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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

12 O'Clock Track: Turing Machine, "Slave to the Algorithm"

Posted By on 02.28.12 at 12:00 PM

It's been eight long years since Turing Machine's Zwei. The Brooklyn-based instrumental trio started working on a follow-up in 2008, but stopped a year later when drummer Jerry Fuchs died after falling down an elevator shaft. Like Maserati, another Fuchs project, Turing Machine put things on hold for a while, then revisited the album and recruited collaborators to help finish it—LCD Soundsystem's Pat Mahoney and Disappears' Brian Case are among the notables, along with some other names from the DFA roster.

What Is the Meaning of What will be released May 8 through Temporary Residence. Today's 12 O'Clock Track is "Slave to the Algorithm," whose pulsing and proggy dance groove showcases the impeccable, perfectly timed rhythms that Fuchs always provided (the album contains his final recordings). The Krautrock influences are there, and so is the postpunk—the track begins sparsely and then slowly ramps up the complexity, incorporating strands of delayed guitar (with a whoosh here and there), funkish bass, and a straight-up club beat.

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And the Pitchfork lineup announcements begin

Posted By on 02.28.12 at 11:36 AM

I don't know about you, but I have no problem thinking about mid-July already. So thanks to the Pitchfork Music Festival for announcing the first chunk of its lineup today. Gossip Wolf appears to be on the right track with the predictions thus far—Willis Earl Beal, Grimes, and Cloud Nothings are all in fact playing.

The festival is July 13-15 in Union Park. The list of confirmed acts is after the jump.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

12 O'Clock Track: Solid Space, "10th Planet"

Posted By on 02.27.12 at 12:00 PM

For weeks I've been scouring the Internet for information on the band Solid Space and coming up nearly empty-handed. They released one tape in 1982, titled Space Museum. I found a download of the tape, but purchasing a copy seems impossible, given how long it's been out of print. There are no photos out there I can find, and no insight on what the group's members have done since. There were some message-board posts in 2008 and 2010 about a reissue of Space Museum, but that hasn't happened.

What I do know about Solid Space is that their sole release is brilliant—cold, disconnected, minimal synth-pop full of eerie moods and bizarre melodies. Today's 12 O'Clock Track, like most of Space Museum, is about traveling through the galaxy, and though it's delivered in a robotic deadpan that reminds me of Kraftwerk, it's somehow warm and hooky. "10th Planet" is the album's poppiest moment; the rest of Space Museum's catchiness is blended with bleak darkness.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Stream new Supreme Cuts cut

Posted By on 02.24.12 at 02:47 PM

Ever since I talked to Mike Perry of Supreme Cuts while setting up his recent Artist on Artist Q&A with A-Trak and he told me about the group's forthcoming debut full-length, Whispers in the Dark, I've been getting progressively more stoked on its release sometime this spring. That anticipation got a major boost the other day when the pair posted a song from Whispers on their SoundCloud page. "Silkk" boasts a juke-worthy beat, washed-out psychedelic texturing, what is presumably a titular reference to No Limit rapper Silkk the Shocker, and cover art featuring a chunk of the mysterious and almost magical-seeming material aerogel, all of which are things I am definitely cool with.

Stream the song after the jump.

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12 O'Clock Track: The Promise Ring, "Why Did Ever We Meet?"

Posted By on 02.24.12 at 12:00 PM

I rarely get excited about a new Twitter feed like I did when @ThePromiseRing, the official account for the departed Milwaukee emo band of the same name, came to life on November 18 with a simple message: "Hello, again..." (Also, it was my birthday.) Needless to say, I've been a fan of the Promise Ring for years, and I even submitted a proposal to write a book about their sophomore album, Nothing Feels Good, for the 33 1/3 series (it got turned down). Once the Promise Ring officially announced a local reunion show, I snapped up some tickets.

To celebrate the band's return to Chicago tomorrow night at Metro, today's 12 O'Clock Track is "Why Did Ever We Meet?"

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

This week on the B Side

Posted By on 02.23.12 at 01:02 PM

You might think that pairing up legendary avant-garde vocalist Diamanda Galas and Chicago noise-scene stalwart Mark Solotroff for a conversation about making music would result in something pretty intense, and you'd be right—this week's Artist on Artist has definitely raised the bar on the feature in terms of heaviness but also in terms of being straight-up fascinating. The current In Rotation, featuring not only picks by Reader music writer Kevin Warwick and Baby Teeth front man Abraham Levitan but also by sixth grader Rebecca Worth (who takes Levitan's Piano Power class), is another personal favorite. Gossip Wolf has the latest news on Chicago garage rock and famous comedians covering Bob Dylan songs with postrock bands. The Secret History of Chicago Music tells the tale of Blind Joel Taggart, who may have been the first guitar evangelist ever to make a record. And the latest Soundboard picks include Wugazi, Nguzunguzu, Arriver, the New York Gypsy All-Stars, Tennis, and Marijuana Deathsquads.

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12 O'Clock Track: Gigan, "Transmogrification Into Bio-Luminoid"

Posted By on 02.23.12 at 12:00 PM

Gigan, in whats almost certainly the least metal promo photo of 2011
  • Gigan, in what's almost certainly the least metal promo photo of 2011
I've had Gigan on the brain lately, on account of they were supposed to come through town a couple weeks ago with Dark Funeral and Inquisition. That tour, which I was very much looking forward to, got canceled—surely a huge disappointment for the band, and definitely a serious financial blow. So I thought I'd give 'em a little love with today's 12 O'Clock Track.

Gigan recorded Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes (Willowtip), the 2011 album on which "Transmogrification Into Bio-Luminoid" appears, in Chicago with Sanford Parker. Guitarist Eric Hersemann, the band's main creative force, is a native Chicagoan, and last year he moved back here from Tampa, Florida, where he'd founded Gigan in 2006.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kim Dotcom currently a free man

Posted By on 02.22.12 at 01:25 PM

Kim Dotcom in action
  • Kim Dotcom in action
The news out of New Zealand today is that larger-than-life Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is free on bail just over a month after he was arrested in a raid organized by the U.S. Justice Department to shut down the file-locker site, which prosecutors are calling a $500 million conspiracy to illicitly distribute copyrighted material. Judge Nevin Dawson's decision to release Dotcom was based largely on the fact that with his known assets seized and no evidence that he's hiding any secret stashes—the hidden accounts the feds have turned up have been empty, and Megaupload's CFO has gone on record saying that Dotcom's no good at holding on to money—the former multimillionaire is simply not a flight risk.

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12 O'Clock Track: Shlohmo remixes "Crew Love"

Posted By on 02.22.12 at 12:00 PM

Here's a neat story: Shlohmo, a DJ and producer from LA who's part of that city's consistently exciting and innovative post-hip-hop bass scene, remixed the Weeknd-produced "Crew Love," from Drake's Take Care, for his own personal use. The Weeknd saw a YouTube clip of a DJ set where Shlohmo dropped the remix and took to Tumblr to ask him to release it. Soon the remix—which manages to out-woozy the original, turning an ode to the powerful personal bonds that unite the members of a celebrity's entourage into a trippy "Maybe I shouldn't have taken that last Xanax" stumble—showed up on Shlohmo's SoundCloud page. With luck this success will encourage the Weeknd to start making more requests like that.

Hear the remix after the jump:

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