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Friday, Jan 29, 2010

Dreams in Static
Serene Poetic
Shempseed
Releasing: 2 Februrary


Where experimental hip-hop meets psychedelic rock, you will find Dreams in Static, a Brooklyn-based duo on the verge of releasing their debut album, Serene Poetic. Awash in layered harmonies, sharp analog synths, reverbed guitars, and dense drumbeats, the record—which will be released on 2 February—is as peaceful as it is haunting.


Dreams in Static is the brainchild of Diwon, a hip-hop producer from New York, and Dugans, a guitarist from Texas. For this project, the two combine their respective musical backgrounds to form one cohesive sound. Diwon, who plays drums and synths on the record, is deeply influenced by his Yemenite background (where his mother’s family originates). By blending a Middle Eastern flair with a classic hip-hop sound, he provides the backbone to Serene Poetic. Dugans adds his own flair with ambient guitar riffs, amplified by a unique brand of effects, to perfectly complement Diwon’s dark beats. While Serene Poetic may be all instrumental, there are also plans to release an album with vocals in the near future.


SONG LIST
01 If on a Winter
02 The Ineffable
03 Day/Night
04 Notes From Under
05 Invisible Man
06 The Border/The Sun
07 Theta
08 Magic Carpet
09 Heartbreaking Work
10 American Pastoral
11 Befallen By Dreams
12 Kingdom Come
13 Lost/Forgotten
14 Standing in Shadows
15 Recurrent Dreams
16 Waking
17 Crescent Shape
18 Murmered Rhymes
19 Eighty Six
20 A Farewell Too
21 Disquietude
22 What You Did feat. Dov


 


Tagged as: dreams in static
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Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010
by PopMatters Staff

Alaska in Winter, known in his non-musical life as Brandon Bethancourt, just won the Best Dance/Electronica Album of the Year from the Independent Music Awards for his recent album Holiday. The American-born, Berlin-resident Bethancourt put together a recent DJ set for Iceland Airways, which you can sample below.


FM Belfast also remixed his tune “Underwear”...


“Underwear” (FM Belfast remix) [MP3]
     



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Thursday, Jan 21, 2010
by PopMatters Staff

Gorillaz
Plastic Beach
(Parlophone, Virgin)
Releasing: 8 March (Europe), 9 March (US)


Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett under the moniker Gorillaz release their third record this March featuring a virtual who’s who of guest appearances, including Mos Def, Lou Reed, and former Clash members Mick Jones and Paul Simonon, among many others.


SONG LIST
01 Orchestral Intro (featuring Sinfonia ViVA)
02 Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach (feat. Snoop Dogg and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
03 White Flag (feat. Kano, Bashy and The National Orchestra for Arabic Music)
04 Rhinestone Eyes
05 Stylo (feat. Bobby Womack and Mos Def)
06 Superfast Jellyfish (feat. Gruff Rhys and De La Soul)
07 Empire Ants (feat. Little Dragon)
08 Glitter Freeze (feat. Mark E Smith)
09 Some Kind of Nature feat. Lou Reed)
10 On Melancholy Hill
11 Broken
12 Sweepstakes (feat. Mos Def & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
13 Plastic Beach (feat. Mick Jones & Paul Simonon)
14 To Binge (feat. Little Dragon)
15 Cloud of Unknowing (feat. Bobby Womack and Sinfonia ViVA)
16 Pirate Jet


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Friday, Jan 8, 2010

San Diego singer-songwriter John Meeks is, by all accounts, a real quiet and unassuming kind of guy. So it was probably fitting that his newest song, “Been Down by Love”, crept casually into my inbox through a friend, and I didn’t look up again until I realized I’d hit repeat about 15 times. Meeks runs in some pretty esteemed circles (Black Heart Procession’s Pall Jenkins and the Album Leaf’s Jimmy LaValle both contribute with production and bass, respectively), and with heavy hitters like that in his corner, you know the guy’s got the sauce. His sound puts me in mind of Whiskeytown’s classic “Strangers Almanac”, Uncle Tupelo, and the solo work of Old 97s’ Murry Hammond. But at the same time, “Been Down by Love” could have fit in perfectly on Doves’ superb offering from earlier this year, Kingdom of Rust. Like Ryan Adams with humility.


Meeks has a full-length album currently in production, but for now I subsist on the four songs available through all the usual outlets (iTunes, Amazon, etc.).  There’s also a pretty cool video for “Been Down by Love” that was shot out in the California desert around Pioneertown, set of many a Western movie and TV show. Gene Autry would approve.



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Thursday, Jan 7, 2010

James Mercer of The Shins and Danger Mouse have joined forces to create a new group, Broken Bells. Their self-titled album is due out on Columbia on 9 March 2010. The album’s first single, “The High Road”, is now available on the official site as well as iTunes and Amazon.com.


Broken Bells - The High Road


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