Posts Tagged ‘Lowbrows’

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 40

April 18, 2010

40.

That’s a big, evil number. All black balloons and used-up jokes. Let’s not head down that road. That way lies madness. Or if not madness, then some form of doom-laden clichefest that is somehow supposed to distract you from the fact that life is continuing its unstoppable Sherman’s March to the Sea, black balloons or no.

40 got you down? The previous volumes all have smaller numbers:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

James – Born of Frustration.mp3
Leading off with a return to a simple time, it’s fan favorite James who spent most of the late ’80s – early ’90s making intelligent alterna-pop, blowing past the throngs who were waiting for the “next Smiths” and splicing atmospheric ear candy onto a sparse, jangly spine.

If someone ever asks what “alternative rock” sounds like, this would be an excellent example. It sure as fuck isn’t everything that followed the “grunge years.” Oh, and it’s got a lot of falsetto, so it’s perfect for the shower.

The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio.mp3
What James would sound like if they were fronted by a fully-matured male. Atmospheric, intelligent, etc., drenched in melancholy and a weary, dark nostalgia. “You can never go home,” they say, and since I can’t find anything in the music world that disagrees with that sentiment, I’d have to agree. The leadoff single from their upcoming album High Violet, and if this is the statement of intent, I’d have to mark it a solid “buy.”

The Big Pink – Introduction to Awareness.mp3
I’ve featured this pair of shoegazers before with their crushing single, Velvet. Still the oddest of bands, formed by a former member of Atari Teenage Riot, whose noise terrorist pedigree would seem to lend itself to a more aggressive brand of music.

Instead, the Big Pink offer up a gauzy, organ-driven LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST! THEY JUST STOLE THE MELODY LINE FROM MY GIRL! AND THEY’RE JUST MOSEYING AROUND AS IF THEY DIDN’T! OMFG!!!

(Fun fact: Alec Empire (the founding member of Atari Teenage Riot) released a “tribute” album to Elvis Presley featuring the so-bad-it’s-good track title “Jailhouse Cock Rocks the Most.”)

The Lowbrows – Midnight Pirates.mp3
The Lowbrows are back. Of course, they didn’t actually go anywhere, and thank god for that as they continue to kick out jam after muthafuckin jam with no discernible drop in quality. Like Linda is Tonight and Danse Macabre, Midnight Pirates takes a bunch of unrelated ideas and runs them through some sort of filtering system that removes anything “non-kickass”  and delivers another dance floor devastator.

Starts out with some slow-moving body blows and some early-90s rave synth stabs before taking the governor off at the 2:11 mark and sending the juggernaut crashing through the VIP room and right onto the dance floor. Another drop and jaw-crushing build later and the dance floor is set to explode.

Simian Mobile Disco – Born to Synthesize (The Lowbrows Mix).mp3
Electro near-rockers SMD get themselves manhandled by the staggeringly good Lowbrows, who take this pulsing track and insert a wobbling, tweaking bassline and some very gorgeous pads. Uplifting, blissed-out and powerful.

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 31 – World Tour Edition

January 10, 2010

Hello, aloha, konichiwa and all that bullshit. We’re coming to you today from all over the damn place. Germany, Japan, Australia, France, Italy and the UK. Not a single American (or Canadian) in sight today, but we all know the best music comes from beyond, especially when you indulge a conceit or my Anglophile tendencies.

Prepare to enjoy the hell out of your Sunday. It’s Around the World in 5 Tracks with your host, CLT.

Previous volumes available here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

Munk – No Milk (Mercury Mix)
The mysterious and German producer Munk takes Italian actress Asia Argento and heads to a low-slung dancefloor, muttering somewhat profanely about flowers (good), lemonade (not good) and milk (even worse). It would seem that something sexual/scatological is going on here, but without the key “fudge” element, one can’t be too sure.

Bonus: No Milk seems to be built on the chassis of techno one-hit wonder Nightmare by Brainbug.

The Lowbrows – Danse Macabre
Featured several weeks back with their bruising single Linda Is Tonight, the Japanese breaks & roll duo is back, taking a wheezing, doom-laden organ and some errant horns for a run through the Chemical Brothers back catalog (in particular Chemical Beats).

Of course it shouldn’t work! Why would it? But it does, splendidly, despite nearly derailing itself a few times.

Prodigy – Invaders Must Die (Yuksek Mix)
Proud Frenchman and producer Yuksek grabs the Prodigy’s robo-thuggery and beats it into something you almost wouldn’t be ashamed to take home and meet your mum.

That’s the power of a great remix for you: turning a known quantity into something unexpected, rather than just another 4/4-beaten dead horse.

Eskimo Joe – London Bombs (Sneaky Sound System Mix)
Flowing and melodic, like a danceable Coldplay, Australian band Eskimo Joe gets rubbed all the right ways by fellow Aussie producers Sneaky Sound System. Lightweight to a fault perhaps, but see if you don’t catch this tune running unattended (and with scissors!) through your head a few weeks from now.

Faux Pas – Silver Line
Something must be going on Down Under. (If it’s Sunday, it means it’s time for a lazy sexual joke. And that is one lazy joke.) Another Australian producer, Faux Pas whips up something sounding like Ulrich Schnauss backing Bjork. This truly is dreampop of the highest order.

As the blissed-out synths crash against the anchoring throb/thump of the bass, the unnamed vocalist delivers a series of nearly unintelligible syllables. As the track gathers steam, the vocals coalesce briefly before shattering brightly across the cascading layers of synth-wash below.

Bonus: his previous album has one of The Greatest Album Titles Ever: Entropy Begins at Home.

All tracks safely packaged in Benetton zip file:
Heavy Rotation 31
(link opens in new window)

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to its high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 10

August 9, 2009

Quick and dirty Heavy Rotation. Just the way Martha Stewart likes it.

She also likes the previous versions, because they’re all good (things).

lfo

LFO – Tied Up
Most definitely not that boy band of recent years, but an electronic music pioneer who name comes from the abbreviation for Low Frequency Oscillation. Known for their proto-techno production and homemade equipment, LFO hits hard and fast with this track and an accompanying video that looks like a Tool B-reel.

 

The+Lowbrows+lowbrows

Lowbrows – Linda Is Tonight
Don’t know much about them, but they’re out of Japan. With this track, they ask you to peel yourself off the wall, stop stroking your chin, and dance your fucking ass off. Pounding beats, some vocal distortion and fuzzed-up bass bring the party to your… monitor, I suppose.

 

secmachine

Secret Machines – Atomic Heel
I’m pretty sure I’ve featured this band before, but who has time to run a 30-second search? Anyway, the Secret Machines have found themselves lumped into both the space rock and prog rock categories. While they do occasionally try these tags on (usually to good effect), this track rolls by in a succinct 3:48, avoiding any of the excesses of “space” and “prog” and just getting straight to the rock. The video ain’t bad either.

 

The_Cars

The Cars – Double Life
The Cars made about a hundred great tracks, most of which we are sick of thanks to the cyclical nature of radio playlists. This track never made it big, but it is just as great as any one of their other chart-toppers. After a listen or two, you’ll be able to fire this title into any 80’s music discussion with the phrase, “Sure, their hits are good, but some of their best work remains undiscovered.” Declare yourself the winner and go have another drink. You’ve earned it!

 

tommy_sparks

Tommy Sparks – I’m a Rope (Yuksek Remix)
Catchy, fun, summery, bubbly and downright awesome. Take everything good about pop, subtract the crap, amp up the bass and drums and sprinkle lightly with some good-natured cynicism.

All files in one Swiss-Army-Knife of a zip file (click to open in a new window):
Heavy Rotation Vol. 10

-CLT

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to it’s high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]