It isn’t easy to live up to a comparison to sampling legend DJ Shadow but so far Mr. Herbert Quain’s How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Loving the Waiting EP, which was described as “taking the same path already experienced by the likes of DJ Shadow or Nicolas Jaar”doesn’t disappoint. Instead of capturing the beauty of a city at midnight or using empty space and weird noise to take us far, far away, Mr. Herbert Quain employs aged sounds and samples to take his songs somewhere older and warmly sentimental. Samples of what could be Scientology manuals or novels and poems pop up in a unique blend of the bizarre and familiar. How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Loving the Waiting is a consistently exciting and surprising listen and works well as a cohesive package. Stream my favorite track from the release below and listen to the rest after the jump.
It’s been a pretty big year for Mister Lies. After releasing his incredible track “Cleam” he has signed with Lefse Records and (rightfully so) begun to get a huge amount of attention. Today he released the video for what is presumably the first single off of his upcoming album. ”Dionysian”, like “Cleam” is unique, emotive, and crafted with incredible care. All of Mister Lies’ textures are layering perfectly, his samples seem to be chosen perfectly, and his music still has all of the subtly beautiful elements that made it so great in the first place. I had the privilege of seeing him play live earlier this month, and if his performance was any indication of what is to come, 2013 is going to be an even bigger year for him.
Along with creating some of the most sonically rich and gorgeous tracks of this past year, Parisian producer Dream Koala can also sing, something that he only sometimes shows off. On Blur cut ‘Hipster Girl’ Dream Koala demonstrates that he not only has an incredible talent for singing but also that his falsetto vocals fit perfectly into Dream Koala’s world of reverb, dream-soaked guitars and drum machines. ’Hipster Girl’ is a deeply layered stunner with the vocals not trying to create distinct images with the lyrics but instead with the sounds and melodies. There aren’t many producers with as wide a range of talent as Dream Koala has and I can only expect that his future will keep getting brighter from here.
Although Katmai hasn’t been giving out much more info yet, we do know that he (yeah we figured that one out… I think) isn’t planning on stopping the steady stream of awesome music coming our way. ’Bicycle’ is Katmai’s newest musical endeavor and it’s as much of a sonic journey as ‘Impossible Colors’ that continues to demonstrate the versatility and depth of Katmai’s talent. I could just be imagining things but I’m also picking up on a distinctly Indian vibe with some of the vocal samples and instruments used. I’m still not sure what Katmai intends to do with his amazing talent and collection of tracks but either way I couldn’t be more excited to continue to listen as Katmai develops as a producer.
Its been a while since I first suggested how dope Lil’ Ugly Mane is and got all too literally laughed at by some people whose names I won’t mention, and I’m happy to say he’s been making a name for himself lately, but for the sake of not sounding too butthurt or self-righteous I will dwell on that no longer (but I did tell you so). Lil’ Ugly Mane was prepping to release his upcoming EP Little Sunshine, when his computer encountered a complete clusterfuck, so long story short the great majority of that EP is gone and we are going to have to wait longer hear it. Fortunately for us, Lil Ugly Mane, being the awesome guy he is, dropped this 11 minute medley of tracks to tide us over. Honestly, if this is what he is giving us just to make the wait a little easier, it begs the question of how fucking amazing this EP must be/have been. Let’s just all send our good vibes out to Lil Ugly Mane and his computer and hope this EP eventually reaches our ears.
Unheralded modern philosopher and scholar Danny Devito isn’t your typical topic for a hip-hop track but thankfully Oab Jenkins and Eu-IV have teamed up to give the voice of our generation some proper appreciation. ’Danny Devito’ has Oab Jenkins romanticizing with girls and pulling out some well-spoken life advice over an jittering upbeat instrumental from Eu-IV. Throughout the track snippets from some of Devito’s more famous speeches and musings pop up which gives Oab Jenkins a platform to jump off from with his verses. Oab Jenkins isn’t trying to change the rap game with ‘Danny Devito’ but he manages to demonstrate that he’s not a rapper to sleep on either.
Girls’ frontman Christopher Owens may have left the group (basically guaranteeing that we won’t be getting more Girls’ albums), however, that doesn’t mean that we won’t be hearing anymore of Owen’s perfectly sad and sappy music. No one is better than Owens at making depressing and cliche sound so beautiful and ‘Lysandre’s Theme’ and ‘Here We Go’ demonstrate that Owens doesn’t plan on letting that change for his upcoming solo debut. Throughout the two tracks Owens sings about breaking hearts over a shuffling instrumental line-up of flutes, melodicas and both acoustic and fuzz-tone guitars. It may still be unclear why Owens decided to leave the group but as long as he keeps making music like this there isn’t much to whine about.