Random Curiosities

Today, I am featuring a variety of tunes that I've been listening to lately. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Bardo Pond: Destroying Angel
From: Ticket Crystals [ATP, 2006]

First off, is a sludgy, psychedelic slab of wax from Philadelphia's
Bardo Pond. Bardo Pond's music can best be described as long passages of transcendental and psychedelic "stoner rock" which is highly influenced by Black Sabbath, Acid Mother's Temple, and My Bloody Valentine. Destroying Angel is the first track on the band's latest mind-blowing effort entitled Ticket Crystals. While Ticket Crystals is a mellow album for the most part, this song rips out the walls of your speakers with loud, distorted and droning guitars, propulsive drumming and dynamically searing vocals. After the first verse, the band maintains this intensity, while the lead singer's wordless, yearning moans and psychedlic flute playing give the track a sense of mysticism. Absolutely amazing!

Radian: Rapid Eye Movement
From: Juxtaposition [Thrill Jockey, 2004]

I first read about the Austrian trio
Radian when I was reading a review of their album Juxtaposition in the UK music magazine called Wire. I wrote down the name of the album because I was interested in checking it out. However, I hadn't had the pleasure of hearing it until just recently. Radian could best be described as an electronic, post-rock Tortoise style mixed with Amon Tobin's jazz-electro sound. This makes sense since John McEntire from Tortoise produced this album and another album called rec.extern, which were both released on Chicago's Thrill Jockey label. Like Tortoise, Radian incorporates precise, electronic music using mostly acoustic based instruments such as drums and bass. "Rapid Eye Movement" starts out with a pulsing synth which gives way to a precise drum/high-hat rhythm and propulsive bassline that stops and starts on a dime. Then, a cathartic synth line fills up the background and provokes a claustrophobic feeling on the listener. It's as if you are watching a fast-paced whodunit and the protagonist is being chased by street thugs through dimly-lit alleyways. This is the background music for that scenario!

Aesop Rock:
The Next Best Thing
From: The Next Best Thing w/ The One That Got Away (Limited Edition 7 " Picture Disc) [Upper Playground, 2006]
My next feature is on
Aesop Rock, who is an incredibly gifted master of verbal linguistics. Aesop started out in NYC, peddling his self-produced demos and demonstrating his lyrical prowess in freestyle ciphers or battles. He paid his dues and gained a loyal following, while releasing Float on Mush Records, home to the indie rap movement known as Anticon. After El-P, label head of Def-Jux, heard this record and realized how talented Aesop was, he decided to sign him to Def-Jux in 2001. His first album on Def-Jux was entitled Labor Days, and it was a quick-witted, lyrical masterpiece about surviving the drudgery of working mundane nine-to-five jobs . He has gone on to release two ep's and another full-length album on Def-Jux, as well as guest star on other hip-hop records. The track that I am featuring here is called "The Next Best Thing" and is only available on vinyl picture disc, so check it yo! It is a collaboration between Aesop, who provides the music, and Jeremy Fish, who designed and illustrated the book. Jeremy Fish is an extremely talented artist from San Francisco who designs, illustrates and paints for a living. Aesop's delivery is top-notch on this one as he spits rapid-style verbiage about the creative process of writing a new song. His intelligent rhymes are backed by one of the funkiest rhythm tracks I've heard in awhile, and chimes are cleverly placed in the music to let you know when to turn the page in the book. Listening to this song reminds you of your childhood, except of course that you're listening to Aesop Rock not Aesop's Fables. Please do yourself a favor, and pick up this record. You can find it online at the Upper Playground site.


cool stuff said…
Shit, man, you got a lotta stuff on this blog. How's a person s'posed to get through all this good stuff when it's the holidays 'n all?
I can say this: Aesop Rock, rocks!
cool stuff said…
PS: The dark green small text can be hard to read...
Kevin said…
Thanks for the tip about the green small text. I will try to make the text easier to read. Yeah, Aesop Rock is the real deal, and his new album is coming out March 2007. Keep coming back and send me requests for stuff that you're interested in. I'll be updating a couple times a week.

Later, Kevin

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