Monday, August 6, 2012

FTRK #80 = "I Saw The Light" by Spoon

 I Saw The Light - Spoon (2010)

I Saw The Light could be considered a two part track. Chilled, visionary, the beginning may be interpreted as a description of the following half; the progression beginning about halfway through is particularly foreboding, hinting at the development of something to look forward to in life before becoming trapped in the vortex of an echoed guitar, cut and concluding with feint piano.

Further Listening:
Official Website
Official MySpace

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

FTRK #79 = "What to Say" by Born Ruffians

What to Say - Born Ruffians (2010)

Born Ruffians manages to bring the concept of a lack of ideas into an appropriately simple, relaxing groove. Frontman Lalonde's falsetto drives the flavour whilst guitar, bass, drums and synth all support his quivering but expressionate voice.

Further Listening:
Official Website
Official MySpace

Official Video:

FTRK #78 "Ruin" by Cat Power

Ruin - Cat Power (2012)

Ruin begins with a classy piano melody and Carolyn's relaxed vocals, both of which pleasantly drift between staccato and smooth pronunciation. The transition during the buildup and introduction of guitars and solid precussion comes in like sheets of silk.

Further Listening:
Official Website
Official MySpace

Official Promotional Video:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

FTRK #77 = "Football" by Optic Nest

Football - Optic Nest (2010)

"Football" is like a pleasurable trip through sci-fi '50s, beginning with a transmissiony sound and bubbling about with its dry-filtered wubbing. The snare sounds as if it's being sprayed from a can, accompanied with whizzing drizzles of synth and heavy reverb.

Futher Listening:
Official MySpace

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

FTRK #76 = "Fog" by Nosaj Thing

Fog - Nosaj Thing (2009)

"Fog" comes into aural perspective as an entrancing melodic hum with a side of cut-up breaths. Come the hit of the snare, it transitions into a weaving, transversal liquid. Mock mute-trumpet beakons produce dwarvish anthems as the piece twists and writhes about, sliding by its smoothe, gaseous texture.

Further Listening:
Official Website
Official MySpace

Thursday, May 31, 2012

FTRK #75 = "The Maelstrom" by Jim Guthrie

The Maelstrom - Jim Guthrie (2011)

"The Maelstrom" hails from the indie iOS title Sword & Sworcery EP. It seemingly portrays an advancement through weary fog, the snare gently hissing behind the consistent guitar and whispered piano hums. It's a relatively short piece but feels endless, like how a clear highway may mould into the horizon for miles... material certainly critical to the soundtrack's success in the title.

The Humble Indie Bundle is providing Sword & Sworcery, game and soundtrack, as a feature in its fifth bundle at a "pay-what-you-like" price to support the developers and for chairity. You can check it out here.

Futher Listening:
Official Website
Sword & Sworcery Official Website

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

FTRK #74 = "Sex" by Slugabed

Sex - Slugabed (2012)

A classy mix of chiptune and house synth, Sex skitters between squarewave, wobbly bass and ticks. Wavey crescendos and glistening rings accompany the track as it progresses like a boat sailing through a glass lake. The official video takes an appealing, retro commercial take on the track, relaxed and fashionable.

Further Listening:
Official MySpace
Official Website

Video directed by Chris Ullens

Sunday, May 6, 2012

FTRK #73 = "I've Seen Footage" by Death Grips

I've Seen Footage - Death Grips (2012)

I've Seen Footage consists of wild lyrics coupled with wilder cut-up beats. According to Stefan Burnett, lead singer of the band, the track includes sampling from a "crazy man" shouting the track's title, the inspiration for the song. The song tends to be all over the place, but in all the right ways like some sort of delirious, vehement juggernaut.

Further Listening:
Official Website

Official Video:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Devon #13 = Cabin in the Woods

This is a movie that really shouldn't be spoiled, so let's keep this short. If you haven't seen the far too revealing trailer, then good for you. If you have seen it, don't worry. They've only ruined one small, small twist. You will still love this movie, every minute of it. Without ruining it I can say that Cabin in the Woods feels like one big, loving rant on why horror as a genre has failed as of late. It is a mix of every cliche, every character type, every manipulative and exploitative script and camera angle from modern horror. It is a fantastically written, beautifully directed send up to all the piss poor writing and directing horror fans have had to sit through. This is the anti torture porn. I cannot even tell you the genre for fear of spoilers, so I will just leave you with this: Cabin in the Woods is the most creative, most artistic, most exciting, and flat out best horror movie of the millennium. Go see it now.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Devon #12 = 21 Jump Street

Wait. Wait. I promise this won't be awful. I will leave here with my credibility intact. 21 Jump Street is a very well put together, albeit fairly stupid movie.

Before we begin, something to note; a problem people are going to have with this is that the film has very  loose connections to the television show that shares its name. At least, not at first glance. Really, this is a film that should exist in its own right, and the name is only there because remakes and reboots are big right now. But, and here's where I started to really like Jump Street, the film openly addresses this within the first ten minutes. It straddles the fourth wall, and comes close to breaking the illusion of the film, but this acknowledgement works. This break down of reboots in general lets the audience really take Jump Street as its own entity, and sets the tone for how little it takes itself seriously. I'm almost tempted to call it meta. However, those first ten minutes draw me to the first real annoyance that hit me: the films opening is just the first part of the trailer, extended slightly. And it features "The Real Slim Shady" awkwardly cut for length. Grumble.

 The main relationship of the film begins here, rather abruptly, with the two main characters becoming friends after a stereotypical high school life by saying all of three lines to each other, in what's a nice, minimalist introduction to their relationship. Then the plot moves forward, with a drug ring operating out of the school, the main characters entering high school again, and jokes about how ridiculous this setup really is. Its cliche, of course, but it blends the best of party movies and 80's high school movies together, while wallowing in its R rating. no boobs though, thankfully, cause seeing 20 somethings stare at high school girls would be incredably awkward.

Combined with some great acting from Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, and overall above average production values, and the whole thing comes together quite nicely. The question is, how willing are you to watch some smartly put together stupidity? Screw it, its spring, enjoy Jonah Hill in a Peter Pan outfit.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

FTRK #72 = "Untitled #4 (Königsforst)" by Gas

Untitled #4 - Gas (1999)
(Untitled fourth track on Königsforst)

"Untitled #4" is like the soundtrack of an empty park. It's an ambient piece meant to feel calming. Slight hints of light guitar plucks mesh between mellow bass synth and heartbeat for a leisurey extended period of six and a half minutes. The trees softly wave about in the air, the grass ripples about in the wind, the air is moist with a light fog...

Futher Listening:
Official Website (Kompakt Records)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

FTRK #71 = "I Live My Life to Stand in the Shadow of Your Heart" by A Place to Bury Strangers

I Live My Life to Stand in the Shadow of Your Heart - A Place to Bury Strangers (2009)

"I Live My Life to Stand in the Shadow of Your Heart" blends itself between a breakneck exterior and a soft, yet determined interior. It lives in the moment in some sort of confessional disposition before gradually writhing and grasping about. It's a romantic noise barrage mellowed with the vocalist's near monotone voice, an odd mixture that somehow becomes serendipitous in causality.

Further Listening:
Official MySpace
Official Tumblr
Official Blogspot

Friday, February 17, 2012

FTRK #70 = "Generation" by Liturgy

Generation - Liturgy (2011)

In what seems to be a mix between revelation and suppression, "Generation" is built upon a shockwave. The guitar acts as the powerful backbone to this tenacious beast, mightily crawling across space and setting fire to communities. And not just in a poetic sense either; the lead, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix has literally sparked quite the hatred amongst the black metal community in a rather cocky show of arrogance and philosophy over his work. Personally, I couldn't care less. Because it sounds delicious.

Further Listening:
Official MySpace

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Devon #11 = The Grey

I'm going to keep this short because I don't want to ruin anything but this: the film is not about Liam Neeson fighting wolves. This is a movie about faith. It is stunning, and the best movie I have seen this year. What surprised me is that other reviewers have marked down the film, seeming to have expected an action flick. I don't blame them, seeing that the directors previous work includes Narc, Smoking Aces, and The A Team, the latter two of which had a focus on action set pieces. One critic even frustratingly called the spiritual elements "filler" between wolf attacks. This is the wrong attitude though, as The Grey is by no means an action movie. Action occurs. It forces the characters into their situation. But Neeson isn't ever going to take down forty wolves with his bare fists, and the side characters aren't there as mere wolf chow. Instead, this is about men accepting fate, about family, about death, and about the fighting even when you know you will lose. Don't expect blood and guts, or a big fight scene, make that any fight scenes, and by the time the ending comes along, the one scene that some other critics seem to despise above all, you will see why this is my pic for the best film of 2012, so far. This is metaphor. This has meaning. And this has very few dead wolves. Genius.

Though, maybe I'm wrong. See this film, and decide for yourself.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Devon #10 = Contraband

What happens when you take a critically successful Icelandic film and have its lead actor direct an American remake starring Mark Wahlberg? Not a whole lot.

Contraband has a lot of things going for it. It has a realistic and non ironically gritty tone, caused by its characters feeling like normal, immoral, bland criminals (but in a good way) and a plot that keeps to real world logic... for a while anyways. Marky Mark's (sorry, I had to) character is just trying to repay a debt that his semi-scumbag brother in law owes to a mobster. Said mobster, played by a wonderfully cast Giovanni Ribisi, is a very well written character, with a back story that is left to the viewer to figure out on their own. He is scary, yet still clearly a weak man, which adds a sad reality to him. The film subtly foreshadows its major twist and second villain very early on, showing a cleverness that most action movies lack.In fact, the whole thing could really be called a thinking mans gritty action flick... again, for a while. The main characters heist only requires them to be creative in hiding the, uh, contraband, while all the action occurs around them. They are merely passive observers. These really are interesting elements that could lead to a unique film. But then the third act hits.

The main problem here is the massive change in tone. Before the last twenty minutes, Contraband is a dark film with families being threatened and hurt, and drugs and crime rampant. Hell, one major player is beaten, threatened, and almost raped, all done viscerally and simply because they were in the wrong place. But than suddenly Wahlberg turns into McGuyver, the bad guys get their comeuppance, and the day is saved. Things lose all semblance of reality. And, in the final plot twist... well I wont ruin it, but it's hilarious. Completely screws with the tone of things, but hilarious, given the setup, and would have worked completely in a less serious heist film like Oceans 11. If things were changed around, if the hero didn't save the day, if the movie had gone all the way with showing that crime doesn't pay, I would have loved it. The tone would have stayed dark and gritty, and reached a violent, haunting crescendo to make Contraband something more than typical Hollywood fare. Its the sudden lack of momentum caused by this tonal shift that kills the credibility of the film, making what could have been a dark, purposeful tale into an unrealistic, dumbed down piece of Hollywood schlock.

This film is like Frankenstein's monster, an old movie resurrected from the dead, and stitched together from different styles. It was so close to being great. I would not recommend it, unless you are a big fan of heist flicks and want to see something a little different (save for the last act), then it might be worth your twelve bucks. Otherwise, this is one to skip.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

FTRK #69 = "Potential For Anything" by Souleye

Potential for Anything - Souleye (2012)

Epic siren, pitter patter apreggi intro, classy buildup into swingin' rhythm. Potential For Anything is a radical throwback to the chiptune era. Featured in the indie title VVVVVV, the track acts as chlorophyl for the vibrant nature of the atariesque game. The track is soaked in emotive tones and especially lively with its dynamic tempo.

Further Listening:
Official Website
Official Bandcamp

FTRK #68 = "Mer" by Chelsea Wolfe

Mer - Chelsea Wolfe (2011)

Fresh off her latest album Ἀποκάλυψις (Apokalypsis), Chelsea Wolfe summons a brilliant Rorschach of interwoven drum, snare and an entranced guitar. The malade nature of her voice reaches back and forth like a boat rocking amongst waves curiously sifted through the effect of multiple vocal takes. The official video (below) does an excellent job of portraying the marvelousness of the song and emphasises its effect, chilling yet vibrant like nightshade.

Official video directed by Zev Deans

Further Listening:
Official Website
Official MySpace

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

FTRK #67 = "Power of Persuasion" by Oneohtrix Point Never

Power of Persuasion - Oneohtrix Point Never

A drama that comes together as it breaks apart. The cycle of life and death. Something beautiful soaked in teardrop rainfall. Oneohtrix is an artist in weaving sounds that beg for warmth, something to cling to for a shred of sympathy. The piano roll and synth flybys work like water and oil mixed into a vinegarette of dreamlike texture.

Further Listening:
Official Website
Official Soundcloud