Former music blogger Nick Gutterbreakz has not only made the amazing leap from music writing to music creation, he has become a top talent in a crowded electronic scene. Made on all analogue equipment, Ekoplekz shares a kinship with the tetanus-laced junk electronics of Cabaret Voltaire, if they had come about in the era of Downliners Sekt and Mordant Music. In “Uncanny Riddim”, director Jade Boyd has come up with the perfect accompaniment to a music that is simultaneously post-dubstep, post-hauntology, and pre-digital, cameras pointed at scratchy TVs scrambled to reveal starkly naked if overall quotidian moments. The audio/visual makes one feel a voyeur in someone else’s ghost box, a nonconsensual chat roulette into the past. The video was created for a performance at the Outer Church in Brighton and is otherwise unreleased, but Ekoplekz’s double album Memowrekz is available to download from Bleep and Boomkat for a nicely affordable price.
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Leading a film crew through empty streets in the tiny Belarusian town of Bobr, artist and resident resistance fighter Alexander Pushkin observes, “Everyone’s gone. They all hid when they saw us. They’re afraid that they and their loved ones will be punished… If a person appears in a film, he’s persecuted.” And so Pushkin is making his stand, using Andrzej Fidyk’s documentary to express his frustration at his countrymen’s complacency and promising to “explain the nature of a Belarusian.” He uses his art—sometimes painting, often performance—to remind his neighbors of their history, that Belarus did not begin just 60 years ago on “Victory Day,” the end of German occupation. In fact, he insists in his paintings and performances, Belarus has its own language and legacy, repressed by hundreds of years of Russian and Soviet occupation. He fights back as best he can: though Lukashenko banned the Belarusian flag and instituted “Muscovite symbols,” Pushkin insists on flying a red and white flag, the camera tracking him as he scrambles over his rooftop to replace a faded version with a new one. Entertaining and perplexing, the film shows Pushkin to be a decidedly complicated figure, at once energetic and committed, but also easily distracted, narcissistic, and frequently annoying. It’s hard to tell, however, whether he’s representative or anomalous, which makes the film seem very clever, or maybe elusive… making Pushkin’s case, along with and also in spite of his own efforts.
See PopMatters’ review.
Ian McCutcheon’s past work as a drummer with Slowdive and Mojave 3 prepared him well for the dream pop landscapes he paints as frontman with his new band, The Loose Salute. A relaxed Cornwall beach vibe suffuses the group’s music as we heard on their debut Tuned to Love (2007) and now again four years later on the follow-up Getting Over Being Under, which released early this month via Graveface. The Loose Salute’s influences are deliciously diverse, ranging from the expected West Coast jangle pop and the Beach Boys to the more countrifried sounds of Nashville and a bit of Southwestern desert expansiveness. You get a taste of that Sourthwestern vibe on “Perhaps She’ll Fly” with its Calexico-esque horns. Meanwhile, it’s back to pure dreaminess for “Happy I Don’t Count”, a breathy, atmospheric song custom built for the legions of Belle & Sebastian fans out there.
The KEXP Music Blog just posted a session with Peter Bjorn and John, featuring footage from a recent visit to the studio which looks more like a large closet with a few people lining the edges. It wasn’t quite the stage show that PopMatters covered in New York City back in May, but that didn’t keep the indie trio from rocking their tight knit sound – cowbell included of course. With the cameras on top of them as they played, the bearded Swedes gave an inspired performance which gives new meaning to the term intimate. Pared down versions of the songs also highlight the structured composition of each, as well as the variety of their music.
British singer Adele’s second album 21 has been the #1 album in the US for 10 weeks, whereas in the UK, the record has been at #1 longer than any other female artist in British chart history. Heady stuff. Adele is headed to the US this August and has made a few schedule changes to her upcoming schedule shown below. In the meantime, enjoy the videos from 21.
Rolling in the Deep