It’s been a little while since we’ve heard a new release from Slam Skillet but his new EP Ecotone gives us plenty for the wait. For me, Slam Skillet has always been an expert at crafting amazing sounds and Ecotone is no exception. Opener “Sable” may be one of the prettiest non-ambient pieces of electronic music you’ve ever heard. Even when he moves into darker alleys on “Rusine”, his tracks never veer away from sounding clean and incredibly well constructed. Although Slam Skillet keeps his tracks sounding mechanical instead of organic, that doesn’t mean he drains his productions of fun. While not straightforwardly danceable, tracks like “Sambar” and “Auroch” demonstrate that he knows a lot more about how to make people grove than he may initially let on. The later half of “Sambar” especially sounds like the soundtrack to some ultra hip rooftop party (which will probably be thrown by The Up-Turn) ten years from now.
Acab Rocky first drew our attention and won our praise with their disgusting EP late last year and they are starting 2014 strong with a new jam that they were kind enough to let us premiere. ”Sara pt. 1″ is a noticeably bold and ambitious track for the young group in the same vein as lo-fi/folk classics such as “The King of Carrot Flowers pts. 2 & 3″. Things start slow, minimal and calm. Singer Sam Wells absolutely commands the mic with just a few plucks of his guitar behind him. By the second minute Wells conjures up a storm, “Sara, you know who I am”. It’s the last remaining moments of calm before Acab Rocky erupts into a full band frenzy. When the last distortion fades following the epic conclusion you’ll have a hard time forgetting about this band.
The godly collaborations between Tuamie and Sidewalk Kal continue with “Cut The Bullshit”. As he demonstrated on his track “Xpansion”, Tuamie is experimenting with new sounds and styles with his production and “Cut The Bullshit” has him moving past the soul-coated loops we’ve come to expect and embracing odder textures and synth sounds. I honestly can’t imagine many other emcees even attempting to rap over a track like this besides Sidewalk Kal and unsurprisingly he drops one of his finest verses yet. Kal was kind enough to include the full set of lyrics in the track description so it’s easier not to get lost in the labyrinthine wordplay that Kal rocks. Although not a word is wasted an early standout has Kal declaring “chopped like a soul break / flex cuz ya soul fake / snowflake niggas don’t invent just appropriate / gods chill in dark rooms smoke and procreate / spoke the golden great / bust a grape while i kiss her nape.” Follow that?
Walrus have come a long way since their first release. Glam Returns hardly sounds like the same band that was making fun Clap Your Hands, Say Yeah! channeling indie-rock tunes back in 2012. While “Banger” may not be what they’re playing in that club that’s too cool for you right now, it is an unexpected blast of garage-rock from the brothers that opens up Glam Returns with a catchy bang. ”Bulash” keeps the high energy with albeit trippier and more psychedelic leaning instrumentation. The title track is probably the boldest track from Walrus yet as it approaches Of Montreal or Foxygen level flirtations with british psychedelic music. Despite the clearly higher level of seriousness that Walrus demonstrate throughout the 4-track EP things never get bogged down in that seriousness. They’re still just two brothers having a good time which makes it pretty fun to listen to.
Yung Lean is obviously a very polarizing artist who a lot of people are talking about right now, but regardless of what they think of Yung Lean I always see a lot of people saying something along the lines of “his beats are crazy though”. I know BabaStiltz makes a lot of music separate from Yung Lean and has been for a while, but I first really became interested in his music through the incredible beat he did for Yung Lean’s “Nekobasu” so its kind of a reference point for me. Anyways, I’ve been following BabaStiltz’s experimental exploits on his soundcloud page for a while, but this one song he released today just completely blew me away. ”Say” is a track filled throughout with beautiful subtleties, a trait which has been kind of crowded out of a large portion of Soundcloud by loud masters and 808′s lately, and it’s incredibly refreshing. Its the type of track that you can easily space out to and keep finding new things to love about it even after a hundred listens; so I had to share it. Stream below.
During 2013 I got pretty used to the fact that the majority of indie rock submissions we’d get would be of the lo-fi and emo persuasion. While I’m still digging a lot of the more emotive releasesfromlastyear, it was pretty cool when II dropped out of seemingly nowhere from The Sweet Boys. On bandcamp, The Sweet Boys describe themselves as ambient, noise, lush and psych sooooo you could pretty much expect anything. And you should expect anything from The Sweet Boys because over the course of this EPs three tracks the group seamlessly transitions between several styles effortlessly. The near 8-minute opener “II” might technically be prog-rock but it never feels tied down to the expectations that prog brings either. At times The Sweet Boys sound like Woods or Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young before blasting off into Tame Impala territory and then cycling back into soft ambience. Basically don’t try to expect anything from this band accept more awesomeness to hopefully come.
Arnold put out this remix over a month ago but it’s taken me that long to realize just how much I genuinely like this song. Taking on The-Dream’s club crooner “I Luv Your Girl”, Arnold transforms the song into a properly danceable track with an increased speed, renovated beat and his “aaaaaaaarnold” tag. True story, I showed this to a friend of mine and she hasn’t stopped playing it on a consistent loop for two weeks. I haven’t even seen her. She just locked herself into her room so that she wouldn’t have to do anything else but listen to this song. Devotion.