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It’s never too late in the year for beach music. Tropic of Pisces — the latest project from Oberhofer guitarist Matt Schneiner — is here to break us from winter’s shackles with their sun-soaked single “Symmetry.” The song plays like a trippy Corona commercial, channeling the coastal instrumentals of mainstays like Vampire Weekend and Jinja Safari while incorporating the quirky, math-rock tendencies of Maps and Atlases. It’s a fresh twist on an old style, and we’re liking it a lot. Stream “Symmetry” below.
Stay tuned for Tropic Of Pisces’ Symmetry EP, out February 24th via Oh La La.
STREAM: Tropic Of Pisces – “Symmetry”
To quote the sequel to A Dinosaur’s Story: We’re back. Our first guests are Problem and Bad Lucc, most famed for flipping Young Bleed to immense success on “Like Whaat.” But the Diamond Lane founder also dropped two of this year’s best LA rap records in the DJ Drama-presented The Separation and Million Dollar Afro in collaboration with IAMSU!. Topics covered included sampling Young Bleed on their hit single, “Like Whaat,” how Problem got his start writing for Snoop Dogg, rapping about Molly, and the pros and cons of staying independent. If you don’t know Bad Lucc, you should listen in for knowledge is delivered. If you don’t know Problem, you probably don’t listen to the radio.
We also discuss Kanye telling Sway that he does not have the answers, Jay-Z and Beyonce’s decision to go vegan, and why Weedology may be an inaccurate science. As always, the episode is below the jump with music and videos from the rapologists above.
Jaworzyn rejoined Whitehouse in 1990-91, and around this time was also invited to participate in a roundtable discussion about serial killers on Channel 4’s After Dark programme – it ended with him vehemently debating the meaning of the word “integrity” with fellow guest Michael Winner. Despite having supposedly renounced the guitar, in '91 Jaworzyn returned to the instrument with some venom, forming Ascension (later Descension) with drummer Tony Irving; the band’s turbulent brand of free music – documented on several substantial CD and LP releases – famously incited an audience riot when they supported Sonic Youth at Kentish Town Forum in ’96. In the second half of the decade Jaworzyn retired the Shock label and largely withdrew from music, choosing to focus on drinking and cursing; although his The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Companion was published by Titan Books in 2003, and on occasion he emerged to play live (including the Whitehouse 'farewell' show in a duo with drummer Chris Corsano).
Now, after seventeen years off the grid, Jaworzyn has reappeared. 2013 saw him reactive Shock to issue two 12” EPs of emphatic new solo material, as well as Eaten Away By Shadows (a compilation of solo bedroom recordings from ’82-’83) and the aforementioned Skullflower KINO CD series. Pre-dating the Eaten Away tracks, the driving, faintly sociopathic and supremely zoned pieces on Drained Of Connotation were created in early/mid-'82 at Jaworzyn’s then home in Cardiff using a Korg MS10 or 20 (on loan from musical collaborator Robert Lawrence) and his beloved Dr Rhythm drum machine. SJ: “While a maniacal edge predominates, a couple of pieces seem surprisingly ‘mellow’, a concept infrequently associated with my subsequent endeavours and disposition.”
This release is being made available by Blackest Ever Black in a vinyl edition of 700 copies, mastered by Noel Summerville, and also in digital formats. The digital edition includes an additional 'noise' piece, 'Why Must We Rot', also recorded in Cardiff in early/mid-'82, this time using an EMS Synthi AKS (loaned by Alex Binnie, who borrowed it from his art college).
Drained Of Connotation
A1. Sinister Eroticism In Oslo
A2. The Nightclub Toilet
B1. I Am Not Going To Make This Mistake Again
B2. Druid Crystals
B3. Pillars Of Excrement
B4. Psychoanalytically Speaking, You're Fucked
B5. Crack City
Digital only: Why Must We Rot
Fans of the band are hoping to hold a 40th birthday celebration from the UK number one spot for Quo’s 1973 hit ‘Caroline,’ and are asking fans to download the single between the eighth and fourteenth of December. The campaign is being backed by the band themselves after fans reached out to them and told them of their intent to send 'Caroline' to the top of the charts.
WATCH | Status Quo - 'Caroline'
‘Caroline’ was Quo’s first ever top five single success forty years ago, peaking at number five in the UK charts but to date, has never experienced the top spot. The song, which was written by Bob Young and Francis Rossi on a table napkin in the dining room of a hotel in Perranporth, Cornwall, in 1970, has since become synonymous with the band. Fans originally wanted to send ‘Caroline’ to the top of the charts as the Christmas number one but have since altered the dates they are asking fans to download the track to avoid a clash with fellow rockers AC/DC, who are vying for Christmas number one with ‘Highway To Hell.’
Rizzle Kicks, Robbie Williams, the future X-Factor winner, and a singing call centre are already battling it out for the coveted Christmas one slot in the UK but rock fans are hoping they are all duped by AC/DC’s 1979 anthem, a week before Status Quo see ‘Caroline' hit the number one spot. The campaign to send AC/DC to Christmas number one was launched last month by Kerrang! radio to celebrate the band's 40th anniversary and already bookmakers have slashed the odds of an AC/DC Christmas number one to 3/1.
LISTEN | AC/DC - 'Highway To Hell'
Rage Against the Machine became an unlikely Christmas number one in 2009, as fans downloaded their ‘Killing In The Name’ single in protest of facing another X-Factor Christmas number one.
Once again pushing the boundaries of several genres at once, instrumental hip-hop producer Ambassadeurs surprised us all again when he released his second EP in less than two months. Like its predecessor, Trouble, the Alone in the Light EP presents an intricate mixture of eccentric synth choices, blissful vocals, and wonky hip hop beats. The entire EP flows like a groovy R&B remix might, resurrecting what feels like the entirety of a song, with new, constantly changing elements capable of melting even the coldest of hearts.
Of all of these elements, it’s the vocal samples that are the first to entice the ear. By selectively splicing in these long-lost musical artifacts, Ambassadeurs manage to immediately encrypt within the song not just the soul of the vocals, but the soul of the listener as well. While I’m sure part of this effect is based on the original lifeblood of the vocal tracks, the mixing and arrangement skills of Ambassadeurs is not to be underestimated. At the heart of the EP is a labyrinth of tangled synthesis that beats gently at times, and energetically at others. Throughout each track, the warmth of these synth lines can be found pumping energy into parts that would otherwise be lifeless. I was glad to hear elements like the slowly arpeggiated bass lines of “Sparks” that kept the song moving, as well as the side-chained bass track of “Home”, which compliment the vocal samples of the track very well.
But if the vocals are the soul—and the synths the heart—the brain of this EP would definitely be the percussion. As with most offerings from Ambassadeurs, sprinkles of wood blocks, jittery high-hats and water drops line the sides of the track, creating some of the most intricate rhythms any grove will allow. If you’re looking for a more varied drum pallet than the one Ambassadeurs uses, chances are, you wont have much luck finding it.
In all, this is definitely one of my favorite releases of the year, without any doubt as to why. If groovy instrumental hip-hop is your thing—or you just like wondering in amazement as you listen to someone circumnavigate the laws of music—you definitely want to give this EP a listen.
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