Altered Zones: An Obituary.

30 Nov 2011 — NFOP
Whatever time zone you live in, tomorrow you’ll wake up to a world that's just become a little less awesome. Altered Zones is gone, brought down and killed by unknown dark forces whose identity we can only suspect. But whatever reason was ultimately crucial to make the decision over at the Pitchfork mothership to shut the internet's greatest place for underground pop music, and apart from the fact that in hindsight, a lot of signs had pointed in this direction for quite a while already, AZ will be missed terribly, among the fellow blogosphere as well as the whole independent music community. And, let us say just this, it was a bad decision, and it's gonna be interesting to watch Pitchfork struggle to regain the readership for bold and amazing music, cause at the end of the day we imagine it must be rather tough to first outsource the great stuff to wholeheartedly focus on this, and then to try to get back where you once had been, a place, we'd like to add, Fact, Dummy, The Fader, and probably even Vice and a few others have never left. On the other hand of course, maybe this is where you always wanted to be. But let's leave it at that. About Altered Zones, of course you've also always been a pain in the ass, like the older, painfully cool kid that was hanging around on the schoolyard, smoking (even weed!), being friends with all the skaters and musicians that were all ignoring us as long as they were getting your attention, and every time we asked one of the girls out they always already had a date with you. So yeah we kinda hated you, but of course, only because we desperately wanted to be at least nearly as cool as you. Our thanks go out to all our friends over at AZ for almost two years of constantly amazing work, and in particular to Emilie Friedlander and Ric Leichtung for making it all possible each and every day. You were the dopest competition we could've ever dreamed of. Read more → Whatever time zone you live in, tomorrow you’ll wake up to a world that's just become a little less awesome. Altered Zones is gone, brought down and killed by unknown dark forces whose identity we can only suspect. But whatever reason was ultimately crucial to make the decision over at the Pitchfork mothership to shut the internet's greatest place for underground pop music, and apart from the fact that in hindsight, a lot of signs had pointed in this direction for quite a while already, AZ will be missed terribly, among the fellow blogosphere as well as the whole independent music community. And, let us say just this, it was a bad decision, and it's gonna be interesting to watch Pitchfork struggle to regain the readership for bold and amazing music, cause at the end of the day we imagine it must be rather tough to first outsource the great stuff to wholeheartedly focus on this, and then to try to get back where you once had been, a place, we'd like to add, Fact, Dummy, The Fader, and probably even Vice and a few others have never left. On the other hand of course, maybe this is where you always wanted to be. But let's leave it at that. About Altered Zones, of course you've also always been a pain in the ass, like the older, painfully cool kid that was hanging around on the schoolyard, smoking (even weed!), being friends with all the skaters and musicians that were all ignoring us as long as they were getting your attention, and every time we asked one of the girls out they always already had a date with you. So yeah we kinda hated you, but of course, only because we desperately wanted to be at least nearly as cool as you. Our thanks go out to all our friends over at AZ for almost two years of constantly amazing work, and in particular to Emilie Friedlander and Ric Leichtung for making it all possible each and every day. You were the dopest competition we could've ever dreamed of.

9mary: “In A Manner Of Speaking cover”.

30 Nov 2011 — Tonje Thilesen
With an unstoppably growing amount of so-called "singer-songwriters" appearing from every single corner of the monstrous musicsphere these days, it has become a difficult task to pick out the ones that truly stands out. However, those who actually do will be discovered sooner or later, as we have countless examples of per this day. The young and innocent 9mary aka Flo Morrissey from London is, dare I say, one of these very examples I think we might hear more about in a not so distant future. I literally stumbled across her soundcloud page by a complete coincidence a few months ago, and all though so far almost only consisting of cover songs and short "test" tracks recorded together with her brother, her massive, Feist-esque voice quickly had me realize that there is something very unique about this girl. The link to her cover of Sarah Suskind's "Lovin's For Fools" was immidiately posted on our facebook wall, but in lack of information about her, a write-up was unfortunately slightly delayed. Today, another song finally found its way to her little 'cover vault', this time of Tuxedomoon's "In A Manner of Speaking". We simply can't wait to hear the girl's own songwriting, as she recently announced that a physical release is already on its way. Listen to the magic yourself: Read more → With an unstoppably growing amount of so-called "singer-songwriters" appearing from every single corner of the monstrous musicsphere these days, it has become a difficult task to pick out the ones that truly stands out. However, those who actually do will be discovered sooner or later, as we have countless examples of per this day. The young and innocent 9mary aka Flo Morrissey from London is, dare I say, one of these very examples I think we might hear more about in a not so distant future. I literally stumbled across her soundcloud page by a complete coincidence a few months ago, and all though so far almost only consisting of cover songs and short "test" tracks recorded together with her brother, her massive, Feist-esque voice quickly had me realize that there is something very unique about this girl. The link to her cover of Sarah Suskind's "Lovin's For Fools" was immidiately posted on our facebook wall, but in lack of information about her, a write-up was unfortunately slightly delayed. Today, another song finally found its way to her little 'cover vault', this time of Tuxedomoon's "In A Manner of Speaking". We simply can't wait to hear the girl's own songwriting, as she recently announced that a physical release is already on its way. Listen to the magic yourself:

Ensemble Economique: “Vanishing Point”.

29 Nov 2011 — Henning Lahmann
One of the most thoroughly anticipated releases has finally arrived this week, Ensemble Economique's new full-length Crossing the Path, By Torchlight, out now on Dekorder. The title alone should convince you to drop everything and run to the next vinyl dealer but let us nevertheless add that the follow-up to last year's stellar Not Not Fun LP Psychical adds six more brilliant pieces of oppressive cinematic soundscaping to Brian Pyle's already more than impressive oeuvre. Take "Vanishing Point": a slow-burning, gently meandering yet also constantly threatening score for every introspective trip you could possibly be afraid of, undeniably beautiful but at the same time painfully unsettling, serving as a reminder that we'll never know if we're still here in only seven minutes' time. Crossing the Path, By Torchlight is available via Boomkat. Ensemble Economique - Vanishing Point Read more → One of the most thoroughly anticipated releases has finally arrived this week, Ensemble Economique's new full-length Crossing the Path, By Torchlight, out now on Dekorder. The title alone should convince you to drop everything and run to the next vinyl dealer but let us nevertheless add that the follow-up to last year's stellar Not Not Fun LP Psychical adds six more brilliant pieces of oppressive cinematic soundscaping to Brian Pyle's already more than impressive oeuvre. Take "Vanishing Point": a slow-burning, gently meandering yet also constantly threatening score for every introspective trip you could possibly be afraid of, undeniably beautiful but at the same time painfully unsettling, serving as a reminder that we'll never know if we're still here in only seven minutes' time. Crossing the Path, By Torchlight is available via Boomkat. Ensemble Economique - Vanishing Point

Video: The Proper Ornaments - “Who Thought”.

29 Nov 2011 — Henning Lahmann
Watch the video for the delicious jangle pop jam "Who Thought" by London-based outfit The Proper Ornaments, the duo formed by Max Claps and Veronica Falls guitarist James Hoare. The track will be part of their forthcoming self-titled EP which is out next week on No Pain In Pop. The video was directed by Nyco Dyszel. Pre-order the 12 inch now over here. Read more → Watch the video for the delicious jangle pop jam "Who Thought" by London-based outfit The Proper Ornaments, the duo formed by Max Claps and Veronica Falls guitarist James Hoare. The track will be part of their forthcoming self-titled EP which is out next week on No Pain In Pop. The video was directed by Nyco Dyszel. Pre-order the 12 inch now over here.

The New Lines: “La Réciprocité”.

29 Nov 2011 — Henning Lahmann
Not even a single month after unleashing their recommended debut LP All That We See And Seem via The Great Pop Supplement (you may stream the whole thing here), New Jersey psych-pop group The New Lines have already prepped a successor, an EP named Witches' Milk that's about to be dropped by our favorite tape label Moon Glyph. Though lacking a proper chorus, with its warm, appealing bassline, reverberated organ quiver and pleasing horn section interludes, and most of all Hewson Chen's deep and unagitated croon, the mildly psychedelic throw-back piece that's "La Réciprocité" might actually be the band's finest pop song to date, and I shouldn't forget to mention that this means something when talking about this as yet rather underappreciated group. Witches' Milk comes in an edition of 150 and is up for order now over here. Read more → Not even a single month after unleashing their recommended debut LP All That We See And Seem via The Great Pop Supplement (you may stream the whole thing here), New Jersey psych-pop group The New Lines have already prepped a successor, an EP named Witches' Milk that's about to be dropped by our favorite tape label Moon Glyph. Though lacking a proper chorus, with its warm, appealing bassline, reverberated organ quiver and pleasing horn section interludes, and most of all Hewson Chen's deep and unagitated croon, the mildly psychedelic throw-back piece that's "La Réciprocité" might actually be the band's finest pop song to date, and I shouldn't forget to mention that this means something when talking about this as yet rather underappreciated group. Witches' Milk comes in an edition of 150 and is up for order now over here.

Video Premiere: Hey Colossus - “Hood Up”.

28 Nov 2011 — Henning Lahmann
Watch the new, Ela Orleans-made video for "Hood Up" off Hey Colossus's Dominant Male, a terrific piece of sheer noise menace and threatening static electricity, sounds that intend to leave you terrified and awestruck, probably nothing to enjoy a good glass of wine among friends but at the same time also surely nothing that'll let you down or that will not have you hang around, intimidated yet spellbound, until the very last note. Dominant Male was originally put out last year as a super-limited cassette edition, sold out in 24 hours. The vinyl release comes in an edition of 250 via Clan Destine Records and may be ordered now over here. Stream album track "Love Nuts", too: Read more → Watch the new, Ela Orleans-made video for "Hood Up" off Hey Colossus's Dominant Male, a terrific piece of sheer noise menace and threatening static electricity, sounds that intend to leave you terrified and awestruck, probably nothing to enjoy a good glass of wine among friends but at the same time also surely nothing that'll let you down or that will not have you hang around, intimidated yet spellbound, until the very last note. Dominant Male was originally put out last year as a super-limited cassette edition, sold out in 24 hours. The vinyl release comes in an edition of 250 via Clan Destine Records and may be ordered now over here. Stream album track "Love Nuts", too:

Premiere: Philip Seymour Hoffman - “Leaving Pallet Town”.

28 Nov 2011 — Henning Lahmann
I've always admired, no, adored Noah Klein for his unchallenged sincerity and truthfulness when it comes to making music as Philip Seymour Hoffman, a rare attitude that enfolds every aspect of his creative output, and I'm sure it also relates to every single aspect of his personal life and him "being" both Noah and PSH. Now, after a terribly long silence (or rather not, but it felt just like that), Noah is about to drop new material. Your Loving Brother is one side of a marvelous split cassette with Mutual Benefit, to be released in mid December on our very much beloved little label Kassette Klub. As Noah has told me, "this cassette is very much a story, so each tune is loaded with plenty of interesting tidbits to share" - below, you may read the endearing snippet for album opener "Leaving Pallet Town", including Pokemons, New York, destiny, and knuckle-cracking: today, i have lived in new york for four years three months and one day in four apartments and two boroughs. it has taken me a long time to acknowledge the moral decisions i’ve made as part of the decision to leave home, but in the process i’ve found the greatest people, places, ideas, feelings, and inspirations of my life thus far [also some pretty shitty ones, but whatevs]. when i began recording what became your loving brother the intention was to create an aural experience of ash ketchum’s head space throughout his journey of becoming the world’s greatest pokemon master. from day one ash was confident of his own unearthed potential, and that by finding a love for himself and those around him - outside of his single mother, professor oak, pallet town, and everything he has ever known - he could become a positive change in his own universe. throughout the series there is plenty of unfortunate pokemon abuse in his quest to challenge the elite four, but the good deeds that he does along the way were always the true focus of events. “leaving pallet town” represents this disconnected/reconnected moment in ash ketchum’s life, but what i discovered while recording was that this concept was something parallel to my own situation. i’m no pokemon master or have any interest in following such an empirical path, but the basic principles fall into a similar path: i left my single mother, my friends, and the city where i’ve spent almost the whole of my life to not only pursue this wild idea of an education but to discover and participate in truths greater than myself in a place where i’m more insignificant than i can comprehend… and this weirdo 22yr old kid i’m embodying is damn stoked to have evolved from that tiny tot brave heart of an 18yr old. there’s a lot of odd sounds that i’ve injected throughout this whole album, and thought i’d share a few from this track. if you visited my old apartment in the lower east side, #13 on the fifth floor walkup, then maybe you’ll recognize the buzzer that comes in at the 13sec mark and repeats throughout the rest of the track. there are light traffic sounds borrowed from los angeles and new york. the rhythmic tapping that is present throughout the entire piece was made by tapping a one hitter against the inside of a water canteen. and throughout the piece you can hear me cracking my knuckles or flicking my tongue into a mic. Philip Seymour Hoffman - Leaving Pallet Town Go here to stream all tracks from both sides of the split and to pre-order the tape. Also, grab two more tracks that our mates over at Stadiums & Shrines and Impose debuted recently and read Noah's corresponding stories here and here: Philip Seymour Hoffman - Ear Wax Blocked Ear Philip Seymour Hoffman - Tulips for My Buds Read more → I've always admired, no, adored Noah Klein for his unchallenged sincerity and truthfulness when it comes to making music as Philip Seymour Hoffman, a rare attitude that enfolds every aspect of his creative output, and I'm sure it also relates to every single aspect of his personal life and him "being" both Noah and PSH. Now, after a terribly long silence (or rather not, but it felt just like that), Noah is about to drop new material. Your Loving Brother is one side of a marvelous split cassette with Mutual Benefit, to be released in mid December on our very much beloved little label Kassette Klub. As Noah has told me, "this cassette is very much a story, so each tune is loaded with plenty of interesting tidbits to share" - below, you may read the endearing snippet for album opener "Leaving Pallet Town", including Pokemons, New York, destiny, and knuckle-cracking: today, i have lived in new york for four years three months and one day in four apartments and two boroughs. it has taken me a long time to acknowledge the moral decisions i’ve made as part of the decision to leave home, but in the process i’ve found the greatest people, places, ideas, feelings, and inspirations of my life thus far [also some pretty shitty ones, but whatevs]. when i began recording what became your loving brother the intention was to create an aural experience of ash ketchum’s head space throughout his journey of becoming the world’s greatest pokemon master. from day one ash was confident of his own unearthed potential, and that by finding a love for himself and those around him - outside of his single mother, professor oak, pallet town, and everything he has ever known - he could become a positive change in his own universe. throughout the series there is plenty of unfortunate pokemon abuse in his quest to challenge the elite four, but the good deeds that he does along the way were always the true focus of events. “leaving pallet town” represents this disconnected/reconnected moment in ash ketchum’s life, but what i discovered while recording was that this concept was something parallel to my own situation. i’m no pokemon master or have any interest in following such an empirical path, but the basic principles fall into a similar path: i left my single mother, my friends, and the city where i’ve spent almost the whole of my life to not only pursue this wild idea of an education but to discover and participate in truths greater than myself in a place where i’m more insignificant than i can comprehend… and this weirdo 22yr old kid i’m embodying is damn stoked to have evolved from that tiny tot brave heart of an 18yr old. there’s a lot of odd sounds that i’ve injected throughout this whole album, and thought i’d share a few from this track. if you visited my old apartment in the lower east side, #13 on the fifth floor walkup, then maybe you’ll recognize the buzzer that comes in at the 13sec mark and repeats throughout the rest of the track. there are light traffic sounds borrowed from los angeles and new york. the rhythmic tapping that is present throughout the entire piece was made by tapping a one hitter against the inside of a water canteen. and throughout the piece you can hear me cracking my knuckles or flicking my tongue into a mic. Philip Seymour Hoffman - Leaving Pallet Town Go here to stream all tracks from both sides of the split and to pre-order the tape. Also, grab two more tracks that our mates over at Stadiums & Shrines and Impose debuted recently and read Noah's corresponding stories here and here: Philip Seymour Hoffman - Ear Wax Blocked Ear Philip Seymour Hoffman - Tulips for My Buds

RxRy: “SLPR (Suite)”.

28 Nov 2011 — Henning Lahmann
Incredible suite of swirling synth pads, lowering drones and static noise incursions spreading across almost 14 minutes by our favorite electronic enigma RxRy. "SLPR" is an immensely captivating and ultimately satisfying piece that has arrived this morning for no apparent reason, nonetheless it's a perfectly timed experiment in sonic transformations of pre-holidays tension. Go here to find out how to receive a free download of this gem. Read more → Incredible suite of swirling synth pads, lowering drones and static noise incursions spreading across almost 14 minutes by our favorite electronic enigma RxRy. "SLPR" is an immensely captivating and ultimately satisfying piece that has arrived this morning for no apparent reason, nonetheless it's a perfectly timed experiment in sonic transformations of pre-holidays tension. Go here to find out how to receive a free download of this gem.