Author Archive

Prefuse 73 – Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian | Diamond Watch Wrists – Ice Capped At Both Ends | Savath y Savalas – La Llama

May 3rd, 2010

Prefuse 73 - Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian | Diamond Watch Wrists - Ice Capped At Both Ends | Savath y Savalas - La Llama

A Triple Threat

Avant-garde multi-instrumentalist, electronic producer/musician, and tripped-out mofo Guillermo Scott Herren possesses the versatility and open-eared creative juices that few contemporary, self-proclaimed boundary-pushing artists boast. His mission is clear: take listeners on a sensory journey, where any and every sound makes sense as one, and where unrelated noises and elements collide to somehow create a unique sonic experience. Herren sets out on an all-out musical blitzkrieg on this quest: He’s the sole mastermind behind numerous acts, including Delarosa and Asora, Piano Overlord, and Prefuse 73, and is a member of several collaborative groups, including Savath y Savalas, Risil, and Diamond Watch Wrists. As one of the most prolific producers in the independent experimental underground, Herren sets out to dominate with a triple-threat masterpiece: Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian as Prefuse 73, Ice Capped At Both Ends under the Diamond Watch Wrists moniker, and Savath y Savalas’ La Llama, all released in the same year. Read more…

By John Tron Posted in Reviews , , , ,

Tahiti Boy and the Palmtree Family – Good Children Go To Heaven

March 23rd, 2010

Music for the Hip Soul

There’s nothing too exciting with today’s trendy meshing of vintage genre elements with modern-day pop, especially with buzzy acts like She & Him and Mayer Hawthorne already improving that sound. The novelty has yet to disappear, but whether its ephemerality is a destined fate is unsure for now. What is sure, however, is that it is not recycled noise. The sounds of the 60’s/70’s soul-pop revival movement are fresh, with each act taking nuggets from past influencers and tweaking the elements to create unique, modern-day indie pop. Read more…

By John Tron Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews

Groove Armada – Black Light

February 23rd, 2010

Groove Armada - Black Light

Don’t Call It a Comeback

With the return of veteran electronic acts at its peak—The BPA, Fatboy Slim, Basement Jaxx, The Prodigy—could we be seeing the era of the comeback? Maybe so, but that won’t be solidified until the godfathers of the genre, Daft Punk, make their full return. That building anxiety leaves London dance duo Groove Armada in quite the predicament. It wasn’t too long ago that Andy Cato and Tom Findlay hit the ground running with Soundboy Rock, which means their latest release, Black Light, isn’t the traditional homecoming fans may have expected. Instead, Black Light, Groove Armada’s sixth studio album, is a reinvention of sorts that sees one of the U.K.’s biggest electronic artists sampling heavily from a grab bag of influences both new and old. Read more…

By John Tron Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews ,

The Bravery – Stir The Blood

January 31st, 2010

The Bravery - Stir The Blood

Here We Go Again

The Killers already knew that the whole post-punk/New Wave revival shtick wouldn’t last long, which best explains their drastic switch of styles from Hot Fuss to Sam’s Town. It’s too bad The Bravery never got the memo. In what seems like nothing more than regurgitated funk, the New York City quintet’s third album Stir The Blood takes listeners back to times when The Rapture was cool, even relevant; a pre-indie era when brainless dance rhythms trumped smart rock, layered vocal harmonies, and songs about oxford commas. Read more…

By John Tron Posted in Reviews ,

Basement Jaxx – Scars

October 11th, 2009

Basement Jaxx - Scars

Welcome Back, Jaxx

Five albums deep and it seems like London production duo Basement Jaxx will never stop. Release after steady release have made the names Simon (Ratcliffe) and Felix (Buxton) synonymous with dance royalty. So it’s no surprise that the Scars track listing oozes eclecticism with a mix of big-name drops from the likes of Santigold and Yoko Ono, soulful brother Eli “Paperboy” Reed, dance sensation Sam Sparro, and indie hip-hoppers Yo Majesty. Read more…

By John Tron Posted in Reviews

The Bloody Beetroots – Romborama

August 31st, 2009

The Bloody Beetroots - Romborama

There’s a Riot Goin’ On

When Crookers’ ubiquitous remix of Kid Cudi’s “Day N Nite” took over American dance floors, Italy became the next house/electro epicenter with acts like Crookers and The Bloody Beetroots trailing closely behind Parisian groups like Justice (yet not so closely behind Daft Punk). Beetroots mastermind Bob Rifo hit the scene running in 2007 with single after single, compilations and remixes galore, but nothing as solid and hard-hitting as Romborama. Read more…

By John Tron Posted in Reviews

In Concert: Lykke Li (The Wiltern, Los Angeles, Calif., August 4, 2009)

August 20th, 2009

Much like her stellar debut Youth Novels, the best of Lykke Li live is stripped from complexity and broken down to its barest form. There’s no intricate light show. No major set décor. No fancy costumes—Li comes dressed in a pitch-black cloak, her blond locks the only color on her. Even her backing band possessed the bare minimum of instruments at times, switching from electric to acoustic guitars and from a full drum set to rhythmic banging on a single floor tom with Li hammering away at a tambourine. And a kazoo (WTF moment #1). Read more…

By John Tron Posted in Show Reviews

Street Sweeper Social Club – Street Sweeper Social Club

August 10th, 2009

Street Sweeper Social Club

To Rage or Not to Rage?

Guitarist and activist virtuoso Tom Morello’s latest post-Rage Against the Machine project, Street Sweeper Social Club, comprised of Morello and The Coup rapper Boots Riley, leaves only one question: Where’s Zack? Read more…

By John Tron Posted in Reviews

Depeche Mode – Sounds of the Universe

July 20th, 2009

Depeche Mode - Sounds of the Universe

Intergalactic Noise

Depeche Mode’s extensively successful career plays out much like a human life plagued with identity crises. It went through its adolescent stage as a teeny bopper with 1981’s Speak & Spell via its catchiest “Just Can’t Get Enough” and “Dreaming of Me.” As the band grew older and its tastes matured, it made a natural progression toward more serious tones, both musically and topically, to finally find its place at the forefront of electronic pop. Now, after more than 30 years of chart-topping fame, Depeche Mode hit an analytical point in life—self-evaluation is inevitable. Read more…

By John Tron Posted in Reviews

The BPA – I Think We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat

May 31st, 2009

The Lost Tapes

In perhaps some of the most creative marketing of 2009, big beat pioneer Norman Cook–best known as “funk soul brother” Fatboy Slim–nears his 20th pseudonym with his return in the form of The Brighton Port Authority. An open-invitation collective of icons and budding newcomers, The BPA are a fictitious ’70s supergroup led by Cook and Brighton, England-based producer Simon Thornton, their rumored “existence” recently solidified by the “discovery” of tapes of mythical jam sessions featuring the likes of Iggy Pop, Martha Wainwright, David Byrne, and an impressive list of tomorrow’s stars (though tomorrow is probably today). Read more…

By John Tron Posted in Reviews ,