Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Are You Okay”

Yesterday the Dum Dum Girls premiered their new video for “Are You Okay” off of Too True on Noisey, along with an interview and behind-the-scenes pics. Written by Bret Easton Ellis, famed author of American Psycho, the 11-minute video is creepy, haunting, and evocative of Too True’s darker, slicker sound.

The video is directed by Brewer, who has done videos for Purity RingAlt-J, and Passion Pit, and produced by Braxton Pope, with additional musical score composed by Tamaryn and Drew McDowall, of Coil fame.

Here’s the behind-the-scenes video, in case you’re curious:

- Jasmine

Nothing – “Guilty of Everything”

 

 

Nothing’s debut album “Guilty of Everything” envelopes the listener in a thick blanket of shoegazy alt-rock, teleporting them into an ethereal realm of artful angst and fuzzy guitar riffs.  Hidden within the thunderous wall of sound is a spring of analgesic tranquility making the album near impossible to stop listening to.  The band’s heavily distorted guitars and spectral vocals provide a rich atmosphere which gives credence to critics’ comparisons to giants like My Bloody Valentine.  “Guilty of Everything” is set to release on March 4th.  Stream below and enjoy.

-Denali

 

 

Emily Reo & Friends Pullman House Show

Emily Reo

Sunday night something magical happened in Pullman. And no, I’m not referring to the storm raging outside (although that added quite a bit to the ambiance). I’m referring to the musical storm of holyfuckthisisamazingness that was raging inside of the newly-dubbed residence Maiden Haven, located on College Hill. The culprits behind this shit-storm of excellence were three very talented and extremely nice individuals playing under the monikers Cuddle Formation, Peace Arrow, and Emily Reo.

The night started out on an awesome, but unassuming, note with a few rounds of Mario Kart 64. Some won. Some lost. Some ended up spending more time stuck in a corner than on the track (names not provided to protect the Mario Kart-inept). While the party of about 20 people was engaged in watching the video game, Noah Klein slowly and quietly set up his equipment for his Cuddle Formation set, which consisted of an electric guitar, looping pedals, and some other technological musical equipment that I haven’t the knowledge to explain. He put it all on a patterned mat and sat in front of it like a gypsy getting prepared to read tarot cards. He stayed there the entire time, bewitching us with his dreamy and unique blend of sounds.

 

Up next was Mitch Myers with his project Peace Arrow. And let me tell you, none of us were prepared for his set. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say my jaw was just hanging open at points during his set. Using a guitar, a looping station, some effect pedals, and a floor tom and high hat that we managed to scrounge up for him; he gave us the most raw, animalistic performance I’ve witnessed to date. Sometimes singing, sometimes shrieking, sometimes doing complicated riffs on his guitar, sometimes banging on the drum like he’s trying to get a part in that Nick Cannon movie Drum Line (don’t tell me you don’t remember it). And apparently God has a new job as a lighting technician because thunder and lightning started raging outside in the middle of his set as if it was cued exclusively for his set. It was intense. To quote my homegirl Erin, “I think we just saw Animal Collective play.”

 

The grand finale of the evening was, of course, the adorable Emily Reo. Most of us at KZUU had been jamming to her album for the entire week before so we knew it was going to be fantastic and she most definitely did not disappoint. With a projection of flowers, stars, and possibly beehives (?) behind her, she delivered an effortless, euphoric, vocoder-filled performance of songs from her latest release Olive Juice, including “Wind”, “Coast”, “Peach”, and her cover of Built to Spill’s “Car”.

 

Despite our desires for “one more song”, the music eventually ended. The party did not. But that’s a story for another time….

Long live Maiden Haven.

- Jasmine

Bambooman – “Hollowed EP”

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There seems to be a certain bit of ambiguity with genre names, especially in the world of electronic music. What happens when you have a producer who is equally influenced by the likes of hip hop as they are electronic music? While current trends have us believing this sound is called trap, but not everything in this electronic/hip hop hybrid is made for the dance floor and polluted with snare rolls and “Damn son, where’d you find this?” It’s not surprising that hip hop and electronic music have become bedfellows seeing as both essentially came into existence as music created by DJs. When Frankie Knuckles and The Belleville Three created house and techno respectively, they probably never assumed their sound would fuse with the New York born hip hop shaped by Kool Herc. British producer Bambooman shows us that immaculate mix of both by delivering an EP of chilled out hip hop with surprisingly rich textures.

On Bambooman’s Hollowed EP on Sonic Router Records we see this infatuation with two seemingly different genres play out. While the drum patterns are very distinctly hip hop in nature, provoking a head nod to the slowed down beat. The thing that makes this EP stand out so far from everything else is the textural element. Songs like “Stacks” and “Irish Moss” deliver a very mesmerizing image sonically. In particular some very liquid textures in “Irish Moss” are reminiscent of Balam Acab’s Wander/Wonder. Bambooman is very great at taking your mind on a ride and does an excellent job of creating a whole world in front of you using just a sonic soundscape.

Even without the rough and tumble textures, tracks like “Frost” and “Hollowed” use great work with synthesizers that seem to float above your hear. These synthesizers aren’t misguided though, as everything seems to have it’s place in the mix. Particularly on title track “Hollowed” every sound has it’s place, with no range in the frequency spectrum overpowered or out of place. The ringing bells seem to battle the stabs of the synthesizer, but in the end everything compliments each other in an amazing way.

The EP is bookended by a pair of remixes, on by Zack Christ and the other by Eckoclick. Zach Christ’s remix of “Irish Moss” is more percussively driven than the original and falls into the same vein as the rest of the album and gives probably the most uptempo hip hop moment of the EP without sacrificing the sources eerie textures. The Eckoclick remix of “Sun” on the other hand takes us more towards the dancefloor albeit a still chilled out hazy one. Again retaining the liquid textures and driving clicks the propelled the source forward it adds a thumping four on the floor rhythmic pattern that will get anyone dancing.

Sonic Router has always been known to deliver on weird hybrids of genres with releases from Torus and Hav Lyfe in the past. Leeds based Bambooman continues this tradition by releasing one of the year’s richest and most rewarding experimentation in hip hop and electronic music.

Odesza interview + new song

During Springfest 2013, KZUU was able to bring Odesza down to Pullman to perform. Our RPM director Nick got an interview with the duo (comprised of BeachesBeaches & Catacombkid) before they went on stage. (You might remember them from the “Summer’s Gone” album review we did last year.)

We’re here with Harrison and Clay from Odesza. They are still on their tour, I believe, for their Summer’s Gone album. Tell me, how’re you taking in all the hype and the reactions you’re getting from your album so far? No one will have ever expected it but, just talk to me about it?

Harrison: It was definitely completely unexpected, it’s very unreal. We were hoping that like a few blogs liked us, like a few blogs we followed would be interested but yeah the overall response we’ve gotten has been insane, we didn’t know what to expect, we’re still kind of numb to it because it’s so new and we’re still kind of like as much music as we can right now. We’re working on two EPs right now, we’re like twelve songs deep, so just trying to produce and get better and learn more and hopefully play more shows.

Clayton: I mean, it’s a pretty humbling experience, honestly when we started I don’t we’d ever thought we’d get any of the response we did, it’s pretty of outrageous, but everyone’s been really nice, I mean I’ve enjoyed every moment of it, so figured we’d just keep rolling with it, see what happens, make some more music, and hopefully people like it and just keep going, day by day.

Where have you been so far on your tour, has been mainly just the west coast?

H: Yeah we’ve only hit the West coast, and we hit Colorado and Albuquerque, New Mexico and a few random spots out there but we haven’t gone too far east.

Are there plans for that?

C: As of now they’re in the works.

H: We got some tours that we’re hoping to jump on for people we really like, and we can’t really say anything yet, but if we jump on them that’d be amazing.

Big names?

H: Yes.

Sasquatch. That must have come as a surprise.

H: That’s a dream come true, we can pretty much die after that show is done.

C: Retire and be done.

H: (laughs) yeah we can retire after that.

Was that just like a call that randomly showed up or an email or was this totally out of the blue or was there kind of some work involved in this?

H: Our booking agent Jay at FlowerBooking, he’s the man,

C: He is the man!

H: He really hyped us, he put down his reputation for us, he pushed us really hard for Sasquatch and we surprisingly got it, so we’re just really lucky and Jay has been awesome to us so hopefully people like what we do there.

Where does Odesza go next in terms of music? We know your first album was great, and you can definitely say you’ve definitely set a sound with that, where does it go from here?

H: I’ll let Clay hit this one.

C: So, the newer stuff that we’ve been working on it’s a little different, it’s not too far different, like the whole sound design and the process of which we go about making the music is pretty much the same, but we’ve been influenced by so much new music in like I’d say the past six months that you can’t go on making music without being influenced by what you’re listening to, so it’ll definitely be a different take on a kind of genre and style that we’ve already kind of solidified. I mean when you’re making electronic music the process is kind of what defines your style. How you go about making music is what defines how the end product sounds and how what you start with, what you build off of, is all very important to the whole thing so we’ve kept that same but kind of taken ideas and new facets of that and kind of just run with it.

H: Yeah, as to what to expect…as far as up-tempo tracks, there’s going to be a lot more up-tempo because once you go touring your realize how people react to stuff especially the up-tempo dancier stuff. I mean people come to the shows most likely so they can have a good time and dance and hang out, and the up-tempo stuff, you see the reaction. I think overall our sound is just getting bigger. We’re trying to add way more layers, make it thicker, just try to get better as musicians in general and just beef up everything really.

You mentioned influences. Were there really many for the first album and now? Can you shoot out some names for example and other things?

H: Oh yeah.

C: I mean, anything out of Motown era, like that soul influence, massive.

H: You’re going to hear a lot of that.

C: Four Tet was a big influence for me for example, all his stuff has been absolutely amazing. Gold Panda, I could go on for a while.

H: Lapalux, the new Bonobo record, it’s phenomenal.

Oh my god, isn’t it good?

H: I’ve been playing it nonstop in my car. Literally, we study that music. We sit there and go “okay so he must have made that clap through like…” it’s kind of ridiculous. Any one of our friends hate us while we listen to music. Flume, his album was incredible. We’ve just been like sifting through soundcloud constantly and making beats after we listen, so it’s just kind of like we take what we really love about other songs and try to incorporate things we like.

Where are you guys actually from? Because there’s rumors of like Bellingham, and Everett and Edmonds thrown into the mix.

H: I don’t know about Edmonds, but he’s from Bainbridge Island and I’m from Redmond, Washington. Both of us went to Western [Washington University] which is in Bellingham and that’s where we met, and that’s where we made half of Summer’s Gone and other half was us just bouncing around from our houses and just kind of finishing it all up.

Cool. We at KZUU really like the more Northwest the better.

H: (laughs)

C: Yup. Pride. Through and through.

Odesza, thank you so much for this little bit, and I wish you guys all the best have a great show –

H: hopefully it goes well

 – I’m sure it will.

The show was a fantastic event, with vibe unlike any other show that weekend. What was especially nice was the performance of many new tracks, one of which was released shortly after the show, specifically their remix of Beat Connection’s “Saola” which is a fantastic summer tune perfect for the hazy warm weather.

Bonobo – “The North Borders”

After a couple weeks of weather weirdness, that crisp spring warmth is upon us. The sun is seeping through the clouds one by one. It is also this part of the year where those albums you kind of liked really let their colors shine, or sounds fly rather. Music just sounds better when the sun is out and the weather is perfect. There are many options too, in terms of albums released in the waning moments of winter, May or April. They needed that extra kick. It comes in the form of a hazy spring afternoon, when I finished my exams (oh my, I’m half way done with university already), the rays of the sun dance upon everything, and the weather is clear. This week I’ve digested so many albums that I’ve listened to for the past couple of weeks, but only with a clear mind and a clear sky does one truly appreciate an album. It’s all very exciting considering what’s on the horizon too. However, one is pressed to call such albums (those that seep their way into your brain in terms of infectiousness) “sleeper albums.” They are the ones you listen to on the side, but one day later due to some external factor (or not) you become totally hooked. Hooked beyond belief. It’s not exactly the newest thing, and hardly old either. In fact, I feel terrible for not talking about The North Border” when it came out late March. Maybe time really was all it needed. Like letting wine sit for a bit.

It really is a terrific piece of work. The production of each and every track (no, every minute) on this album is so intricate, so fresh, and it all feels very light in a way, but not in the bad way. Honest. This album certainly seems a lot more beat orientated than Black Sands and Days to Come. It’s structured, but not exactly rigid in that the loops, beats, synths, and vocals are so predictable that it would make for relatively idle album. No, it’s quite the opposite. But the best part is the familiarity one hears with the use of other instruments in the music, ranging from guitars, violins, to something that sounds like a bonang. Same goes for the variety of percussion. It’s not just a kick drum. This is music that is intelligent, mature, and a whole league above much else. And no, it’s not a fully laidback album. Some of the drums pack a punch. The sampling is exquisite as well. On a curious note, “Animals” sounds like something that pogo produce, with that happy-go-lucky-Disney sound. I’m a fan. For the most part, the atmosphere is happy and relaxed. This is the stuff of beach parties, a green field in the middle of nowhere, or a windows down road trip through the desert.

Whatever your plans are for the summer, I urge you to get your hands on “The North Borders” as it will slide its way into your summer one way or another in a way you will be very grateful for. I myself will be saying “Auf Wiedersehn” as I head to Germany for work and study abroad for a year. You’ll be left in the trusting hands of Nick Gruenenfelder. Until next time, take care! Have a great summer!

Lusine – “The Waiting Room”

Seattle based “Lusine” (known formally as Jeff McIlwain) is a producer who steadily punches out release after release. Each one is admirable and a joy to listen to.  “The Waiting Room” is no different. That eclectic yet laid back feel is present throughout the entire album, with tempo between tracks ranging between something to drive to, dance to, and fall asleep to. I really like albums that can cover a ton of bases without being all over the place, and this fits the bill like nothing else I have heard for a long time.

There is a certain spring-time vibe as well, yearning for that Pacific North West summer warmth that teases behind clouds, wind, and, at least at taking a break from writing this review to look out the window, hail. Indeed, the electric haziness that is typical to Lusine’s sound is something that blankets the listener in such a great way that a sun would appearing behind a cloud. Very metaphoric I know, but, it does make the point.

Styles range from minimal (“First Call”), shoe gaze (“By This Sound”), Deep House (“Lucky”), IDM (“Another Tomorrow”), 80s vibe (“Stratus”) to a brilliant four on the four house-like album-closer (“February.”)

The vocals are by his wife, and her assertive yet smooth voice fits that blurry, yet crisp sound that Lusine’s production bases himself off of very very well. (Especially well on “Get The Message.”) I especially like the streamlined crisp overall vibe one gets from most of the tracks, but the lurching, messy styles are just as great.

To sum it up, this album encompasses balance quite well, with no one influence, style, vibe, technique, or anything like that drowning out the other.  It is a superbly produced album that must have taken a lot of time to create, because the complexity (and coinciding simplify…see that balance thing again) surely required much skill, time, and patience.

Patience, however, is something that the listener will not need to become absolutely hooked to every track on “The Waiting Game.”

Spring Break Singles! (Jonas Rathsman//James Zabiela + Hot Chip remix//Classixx)

Hi all! Hope your spring break is going well! Just thought I might hit you with some new great single releases that i’m sure you’ll dig.

“Bring You Down” has shot itself to the top of my “funkiest song of the year” list that at its core simply sounds cool, leaving aside it’s musical complexity and with it a great bit of all-out brilliance. I’m a sucker for an original drum beat and groovy vocal loops. But above all, it’s the power that the song brings at various parts of the song that are thoroughly infectious and basically scream summer. Check it out, it’s available as a free download too!

I am blown away by James Zabiela’s newest single, “The Healer”. Though reminiscent of a post-dubstep beat, it simply cannot be described that directly. It’s quite mystifying overall, with a beautiful staccato-bell-like-thing loop following you throughout the track, with a plethora of other sounds and beats joining at a variety of different points in the song. It’s a beautiful song that is great to chill out to in the waning days of spring break.

But wait, the last days of spring break? That means turning up the intensity  it’s almost over! Home stretch until summer! Personally, I find it absolutely fitting that Hot Chip remixed “The Healer” but the vibe I get from it (aside from the “goodness this is absolutely phenomenal!” one) is that of a Sasha Remix. (Maybe Hot Chip got inspiration from his remix of their “Flutes” track?) It’s one of the best remixes I’ve heard in a long while, and is irresistible  It’s hard not to nod your head to the pulsating beat that is so Hot-Chip-esque. I love it. I’m sure you will too.

Speaking of Sasha, his newest remix compliation mix CD “Involver 3″ will be released next Monday.

Last but certainly not least are the California duo Classixx who always have a ton of different musical tricks up their sleeves  with a new sound evident in every release they have. Check our the electro-pop like song “Borderline.” I need to find a beach, fast.

- Nick

Spring Break EPs! (Les Sins//Tourist//Brett Gould)

Spring break! It’s here! And that means warm weather and seasonal sounds coming up real fast, if it hasn’t already. The following are three EPs that I’ll be playing all week as we simmer into long awaited warm weather, and I think you should check out too!

At long last, we get more of Les Sins, Toro Y Moi’s dance project. It’s a shame it’s not a big batch of tracks, but, I’ll take what I can get as the music off his Les Sins project is so damn infectious. The ceaselessly cool beat and absurdly groovy bass in “Grind” weaves its way through distortion in the forms of guitar riffs and vocal samples. All in all, it seems like such a welcoming sun’s rays that make their presence known in March. Not blistering hot, but enough to break through the chilly wind to make you go aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. “Prelims” is just as neat, with some heavy bass a great eclectic vibe that is easy to dig within seconds. This EP is simply refreshing.

Next is the Tonight EP, which is definitely one of the more mystifying EPs I’ve ever come across. I’d like to say it’s a blend of trip-hop, glitch, post-dubstep, and witch-house, but that just doesn’t work out. Even a nod to Purity Ring influence isn’t right, or Crystal Castles for that matter. The EP transcends a unique variety of different sounds, pace, emotion, and beats, that is hard not to appreciate, let alone enjoy. At times it’s even got a scary vibe, with how hazy and distorted it sounds. Definitely check this EP out.

Last but not least is a back to basics, right back to the roots House EP. Brett Gould has created an EP with drums that are at times stunningly complex, and I really like what he has done with the vocal samples. I highly recommend it a bunch, especially if you like me kinda miss the mid-2000s house sound. Big pounding drums, infectous loops and an all-round awesome EP with every track being a joy.

- Nick

KZUU’s Cure For Your Boredom

If you’re anything like us or what seems like 90% of campus right now, then you’re probably sick. Which means you’re also probably lying in bed bingeing on Netflix. No shame in that. But if you’ve already run through every season of Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead then check out these awesome music videos by some of our favorite bands right now (and then maybe take a shower ya slob).

Ra Ra Riot – Beta Love

If you’ve listened to KZUU at all in the past couple of weeks then you’ve probably heard the title track off of Ra Ra Riot’s Beta Love at some point. But have you seen this video? I mean, nothing puts a smile on my face faster than watching white people in bright outfits from the ‘70s awkwardly dance. Let’s all just laugh at them for a moment. Done? Good. Because in 20 years our children will be laughing at the videos of us dancing. Or crying…I’ve seen you at Stubbies you dirty dirty kids.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – So Good At Being In Trouble

What do you get when you cross Unknown Mortal Orchestra, a hippie commune (possibly cult), and an older, crazed McLovin bashing a baseball bat around with pantyhose on his head. The video for UMO’s track So Good At Being In Trouble off of their sophomore album, aptly titled II, of course! Along with McLovin, (or Chris Mintz-Plasse if you prefer to refer to his birth name. I do not.) the video also stars director Ruban Nielson, who has worked with Animal Collective and Black Dice.

Aan – Mystery Life

If you missed Aan at the Belltower on February 8th for the Built to Spill show then I don’t know what to tell you. Basically you need to reevaluate your life choices because it was an amazing night of music. These guys are super cool and apparently know how to put together a super cool music video as well because this one is fantastic. It’s a story of life, friendship, betrayal and, ultimately, death. Plus it’s just f$%#ing funny.

MØ – Glass

Danish electro-pop artist MØ (known by her mother as Karen Marie Ørsted) is one bad ass chick. Or at least that’s what I gather from this video for her amazing track Glass. She twirls a hula hoop in slow motion, smokes cigarettes at a casino, hangs out at aquariums, uses a vacuum to suck up her hair, whips her hair back n forth, and has a very sad goth friend who appears to enjoy grocery stores and rubik’s cubes. If that isn’t the epitome of a badass then I don’t know what is. But in all seriousness, the only thing that matters in this video is THAT VEST. Holy mother of god is that not the best thing you’ve ever seen? I see a new project in my future…

Also, FYI: MØ’s debut LP Waiting For Something To Happen will be released sometime this year.

Foxygen – San Francisco

This is another track that’s been getting a lot of airplay here at KZUU and for good reason! I double dog dare you to try to be sad while listening to this song. It’s not physically possible. It’s all happy, sunshine, sparkles, and freaking rainbows coming out of the speakers through this song. This correlates squarely with the ‘70s in my mind. Ahhh the days of love, peace, music, and drugs. Foxygen’s latest release, We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic is very clearly ‘70s influenced and there’s no reason the video should be otherwise. Just sit back, relax, maybe smoke a bowl (hey it’s legal now! I can say that!) and let Foxygen take you on a beautiful ride to happiness.

Portland Cello Project – Please Leave a Light On When You Go (featuring Patti King), from Beck Hansen’s Song Reader

Call me a nerd, but the cello may be one of my most favorite instruments in the entire world. Portland Cello Project has been together for six years and covered the gamut of artists such as Radiohead, Kanye West, and Justin Timberlake. But the sextet has stepped its game up and has taken on all of Beck Hansen’s Song Reader. If you’re unfamiliar with what that is, basically Beck decided to release his latest album as sheet music only, for artists to take a stab at playing and putting their own spin on. Portland Cello Project and Patti King of Radiation City took on Please Leave a Light on When You Go and it is fantastic. Seriously. Check out their entire album on iTunes.

Oh, and you’re welcome.

- Jasmine