After a long absence of silence, Mark Hollis, the singer and main songwriter of the 1980s English band Talk Talk, returned to the scene quietly with his solo debut in 1998 entitled, Mark Hollis. Mark Hollis, still confident in his style of music, continued with the enigmatic tones of the last Talk Talk album in 1991, Laughing Stock. Considered as the pioneers of post-rock, Talk Talk had the synthpop sound that was prominent in the 1980s with their first three albums. However, their newly found success at the time gave them the opportunity and financial support to explore and experiment with music in a different way. Beginning with their 1988 album, Spirit Of Eden, Talk Talk delve into a new realm of music, using a variety of acoustic instruments instead of synthesized ones and having several renowned musicians contribute to their work, including Robbie McIntosh from The Pretenders and Nigel Kennedy, who is one of the greatest and prolific violinists from the twentieth and twenty first centuries. Talk Talk’s last two albums, Spirit Of Eden and Laughing Stock went hand in hand in developing a completely different direction for the band, which brought out their introspective and tranquil personalities. Both albums are also hinted with religious themes and references, though Mark Hollis described the lyrics as having more of a “humanitarian” theme. All three of these albums, including Mark Hollis’s solo effort, remind me of twentieth century classical music and the jazz fusion of the 1950s and 1960s. An album such as Laughing Stock has elements of what Miles Davis introduced in the 1960s as jazz fusion with the releases of In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. The most palpable difference between Talk Talk’s last two albums and Mark Hollis’s solo album is that although all three incorporate a string of uncanny patterns, Spirit Of Eden and Laughing Stock have more dissonance and overtone characteristics that can be traced back to Bitches Brew, whereas Mark Hollis incorporates more aspects of silence and structure. Continue reading Review: Mark Hollis' Selftitled Solo Debut ca.1998
The month that occurs between September 15 and October 15 is officially known as National Hispanic Heritage Month. For me, this past month has been filled with delicious food (tamales!!!), awesome salsa nights at the ‘Sco, and a great playlist of Latin artists on my iPod. As National Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close, here is a mix of great music by Latin artists, perfect for anytime of the year.
1. Pacha Massive – “Don’t Let Go” from All Good Things
Pacha Massive is a duo from New York with Dominican and Colombian roots. “Don’t Let Go” was the first single from their debut album.
2. Cineplexx – “Nueva Sombra” from Nuevahola
Cineplexx is the dream pop project of Sebastián Litmanovich, an Argentine singer-songwriter.
3. Zigmat – “Machine” from Sounds of Machines
These synth rockers have a Puerto Rican lead singer, Monica Rodriguez.
4. El Guincho – “FM Tan Sexy” from Pop Negro
El Guincho is the alias of Spanish born musician Pablo Díaz-Reixa, who uses a lot of samples and incorporates genres such as afrobeat and tropicália into his music. Continue reading The Music of National Hispanic Heritage Month: A Retrospective
Wussup world. Another year of vinyl mixes…all songs are ripped from albums which can be found in the vaults.
Grouper is the solo project for ambient musician Liz Harris, of Portland, Oregon. Harris’ music is a mixture of softly-strummed guitar, Wurlitzer keys, and her delicate, dreamy vocals, all of which are heavily drenched in reverb.
“With Liz Harris’ eerie vocals floating above a bed of grainy drones and sparse synth and organ melodies, A I A does not deviate too much from the formula she solidified on 2008’s Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill. But we see the Portland songstress fine-tuning the textural experimentations that have become her trademark. Dig the decaying tones of opener “Moon is Sharp” or the tolling chants of “Dragging the Streets” to hear Harris’ progress as a composer. A I A is a desolate, expansive affair; it sounds like a clandestine broadcast and the way an unborn baby might hear a pop song in utero. Hyperbolic imagery aside, you would be hard pressed to find very many contemporary records that yield the type of vaporous journey found on A I A, nor one that’s as hauntingly beautiful.”
Oneohtrix Point Never is the recording name of Brooklyn-based experimental musician Daniel Lopatin, whose album Returnal was released by Editions Mego in June 2010. Lopatin’s music is composed and performed primarily on vintage synthesizers, and has been described as “drone or ambient music”, “gentle eddies of sound” and “like a cracked mirror refracting the sounds of the past”. He is also a member of Games aka Ford & Lopatin.
“Lopatin is skilled at creating music that is both disorienting and pleasing at once. Whether noise, drone, ambient or minimalist, the form of the music continually shifts, which fulfills the role in traditional minimalism that’s reserved for the addition of new patterns to the mix; to shift the focus and change the entire piece by creating new relations between the patterns. On Returnal, more so than Lopitan’s other albums, this shifting of styles serves to accomplish this without ever feeling disjointed or jarring; the album itself plays as a seamless whole. The disorientation instead comes from the slight, almost imperceptible off-kilter feeling to the music. It’s always buried in a pleasing array of tones, creating a very peculiar and unique feel. Almost like a welcoming vertigo.”
Saturday, October 15th, 10PM at the ‘Sco. $3 with OCID, $5 without. Tickets available at Etix and Wilder Information Desk.
Check out this new music video of Glass Nor Stone by Sons on an Illustrious Father, a 5-piece “heavy-meadow” band originally from the Hudson Valley of the State of New York. Directed by college senior Rafe Scoby-Thal, the video features some beautiful people and the serene summer landscape of Oberlin, Ohio. According to Sons guitarist and vocalist college senior Lilah Larson, the video does “a great job connecting visual movement to the song’s progression and cadence,” and that the unity and divergence of the girls throughout the video successfully embodies the song’s meaning.
People all over the country are standing up against the wealthiest 1%, the corporations, and the banks that control our political system and our jobs. To join the movement and take action in your city go to occupytogether.org. We are the 99% and our voices will be heard.
For those of us in Northeast Ohio, check out occupycleveland.com.
Pop Workgroup here! We’d like to share with you some hits you can hear on our radio shows:
Name: Alison Kozol
Show: Magic 91.5, Sundays at 10PM
Favorite Recent Song: Mariah Carey, “Emotions”
This is one of those perfect freakout moments when most don’t register the weirdness within the pop hit. Mariah hits this one note which must be something like a quadruple high C, and then she sings her own harmony with it. Pop perfection.
Name: Rachel Ishikawa
Show: What I Found, Fridays 8PM
Favorite Recent Song: St. Vincent “Cheerleader”
The song gets me every time. As Annie Clarke moans about adolescent woes, I melt. Sexy guitars paired with charming vocals; fulfills my pop dreams.
Name: Kalila (Kaylee) Holt
Show: Nomad (Or What!), Fridays 7AM
Favorite Recent Song: St. Vincent “Cruel”
This entire album is fantastic (I’ve been listening to it non-stop) and this is the first track off it I got obsessed with. I really like the dreaminess of it mixed with the guitars. St. Vincent is pretty much my idol.
Name: Michael Stenovec
Show: Uncle Mike’s Party Van, Thursdays 4 AM
Favorite Recent Song: The Middle East “The Darkest Side”
Although breathy harmonies and fast-strummed nimble fingerpicking are well-trod territories, The Middle East manages to sound fresh, desperate and beautiful. It’s catchy and morose, without wallowing in self-pity. Give it a shot.
Name: Aria Dean
Show: Tales & Tunez, Wednesdays 7 AM
Favorite Recent Song: Youth Lagoon “17”
This week as a fall chill swept through Oberlin, I broke out my sad, ambient pop playlist. This quickly led to me listening solely to Youth Lagoon. On this song in particular, Trevor Powers’ affected vocals get me every time.
Name: Fiz Poliks
Show: DREAMWAVEZZZZ. tues @ 10AM
Favorite Recent Song: “Oh My God,” Cults
Sugary-sweet, wistful song to sway to. Makes you think about growing up, running away, getting out, and proving everyone wrong.
Name: Anais Stewart
Show: Girls and the Big 4, Sundays @ 3 AM
Fav Recent Song: “A Long Time” by Mayer Hawthorne
A great song that talks about life struggles. Sounds sappy, but the music is pretty pop and bubbly.
Name: Zoë Madonna
Show: Permanent Wave, Wednesdays @9AM
Fav Recent Song: “Madder Red,” Yeasayer
Songs about the slow death of love should not be this catchy. This Yeasayer cut off of most recent album Odd Blood will have you humming all day. Beautiful and disturbing video starring Kristen Bell and something with lots of vestigial limbs.
Name: Asher Kaplan
Show: Mothers of Motown, Sundays 4-6am
Fav Recent Song: “A Cold Freezin’ Night,” The Books
An audio sample of a sibling rivalry is chopped up and sprinkled over a skittery beat on this track from The Books latest, The Way Out. Check out the music video too–nothing I’ve ever seen looks or sounds quite like it.