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by Sarah Zupko

26 Oct 2016

Presenting a set  of spooky, angsty, twisted electronic beats to celebrate the dark season from PopMatters editor in chief, Sarah Zupko.

We’re doing something a little different here with this year’s Halloween playlist. No “Monster Mash” or the typical fare. Instead, we’re setting the mood for an adult Halloween with a set of complex electronic music that evokes fear, dread, worry, paranoia and even existential angst.

Play the pop tunes early, if you must, but then settle in to the dark of the night with a fine drink or bud and prepare to get tripped out with these unsettling beats. With this list of disquieting sounds, we’re also highlighting music from some of the very best electronic albums of the year (Ital Tek, Ash Koosha Kuedo, Antwood), nestled in with some old favorites (Underworld, Flying Lotus, Orbital).

by Sarah Zupko

26 Oct 2016

Barnaby Carter's sound  is a deep and lush shade of ambient, but with the cinematic influences of Ital Tek and Jon Hopkins.

Barnaby Carter‘s sound is a deep and lush shade of ambient, but with the cinematic influences of Ital Tek and Jon Hopkins adding a sense of movement and direction to Carter’s music. “Evening Redness” begins with synth washes and gentle beats that emanate a warm redness, as the title suggests. Female vocals add the ethereal quality and the textures become richer as the track moves along. Carter hails from the rich electronic scene of Brighton where Ital Tek also plies his trade. Growing up with the British post-rock of Radiohead and Mogwai, Carter has been heavily influenced by the work of the Future Sound of London and Boards of Canada. His debut album, While It Still Blooms, releases Friday via Project Mooncircle with “Evening Redness” being the new single.

by PopMatters Staff

26 Oct 2016

Skyzoo and Ortiz  reflect on life with sincerity and vulnerability on top of Brown's old-school melody, and it makes for a warm, comforting track.

Andrew Paschal: It’s easy to get completely lost in the interplay between Skyzoo and Joell Ortiz’s verses, and the elegant and alluring string sample weaved throughout the track. Hip-hop has never been an easy genre for me because I’m not really a “lyrics person”, in the sense that my brain often seems to encode lyrics only as sound rather than words the first couple times through. As frustrating as this is, “A Couple Dollars” is a wonderful listen even when treated only in this capacity. Each element here is impeccably chosen and seems to have an almost loving relationship with the larger production. The track oozes charisma and magnetism. There’s much to be gained from interrogating Skyzoo and Ortiz’s lyrics, but the fact that you can also just sit back and let the whole thing wash over you to excellent effect makes this track successful indeed. [8/10]

by Michael Barrett

26 Oct 2016

The best of  this stuff'll kill you.

Vamp (1986)

These ten Blu-rays refurbish classic and sometimes less than classic films calculated to give you goosebumps. Intellectually speaking, some are closer to a speedbump. Which are which in this season of the witch?

Perhaps all these films take seriously Picasso’s observation that good taste is the enemy of creativity, but that doesn’t mean the absence of the former is sufficient to the latter. That’s why you have intrepid reviewers to sit through this stuff for you, Dear Reader, and separate the Tricks from the Treats.

by PopMatters Staff

25 Oct 2016

Jackie Bristow seems  primed for success on the now global Americana scene with beautifully composed music and straight from the heart lyrics

New Zealand folk artist Jackie Bristow released her fourth album, Shot of Gold, back on October 7th and garnered praise from Stuff, who said “her tunes have a dark, classic quality to them, set off by haunting melodies and thoughtful acoustic guitar chording. The songs are so perfectly formed that their titles sing themselves.” Bristow seems primed for success on the now global Americana scene with beautifully composed music and straight from the heart lyrics that should thrill fans of Holly Williams, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley. Having previously opened for the like of the Steve Miller Band, Bonnie Raitt, John Oates, John Waite, Marc Cohn and Rick Springfield, Bristow’s profile is sure to rise over the coming year as she tours extensively with Raitt. Here’s hoping we see her next September at AmericanaFest in Nashville as she’s sure to find scores of new fans there as well. Check out her amazing, atmospheric sound on this live take of album highlight “Whistle Blowin’”.

//Mixed media

Tricks or Treats? Ten Halloween Blu-rays That May Disrupt Your Life

// Short Ends and Leader

"The best of this stuff'll kill you.

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