Various Artists needs a Valentine. Any old Valentine will do. Yes despite the recent installment of the last Various Artists there’s been a lot going on in the great music world. With winter comes the new release schedule. Already there seems to be an attempt to reduce the ‘hype’ of music releases with 2013. Hype, that big beautiful budding baby of the music industry, seems to be getting reduced down to nothing with the whole ‘sudden announcement’ thing that’s been happening.
My Bloody Valentine embodies this ‘We’re doing this right now, fuck the buildup’. Their website crashed with the release of MBV, their first album in over 20 years. People were ecstatic. I was. In fact my review of MBV on Thought Catalog indicates that I ‘know what I am talking about’. Some of my observations on the album were echoed by hype masters ‘Pitchfork’. Is this the first album review I have ever nailed? Will I nail more albums in the future? It is hard to tell. I’m trying to keep up. I can’t keep up though because I’m just a sloth in the world. Obviously this is the past though. I like looking back at times where I feel I got it. That doesn’t happen often. However the present is just as fascinating.
There’s an update from !!! and their album THR!!!LLER. Entitled ‘Slyd’ it features a member from Out Hud, a pretty underrated band (at least for their first album). ‘Slyd’ sounds pretty fun. Here I like a little of what I hear. I worry though. !!! has undergone a bit of a decline from their last album. While this is only a teaser it gives me a bit of hope. Still !!! generally needs to be heard in album length to determine the quality. Am I expecting another ‘Louden Up Now’? No I’m not. But I’m hoping for something better than their last album.
Melody’s Echo Chamber came out with a delightful little song, ‘Je Me Perds de Vue’. Honestly I haven’t talked about this band. I don’t know why. I love this group. Why I might have held off is their first album was pretty stunning, I feel their second will be phenomenal. Already they seem to have some really clear ideas about what to do, how to keep things in perspective. Here they sound a bit like Broadcast which is the sound they excel at, along with a ‘Blonde Redhead’ vibe (before Blonde Redhead got all ‘worrisome’).
To bring things to more experimental pastures there’s the deep strangeness of Pleq’s work. This might be the most accessible thing I’ve ever heard from Pleq. I’ve never heard him restrain his experimental impulses so much. ‘Raindrop’ reminds me vaguely of Oval’s side project ‘SO’. Warmth emanates from the track.
Bartosz Dziadosz and Tomasz Mreńca bring things to a weirder place with their ominous work. Honestly there’s no light in it. Everything feels so dark. Nothing brings the light. They effectively banish the light.
Assembly Field presents one of the things I began this segment which: a compilation! What’s better is this is Assembly Field’s first release. Many of these artists have been around, getting releases out all over the place. Obviously my favorites are here, I see Wil Bolton and Pleq. Yet some of the less recognizable ones are beautiful. ‘Tone Color’ lives up to its name. Of particular note is the beautiful Sima piece.
What the future holds is a bunch of very hotly anticipated releases. ‘In A Sleeping Mood’ continues their work with a document for each day of the year. I like the idea of such a project. I’m still watching it, looking for the seasonal change (which will be a while in coming).
Now the releases
Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City: I guess I’m supposed to be excited about this album. I’m not though. ‘Contra’ never grew on me. I tried really hard but it bored me to tears. The debut album was good, not spectacular, but decent enough. Vampire Weekend leaves me scratching my head. Sure I’m theoretically supposed to be a huge fan yet there’s something about them that leaves me feeling ‘meh. I could take it or leave it.’
James Blake – Overgrown: his first album was a grower for me. I’m figuring his second album will do the same thing. I like the slowness. I’m not a big fan of fast things. James Blake pretty much embodies the slow tempo. Retrograde came out giving an idea of what’s to come. Actually it sounds promising. Dubstep in the UK is way different. Wonder when UK dubstep will become popular in the US. That may never happen.
Thus ends what’s been a surprisingly active period in music. When the next ‘Various Artists’ comes out I really have no idea whatsoever. I like doing them. As the music releases continue to come out though I’ll be here, reporting it, getting excited and worried in unequal doses.