Wednesday, August 29, 2012

YEASAYER - Fragrant World


Shaman, my brother, convinced me to go to a Yeasayer show in 2010.  I did some slight research on the band before the concert and was fond of One and Madder Red from the album Odd Blood.  Beyond these pieces, I had mild expectations for the evening.  Yeasayer opened with Strange Reunions, and the musical experience that I endured was unimaginable.  Anand Wilder sang the melody, and he had the most impressive voice of any rock musician that I have heard to this date.  I developed a man-crush for Wilder, but I was thoroughly impressed with the entire band.  August 21st, 2012 marked the release of their third album, Fragrant World, so I thought we should explore.  

Yeasayer released two of the album tracks, Henrietta and Longevity, before Fragrant World was available.  Let's start there.  Longevity begins with an interesting synth that has a stripped feeling.  This serves as thematic material that returns in varying forms.  The vocal melodies are nice, and Chris Keating's voice sounds pure.  Although I do not feel compelled to give it many repeat listens, it is an interesting piece of music.  I identify Longevity as a good album track but not a greatly marketable single.

Henrietta is a completely different realm to walk within.  A cool shuffling melody leads into a very solid verse.  It makes you want to move, dance, fornicate, or anything else.  Chris Keating also sings this track.  His voice is not epic like Anand, but it is undeniably attractive.  "Oh Henrietta, we can lay around forever." is the repeating line in the song's gorgeous ending (the ending is actually the majority of the piece).  It sounds like Wilder and Keating are singing together at this point and they make you feel as though you are falling in love with dear Henrietta.  The ending builds with small percussion to a grandiose bass line and then more percussion.  Is this registering with you?  If ever you believed me when I said you should listen to a piece of music, you should believe me now.  Henrietta also does not sound like a normal type of marketable single, but it is one of my favorite instances of art in the universe.  She is beautiful.  

Fragrant World opens with Fingers Never Bleed.  The old Sayer kicks it off strongly.  Fingers is sentimental, which I find to be one of Yea's primary qualities in their discography.  Another example of this is Ambling Alp from Odd Blood.  At this point, I have still barely explained the genre.  I see the band as definitive electronic pop with clear degrees of originality and intellect.  Sometimes it feels like rock and roll with use of electric guitar and electric bass.  Others refer to them as "psychedelic" but that does not register with my ear as an accurate description.  Their third album refuses to stray from the genres they have used on the previous releases, but it is naturally progressive in new directions of sound-creation.  

I am going through my second full listen of Fragrant World as I finish this review.  New layers open up with additional plays.  This album is not the same kind of material that we have seen from Yeasayer in the past.  If you are looking for another Odd Blood, you may be disappointed.  If you are an individual that likes to evaluate musical composition and ingenuity, this is the place to reside!  The sexy voice of Anand Wilder (pictured above) is also a plus any day of the week.  

Listen to Henrietta:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo4rbhR_vsk
Fragrant World is available on Spotify  

SACHEM ORENDA's third album, Apology for Popular Music and the Nihilistic Demiurge, is now available.

www.sachemorenda.com           

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

THE FULL STEAM - Yours Truly e.p.


The Full Steam is a progressive pop band that recently migrated from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles in pursuit of advancing their careers as professional musicians.  I had heard word of their existence before I left Pittsburgh in 2010, but my ear was still virgin to their sound.  Eric Downs, Full Steam's drummer, was a known player in our music community, and I desired to discover the current incarnation of his prowess.  The trio (Downs, Justin Portis, and DJ Huggy) recently released an e.p. titled Yours Truly (the bands previous moniker), and it rudely invigorates my nervous system.

Justin Portis leads the band with clear vocals and crunchy guitar playing.  The vocals are seamless for a front man.  His guitar riffs showcase a unique sense of simplicity while simultaneously conveying raw power.  They are surprisingly engaging in a fluid way.  Portis is also complemented by the phat strings of DJ Huggy's bass.  Bass gets more attention in the compositions of Yours Truly than it does in the standard rock band.  This provides a sweet vibration to the overall sonic product.  Huggy is a damn fine player too, if I may say so (it's my fucking blog, asshole!).  

On rare occasion, we meet individuals that have a quality or two that push us off balance, and they unknowingly leave an impression on our totality of thoughts.  For me, one such person was Eric Downs.  He was an extremely facetious guy by day and a dedicated musician by that opposite thing.  I witnessed his practice routine once or twice.  It consisted of complex exercises that he would ruthlessly tear through.  I learned the hard way that you will not have much luck getting his attention when he is in this state.  His universe became nothing more than a drum kit and his own body.  Any outside force was dead.  

Laundry Service is the most rockin' track on Yours Truly.  By this, I do not mean that it is the heaviest sound.  I find it to be the most beautiful of the five compositions on the release.  This beauty stimulates the "keep rockin'" trigger in my brain.  It's like my body is on fire, and don't you even fantasize the action of putting it out!  I'm going to burn for the art.  Additionally, Downs sings majestic backup vocals on this piece like that shit is presidential.  

Listening to Yours Truly is a reward for mankind.  Actually, I could have gotten away with saying that about any instance of music, given my philosophies of sound.  Are you reading this blog regularly?  Catch up, sucka.  Regardless, it's a fulfilling experience when you give The Full Steam your attention.  This is a talented trio that we all will be seeing more of in the nearest future.  Enjoy!  

Like The Full Steam on facebook:  www.facebook.com/TheFullSteam

Purchase or listen to Yours Truly:   www.thefullsteam.bandcamp.com 




Sachem Orenda's third album, Apology for Popular Music and the Nihilistic Demiurge, is now available:  


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The "Ontological Shock" of E.T.


Electric Type returns with a new e.p. that threatens humanity.  E.T. is a nearly self-titled collection of tracks, pictures, and story excerpts.  If you liked what you heard with The Ghost in the TV e.p., you are in store for a furthering of Electric Type's natural progression through his life of sexy techno (also known as sexno).

The first track is rather striking for one of Electric's pieces.  90% of his music is instrumental but on Aerogance we hear some smooth auto-tune from Type Rider.  Rida wrote some lyrics that speak from the perspective of Electric Type and his self-proclaimed bright style of cosmic adventuring.  This is definitely a great place to start in the discography if you are not already an avid listener of minimal sexno.

Time Zone is another track that shows the naturalization of Type's music.  I meant the electric one, as there are 2 different types involved.  I think back to 16-bit days of el Sonic when I spin around to Time Zone.  The beat makes parts of my body move that I never knew existed.  This track will be getting the most replay in my library.  Check it.  

I Was Sleeping is a blatant lie.  It is much too articulate and quantified.  That is my only gripe with E.T.  He was probably even multitasking by drinking a Monster because this beat pushes!  The track concludes the e.p. as a 1:45am mellow profession  of love to the club kidz that dance until the last minute.  Da kidz appreciate and thank Electric Type with Monster and cupcakes.

A true Slepmaster of beat theory never regresses.  After the greatness of The Ghost in the TV, I was unsure how Electric Type was going to kick it up another notch but he always finds a method of electrifying by surprise.  You can download this glittering e.p. from the official website while supplies last!  

Download E.T. here:  www.officialelectrictype.com

See Electric Type perform with Sachem Orenda on September 8th!  




Sachem Orenda's culture-defying album is now available!


Monday, August 20, 2012

August 16th, 2012 - A,E,I,O,YOU DIG?


The Funhouse is the kind of venue that welcomes people of all calibers and oddities.  Word on the street said they now allow electronic-oriented musicians to perform as well.  This is a wonderful example of anti-racism in the arts of the Lehigh Valley.  Ignore my moderate nonsense.  I heard The Vowels play on this evening and it was bitchin'.

My genre for the duration was a kind of Indy that was semi-electronic.  The Vowels were comprised of a singer/electronic drummer, 2 guitarists, a bass player, and a keyboardist.  Their image was casual, their emotions were cryptic, and their rock was roctacular.  They would transition between chill/groovy and heavily percussive textures.  Sometimes we would get sexy synth bass or even some live synthesis.  These moments were my aesthetic favorites in much the same way that white girls are not.

Now I shall describe each musician individually.  Let's start with the string players.  Peter Fritz was the bass player and he had a full heartwarming sound.  His playing really pulled the whole band together and he was one hell of a cool guy to talk to after the show.  Blake Antrim was one of the guitarists and was very influenced by Modest Mouse.  He would transition to keyboard occasionally and mentioned to me that he "just uses his ear" to play keys.  Joshua Colon is the other guitarist and newest member of the band.  He had some incredible guitar licks that would make a messiah cry.  His melodies were catchy, interesting, and perfect on a worldly scale.

As for the electronic side of the noize, we had Jayson Simpson and Aaron Couture.  Jayson is one hell of a singer and was sporting a pokeball necklace.  Hmmmmm Pokemon-inspired electronic music...  where have I heard that before?  Jayson is also the most emotional character on stage.  His beats were hard and his vocals often became largely effected walls of ingenuity.  Aaron rocks two keyboards at once.  He shows off a slick Ensoniq and a lovely Korg.  Frequently, he is part of the rhythm section and forms the chord progressions that create the overall tonality of each composition.  In many ways, Aaron is the most integral and vital member of the band.  I would also love to see him perform some extra-flashy synthesis.

The Vowels handed out free CDs which contained seven tracks that are definably familiar after seeing them play live.  My favorite of these is Cold Marrow.  It has a sexual feel to it and lovable vocal melodies.  "Baby, don't let it freeze your bones" is the hook that won't leave me.  Go see The Vowels next time they are around and you will hear some friendly sounds that you never knew you needed.              

For Pokemon-inspired electronic music:  http://officialelectrictype.com/

SACHEM ORENDA's third album, Apology for Popular Music and the Nihilistic Demiurge, is now available here:

www.sachemorenda.bandcamp.com

www.sachemorenda.com


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

THE APOLOGY OF S.O.C.


Two years of work and pain were necessary.  That is the apparent cost to create an album that approaches divine nihilism.  The actual cost is 2 decades of hyper-philosophical thought, over 10 years of serious musicianship, 2 university degrees worth of education, and countless conversations (quite crucial).  Personal friends of mine are aware of my frequent rants about new areas of music.  I never had (stressing the past tense)proof and for that, I apologize!

Studio sessions often brought me to my knees.  This music was scaring me.  It was the Ontological Shock of it all.  Am I a man?  Men have failed to achieve these mental projections.  The inability to rule out extra terrestrial contact is my only significant fear in life so what is this haunting entity?  

On this instance of Orenda, my genre shifts anywhere from African and Indian inspired hip/hop to avant-garde electro pop or even an unimaginable concentration of industrial reggae that came to me in a dream.  Thematically, we venture through the Demiurge concept, the purpose of an Apology, the expectations of society against dissidents, the objectification of men and women, and much more.  I offer these 6 focal points in order to solve my cryptic puzzle of lyrics:  

1. Johann is a liar
2. The Demiurge, a product of
3. Orwell's lunacy
4. I will be condemned, not unlike Socrates
5. Post-modern version of peace
6. If I succumb, this nihilist runs

I will no longer try to convince anyone of my musical theories.  People are often fallible but the music is tangible and will never lie.  I succeeded and we all have to live with what I discovered.  

-Sachem

Sachem Orenda's Apology for Popular Music and the Nihilistic Demiurge is available here: