Chris Ingalls: The production is gorgeous—smooth, silky beats, blippy keyboards and warm low end—but that Auto-Tune is enough to put me into anaphylactic shock. That’s one of the downsides of modern melodic hip-hop. But there’s no denying that the groove is solid and it really is quite catchy. [7/10]
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Nouvelle Vague are well-known for their bossa nova reinterpretations of ‘80s and ‘90s punk, new wave, and post-punk songs and the French group is back with a new EP, Athol Brose, releasing September 2nd. The EP will include new takes on old classics as well as this remix of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” from their 2004 self-titled album. This airy Dream Koala remix reenvisions the tune as an ethereal, dreamy, bit of ambient chill-out. Very sleek and trippy.
Matt Fiander: You are unlikely to hear a bed of guitars and thick and loud and unyielding as the one Mike Polizze unleashes on “Fever”, the first track from Purling Hiss’s upcoming record, High Bias. The effect, along with the thundering roll of drums and pit-of-your-stomach low rumble of bass, is bracing, so bracing you might miss the excellent, even catchy rock song that takes shape around all those heady layers. The chorus is big and excellent, not only because it’s catchy but because when Polizze belts out “you’re so misunderstood” you can hear how much he relishes calling bullshit. Like so many great Purling Hiss songs, this one sneaks some sweet melodies into the craggy mix. But this may find Polizze’s project striking its best balance yet between cut-loose noise and tight composition. At the center of the squall that is “Fever”, Purling Hiss unleashes a deeply focused and triumphant defiant, which is exactly what we need right now. [8/10]
One of the biggest innovations of the Souls games (including Demon’s Souls and Bloodborne) is their online component. Not the competitive online part that has us invading other players’ games, or even the cooperative part that has us summoning other players into our game to help with bosses and tough enemies. The real innovation is the passive interaction that we have with the unknown multitudes of players online—the notes we can leave for strangers, telling them about secrets, about treasure, about traps, or just tricking them into jumping off of a cliff with the promise of something great below. We could have all those interactions without seeing another player. We only ever saw their past—the bloodstains where they died, their messages, their ghosts—evidence of another life that made the world feel more friendly for the help and more harsh because of the obvious end of that other life.
DarkMaus is an indie game made by one guy, Daniel Wright. It’s a “Souls-like”, a game clearly inspired by Dark Souls that mimics the same pacing and difficulty and many of the same mechanics, but with a few important and truly clever tweaks to the formula.
If you’re looking for a fascinating way to spend 20 minutes this lovely Thursday morning, we’ve got you covered — we’re pleased to be able to premiere a mini-documentary on the sound of contemporary Latin American music. Produced by ZZK Records and featuring up-and-coming singer-songwriter Mateo Kingman on narration duties, it explores the innovative and exciting new music coming out of Ecuador. Have a look below.