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Top 50 Songs of 2007


So much of 2017 has related to excess, and whether you have it or you’re annoyed by it. Whether in noise, media, social media, words, money, things, or more — MORE?! — we’re constantly bombarded by volume; some of us come away from that wanting more, and others just want it to stop and shrivel away. Songs may not be able to change all of that, but they can certainly do a good job of explaining the situation. Looking through our list of the best tracks of 2017, it’s littered with artists taking a side in that debate. Whether you want everybody to sit down and be humble, or you’re happy to swim through love galore, the whole world is reacting to the gigantic-ness of everything. And despite all of the noise and the frustration, there’s been a whole lot of positivity and beauty, as expressed here as well. Living in 2017 is reacting to 2017, and it’s a beautiful thing to see so many people doing so with real care. These songs don’t deny our reality, but could well lay a path to a new one.

–Lior Phillips
Senior Writer

__________________________________________________________

Everything Now

Sounds Like: The Flaming Lips trying to cover an ABBA song but getting interrupted, continually and fruitfully, by a rogue faction of the Polyphonic Spree.

Key Lyric: “We can just pretend/ We’ll make it home again/ From everything now”

Why It Matters: The album’s grander ambitions (and seemingly endless, satirical guerrilla-marketing campaign) may have fallen flat, but the title track, aided by ambitious production from Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter and Pulp’s Steve Mackey, clocked in as one of the Arcade Fire’s most confident songs of all time.

Song in a GIF:

giphy 11 Top 50 Songs of 2007

–Tyler Clark

__________________________________________________________

The Thrill of It All

Sounds Like: The ending to every breakup you’ve ever had, only two hours later, when the weight of change hits you in every possible way.

Key Lyric: “I know you’re thinkin’ I’m heartless/ I know you’re thinkin’ I’m cold/ I’m just protectin’ my innocence/ I’m just protectin’ my soul”

Why It Matters: Sam Smith conquers the ballad yet again with a hit that’s less Tom Petty and more CW. This is unadulterated emotionalism that finds the blockbuster singer-songwriter sounding stronger and more confident than ever. It’s actually kind of contagious.

Song in a GIF:

goodbye Top 50 Songs of 2007

–Michael Roffman

__________________________________________________________

American Teen

Sounds Like: Klonopin in a song: A Gen Z lullaby drifting through a hazy high school basement party, where everyone is the right amount of happy, in a paradise hidden far away from expectations.

Key Lyric: “I’m so high at the moment/ I’m so caught up in this/ Yeah, we’re just young, dumb, and broke/ But we still got love to give”

Why It Matters: Nineteen-year-old Khalid speaks of what he knows on this mesmerizing and anthemic ode to embracing the bliss of simple youthful contentment. You’ll be swaying along to the chorus of “Young, Dumb & Broke” hours after you hear it.

Song in a GIF:

giphy 7 Top 50 Songs of 2007

–Kayleigh Hughes

__________________________________________________________

When I Was Young EP

Sounds Like: A neon-flooded roller rink after a few too many Pixy Stix.

Key Lyric: “On my own/ Pretending that I’m not at home/ Act like I don’t check my phone”

Why It Matters: Three long years after her debut, the Danish powerhouse’s confident vulnerability makes “Linking with You” a sugary pop high. She sings about dreaming that that special someone finally calls, but with , even the waiting is sublime.

Song in a GIF:

giphy 113 Top 50 Songs of 2007

–Lior Phillips

__________________________________________________________

Baby Driver OST

Sounds Like: A hard, drifting left turn around the corner of a damp city street, shot in high-def slow-motion.

Key Lyric: “The reign of our ascension makes statisticians feel sickly/ Accountants, they get snippy, they never counted so quickly” or “Show some respect, or you’ll get showered like parade confetti/ Made man, I’m made already, nobody safe from petty/ 450 horse up in the Porsche, 600 in the Chevy”

Why It Matters: Soundtrack themes are hard to nail, especially when you have the acclaim of the film to live up to. Bringing together this much talent on a song that perfectly fits the movie and makes for a banging standalone track only serves to elevate Baby Driver, which should be a benchmark for any OST single.

Song in a GIF:

gangsta girls car Top 50 Songs of 2007

–Ben Kaye

__________________________________________________________

Add Violence EP

Sounds Like: A sly protest song, sung with teeth bared, set to a beat by La Roux. Or if you prefer, it sounds like a demon, a party boy, and an anti-war activist having a freaky threesome in the bathroom of an all-night club.

Key Lyric: “And you can always justify/ The missile trails across the sky again”

Why It Matters: In recent years, as Trent Reznor has explored all the different sounds he’s good at making, he’s occasionally neglected the kinds of songs that made him great. “Less Than” hearkens back to Nine Inch Nails’ hits from Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral – it’s a howl of rage you can dance to. The difference here is that Reznor’s rage is turned outwards instead of in.

Song in a GIF:

tenor Top 50 Songs of 2007

–Wren Graves

__________________________________________________________

Culture

Sounds Like: The song the Peanuts gang might rage and blow a few stacks to if they were as lit as Migos. “Bad & Boujee” is a testament to their signature flows that pair them with deconstructed synth piano gold from Metro Boomin.

Key Lyric: “Raindrop, drop top/ Smokin’ on cookie in the hotbox/ Fuckin’ on your b*tch, she a thot, thot/ Cookin’ up dope in the crockpot/ We came from nothin’ to somethin’, n*gga…”

Why It Matters: “Bad & Boujee” is Migos’ first single to top the Billboard Hot 100. The group turned rap’s aspirational flexing into a nouveau riche trap anthem that speaks to their love of women and iced-out excess but also makes clear their willingness — if tested — to adhere to the code of the streets.

Song in a GIF:

giphy 114 Top 50 Songs of 2007

–Karas Lamb

__________________________________________________________

Weddings & Funerals

Sounds Like: A one-man tug-of-war for emotional stability across wet, slippery tiles as indifferent locker doors slam shut all around

Key Lyric: “I could be your swim mate/ I could be your slave”

Why It Matters: In a year that many of our favorite rock and roll go-tos tasted bland, we found ourselves turning to up-and-coming flavors like The Kickback more and more. The brutal catchiness, wit, and manic desperation of songs like “Hotel Chlorine” have kept us feasting all year — always allowing time to digest before jumping back in.

Song in a GIF:

ys1whxtzrrlmc Top 50 Songs of 2007

–Matt Melis

__________________________________________________________

Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1

Sounds Like: Relaxing by the pool in the moonlight with your significant other while sipping on margaritas.

Key Lyric: “Put some spotlight on the slide/ Whatever comes, comes through clear.”

Why It Matters: Frank Ocean comes together with Migos’ Quavo and Offset on a breezy, disco pop jam that’s as deep or superficial as you want it to be. While the chorus contemplates intimacy and meaningless sex, two-thirds of 2017’s hottest trio enjoy bouncing back and forth over a groovy bass line.

Song in a GIF:

hplchln Top 50 Songs of 2007

–Eddie Fu

__________________________________________________________

Adult Swim Singles 2017

Sounds Like: It’s like some ancient recording of an alien world, where silence is replaced by what can best be described as aural embalming fluid

Key Lyric: That part where your mind goes full David Bowman about three minutes and 53 seconds into this nine-minute odyssey.

Why It Matters: Brian Eno and Kevin Shields are responsible for some of the most groundbreaking music of the last few decades, and while their collaboration for Adult Swim isn’t exactly changing history, it’s certainly a little Eric Stoltz and Lea Thompson: some kind of wonderful.

Song in a GIF:

2001 Top 50 Songs of 2007

–Michael Roffman

__________________________________________________________



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Top 50 Songs of 2017


So much of 2017 has related to excess, and whether you have it or you’re annoyed by it. Whether in noise, media, social media, words, money, things, or more — MORE?! — we’re constantly bombarded by volume; some of us come away from that wanting more, and others just want it to stop and shrivel away. Songs may not be able to change all of that, but they can certainly do a good job of explaining the situation.

Looking through our list of the best tracks of 2017, it’s littered with artists taking a side in that debate. Whether you want everybody to sit down and be humble, or you’re happy to swim through love galore, the whole world is reacting to the gigantic-ness of everything. And despite all of the noise and the frustration, there’s been a whole lot of positivity and beauty, as expressed here as well. Living in 2017 is reacting to 2017, and it’s a beautiful thing to see so many people doing so with real care.

These songs don’t deny our reality, but could well lay a path to a new one.

–Lior Phillips
Senior Writer

__________________________________________________________

Everything Now

Sounds Like: The Flaming Lips trying to cover an ABBA song but getting interrupted, continually and fruitfully, by a rogue faction of the Polyphonic Spree.

Key Lyric: “We can just pretend/ We’ll make it home again/ From everything now”

Why It Matters: The album’s grander ambitions (and seemingly endless, satirical guerrilla-marketing campaign) may have fallen flat, but the title track, aided by ambitious production from Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter and Pulp’s Steve Mackey, clocked in as one of the Arcade Fire’s most confident songs of all time.

Song in a GIF:

giphy 11 Top 50 Songs of 2017

–Tyler Clark

__________________________________________________________

The Thrill of It All

Sounds Like: The ending to every breakup you’ve ever had, only two hours later, when the weight of change hits you in every possible way.

Key Lyric: “I know you’re thinkin’ I’m heartless/ I know you’re thinkin’ I’m cold/ I’m just protectin’ my innocence/ I’m just protectin’ my soul”

Why It Matters: Sam Smith conquers the ballad yet again with a hit that’s less Tom Petty and more CW. This is unadulterated emotionalism that finds the blockbuster singer-songwriter sounding stronger and more confident than ever. It’s kind of contagious.

Song in a GIF:

goodbye Top 50 Songs of 2017

–Michael Roffman

__________________________________________________________

American Teen

Sounds Like: Klonopin in a song: A Gen Z lullaby drifting through a hazy high school basement party, where everyone is the right amount of happy, in a paradise hidden far away from expectations.

Key Lyric: “I’m so high at the moment/ I’m so caught up in this/ Yeah, we’re just young, dumb, and broke/ But we still got love to give”

Why It Matters: Nineteen-year-old Khalid speaks of what he knows on this mesmerizing and anthemic ode to embracing the bliss of simple youthful contentment. You’ll be swaying along to the chorus of “Young, Dumb & Broke” hours after you hear it.

Song in a GIF:

giphy 7 Top 50 Songs of 2017

–Kayleigh Hughes

__________________________________________________________

When I Was Young EP

Sounds Like: A neon-flooded roller rink after a few too many Pixy Stix.

Key Lyric: “On my own/ Pretending that I’m not at home/ Act like I don’t check my phone”

Why It Matters: Three long years after her debut, the Danish powerhouse’s confident vulnerability makes “Linking with You” a sugary pop high. She sings about dreaming that that special someone finally calls, but with , even the waiting is sublime.

Song in a GIF:

giphy 113 Top 50 Songs of 2017

–Lior Phillips

__________________________________________________________

Baby Driver OST

Sounds Like: A hard, drifting left turn around the corner of a damp city street, shot in high-def slow-motion.

Key Lyric: “The reign of our ascension makes statisticians feel sickly/ Accountants, they get snippy, they never counted so quickly” or “Show some respect, or you’ll get showered like parade confetti/ Made man, I’m made already, nobody safe from petty/ 450 horse up in the Porsche, 600 in the Chevy”

Why It Matters: Soundtrack themes are hard to nail, especially when you have the acclaim of the film to live up to. Bringing together this much talent on a song that perfectly fits the movie and makes for a banging standalone track only serves to elevate Baby Driver, which should be a benchmark for any OST single.

Song in a GIF:

gangsta girls car Top 50 Songs of 2017

–Ben Kaye

__________________________________________________________

Add Violence EP

Sounds Like: A sly protest song, sung with teeth bared, set to a beat by La Roux. Or if you prefer, it sounds like a demon, a party boy, and an anti-war activist having a freaky threesome in the bathroom of an all-night club.

Key Lyric: “And you can always justify/ The missile trails across the sky again”

Why It Matters: In recent years, as Trent Reznor has explored all the different sounds he’s good at making, he’s occasionally neglected the kinds of songs that made him great. “Less Than” hearkens back to Nine Inch Nails’ hits from Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral – it’s a howl of rage you can dance to. The difference here is that Reznor’s rage is turned outwards instead of in.

Song in a GIF:

tenor Top 50 Songs of 2017

–Wren Graves

__________________________________________________________

Culture

Sounds Like: The song the Peanuts gang might rage and blow a few stacks to if they were as lit as Migos. “Bad & Boujee” is a testament to their signature flows that pair them with deconstructed synth piano gold from Metro Boomin.

Key Lyric: “Raindrop, drop top/ Smokin’ on cookie in the hotbox/ Fuckin’ on your b*tch, she a thot, thot/ Cookin’ up dope in the crockpot/ We came from nothin’ to somethin’, n*gga…”

Why It Matters: “Bad & Boujee” is Migos’ first single to top the Billboard Hot 100. The group turned rap’s aspirational flexing into a nouveau riche trap anthem that speaks to their love of women and iced-out excess but also makes clear their willingness — if tested — to adhere to the code of the streets.

Song in a GIF:

giphy 114 Top 50 Songs of 2017

–Karas Lamb

__________________________________________________________

Weddings & Funerals

Sounds Like: A one-man tug-of-war for emotional stability across wet, slippery tiles as indifferent locker doors slam shut all around

Key Lyric: “I could be your swim mate/ I could be your slave”

Why It Matters: In a year that many of our favorite rock and roll go-tos tasted bland, we found ourselves turning to up-and-coming flavors like The Kickback more and more. The brutal catchiness, wit, and manic desperation of songs like “Hotel Chlorine” have kept us feasting all year — always allowing time to digest before jumping back in.

Song in a GIF:

ys1whxtzrrlmc Top 50 Songs of 2017

–Matt Melis

__________________________________________________________

Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1

Sounds Like: Relaxing by the pool in the moonlight with your significant other while sipping on margaritas.

Key Lyric: “Put some spotlight on the slide/ Whatever comes, comes through clear.”

Why It Matters: Frank Ocean comes together with Migos’ Quavo and Offset on a breezy, disco pop jam that’s as deep or superficial as you want it to be. While the chorus contemplates intimacy and meaningless sex, two-thirds of 2017’s hottest trio enjoy bouncing back and forth over a groovy bass line.

Song in a GIF:

hplchln Top 50 Songs of 2017

–Eddie Fu

__________________________________________________________

Adult Swim Singles 2017

Sounds Like: It’s like some ancient recording of an alien world, where silence is replaced by what can best be described as aural embalming fluid

Key Lyric: That part where your mind goes full David Bowman about three minutes and 53 seconds into this nine-minute odyssey.

Why It Matters: Brian Eno and Kevin Shields are responsible for some of the most groundbreaking music of the last few decades, and while their collaboration for Adult Swim isn’t exactly changing history, it’s certainly a little Eric Stoltz and Lea Thompson: some kind of wonderful.

Song in a GIF:

2001 Top 50 Songs of 2017

–Michael Roffman

__________________________________________________________



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Liars share two new tracks, “Coins in My Caged Fist” and “The Grand Delusional”: Stream


Photo by Zen Sekizawa

Angus Andrew has insinuated that his forthcoming album as LiarsTFCF (short for Themes From Crying Fountain), is unlike any past release from the project. That’s not entirely surprising, since Liars have long been about progress from record to record. As if to prove the point, two different tracks from the Mess follow-up have been shared that show off Andrew’s new approach.

First is “Coins in My Caged Fist”, a sample-heavy track that skitters about on frantic drum machines and spliced up electronics. “I wanted to do lots of sampling,” Andrews explained ina  press release. “I’d done a little in the past, but I’d started to realize the possibilities of the process, of sampling myself playing ‘proper’ instruments, and then using the sampler to put it all together in an ‘artificial’ way.”

Take a listen:

Andrews previously said of TFCF, “There’s acoustic guitar all over this record! How ridiculous is that?” That’s where “The Grand Delusional” comes in, a track that sounds more like a bedroom indie recording than the dance punk frenzy Liars fans may find more familiar. Check it out below.

TFCF is due out August 25th through Mute Records. Liars will tour behind the record through Europe and the US beginning later this week, and you can find their complete itinerary here.



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Suicide’s Martin Rev announces new solo album, Demolition 9, shares two tracks — listen


Photo by​ Divine Enfantr

Among the many artists we lost last year was Suicide frontman Alan Vega, who passed away in July. While his death put an end to the great proto-punk outfit, his multi-instrumental bandmate Martin Rev is soldiering on. Today, he’s announced a new solo album called Demolition 9.

The record marks Rev’s first new material since 2009’s Stigmata. Demolition 9 comprises a whopping 34 tracks, though only one hits three minutes in length. According to a press release, “the record spans a lifetime’s worth of moods and musings, encompassing fragments of Rev’s varied passions accrued across his nearly half-century long career.”

As a sample of the industrial electronic sounds of the album, Rev has shared two tracks, “Now” and “In Our Name”. Take a listen to both below.

Demolition 9 is set for a May 29th release via Craig Leon’s Atlas Réalisations label. Find the album art and tracklist below.

Demolition 9 Artwork:

unnamed 3 Suicides Martin Rev announces new solo album, Demolition 9, shares two tracks    listen

Demolition 9 Tracklist:
01. Stickball
02. Salve Dominus
03. Deus
04. Pace
05. My Street
06. Te Amo
07. Into the Blue
08 Requiem
09. Now
10. Blayboy
11. In Our Name
12. Never Mind
13. Vision of Mari
14. Warning
15. Salvame
16. Dies Irae
17. RBL
18. Venitas
19. Stretch
20. Creation
21. Toi
22. Piéta
23. It’s Time
24. Tacha’s Toy
25. Back to Philly
26. Stelle
27. Inside Out
28. Beatus
29. Tuba
30. Réve
31. Concrete
32. She
33. Darling
34. Excelsis



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Peter Murphy announces career-spanning residency in San Francisco


Peter Murphy, former frontman for iconic post-punk outfit Bauhaus, has announced a 15-night, career-spanning residency at The Chapel in San Francisco.

Set to run from June 20th through July 14th, the residency will see the Godfather of Goth perform a “retrospective of his greatest solo albums in their entirety,” according to a press release. Among the LPs Murphy will revive: 1986 debut Should the World Fail to Fall Apart, 1989’s Deep, 1992’s Holy Smoke, and Ninth from 2011.

(Read: Every Alternative Rock No. 1 From Worst to Best)

An additional “Stripped” show will take place, reflecting his most recent world tour. Murphy is also expected to incorporate a handful of Bauhaus classics into his sets.

Check out the full schedule of his residency below. Tickets go on sale here beginning March 13th.

Peter Murphy Residency at The Chapel: 
Tue, June 20th – Should the World Fail to Fall Apart
Wed, June 21st – Should the World Fail to Fall Apart
Thu, June 22nd – Love Hysteria
Fri, June 23rd – Love Hysteria
Mon, June 26th – Deep
Thu, June 29th – Deep
Fri, June 30th – Holy Smoke
Sat, July 1st – Cascade
Mon, July 3rd – Cascade
Thu, July 6th – Dust
Fri, July 7th – Dust
Sat, July 8th – Ninth
Tue, July 11th – Stripped
Thu, July 13th – Very Special Show TBA
Fri, July 14th – Very Special Show TBA

 Peter Murphy announces career spanning residency in San Francisco

Revisit Deep track “Cuts You Up”:



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Terrifying Girls’ High School – Self-titled EP


Artist: Terrifying Girls’ High School

Title: Self-titled EP

Release: Tape / Digital

Year: 2016

Label: Emocat Records

Terrifying Girls’ High School, consisting of Black Knight Satellite, DBLSTNDRDS, Raccoon Eyes and Dog Thermos, come from Vancouver of British Columbia. Their music is that of a mixture of Post-Hardcore, Screamo, Art Punk and is reminiscent of Three One G renaissance classics like Swing Kids, The Locust, The Plot to Blow Up The Eiffel Tower and The Blood Brothers and also a part of the ‘Sass’ revival in 2016.

On our way of listening to one of their tracks “Dust Up at Cthulhu Saloon as they open themselves for us. In our ears, we are being painted with the trails of funky and colorful growing pain(t)s and bassy paintbrushes whipping our faces while we are overhearing the ramblings of a mad painter until everything gets thrown at us in a such chaotic level. So much for ‘staying alive’?

Next onto ‘Picking Poisons’ were there’s two vocals than on the previous tracks, causing an amazing avalanche of wordy paranoia and fear, much to the nods of The Plot to Blow the Eiffel Tower. Lyrically, one vocalists speaks of a cocaine addiction and the other is talking about a nightmarish scenario of being stuck in a perilous situation.

I am in favor of hitting replay over and over again until i get sassed up for the rest of my adulthood. Looking through to hear more from them. I mean MORE!



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Sneaks announces Merge Records debut, shares hypnotic “Inside Edition” — listen


Eva Moolchan is an up-and-coming musician whose minimalist yet intriguing fusion of bass, drum machines, spoken word, and post-punk is turning heads in Washington, DC’s male-dominated DIY punk scene. Last September, Moolchan, who performs under the moniker Sneaks, signed on with Merge Records (Arcade Fire, Caribou, Spoon), which reissued her 2015 debut album, Gymnastics. (The LP was originally released on Sister Polygon, the label co-founded by Katie Alice Greer, singer for local heroes Priests.)

On March 31st, Moolchan will issue her first proper album on Merge, titled It’s a Myth. It was recorded with the help of Jonah Takagi and Mary Timony of fellow label mates Ex Hex, and is said to walk a more experimental path than Gymnastics.

Gymnastics was definitely rhythm-based, syllable-based,” Moolchan told the City Paper last year. “I was really drawn to the most simple beat on [the drum machine] because it was the pace I was at in life, and that was the rhythm that I was in.”

The mindset going into the new album, meanwhile, was “discovery.” “Like, what happens when I try this instrument? Do I like it? Can I find myself in this instrument?” she explained, adding, “I think [the new songs are] coming from the same place but the way things are expressed are different, and there are different conclusions to things.”

As a preview of It’s a Myth, Moolchan has let loose a hypnotic quick-hitter called “Inside Edition”, which can be heard below.

It’s a Myth Tracklist:
01. Inside Edition
02. Look Like That
03. Not My Combination
04. Hair Slick Back
05. Devo
06. PBNJ
07. Act Out
08. Daffodils
09. With a Cherry On Top
10. Future



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The 13 Scariest Cover Songs


Feature Image by Virginia McCarthy and Cap Blackard

Cover Girl is a monthly music column in which Associate Editor Nina Corcoran compares cover songs to their original version. To celebrate Friday the 13th, this month’s column highlights 13 cover songs that give us the spooks, either from their lyrics or their musical arrangements.

As the world keeps turning and so does everything with it, the descriptors we use to better understand what surrounds us shift. What does it mean to be scared? What makes something scary? Well, if you look at the last few years, quite a lot. We’ve transitioned from horror films about vampires and zombies to ones about a children’s pop-up book and vaginal teeth. Songs about death frighten just as much as songs about fear of loss. What scares us no longer stems from direct, obvious imagery but rather the potential for it to arise, to appear before us, or to be taken away.

Music changes in a similar fashion. Serial killer stories make just as good of lyrical fodder as a desire to perform said acts, even if never followed through. Creeping ’80s synths set the mood as much as deadpan pop punk can. When a musician has their eyes set on a mood, they see to it, creating tracks that wrap themselves up in a mist and leave much to the imagination — especially when writing dark material.

To honor Friday the 13th, take a stroll through some of the scariest cover songs in music history. Artists know how to write bone-chilling lyrics or set the mood with eerie instrumentals. Other musicians know how to take those two facets, wrap them in ways they see fit, and offer up a rendition that turns an already eerie song into one that’s far more unsettling than anyone could have predicted. After all, what’s scarier than being surprised?

__________________________________________________________



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NOT YOUR WORLD MUSIC: Noise in South East Asia


Ever since I first met Cedrik Fermont (C-Drik, Kirdec, Syrphe etc.) back in 2008 when Amek brought him to Sofia I’ve known about his dedication and determination to come up with a book dedicated to the experimental / noise scene of South East Asia. Through the years he’s been constantly updating his followers on the progress of this project by populating data bases with artists and labels, digging up or promoting obscure old and new records from this region while of course relentlessly touring the region. For most of the people these parts of the world will always be enshrouded in mystery simply because they are not necessarily a low cost flight away from them, let’s say. However, what Cedrik Fermont and co-author Dimitri della Faille (Szkieve, Hushush) have managed to do with this book is not only shed some light on all that’s happening in the noise and experimental scenes of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar/Burma, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam by documenting certain groups of artists, label owners and promoters, but share a big phase of their very personal processes of researching, exploring and preserving an art world that they are both obviously very passionate about.

And as anything music-related this work wouldn’t be that imersive without a sonic representation of everything discussed in it. Below is a stream of the accompanying compilation (now sold out on CD, but available for download), which puts words into sounds as noise and music should always do.

Why is this book on DIY conspiracy you’d ask? First, because accessing different scenes and cultures is a process intelligent human beings should be naturally interested in. Secondly, the whole project is totally DIY. With the physical edition of the book and compilation being crowd-funded and everything else (digital edition of the book and full compilation stream) being completely free for everybody. This makes Fermont and Faille’s work a documentation and research of a completely different type. No institutions have funded this, no publishing houses will profit from an art movement, which has never been about profit, and basically everybody can access this information in the blink of an eye. This whole project is as much as a work of art as the art itself depicted in it. The art to research, to dig deep, to encounter, explore and thus become passionate about just like the authors seemingly are.

This passion is deeply rooted in the whole book. Not Your World Music is definitely not a sterile academic work, but a very personal documentation of a realm, which the authors have been exploring for years. The book is very carefully examining its subject from all aspects, which interest the authors. The scenes are dissected from a technological, financial, geographical, political and sociological point of view. Fermont and Faille carefully inspect the creative or artistic specifics of the discussed scenes with the same passion they try to depict, for example, gender-based trends and issues. All this not without mentioning the roots of noise and experimental music, outlining their own background and development, which makes the book not only a good and detailed read for those already familiar and interested in these art fields and scenes, but for newcomers as well. This book will surely become a reason for future interactions between artists, labels and promoters from all around the globe, it will open new discussions and what’s most important it has the potential to inspire creative people from other regions, considered exotic, distant or actually economically troubled to create and manifest their work to the world.

Get your copy from NOT YOUR WORLD MUSIC: Noise in South East Asia here. Links for free downloads in .pdf are also available so don’t miss exploring the very interesting and actually quite vast world of South East Asian noise, experimental music and sound art.



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Balkan Noise: A Brief Intro to the Ex-Yugo Underground Music Compilations


For those who missed last 25-30 years or skipped history classes, Yugoslavia was a socialist and communist country in the Balkans. But unlike the similar countries of Eastern Europe “behind the Iron Curtain”, Yugoslavia was out of any blocs. In fact, the country was a founder of Non-Aligned Movement, but still had a good influence on Western culture.

That was the reason why all subcultures were present and started developing few years after their beginnings in Western countries. We had R’n’R, punk, post-punk, hardcore, disco, pop, comics, art etc. scene, you name it. The “Ljubljana-Zagreb-Belgrade axis” (capital cities of the republics) was very strong, connections were made, people traveled a lot, exchanged ideas, played and you can tell that was “the Golden age” of our underground scene.

The year of 1992 was the end of Yugoslavia. We’ve split into six countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. I am sure some of you have heard about the civil wars that ended in 1995. Most of the contacts were broken or hard to maintain, a lot of artists moved to some other countries, or stopped being active, however, there were some new generations that grew up in between.

After the war, the connections between ex-Yugoslavian republics were slowly restored, mostly by fanzines. The Internet came few years after, and fanzines were moving slowly to their demise. Here and there you will find some punk, art, sci-fi or other fanzine, but by now they are more of “by accident” than a regular thing.

Video Killed The Radio Star…

Internet Killed The Fanzine

Webzines are now dominating underground media scene, and every few months there is some new portal, blog or something like that popping up. Like fanzines, most of them last just for a year or two. Though, there are few of them that last for more than a decade-decade and a half.

Labels? Physical labels are disappearing as well. There are few indie labels in Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, and I think they are doing pretty well. But most of new labels are starting as net-labels. There are all kind of them that support punk, metal, noise, industrial, electronic, D’n’B, and many more.

Fortunately, we have younger generations that are active, and that’s a pretty good start.

Since it is hard to cover all of underground genres, maybe the best way to scratch the surface is to check some of the labels and compilations they prepared throughout the last few years. You’ll see how diverse the scene is, from obscure bedroom projects to artists who have a commercial potential.

LIBRARION

librarion-zine

So, let’s start with LIBRARION, which is basically art fanzine, but almost every issue was followed with release. Sometimes it was a single track, but through time the net label became a parallel part of Librarion project. So far three compilations were made:

“Strah” (Fear) as part of issue #3 of the zine, as well as “Opasna ženska muzika” (Fearsome female music) with #2 issue. This compilation is quite interesting since only girl bands and acts were gathered there. It was made to highlight the Balkan women of the underground.

Their freshest compilation is published under minimalistic title “~”, released just few days ago. Unlike previous comps, this one has a totally free-form in its subject. You’ll find some noise, harsh noise, electro, metal, post punk and punk acts from Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia blended together. This last Librarion release is notable since it brings a bunch of new names, and also digs through the past. These are the contributors from ‘~’:

  • Dangerous Beat (Croatian techno/IDM producer, this time in noise outfit)
  • The Bane (two-piece ad-hoc band from Serbia, from military days)
  • Olja Wagner (solo project from prominent musician and poetess from Niš)
  • Summer Deaths (one of the rare Vaporwave/chill acts from Serbia)
  • Psihokratija (cult goth/dark cabaret band from Belgrade, they are active these days)
  • No No Instigator (fresh post-punk/no wave duo from Croatia)
  • Litanije Čaranja (one of the rare funeral doom projects, from Croatia)
  • Bitchslap (experimental act from Serbia, by owner of the Deathfuckarmageddon Records)
  • Monosiped (weird, melodic musical act from Serbia)
  • Acoustic Torture Chamber (experimental/noise from BiH, by owner of the Human Cross Records)
  • BxOxKx (digital punk/ska/hip-hop act from Kraljevo, by the editor-in-chief of AkuPUNKtura zine)
  • King Ubu (reactivated alt. rock sensation from Zagreb)
  • Antitalent (harshnoise/minimalistic project from Brus, Serbia, by owner of the underground label Jesboligakurac Records)
  • The Ant (minimalistic instrumental rock from Majdanpek, Serbia)
  • :dARM (one more experimental project from the owner of the Human Cross Records)
  • Nekro Batica (noisican from Serbia, owner of the Deathfuckarmaeddon Records and editor-in-chief of Ciklonizacija blog)
  • Eva Ras (post-screamo project from Serbia, by owner of the Confusion Specialist net-label)
  • Misha Mashina & Mashtrakala (very noisy and weird alt. rock act from Serbia)
  • KSEA (mysterious ambient/minimalistic project from Serbia)
  • Dosis Letalis (ANW/HNW artist from Serbia)
  • Ex You (experimental no-jazz ensemble from Serbia)
  • .vernacvlaar destrvction. (HNW/static noise artist from Serbia)

This label released some other weird releases, no fancy shit, just pure underground for the underground geeks like you.

Crime:Scene

crimescene-records

Now, let’s move to the Crime:Scene Records. One of the oldest and most productive net labels from the front man of massacre industrial act dreDDup, that released more than 150 releases in 10 years or so. CSR is more oriented to some dark sounds, industrial, noise, post punk, goth, EBM etc. They organized some festivals and radio shows in the past.

Among releases there are some of nice compilations that will give you nice insight into this kind of sound.

Dark Balkan Music Vol.1 & Vol.2

Alchemy, VA release with ex-Yu bands doing covers

Also, there is a series of CSR regular compilations. For now, there are 14 volumes.

Black Planet Records

black-planet-records

Black Planet Records is also active in connecting bands and producers in ex-Yu. They are most known by their series of compilations entitled “Balkan Under The Radar”. The name is self-explanatory. Every issue is like double or even triple CD edition. They do physical copies as well, in limited number. Style? You name it, they have it.

Vol 1 The Invisible Scene

Vol 2 The Black Wave

Vol 3 Black Generation

Vol 4 Antisocial Network

Underground Alliance

underground-alliance-records

Underground Alliance has 60 releases under their belt, but I think this label is on hiatus right now. Check the compilations they made (similar idea like BPR above) two trilogies.

Ubivae

ubivae-records

Ubivae is the youngest label/collective. So far they released two compilations, check it out if you are into electronic, D’n’B, experimental.

Panda Jesus

panda-jesus

In the end, I’d like to mention a label from my hometown, Ćuprija, that just started as well.

Panda Jessus is dedicated to some alternative electronic genres: witch house, vaporwave, down-tempo/chill, etc. They have three releases so far, but you can check the first compilation they made, first one that gathered the next generation of artists that produce genres mentioned above.

I think this would be enough for now. I am sure that even just these few labels mentioned above will be enough to give you hours and weeks of new music and insight that music from Balkan is still alive.

There are more labels and bands to present but feel free to explore them yourself. This is just something to scratch the surface. I am sure you’ll find something exotic and I’ll be glad to hear your comments below.

About the author: Nenad Popović is editor-in-chief of HELLYCHERRY webzine.



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