mdwstrnr – di-ˈsem-bər/ˈjan-yə-wer-ē (None)

Space. The final frontier. Also, a dwelling place of stars and clusters of nonsense nebulas, it's a fringe world populated by trenchcoat wearing grizzly bears, but also the place the Earth calls home. You know, the universe is eternal and very weird, like... black holes, what's up with that? Nobody knows. Just stuff floating around. Stuff to think about.

Space. The final frontier. Also, a dwelling place of stars and clusters of nonsense nebulas. It’s a fringe world populated by trenchcoat wearing grizzly bears, but also the place the Earth calls home. You know, the universe is endless and eternal and very weird, like… black holes, what’s up with that? Nobody knows. Just stuff floating around. Stuff to think about. Also, from what I could gather, this is the representational image chosen to accompany the music here collected, by mdwstrnr.

Artist: mdwstrnr
Title: di-ˈsem-bər/ˈjan-yə-wer-ē
Label: None
Cat#: None
Keywords: Witchhouse, Electronica, Chill Out
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

If you’re a musician / recording artist-y type, it can be a bit of a difficult situation when you’re talking to someone you’ve just met or already knew or work with in the real world and find out that they, too, are music people doing music, making recordings… and then you exchange information, like links to look up, names and stuff.

Because, I’m the type, I’m gonna check it out, and… you just hope that it doesn’t suck, because then you know you’re gonna have to look at that person again, knowing this and getting strange empathetic emotions from it. But then, a lot of people also have that demonic inner voice that’s tells them, “I hope it sucks, then I’ll feel better about what I’M doing, less competition!” and then like, laughs maniacally. But, as a music person, if you legitimately care about the craft, the art, the people… what you really hope is that what you’re gonna hear will be perfect. Flawless. Something that will blow your mind, change the game, make you say things like, “Why didn’t I think of that?” and “How’d they get that SOUND!?” I’m always chasing that feeling, doesn’t matter who it is. You want the art to speak and effect you, maybe cause you to feel like you have to go back to the drawing board with whatever it is you were working on no matter how painful that can be.

So, what’s this music by mdwstrnr like? Which side of the scale of complete crap to immaculate conception does it fall on?

I don’t know. I haven’t listened to it yet. Gimme a couple minutes, gotta psyche myself up a bit more.

I hadn’t really talked to mdwstrnr before the other night, despite seeing him fairly often. I’ll go into that for a sec, to bridge the gap between art and artist.

He’s really nice. He’s always wearing shades, and I mean always… which is not an irrelevant detail here, I kind of want to talk about it. Going around in sunglasses 24/7 is something I believe most people only ever dream about doing, but then you contemplate it thoroughly and realize just how much work it would take to really go for that. It’s a daunting prospect, like getting on a rollercoaster and then staying on the rollercoaster all day and forever and saying, I’m not gonna puke and I’m sitting here and I don’t even care if you throw a bird in my face like with what happened to Fabio, because rollercoasters are awesome. It takes real dedication to the coolness. When I was 8 or 9 years old I remember wearing a backwards ball cap non-stop for 3 straight weeks, I even slept with it on, but I just couldn’t hang any longer than that. Sometimes I look back and wonder what my life would have been like if I’d just kept it on. I’d probably be a real MC by now.

We chatted for a bit about gear, hardware and software. He also has a MicroKorg, and understands that it’s an excellent synthesizer. He’s a fan of Native Instruments, which I thought was great because despite the fact that so many people use it I’ve always felt the stuff they put out is hugely under-rated somehow. We discussed Massive, Ableton… anyway, so I know basically what he’s got, but the central questions remain: what is he doing with it? What does this music he’s making sound like?

I should probably just listen to it.

First track, here it is… it’s titled ‘ˈwēˈkəmˈfrəmˈthəˈsē’, and already I’m enjoying the lush, almost granular panning pad-like sounds emanating from what feels like an endless expanse of ocean, a sky populated by clouds and seagulls. A compressed bassline comes in, as well as a nice micro rhythm, very staccato, giving plenty of headroom in the mix for the harmonic components to fill. There’s a vocal sample, by this point I’m convinced I’m going to enjoy this stuff! I’ll just breathe normally now and relax. Points of reference here… I’m getting a sense of maybe Boards Of Canada a bit, the sequenced arpeggio feels almost like the euphoria of Italo disco subdued for a chillzone.

Next up is ‘ˈjəstˈfēlsˈrīt’, which starts with a low-mid spacial synth. The rhythms here are also very precision-strike, but mellow, with synthetic mechanical timbres. Every sound here feels like it’s part of a melange of robotic melancholy, particularly as it progresses toward the end, reminding me in a pleasant way of Aphex Twin’s ambient work.

There’s a clavi tone sequence with dense gated plate style reverb at the beginning of ‘ˈdōntˈbēˈə-ˈfrād’. Fearlessly, I continue to listen. It’s like an echo chamber filled with bouncing objects, and after a moment I come to a part in which a low sawtooth growling synth bass comes in alongside a lovely choir pad and suddenly the harmonies gel into something uniquely beautiful sounding, like a window has been opened letting sunshine through.

‘ˈri-thəm’ starts off with a low pad, gradually swelling. A deep 4/4 bass kick comes in with a bit of swing, followed by a brittle hat and… oh no! ‘Rhythm Is A Dancer’!!! SNAP! We’re gonna have to take a moment to get our jock jam on, hold up…

“It’s a passion”, you could say. “You can feel it everywhere.” It may seem sad, but I’ve been getting down to some of these ’90s club tracks again very recently, the strange coincidence of this happening right now is just crazy. Anyway, so we’ve got a sample of the vocal being sliced, granulized to the point that it sounds like the voice is going through some kind of agonizing cyberpunk cruelty, forced through a cathode tube, every individual sample byte stretched destructively, it’s pretty nice. There’s a break in the madness, and then the pad and kick return, later joined by a haunting choir and then that sample again. Loving it!

This is followed by ‘blō​-​iŋ ˈəp’, and the first thing I hear is a sickly panning buzz synth, and it seems to suddenly grow, filling up the mix with what is possibly reverb, causing it to sound as if it’s spanning out. I like the rhythms utilized here, and when the effected vocal loop comes in I start thinking this might be my favourite among the tracks I’ve heard here so far. A lead synth comes in, sounding almost inverse dynamically from the ambiance, and I realize how much I’m enjoying the kind of experimentation going on here on a sound level, both with the melodic integration / disintegration and the mixing of levels. It achieves a sense of hypnoticism, and then flows into a space of atmospheric pad harmonies. The vocal sample begins to play here, allowing us to pick up on how slightly alternate atmospheres modify its contours.

There is a sound kind of like an alarm clock (only somehow much more pleasant, almost like chiptune) at the outset of ‘ˈyüˈkantˈkilˈtīm’… and despite my understanding of the pronunciation cues given to me in the track title with this ongoing diction motif, I can’t help but fantasize that this is actually about some guy named Tim who happens to be indestructible. Like, this would be his theme song, maybe. I love the melodies of the pad that comes in right after… then there’s the ticking of a clock. Tim’s mortal clock. There’s some heavy dense bass, a groove I’m really liking which has kind of a funk to it, like you expect this track to go nuts at any moment. It breaks away back to simplicity, like a tease and then right back into where we left off. What you expect the track to do, it refuses to do, and the impression is of an unfinished sketch, but I like it anyway for what it does do.

Next up is the final piece, ‘ˈgit-​iŋˈther’. It’s like shining, glimmering modular drips. It goes right away after that into something with a funky, spacy, cosmo feel, which I love. The groove is like some kind of aqua pump, there’s a lot of lovely bass synths, bouncing boinging sounds. This was the main track where I really caught myself saying, “TOO SHORT!!!” You just want more, maybe a section with a chord change-up, just anything to extend it. Oh well! :P

In hearing all of this, I am pleased to say that in total, it was good and an enjoyable listen throughout. The tracks are all pretty short, but on the plus side, you find it easy to remain engaged. I think it gets better as it goes on, too, though the first track was also strong. Like a lot of artists I’ve heard who operate mostly on soundcloud and form individual tracks into albums on the site, I felt less like I was listening to “an album” in a tightly conceptual / cohesive way and more like streaming a collected introduction to the bare-bones capabilities of a particular artist at this particular period in space/time or whatever, which is nice too, of course. There’s a definite sensibility for tone, melody and form. This introduction definitely works to get us excited to hear more, and having also gleaned that mdwstrnr may be going to work in a studio in LA sometime in the near future, it will be interesting to hear what kinds of sounds he’ll be putting together when that happens. Possibly game-changing, influential music, stuff that makes you want to rip everything up and start again I hope! Or at least some more really funky, robo chill music.

Be sure to click on the clicky thing below to hear this music and become a fan. ;)

https://soundcloud.com/mdwstrnr/sets/di-sem-b-r-jan-y-wer

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Various Artists – Girls Alive

Artist: Various
title: Girls Alive
cat: m015
keywords: electronic, experimental
label: Modismo http://www.modismo.cl/

This compilation seems to be one made out of electronic artists who happen to be of the female gender, but most importantly it is a fine collection of tracks of amazingly good quality. So with that in mind, it might be an idea to scroll down this track by track review and download it.. as it is pretty much all excellent material! If you have done that, you might want to scroll back up and read along, but if not; please do enjoy the music!

^ Riz Maslen

^ Riz Maslen

Riz Maslen has the honor to bite this compilation off. She does this with a track named ‘Pleiades’ which is very fitting to begin with as it sets up a mythical scenery in which ritual and a certain far away holiness is laid out. There is a bell to wake us up and show that it is time to be amazed in a subtle setup of thick sounding music. It could be the soundtrack for a movie, having pretty vocals teamed up with dramatic but empowering strings and a drone like pastry. It is pretty impressive, simply making me lost for words…

^ Chra

^ Chra

After this thematic strong opening Chra comes in with a work named ‘kw23teeeitoriesdel-grain’ which comes across as more lighter orientated than the previous heard production. Here Chra goes for the nifty details in a seemingly minimal approach. She creates a rhythm of soft sounds, a deep woozy synthetic bass sound and pretty sound manipulation. When the ‘snare’ gets flopped in the track smoothly moves us along in a easy to enjoy motion.

^ Ema Remedi

^ Ema Remedi

The personal favorite tune on this (almost) all girl compilation is this groovy tune by Ema Remedi. It is called ‘Break’ and has this very happy go lucky rolling happy beat to bounce on. This is perfectly find its match with a great sense of rhythm in the groove laid down in a ultra freaky and relaxed synth work. The little injections of high-hats, crashes and soft sweeteners baseline movers really turns this tune into something that makes it hard to stand still on. This is perfect in every sense of the word, so you might aswell like her on Facebook.

^ Alisú

^ Alisú

Next tune is also one that is one of the good kind. This one is done by Alisú and certainly got the groove too. But instead of being focused on coolness the track also brings a certain sweetness in melodic form to the deep danceable electronic track. The sound progression and effects are purely headphone orgasm material, and has the perfect deeper sense to take listeners on a journey of electronic delight. Alisú creates a deep trance of hypnotic music that comes across as perfectly planned, very pretty and quite mysterious.

^ AGF

^ AGF

A track by AGF sensibly named ‘if you’ throws in a more experimental towel in the ring. The music gets very groovy, dancable but in a way we had not heard before on this compilation. The big difference is the nice cut up production of the voice perfectly integrated with the stylish cute but cool sounds. It has something punk, something adorable and shiny but is also very effective in basically making me dance as ‘if you’ brings down a sunny spirit in the modern electronica environment.

^  Laura Hurt & Salo Panik

^ Laura Hurt & Salo Panik

At this moment you have to admit that this release shouldn’t be reviewed on a blog called Yeah I Know It Sucks, but more spread among the professional music magazines. This compilation is great and is a great look into the diversity in the electronic music but also the great quality control is standing out on this fine showcase of female producing talents. The pretty music by female and male duo Laura Hurt & Salo Panik from France is bringing the French vibes to the collection, providing a warm and melodic sounding production with perfect fitting vocals.

^ Kinética

^ Kinética

Kinética’s Frontera is another irresistible and totally enjoyable dance tune. It has the effective electro baseline that everyone loves, super warm and soothing vocals that seems to function as a synthesizer. The rhythm is very fresh and eclectic sounding, making you feel like you need to snap fingers in a groovy way to do this tune justice. I wish it could have gone one for hours, that’s how pleasant it is.

^ Sonae

^ Sonae

I’m really impressed by the quality of these fantastic tracks, not that there was a doubt that this wouldn’t be good; but it simply surpassed the goodness and turned into pure excellence! And the pretty sounding ‘Pianokratz’ by Sonae is placed on the perfect spot on this compilation for a moment of taking it in how pretty everything is, was and will be. (After all there is still one amazing track to follow)

The last production is called ‘Your War’ by Riz Maslen and it seriously gave me goosebumps. Little tears could be spotted in the corners of my salty eyes, what a beautiful but heavy sounding song. The melodic experience is leaning heavy on the soul, digging deep to the sensible souls to hum along the battlefield. It’s a thematic production that just like the beginning of this compilation has a cinematic vibe going on, making it a perfect yet sinister end to an amazing collection of electronic music. Recommended? I bet ya! And  as unbelievable that it is, it is totally free to do so;
https://archive.org/details/M015V.AGirlsAlive
<KN>

Posted in ambient, avantgarde, dance, drone, electro, electronic, experimental, IDM, minimal, sing & song writer, spoken word, synthpop, techno, toytronica | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The Odio Kandinsky – Templo Alvarado

1Artist: The Odio Kandinsky
title: Templo Alvarado
keywords: dancing, chilling, jamming, park, grass, , hanging out, making music
words by: Mark X

Most of the times visuals are a welcoming mood enhancing attachment to a music track, but sometimes things can go the other way. In this music video there is obviously music to be heard, but when I watch it everything goes silent and I can only see the bassist in the middle.

Who said white men can’t dance?

This bloke’s dance moves are like a form of freedom that you don’t see often. His style is like basically someone who is swinging his sausage and eggs back and front, it’s a very liberating dance that somewhere hangs between a Mister Bean and an innocent child responding to music.

behold the moves of freedom and libberation

behold the moves of freedom and libberation

The good thing of it is that it seems like it is rather infectious. The guy on the right of the screen seems to be energized and inspired; he starts half way showing a more timid swinging rock vibe body wise. Yeah, guys let’s go to the park and let it all hang loose.

The audience is feeling it

The audience is feeling it

The two lads in front that hang out in relaxed position are making the scene even more thrilling, just chilling and watching a ‘private show’ is what some people would pay good money for. Luckily one of the guys is feeling the vibe and joins in later for some bongo beat.

action in the park

action in the park

It’s good to see these people in action and it is even more fun when the final ‘audience’ guy stands up and waves his cigarette of inspiration in the air. Ah, what a perfect day this must have been..  Luckily we can watch it and can dance mister bean style in front of our screens and nobody will make fun about it. It feels so liberating.. so free… care to join in?

Posted in acoustic, folk, rock | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

REZEEGTUNK x PISSDEADS – Split

Artists: REZEEGTUNK x PISSDEADS
title: Split
cat:FSCD22
format: CD
keywords: noise, grind, split, experimental, avant-garde, free improvisaton, Panama City
label: Fork and Spoon Records http://forkandspoonrecordings.bandcamp.com

We fall in a drastic hole that drains us straight into a downright spiral. This is just the introduction and that means only one thing; there is so much more to come.

Do not panic or scream, as these tracks by REZEEGTUNK probably out scream you. In this noise nobody can hear you, so better just enjoy the ride with all your might and pride. They are short and effective, leaving no millisecond unattached, providing a brewing shot of energy that might make you feel as if you’ve just poked with a fork (or a spoon) in a electricity socket. Electrifying shorty’s that are rushing through, without sounding as if they are rushed. Might people call this quality noise, or are these electric noise shots f#cking with my brain?

A true example of a dedicated DIY release, one-of-a-kind and very limited (only 20 pieces in the world!) .

To top it off with style the last honorable tune is provided by PISSDEADS, which does everything to be felt through the shock waves in order to pee yourself to dead, while heavily vibrating your body as if you were seated on an electric chair. A wild assault of fanatic drums completely sugarcoated in distortion is the trigger of this all natural spasm attack, and instead of crying about it; why not jump on board and support the DIY scene by ordering this one-of-a-kind energetic noise release from the Fork and Spoon record label? Each item is hand labeled and doodled upon making this not only a great wake up call audio wise, but also a feast for the eye in every respected noise/grind collection.
http://forkandspoonrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/split-fscd22
<KN>

Posted in experimental, grindcore, noise | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Outsider Leisure – Сны Митасова

artist: Outsider Leisure
title: Сны Митасова
keywords: experimental, electronic
label: Picpack

Outsider Leisure’s release is one friendly, crazy, outsider adventure of adventurous sounding music.
It’s the music that I had been searching for all day, but couldn’t find; and now I had found it. Because this release is so enjoyable and recommended; I thought to instead of reviewing it in the classic way, to just donate each track with a little track-inspired speed drawing. Are you ready? Here we go:

01 Epiletic Drums:
102- I Saw You Dancing:
103-Десятая Cпица:
104-Кто-то Вышел:
105-Ода Солипсизму:
106-Пирог Доброты:
107-Сны Полярных Сов:
108-Сон Митасова:
109-Сон Митасова II:
110-Сон Митасова III:
1
So yeah.. that was my review for the tracks on this album…
Be sure to check the release out as it is free and pretty inspiring:
http://picpack.org.ua/content/picpack221-outsider-leisure-sny-mitasova
<KN>

Posted in acoustic, avantgarde, chill out, dance, electronic, experimental | Tagged , | Leave a comment

ЗОЖНЫЙ – КЛОВАНЫ [EP] (2015)

artist: ЗОЖНЫЙ
title: КЛОВАНЫ [EP] (2015)
keywords: hip hop, underground
label: Popsakal Records

Underground hip-hop is even more underground if the artist is hip-hopping in a language that isn’t your own and you aren’t able to decipher its meaning. Still underground hip-hop is like an universal language, you can feel the vibe and the realness.
1Even if you have no clue what the songs are about; uncle ‘Google translate’ might help with dubious track title translations. So is ВТОРЫЕ ШТАНИШКИ translated in ‘Second pants’ , ПЫЛЕСОС turned into ‘Vacuum Cleaner’ , ДОМАШНИЙ КОМПОТ is ‘Home Compote, and КЛОВАНЫ becomes Klovany.. which is a Slovakian word for ‘pecking’. Isn’t it interesting?

a hip hop song about pecking?

a hip hop song about pecking?

It’s basically still a huge question mark what the four Hip Hop songs are clowning about, but I would play these tunes in the car on a loud volume anyway. I might find someone who understands it while cruising the boulevards with my friends.  Just keeping it real, bruvs.. Just keeping it real..

^ look forward to blast these underground hip hop tunes from the car while cruising with my friends

^ look forward to blast these underground hip hop tunes from the car while cruising with my friends

https://archive.org/details/POPSAKAL730

Posted in hip-hop, spoken word, trip-hop | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Brk – IIIIII

artist: Brk
title: IIIIII
keywords: energostatic, techno, dub techno, ambient
label: Energostatic http://energostatic.com/
reviewer: Mark X

The start of Brk’s IIIIII is a super smooth work that slowly feeds a pulsing sound wave that functions as a rhythm that your heartbeat can follow and the mind can loosen itself into. It’s very warm, and has an almost mind controlling sleepy vibe over it. When you are settled in and safely tucked away in the mindset that Brk wants you to be in, the release brings a piece that goes for a dubby techno beat. Strangely this techno ambient mix is just as smooth as the beat-less hypnotizing beginning, feeding the ears a rhythm that fits the grainy technology projected on its front cover. It makes me feel like being on a train to dreamland, passing through landscapes that aren’t eye-openers but more like moving blurry images that whisper ‘relax and go to sleep’.

The last part of the EP feels more deeper, more as if it is now feeding new dreamlike information for when its listeners are not totally conscious of what is happening. A kick goes steady forward with kicking while accentuation high hats twirl around like seducing sisters. They are lovingly surrounded with this techno synthesis that oozes the headspace making my mind escape the train as it starts to float above ground like a circular unidentified flying object. It’s all transparent, no heavy movement, no epic shaking or heaviness; it’s just one techno inflicted ambient dream that you can enter by tuning into the flow of Brk’s IIIIII
https://archive.org/details/stasis029

Posted in ambient, electronic, techno | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment