Shackleton – Fabric 55

February 24, 2011

There are exceptions to every rule, and here are two cases in point.

I usually don’t like mixes that jump hyperactively from track to track; I’d rather have the dj pick out his or her favorites and let them play through. And I’m usually suspicious of mixes that include more than one or two of the dj’s own tracks; if I’m interested in the compilation in the first place, it’s probably because I know the dj’s own work and want to learn what else he or she listens to, is influenced by, and loves.

But this mix by Shackleton provides the exceptions to both of those rules. Here, he weaves 22 of his own compositions — some of them previously-released, others to the best of my knowledge unheard before — over 75 minutes into something completely new and original. With rapidly-shifting beats, and vocals fading in and out, it drives like a demon, from Kether to Malkuth, from station to station, just like David Bowie used to do.

The Fabric series contains many great entries, and this is definitely one of them.

Shackleton, “Busted Spirit”

Shackleton, “Deadman”

Kelsey Jarboe’sAmong Your Kind” was one of my favorite local albums of 2010.

And you can find a streaming version now, at the artist’s bandcamp page.

Dinosaur Jr – Tarpit

February 21, 2011

Seefeel – Seefeel

February 15, 2011

Seefeel return after a 15-year hiatus with this very excellent, self-titled lp. With layers of electronically treated guitar flowing relentlessly over the strong foundation set by a newly-formed rhythm section that includes former Boredom’s drummer¬†Iida Kazuhisa, and Sarah Peacock’s vocals occasionally breaking through like the voice of a ghost from the other side, the sound seems to combine solid, liquid, and gas — the material and the ethereal — to striking effect. See and hear for yourself, below.

The Novel Ideas‘ brand new, 4-track ep offers an all-expenses-paid vacation back to summer.

Plus catchy melodies, and songwriting in the tradition of Jonathan Richman, with poetic lyrics that combine wit, charm, and sentimentality in just the right proportion.

Critics will declare it their best work yet. Certainly, I do.

Heard this one on 20khz tonight — very, very nice.