A Journal Of The Dark Arts
We’ve survived the massive build-up of spookiness that is October, striving to bring you as much horrificness as possible. We’re finally getting a chance to get back to some new music, starting off with a batch of new singles.
Brent LeVasseur feat. Elan Noelle – Another World
It’s always been difficult for a new author to get attention. This difficulty has been infinitely compounded with the intense amount of new media vying for yr attention. The dictates of the marketplace make for any number of interesting cross-promotions and marketing schemes.
To help raise awareness of his upcoming young adult science fiction novel Aoleon The Martian Girl, LaVasseur composed a theme song. LaVasseur has a background in writing orchestral soundtrack music, but had never tried his hand at a dance pop number, causing him to call upon the talents of the gifted chanteuse Elan Noelle. Another World channels the excitement and outer space adventures of Aoleon and Gilbert as they go to Mars, to try and stop a nefarious cowsnatching plot from the wicked martians.
Sound far out? Yes, it does…
Another World is a mixture of J-pop anime theme song, Frederic Mercier italo disco, and Giorgio Moroder interstellarisms. If it were a little more corrupted, we would believe that this was an outtake from some Betamax obscurity from 1977, starring Jane Fonda and Alan Arkin.
As you know, we’re a big fan of soundtracks, as well as anything that gets people to read, especially the young ones. With Brent LaVaseur going the extra mile, to compose theme music, as well as full page color illustrations and 360 panorama views, we can hope that the author has spent the same amount of care and craft in bringing this speculative spacecraft into orbit.
If you’ve got a young’un at home, that loves the SF, seek out Aoleon The Martian Girl, to unleash the anime of their minds!
John Carpenter – Vortex
Here’s a good segue from our fiesta of bloodsoaked sounds from the past few weeks (that never really stops, around here). Over the weekend, the internet was ablaze, like a field of jack o’ lanterns, that the master of the synth bassline, John Carpenter, would be releasing his first ever solo album on the always interesting Sacred Bones record label. Called Lost Themes, these are scores that never made their way to celluloid.
We can’t help but wonder what kind of film Vortex would’ve been. It’s got a bit of gothic, orchestral grandeur, complete with airy chorus, that makes this seem as if it was in some cobwebbed estate, but there’s those classic Carpenter Acid basslines, solid thumping beats and epic openhanded piano chords, to let us know that this is more action/adventure then suspense/thriller. It’s like a haunted house in outer space, or being haunted by zombie cyborgs. Part sci-fi, part horror, all awesome!
As Carpenter is cited more and more frequently as an inspiration on a generation of handmade techno mavens, now’s the time to return to the source, and remember why the hell we loved this man’s music so much in the first place! This is one of our most highly anticipated releases, so play “Vortex” and share in the drool!
1700 Monkey Ninjas – Amarikkuh (assault rifles and flacid penises)
Noise music has always been a place where people can explore the forbidden, ignoring taboos and talking about things that no one wants to talk about. The horror genre is also a place where people go to explore the shadow side, the hard truths, so it makes sense that the two would overlap.
“Amarikkuh (assault rifles and flacid penises)” is a demented slice of glitched out d’n’b techno hop, critiquing America and it’s gun culture. Talk show samples, parodying the second amendment and NRA zealots, chopping the vocals up into slurred slogans and chipmunk soap bubbles, over a foundation of acidic basslines and MIDI metalcore drums.
1700 Monkey Ninjas, the solo electronic project of Ed Purchla is in line with the modular hardware acid wizards, currently operating, people like Hieroglyphic Being, Bass Clef, and Kassem Mosse, as well as having some smatterings of footwork whirls, like something from a Flying Lotus, Actress or DJ Rashad track (R.I.P.). However, like both of those genres, “Amarikkuh” lacks depth and presence in the bottom end, and the drums are a bit cardboard for fully fledged enthusiasm.
The timing on this is a little freakish, and is bound to touch some raw nerves, just a week-and-a-half after the shooting in Marysville High School. While we take no stance on the topic, we are happy to facilitate a place where dialog can take place.
Listen to “Amerakkuh (flaccid penises and assault rifles)” at 1700monkeyninjas.com
The Kuhls – Leavin’ The Prairie
We bring things back down to Earth with this slice of rustic Americana, from Chicago’s The Kuhls, the lead single off of the Kuhl Sisters’ debut LP, Holy Rollin’, which will be released on Dec. 1, through Tip Top Recordings.
The Kuhls are described as “90s grunge/70s rock n roll/country western/girl pop”. The amalgamation of close harmonies, rave-up pedal steel guitar, choppy honky tonk pianos, and warped key modulations make “Leavin’ The Prairie” sound like Neil Young’s “Prairie Wind” played by Liz Phair and Jack White. It’s woozy, but still bright and exciting, managing to encapsulate the many threads of Chicago’s roots rock underground, and showing us why we loved it in the first place!
For fans of Wilco, Liz Phair, Juliana Hatfield, Cat Power, The White Stripes, Gram Parsons, Neil Young