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Posts Tagged ‘IDM’

PSY/OPSogist Brings You To The Sleep Kingdom

Posted by Scotio on July 9, 2009

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What can I say about PSY/OPSogist? I mean, he was the first unsigned artist that I reviewed. So, of course his music holds a special place for me. So, to find out that he has released a new album, of course I have to review it. It’s not a question that should even be asked. Kings Of Sleep is the title of his new work. Little did I know, that the work was very conceptualized around the title itself. You have to love concept albums done well, right?

The aptly named “K.O.S. Intro” features various movie soundbites that which talk on the topic of sleep in different perspectives starting with Hypnosis. While the soundbites play, you’re treated to a slow tribal-like musical backdrop that takes you to a dreamy state of the ancient Middle East. The intro flows perfectly into the first full song,”King Of Infinit Space.” That track possesses such a strong sense of IDM/Downtempo brilliance that it’s hard not to compare it to the likes of master knobtwisters Boards Of Canada. Which, in itself is amazing in my book. But, the fact that it was broken into pieces and the pieces reassembled by one man speaks in volumes that has yet to register on any stereo to date. With the drumbeat and the distorted guitar parts playing, you can hear their disconnection with sounding whole, yet that makes it all the more together.

To believe that the whole album would play like some strange attempt at creating a “missing BOC album” would leave you feeling the fool. PSY is more at work this time around, because, remember kiddies, sleeping isn’t a playful situation. What he does do with the precision of someone whom is Obsessive compulsive is have every song bridge into the next. Leaving no room for you feel the need to skip to the next track.

“Chariots Of The Gods” is very badass. The song would be the perfect musical score backdrop for a grand robbery scene. It houses elements of music that you’d find in spaghetti westerns, old school mob movies as well as 70’s high speed car chasing films. Sprinkling in small digital beacons to remind you that you’re not trapped inside of a Tinsel Town Time Machine. The rumbling bass guitar in the song would have any Pulp Fiction fan pulling out the Batman dance. The heavy attack of drums and cymbals that creates an illusion of gunfire is just sensational. If the Gods really bring this sort of noise when they roll through town, it would have all the people staring in awe for the music more than the sight.

On “Unusual Behavior” PSY takes things back to a more Jazz-Influenced Hip-Hop era. Of sorts. Imagine like a completely amped up version of an old A Tribe Called Quest song. I’m speaking on the vibe of the song. The song itself houses far more from Old Jazz and Blues tracks. The drums harken on old black juke joints where everyone really used to “get down with the getting down.” The distorted horns call out more as a sign of distress than a good time happening. Hmm… I guess this would be more Big Band-ish than Hip-Hop, though. Especially when considering the proceeding track, “The Lips Of God.” This song encompasses the complete structure for a sentimental/heartfelt/honest Hip-Hop track. It even has a strained vinyl sound to it. Giving it more of a Golden Era Hip-Hop appeal. The sickest part of the song kicks in around 2:12. PSY/OPSogist pulls out his inner Jay Dilla and basically dares any real emcee to NOT freestyle over it. But, the breakdown only lasts until around 2:39. Short, sweet and to the point, right?

The only flaw that I can actually find in this work would have to be the Untitled hidden track at the end. It’s a long stretch of one of those the sound of rain sleeping aids with sleep-like voices growing in clarity and volume as the song proceeds. It tends to drag on a bit too long. I get the point of it, I love the idea behind it. It’s just stretched too long. A track I absolutely love on this is “Travelers.” The guitars in the song just hold my attention and keeps me at the ready as if something is going to happen at any minute. The wavering machinegun snare hit sounds like a helicopter just teasing your ears for the first portion of the song. The steady ambient sound inside of the song gives it a cold and sterile feeling, where the guitars battle that with their organic beauty(they are acoustics). The soundbites are very well placed and enhances the overall sense of a dream going very wrong.

With Kings Of Sleep, PSY/OPSogist has proven that he is definitely a musician to be reckoned with. The album flows in and out of multiple musical fields. So much so that it’s hard to classify it as anything save for “Lo-Fi Electronic”(Though he personally chose the label of Atmospheric Headphone Music or AHM for short). Otherwise, you’d be there all day adding in labels to this work. It was well thought out, exceptionally executed and has a place for anyone into really dope music. Not to mention, he’s offering it for free as well as a special collector’s edition of only 100 CDs printed. I suggest you grab a piece of history made, and hold onto it for bragging rights. This visionary is going places.

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Telefon Tel Aviv Gives Good Reason For You To Immolate Yourself

Posted by Scotio on January 27, 2009

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This will actually be my first post in 2009. Crazy. And, I guess for my readers, I’m sorry I left you guys off for so long. Life is a crazy battle, man. Especially in these days and times . . . and in this sad economy. But, with the statement of life, it’s with a heavy heart that I write this review. That’s because it’s from my favorite Electronic group: Telefon Tel Aviv. And this afternoon I heard about the passing of Charlie Cooper. No, this isn’t some pity party review or anything of the sort. Sadly, I was planning on writing this and some other reviews and dropping them all this weekend. But, after learning of the passing, I felt obligated to start what I feel about their new record Immolate Yourself. So, please, take a moment with me as I journey through some of Charlie Cooper’s great, yet short, musical legacy.

The album opens up with the track “Birds.” Instantly, the listeners is treated to some Synth-Pop sounds. No, you read that right. Ttv has switched up their sound to a more dance welcoming one. Those of you whom are fans of this duo are probably shocked at this point. Me, oddly, I wasn’t. They’ve never been ones to settle for the cheap tricks and safe play. This song full of volume and layers, amazing execution and a pop sensibility that is shocking for the duo. It seems that it’s a good thing for them to encourage their fans to do more than just ponder the day, as they did with their first effort and half of their second. No, I can’t tell you the basis for them naming this track, but I can tell you that you will feel that you’ve taken flight towards somewhere new with some familiar friends when hearing this tune.

On the follow up song, “Your Mouth,” it comes on like a B-Side to Thom Yorke’s solo material. And, sonically, it’s not too far from it . . . originally. When the beat picks up, it goes into a sonic landscape that I haven’t beared witness towards since Moments In Love by Art of Noise. The vocals are digitized and “float” from above to below the sound of the music itself. Thus, making it more than just words to accompany the music, but even confusing the listener into believing that they aren’t vocals at some points. It’s like taking a peek inside of someone’s dream, but with your eyes closed and headphones on. It’s an awesome piece of music, and you’d be stone to not feel some type of movement from it. Be it physically or emotionally.

One of the most beautiful songs is “I Made A Tree On The World Wold.” No, it’s not a typo on my part. They spell the word “WOLD.” I, honestly, didn’t even know that wold was a word until stumbling upon this song. With the analog styled recording process, the song has a certain slight grain to it that seems to add quality to it than it does take away from it. The sound is serene and beautiful. My feelings of listening to this song is that of being in water and a wave washing over me. This track is closest to something that you’d almost expect from Boards of Canada. Eustis & Cooper seemed to have wanted more from themselves on this record, and wasn’t overly focusing on the “micro” as Josh put it. They were more in the moment, it feels. And, when you hear the song, whatever moment you’re experiencing will be THE moment.

“Stay Away From Being Maybe” should be featured in the supposed Footloose remake. It has all the qualities of a decent dance record, but also carries with it an air of innocence and freedom. It’s an exhilarating presence embedded into the melody and composure of the track. You can’t help but be undertaken by it’s Joie de Vivre aural message that it begins to sneak into your mind. The layers are almost contradicting of themselves, yet, for some reason, they all seem to work together dynamically.

Now, allow me to talk about my favorite track on this ten song epic journey. It’s simply just one letter: “M.” It comes in with an almost omniscent atmospheric presence. Then, after some heavily airy echoed vocals, the 808 sounding stomps make their moment known. The track itself, flips in and out of being an anthem for something larger than life, and a break dancer/pop locker’s wet dream. Having hard hits and perfectly structured digital glitches, it’s hard not to pull out your dancing shoes and begin moonwalking to the club on this one. With the repetitive “All I can see, All I can see, All I can see” chanting, you start to believe that what they are seeing is you killing it on the dancefloor.

With every track just as awesome as the one before it, it’s hard to find a problem with this release. In fact, I haven’t found one. I fell in love with this album upon the first listen, and even after the 39th listen, I love it just the same . . . if not more. I could go on about every single song on this record, including their lead single “Helen Of Troy.” With my newfound love for wanting Vinyl albums, I can only hope to obtain this masterpiece on Vinyl. I’d love to place it on a turntable and spend a full adventure with it. I feel the analog recording will only play a deeper role in the album’s enjoyment on that format. It’s almost depressing to know that Charlie Cooper isn’t with us anymore to team up with Joshua Eustis and bless us with great music. At 31 years of age, he was still a young man with a strong future of music ahead of him. Now, we’ll have to hold fast to what he did give, and hope that Josh carries the torch in honor of him. I always thought that they were both equally impressive individually, and their combination made for something that you’d only dare to dream for. I loved Ttv ever since I first heard Fahrenheit Far Enough, and adored Map Of What Is Effortless(though people have had their qualms with that release). I’ve talked about them to everyone I know, and even forced their music upon my misses(whom, I will say loved them, as well) and my musically explorative friends. As well as spoke of their wondrous music across many musical forums via the interweb. Please, I implore you, if you haven’t listened to them, do so. Not just for the fact of Cooper’s passing, but for the fact that their music is as good as I’ve pedestaled it to be. I do ask of you to allow your mind to remain open as you venture up(and hopefully back down) their discography.

R.I.P. Charles W. Cooper, III

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