DJ ill spectre

DJ ill spectre

DJ ill spectre: 75% less cool IRL [Photo by Christine Herde]

Well, it’s officially been waaaay too long since I’ve posted here. I really miss having the time to write about music consistently! I’ve been very busy with a few projects, including grindin’ on the DJ side of things and starting a warehouse party series centered on deep and dance-oriented electronic music with some very talented friends. I hope to see ya’ll at the next one; I’ll be sure to post the details here.

The way things are going, it’s likely I will continue to be engrossed in such endeavors, however I’d like to return to sharing some things here even if it’s not quite in the same mode. I am still insatiably consuming new music. My taste has always been in a perpetual state of evolution, but with my focus now turning more to DJing and live mixing, I find myself delving deeper intro various styles of electronic music — bass, UK garage, house, trap, juke, post-dubstep, night bus, etc — which anyone following my blog’s Facebook feed can attest to. As such, I find that I’ve been far less preoccupied with listening to full-length albums and more in tune with an endless torrent of EPs, 12-inches, singles, remixes, bootlegs, blog exclusives, mixes, and incoming tracks on SoundCloud.

Look out for my latest live mix, which drops this week and features some awesome visual accompaniment courtesy of the impressive eye and skilled hand of Marilia Maschion. Peep the dates for upcoming DJ ill spectre gigs down below.

Liquid Geometry Presents: MORRI$, Misk (EP Release), DJ ill spectre, Strangr, and Jalen
Kava Lounge
2812 Kettner Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101
July 19th, 9pm, 21+

So Say We All Presents: VAMP
The Whistle Stop
2236 Fern Street
San Diego, CA 92104
July 26th, 8pm, 21+, No cover

West Ivy Warehouse Party w/ gEars, [Jason Begin], CUTMOD, and DJ ill spectre
West Ivy Warehouse
935 West Ivy Street
San Diego, CA 92101
August 11th, 9pm, 21+, No cover

Lord Huron @ The Loft (UCSD), 5/11

Lord Huron

On May 11th, Lord Huron, the brainchild of Michigan-born troubadour Ben Schneider, comes to The Loft on the campus of UC San Diego. It’s hard to think of a more fitting locale for the tropical-tinged folk sounds of Schneider and his band than that of a eucalyptus forest on the cusp of the Pacific Ocean. With equal parts emotive sway and buoyant bounce, Lord Huron take the pluck and strum of acoustic guitars and append them with the kind of rhythmic and propellant drum work that could only be inspired by the music of an island.

It’s sure to be a fun show and you can grab tickets right now over at The Loft website. Or, if you’d rather avoid those Ticketmaster fees (who wouldn’t?) you can pick up tickets at the UCSD Price Center box office (Monday through Friday, 10am-4pm). Hope to see ya’ll there!

Recently I’ve been a somewhat enamored with this remix of “When Will I see You Again” by White Sea (aka Morgan Kibby of M83), which you can stream and download below, via RCRD LBL. You can also stream a track from Lord Huron’s Mighty EP over here.

Wallpaper’s West Coast Tour

Wallpaper

It’s that time again. Time to get drip like a fish and straight-up lose your mind on the dance floor wit ya boys Ricky Reed and Arjun Singh, aka Wallpaper, Oaktown’s #1 in auto-tune electro-funk goodness.

YOU. ARE. NOT. READY. F’real.

These guys simply do not disappoint. And there should be some new jams in the mix for this tour, which starts tomorrow night (June 25th) in Sacramento, so get excited. Here in San Diego, our resident master of funked-out, talk box pop-genius Rafter is opening, which means I expect you locals to get extra excited. Hit me up if you wanna pre-party!

Flyer and tour dates available after the jump.

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Download: Wallpaper – I Got Soul, I’m So Wasted

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Download: Donwill – Love Junkie (Feat. The Park) (Wallpaper Remix)
Buy: Never a bad time to pick up Wallpaper’s debut full-length Doo Doo Face on CD or LP.

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Animal Feelings, Animal Thoughts

Rafter Roberts (Photo by Lizeth Santos)

Photo by Lizeth Santos.

Going to see Rafter live is a real treat. If you’re lucky enough to be in San Diego on April 17th you’ll get a chance to cap off Record Store Day by doing exactly that, with bonus sets from local rising artists Cuckoo Chaos, Lion Cut, and Smile Now Cry Later (aka the dancey, Banda-sampling music project of photographer Lizeth Santos, wife and frequent artistic collaborator of Rafter). Get ready to smile, laugh, dance, jump for joy, and just plain have fun, because this is exactly what virtually every act on this line-up fervently inspires.

In fact, this show is being specifically held in celebration of the release of Rafter’s new record, the bright and bubbly Animal Feelings. Completely unpretentious, his approach here and elsewhere is seemingly straight-forward at heart, but always playful and delightfully weird, unfailingly united by subtle overarching concepts and themes. Many of the tunes on his latest album — like the intimate, homemade mixtape-esque meanderings of Sex Death Cassette and the bedroom booty-bass of Sweaty Magic — reflect the accompanying title, delving into carnal desires, emotions, and thoughts through breezy, infectious, and often funk-leaning pop. Expect vocoded declarations of praise and respect, earnest encouragements, and lots of carpe diem-embracing love-jams. But I guess Rafter is just a stream-of-consciousness, honest-expression-of-intimate-joys-and-pains kinda guy. After all, not too long ago he cranked out two dozen or so free songs for the Asthmatic Kitty site in his ambitious “A Song a Week” column and according to his blog he’s already “nips deep in the next 3 albums”; this kind of primal mind mapping must come naturally.

A handful of those “Song a Week” tracks have been re-recorded for albums, including Animal Feelings stand-out “Paper”. Classic rhythms and chord progressions abound, Rafter exudes irresistible charm in this proclamation of annoyance at losing ideas and thoughts in the recesses of your brain: “You motherfuckers, you motherfuckers where did you go!?”. Luckily a solution is quickly realized in the song’s namesake and catchy chorus, “I need paper, I need paper / I need paper, yes I do / To keep my thoughts from goin’ away / To keep my thoughts from goin’ away”. These days, even when he’s bugged by something, Rafter Roberts prefers to express himself through lovable, dancey, hook-laden pop gems. It doesn’t really seem like the guy even has a choice; he’s a whirlwind of ideas, energy, and enthusiasm that knows better than to do anything but keep riding that wave to its unending conclusions.

Check out the details for the must-attend Animal Feelings record release show down below and the album’s cover art and full tracklist after the jump. You can also see a complete list of Rafter’s tour dates here.

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Download: Rafter – Paper
Buy: Pre-order Animal Feelings from Asthmatic Kitty Records. Stream the entire record at MBV.

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Animal Feelings Record Release Party
Saturday, April 17th @ 9pm. $5.

Rafter
Smile Now Cry Later
Lion Cut
Cuckoo Chaos
+ DJ WWDJ

Free ANIMAL FEELINGS cake!
Color-your-own animal masks!
Dance contests with rad giveaways!
Photos by Lizeth Santos!

Tin Can Alehouse (21+)
1863 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

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Girls: Album Stream

Girls

Although there’s a whole bunch of albums coming out on Sept. 22nd that are worth getting excited about, the debut from San Francisco’s Girls is one of the particularly noteworthy. A band fixated on simplicity — a point driven home by their name, record title (Album), and their music itself — Girls make the most of very little. Reportedly recorded in “rehearsal spaces” with “broken equipment” on reel-to-reel tape machines and an old computer that had a tendency to crash and lose data, Album is an imperfect, emotionally resonant batch of warm and depressive guitar-centered indie pop. And a couple days ago True Panther Sounds and Matador Records made it available to stream, in full, via Soundcloud. Give it a listen down below and fall in love like so many have already.

Girls are about to embark on an extensive European tour next week, but will return for some U.S. shows in November. Peep the domestic dates after the jump (you can view the European dates over at their myspace page).

Download: Girls – Lust for Life
Download: Girls – Hellhole Ratrace
Buy: You can pre-order Album from the Matador Records webstore as CD, LP, MP3, or FLAC. Also, if you enter the promo code “girls” at checkout you get 15% off.

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Wallpaper: “I Got Soul, I’m So Wasted”

Wallpaper

Don’t call it a side project. Eric Frederic may have started Wallpaper as a spontaneous novelty while recording the debut full-length of his band Facing New York, but now — with many of FNY’s original members gone and a continuously rising interest in Frederic’s infectious and often hilarious pop-satire — his focus seems to be increasingly centered on Wallpaper. And why not? This has been one hell of a summer for the project. Garnering attention from MTV, Pitchfork, The Village Voice, Idolator, and Perez Hilton (!?), it seems to be straight blowin’ up at this point.

Like most good pop music, Wallpaper is built on fun and escapism for listener and creator alike, allowing Frederic to transform from his thoughtful and soft-spoken self into the cool, conceited, and audacious Ricky Reed. This alter-ego exudes excess in all respects, leaving room for all sorts of satire, mockery, and comedy in general. And it comes in many forms: voicemail messages (pager # y’all: 510-493-7835), YouTube video blogs, Twitter, his Cool Genius blog, stage banter, and of course the music itself. But between all the jokes, absurd posturing, and overindulgent use of autotune, lies a batch of well-crafted dance jams that simultaneously pay tribute to the very music being satirized — vocoder-funk, hyphy, R&B, new jack swing, pop. Joined by live drummer Arjun Singh, Wallpaper’s bold electro-funk is even more fully realized at their ridiculously fun shows. Sure, the banter is always golden, but in a live setting the music explodes with energy and absolutely demands that the audience lose its collective mind. I’ve seen them three times in the past five months and it simply doesn’t get old.

A couple weeks ago, Wallpaper dropped the first single from their upcoming debut Doodoo Face on iTunes (which seems like an unfortunate title until Ricky Reed breaks down the meaning for ya). “I Got Soul, I’m So Wasted”, one of many killer cuts on this record, is an insanely catchy pillar of glam electro. Atop dense, driving percussion, explosions of soaring synth and bass, and revolving layers of drones, tones, blips, and beeps, Ricky Reed lays down massive autotune hooks with copious amounts of swagger. Familiar and yet original in its own right, this track is a perfect introduction to an album that’s perfect for gettin’ dancefloors movin’. Be sure to pick it up when it drops on Eenie Meenie Records on September 22nd and definitely don’t miss Wallpaper when they come through your town (tour dates available after the jump).

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Buy: Pick up “I Got Soul, I’m So Wasted” from iTunes now. You can also pre-order Doodoo Face on CD or Vinyl from Insound.
Watch: The video for “I Got Soul, I’m So Wasted” (which coincidentally plays out kind of how I remember the last Wallpaper show I went to) is currently nominated for a vote to be included in the regular rotation over at mtvU. Head over to The Freshman video section and obsessively vote for Wallpaper — if they win they’ll reward fans with an mp3 of the title track from their debut. [Update: They won.]

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New Kurt Vile: “Overnite Religion”

Kurt Vile - Childist Prodigy

Today Matador Records reveals the first song from Childish Prodigy, the upcoming record from recent signee Kurt Vile. With washed-out lyrical ramblings, hypnotic guitar drones and repetitive strums, subdued percussion, and a healthy amount of reverb, Vile shows you why he’s nicknamed Philly’s Constant Hitmaker. All ironies aside, I might genuinely concur with that sentiment.

Be sure to check him out on his current tour, dates after the jump. According to Matador, he’ll be touring again soon after the record comes out.

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Download: Kurt Vile – Overnite Religion
Buy: You can pre-order Childish Prodigy as a CD ($12) or LP ($18) over at the Matador Records webstore. Be sure to add the code “childish” for a 10% discount.

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The Very Best Announce Debut Album

The Very Best

Exciting news from London’s The Very Best; their debut record will be coming in 2009. The group, formed by DJs/producers Radioclit and Malawi-born vocalist Esau Mwamwaya, have been sitting on the completed album since last year and had to deal with some sample clearance issues, but it seems that all is well now. Warm Heart of Africa, named for a phrase often used to describe Malawi and their hospitable countrymen and women, will feature guest spots from M.I.A. and Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend and comes out in the fall on Green Owl.

You can stream “Ntende Uli” from the album down below.

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Also, be sure to pick up The Very Best’s mixtape from last year over here and take note of the dates for their brief U.S. tour after the jump… see you at The Echoplex?

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Japandroids

Japandroids by Ilan Schraer

Artwork by Ilan Schraer.

With support dropping from the Wavves camp faster than you can say “Primavera meltdown“, some of you may be looking for some new pop-leaning noise-rock to wash that bad taste out of your brain. Well, if you’ve missed them thus far, Vancouver guitar & drum duo Japandroids just might fit the bill. Though not nearly as grating as Nathan Williams’ bedroom punk — L.A. noise-rockers No Age are probably a more accurate comparison — Japandroids still know their way around a distortion pedal.

Post-Nothing is a bedlam of raucous garage-punk and gritty 90s alt-rock that thunders past in a fit of youthful nostalgia. Youthful being the keyword — Brian King and David Prowse drop the word “heart” in two different song titles, spill their guts like drunken, patience-testing teenagers, wail about being “crazy forever” in the appropriately titled “Crazy/Forever”, and talk about girls in at least half of the tracks. Yet, it all really comes off as more endearing than obnoxious. This may be music unabashedly imbued with familiarity, but Japandroids simply want to transport us back to a time when we might have triumphantly screamed along with them.

“Young Hearts Spark Fire” cranks up the angsty anthemics about as high as they’ll go. Guitar and drums crescendo into an all-out blitz, collapse into a brief moment of respite, only to build right back up as King and Prowse engage in a dual vocal attack full of lines fit for shouting off rooftops after passing around a bottle.

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Download: Japandroids – Young Hearts Spark Fire
Buy: Order Post-Nothing directly from Polyvinyl Records as CD or LP (either of which comes with a free mp3 download). Also, be sure to check them out on their re-scheduled tour of North America that kicks off on June 24th (click here for dates).

Here We Go Magic

Here We Go Magic - S/T

Here We Go Magic, the latest project from experimental folk-rocker Luke Temple, is enjoying its share of love this year. Moving from the rhythmic, Paul Simon-recalling pop textures of “Only Pieces” through a swirl of top-notch ambient-pop and bedroom psych-folk, their debut record has received favorable attention from Pitchfork, Gorilla vs. Bear, Stereogum, Cokemachineglow, and elsewhere. Even Grizzly Bear‘s Ed Droste blogged about his love for the album. And as we near the midpoint of 2009 and I start to reflect on the year thus far (expect more on that in a couple weeks), I’ve got to say that Here We Go Magic has easily become one of my favorite records released over these past several months. Look for them out on tour with Grizzly Bear throughout June (check the remaining dates here).

Recently, Here We Go Magic stopped by Daytrotter and dropped a three song session. Of particular note is brand new song “Collector”, though the live takes on both “Only Pieces” and “Fangela” (my favorite from their debut) are stellar as well. Head over to Daytrotter to stream and download all three tracks.

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Download: Here We Go Magic – Fangela
Buy: Order Here We Go Magic from Insound as CD or mp3, or from Western Vinyl on LP (with bonus track).
Watch: Peep the video for another standout, “Tunnelvision”, down below… and make sure to full-screen it.

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Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca

And, if you haven’t heard it yet, shoot over to NPR and stream Dirty Projectors‘ incredible Bitte Orca in its entirety… seriously, how good has 2009 been so far?