Saturday, December 31, 2011

FTRK #66 = "Digital Fractal" by Zomby


Digital Fractal - Zomby (2011)
Digital Fractal by Zomby on Grooveshark

"Digital Fractal", of Zomby's Nothing EP, presents itself as a collected, rhythm based beat. A simple, minimalist collection of hums and arpeggi synth. Rather than being the focus, it acts as the compliment; it's exceptional to listen to in the middle of work yet far from monotone. The track resonates perfectly across the instruments (seemingly Zomby's 'signature') and ultimately is exceptionally well developed.

Further Listening:
Official MySpace
Official Website (4AD)

NWSL #9 = We are OIL Barrage


 The site has finally recieved a splash page.
You can check it out at http://oil-barrage.co.cc .
 We may give the design an overhaul in the future, but we're excited to have it thrown together.

As the buttons show, the site will be expanding into sections for music, film, and videogaming in the future. Devon's posts will be ported over to another Blogspot website, OIL Film (this may change too) and the sites will look significantly tidier. Expect some collaborations, possibly videos or audio recordings in the future.

Lookin' forward to opening this can of worms!

Enjoy the New Year, and thanks for following.
EDIT: Canned the idea.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Devon #9 = A Christmas Story

I could say that A Christmas story is the best Christmas movie ever made. But this has been said before. I could say that it succeeds because it understands human nature, but I would just be repeating Roger Ebert. I could even just say that the triple dog dare scene makes me laugh every time, but I would just be repeating the third Harold and Kumar. My point is, everyone loves this movie (save this guy), and the point has been made. It is awesome. From the anecdotes of Jean Shepherd, who wrote the original book, and narrates the film, to the many subplots that each offer a very funny payoff, to the charm of each of the tiny, quiet scenes, like the mother and father sitting down on Christmas eve and just watching the snow fall, every element is legendary. More than any of its peers, more than Vacation, or Scrooge, or Charlie Brown (not a fan), this movie has an emotional connection for me. It draws me back into a sense of being a kid, of greed and selfishness offset by innocence and wonder. It's this movie that makes me remember what it feels like to wake up at an ungodly hour screaming for presents, as much as I remember being joyous and happy that Santa had visited. As I grew older, this effect changed. What once made me miss the Christmas of my childhood now makes me excited to give to others. In the end, that's all that is left to discuss about the film, beyond its humor and its colour. All that's left is our own experiences. If you've never seen it, try it out. I wont say it's for everyone, but personally, I believe that it's perfect.

Well, that was oddly sentimental. So here's some strange things about Bob Clark; eleven years after a christmas story he directed a sequel, featuring an all new cast, called It Runs In The Family, or My Summer Story. While many reviewers hated it, entertainment weekly said in their review that it improved on the original.  Clark also help to invent the slasher genre with Black Christmas in 1974. So that's awesome. However, he also directed Porkey's, Baby Geniuses, Superbabies, and my new favorite bad title ever: The Karate Dog, which, sadly, featured the voice of Chevy Chase. Despite all of this, the man was a visionary in horror and still made the best Christmas story ever. Which is pretty damn cool.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Devon #8 = National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation


"Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse."

And that is my Christmas. Others may have their Charlie Brown Christmas, their Muppet's Christmas Carol, or their Colbert Christmas, The Greatest Gift of All, but for me December is about paying a trip to the Griswolds.

Christmas Vacation was the third movie in a series that focused on stories of columnists hectic childhood holidays from National Lampoon magazine. They all focus on Clark Griswold and his family attempting to have a traditional family vacation, though with a very loose continuity between films. Now, I have a confession: I have never seen the other Vacations. Every year I plan on it, but it just never seems to happen. But frankly, I don't think I need too. Despite how well done they are (mostly) supposed to be, Christmas vacation is an almost perfect holiday movie, and any prequels or sequels might just dilute it.

Everything about the film extrudes nostalgia from the viewer. Even when Clark's hillbilly cousin is emptying a chemical toilet into the sewer, explaining simply "shitter was full", the colors and setting scream classic Christmas. In fact, the whole movie seems to straddle the line between being a raunchy comedy and being a heartwarming family film. The main reason this movie manages to create this glowing feel is because the relationships between every character feel real, whether between siblings, spouses, cousins or in-laws. Despite all the conflict that exists in their home, everyone cares for each other. That's why, when everything goes wrong and Clark starts to lose it, it reaches such hilarity, because we can all imagine just how he feels, and why when everything finally turns out, it's heartwarming. All of this is achieved through some startlingly good writing and acting. This is old Chevy Chase at his best, and it shows. Every moment he is on screen, every moment of happiness, anger, and shock, is leading to one moment, that one perfect moment, when Clark finally gets pushed off the edge. It's mesmerizing, and if you have ever seen this movie, you will know exactly what I'm talking about.

Their are only a few moments that I have problems with here. The scene wherein Clark goes tobogganing with an industrial lubricant plays out like a road runner cartoon. The use of celebrities (and future celebrities) can be distracting. Other than that... Well it's close to being a perfect movie. This is one that I'll watch every year for the rest of my life, and one that i expect to appreciate more every time. The musical cues, the colour, the emotion each actor conveys, the little jokes in the background, it all adds up to one of the best Christmas movies, and even one of the best comedies, ever. If every video rental place within a 1000 miles of me weren't closed, I would tell you to go rent it. And hey, speaking of perfect movies...

Post by Devon, reblogged to correct html.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

FTRK #65 = "Anime Feels" by Korrosion


Anime Feels - Korrosion (2011)


Anime Feels is a mess of synth vibration, orchestra and drum 'n' bass. According to the artist, the track is a conglomerate of incomplete and old works fabricated into one song. However, even in the midst of the blizzard, the song is fluidic. It works like a dramatis in five parts, working together to produce a slammin', heavily experimental beat.

Further Listening:
Official Soundcloud

Thursday, November 17, 2011

FTRK #64 = "Quantum Leap" by John Maus


Quantum Leap - John Maus (2011)

Amazing. The 80's synth is just spectacular, the bass... simplistic but classy. As usual, John Maus puts his reverb to work as he drills out modern chillwave. Quantum Leap easily headlines the album We Must Become The Pitiless Censors of Ourselves with its keyboard solo and upbeat/downbeat groove. Although out of its era, it's certainly not to be missed.

Previously:
FTRK #46: Times Is Weird

Further Listening:
Official Website
Official MySpace

Monday, October 31, 2011

Devon #7 = Poltergeist

Hi there folks! It's Halloween, and you know what that means; sugar and revealing costumes. I have neither. So let's review Poltergeist instead!

Poltergeist surprised me. It starts out barely feeling like a horror movie, instead invoking nostalgic charm. The opening scenes of the Freeling family, pre haunting,  reminded me vividly of being a kid, especially with the son's Star Wars bed sheets and Captain America comics. Every member of the Freelings is happy, with the parents seeming in love, arguing about putting in a swimming pool, and doing their best to preserve the innocence of their younger children. It feels like a Steven Spielberg film, which isn't coincidental. A clause in Spielberg's contract with Universal Studios forbade him from directing anything while working on E.T., and it has been suggested that this clause was the only thing preventing Spielberg from getting a directing credit on Poltergeist. Instead, Spielberg produced, and Tobe Hooper (of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) directed. No matter who had creative control, the film succeeds in sucking you into a false sense of security, put at ease by the  happiness of the family, and maybe some slightly bad acting. But after some time with little to no paranormal activity occurring, the daughter, Carol Anne, disappears, and a long period of tension begins. This tension builds exponentially, slowly leading to one of the scariest finales I have ever seen. As said finale approaches the bad acting seems to vanish, but the charm remains. This is why the film works; its a scary movie that focuses on plot, character, and mood rather than jump scares and gore, or even a single death, to be effective. It puts equal emphasis on both "horror" and "movie".

Some parts of the film are more of a mixed bag.. While most effects have not aged very well, the scariest point of the film, the finale, has some excellent examples of practical effects done right. The film does have an anti-suburbia message, and it's pretty obvious, but some of the symbolism was actually subtle and effective. If you don't like flashing lights you are going to have some trouble watching some of the most famous scenes of the film, especially the very creepy first minute. And lastly, if you don't like any comedy in your horror, stay away, because while Poltergeist only has about five or six jokes, they're all really well done. I would go as far to say it's one of the funniest movies I've seen in ages. Also of note is a fantastic score by Jerry Goldsmith, which highlights every emotion perfectly.

This movie has earned its reputation. Watch it around Halloween, late at night and under a blanket. You will be taken back to childhood. You will emphasize with characters that feel truly three dimensional. You'll laugh your ass off. And then finally, when you don't expect it, the movie will finally reveal it's true self and you will be scared. When I was young, about ten or so, I watched Jaws in my basement. I felt scared because I cared about the characters. I didn't know what would happen. It wasn't just a movie, it was an experience. That feeling, that rush, hit me again when watching Poltergeist. This movie understands horror far more than Saw, Paranormal Activity, or any slasher remake. If you watch it on its own terms, this movie will make you revert into a little child, alone and terrified. That's horror.

By the way, this is well known, but still, some skeletons that appear near the end of the film are real. Buying them was cheaper than making props. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

FTRK #63 = "Flare" by Plazmataz


Flare - Plazmataz (2011)

"Flare" is the third track of Homestuck's official "soundtrack", volume 8. Down to the framework, it's a gorgeous, wavering piano ballad accompanied with a combination of simple drums and the sound of respiration through a gas mask, apparently fitting nicely into an astral theme. The track was part of a 13 minute long flash animation, ending the webcomic's fifth act. Suffice to say, it fit the theme well and acts as a very listenable track just on its own.

Further Listening:
Plazmataz's "Medium" solo album on Homestuck's Official Bandcamp

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

FTRK #62 = "No, I Didn't Say The Keyboard Needed Flattery" by Fucking Werewolf Asso



No, I Didn't Say The Keyboard Needed Flattery - Fucking Werewolf Asso (2010)

K.D.F.W. is a wild, 8bit punk rock group hailing from Sweeden, who recently collaborated with indie game maker Cactus on a computer game. The rowdy "No, I Didn't Say The Keyboard Needed Flattery" squeaks out the chipper vocals with amorphic synth flair. The drums seem to act as the piston to this Rube Goldberd machine of a song. Like a cranberry blasted out of a hyperbolic, hyperdimensional cannon, the music has a fragile structure but seems to carry itself on dynamically.

Further Listening:
Official Bandcamp

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

FTRK #61 = "Slow Loris" by Tiger Waves



Slow Loris - Tiger Waves (2011)

Established over the internet, Tiger Waves' works surf rock like Kim Jong-Il's private boot polisher... which is to say incredibly well! Slow Loris is one such example, opening with a rich precussive intro and slowly moulding into an array of guitar ambience. The voice is almost romantic in its slow, reminiscent tone and the bass is just subtle enough to make flies shake their knees. It's a well rounded sound that finishes with a smooth, fresh aftertaste.

Slow Loris, among other wicked tracks, are available free (or with a donation) on Tiger Waves' Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

Further Listening:
Official Bandcamp
Official Soundcloud

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Devon #6 = Batman: Dead End

The Dark Knight is the best Batman film. Not many people would disagree, and it's easy to see why. Between Christopher Nolan, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, and one hell of a script, the film had allot going for it. But before the Dark Knight, the was one movie generally agreed by the more intense fans to be the best Batman movie. One that had no known actors, writers, or director. One with a budget six thousand times smaller than The Dark Knight. And one with a running time of eight minutes. Ladies and Gentlemen, Batman: Dead End.

Dead End is a fantastic short. Given the films running time, and that five minutes of it is a fight scene, there isn't much to say plot wise without ruining it. What I will say is that the Joker's on the loose, and Batman confronts him, running into... well someone you aught to recognize. The individual elements all work well, especially the script which is well written, and gets the big ideas of the comics across (Does Batman exist because of criminals, or vice versa? Is he crazy? Why does he wear his mask?). Writing that addresses these themes well is a large part of the shorts success, helped along by capturing the motion and look of Batman. The leaps, the cape, the way he fights, it's all captured perfectly and shows the talents of both the director and the actor. The costume are, frankly, amazing given the budget. Yes, the Batsuit is composed of fabric and leather in some versions. The only facet that stuck out for me was the Joker. His acting seems over the top, and not in the way it should be. It's like someone trying really hard to sound crazy. But then again, many people have described this Joker as being creepy and as their favorite part, so I'll assume it's just my personal taste.


To understand why the film is such a success you need to understand that the history of Batman movies has been rough. Early movies were too campy, the Tim Burton films got the Gothic feel but suffered from some strange storytelling decisions and then Joel Schumacher... will not be discussed. Fans were desperate by 2003, and it Batman: Dead End, they finally got their version of Batman on film. Kevin Smith, who would go on to write the excellent Batman: Cacophony, summed it up best, calling it "possibly the truest, best Batman movie ever made". And for 2003, I would have to agree.


Watch it here.

(Fun Fact, Andy Warhol once made a movie called Batman Dracula, where Batman was played by Gregory Battcock)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

FTRK #59 and #60 = "People Need People" and "Causes" by Kachkin


People Need People - Kachkin (2011)
Causes - Kachkin (2011)

People Need People is a rather glossy, reflective IDM beat hearalding from the "World of Illusions" album, available royalty free from Jamendo (see "Further Listening"). It's the sort of track that's meant to be listened to after the closing of a chapter, where it seems lifes concerns are put at ease. Well decorated with atmosphere effect pads, mute, reverse and standard drum beats and flute, the song is nothing short of a solid piece.

Causes neatly picks up where the transition from People Need People ends off. It essentially consists of the same soundfont, with a plucky piano swapping in for the flute. The most integral difference is that, from the rather contented and apathetic previous track, we experience something with a sense of purpose, seemingly in an intellectual or academic light.

Further Listening:
Kachkin on Jamendo (Royalty Free Music)
Official Bandcamp Site
Official Soundcloud

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Devon #5 = The Change Up


Ever wanted to see a unfunny version of the hangover mashed together with the plot and sentimentality of Freaky Friday? I did, and it was called The Change Up. It starts with a baby shitting into a mans mouth. Frankly, I can't think of a better metaphor for this movie. It gets 0 stars and a five sentence review.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Devon #4 = Snatch


Like Tarantino meets It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, but surprisingly leaning more toward the latter, snatch is a madcap ride. For the uninitiated, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was a 1963 film which followed a group of wacky characters on separate, but often intersecting, paths to finding a dead mans buried treasure. It featured slapstick comedy at its best, a fun, twisting plot, and a overall silly tone, all of which can be seen in snatch. In fact, if you just replaced a recently deceased guy's cache with a stolen diamond (well, and a few boxing matches), cut the run time by at least an hour, and give the whole thing a big injection of the London underground, and you would have something halfway like Snatch. To get there completely, you would have to infuse snatch's inventive cinematography and dialogue, which feel like something from a Quentin Tarantino flick. There are long tracking shots and weird angles throughout the film, and the editing moves like a bat out of hell, leading to a some of the comedy coming from strange, half second cuts. The film  has many other strong points, such as its great use of chance encounters to shape the plot (apparently this is called causality, my new favorite word), a minimum amount of gore that helps keep the violent events from being too dark, and great casting with Brad Pitt as a gypsy prizefighter, and Jason Statham as, well... himself (has he ever played anyone else?). However, one issue is that the acting, which, while decent, isn't ever very convincing, but for a movie like this, it really doesn't need to be.

I liked this film. But, there one final catch before I can honestly recommend it. Crank. Both films star Jason Statham, both have a lightning fast tone, and both are quite funny. The films share so many elements that it feels like two video games running the same engine. They feel, look, and move the same way, even though they're from different genre's. Overall Snatch is a better, funnier film, in my humble opinion, but if you prefer abstract craziness and action, plus much more action, than go watch Crank instead. If you just want a brilliantly fun, frantic, and well shot and written comedy, or just want to hear people with funny accents talk for 90 minutes, watch Snatch. Hell, watch them both.

It's easy to see why Snatch has attained its cult status. At the time it was released there wasn't really anything in theaters that was similar to it, and it wasn't that successful, despite Brad Pitt's face sitting front and center on the poster. But it's impact was felt; in Crank, in the increasingly common use of British style humor (causality), and in the success of Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie. This film is worthwhile,  interesting, and hilarious. It's Snatch, go see it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FTRK #57 and #58 = "Red Horse (Judges II)" and "The Righteous Wrath Of An Honourable Man" by Colin Stetson


Red Horse (Judges II) - Colin Stetson (2011)

The Righteous Wrath Of An Honourable Man - Colin Stetson (2011)

From the first listen the radical music of Colin Stetson, a solo baritone saxophone player, is nothing short of amazing. Even more so when the knowledge that the album New History Warfare Vol.2: Judges was recorded with no overdubs and virtually in one take. The two tracks selected for the FTRK series are both outstanding, etheral rhythms that don't just feature the deep sound the instrument is characterized by, but precussion by the keys and squeals from the reed.

"Red Horse" is, in one word, alive. It's raw, powerful and stressing. The bass keeps the tempo under control to the extent in which it seems to be dragging some servile creature down (presumably a horse). As the screeches and whines build towards the conclusion, the creature seems to grow weaker, and the bass ever so constant. Overall, it seems as description of a struggle beneath order.

"The Righteous Wrath Of An Honourable Man" is a colourful arpeggio of dreamy stature. The song is similar to "The Flight of the Bumblebee" in terms of tempo and rhythm, but much more regal and melodic. It's a gaseous, pale sound alone within the expanse of an empty corridor that seems to travel and explove its every crevace in order to act as a memorandum of sorts.

Video:



"Red Horse (Judge II) & In Love and In Justice"
Produced by The Blogotheque

Further Listening:
Official Website

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Devon #3 = The External World

The External World is, well, strange. It is a bunch of random scenes tied tied together by a boy learning to play piano. Some such scenes (alliteration!) include "The frisbee of misguided parental advice", a scalpel store where you get a puppy with every purchase, a girl who gives a celebrity worm a seizure and does bad, bad things with it, the Nazi art museum, what I can only describe as a "portal cat", a crippled and bullet ridden Jesus riding his wheelchair over water (the camera travels through his head), and a retirement home for cartoon characters where an old racist stereotype dreams of freedom and equality before firefighters rush in and beat him to death with those same words while the "irony" flashes on the screen. It's nonsense really, but that's the point. as while the violence and sex may offend some, it isn't really happening, so why let it bother you? In fact, the film points out that we can't be sure that anything is real, so why get worried. It's a simple premise, and it gives the creators lots of room to show random bullcrap (scratch that, random entertaining bullcrap). It's message may be a bit overdone, in my humble opinion, but the short is really entertaining and funny, so why not give up fifteen minutes of your life. Just prepare to either think about it intensely and come up with your own meaning for it, or don't think about it at all, and just laugh at the ice cream pooping manga frog.

The external world can be found here.

Devon #2 = Cowboy's And Aliens

Cowboy's and Aliens is a movie involving both cowboys and aliens. Well, ok, there is a bit more to it than that. Daniel Craig is a cowboy who wakes up somewhere in the old west with no memory and a strange metal armband. He soon discovers that he was involved in a train robbery and that he stole the gold of Harrison Fords character, Woodrow Dolarhyde (damn, I can't help but love that name) a man who lords over a small town and generally looks to be the bad guy, before the aliens show up. Eventually the Aliens attack, steal loved ones of certain characters, and the main group of, well, cowboys, plus a child and a woman ("well, we've already got a child and a dog, why not a woman"), set off to save them. The gold heist is the thread that connects Harrison, Craig, and a gang of outlaws, and serves well as a way to create interesting relationships between the characters. And while Daniel Craig's sexist, ass kicking loner is a bit too similar to James Bond, Harrison Ford managed to lose all semblance of Indiana Jones or Han Solo, largely because his character is such a huge asshole. That can actually be said about most of the characters, save for the preacher of the group. They are all jerks at the start of the film, but develop into better people through their shared experience. Confidence is earned, racism is overcome, and forgiveness is given. This is actual character development, and sets Cowboy's and Aliens apart from being just a forgettable summer action film. Its not Oscar material, either, but it makes the action scenes better.

The Alien side of the equation may be a bit divisive. Simply put, they look like the creature from the black lagoon. They are fish people. However, I didn't mind if they were a little silly, as they serve as great villains through their superior technology compared to cowboys of the early nineteen hundreds, they provide some decent jump cut scares, and for the last few minutes that Craig is inside their ship, they move in a way that evokes the Xenomorph from Alien, which is really damn creepy.

This is a pretty good film, which, to be honest, really surprised me. I was expecting to watch James Bond and Indiana Jones wearing cowboy hats and punching monsters, but instead i saw something better. Mind you, I don't want to build this up to be an amazing film, because it wasn't (one twist may pull you out of the experience completely, and it has a very slow start before the characters reveal themselves), but it was a damn (fairly) good one. Go see it, if not for it being a good movie, then because it has one of my favorite death scenes ever, involving an Alien, a gold collecting machine, and the wrath of Daniel Craig.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

FTRK #55 and #56 = "Tjære For Alltid" and "Nordland" by Binärpilot


Tjære For Alltid - Binärpilot (2010)

Nordland - Binärpilot (2010)


Binärpilot is a very talented chiptune artist, claiming to be a sentient android straight from Norway. The two featured tracks, fresh from the Nordland album, pack plenty of heat. According to Deathelectro.com's Tobias (the album cover is being leeched from his site), he is "..a master of this teknique [(Chiptune)] and therefore has a special place in my heart.".

"Alltid" features a progressive rhythm, with zippy whines and plucky arpeggio to compliment the classy bass rhythm. Each of the three components seem to have their own moments to demonstrate "solos" without interfering with the pace whilist maintaining its upbeat nature. As for "Nordland", Binärpilot entertains us with a sample of his computerized (not vocoded) voice amongst another slick bass riff and the back and forth slur of the synthesizer in a very approachable combination.

Binärpilot's entire discography is available free on his official website. Check it out!

Further Listening:
Official Website
Official MySpace

Friday, August 12, 2011

FTRK #53 and #54 = "Haydée Morcelée" and "Brise Méprise" by Pas Chic Chic


Haydée Morcelée - Pas Chic Chic (2008)

Brise Méprise - Pas Chic Chic (2008)

A bright winter morning in Northern Quebec seems a fitting scene for the plucky but frigid atmosphere of "Haydée Morcelée". From Pas Chic Chic's better half of Au Contraire, takes us along a rather joyous ride through flaky white precipitate, occasionally bumping along screeching FX. The mix of acoustic guitar and tones makes it feel rather progressive in an emotional perspective and produces a glowing texture.

The track is curiously followed up with a very melancolous song by the name of "Brise Méprise". Its creeping nature seems to weave like sewing needle through fabric. The atmosphere almost makes it feel as if the vocalists are merely puppets being paraded about the rocking rhythm in a circus-esque performance. Approaching the end, the organ "breakdown" provides rather conclusive evidence of its intentional depressing aura.

Pas Chic Chic's full discography is available free on their website. Check it out!

Further Listening:
Official Website
Official MySpace

Devon #1 = Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Disclaimer- I never watched the cartoon

So, first review eh? Well, what movies have I seen recently. There was Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a fantastic looking sci fi movie with a brilliant concept and remarkable use of the series's heritage. Or, there was Captain America, a clever return to basic superhero storytelling from Marvel, which captured the time period presented perfectly, from Captain America's"I'm a soldier, thus I will kill people (off-screen)" approach, to the fictitious Captain America comic being his real life first issue, right down to the Hitler punch. Or there was Transformers 3. Yeah, lets go with that.

I really don't like this title. For one thing, that just sounds stupid, not just because it's a misnomer, but because they clearly wanted to call it "Dark Side Of The Moon". It turns out, that was exactly what they were going to call it, but Pink Floyd threatened to sue. Secondly, the moon barely factors into it at all. The first scenes do indeed focus on how a ship from Cybertron, the transformers home planet, though if you didn't know that coming in then you really have no business with this movie, landed on the moon. This is shown to be the reason that President Kennedy (who appears via news clips and a decent lookalike, a nice touch) started NASA and the space race. I usually love alternate history like this, but the way that Transformers bends history around the moon landing conspiracy theories, seems really off putting. I suppose that a movie about transforming robots does warrants a fair amount of suspension of disbelief, but this stuck out for me, personally.

 The movie properly begins as we cut to the modern day as a device, a "sky bridge", that the U.S. recovered from the moon, lies at the source of the Chernobyl explosion. That's another little logic problem that i got caught up on. Why would U.S. property be used by the Russians in the cold war? But again, it's about giant robots. The Autobots go to the moon and take more sky bridges (when combined they will teleport Cybertron next to the earth) plus their old leader, Sentinel prime. This is great, except that he is evil! I would seperate the introduction of his character and the twist of him being evil, but the movie barely does, so why draw it out here. Sentinel doesn't really have any moments to show his character, not even when told that his species is now endangered and that their war was lost. This makes  his turn to evil seem less like a desperate plea to save his planet and more like a cartoonish plot, particularly when it is revealed that he suddenly hates humans and wants them enslaved. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to see him tying women to train tracks and yelling "Curses, foiled again!". And thus this character is wasted, and worse, a waste of Leonard Nimoy's voice talents.

Sentinel's evil turn, using sky bridges to teleport Cybertron to the earth, comprised most of the plot, save some death scenes and the resolution. I would say this plot composes about 45 minutes of the movie, non consecutively, and it slows down considerably in the second and even third act. Another 45 minutes involve's Sam, our hero, played by Shia LaBeouf. His plots go something like this: Sam is trying to get a job. His parents show up, have two jokes, and appear in two scenes. That transforming toy car is causing trouble again, but this time with a wacky (read: perverted) sidekick. This sidekick doesn't have any perpose or explanation, unless I'm forgetting something from Transformers Two. In fact, the only things I remember him doing are saying clusterfuck and peaking up the new girlfriends dress. Speaking of which, Sam has a new girlfriend who just isn't memorable at all. Megan Fox was mostly eye candy in the first two, but at least her personality was there, for good or bad. The new girl seems under written, and probably was as she was brought in to replace Fox only after filming had began. Sam he seems to constantly mistrust and be jealous of whats her face, and it even seems like Sam doesn't actually care for this woman, saying "I love you" and sounding as if he just wants an attractive girlfriend. This makes him seem like a jerk, which is a shame because Shia LaBeouf was, in my opinion, one of the most tolerable parts of the first film. Whats her name also has a boss played by someone from Grey's anatomy, who I will refer to, for purely comedic purposes, as McSexDoctor. McSexDoctor seems to be the source of Sam's mistrust and jealousy of whats her face, which could be resolved in a much better film through character building and trust between Sam and whats her face, but also with a respect forming between Sam and Dr. McSexDoctor. Instead, they made his character evil. This is fairly obvious from his introduction because, well because of the poor script and acting, but also because Dr. McSexDoctor (god I love typing that) give's her an expensive supercar that is clearly a Transformer. Sam runs into Seymore Simmons from the other movies, aka the guy who bumblebee peed on (I think, confirming this would require re-watching a Transformers movie, an act I will not stoop to) appears via a cameo from Bill O'Reilly, and apparently is a good guy. Not O'Reilly, the pee guy. And he (pee guy) has a romance with a "hilariously" uptight woman who runs central intelligence (a plot line consisting of one line, followed by one end sequence kiss). Oh and there's a crazy Asian dude. And megatron shows up. And John Malcovich is there. Except hes Sam's craaazy boss. And i really wish he had been the vulture in one of the Sam Raimi spiderman movies. And there's a billion other tiny little plots. And everything I have described in this paragraph goes nowhere and has little resolution, save for McSexDoctor having a very iffy feeling death. These plots exist only to eat up time. Sam himself isn't even obviously responceable for the Autobot's winning, he could of sat this one out entirely. Sam's only real contribution is that he figures out is that Sentinal is evil, but Sentinal reveals himself before Sam can say anything. Sam exists only so that we arent watching an hour and a half long movie with only giant robots fighting and making gravel voiced speeches. But that is the movie Michael Bay should have made! A big problem with this movie is that all this (the whole damn paragraph) should have been left out or streamlined, or even just made relevant to the plot. Transformers succeeds when it realizes that it's about blowing shit up, and this film fails because the far to few examples of blowing shit up are few and far between, lost in a random sequence of empty, soulless, and irrelevant plots..

The last hour of the movie (and it will feel like an hour) is one big fight scene. Oh, and the government exiled the transformers, but they stuck around secretly, and now Chicago is under siege. Anyway, the last hour of the movie (and it will feel like an hour) is one big fight scene. Sam goes to find his girlfriend who is being held by McSexDoctor, who has since been revealed to be evil. The soldiers from the previous movies (?) come with Sam, armed with only guns (I never understood how guns can hurt these robots, but i digress), and exactly one (1) rocket for their rocket launcher. One. And it's not like they only shoot it once, they actually go out of their way to say yeah, we only brought one rocket. So blah blah they go up a skyscraper to shoot the Trump building which is the focal point of the teleporting device. Blah blah their skyscraper falls over via giant metal ringworm. Blah blah a guy who had either zero or one line dies in slow motion. Blah blah blah the good guy are safe, but wait, they're not! Optimus Prime flies in with the wings he got in the last movie, looks cool for all of thirty seconds, saves Sam and friends, and then proceeds to get stuck in hanging wires for 15 minutes. No really, he is just hanging upside down awkwardly for a long time, which just feels strange. Eventually he is freed by the three soccer hooligan transformers (two of which have almost no lines). Next, a transformer who only had three or so lines with the face and voice of Albert Einstein gets killed by the Decepticons. They put him on his knees and shoot him in the back of the head, causing blood to fly everywhere. Oh yeah, the dozens of shot, exploded, and stabbed robots bleed now. Now, no one expected this movie to be child friendly, though it should have been, but I know that some kids are gonna have some strange feelings after seeing this. Speaking of the Einstein bot, he, along with the hooligan robots and a Spanish-sounding Italian sports car Transformer are the most notable new robots, and of these only two have a personality (I'm a hooligan! I'm Einstein... for some reason!) anther two have no lines, Einstein bot  gets shot horribly, and the culturally confused sports car disappears halfway through the movie. But they will make great toys!

The good guys win through some manner that I honestly forget and kill four important Decepticons, only two of which I had realized were in the movie. Optimus fights Sentinel with the help of Megatron, who Optimus immediately kills via axe to the face. Sentinel, defeated, then begs for forgiveness, and Optimus shoots him not just once, but a second time as his mutilated body tries to crawl away. Again, Sentinel was practically begging for his life, and Optimus just kills him. This doesn't feel like a victory, honestly it feels like a moment from a much more morally ambiguous film crammed into something as goofy as Transformers. The needless bloodshed, with literal blood, is distracting and honestly, kind of sad, not something you want in a movie such as this.

So yeah, this movie has problems. It needs editing badly, it has characters and plot lines that exist only for padding and/ or selling toys, not nearly enough shit seems to blow up for a "shit blows up" movie, the pacing is too slow, and importantly, the tone is wildly fluctuating between childish humor and trying-to-be-serious death, either of which is incredably inappropriate for a movie based on a children's toy line and cartoon. This film is a combination of a kid's movies plot, an adult movies tone, and the stupidity of a really bad teenage sex comedy, multiplied by a length worthy of a Lord of the Rings film. It's worst crime however, is that all these problems make the film just plain boring. What this movie should have been was a simple, nostalgic interpretation and modernization of the cartoon, with clear morals, few subplots, and plenty of explosions. Transformers is not a complex thing. Make a movie that is appropriate for younger viewers, enough action for a summer blockbuster, a suitably epic and clear good vs evil plot, a decent script, and, most importantly, a respect and admiration for the original series, and you would have a good movie based off of a liscense such as this. Don't do any of that, and you have Transformers 3.

Well there we go. Off to a great start eh? Join me again sometime when I review something good, at some point. I will say things, possibly humorous things, and they will be entertaining. Cheers.

I give it a thumbs down. I guess. Reviewing system coming soon.

NWSL #8 = Another Author

Simply put, we've been interested in expanding for a while. At last, the term "we" becomes literally applicable; Devon will be joining Oil Sound to do movie reviews. As of writing this post, there are a few formatting issues that need to be covered before we're settled in, such as the description of the blog and its classy coffee stain theme. Expect good things! :)

Devon: An Introduction - "Oh, we better hurry, I think that's our boat to hell."

There is a lot of thought that goes into introducing yourself in a blog, or anything with a chance of gaining some kind of- sort of readership. Even just having your work seen online is a terrifying thing to jump into. No matter how one does it, they seem to always regret it. So, without further adieu, lets screw up my introduction. My name is Devon, I like writing and movies. Now, you see that title? That's a line from TEKKEN: The Motion Picture, and, dear lord, it is god damn hilarious (Mwahaha, I have distracted you from my contrived introduction). It pains me to think that, at some point, someone sat down and typed out those words (forget that it was probably badly translated japanese for a moment). Now obviously, you could give it some context, and it could probably be decent right? The characters are indeed boarding a boat leading to a corporations hidden island headquarters to compete in a... secret fighting tournament for the control of that same corporation because... nope. Didn't work. That line is just awful. You see, (and here's where i hopefully tie it all together) writing is something that I love doing, whether it be the ideas, editing, or actual writing involved in the process, and at no point do I ever want to be in that guys shoes, writing a direct to DVD anime based on a video game franchise, and just giving up, typing out something like that. Something like "Thats a lotta fish" or ”You know what happens when a toad gets struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else.” That's why I'm here. I'm gonna review movies, not just to recommend some of them, to ward people away from others, or even to try and make people laugh. I'm here to make sure that when I write some awful, putrid line, I'll know to stop, take a look at whatever i'm writing, and think; "well now, that's just stupid". I hope to get tonnes of feedback, especially while I find my style.Thanks, and i hope you all enjoy my stuff.

Friday, July 22, 2011

FTRK #52 = "What They Found" by The Octopus Project


What They Found - The Octopus Project (Clip)(2002)

What They Found is a progressive combination of a synthetic children's piano backed against the omnipresent beat of the precussion. The bass weaves its way between the curious combination in an empowering manner as the music pursues some sort of hike of an introduction (to the "Identification Parade"... or in an imagery sense, as the embodiment of the album title), before finally settling down into silence.

Further Listening:
Official Website
Official MySpace

Monday, July 18, 2011

FTRK #51 = "Bicycle" by Unknown Mortal Orchestra


Bicycle - Unknown Mortal Orchestra (2011)

This is a summer tune, perfect for the computer speakers out on a sun-soaked beach. It's a carefree yodel about pleasant trips on two wheels. The sound is dampened like the sixties and works its traditional rock ensemble with a feeling of carelessness. Thrilling.

Further Listening:
Official Website

Thursday, June 30, 2011

FTRK #50 = "Found Out" by Caribou


Found Out - Caribou (2010)

Someone described this song as the perfect accompanyment for a bike ride in the rain through urban streets. I'd have to fully agree with them on that, really. The trashcan like drums, the chime of the bells like raindrops being assimulated into a puddle, and the rotary motion of the synth. What a wonderful slurry.

Speaking of which, Caribou's from my hometown, Dundas. Good times...

Further Listening:
Official Website
Caribou on MySpace

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

FTRK #49 = "Am I" by Kode9 and the Spaceape


Am I - Kode9 and the Spaceape (2011)

With a fine balance between the accented vocals of Spaceape and the spinnerette-esque release of synth and sound from Kode9, "Am I" pulls together as a standout track from their latest collaborative release, Black Sun. The multitude of questions put forth lyrically are compounded with the chemical nature of the electronica to produce a sort of etherous sound.

Further Listening:
Kode9 on MySpace
Spaceape on MySpace

Monday, June 27, 2011

FTRK #48 = "Firework Spraying Moon" by Jonti


Firework Spraying Moon - Jonti (2011)

"Firework Spraying Moon" is a jugular, whirling artwork compressed and refined to a fine mist of delecacy and flavours. It's too bright to look at directly, suiting the form or a mirage in a heat-drenched desert. The rhythm is riddled with intricacies over its brief lifespan... but still ripe with intensity.

Video:


Further Listening:
Jonti at Stones Throw Records

Saturday, June 25, 2011

FTRK #47 = "Atlas" by Battles


Atlas - Battles (2007)

"Atlas" is specially engineered with powerful, twelve cylinder driving beat, capable of carrying a significantly large payload in the process, generally consisting of electrifying guitar riffs, cartoonishly distorted vocals, and a bass drum kicking up a marching beat. A 2007 model from the line, Mirrored, Battles have constructed a beast of a jam. It's powerful, clockwerk, and has a fully functional anatomy of its own.

Video:


Further Listening:
Official Website
Battles on MySpace

Friday, June 24, 2011

FTRK #46 = "Times Is Weird" by John Maus


Times Is Weird - John Maus

With a sound that probably would've been a hit in the eighties, "Times Is Weird" is a very lo fi groove with some sweet, basic synth. The song is riddled with plucky electronic sounds and an almost trademark mute effect. A gorgeous violin clip resonates partway through the song's squishy sound, simple and effective akin to Maus' straight-to-the-point lyrics.

Further Listening:
Maus on Myspace
Official Website

Monday, June 13, 2011

STRK #7 = "Spectres de Mouse" by Mouse on the Keys


Spectres de Mouse - Mouse on the Keys

Fresh jazz, full of energy and enthusiam. A sudden jolt of joy, a vision. And before you know it, you're on your way again. It's a reflective moment, one of lustre and beauty. It ripples into mind as the day progresses. It's a summary of one's day to day life.

Official Video:


Suggested by Nucleose

Further Listening:
Official MySpace

Sunday, June 12, 2011

FTRK #45 = "Activate" by Atari Teenage Riot


Activate - Atari Teenage Riot (2010)

Returning from a long hiatus, Atari Teenage Riot put out their bold statement, "Activate". The track features a ruthless, agressive feel as it crushes the skull like rock candy while wheting an over-the-top mob mentality. The intro is dominative and the bass is ever compelling, pushing boundaries out of the way with sheer force.

Further Listening:
ATR on MySpace
Official Website

Friday, May 27, 2011

FTRK #44 = "Minimal wippt deinen Körper" by Flux




Minimal wippt deinen Körper - Flux (2011)

Literally translating to "Minimal whips your body", this 52 minute electronic jam relentlessly yet slowly changes form, but at a rather casual coast. Flux crafts a setting fit for the highway at night; simple, yet fast paced and glowing with glare. It sets peace to intensity, almost like white noise turned up enough so that its tone can be defined.

Further Listening:
Official Soundcloud

Thursday, May 26, 2011

UCMM #2

Their Death Becomes Her!

T.D.B.H. has given me permission to distribute their album, "I Am The Night, Color Me Black", for free. Feel free to grab yourself a sample of this incredible mathcore metal band from South Africa, or check out a sample previously featured on the blog.

STRK #6 = "Dream Within a Dream" by The Glitch Mob


Dream Within a Dream - The Glitch Mob (2010)

"Dream Within a Dream" opens with thrown about electric keys suddenly cut down by an energenic jungle beat. With the combination of human voices and claps, a tribal element is developed into the tracks electronic groove. I'd consider it a mix between some meditiation television program and the stuff dance clubs are made of. Slick.

Suggested by Cucurbita

Further Listening:
Official Website

FTRK #43 = "Chromakey Dreamcoat" by Boards of Canada


Chromakey Dreamcoat - Boards of Canada (2005)

Like most Boards of Canada songs, Chromakey Dreamcoat is an ambient, relaxed drawl of acoustic instrumentation and electronic hums. It's relatively soothing, deep, with a variety of overlapping textures. The dream theme fits snugly with this spaced sound, like a psychological reincarnation of the soul, set to sedate the listener to sleep.

Further Listening:
Official Website
Official Myspace

Saturday, May 7, 2011

FTRK #42 = "croSSangle" by Valeskja Valcav



...but rather to Escape the Pain (croSSangle) - Valeskja Valcav (2011)

With possibly the most badass introduction for a dialogue sample, Valcav's latest sonic release is packed with intensity. The raw bass is like a cross between a souped up pendulum and the listening experience of a very loud concert. You can practically feel the beat slapping your chest in rapid succession as it deals out the agonized vocals and coarse distortion in well-prescribed proportions, perfect for boosting blood flow. It's alive.

UPDATE:
Apparently the track was considered a demo for their latest release, the Valeska Valcav II EP. As such, the original song was taken down from their website; the lastest mastered version goes by the name "...but rather to Escape the Pain." and has taken its place as the available sample.

Further Listening:
Official MySpace
Official Bandcamp

Previously:
Rain of Astronauts

FTRK #41 = "Solid State" by Warp Technique



Solid State (Excerpt) - Warp Technique (2011)

From "Make Animals Happy", Solid State is a dialogue lead trip promising a philosophical theme. Perhaps I'm a sucker for spoken word songs backed with atmospheric noise, but Warp Technique pulls it off smoothly and casually.

Speaking of which, if anyone knows who wrote the dialogue, comment or send me an email!

Further Listening:
Official Site
Official MySpace

Friday, May 6, 2011

FTRK #40 = "The Man Who Sold The World" by David Bowie


The Man Who Sold The World - David Bowie (1970)

Off the same-titled LP, The Man Who Sold The World is a Latin-themed, laxated rock ballad. Simplistic yet startling, it's a seventies classic with rather sedated yet infectious vocals. It's one of those inspiring songs that only need three sentences worth of lyrics lathered in dense, rippling sound to create the perfect enchanted bubblebath themesong.

...wait, what?

Further Listening:
Official Website

Sunday, May 1, 2011

NWSL #7 = Lagging Behind Schedule?

Lately, I've been busy with a multitude of projects, half of them related to school. A few in particular you may be interesed in hearing about include designing a multiplayer online RPG for my programming summative and writing a script for a short play and a novel. I plan to put more focus into the blog within a week, as I've been quite close to wrapping up the years major assignments.

In case you're interested, Valeskja's new album I mentioned earlier is on the bandcamp site. According to the band, they're looking into further mastering the album and producing a limited pressing of the album (I lucked out with picking up a copy of Rosa Winkel's limited distribution of 23!).

Sunday, April 3, 2011

FTRK #39 = "Did I Step On Your Trumpet?" by The Danielson Famile


Did I Step On Your Trumpet? - The Danielson Famile (2006)

"Ooooooh Noooooo!"

Mr. Danielson's high falsetto is easily recognizeable and well illustrated in this cheery, yet witty ballad. The child's piano guides us periodically between Daniel Smith's ever clever remarks amongst suttle whirring synth, violin, and a steady beat.

Further Listening:
Official Website

Thursday, March 31, 2011

FTRK #38 = "Eastbound Soul Train" by Zunk




Eastbound Soul Train (Subsnuggritmix) by Zunk (2009)
(Download available in Soundcloud player.)

Eastbound Train is a wicked rhythmic IDM mix. Its mix of trance-styled vocals and its ecclectic variety of samples sets the sound in a Twilight Zone between two genres. The track opens with deep mute bass and skittish distortion before settling into some sort of ritual of curiousities. Several highlights appear throughout the song, refreshing the melody with armadic waves before splitting out haywire in its conclusion with plucky synth.

You can check out the original track on Zunk's Bandcamp Site, from the album Ameliorated. Free and highly recommended.

Further Listening:
Official Soundcloud
Official Bandcamp

Sunday, March 20, 2011

FTRK #37 = "Super Bon Bon" by Soul Coughing


Super Bon Bon - Soul Coughing (1996)

"Super Bon Bon" is a skat-jazz with a raw mix of a low drone rhythm and a high intensity chorus. The mix of snare, drum and crash amongst the guitar feedback grinds like a construction site orchestra. Along with frontman Mike Doughtry's train-of-thought lyrics, the song boasts a laidback, yet driven urban theme.

Further Listening:
Soul Coughing Underground (Unofficial)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NWSL #6 = 999 Views

As of now, we have had 999 views on OIL-Sound. To corremorate it, I revised the layout of the blog with some fresh new colours.

I have a few new ideas for extra content on the blog, which I hope to put into action in the near future. We are going to focus primarially on new and/or unsigned musicians in order to help them progress in their careers, and as always, we are looking for extra hands to help us out.

Check out the information tab for contact details. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

FTRK #36 = "All Mixed Up" by C.A.B. Vasquez





"All Mixed Up" - C.A.B. Vasquez (2009)
(Apparently the soundcloud no longer exists... Try this unil the issue is resolved.)

Late night, 2:00am,(or early, depending on how you take it) I specifically scouted about Soundcloud.com for a tune that would match the mellow, moonlit atmosphere. All Mixed Up fit the criteria perfectly. Riveting beats, damp synth, and frost-like reverbed rhythm moulded together like the pale moonlight against the liquid vapour held still in the sky. Or maybe it's just contageously relaxing.

Further Listening:
Official Soundcloud
Official Myspace

Saturday, March 12, 2011

UCMM #1

UCMM will be a new series of promotions for unsigned or new artists with songs featured on OIL-Sound. The content will consist of any new material that catches the authors eye.

Imperial Arms

Imperial Arms (along with his pals in M12) have recently put up a website for themselves. The site is primarially in German, but is currenty being translated by Imperial. You can check it out here.

Killwave

Their debut, self-titled album is available on Amazon.

One Infinite Loop

I recently found out that the artist has two Soundcloud accounts (I assume it's for the purpose of bypassing the upload limits), the one I've linked to before and this. The latter features seven more tracks, free and of promising quality.

Neurotic Mass Movement

N.M.M. will be putting out their debut EP, Aphasia, relatively soon. On that note, Blue Skin and a couple of their other demo tracks are available to download free on their facebook band page.

Valeskja Valcav

Check out Valeskja's new Bandcamp for their entire discography, or GRDRFCK, a new track off their new EP, set to be released April 23rd.

Monday, March 7, 2011

FTRK #35 = "Eosophobia" by Their Death Becomes Her!




Eosophobia - Their Death Becomes Her! (2010)

"Eosophobia" fits the criteria for a terrible case of the common cold, just the way I like it. Raw yet smooth, infectious yet agile, this highlight from I Am The Night, Color Me Black just rips through the 'canals without letting up for even a moment. The sound rides under the heaping weight of the guitar and is utterly drizzled by the drums.

Further Listening:
Official Myspace
Doug's Soundcloud (Guitarist)

Friday, March 4, 2011

FTRK #34 = "Mask of Gas" by Broken Note




Mask of Gas - Broken Note (2009)

"Mask of Gas" is a thick, dubstep rhythm off Broken Note's Terminal Static album. It's relatively steam-punk in sound, with roaring hisses, pistons, and brass fanfare accompanyment. The marching beat puts me up on my feet and I feel driven by its bass-heavy rush. Woooooo!

Further Listening:
Official Myspace
Official Soundcloud

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

FTRK #33 = "Drop The Other" by Emika



Drop The Other - Emika (2011)

"Drop The Other" is a black mix of glitch and dubstep, of rich chimes, thick vocals and melodic precussion. I imagine it like a misty bog in the middle of a thunderstorm; calm and collected, formal yet malignant. The song is available on the same-titled EP, part of Emika's debut on Ninjatune.

Further Listening:
Official MySpace
Emika on NinjaTune.net

Video:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

FTRK #32 = "Tokyo" by Imperial Arms




Tokyo - Imperial Arms (2011)

(Sampled from "Tokyo" by Tujiko Noriko (2003))

Imperial Arms' (a member of "M12", a group of d&b artists situated in Germany) mix of "Tokyo" is an energenic, drum & bass mix produced as a 'bedroom bootleg'. It takes advantage of the originals various detailed precussion, modifying the ambient base to create a casual, urban rhythm. Its inherent simplicity and sylph-like voice accompanyment bond to create a smoothe, down-to-earth texture. The beats mould together this laquer of sound and produce something like a bittersweet delicacy, a great way to end off the day and set your mind off things.

Further Listening:
Official Soundcloud
Official MySpace

Saturday, February 12, 2011

FTRK #31 = "Flickermood" by Forss



(Free download available in the Soundcloud player.)

A creative, slick combination of funk and jazz sampled together into a hot bowl of delicious, "Flickermood" blows everything out of the water. Its excellent glitch-beats and sampling makes the mix well seasoned and perfect for any situation. The song comes off Forss' Soulhack album and puts itself out as one of its standout tracks.

Further Listening:
Official Soundcloud Website

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

FTRK #30 = "Impossible Soul" by Sufjan Stevens


Impossible Soul - Sufjan Stevens (.mp3) (2010)

It's hard to describe in detail the sound collage that makes "Impossible Soul". It touches both calm, rippling settings and builds into passionate, epic outbursts. The beginning of this concluding track to The Age of Adz sets the tone of moonlight on a beach, soft and romantic. It moves from the appearance of a poem into a campaign for clairity and day. This passage of time settles into a void of murky sound beneath the water (the first time I've ever heard a Vocorder used in a musically asthetic situation!) before resurfacing in a cheery chorus of optomistic metaphors. At last, the chorus settles and sinks beneath the awe of the cosmos, but not without closing with an almost apologetic, acoustic mix of conversation and closing remarks.

Further Listening:
Official Bandcamp Website
Bland Official Website

FTRK #29 = "Silence" by Portishead


Silence (Wicca) - Portishead (2008)

Portishead is likely the most popular Trip-Hop band around, with good reason. Off their latest album, Third, "Silence" is a track woven of grief and subtle desire. The precussion, high strings and gradual movement of the song in general gives the feeling that the song is set in the backseat of a vehicle. The song reflects helplessness in the sense that, when the trip concludes, our words will fail to save us.

Further Listening:
Official Website
Official Myspace

FTRK #28 = "Skin Turns To Glass" by Nadja


Skin Turns To Glass - Nadja (2003, remastered in 2008)
(Sample Unavailable)

Heralding from Toronto, Nadja is an ambient, drone metal band. Synonymous with the title of the album, "Skin Turns To Glass" illustrates the process of an organic entity becoming clear, solid, and brewn from a sandstorm. The sound is like sandpaper gently rubbing against the eardrums. The vocals are similar to that of someone breathing, creating a state of meditation amidst chaos.

A sample of the track can be heard on iTunes, as no full samples were readily available.
Click Here for a hotlink to the album.

Further Listening:
Official Website
Official Bandcamp Website
Official MySpace

Saturday, January 8, 2011

FTRK #27 = "Objects" by Eskamon


Objects - Eskamon

Eskamon is a collaboration between Eskmo and Amon Tobin, two excellent iDM artists, "Objects" being the raw distillation of their work. It oozes of rhythmic, but bizzare combinations of sound. The drums and bass crunch and grind like solid candy and spill out flavour. Heck, it even sounds like someone's smacking their lips to this gorgeous deformity.

Further Listening:
Official Site
Amon Tobin's Official Website
Eskmo's Official Website

Previously:
Esther's - Amon Tobin

Thursday, January 6, 2011

FTRK #26 = "VI" by Desert Beneath The Pavement


VI (Do You Feel It When I Google You?) - Desert Beneath the Pavement (2011)

I heard about this band through the album cover artist, Scheinbar (on deviantArt.com). The guitar featured in the opening plays like the introduction to an indie film; raw, emotional, and reflective. Progressive, coarse, and overall, a work of art created from sound. I imagine the music as the theme song of a barren winter desert. Extreme winds and weather pick up unpredictably, and the sand and snow drifts like a fluid. Coarse, but delicate ribbons weaved by the allegro guitar, coated by the crashes of the cymbals.

This track is available on the single, "Do You Feel It When I Google You?", free on the band's MySpace page

Further Listening:
Official Myspace
Official Facebook Page