Thursday 24 Jul
CD reviews

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

SXSW: Buffalo Lounge: Daniel(((s)))

How bass-heavy chiptune blew my mind

By Stephen Carradini March 14th, 2012

Credits: Stephen Carradini

Every great event has a singular moment that sticks in the mind and inevitably cements the happening as "that one time." That moment in the Buffalo Lounge show by Daniel(((s))) will be remembered (at least by me) as "that one time he played the bass harmonics."

Daniel(((s))) is one man who plays a brand of chiptune electronica. This loosely means that a majority of the sounds come from or evoke video games, especially early 8-bit and 16-bit ones (think the original Nintendo). Daniel(((s))) augments these pre-made songs with live bass playing, an instrument on which he is wildly talented. The songs he creates have playful, optimistic melodies from the chiptune elements, coutermanded by complex, grooving bass lines. When he feels it appropriate, he punches a footpedal and kicks the bass guitar up four of five octaves, putting its tones almost in the chiptune range itself. These wordless compositions were intricate and unique, and I deeply enjoyed them.

But the moment that blew everyone's mind was almost an aside to the rest of a song. In the midst of a tune, the high melodic elements dropped out, leaving only the bass and underlying synths. Daniel(((s))) proceeded to recreate the sound of the chiptune elements he had just removed by playing only harmonic tones on the  bass. This is incredibly difficult to do even once, and he strung together a series of incredibly precise tones into its own ethereal melody. At first the audience (which included me) couldn't tell what was happening; once we figured it out, we started cheering it on as the guitar solo it was. In the midst of an otherwise wordless and largely applause-less set (he played long songs), it was absolutely stunning.

Daniel(((s))) operates in a niche genre, but I deeply enjoyed his tunes. His musicianship was a surprising and memorable in a genre that I'm not too familiar with. He cut through the trappings of the form and made songs with emotive power: that's all I ask of any artist. Thoroughly impressed. 

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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