Awesome in both size and grandeur, this 25-track, nearly 2-hour-long compilation, while intended to introduce listeners to some of the bands performing at next month’s Deep Heaven Now 3 Ambient/Psych Festival, serves just as nicely as a monument to celebrate the achievements thus far of this new, vibrant, and still rapidly-expanding local scene.

With outstanding contributions from Autochrome, Sharp Dots USA, The Sunshine Factory, The Sky Drops, Sri Aurobindo, Mmoss, Hadoken, Roh Delikat, Concord Ballet Orchestra Players, and This Car Up. Plus old favorites from To The Wedding and Ghost Box Orchestra, and a totally new track from 28 Degrees Taurus. And, since I haven’t mentioned all 25 yet, much, much more!

Best of all, it’s a free download from bandcamp.


Steffi – Yours & Mine

March 27, 2011

Steffi’s “Yours & Mine” stands out, not for being experimental or technically innovative, but just because what it does it does so well. Ten excellent tracks of house. The highlights are collected below.

From their latest lp, “The Weight’s On the Wheels.”

Soft Pyramids sound a bit like the Strokes and even more like the Walkmen. Even better, there’s the Q and Not U reference.

If any of those bands sound good to you, you’ll love their 6-track, debut EP, “Electric Scenes.” Like Robin Zander said at Budokan: “it just came out this week!”

And, best of all, it’s streaming for you on their bandcamp page. Start at the finish, with the superb “The Way You’re Going,” then move back to “Prisoner’s Tune.”

Then jump back to the beginning and play it straight through. And do it again. That’s what I did.

“Several Shades of Why,” a new, mainly acoustic lp from J Mascis, comes out next Tuesday on Sub Pop Records.

“Is It Done,” a collaboration with Ben (whose last name I can’t remember) from Band of Horses, gives us an idea of what to expect; the interview provides additional glimpses into the mind of the genius.

Werkschau is exactly that: a showcase for artists associated with BPitch Control Records.

A sort-of best-of, but there’s a twist.  While many of these artists — Sascha Funke, Telefon Tel Aviv, Jahcoozi, TimTim, and so on — are longtime favorites, all of the 17 tracks are completely new or at least previously unreleased.

That they all sound outstanding speaks to the depth of the creativity inspired Ellen Allien and stands as testament to her great influence and refined taste.

My absolute favorites, by Allien herself and by Kiki & Lenz, appear below.