The progenitors of IDM, particularly the anonymous Albuquerque collective Self Reflecting Pattern, would like you to believe that the best place to groove through their flavor of popular music is whilst confined to a dance hall filled with beautiful bodies in motion, reverberating rhythms, lights that coax infinity out of a halogen bulb. Really this sort of tuneage works best on the brains of homo sapiens whenever kinetics of any sort are involved. Driving anywhere, having sex in urban settings and traveling through crowded airports or market-places are examples of instances when SRP’s initial, sorta eponymous recording should be played for full effect. This album is full of spicy, well-executed drum-machine management. The influence of Japanese IDM makes me think this is probably the album that Deckard is always playing whilst driving around replicant-ville in his flying car. Just try to pass the void/comp test after listening to “Mouse Bite.” I dare you.
As we approach the third decade of the 21st century the thing called art school hip-hop approaches, blazing a trail of musical glory that may damn well leap past rocanrol excursions into the avant-garde. Worldwide, even the significance of Radiohead may be altered by hip-hop nation’s incursion into these loftier arenas of expression. Of course we’ve got that same sorta thing going on in Burque, a huge new crop of hip-hop artists are burning down the interwebz with their trippy, informed and altogether maximalist expressionism. ViLLSVIN’s third record, released just before 2018 came in to fashion, is called Webdriver Torso and my, oh my is it rich. Creamy-smooth sample integration and daring rhythmic choices add to this instrumental work and give it a long half-life, listening-wise. Despite the youthful, derivative flourishes, this is a fine recording with 20 tracks. My favorites: “Hentai Chakra—A Black Hole Shitting Into the Void,” “Nervoso” and “Infinite Abyss.”
When I hear that a band self-categorizes as “math rock,” I dig my Rush Comparison Guide out of the snow and begin a critical inquiry. When the band in question adds tags like emo and melodic-post-hardcore to the list of things they tell me that they are, then I sorta freak, get agitated, stop what I’m doing and put on some Jandek to sort my head out. Then I get back to work. In this case that entailed listening to the new EP by Albuquerque rockers Laputa. There are three tracks on this untitled work; guitar playing, limpid in tone, swirls around sad, wistful, autumnal vocals. The drums dance through a mostly subdued but sometimes overwhelmed-by-the-world tone. It’s a weary but wondrous first go, with quirky song-writing, y todo The final track, “Tempest” nails it; this ain’t math or emo; it’s new and it’s from Burque.