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Tag Archives: post-rock

I’ve wanted to write about this band and their music for quite some time now but never could discover the words that I wanted to use to describe them. I think that one of the main reasons why I’ve become so attracted to this record is that I hadn’t quite heard something played in this fashion and in such continuity before and done to a degree that I’ve come to appreciate over the course of a few years. Having been released in early ’08, the record itself has had time to settle throughout its respective musical circles and suffice it to say, it has managed to hold its own particularly well despite similar releases of comparable sounds.

This double album is not so much about any one genre; indeed, many musical elements are showcased here. A lot of shoegaze is present as is a bit of post-rock and even drone at points. The shoegaze elements work particularly well – I don’t find too many albums these days who have been able to replicate the effect that is played throughout Half a Nice Life’s music. The third track perhaps most heavily hints at this with vocals sounding like they’ve been partially submerged as well as liberal use of effect pedals and other equipment that produce a certain dreamlike quality to it reminiscent of 80s and very early 90s shoegaze groups (think The Jesus and the Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine).

However, I don’t think that these reasons alone account for the band’s consistent appeal since I’ve known about them. The fact that they do so many things in the album and do it well should indeed speak for itself. It flows very well from the very first track. Texturally rough, but beautiful and seductive. It took me a fairly lengthy amount of time to fully appreciate the record for what it is and I’m still finding small details about it that make that even more pronounced.

What’s interesting is that the people behind the Connecticut, US-based band took almost eight years to put out their very first full length album when it was formed in 2000, perhaps more involved in other projects at the time including bands like The Danger Strangers and then-active In Pieces. Their second release entitled Time of Land was released two years later comprising of just four tracks and although of equal caliber to Deathconciousness, not much else has been heard from this group that we know of, at least not in any official capacity.

“Bloodhail” and “The Big Gloom” proved to be surefire hits, however there is a lot more to be discovered as you listen throughout the album including “Holy Fucking Shit, 40,000” linked above as well as “I Don’t Love” found within the second half of the album: an incredible washed out wall of sound that really satisfies and compliments the entire album very, very elegantly.

Double albums are usually very ambitious and prove themselves out with their reception. And despite the hype that this band got when Deathconciousness was released, Half a Nice Life has honestly out done themselves with such a fine quality release and I have no doubt that the record will continue to be a staple of the genres that it represents.

For more information, check out the following:

Last.fm

Discogs

– At Enemies List Recordings

Download.

i slept in these clothes

Hi guys. Since January, I have consistently received a healthy amount of email regarding the status of Clothes HQ and whether or not I’ll be coming back to post once more (which is totally awesome). I’ve also been asked often whether or not I can “review” new material from budding artists and labels.

Well, it should be apparent by my Last.fm listening activity that I am alive and well. And although pageviews have gradually decreased since our hiatus at the end of January this year, I find that I am still getting a decent amount of them which seems to indicate that the Internet just isn’t finished with this little page on the corner of the web.

Something to note is that my music tastes have shifted a bit into more of a house direction. This may or may not affect how much I potentially post from that genre. I still listen to a lot of idm, dnb, trance, dubstep, and what not though. And if I do start up again (based on feedback that I will get via email/comments), I’m going to need help on this post.

Sooo. What do you think? I appreciate any and all input. Email me or post a comment below (not sure why people would rather email me over posting below btw :p).

posted by Unctuous

Bitcrush is the ambient/downtempo/post-rock project of former Gridlock member Mike Cadoo. Stepping away from his earlier work of darker, more experimental IDM, and industrial, Cadoo brings together solemn melodies, ambient backgrounds, and hollow sounding drums, “In Distance” is a beautiful, calm and reserved piece of music. Melodies tend to be light, and airy coupled with with reverbed, slightly distorted acoustic drums. Lovely piano parts also drift in and out, adding colorful textures over slightly busier drum arrangements that glitch and stutter.

“Colder” shares with us a simple, yet prominent melody that starts slowly, and calmly, until bursting into an almost dissaray of chaotic, whiney guitars and deep, piercing snares. The song has a very barren and empty feeling to it exactly as the album cover depicts; a forest in the dead of winter. Frost lines the ground and snow is dusted upon leafless tree branches. The skies are grey for miles with hardly a hint of sunlight, and all is still and peaceful.

The bleak ambience of the music compliments the more solid rhythms quite well. Great attention was paid to detail in terms of the arrangements of the waves of ambient synths that glide effortlessly to create a serene atmosphere that really touches the deepest emotions. This album is full of surprises and creative innovations that blur the lines of IDM and post-rock and results in a sound that is rich in emotions.

More information at:

Last.fm

n5MD

Discogs

Buy this release at:

n5MD

Amazon

Download.

“Emergence” is the resulting album of the work from Trifon brothers, Laurence and Brian. The album brings elements of post-rock, ambient, and glitch and combines them in a way that feels very natural. Subtle glitches and stutters work behind the fronted synths that make  while more noticeable ones add emphasis and intricacy on slower melodic lines. The wide variety of influences keeps the album fresh, and keeps its replay value high; honestly it’s like finding a little something new with every listen.

“Parks on Fire” shows a striking resemblance to BT’s “1.618.” The stutter and glitch techniques are executed superbly with the guitar’s melody which stirs and toils endlessly around hard drums and metallic effects; toying with time signatures with syncopated rhythms in 3/4. The track also has an ambient backing that breathes an extra depth into the track near the end that ties everything together.

As the album unfolds later on, more influences of trip-hop and post-rock are exhibited. Guitars with an abundance of reverb, backed by ambient chord progressions lead tracks above and beyond in terms of atmosphere. Even in “Terminal A” a Boxcutter-like dubstep feel is introduced while atonal, plucked notes on guitar and processed effects play along behind. This album is truly one of a kind, and the kind of music that can’t be found anywhere else.

More information at:

Trifonic official site

Last.fm

Discogs

Myspace

Support the artist, buy this release at:

Trifonic’s store

Download.

posted by Unctuous

Dying in Time is the fifth studio album (including the split LP with Absent Without Leave) from Italy-based port-royal (all lowercase) signed to n5md. The band tastefully blends elements reminiscent of shoegaze; specifically, long-winded, submerged vocals drowned out in a sea of traditional instrumentation. The vocals are treated as another instrument, with a variety of telling effects being carefully and artfully mixed in with the music, only adding to its dream-like quality.

With this release, the band dips its toes into shoegaze waters while keeping to the core ambient sounds that port-royal is so loved for. The album opener, a song entitled, “Hva (Failed Revolutions)“, articulately expresses to the listener what direction the remainder of this nearly hour and fifteen minute record is going in. Crisp vocals emerge naturally into place as the song unfolds into its more instinctive state.

The album explosively bounces back and forth between an upbeat ambient style married with influences of post-rock (and even a bit of synth-pop) and sounds of a more a melancholy and downtempo variety. It’s a very naturally flowing album, almost like a poem without any words, or a book without text. Where Flares left off, Dying in Time begins.

I could give no higher praise for this album. It is very well thought out, tasteful in its presentation, fantastic mastering, and most important of all, it is the natural step in the exciting evolution of port-royal’s music. Highlight tracks include Hva (Failed Revolutions), Anna Ustinova, and the three part Hermitage series. Album of the year material. Highly recommended.

For more information about this album, check out the band’s n5MD’s profile page. You can listen to extended previews from that link as well. The record is slated for release 10.05.09. Pre-order here. This is an essential purchase.

Yet more information:

Last.fm

Discogs

MySpace

Support the artist. If you like what you hear, buy it at:

N5MD webshop ($11.25 USD)

posted by admin

Goodbye Enemy Airship the Landlord is Dead is Canada-based Do Make Say Think’s second full length studio album released in the year 2000 on Constellation Records (home to now-defunct Godspeed You! Black Emperor, A Silver Mt. Zion, and others). The band’s music is characterized by open ended instrumentals and jazz-style drums. Excellent post-rock band.

The band’s got a brand new album to be released this October entitled Other Truths. The track list is simple: four tracks entitled Do, Make, Say, and Think. There’s a downloadable sampler here. Fantastic.

Be sure to listen to the band’s self-titled record. It’s a gem, though its user rating on Discogs doesn’t want to agree with me. With eight tracks, it clocks in at about hour and ten minutes long. The last song is entitled The Fare To Get There, which is thirty seconds short of twenty minutes in duration, and is a laid back, very easy going track. One of my favorite songs by the band (A With Living on their 2007 album You, You’re A History In Rust is another).

For more information:

Last.fm

Discogs

MySpace

Support the artist, buy this at:

Constellation Records

Download.

posted by admin.

Slightly similar to Subheim (many more post-rock influences in this), Lights Out Asia is a post-rock band from Wisconsin, USA. They take a lot of hints from the ambient music scene and fuse them into their records (dark, cinematic opening layers of orchestral-ish sounds, something characteristic of a lot of dark/ambient). I’ve listened to a lot of post-rock in the past and I still feel this is one of the better records ever recorded in this genre. Male vocals are present in some tracks; they manage to accomplish that quite well. In a lot of post-rock that sport vocals, a lot of it just feels half-assed, or the lyrics are unnecessarily shoddy, or they are mixed to low, etc., in which case just leads me to believe that the vocals in these bands don’t really belong to begin with. But these guys do this very well and then some and for that, this album has propelled itself to “highly recommended” status, which is very much deserved. As a side note: there is tons of delay and reverb applied throughout this album. It’s awesome.

Tracklist:

1. A Day Towards Other Days
2. Radars Over The Ghosts Of Chernobyl
3. X-33
4. Psiu! Puxa!
5. The Wrong Message Could End You
6. MIR
7. If I Die, I Wish You A Horrible Death (that’s not very nice, is it?)
8. Six Points Of Fire

My personal favorite songs out of these are Radars Over The Ghosts Of Chernobyl, Psiu! Puxa!, and The Wrong Message Could End You.

The Wrong Message Could End You starts out with a sequence of radio communication between several officers and a police station. Apparently, they are out in the field near a building responding to a hostage situation. From just listening to it, I think one of the officers accidentally shot a hostage. The music gradually and slowly overtakes the communication between the officers on the ground, but the recording itself still interweaves in and out of the music providing hints to the attentive listener as the song progresses. At the tailend of this, I’m able to catch a bit of communication again between two(?) officers and base command, informing base that the captors have taken two hostages;  they proceed on a lengthy car chase requesting backup. At least this is what I gathered from it; pretty cool nevertheless.

There are eight tracks on this CD with the total duration running just under 55 minutes. You can listen to previews here on n5MD. The album is available to purchase at that same link. The download is $10 while CD format is $11.25.

More information:

Last.fm

Discogs

MySpace

– n5MD album/order link.

posted by admin.

I wanted to post about Italy-based port-royal’s Flares in anticipation of their new record Dying in Time, to be released on 10.05.09; however, pre-orders will ship September 24th (I ordered it).  $11.25 USD. You can listen to some brilliant previews here. Really, really, cool; the natural next step in port-royal’s music.

Two years have past in all our lives since the release of the port-royal’s “afraid to dance” (Resonant) but the royals have been keeping very busy with writing, recording, touring the EU and Russia, as well as creating remixes for the likes of Ladytron and Felix Da Housecat. For “Dying in time” port-royal have expanded their sound to encompass the more electronically skewed perspectives of synth-pop and even techno while still holding steadfast to their roots and original core sound that has always laid somewhere between shoegaze and emotively soaring ambient. As the title may suggest there is an undercurrent of aching melancholy to the album, as if the band are expressing the feelings they have for the temporality of life’s situations and feelings.

I feel that Dying in Time will be as big of a hit in the electronic music community as Flares is. Here’s a music video of “Jeka” from the aforementioned album (though the “Zobione” series is lovely! Search them on Youtube).

Flares combines lots of shoegaze and post-rock elements with ambient. One of my all time favorite records. Recommended for those who like Hammock and Epic45.

For more information:

Last.fm

Discogs

MySpace

Download.

posted by admin.

The Dead Texan is a band signed to Kranky Records, home of Tim Hecker, Windy & Carl, Stars of the Lid, and more. The band’s just got one full length, self titled record out. Really quiet post-rock/ambient-ish. I’ve heard this record being described as drone and minimalism, though I can’t figure out why. Aegina Airlines is a great melancholy track; really digging this. Solid album start to finish. I’ve also heard The Dead Texan being very similar to acts like Stars of the Lid, though I can’t figure that out either. Stars of the Lid is more of a awesome drone-based output, whereas this incorporates sounds and elements reminiscent of ambient-ish post-rock music, coupled with the occasional, very quietly sung lyric here and there, as well as minimal use of guitars to move the song ahead (as an illustration, see the second video below).

More information:

Last.fm.

Discogs.

MySpace.

Download.

posted by admin.