CYNE: All My Angles Are Right
CYNE are more than one emcee, more than two producers, more than their decade-spanning discography, and, with the announcement of their new album, All My Angles Are Right, more than just hip-hop. Cise Star is a conscience for your headphones. Speck and Enoch dig deep so you don't have to. CYNE rise above their sphere, merging the personal and the political with genre-busting production and silver-tongued rhymes that capture cross-millennia truths. Their beats have been used by Joey Bada$$, they've been remixed by Four Tet, they've collaborated with To Rococo Rot, Daedelus, and Nujabes, and, since 2008, they've been on Hometapes alongside Bear In Heaven, Megafaun, Matthew E. White, and Medicine-founder Brad Laner. CYNE lights up their full spectrum with All My Angles Are Right, their fifth album out March 2014 - and with this winter's tell-tale release of the first single "Tears For Uriah."
Pattern Is Movement: Pattern Is Movement
Founded in Philadelphia by Andrew Thiboldeaux and Christopher Ward, Pattern Is Movement map a vast territory of internal exploration and external output. As the band recorded a series of albums over the past decade - The (Im)possibility of Longing, Stowaway, and All Together - they also shifted in membership and in stylistic focus, eventually solidifying into a powerful duo: Thiboldeaux on Rhodes, synth, bass, and vocals, and Ward on drums. Deeply soulful and natively genre-defying, they toured extensively, joining bands like St. Vincent, The Roots, and Shudder to Think, before delving into their fourth album and, along with it, the brightest and darkest corners of composition, orchestration, and collaboration. Years in the making, the release of Pattern Is Movement's new self-titled album is accompanied by a 12" single and is available on a limited edition deluxe colored LP vinyl package, as well as on CD and Digital formats.
The Caribbean: Moon Sickness
Part of the Hometapes family since 2003, The Caribbean has built an invisible neighborhood of words, images, and pop-dismantling sounds: William of Orange, Plastic Explosives, Populations, and Discontinued Perfume soundtrack an entire decade for the Washington, DC-based trio. Enter new album Moon Sickness: a set of songs with many of the recognizable characteristics of previous Caribbean albums — Kentoff’s literary and darkly dreamlike lyrics, the band’s advanced and eccentric compositional sensibility, and the curious, electronically treated surreal found-sounds draped around the songs. There's a newfound and bright light shining on Moon Sickness, but as biographer Chad Clark writes, "The Caribbean are still arcane, introspective weirdo geniuses with a taste for the surreal and a basically melancholic disposition. I mean, come on, they titled it 'Moon Sickness.’ It’s not a party record. You’d be wise not to expect straightforward, jubilant singalong choruses or ordinary chord progressions. But within the band’s canon — a body of work I love profoundly — this is certainly the most congenial entry yet."
Pattern Is Movement: Suckling / Untitled (How Does It Feel?)
Founded in Philadelphia by Andrew Thiboldeaux and Christopher Ward, Pattern Is Movement map a vast territory of internal exploration and external output. As the band recorded a series of albums over the past decade — The (Im)possibility of Longing, Stowaway, and All Together — they also shifted in membership and in stylistic focus, eventually solidifying into a powerful duo: Thiboldeaux on Rhodes, synth, bass, and vocals, and Ward on drums. Deeply soulful and natively genre-defying, Pattern Is Movement toured extensively, joining bands like St. Vincent, The Roots, and Shudder to Think, before delving into their fourth album and, along with it, the brightest and darkest corners of composition, orchestration, and collaboration. Their first reveal is a limited edition 12” featuring the new song "Suckling" backed with the long-awaited studio recording of fan favorite "Untitled (How Does It Feel?)," Pattern Is Movement's sweltering cover of D'Angelo. The 12” is limited to 500 hand-numbered copies on transparent green vinyl, packaged in full-color jackets that include a download coupon
Leverage Models: Leverage Models
Shannon Fields (Stars Like Fleas founder/producer) has spent the better part of the past three years recording new, unhinged, narratively-oblique, club-centric, dark kitchen-sink pop music under the name Leverage Models. Following the release of three EPs (digitally, as well as on limited edition cassettes), Leverage Models will release its self-titled debut album on Hometapes this fall. The album features contributions from members of Yeasayer, Sinkane, and LCD Soundsystem, as well as Sharon Van Etten. The Brooklyn-based live band inhabits the warped echoes of ABC, Scritti Politti, The Associates, Happy Mondays, Japan, A Certain Ratio, Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam, Throbbing Gristle, etc. Leverage Models has performed recently with Sinkane and Escort, and has upcoming shows with Medicine and Indians, plus soon to be announced performances at CMJ and Hopscotch Festival.
Brad Laner: Nearest Suns
You can't get away from the sun. Brad Laner returns with his third solo album, created in the winds swirling around the reuniting of his cult noise-pop band and American shoegaze pioneers, Medicine. Like Neighbor Singing and Natural Selections before it, Nearest Suns was composed, played, and recorded entirely in Laner's Granada Hills, California home by Laner himself. It's an old new universe in twelve songs, shattering what it means to be called a singer-songwriter, messing around with the noticion of getting older, and soundtracking the infinite distortion and infinite harmony of falling in and out of love.
Celestial Shore: 10x
The whispers about Celestial Shore's debut full-length, 10x, began with the release of the balmy I'm-so-done-with-you song "Valerie" on Stereogum earlier this year. Sound travels: the Brooklyn trio has joined Portland, OR-based label Hometapes (whose sonic family tree includes Bear In Heaven, Megafaun, Matthew E. White, All Tiny Creatures, and Pattern Is Movement) and 10x will be released September 3rd in partnership with Local Singles (the new label begun by Brad Oberhofer). In nine songs, Celestial Shore deconstructs city life, the history of pop music, and their own jazz educations into something both heartbreakingly raw and mystically timeless. In between the lines, the band exalts the vibrant scene they call home: the album was mixed by Deerhoof's Greg Saunier, includes Empress Of's Lorely Rodriguez on vocals, and features cover art by Prince Rama.
All Tiny Creatures: Dark Clock
"Dude, look what I just got." It started with a text. All Tiny Creatures' founder Thomas Wincek was at work on the new album. He'd just found a Rockman, the headphone amp designed by Boston founder Tom Scholz. A guitar DI Box with multiple effects built in, it’s what Def Leppard used all over Hysteria. I had no idea. For those vast radio jams of my youth, my brain had been the effects processor.
A couple months later, I was listening to Drexciya, watching King Crimson live videos, and hearing Beach Boys songs I never knew existed. Wincek was leaving a note for me before I time traveled. I was learning the secrets of Dark Clock. All Tiny Creatures' second album is an ode to the intertwined bodies of music and technology. A familiar, primordial ease is wrapped up in pulsing electricity. In ten songs, the Wisconsin-based four-piece reminds us that our blood-filled frames are responsible for making the tangle of wires around us. We're still inventing fire.
All Tiny Creatures is Wincek, along with Andrew Fitzpatrick, Matt Skemp, and Ben Derickson. Wincek, Skemp, and Fitzpatrick are also part of Volcano Choir, the sonic collision between Justin Vernon and the venerable Collections of Colonies of Bees.
Jon Mueller: Death Blues
Matthew E. White: Big Inner
Like all of us, Matthew E. White was born into a constructed world. His unfolded out of the mingled sands of Virginia Beach and Manila, the youngest son in a family that raised him barefoot between the blurred racket of the Far Eastern jungle city and the backyard lightning-bug-hum of a trimmed Southern lawn.
On that day in August, when the earth shifted into the shape of Matthew E. White, there was so much to feel, already. The dusts of the Delta had swirled into Rock and Roll. King Tubby was dubbing. Terry Riley was overdubbing. Caetano Veloso had just turned 40. Muddy Waters was just about gone. Jimmy Cliff had had sung "Many Rivers to Cross". So had Harry Nilsson. White shared this common inheritance. He stitched his own flag out of it.
And so Big Inner begins, looking in, up, and over in its declarations of love. It's waking up next to someone. It's feeling the wood of the church pew on your back. You give me joy like a fountain deep down in my soul. You can hear him breathe in. The first time around, White only hums the chorus. Hums it. Plants it in your head as it blooms in his. You can call it soul music if you want. It's his soul and it's his music.