Mild High Club- Skiptracing

mildhighMild High Club delivers another mellow mixer of soft, psyche-soaked rock with their sophomore album, Skiptracing. Mac DeMarcos former tourmates pay homage to the likes of the Beach Boys and Homeshake with their lay-in-the-sun trippy reverberation. Alexander Brettin leads the charge with his laissez faire vocals that carry throughout the album, carrying their hazy sound that pairs perfectly with the dreamy dripping guitars and synth. The Circle Star Records (Stones Throws step-sister label) band delivers a solid collection with their second album, with sauntering soul/jazz songs like Tesselation and Head Out to the some impromptu instrumental jam on Whodunit?, Mild High Club gives listeners more than what they came to expect.

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Secondhand Sureshots – CD/DVD

Rating: ★★★★½

Do you ever have that romantic image of walking into a thrift store or Half-Price Books to rummage through the old vinyl and finding a true hidden gem? Every time I go into a record store I think this is the day I find the one I’ve been looking for. Well, for some, they turn the left over scraps of vinyl records into gems. Such is the story of Secondhand Sureshots; putting new life into old, unwanted vinyl. This is a collaborative mixing project from Dublab and Stones Throw, which gathered together some of the most prominent beat-makers in the US (if not the world) for a fun, spontaneous, collaborative beat making project.

The rules are simple. 1.) Each DJ gets $5.00 to buy 5 records of his choice. 2.) No additional instruments. The players in the game include J.Rocc, Daedalus, Nobody, and Ras G; each with their own unique style and flavor to bring to the table. They also exhibit different approaches to cutting and splicing; their wide ranging taste in music which adds to the intrigue of the final product. The set comes with a CD of the final mixed tracks, but the DVD is worth the cost alone. Over 2 hours of footage on the documentary shows each DJ carefully selecting their 5 records with their method and reasoning behind the selections. One thing is for sure, there is no shortage of Barbara Streisand (you’ll see what I mean). Once each man makes their picks at 4 different L.A. based thrift stores, it’s off to the studio for the magic to happen and a first spin of their random dusty vinyl.  The facial expressions as they listened to their records for the first time, trying to decipher what they can use and what is total crap, are priceless. Also, it is interesting in watching the way which each of the men worked and their systems of chopping and laying down beats.  

What’s truly inspiring is the finished product. From 5 “craptastic” records emerges top quality stuff. You would never have guessed where the original pieces came from. Consequently, the final pressed remixed albums were redistributed in beautiful re-purposed album covers with ninja-like precision. There they will wait to appear as a hidden gem for the next vinyl bottom feeder searching for that treasure.  This is a very entertaining set and I highly recommend checking it out for yourselves. We, in Austin, have a special treat in store for us as tonight at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz.  The documentary will be played with Ras G to perform live. This is not to be missed if you are a fan of the electronic genre or if you enjoy spontaneous beats.