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by PopMatters Staff

26 Apr 2016


Pryor Stroud: French goth-electro artist Kangding Ray weaves sonic tapestries out of encrypted shadow-codes—little pockets of dead and actively dying light—that remain defiantly opaque to interpretation yet still seem to telegraph a range of lurid secrets. In “Brume”, Ray augments an industrial rock throb with synth washes that seem to wander blindly out of the track’s pitch-black corners, creating a sense of subterranean space that seems to get smaller and smaller as the seconds tick by. Some steam-engine machine grinds away in the background; stray electrical wires seems to convulse across the track’s bed, shooting sparks storms and inspiring an omnipresent sense of fear. “Brume”, in sum, sounds like it is set in a horror-movie basement lab where unnameable surgical implements, strange chemicals, and sealed-off freezers line the walls. [7/10]

by PopMatters Staff

22 Apr 2016


Emmanuel Elone: Some people might know this song as the original sample to Kanye and Jay Z’s 2010 single “Otis”. However, long before those two were the musical superstars that they are today, Otis Redding was dominating the charts in the mid to late ‘60s as the King of R&B with hits like “Try a Little Tenderness”. Everything about this song is fantastic, from it’s pulsing rhythms to Redding’s trademark croons. No matter whether it’s the chorus, verse or bridge, Otis Redding gave it his all, pushing his vocal chords to etch out one more passionate note, maintain one grand vibrato, or belt out some short staccato phrases for effect. There are many reasons as to why Otis Redding picked up the mantle left by Sam Cooke’s untimely passing, and “Try a Little Tenderness” is one of those reasons. [10/10]

by PopMatters Staff

22 Apr 2016


Emmanuel Elone: “Light Up the Sky” is a stunning electronic, R&B fusion. With some vibrant synth chords and some distinct percussion (that includes handclaps and possibly finger snaps), “Light Up the Sky” certainly isn’t lacking in the musical department. Bibio’s vocals are great as well, bringing some smooth, passionate singing to the table as well. For some reason, though, “Light Up the Sky” doesn’t pack the punch that I would expect it to, which is surprising since nothing seems to be out of place or outright bad on it. Still, it’s a good song at the very least, and might just simply have to grow on me a bit more before I can fully appreciate it. [6/10]

by PopMatters Staff

22 Apr 2016


Pryor Stroud: A bombastic, multi-episode indie rock opera based on the Grateful Dead’s project of the same name, “Terrapin Station” swells with novelistic ambition and fills its over-15-minute length with a variety of interlocking aesthetics, moods, and pop music templates. While it definitely necessitates a prolonged listening experience, it is deserving of the effort it requires, as the sense of narrative it generates—of following a character through multiple settings and situations—is hard to come by in contemporary rock. [7/10]

by PopMatters Staff

22 Apr 2016


Photo: Alicia J. Rose

Chris Ingalls: Bob Mould has been on a creative and commercial high point lately; his last few albums have combined crunchy guitars, introspective lyrics and smart melodies more effectively than anything since late Hüsker Dü. This time around, it ain’t broke and he ain’t fixing it. The guitars are still high in the mix and there’s minimal fussing involved. Mould continues to stay relevant well into his AARP years. The fact that he is constantly writing and staying true to his vision while sounding current and relevant is highly commendable… and rare. [8/10]

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Sound and the Warmth: An Interview with Cardiknox

// Sound Affects

"New York's Cardiknox are taking more steps in their goal of world domination. With their debut record Portrait out, the band are dreaming big, wanting to transcend the indie pop scene.

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