanted to see how they’d break from the norms of a food fest. Enter the Hot Luck Fest.

So, tune this out if you don’t want to see pics of delicious things. Let’s get weird and talk about the delicious.

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Night Drive News

We don’t shy away from the fact that the ATH loves Night Drive. “Rise And Fall” is on my JamOTY list. The new record is finally final with a June 16th release date. The s/t debut rehashes a few hits we are familiar with while adding new tracks that have been on the periphery of recent live sets. New song below!

Speaking of live sets, the big release party is also officially official. Details available on the bookface, but the short and sweet is 6/16, Cheer Up, Orthy, Keeper, Single Lash and Lambda for $5. In.

Show Pics: Tycho @ Stubb’s (5/12)

Last Friday was an insanely busy night in Austin. While Nathan camped out with Team ATH bands over at Hotel Vegas, I was taking in a full set from Tycho at Stubb’s.

It has been a big year for Scott Hansen. He started the Tycho project as an aside to his graphic design (check it out at The live shows have featured projections of his art as an element of the performance. To the credit of that graphic design, I sometimes “see” the design language when spacing out listening to the records. The latest album, Epoch, was Grammy-nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album. That had to be a rad feeling, and a bit odd given how much of the record is not electronic or dance. The Austin show was the end of the tour, so we were treated with an extended set of lesser played songs after an intermission following the normal show.

Anyway, you can relive the night with photos of Tycho and openers Khruangbin along with some more words and even get a few bonus shots of our friends Tres Oui at Beerland. Deal?

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Dreamy Perfection From Hazel English

…and it is a gem. I listened to it twice.

According to the intarwebs, this is a bonus track to a 2xEP purchase featuring previously released materials and some new things. Hazel English straddles a line between too much and not enough in every little bit of the song. You want the song to be longer, the hook to stick around, echoes linger and layers peel back, but without letting go to move on and open space for the synth flourishes and guitar sweeps and all that space between, you wouldn’t be nearly as hooked at one listen. Brilliant stuff.

Order the double EP here and those of you across the pond need to see if she is playing in your town.

Have A Nice Weekend

Jay-Z is playing ACL.

LCD Soundsystem has released two songs into the digital wild.

Resume your regularly scheduled programming.

Here is a the latest track from Beacon, realized I hadn’t shared it yet. According to a bookface post, it is a hint of what to expect from the new record pending on Ghostly. When artists are given the ultimate freedom of the digitally (or analog in the case of classic synths) crafted soundscape, I am disappointed how often that soundscape can be squandered or derivative. The creation of the tones and waves, how they transition and fall into the feeling of the track, maybe a half beat early or late, pitch-shifted or hot cut, will often decide whether or not I will spend two seconds or all day listening to a track. The foundation and eventual fall of the primary groove here, the transition between notes and octaves, the way it disapperas as the track progresses and leaves behind the refrain closing the song, but is still present in melody is why I spent more than two seconds listening.

…and what I say here stands for the bangers and the ambients, dance pop and deep house, you gotta do something with it.

Catching Up With The Foreign Resort

One of my highlights from SxSW in 2016 was seeing The Foreign Resort. The trio from Copenhagen played to a mostly empty room in a venue with a terrible location on St Patrick’s Day. Didn’t matter, they sounded great and played my hits. These guys are an aggressive collision of synth pop and post punk, new wave, dark wave and no wave, and I love it.

“She Is Lost” is the first single from the upcoming LP. No info on the new record other than #soon. If you are North of the Border, eh, go check them out during their Canadian tour starting tomorrow in Toronto.

A Night Out: Small Black and Terry Malts

Hey, all. Catching up on sharing some show photos. Last Friday was an insanely busy night with bands like Real Estate, Small Black and Terry Malts headlining around The Red River Cultural District. It meant meeting different groups of friends and seeing more bands in one night that some people see all year. Don’t you feel sorry for them?

Bands in order of appearance – Nite, Talkies, Small Black, Business of Dreams, Hidden Ritual, Terry Malts.

So click through for some notes about dinner, drinks, bands and coughing fits with a nice big gallery.

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Have A Nice Weekend

I was randomly talking to a coworker about the history of electronic music, bringing my days of chasing drum and bass imports at Technophilia and later Waterloo and Alien Records. Since you are a music fan, you should watch this mini-documentary on the Amen Break, a sample pulled by many hip hop and rap artists, but also the source of the core building blocks of the entire D&B genre and subsequent subsets still used heavily for all things beat related. What to listen to after that? LTJ Bukem; find the Earth Vol. 1 compilation. One of my personal faves as single artist/album is Spring Heel Jack‘s 68 Million Shades.

Goldie always hit the periphery of my collection; I always favored his pure tracks, non-collab/no vocal. Just so happens, he released one such track today. This is current yet classic, simultaneously soothing and abrasive, aggressive and focused. Leave a comment.

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