Devil in the Woods Back with New Releases

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.

Another New Black Marble Song

blackI’m gearing up to really enjoy this new Black Marble record, which is being released on September 30th. Hearing this new single, there’s a sensation of solitude that’s incorporated through the echo-effect on the vocals. The electronic progression is pretty restrained, it’s not forcing beats into your ears, allowing the song to slowly settle within the caverns of your brain. For a bedroom electronic project, this is precisely what one would come to expect. This LP is titled It’s Immaterial, and it’s going to be handled/released by Ghostly.

Pleased to Meet You: STFU

stfuI love it when someone who you admire musically releases something new out of the blue, something you gravitate towards. Preston M. is a member of Bloody Knives, who’ve graced our Internet site before, and just yesterday he tossed up a completed album with D. Garcia, going by the name of STFU (that’s a wrestling move, right?). It’s part industrial electronica and part dream pop, meeting somewhere in the dark middle. I like that some tracks offer up vocals, while others clearly have the duo experimenting with sound. Like your music with a hint of darkness and noise, and a dash of pop? Get into the band’s debut album, What We Want. Stream it below.

New Music from Body Clocks

body-clocks-press-shotI’ve been trying to broaden my listening horizons quite a bit lately, getting into stuff I haven’t really had on my radar (a whole lot of kumbia)…and that’s where I found Body Clocks. It’s a pulsing bit of electronica, which typically would be easy to describe, but there are some special things lurking here. The rhythmic pulse gets offset at times, settling into a groove, then almost pausing in air before bouncing back. There’s these little haunting echoes of strings and even a brief vocal sample. It’s the duo’s debut single, but I hope you’ll dig it.

SXSW Interview: Lance Neptune

0626511-R4-007-2-700x588With our SXSW questionnaires, our objective is to get a different perspective from as many bands as we can who happen to be coming to town and, hopefully, everyone has enjoyed the reads so far. Today I’m please to get some answers from Maryland based electronica/producer artist Lance Neptune. I’m personally excited for this one because it offers a take from an artist whose style isn’t one I usually give much time to. Let’s enjoy. Follow the jump for more.

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PINES Bring Us An Electro Jam

10404225_972772592737350_6882510982600130767_nI am rarely one to be posting a lot of music in the electro-pop genre, but sometimes you just get one of those jams that hits a nerve.  Today I’m stepping outside my comfort zone with musical tastes and proclaiming “All You Need” by up and coming Aussie act PINES as my hit of the day.  It’s simplicity makes it an elegant, beautiful and head nodding worthy song all at the same time.  I challenge you to hit play and not immediately play it again right afterward.  I’ve had it on loop all morning…

Just getting started up, I have very little information on the new group so stay tuned and say hi to them on facebook.

ATX Spotlight: BOAN Readies Mentiras LP

boneIn case you’ve been hiding under a rock here in Austin, you’ve likely already heard BOAN, or at least I hope you have.  The duo is made up of Jose Cota (of Ssleeperhold) and Mariana Saldana, and they’ve been working to create their minimal electronic music for some time, and finally are ready to share their new album, Mentiras, with you.  While not all the group’s songs go this route, the usage of Spanish in the lyrics pays a bit of homage to the cultural heritage of the duo; it adds a bit of international flare to the budding electro pop they’ve carefully been crafting. Personally, I love the dark turn this track takes on in the second half.  Holodeck Records will be releasing Mentiras on June 9th.

Knifight Bring Dark Pop to Austin

250057_10151083173809021_217134951_nKnifight is a band that I’m sure many of us have seen play on a bill or two around Austin at some point.  They seem to be fairly active in the scene and have worked hard to stand out from the massive crowd.  Our first official post on the band will be to share new song “In the Fire” which appears on the band’s new album Dark Voices that is streamable and for purchase on their bandcamp page.  I’m sure many folks in the know here in Austin have already had a listen to this track, but it’s new to us.  I’d recommend this to anyone into the Joy Division revitalization or fans or more current bands like Cold Cave.

Check out the new album on bandcamp when you get the chance.  These guys are definitely worthy of being called a band to watch in Austin.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/07.-In-The-Fire.mp3]

Download: Knifight – In The Fire [MP3]

Voltage Black Bring Electronic Experimentation

600646_485502271514711_1647075311_nElectronica is clearly not my expertise and it’s rare that I find much worth repeat listens in the genre.  Nothing against those devoted to the style, it’s just not really my bag.  Well this track “Get Your Iron Aligned” from London based group Voltage Back is a song I’ve found myself putting on repeat several times in a row this morning.  It sort of takes you on an interesting wave of emotions throughout the lengthy six and a half minutes.  You start off with what could be a dance hall jam, then move into a more chill and mellow feel, before the major buildup towards the end for the last minute or so.  Well done gents.  Stay tuned for more from these guys.

Vondelpark – Seabed

Vondelpark-Seabed-4.2.2013

Rating: ★★★½ ·

Blending electronica with R&B sounds is definitely a popular route to make waves in the music world nowadays, but it’s not like Vondelpark haven’t been going at it for several years.  That being said, their new effort, Seabed, manages to create an LP of songs that drift slowly into your subconscious without ever boring you.

Seabed opens with one of the album’s shorter tracks, “Quest,” and immediately the table is set for the rest of the record.  Singer Lewis Rainsbury floats atop the opening lines, just before a shimmering guitar line smoothly moves in and out of the track.  If you listen carefully, you can hear faint references to the IDM genre…it’s perhaps the band’s secret weapon. Those distant IDM/trip-hop touches allow the group to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack, even though the emphasis revolves around the soothing vocal appeal.  You can really hear this on the opening moments of “Dracula,” which eventually unfolds into a foray of experimental electronic bliss.  This is easy listening for people with good tastes.

One of my favorite Vondelpark tracks on this effort has to be “Always Forever.”  It begins as much of the songs due, inching its way towards perfection.  Yet, just after the 30 second mark the song sees a bit of classical guitar sampling and an increased pace.  The vocal performance is perhaps the best, and the most emphatic, especially when the vocal is looped just behind the main vocal.  It’s dreamy, still, yet oddly energetic, considering the style of music the band composes.  It’s placement in the middle of Seabed also makes way for a nice little digression in “California Analog Dream.”  Guitar work takes a more prominent role here, as do the drums.  For my ears, it’s the most sonically experimental track, melding all the various components present into one unique blend that moves beyond mere bedroom R&B.  Together, these two tracks have been played the most through my dozen or so listens.

But, the group doesn’t just rely upon Rainsbury’s singing to leave their listeners in awe; just check out “Bananas (On My Biceps)” and its use of a vocal sample.  At first, I struggled to find the merit of this track; it deals with lots of empty space in varying parts.  However, the more time I spend with this record, the more that I’ve grown to appreciate the tune.  There’s warm washes of atmospheric electronics, and the aforementioned vocal sample seems perfectly placed.  Like much of the LP, mysteries unfold within and continue to impress your ears.

For me, Vondelpark seems perfectly fit to take the lead role in the emergence of this genre.  Their sampling and IDM work are an homage to a purer time of trip-hop, while every vocal seems perfectly timed and tuned to fit the song.  Seabed might not be your everyday listen, as it definitely sets its own mood, but it will reveal itself to be a stunning listen if you allow it some the appropriate time.