Gimme 5 ACL: Corbu

unnamedAs we get ready for ACL this weekend, team ATH has been trying to find new ideas for providing coverage for this year’s festival in unique and exciting ways. An idea was given to me recently to have a group highlight some of their favorite bands on the bill by way of a 5 song playlist. I jumped at the idea and asked New York City based outfit Corbu to be our very first playlist band. Maybe you’ll find something you like or rediscover an oldie that you forgot about. Check out the band’s words and playlist after the jump.

Read more

Levitation Teases 2016 Lineup

LEVITATION-2016-square-1500-1030x1030For their ninth year in business as a festival, Austin Psych Fest has announced a preview of nine artists for Levitation 2016. The preview video is embedded below but check this out. While a few of the artists announced are festival stalwarts, we do have a few eyebrow raising teasers, one in particular. The list is as follows: Brian Wilson performing “Pet Sounds“, Animal Collective, Flying Lotus, Lee Scratch Perry, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Ty Segall.

Tickets are on sale already for weekend passes and camping. You can peep the lineup preview video embedded just below these words.

[youtube]135I_1QS2do[/youtube]

Young Montana? – Limerence

Rating: ★★★½☆

Long is the laundry list of beat makers via the UK, but one of the rising stars of the scene, Jon Pritchard aka Young Montana, is a ripe 20 years old. Following in the footsteps of renowned veterans such as Prefuse 73, FlyLo, and Madlib, Young Montana? has just released his debut album, Limerence on Alpha Pup, with some fantastic artwork to boot. Emerging from relative obscurity in Coventry, a smallish town in the UK, Pritchard has managed to bottle up some of the most fluid beats of the year with a strong down-tempo style perfected in his own backyard.

While the flow is intermittent at best, the release works as a host of independent sketches comprised of a multitude of ideas, much like Prefuse’s Apexian. The overall theme varies widely from the soulful to the askew to the more gathered bass-driven tracks, but when Pritchard hits the right chord, the sound is rich, interesting, and energetic. In many ways, Pritchard is on the forefront of the next wave of beat makers trying their hands at the game after years of study dominated by the masters. While Limerence is not entirely ground-breaking, the release more than makes up for it in sheer jam-ability, on tracks ‘Sacré Cool’, ‘Suchbeats’, and ‘Repetition’. While most vocals are reserved in snippets thrown in for an added texture, the release is more or less instrumental. Utilizing his full arsenal of techniques and tricks, nearly every track holds a recognizable pattern worthy of a head bob. ‘Legwrap’ however, is where Pritchard is certainly pushing the boundaries, incorporating the pinnacle of his off-kilter, wonky, and plain off the wall trips and ticks before emerging as one of the more killer beat structures found on the album. Such is the way Pritchard directs his listener, always keeping us wondering what may come next.

The final track ‘Connct’ once again thrives on the bass heavy, but throws in a music box to keep the listener always guessing. While it makes what begins as one of the most enjoyable tracks less so, it’s still interesting enough in its own right to justify a listen. For such a young mind at an essentially old man’s game at this point, I predict good things from Coventry and a multitude of small towns throughout the world in the years to come in the wide open world of beat-making.

Friday Top 5: 2010 Album Covers

It’s time again to turn the music down and put on your art-critic monocles and top hats. Yes, today is the day we judge 2010 releases strictly on their visual packaging aesthetics as opposed to their auditory aptitude. It’s also a way to highlight the ‘other’ artists who have created the artwork and often don’t get the credit besides a sub-par blurb in the liner notes. 2010 was filed with beautiful artwork and it has been a struggle to dwindle them down to 5, but alas, my favorites are to be found below. Just like last year, I’m looking at the entire package; composition, balance, tone, meaning and originality. Use of text is not necessary as we saw last year, but when it is used, it must compliment the piece as a whole. I don’t claim to be an expert, but when looking back through this year’s album artwork, here are the ones that caught my eye.

Read more

Show Preview: Mimosa @ Aces Lounge (10/14)

Date Thursday, October 14th
Location Aces Lounge
Doors 1000pm
Tickets $20 HERE

This might not seem like our typical run of the mill left of the dial indie post, but we’ve been hearing great things about this recent Mimosa tour, so we had to offer up a chance for you to at least hear about it.  The man behind the sound has been compared to the likes of other electro-dub-dance-step acts such as Burial and Flying Lotus, and while they might not sound exactly the same, we know there is a huge audience in Austin for this sort of thing. Take a listen to this track below, feel the vibe, and make sure you get to Aces Lounge to catch his set.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Mimosa-07_Pushing_Little_Daisies1.mp3]

Download: Mimosa – Pushing Little Daisies [MP3]


Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma

Rating: ★★★★☆

In the vast, deep of night, we peer into the cosmos searching for answers to all of life’s questions. For innumerable years, humans have gazed to the stars. Some receive answers. For producer and beat-maker Steven Ellison, (AKA Flying Lotus) rooting deep in the earth, peering high into the sky, and becoming one with the universe is the modus operandi on his latest full length album Cosmogramma. Those unfamiliar with FlyLo, may have unwittingly heard some of his first work as a beat-maker during Adult Swim’s commercial changeovers.  These ambiguous and quick bass-heavy sketches built a massive fan base for which Ellison would leap from his rather innocuous 2006 debut full length 1983 and find great critical acclaim in his Warp debut, 2008’s Los Angeles.  

On his latest, his influence is taken mostly from his personal relation to his great-aunt, Alice Coltrane, from whom the title of the record is taken. The late Alice Coltrane was a jazz musician in her own right in addition to being known as the wife of Saxophone legend John Coltrane.  Flying Lotus uses these family bred jazz influences in very subtle ways in his beat-making scenarios while combining sublime live instrumentation from a global laundry list of talented musicians to create a soundtrack which is simply out of this world. If Los Angeles was his ‘Dr. Strangelove’, Cosmogramma is his ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.  

From the first bass hits of ‘Clock Catcher’ the listener is shot into the atmosphere with the addition of Rebekah Raff on harp. The playfulness between the smooth, tender harp and the sharp, rigid bass is just a taste of what FlyLo does best. His production style has evolved over the past few years, but creating dense, layered tracks is becoming second-nature. From here into the bass heavy, jazz improv ‘Pickled’ with former Suicidal Tendencies bassist Stephen “Thundercat” Bruno putting down intricate bass lines. ‘Intro//A Cosmic Drama’ is the record’s first influence of vocals, with Niki Randa providing the choir-like voice over a beautiful string arrangement from the very talented Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. The vocals are subtle, but are very effective in giving the overall tone of the track a celestial sense.

Most casual listeners may have heard the single ‘…And The World Laughs With You’, no doubt a highlight for many. With the addition of Thom Yorke’s vocals, FlyLo creates an Eraser –esque vibe, though it’s short-lived and doesn’t settle on the vocals in a manner of Yorke’s 2006 release. Similarly, Ellison never dwells too long on any particular thought process. The tracks on the album average just under 2.5 minutes, but there’s no lack in substance throughout.  The list of collaborators continues with ‘Arkestry’ utilizing relative Ravi Coltrane on sax, giving the record its first true jazz sensibility, and no doubt an ode to his Aunt and his family’s jazz lineage.  Jumping ahead to ‘Satelllliiiiiiiteee’, which is a funky groove and by ‘Recoiled’ a dense, hard hitting track, it’s obvious that FlyLo has mastered his craft and created his strongest release to date by far.

As a listener it is important to not pass judgment after first listen. It’s the kind of record that will not immediately hit you due the subtly and denseness of the layers, but repeated listens are well worth the effort.  The record as a whole flows like a single track, much in the same manner of Prefuse 73’s ‘Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian’, though the record feels to end in a more abrupt manner that I would have expected.  Overall, however, it is still one of the best, far-reaching musical journeys of the year. Expect much more notoriety and critical acclaim in the future for Flying Lotus if he continues to produce in the same manner, focusing not only on the beats, but the composition of instrumentation as well.