Posted by: Dominic Umile | 04/06/2010

April Commutes: Max Cooper, 800beloved, Kerogen

800belovedInstead of adding an intro to accompany the listening-related post here, I’d like to point readers to a few reports that the national mainstream media will have difficulty picking up this week, what with more engaging sports-, natural disaster- and celebrity infidelity-related items squabbling for the lead spots. Do yourself a favor and look into Jerome Starkey on US military cover-ups and murder; Dan Froomkin on the Wikileaks video of the 2007-era civilian slaughter in Baghdad; and Glenn Greenwald on why neither of these instances are unusual. Thanks for checking in — music chatter and downloads below.

Everything PurpleMichigan moody pop three-piece 800beloved is often more than vaguely reminiscent of most of your favorite bands. Core songwriter Sean Lynch looks to The Smiths and to Robert Smith on Everything Purple, pairing dreary synth melodies and chiming guitar tones for a sound that should find favor with those shimmying along to the current resurgence in dream pop. A closer listen, though, finds arrangements that land far outside of the fuzz guitar/watery vocal effects/floor tom-emphasis formula. Lynch’s longing at the title track’s chorus is padded with lulling backups, and beneath the acoustic guitars, a swirling haze of reverberating textures are being shaped into a warm coda. You can almost mistake the final rush here for the actual ocean tide tracked on Everything — it sneaks in for a couple of interludes. A great start to the record, but the web of notes gingerly muted for “If Butterflies Never Burned” is a nicer pick during this spot of sudden spring weather. Listen to 800beloved’s album and get the title track at the microsite.

Max Cooper’s “Chaotisch Serie” is a twisted, malevolent scorcher of a techno track that harnesses a great deal more glitch and overall unpredictability than his “End of Reason” did last year, as the latter, draped in sampled strings, is at least eventually given room to breathe. There’s an ominous stretch of sound on the front end of “Chaotisch” that mimics some poor gent straining to speak, while the madness builds on fluctuating synths and a melody that’s constantly prevented from full realization, thanks to Cooper’s barrage of echoing and static. I’ve written twice before here about the UK producer, as he continues to astonish with tracks that are as towering in size as they are stewing in assorted effects. B-side “River of Gold” is far less ornamental, but its brittle chimes and fizzing washes thrill just the same. Check out the new EP at Kompakt, and Download his new Mind’s Garden Traum DJ mix for free.

In addition to the varied roundup of mixes that The Wire/The Atlantic’s Hua Hsu was kind enough to compile last week, I’d add Kerogen’s set at Percussion Lab. Lots of smoky and melodic dubstep here, with otherworldly ambient segments, trailing vocal samples, and storming 2-step beats peppered throughout. Kerogen is a London-based producer with an LP on the way from Lewis, the label that issued the Edan Echo Party mix earlier this year. Head to Percussion Lab and snag Kerogen’s mix here for free. While you’re over there, grab Praveen’s Lovestep mixes — if you’re digging on the melody-powered, “future garage”-Pangaea-Falty DL type-stuff, you shouldn’t miss it. Praveen & Machinedrum will issue an EP on Hotflush as Sepalcure this Spring.

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