January 6, 2009
As we move deeper into the heart of winter we search for the heaviness in which we find warmth. Meals become more hearty, jackets cover fleeces which cover sweatshirts, and thick scents of pine fill the air. This month’s podcast keeps steadfast with this winter heft by presenting music that piles upon itself. Instead of a classic structure, these songs tend to not be put into sections, but instead build layer upon layer until an ultimate climax is met, a point at which there is no direction but down. Hence, a network of layers is created, just like the bundles that protect your body from the snow storm.
- Seabird by Black Dice: Black Dice, a popular noise outfit based out of New York, creates music that is not only layer based, but is completely dependent on layers. Seabird, as well as the rest of Black Dice’s catalog, not only piles layers upon layers of sounds, but also connects them. When a drum beat comes in, it is almost guaranteed that it will be connected, either in a rhythmic or more free pattern, to another sound. Listen as chimes unearth themselves amidst washes of synth arpeggios and hi-hat grooves.
- Mirror Friends by Lucky Dragons: Lucky Dragons has been said to “edit his music like a magazine”, though I’d fancy it as more of a collage. Luke Fishbeck, the mastermind behind Lucky Dragons, cuts and pastes pre-recorded and sampled sounds in a way that creates songs that never quite lose their spark.
- Baleen Sample by Animal Collective: Although Animal Collective has gone in an almost completely different direction since their acoustic days, they still hold some of their styles close to heart. In this song, which is an instrumental track on the Prospect Hummer EP (recorded with Vashti Bunyan in 2005), steady guitar strums fade in and out as an almost watery soundscape in the background creates a blissful backdrop. Similar techniques to these are still found in their new releases such as Merriweather Post Pavilion (which is absolutely incredible if you haven’t heard it yet).
- Afternoon Saints by Lee Ranaldo: Lee Ranaldo has been in the business for a while now. Although he is better known as a guitarist in Sonic Youth, his more underground personality is deeply rooted in the noise and (experimental) visual art community. In Afternoon Saints, a collage of bells (Pink Floyd anyone?) rises and falls in intensity creating a being that can only be described as “organic”.
- Jeep Uzi by WZT Hearts: WZT Hearts, a noise group from Baltimore, has the ability to create a wide variety of moods with its music. In this song, the resonating ringing of bells is followed by a shaking response, an odd mood of relaxation amidst anxiousness is created.
- Holy Quinn by Stag Hare: Stag Hare creates music that slowly builds block upon block until a point where there can be no more building. At this point this wall of rhythm is revised and turned into something almost completely new. Music to stare into the sun to.
- Golden by High Places: I feel as if High Places sometimes gets labeled too often as a “cute indie noise band”. Sure, a girl with a high voice sings over tinny bells, but I feel as if the music is much deeper than these labels imply. High Place’s music washes over you like a wave, beats progress and slowly fade away as chugging rhythms slowly take their place.