There’s a ton of albums that I want people to know about. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to review every single album I would like to. As a result, Spoonfuls will allow for me to recommend albums in a quick and efficient manner. Each post will consist of five albums, eps, or singles and a shorter review/description of each release. To clarify, I will still be doing regular full-length reviews and Spoonfuls will be posted every now and then.
Black Pus Primordial Pus
As the drummer and vocalist for Lightning Bolt, Brian Chippendale’s fifth solo release under the Black Pus moniker shouldn’t be too surprising. However, there are enough notable differences between both projects to make each band distinct. The noisy, dissonant sounds aren’t gone and the production is still as scuzzy as ever but something that’s noticeably different is how Chippendale’s drumming isn’t always at breakneck speeds. In fact, a lot of the tracks employ a more humble drum beat that are seem appropriate within its context. For example, the drums on tracks like “Police Song” and “Favorite Blanket, Favorite Curse” aren’t extremely technical but they serve their purpose in ushering in a tribal atmosphere. In conjunction with harsh guitars, the persistence of all the drums on “Beneath the Wheel” creates a relentless wall of sound. In addition to the aforementioned tribal atmosphere that characterizes some of these songs, I pick up a very Liars-esque vibe from Chippendale’s vocals here, especially on “I’ll Come When I Can.” It’s an interesting track because it’s the most un-Lightning Bolt thing you’ll hear but it still manages to be a highlight on Primordial Pus. If you like Lightning Bolt, you’ll like this. If you’d like a less aggressive (but still pretty aggressive) Lightning Bolt, you’ll like this. If you don’t like Lightning Bolt, you’ll still probably find something to enjoy here.
Bullion You Drive Me To Plastic
[Young Turks, 2010]
Pretty late on this one but I thought I’d at least mention it considering how great it is. If you don’t know Bullion, he’s the guy that made Pet Sounds: In The Key Of Dee. He’s released wonderful singles and an EP since then but You Drive Me To Plastic definitely sounds like the most accomplished and mature thing the young Nathan Jenkins has done. Nine tracks and 21 minutes long, You Drive Me To Plastic seems like a nice train ride of the Jenkin’s tastes and personality. As “Wrong Door In(tro)” opens up with samples that Jenkins has previously used, it acts as a statement that he’s about to whip out a bunch of his eclectic music collection: and he isn’t lying. Throughout the 21 minutes, there’s funk and psychedelic krautrock, horns and strings, vocal and spoken word bits, you name it. You Drive Me To Plastic has me excited for whatever Jenkins has in store, and if you give it a listen I’m pretty sure you will too.
Field Rotation Acoustic Tales
[Fluid Audio, 2011]
I’ve been waiting for a great neo-classical album to come out this year and Acoustic Tales definitely exceeds what I could have hoped for in such an album. Emotional and cinematic, all 11 tracks (all simply titled Acoustic Tale #) have an affecting warmth and depth. Hopeful at times, melancholic at others, the instruments are all incredibly affecting. The violins actually sound like they’re weeping midway through “Acoustic Tale 4” alongside lonely bass drum hits. The song eventually resolves into a sudden burst of elated hopefulness thereafter, and I’m left pretty amazed how well it’s done. The anxious “Acoustic Tale 6” is underlined with a bubbling drone as recordings of children create an eerie tension throughout the track’s second half. Glitchy electronics and handclaps are used on “Acoustic Tale 9” to create a peaceful and relaxing climate while the first, drone-y half of “Acoustic Tale 8” recalls older Field Rotation projects. If you haven’t checked out either of Field Rotation’s albums this year, make sure you at least check out Acoustic Tales.
Listen to tracks and find out more information here.
Jacques Greene Lay It Down
Since Another Girl, I’ve been excited to hear anything and everything that Jacques Greene would release. And lo and behold, we already have another 12 inch. On Lay It Down, Greene showcases a couple mesmerizing acid house tracks along with two remixe of the title track. If you had a chance to hear Greene’s freely released “Sorted,” you’ll soon realize that the tracks here share a similar feel to them. Despite the lack of cut-up vocals on the title track, (though some appear in the whatever/whatever remix) it still sounds like the talent-filled and creative Jacques Greene that we’ve come to love. It’s also nice to see “What Are You Feelin,” which has been around since last year, find a home on a proper release. Lush and classy, Lay It Down is just another reminder that Jacques Greene is a name that needs to be remembered.
Listen to “Lay It Down” here.
SBTRKT’s self-titled album is an interesting one. Upon listening to the first few tracks, I immediately pigeonholed it as another post-dubstep album that I would shrug off. But despite the similarities between this album and many others of its kind, there’s a lot that’s attractive about this anonymous producer’s debut. Guesting on more than half the tracks, Sampha’s voice is one that’s appealing and easy to pinpoint. Sounding like a more natural and earthy James Blake or Jamie Woon, Sampha’s vocals complement SBTRKT’s production really well. One listen to the catchy “Something Goes Right” and you can notice that the way Sampha’s vocals follow the driving drums and synths make for a great combination. The female guest spots really personify the tracks on SBTRKT as well. Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano makes “Wildfire” sexier than you’d expect while Jessie Ware’s sultry voice augments “Right Thing To Do’s” introspective nature akin to Katy B’s softer songs. “Pharaohs” sounds like a classic disco house number and Roses Gabor’s airy vocals are the ideal fit for such a tune. Of course, SBTRKT’s production shines on the album as well. “Sanctuary” has a very smooth and elegant progression, eventually climaxing with gospel choir vocals and Sampha himself. Instrumentals “Ready Set Loop” and “Go Bang” really show his craftsmanship. The latter of the two tracks also bring to mind Fantastic Mr Fox’s “Sketches,” which SBTRKT remixed. I have to say, this is an impressive debut. I can understand why people may have the same initial reaction to SBTRKT as I did, but after repeat listens, I can’t deny how much it’s grown on me.