Grimm’s Fairy tales, Scott Walker, Nosferatu,JT Leroy, fictional, real. Equal parts nightmare, fantasy, and puppet show. Channeling the heroes before us, clanging on his guitar, & bringing simple synth sounds to lull us all back into the darkest womb.
Synopsis: Trying to express myself in an industry/world ruled by algorithms and carefully conditioned habits
Solo project of Brian Kupillas (aka Thin Charles) who also plays in Wished Bone and SW/MM/NG. While his most recent output mostly consists of dark folk songs, earlier records in WL catalog (Maj Deegan/Ashame) reveal a more experimental side to the project
Inside Brian Kupillas is a swirling storm of extremes. On one end of his musical spectrum in Wandering Lake, he is a gentle guitar-plucking folk crooner. On the other end, he is an experimental wizard.
Under dim lights and dizzying projections, Kupillas might rattle around kitchen utensils or take a screwdriver to his guitar string, then send those noises down a whirlwind of unexpected twists and turns through his pedals. If it’s in your utility closet or junk drawer, he can likely make music with it.
I Heart Local Music
The Jefferson Park Boys
Synopsis: Contemporary dinner music
New project that brings together three veterans of experimental/indie hip-hop – Kenny Segal (The Kleenerz/Syndakit), Aaron Carmack and Mike Parvizi (Penthouse Penthouse). Judging by two tracks available on Bandcamp their upcoming LP is all smooth, jazzy hip-hop, a kind that any devotee of the early 90s would appreciate – strictly butter, as Q-Tip/Tribe would put it.
Everyone is Dirty
Synopsis: diy hi fi garage symphonic post-punk disturbia
Good ole rock’n’roll with heaps of sweet vocal harmonies and catchy melodies. Their story of survival is one for the books
Guitarist/vocalist Christopher Daddio is a two-time cancer survivor. Vocalist/violinist Sivan Lioncub recently suffered from liver failure after a rare allergic reaction to antibiotics. All of this from a band whose 2014 album was called Dying is Fun – a title that has become increasingly ironic, especially with Lioncub’s most recent brush with fate.
Synopsis: Primitive post punk from outer space
Sextile have come of age. Hypertense and hypnotic, dark and vitriolic, primitive and retro/modern. They sound like the underground in America should sound in 2017. Angry, fucked-up, yet with a plan…
Louder Than War
Synopsis: Dreams in blurred textures and 8-bit bleeps
Andrew Saks is an electronic music producer, jazz guitarist and founding member of Ventura, California dreampop band Sway. Originally a four-piece group, Andrew took on Sway as a solo project in 2010 playing various shows in California with additional personnel on percussion and guitars. Recently Andrew retired Sway and is now making electronic music under the name FLDPLN.
“We Have No Influential Friends”, a lost Sway album, reveals a sweet blend of jangle pop and shoegaze (with 8-bit consoles providing sonic textures) – a soundtrack to floating in space, as it were. According to St. Marie Records bio Saks was heavily influenced by bands like New Order, Talking Heads and Pet Shop Boys which might explain a rather unusual approach he takes:
Falling asleep nightly while listening to 1980′s pop and R&B, and then waking up, late at night in a dark dreamlike haze with New Order, Swing Out Sister, Talking Heads, Pet Shop Boys, Lisa Lisa And Cult Jam whispering through his Walkman’s headphones, the sonic memory of such experiences keep Sway from ever giving itself over fully to the traditional shoegaze idioms.
Too much is made these days of looking back, virtual worlds, network fantasias. What a waste, cause reality’s bad enough; we deserve whatever we get.
LA duo Robedoor have been documenting various shapes and shades of apocalypse since the early 2000s – most recent being 2017 “New Age Sewage” on Hands in the Dark / Not Not Fun. Given the sheer amount of their output its hard to pin them down style-wise, but if there’s anything tying their records together its a general sense of unease conveyed through soundscapes they create, a tribal celebration of life on the margins of modernity.
A 23 year-old violinist/vocalist who writes, plays, and produces her own music. She is self-taught on the violin, inspired by Sudanese fiddlers, R&B, West African rhythms, and experimental electronic music.
Inspired by nature and emotion
California musician creating slow-paced/melancholic ambient soundscapes reminiscent of Biosphere and Jeff Greinke. Both of his releases (2016 “Full Blossom of the Evening” and 2017 “Cascade Symmetry”) are sold out and its easy to see why – his work is gorgeous.
Hour Of The Time Majesty Twelve (HOTT MT) is an experimental pop group based in LA. Together, couple Spooki Tavi and Ashi Dala create cartoon-like psychedelic fantasy in the dusty shimmer of East Hollywood. Since their formation in 2012, the group has collaborated with: The Flaming Lips, Ariel Pink, Erykah Badu, and Ke$ha. They have also opened for: The Flaming Lips, Bat For Lashes and Galaxie 500. The group’s second full length record, titled AU (Alternate Universe), was recorded in various spaces, including their home base Non Plus Ultra, and has been mixed by psych artist Morgan Delt (Sub Pop). The album, inspired by fantasy soundtracks and medieval arrangements is a raw and youthful exploration of adolescence as it transforms into adulthood.
El Ten Eleven
Synopsis: Los Angeles post-rock duo known for combining guitar/bass doubleneck or fretless bass, with heavy looping, or vamping, and the utility of an effects pedal, over acoustic or electric drumming. (Wikipedia)
While ETE trade for the past few decades was complex instrumental rock music, their last one (Unusable Love EP) finds the band experimenting a bit/expanding their horizons. Unusable Love is El Tel Eleven’s “first vocal collaboration” with Emile Mosserie from The Dig – and it finds the band stepping into R&B/electro grooves territory. Here’s UK site Culturefly reflecting on the EP
Mosseri’s voice is beautiful, and it took me a few seconds to realise who it reminds me of before I thought… Marc Bolan, with that slight feyness that he had on songs like ‘Ride A White Swan’; but like Bolan, his voice never drifts into affectation.
Synopsis: Political punk country band from LA
They’re fast, they’re frightening (to borrow a quote from L7) and sometimes (or even most of the times) they are frighteningly fast, but their songs are a lot of fun too – garagepunksurfwhatchamacallit.
Oakland. Freak Faith Folk. Let the spirit ride
Solo project of Berkeley musician Tia Cabral who relies on loop pedal and her voice to create what could be described as ambient version of gospel music – looping, layering and creating songs that manage to sound both intimate and otherworldly.
Screature lumbers along its own shadowy path, a chimera stitched together from post-punk, ’67-era garage psych and early goth. Themes of the paranormal and life gone seriously awry permeate the songs. There are no happy endings- just endings.
Pure post-punk/goth worship is what this quartet is about – the strongest connection being the vocals of Liz Mahoney, a cross between Janet Napolitano and Siouxsie. Theirs a shamanic, tribal affair with plenty of dark tales weaved along the way.
Punky nursery rhymes for all the screwed up children of this world. Whenever you start feeling that Beat Happening isn’t punk enough Evil Twins shall do the trick.
Synopsis: “enough jazz piano chops to transform L.A.’s Low End Theory into a smokey speak easy.” Who said that? We don’t know.
The anonymous author got it right – “Kickingit Alone”, Kiefer’s (aka Kiefer Shackelford) debut does have a smoky vibe to it and, indeed. Much like J Dilla before him Kiefer got an incredible knack for taking apart old jazz/blues records and transforming them into tasty little hip-hop vignettes.