Perhaps the best part about doing what we do here at ATH is stumbling into something randomly and being just blown away. I reckon this wasn’t completely random, as Aaron Beckum‘s forthcoming EP is going to be on Devil in the Woods…though I had no idea who Aaron was when I pressed play. Songs from a Triangle Room was recorded with Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, but it sounds like it could have been performed by that one friend you’ve got who actually knows how to handle an acoustic guitar in all its glory. I love the way Beckum’s notes seem to be emphasized in between heavy strums; you can also hear some light piano touches that really shine brilliantly in the song’s far off distance.
It’s seems strange to me that we cover so much music from Canada, yet our closest neighbor (here in Texas at least) gets minimal coverage. But, thanks to Devil in the Woods returning, I’ve been turned on to some great tunes, like this new single from Mexico City’s MUUK. It’s an instrumental number that works with sort of four distinct movements. At first, you get sort of a lost radio message, something that seems to hiss at you from the past. Then the song drops in, guitars sharpening themselves over ambient noises, building on the pulse of electronics. We venture into a soft respite with a meandering guitar chord sort of skittering about while the percussive element and soundbites intoxicate the listener. It all crashes down emphatically with the heavier hand coming in the song’s final quarter, releasing all the song’s earlier tension in one final closing moment.
I think I first discovered Devil in the Woods sometime in the early 00s; the label had put out releases by personal favorites like Bright Eyes and Grandaddy (not to mention Death Cab, GBV, etc.). But, like all great things, changing musical climates and various other forces put the label up on the shelf for a bit. That was until founder Mike Cloward dropped into Mexico and felt reinvigorated by the goings-on in that scene. So, today the label is jumping back into the fray, with planned releases from Nik Freitas, Twin Tones and Espectroplastma…the latter two dropping in from la ciudad de Mexico. Below we’ve got a track from the 7″ with Espectroplasma, which recalls sort of an industrialized version of what you’d expect to find on Holodeck Records. Jumping in full force, the label also has plans for other titles on the horizon, so join me in welcoming the label back into the fold.