///deek_media


The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong [2011]

Posted in dream pop,indie pop,noise pop,shoegaze by deek on April 25, 2011

Currently the “Best Band With The Worst Name” title holder, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart debuted in 2009 as a twee indie-rock act whose sound owed more than a little to Belle And Sebastian. But Pains showed a stronger propensity for rock, which explains the band’s choice of producer Flood (U2, Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails) and mixer Alan Moulder (The Jesus And Mary Chain, Ride, My Bloody Valentine) for the new Belong. Those guys specialize in big rock sounds, and that’s exactly what Belong delivers in its opening track, “Belong,” which resembles the Pumpkins’ “Today” in its guitar dynamics. The guitars are also gloriously huge on “Even In Dreams,” and “Girl Of 1,000 Dreams” has a Jesus And Mary Chain ferocity, but Belong still has plenty of nuance. Flood also worked with Erasure quite a bit, so synthesizer-heavy songs like “The Body” and “My Terrible Friend”—which would have fit on the Pretty In Pink soundtrack—don’t feel out of place. Those songs, as well as the atmospheric “Anne With An E,” actually suit guitarist-vocalist Kip Berman’s breathy voice better than their more rocking siblings. “Heart In Your Heartbreak,” a perfect example of Pains as a more rocking Belle And Sebastian, hits Berman’s sweet spot vocally. More than anything, Belong shows ambition, with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart clearly aiming for something bigger—a bigger sound, may be a bigger audience. It nailed the sound part. A larger audience seems inevitable. -avclub

Grouper – A I A [2011]

Posted in ambient,dream pop,psychedelic folk by deek on April 25, 2011

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APnKimfLnJI%5D

Liz Harris’ music as Grouper has always existed for me in the moment between consciousness and slumber, when the day’s thoughts stray and splinter into non-sequiturs, when memory atrophies into instantaneous forgetfulness. Not to be confused with sleepiness nor a codeine-induced haze, this state is one of cognizance, though on the precipice of unconsciousness. Often in Grouper’s music, this unawareness manifests itself as déjà entendue, whether that be the ‘gymnopédist’ opening of “Disengaged” or further flung moments of partial recollection. While Liz’s music is gorgeous on a purely aesthetic level, this false, indelible immediacy is, for me, the ensnaring characteristic of Grouper. Unsurprisingly, this ephemeral comfort is once again present in A I A, Grouper’s much-anticipated, two-part follow-up to her breakthrough album Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill. For many, the appeal of that formative release was its ability to synthesize Liz’s prior penchant for fluid structure and dronescapes with the focus of a singer-songwriter superstructure. But let’s just get this out of the way: a Dragging clone A I A is not. Instead, on Alien Observer and Dream Loss, Grouper once again resides in the ethereal gauze of Wide et al., with only the track “Alien Observer” recalling the singer-songwriter idiom frequented on Dragging. While split into two LPs that can be appreciated independently of each other, Alien Observer and Dream Loss work best when played sequentially, especially since the two are thematically similar. On each, that aforementioned cognitive tampering is the most pronounced of Grouper’s discography. Liz’s remembrance ranges from the fleeting familiarity of her flowing vocal and disintegrating tape loops on the opener “Moon is Sharp” to far more concrete anamnesis. This clear reminiscence goes as far as (pseudo) quotation, of others and herself. Just as Dragging’s “Disengaged” is founded on a slight perturbation of Satie’s hollowed melody, “(first heart tone)” commences with what resembles the opening notes of what seems to be a Messiaen piece, only to disperse into newborn lines. Of even more vivid familiarity is “No Other,” which is seemingly identical to Grouper’s 2007 single “Tried.” Although it may seem distasteful for such distant reuse, “No Other” is contextually appropriate in both sound and theme. Adaptation and sampling aren’t uncommon for tape manipulators and pedal pressers, but Grouper’s aesthetics transcend the rhetorical device of shallow recollection often found in music of her ilk. Not only does she induce recognition, but Grouper melds memory and sound to the point at which memory is codified through her sounds. Akin to Schnittke’s ‘polystylism’ — the juxtaposition of past styles against modernity — Harris employs her sources and references as a catalyst for a listener’s cognitive editing, splicing their memories with Grouper’s and injecting herself into their consciousness. And yet, when I detach myself from A I A, I’m left feeling uneasy over the legitimacy of what I’ve found, whether ‘identified’ elements are truly present. The quotations and allusions I was so sure I heard now seem tenuous, not even placeable. Perhaps it’s in these mistaken identities where we can find the essence of A I A. Alien Observer and Dream Loss permit and accentuate their listener’s past, fusing with and wrapping around his/her subjective history. For each person, the resulting resonance is unique, so I do not feel comfortable asserting much about this process for another. But for myself, this sound/synapse transposition is as haunting as it is beautiful — surely Grouper’s best. -tinymixtapes

Asobi Seksu – Fluorescence [2011]

Posted in dream pop,indie pop by deek on December 18, 2010

Asobi Seksu hit critical gold in 2006 with their sophomore record, Citrus. But the New York City-based act saw their stock fall with a less impressive, but still solid follow-up, 2009’s Hush, which represented a shift toward a much more subdued style. The band, which functions as a duo but plays as a quartet live, looks to remain on its mellow vibe here with track titles such as “Deep Weird Sleep,” “Ocean,” and “Perfectly Crystal” on Fluorescence. It is their fourth proper album and their second affair with Polyvinyl Records.

Warpaint – The Fool [2010]

Posted in dream pop,neo psychedelia,shoegaze by deek on October 27, 2010

Emily Kokal’s singing — backed by bandmates Theresa Wayman and Jenny Lee Lindberg, and awash in reverb — could be mistaken for something ghostly, if Warpaint’s sound wasn’t so vitally alive behind her. Unwilling to coast on the pure beauty of the vocals on The Fool, this all-female quartet builds thick, muscled songs that Kokal’s otherwordly voice beds down in. These songs are expansive without sounding bloated, and noisy yet sharp. In fact, it’s in the pure strength of its noise that Warpaint shows us something new. These musicians know you don’t need to amp up the distortion to be noisy, and you don’t have to make everything blur at the edges to expand. All the songs here clock in around five minutes and build with a skilled patience. “Set Your Arms Down” and “Warpaint” ride on insistent beats while riffs thread clear paths through the track. The guitars often sound watery here, soaked in chorus-pedal effects, but they never lose their precision. Instead, their clarity cuts effectively through the smooth glide of the vocals and atmosphere of keys. The results, particularly in the album’s first half, are both beautiful and subtly heavy. These songs wear on you in the best way, luring you in with simple elements and then burying you deep in the details. “Now I’ve got you in the undertow,” Kokal sings, with a dangerous seduction, on “Undertow” and you can’t help but concede. Because when that song launches into a lean, funky groove, it’s both left-field surprising and completely organic. Similarly, the electro-pop start of “Bees” yields to a flurry of post-punk angles, while “Shadows” starts with humble folk and blows up into industrial-sized drums and Kokal’s shouts like a banshee. Warpaint builds a musical world in which there are no borders between this sound and that one. The band jumps around, indiscriminately, and we go along without looking back. In its intricacy, The Fool is a curiously eccentric pop record. But in its sheer power, it’s also a dynamic rock record. And while things do settle down in the second half, the band members don’t lose sight of their strengths. Sure, “Majesty” is long on the atmosphere of this record without ever earning its own pulse, and closer “Lissie’s Heart Murmur” is a little slow to get going. But next to them, you have a ballad like “Baby,” which, for once, holds onto its fragile start and it works as a counterpart to all the sound-stacking that goes on during the rest of the record. In the end, The Fool’s success comes in not cutting corners. No moment here settles for the cheap thrill, and in building these songs — carefully,and each with its own distinct materials — Warpaint comes off as an awfully confident band, one you should be listening to more often. – prefixmag

How to Dress Well – Love Remains [2010]

Posted in ambient pop,dream pop,lo-fi,r&b by deek on October 27, 2010

Philosophy student Tom Krell approaches his self-recorded, lo-fi homage to the ’80s and ’90s R&B he loves with an academic eye, framing his debut, Love Remains—and the entire How To Dress Well concept—as an exploration of the way feelings fade over time. While he’s in love with the loverman sounds of Keith Sweat and Blackstreet, Krell’s grimy, ghostly versions of those bubble-baths-and-candlelight melodies aren’t really made for romancing: This is R&B minus the rhythm, with fragmentary beats echoing from the next room, buried under layers of ethereal ambient drones, reverb-drenched piano loops, and Krell’s Bon Iver-like multi-tracked falsetto. It’s lonely music, cold and haunting, and all the more elusive for Krell’s mostly indecipherable lyrics. There are brief glimpses through the fog, as when the “I was hoping for the rain / I was hoping for you” refrain breaks through “My Body,” but Krell keeps his on-bended-knee melodies buried behind the shadows of spectral hiss, evoking a long-neglected cassette tape. But for all its hermetic remove—spelled out by samples from Todd Haynes’ Safe on the opener, “You Hold The Water”—Love Remains is an immersive experience that transcends its chilliness (and speaker-crackling sonic limitations) through pure emotion, whether it’s the stroboscopic swirl of “Ready For The World” or the pocket symphony build of “Decisions.” Nothing wrong with a little bump and grind, even in the abstract. – the av club

Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest [2010]

Posted in dream pop,indie rock,neo psychedelia,psychedelic pop,shoegaze by deek on October 3, 2010


The Atlanta-based quartet’s fourth album combines calm shoegaze pop and noisy punk rock to create a dreamy, psychedelic sound.

Wild Nothing- Gemini [2010]

Posted in dream pop,indie pop by umwut on August 25, 2010


Blonde Redhead – Penny Sparkle [2010]

Posted in dream pop,indie rock by deek on August 20, 2010

Blonde Redhead return this fall with the release of Penny Sparkle, the sublime new album from the fêted New York trio. Released on September 14th (13th outside the US), Penny Sparkle – the band’s third for 4AD – marks another sonic twist in their already adventurous canon. It was made over the last year with the band journeying between New York and Stockholm to work with production duo Van Rivers and The Subliminal Kid (Fever Ray, Glasser) and as with their previous album, 23, Alan Moulder (Depeche Mode, My Bloody Valentine, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) was enlisted to mix it.

(link in comments)

Jónsi – Go [2010]

Posted in ambient,ambient pop,art pop,dream pop,electronica,orchestral by deek on March 10, 2010

SPC ECO – 3-D [2009]

Posted in dream pop,shoegaze by deek on March 9, 2010



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“A guitar or ten, a box of pedals, a bass a beat and some singing make up SPC ECO. A new venture into the unknown. Come to the party…Joey, Dean and Rose will all be there…Bring a pedal and a lead.” Joey Levenson (So Young) provides the noisy guitarscape samples,  Dean Garcia (Curve)adds more guitar, bass,drums and production. Add Rose Berlin into the fray connecting everything together with her beautiful understated angelic voice, and you get the very unique and special SPC ECO.

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