Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bloody Knives Will Cut Your Heart Out For This

There seems to be two camps in our post-gazing world.  One camp takes the ethereality route create airy, gauzy songs that linger like a spring breeze.  The other camp assaults you with sheets of distortion, noise, and more effects that humanly possible.  This is the camp that unsurprisingly named Bloody Knives belong in.  Their latest album, the family friendly, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This is a loud, brash, and violent musical attack.

Creating solid sheets of noise, Bloody Knives crank their guitars to 11 put their effects pedals on overdrive and just go.  The songs that make up I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This are aural assaults of cascading waves of distortion that could scare the living daylights out of someone.  This record contains no choruses or things to latch on to.  Rather, it overpowers you with so much guitar wrangling it's hard to discern where riffs begin and end.  This is a record of sturm und drang and it's almost painful to listen to on headphones because of how chaotic and noisy it really is.  I love the idea of this band and their approach is nuts I just wish they had a bit more to cling to.  Really, what they should have done is gotten a black metal vocalist and just gone off the deep end...that would have been unreal.

As it stands though, Bloody Knives are about the most brutal and vicious indie band to walk the planet.  Their songs are visceral, raw and strike at the core of shoegazing.  Like Marmite,  I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This is a love it or hate it kind of thing and where you fall will depend on what you hear when you listen to it.  But know this, a noisier and more riotous gazing record will be hard to find!

Monday, April 4, 2016

DJ Sun Heads To China Bearing Beats With Qing Xi

Ok…I have to admit, I was a bit thrown by this record.  Judging by what I saw on the cover I figured I was about to embark on a world music journey centered in China and can you blame me…I mean look at the record.  What QingXi actually is, however, is a chilled out electronic album from DJ Sun constructed as a soundtrack to his personal journey around China; at least I got the China part correct.

Anyway, QingXi is an atmospheric excursion through sound and an imaginative travelogue authored by DJ Sun.  Originally commissioned as an audio visual experience the record is a thoughtful expedition where following along with the liner notes is important and informative.  Sun, through his writing, sets the tone and the stage for each of the pieces that make up QingXi and it provides some context of where Sun’s imagination and creativity were rooted while he was producing this record. 

Featuring a bevy of minimal beats, synth washes and other haunting and natural sounds one can’t help but wonder how these musical ideas permeated Sun’s journey throughout China.  With tracks about bee keepers, shop keepers, the island of Macau and even sailing in a non-Christopher Cross sort of way Sun keeps your imagination flowing as his story unfolds.  His blending of minimal techno and chill out while honoring tradition and culture makes for an awesome listen.  It might not be a dance floor monster but QingXi is an amazing headphone experience that will keep you mind incredibly busy. 

While this isn’t what I was expecting, I got something much better.  DJ Sun’s QingXi is an awesome listen and an interesting idea that works.  One would love to see DJ Sun take the idea of aural travelogue’s and run with it.  Imagine an Australian journey, an Indian excursion, an Arctic experience…the possibilities are endless in a Rick Steeves kind of way!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate Play Monistic Theory

Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate have come together for a second round of kora infused fusion on their album Monistic Theory.   Much like their debut, this effort is a gorgeous blend of North American and African sounds that come together in a jazzy blend of funk, folk, and virtuosity.   With a variety of influences and musical sounds blending and working together there is nothing that this duo is afraid to try.  They rap, they sing in Guinean, they pack a thousand guitar riffs into a song and let the kora weave magic spells; it’s all here and Joe & Sekou seamlessly intertwine cultures and chemistry to a dynamic and organic sound that is uniquely their own. 

From songs that sound like they’re straight from Pat Metheny’s studio to more traditional ballads featuring the kora, Joe and Sekou take the listener on a journey of exploration and discovery.  It’s a wonderful ride that’s as gorgeous as an African sunset and as intriguing as New York City.  These guys can seriously play their hearts out and it feels as though they’ve dumped every ounce of their musical souls into these songs.  There’s a lot of love, emotion, creativity and talent throughout these songs.  It’s hard to believe after listening to Monistic Theory that this collaboration might not have ever happened.  Thankfully, both Joe and Sekou stuck things out and let things flow and if all works out the journey that they’ve carried on with Monistic Theory will continue for years to come.