Given all of the reimagining of classic characters (what are we on, the eleventyeth Batman?), I thought it was proper time to reset the ATH IT Department. Now, while I will pop some electronic jams up, there will be some new content. We’ll talk technology, how I listen to music to hopefully help how you listen to music, streaming, supporting artists, industry stuff. I used the Put Your Ass In The Know (PYAITK) tag in the past, a reference to one of the original technology bloggers from WAAyayayAaayyy back, and it will be a theme here. We can do simple things to make our enjoyment of music better.
Reach out, drop a comment, whatever path, what are some topics you would like to know on the tech end of listening to the music we love? In the meantime, here is a recently released track by Orbital featuring Penelope Isles. Optical Delusion, their tenth full length, is available today wherever you stream your jams, which by the way, for me is mostly Qobuz. Why? Lossless CD quality or better available for all tracks and high artist payouts per stream. Stream ethically and buy the tracks you love.
Profligate is a new to me, but not some friends in the know. Josh from Missions and Nathan from Austin Town Hall sent word of this jam. Those are two heavyweights in the industry. I’m sold. This is sparse and cold, dark synth pop from space. “Hang Up” is the first single from the pre-orderable LP on Wharf Records called Too Numb to Know. I get some Xymox and Yello (not the Ferris hit) vibes, yet having bits of playfulness peaking through.
What’s a weekend? Is it Blursday yet? As we try to reopen, we must also try to be safe.
Cut Copy provides a beautiful slow jam to ease into whatever evening you think it is and remind you that “Love Is All We Share”.
“It was written a year ago about the anxieties of imagined future times, as technology becomes more all-consuming. But in light of recent events, the song took on an eerie significance. Now, with our immediate future uncertain and people the world over self-isolating, love more than ever, feels like one of the best things we can share. – Cut Copy”
Nathan sent this one over to me a few days ago as my recent listening habits have included a high proportion of darker synth stuff, even for me. Xymox, Joy Division and Lust for Youth have been on the turntable as recently as last night. I let this simmer, but had not given it an honest listen. While crushing spreadsheets yesterday, I had the headphones up a little higher than normal (HD660s on JDS Labs Atom, if anyone cares about such things and if you do, let me know and we’ll talk gear a bit) and this track popped up again with its layered percussion and synth textures that move forward methodically commanding attention. “Dissolve the Floor” landed squarely.
Houses of Heaven are Keven Tecon, Adam Beck, and Nick Ott. Surrounded by the backdrop of the bay area’s social inequities, they have put together their first LP Silent Places on Felte Records, digital now and vinyl 5/22.
It has been some time since we have heard from Andre Obin. Out of the Boston area, I’ve been a fan for some time and thankfully, he returned the back catalog to the streaming services after remastering a bit at the start of 2020. “Disconnect The Wires”, hopefully a preview of what’s to come on his work on Cleoparta Records, is a perfect slice of darkwave. The tone is set with snaps and a distorted synth bass-line that evolves with the track as it builds. Put on your best headphones and let it rip as there is a ton of space between the elements that are introduced independently in breaks until it all starts to collapse in on you with an abrupt yet graceful exit.
Urban Heat Island Effect is now just Urban Heat. Austin’s Jonathan Horstmann (BLXPLTN, V3CO) has a vocal that is goth-wave perfection while the modular synth tones from Kevin Naquin move tracks forward and the bassline from Pax holds all things down. They now have the track “That Gun In Your Hand” up on Spotify at their new band page and this performance video for the remaining quarantine days below. Check it out and let me know what you think. I dig.
So, I am thinking of starting a tech talk portion of the site as we provide you content to jam, but maybe you need a little insight into playback and enjoying your jams. First post, probably going to be about listening anywhere. Simple, cost effective ways to get better sound that will crush your included earbuds? I’m gonna do it.
Anyway, Here is a little jam from NITE. It is super 80’s and you clearly hear a ton of influences from bands they love triggered by a David Lynch binge. It is a pop song with a dark lyrical undertone, so be careful with the jubilant sing along. The new record is called Sleepless and is out 4/17.
Been a hectic week, I won’t get into it. Catching up on some impressions and images from last Friday when Telefon Tel Aviv played Barracuda. It didn’t quite sell out, but the interesting thing was the audience member per musician on stage ratio was almost maxed out. Steve Hauschildt brought the opening soundscape and I have some bonus coverage from a show going on at Cheer Up, finally caught Urban Heat Island Effect.
Click through to get a few thoughts on the performances and place eyes on the photo-candy.