Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Evan Caminiti – “Toxic Tape (Love Canal)”

Evan Caminiti’s Dust Editions label has been quiet over the last couple of years, since about the time he released his last album Meridian, but the imprint is cranking back up for his follow-up to that acid bath of electro-acoustic fallout. The first track from the upcoming, Toxic City Music, is bubbling under with the crackle of static electricity, gently nudging and creeping its way towards the sound of fried synapses. The album is built from an array of field recordings captured in Caminiti’s now home of NYC, in fact “Toxic Tape” pulls sounds from the artist’s own kitchen sink, flipping one’s environment into a backdrop of noise and squelch in the best Matmos tradition. Its also a return to Caminiti utilizing guitar under his given name, though the instrument is buried deep below layers of crust and crackle. The album features sympathetic souls Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and Rafael Anton Irisarri, notable names if any and finds its way out in early March.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Soft Gang

Soft Gang’s name is one of those non-descript monikers that feel like you’ve heard it before a dozen times over, akin to any number of animal tagged bands of years past or the constant beach combers that never cease to pop up. But for as much as their name tends to fold into the background of a thousand soft namesakes, their sound stands them up and apart from the rabble. They find themselves perched in a din of noise and krautrock precision and an experimental attitude that permeated the late ’90s core of post-rock lock-steppers like Don Caballero or June of 44. Though don’t for a second think that an association with post-rock means that the band is in anyway buttoned down and checking their mathematics of riff. Though they have the length and repetition on lock they also tend to wander off into noise breakdowns and some squelch that reminds me of Afrirampo or Nisennenmondai.

The band’s got some pedigree coming in, Dahm Cipolla (Phantom Family Halo, Sapat) on drums and Charlie Hines (Dichroics, Sabers) on bass form a formidable rhythm section that holds the fray in place, dirging when necessary and ramping up to a full rumble at a moment’s notice. There are areas where the band’s eponymous album drags, but those are soon forgiven for the moments when they burn and crinkle, singe and repeat. A few more listens strip away some of the artful coverings and expose an album with a heart that want’s to dance, just not in a way that’s carefree. If you can give yourself over to full body convulsions and a constant rocking chug, then Soft Gang have a song or two to unlock your spirit. Its got teeth when it needs it and for that I’m enjoying the ride.



Suport the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Psychic Ills

Psychic Ills have spent a career playing to their particular whims and tacking them to the same name so kudos to not necessarily feeling that a new direction warrants a new band outright. People evolve and change and the band’s let the Ills name tag along through their phases. True there’s a part of me that has a hard time believing that the sunburnt country on display on Inner Journey Out – dappled with the buttery slide of steel pedal and fuzzed ever so slightly with strums – is the same band I saw sweltering in the July heat at the old McCarren pool in BK with a handful of faithful stragglers. But though the noise of those days is gone, baked off and smoothed into an excellently world-weary sigh, they’re still the same psychic troubadours at heart. The songs are ringed with smoke that languidly curls in effortless rings. The album has the feeling of having seen the world and finding yourself older, but not mellowed, just more accepting of the fact that the din (or Dins as it may be) isn’t the only way to kick up dust.

One Track Mind hinted at the shift in tone, but even then there weren’t the orange and cream tones that seem to color the bulk of Inner Journey Out. This is an album steeped in motel balcony nights, when the air is warm and thick… desert nights. There’s little about the album that feels tied to the city, or the East Coast for that matter. Its dusted with the squint of sun through dried palms and the heat warbled tilt of orange as it dips below the horizon. The band’s spent a long time getting to this point but, to be honest, wearied experience looks good on them. This is the sounds of a band playing with texture and writing what feels honest, even if its not tied to what’s expected. The album is psychedelic without putting your face in it. Like a trick of the light, its got more than one side that shows at any given time. Blink and it changes in a blur.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Free Time

The debut from Free Time, the Melbourne via NYC via now Melbourne again band surrounding songwriter Dion Nania, was a breezy bit of jangle-pop that hinted at the sadness below. On his follow-up, Nania digs the songs further into that inherit sadness, feeling rooted in an aimless wander quality that’s both lost and reflective. Begun with Jarvis Taveniere here in the States with his NY band and finished back home in Australia with a new band comprised of friends from Twerps, Totally Mild and Terrible Truths, the record is tighter than its predecessor, and its easy to see how some of the current US strummers; Real Estate, Kurt Vile, etc have made their mark on Nania’s own take on the jangle formula.

Flecked with some soft rock sax and buoyant keys, the album’s a fuller realization of Nania’s pop worldview, not as threadbare as the first, but still feeling like its a world away from overstuffed indie-pop. There’s space that hangs in the songs here, adding to the shaggy sheen that gives In Search of Free Time a presence, humming in your ear like a good friend. There’s actually something in the vocal delivery on songs like “Who Owns The Moon?” that remind me quite nicely of Hunx’s stripped pop curio Hairdresser Blues. Like that record, this one has a confessional quality to it and the feeling of listening to Nania letting us in on his bittersweet sighs is one of a willing shoulder rather than observant therapist. We’re there with him and we all feel his pain, and share a beer in solidarity. Its a big step up from Free Time’s debut and one that’s grown some real legs around here.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments