Tobias Reber – Kola 7.6
Tobias Reber’s ‘Kola’ is all about rhythm. Rhythms upon rhythms going on endlessly make ‘Kola’ an intriguing listen. Few have taken up such an unusual approach. Even among those particularly percussive artists that come close in approach (Phoenecia and Autechre are somewhat similar) they lack the level of devotion that Tobias Reber employs. With little else but pure percussive elements ‘Kola’ manages to create a world unlike any other. Thanks to the extremely fast changes in tempo and impossible to grasp multiple simultaneous rhythms Tobias Reber has quite a bit of fun throughout the entire album.
Playfulness is the most prominent feature throughout the album. On the opener ‘Pinata’ the rhythms certainly have an exploratory nature to them literally sorting through every possible sonic scenario. Towards the end of the song a melody emerges to add an anchor to the ever-increasing complexity of the percussive elements. Polyglot moves far more quickly with the tempo moving at an insane speed never slowing down to dwell on much of anything. Little pings indicate that the taps are temporary runs through rather than mainstays. Autechre’s influence can be felt on the far slower and intricate ‘Omara’ which has a few moments of crystal clarity. ‘Manitok’ is downright anxious with large amounts of silence used to great effect.
Around the end there is an increased focus on bass rumbles particularly the strange lurker of ‘Petroleum’ whose aggression feels surprisingly liberating. Kola overall is an incredibly odd yet captivating album.
tUnE-yArDs – Nikki Nack
tUnE-yArDs is chaos. Judging by the precious snippets shared of ‘Nikki Nack’ it seems tUnE-yArDs continues to live in a totally bizarre universe. Everything about her music indicates a playfulness that most musicians ignore. Aspects of it are reminiscent of a less academic/sexual version of Kevin Blechdom’s infinitely excellent discography. Much of ‘Nikki Nack’ at least from her mega-mix indicates she’s kept the best parts of her musical work intact.
‘Nikki Nack’ falls apart and puts itself back together. ‘Tangents’ on other albums are a main part of tUnE-yArDs’ appeal. In fact the joy is how free the music is able to sound while still adhering to at least some sort of musical structure. Pieces flip over each other in a valiant attempt to show off their athleticism. At least this was the case with her previous release, the sort of thing that confounded people who rarely travel out of their comfortable sonic neighbors.
The cheerfulness of tUnE-yArDs is pretty incredible. Somehow she manages to create this incredibly non-stop sense of play that has no reason to ever slow down, forget stopping. Aspects of it appear to scream out at the top of their lungs, doing countdowns whenever it feels like it. Lyrics are equally strange refusing to conform too much of everything.
With the collection of snippets brought together it gives a basic floor plan of where she’ll be going. It hints at larger universes. To a degree tUnE-yArDs works with incomplete pieces. Nothing is ever fully finished in her world. That’s part of the appeal: to challenge the listener to complete it for themselves. Most musicians go for finishing everything up for their listeners. Fortunately tUnE-yArDs respect her listeners, a rare thing indeed.
Fennesz – Bécs
Fennesz has been mysteriously quiet this brand new decade. After listening to ‘The Liar’ it is obvious why: Fennesz has finally decided to go pop. Yes it began with his chart-topping hit album ‘Endless Summer’ and has continued on into ‘Bécs’ his first solo album in six years. During that time he’s been quite busy doing the collaboration lifestyle. For a guy who makes abstract yet emotional music he’s doing pretty well. With ‘Bécs’ he has decided to endorse the world’s best-selling German beer, Beck’s.
A lot of people at this point might note that the Mego and Editions Mego artist has nothing to do with the hoppy beverage packed in an attractive green glass. They would be wrong. Due to the incredible strain that is being an abstract emotional artist occasionally there needs to be another source of income. The album shows off how good Fennesz can be while advertising that great rich taste that has yet to let anyone down. Mostly people are not let down by Beck’s because by the time anybody gets to the Beck’s beer the other beers have all been snagged, leaving a few Beck’s for the undiscerning budget beer connoisseur.
Will ‘Bécs’ give Fennesz the attention he’s deserved for the past fifteen years? Can bars finally begin to play Fennesz without repercussion, besides in places like Brooklyn, Portland, and other equally snobbish locales? It is easy to say no. The world probably will never be ready for the sweet sophisticated sounds coming from Fennesz. Fennesz is probably okay with this reception. Considering how abstract his pieces can be it is remarkable how many have embraced his work. Hopefully there is a future that believes and embraces Fennesz’s work, and hopefully it is sooner rather than later.
Coldplay – Ghost Stories
Typically artists are awake when they recorded music. With Coldplay’s latest endeavor ‘Ghost Stories’ that appears to patently untrue. For the entire duration of ‘Ghost Stories’ Coldplay takes a nap and lets electronic murmurs take over. What results is potentially the most boring thing to play on radio stations across the United Kingdom and even the world. In spite of Coldplay’s more than lackluster discography ‘Ghost Stories’ searches for the bottom. Ambien has a producing credit.
Beach Sloth would like to take a moment to sympathize with all those unfortunate souls who will encounter this personality-less endeavor. This is the kind of music that will be everywhere because it is completely non-offensive. Out of countless shopping mall speakers, clothing stores, banks, offices, and more this bland morass will ooze out. Unfortunately there will be no escape. What is particularly fascinating is despite how widespread it will be nobody will remember it because it is completely unmemorable.
Coldplay is a British band that decided music no longer requires soul. Rather what Coldplay seems to believe is by putting down their instruments and letting the machines do the talking there will be something relevant said at some point. Even electronic music, which usually pushes the boundaries of sound, is pretty ashamed. The origins of electronic music are majestic ones like those experiments from Stockhausen, Xenakis, and more. Yet if any of those electronic pioneers were alive to see what had happened to their gleeful experiments they’d be sorely disappointed.
Without any external help Coldplay has scooped out the heart, soul, and brains of music. ‘Ghost Stories’ will sell millions of copies and become a worldwide hit.
MRBV by Sara Federico
Relationships theoretically make life easier. People spend entire lifetimes trying to get the pairings right. Two individuals might be great on their own. Brought together by the universe creates massive black holes where their hearts used to be. Such things are inevitabilities in a world where most of humanity rarely gets to meet each other. Hence whenever two people meet and there is a connection that connection is assumed to be good. Unfortunately for everyone that is not always the case. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. One relatively benign phrase used by history teachers everywhere does more than simply explain away the world wars. It explains why bad relationships happen over and over again. Every new relationship offers hope that something better might come. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. Luck refuses to be forced.
Infinite sadness brings people together. Misery loves company. Setting places misery enjoys hanging out talking about nothing. Friends of misery tend to flock together. The entire strength in unity makes sense when people are barely able to keep it together. Of course the obvious choice is to let it all out. With too many bad experiences the venting transforms into condensation of bile. Nobody wants to touch it yet everybody has it. After a terrible self-destructive night the bile lets itself out. Horrible decisions are made with the help of external ingredients, getting put down, ingesting things that ought to be left alone. Mechanisms of support are responsible for such destructive elements. If the world was always beautiful there would be no need for the chemicals to turn frowns upside down. Those solutions are false, faked, not really answering for x.
Problems dwell in tidy lodgings lodged in the heart. Getting those things out requires great amount of volume. Little drips out of the badness, the sadness are coping mechanisms. An aside of something dreadful can be handled. A deluge is horrible. People typically do not want to be bummed out especially when their lives are far from perfect. Strangely everybody tries to aim for perfection knowing how impossible and fleeting it can be. Every effort in life is dedicated to getting life a little more perfect. Failures hurt because they appear to step away from that hope. However failure is the best way to succeed in life. Relationships fail. Breakups happen. Sobriety begins after the party ends. Nobody is spared from these parts of life. If they are then they aren’t really living.
Three Poems by Sara Federico
People are known throughout the world. What they are known for is kept unclear. Every time a person says “I know people everywhere” they are lonely. By saying this they mean their ideal world exists in far-away places they visit, tourists in their fantasies. Life’s fantasies take forever to fully implement. At night the fantasies are easier to conjure up with the help of the upcoming day. Deep in the night there are hopes that the next morning things will change for the better. Right in cars late at night are attempts at happy moments. Unfortunately the world has plenty of desperate moments where the loneliness is overwhelming. Parties for the lonely evolve into late nights at 2 AM staring at high-beamed lights trying to hold up the darkness.
Sorrows strangle. This is their purpose. Life moves incredibly quickly, unbelievably so. Poor sad feelings are terribly misunderstood. Without sadness there can be no happiness. Extremes must exist on either side with people spending most of their time shifting from one foot to the other, one emotion to the other. Neither is bad. Both have their own place. Difficulties with life are a given and they are given to everyone in equal doses. Perception allows an individual to filter out that which upsets them. Darkness needs the light. Even the moon with all of its total failures requires light. The only way the moon can shine is through the darkness of the night. Of course the sun is right behind it illuminating the dead lifeless orb. Shining on through the night lets the moon see the sorrows of the day, those things that linger after everyone goes to sleep.
The world is full of repellant. No two individuals agree on the same things. Emotionally naked individuals are hard to handle. People have thick skins for a reason. Underneath every skin is the same thing: organ stuffs, blood, heart, brain. Few find those literal underbelly things fascinating. Above that are the emotions that make everyone unique to themselves. Such things are typically brought about by upbringing. Deep in the dating lifestyle people try to care about the deep things in life. Everybody is a glacier and most of what puts them together is hidden far beneath the surface. Pride is one of the first things to go. Normally shame hangs around a bit longer. Few ever manage to remove doubt from their lives. However confident a person might be doubt is a hard thing to give up since life is full of uncertainties just like life is full of possibilities.
Erick Fryman - The Green Moon 6.8
Erick Fryman goes for the dramatic on ‘The Green Moon’. Utilizing light electronic flourishes to further emphasize the emotional impact of the pieces is quite well done. Max Richter does this on many occasions and ‘The Green Moon’ certainly handles the process with style. Over the course of collection songs begin to fit together similar to that of a puzzle. Themes from the songs repeat themselves over and over again because repetition is a form of change. By fleshing out these ideas in full Erick Fryman is able to create a narrative that grows with each additional song.
‘Only in dreams we are together’ starts the collection off in epic style, with piano, electronics, far away wordless vocals, and even drums. Each one of these elements comes together to create a greater whole. In comparison ‘…And forever’ is quite subdued serving as a ‘cool down’ movement for the emotional intensity that preceded it. ‘You’re waiting for a train’ moves incredibly slowly with an urbane approach employed throughout the entire song. On ‘The Green Moon’ Erick Fryman effectively uses electronics to set the late-night mood, with key shimmering in the distance far before the piano ever arrives. When it does it feels particularly satisfying.
‘Let me help you’ ends the collection off in the best way possible. Piano finally takes a break as the violin takes finishing everything off in the most tender way possible. ‘The Green Moon’ is a warm collection that appears aptly suited for the wintertime.
SELECTIONS FROM BRIAN MORTON’S TWITTER BRIAN MORTON, EDITED BY TAO LIN
Brian Morton is a dad on the Internet. This is meant as the sincerest form of praise. Plenty of individuals live life on the Internet pretending to be dads. At this point being a dad on the Internet is a bit of a MEME. For dads the Internet is a thing their children use. Long ago dads might have been into computers getting everything programmed up but now that a computer is a form of communication, forget it. Good thing dads still have TV and recliners in their ‘man caves’ where they can retreat away from the rest of the world. Writing dads call ‘man caves’ their ‘studies’ in an attempt to disguise the generally useless activity that goes on in such a place.
With Twitter Brian Morton has found his perfect craft. Every tweet is focused on his inner dad. This is hard work especially to do online with sincerity. His children provide plenty of tweet-able quotes. Parents have children for a variety of reasons. At first children are adorable being cute not really contributing much of anything. Next with early childhood they become nearly philosophical with their musings about the world unfiltered from any particular basis. Later the children become entertaining providing a conversation partner. Bringing in the teens is troublesome due to the extreme irrational behavior they display. Finally when children become adults they leave to start new families or do whatever it is adults actually do with their lives. Reaching adulthood takes a lifetime.
Children psyche out their parents. Many child-held beliefs are insincere. Few children actually believe in Santa Claus. Rather the children humor their parents pretending that their parental overlords have that amount of power and influence behind them. When children fight the only thing that brings them back together is an even more pronounced dislike of those who brought them into the world. Anyone who tries to live-tweet their children fighting is in for a world of hurt. On the plus side the children will stop fighting each other giving the parents a peace of sorts.
A child eventually becomes an adult. Surprisingly children have incredibly good memories. Whatever is said to a child comes back to stay synced up in their mind for the rest of their days, even nights depending on how long they stay up for. Hipsters begin in childhood. Little fragments try to come together to build something very truly grand. There is a time and place for becoming a hipster. Enough effort on the part of a hipster makes them into aging hipsters into something entirely different. Inane thoughts of an aging hipster include what was cool and what is cool. Unfortunately due to age few aged hipsters are ever acknowledged for their hipness. On the plus side many aged hipsters have financial security and a roof over their heads, something few regular hipsters could even dream of.
Eventually Enlightenment happens. It takes a while. Younger individuals never understand what Enlightenment means. With years of living the purpose of Enlightenment becomes clear. Due to age restrictions Enlightenment can never be shared on the Internet for it is different for everyone.
if i’m not in crisis then i’m probably not alive, and other ramblings by kristie shoemaker
Power is a must. The world runs on power. Relationships rely on power in order to properly balance everything. With everyone’s feelings going into high gear there is the residue of previous friendships. Every friend leaves a distinct impression upon the world of variation of that person. No two relationships are quite the same. In every relationship there is the give and take between two people searching for some meaning in life. Playing around in blankets is a way to understand the entire universe. Deep in sleep there is the joy of discovering new universes ones that can become completely controlled.
Water takes up most of the planet and its organisms. Individuals fail to realize that when they swim through water they are swimming through themselves. The body feels good underwater because that is what first defined it. Eventually the landed creatures decided to leave their bodies of water and bring their bodies of water onto dry land. Hence everything stems from these teeming seas of life, currents and such. Few ever realize that when they look into the sea they see the world as it was and as it will be in the future.
Insomnia destroys the beauty of sleep. Nobody needs to be awake for that long. The brain needs rest from a world that rarely if ever makes much sense. Fortunately the brain devised dream sequences to help it deal with many decades of being stuck on Earth. Sadly not everyone can enjoy the beauty of being asleep. Passing time awake is a terrible way to spend it. Every night the body dies so the mind can live another day. Although sleep is a lot like death nobody fears sleeping. Rather death seems much more permanent. If sleep is just a little death than there really should not be too much to worry about. The world does just fine with the people it has and the people it lets go. By the very end everyone becomes the same and society becomes the great equalizer.
Constellations are on deck meaning they are always up in the Heavens. At night they find great use working as nightlights for the overnight shifts across the world. Individuals up late at night experience forms of joy they never thought they’d know as their lives are brought into reverse. Witnessing the end of the day and the beginning of another rather than the times set normally. People enjoy the light. People have lifetimes in a single day they just don’t realize it. Every day brings billions of potential outcomes. It is up to a person to seize them.
#Urananimal by Nicholas Spence
#Urananimal demands to be read aloud. Flow moves the piece forward. The reader must surrender themselves to the currents held within every forward slash. Attempts to find patterns are greatly rewarded. Variations on the language give the book a timeless quality. Within the giant rivers of text there are ways to discover the true meaning of these many words. Nicholas Spence opts for extreme speed with his collection. Yet underneath the currents are commonalities that manage to bind the entire piece together.
Themes about death, America, and poetry abound throughout the collection. Many times the death is quite literal. Nicholas Spence mentions death or alludes to it multiple times. Repetition of these musings help to give the giant blocks of text a level of consistency. America gets a number of mentions. From the “sun glass wear community college” to references to Tennessee and Dan Rather (some of the few proper nouns to be found in the collection) Nicholas Spence rushes forth with an inordinate amount of energy.
Poetry tries to bring the thing together. The few uses of repetition try to mimic a natural rhythm and stand out for their unusual placement. Nearly all of the collection refuses to re-use the same lines. A few moments the poetry rhymes yet these are extremely rare moments. The rhymed poetry does work well when said aloud for it shows off flair. Whenever these rhymed sections appear they reinforce the notion that #Urananimal ought to be spoken and not read.
#Urananimal gains enormous power when spoken aloud. Every block of text is perfectly broken up by the forward slash. This usage is important. By letting the forward slashes serve as a pause it gives off the impression that the language is speaking rather than simply being written. With this level of engagement the work has the requirement of needing to be read aloud.
Aspects of the poem work with and against the idea of technology. Over the course of the piece there are allusions to the Internet and its ecosystem. The original birthplace of these poems was from a Twitter account of Nicholas Spence’s creation. Even the hashtag in #Urananimal’s title indicates a certain fondness for the medium. It certainly helps that these are tweet-length sections. Yet the entire thing once pieced together becomes something much larger. #Urananimal is an epic poem collection for and by the Internet. If the Dadaists were still around they would be proud to claim #Urananimal as one of their own.