Category Archives: Obsessed

Obsessed: Kid Koala – 12 Bit Blues

Holy Shit. A Chinese-Canadian turntablist DJ goes nuts with an sampler, producing an album that is blues crossed with old school hip hop. A MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN… AMURRICAN HEAVEN. Favorite song is easily the thumpin, hook-y “2 bit blues”. Then, “8 bit Blues (Chicago to LA to NY)”, a modern version of the classic road song, which crisscrosses the country, landing in my three favorite area codes: 212, 213, 312. The above video was made in one shot with no editing.

Spin has also got Kid Koala’s breakdown of each song on 12 Bit Blues.

Bonus: if you buy the album you get an actually functional CARDBOARD GRAMOPHONE.

Kid Koala Flexi Player from See Creature on Vimeo.

Advertisements

This Judge Dredd-Inspired “Score” is Mind-Blowing

Mega-City One

Stream Drokk: Music inspired by Mega​-​City One RIGHT NOW, provided that you are not at a backyard BBQ or something. This dystopian record by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and BBC/Hollywood score composer Ben Salisbury is probably not appropriate for backyard BBQs or the beach. I’ve never read Judge Dredd nor seen the 1995 film but regardless, this is flooring me. So menacing and abrasive and dissonant and PERFECT. Using, I’m told, synthesizers from the 70s, it has got that 80s retro sci-fi feel, straight out of Blade Runner. I don’t believe this is related to the actual soundtrack of the upcoming film rehash, but how will the actual soundtrack top this?

Django Django – “Default”

Haven’t listened to Django Django’s new album yet but I’m hoping the rest of it is as good as the amazing “Default”. Psychedelic, impeccably mixed, unique and modern. These Brits are on heavy rotation in my spring playlist.

Baby’s First Coachella: Surprise Hits

To sum up my Coachella Week 2 experience: 100+ degree heat, high waisted shorts, crochet tanks, bandeau bikinis, Indian headdresses, straw hats, palm trees, mountains, Tupac hologram, guest collabos, margaritas, dehydration, bourgeois boheme types, college students, walking the length of several football fields daily and of course awesome JAMS. Most of the acts I came to see totally met or passed my expectations, with the exception of a few (for instance the Weeknd), so I’m not going to talk about how they were awesome, because obviously Radiohead and Girl Talk and Feist and M83 and the Black Keys and Bon Iver and Snoop/Dre/Eminem/50/Tupac’s ghost were awesome.

So instead, here are the pleasant surprises:

Childish Gambino

This wunderkind also known as Donald Glover of Community had so much stage presence, and all of his songs were fun fun fun and smart smart smart. The most memorable being “You See Me” which features a chorus about Asian girls at UCLA. As a California-educated Asian girl, I approve.

The Hives

I’ve always had positive feelings toward Sweden’s garage rockers. They are like a higher BPM version of the Strokes, and less terribly sad lyrically. The Hives frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist was probably one of the most energetic and hilarious people to take the main stage. He engaged with the crowd saying things like (Mitch Hedberg voice) “We’re going to prove what Hollywood already knows… that the sequel… is always better than the first!” and as a result got everyone dancing. At that point I was lying in the grass in the beer tent (the effect of alcohol, food and hot sun) but the Hives really perked me up.

Justice

I don’t know why I’m saying this is a surprise because I saw Justice at the SF Design Concourse back in 2008 and it was sooo much sweaty fun, but for some reason I did not expect an Audio, Video, Disco -heavy show to be so amazingly dance-able. I actually did not catch the whole show because I ran off to Calvin Harris, who did more of a DJ set than playing of his own hits, but what I did see was simply–there is no other word to describe it–epic. Imagine the opening with the giant BRAHHHHHMMM of “Genesis” and the famous Justice cross on a massive field sprinkled with glowsticks. Lights, lights, lights, everyone starts dancing to the familiar and then it builds into “Civilization.” Suddenly the prog rockiness of AVD made sense in all of its bass-heavy power, aggression and ease of mixing! The French duo blended their two LPs together seamlessly, creating a banging mash of redonkulous guitar work and pop hooks. It’s really like nothing else out there at the moment. To give an idea of the Justice effect: on the way home while barreling down the highway listening to AVD in the desert, we got a speeding ticket.

Review: Korallreven – An Album by Korallreven

Korallreven

I have been doggedly following Korallreven since singles “The Truest Faith”, “Loved-Up” and “As Young as Yesterday” made Internet splashes this year, and to say that An Album by Korallreven was one of my most anticipated releases this year is not an overstatement (and Rihanna!!!).

Korallreven, out of–where else–Sweden, is doing something very special with An Album by Korallreven, and I can honestly say that it is like nothing else out there. Marcus Joons and Daniel Tjäder (the latter of The Radio Dept) manage to swirl together a mélange of disparate elements from across continents into a vibrantly messy masterpiece. It’s modern but it’s organic. It’s hazey shoegaze but it’s textured with drum machine beats. There are lush, haunting vocals (Victoria Bergsman is featured on “As Young as Yesterday” and “Honey Mine”), sometimes choral, but no lyrical zingers for you to remember. Countless instruments are employed to supplement the electronic production. They really threw me for a loop with the tribal island chorus in “Sa Sa Samoa”, the Italian rambling that opens “Keep Your Eyes Shut”, the Chinese instruments and pentatonic melodies mixed with overarching space notes and howling wolves in “Comin’ Down” – what is this brand of global pop?? And then you want to fall in love with songs like “Honey Mine” or “Loved-Up”, play them over and over, hug them tightly and never let go.

I listen to this album and am transported somewhere else. Sometimes I imagine a forest in Sweden, some place where the shadows of trees stretch across bright snow. But sometimes I’m transported out of this world to some sort of sublime place of melody and texture that only exists in my dreams.

Bravo, Korallreven.
Keep ’em comin, Sweden!

Stream it here.

Tagged

OBSESSED: Drive Soundtrack

If you haven’t seen Drive yet, you need to haul your ass to the theater STAT for a healthy dose of Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan, heart-pumping car scenes (duh), gory brutality, screenwriting perfection and sweeping shots of LA. An integral part of the Drive experience is definitely its soundtrack by Cliff Martinez, which fits the movie’s whole retro 80s vibe (if you were confused why Drive’s title is written in hot pink script, there’s your answer). Martinez’s original score kind of does what Daft Punk’s Tron score failed to do, enhance the mood of the film using entirely electronic elements, and he also employs some great tracks by College, The Chromatics and Desire. But the major obsession factor is the opening title track by French producer Kavinsky featuring Lovefoxx of C.S.S.

Tagged