OK, it’s not quite screw, since here pitch is independent from playback speed… I interviewed the Romanian programmer who wrote the software used above and in the Justin Bieber ‘U Smile 800% Slower’ for this Frieze essay, now available in the 2011 Best Music Writing De Capo book, guest editor Alex Ross of the New Yorker (whose The Rest Is Noise is essential reading even if “classical” ain’t your “thing.”)

As we grind our collective teeth. On peanuts. The dark humor of reconfigured comics aside, I’m pretty excited for 2012, our ability to chorus up collective people-oriented infrastructures both large and small.

Tomorrow, I’m kicking off my Sunday morning radio show on WFMU! All summer long, 9am to noon – I’ll be playing music, noise, and whatnots on WFMU 91.1 and 90.1 MHz FM. For the past couple of years, I provided extra oils to keep Rupture’s Mudd Up! wheels greased proper, all the while filling in, co-operating, and board-opping for everyone from Rob Weisberg to Glen Jones, and now I got a three-hour spot on the longest running freeform, independent community radio station in the United States! The show doesn’t have a name, and for now we’re just calling it Lamin. If you have a good name suggestion, let’s hear it! As for a description, let’s just say we’re staying true to WFMU’s commitment to unstructured-format broadcasting. Go here to stream my last Sunday morning broadcast.

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This would be so incredible if the world wasn’t so insane. Still, an awesome video by Megaforce.


Here’s something that deserves it’s own post, but the way things are going it doesn’t look like that will happen. So here it is “The World Needs Change” by Clams Casino, from his Instrumental Mixtape – which is quite amazing.

Grouper – “Alien Observer”

Last week, Portland, Oregon based musician Liz Harris, better known as Grouper released two separate incredible albums, Alien Observer & Dream Loss, wrapped together as A I A. Preview the striking Wurlitzer pulses and sweet drones title track from Alien Observer above. A I A is beautiful, strange, and unsettling; harsh, heavy drones & dark, delicate tones; songs about aliens and ghosts & loves lost and love yet to happen. Liz Harris also made a series of rare east coast live appearances, one of which was at Brklyn’s Glasslands last Saturday. Harris gave such a mesmerizing performance, the crowd was pin drop silent and so attentive you could hear the sound from the venue two doors down bleeding into Glasslands.

Harris describing her new albums: “Dream Loss is a collection of older songs, mostly written before a hard time. Alien Observer, for the most part, is made of songs recorded after that time. Each has a song that belongs thematically on the other, a seam stitching them together. Both albums… explore otherness. Being an other to one’s own self, to other humans; ghosts and aliens, both literal and metaphorical; and other worlds to escape to (beneath the water, in the sky). Thinking about people who have died…

The process of making these albums reacquainted me with what I want to explore in music: friction, exploration of something large and outside of me, describing and traveling to intangible objects and places, unseen movements and connections between people and spaces. Songs that move on their own, that have an autonomous monstrous quality, songs from another world.”


Hype Williams – The Throning

To cure post-holiday blues, smoke Christmas trees or listen to the new album from Hype Williams, Find Out What Happens When People Stop Being Polite, And Start Getting Reel on repeat – or just do both to further enhance that collapsing feeling as you watch people (including hard working class people) waste money and resources. Like a bouquet of xmas flowers on fire, the album is an absolute mess; a slow-burning, swirling, hallucinatory fantasy, a wicked affair involving Ms. Helen Folasade Adu.

So there’s another entry to add to the post-Screw canon: Expressway Yo-Yo Dietin. And, despite his wildly different sound (which sets him apart from the more accessible witch-house/drag scene and closer to the toxic sound of Houston’s small but sturdy noise scene), the methodology isn’t the wildest departure from DJ Screw’s lazy foray into the avant-garde. I may be wrong here but, advanced digital fuckery and ripped rap vocals aside, the thread that holds Expressway Yo-Yo Dietin’s Bubblethug together seems to be a simple delay. It actually sounds quite a bit like the default setting on Ableton’s Simple Delay effect, a nifty trick that gives rhythmic ‘umph’ to a lot of the weird excursions into various noise and drone territories that you’ll find on the album. So the results end up sounding like a Boredoms, Screw, Vibracathedral Orchestra and Sunroof! fan ingesting something nasty with 12 other people in an empty building of the warehouse district of your nearest industrial graveyard. The following track is my personal favorite, a dark dirge with nearly intelligible vocals that gains power from the track sequencing when listened to as part of the album’s messy whole.

[audio: Bubblethug 5.mp3]
Expressway Yo Yo Dietin’ – Bubblethug 5

Ten years ago today, a man who redefined the grind passed away. You can read more about him and his influence in Jace’s article for Frieze magazine (mentioned here last week), as well as in a couple of other pieces that are mentioned in the comments section. I’m just gonna add the following love song for the occasion.
Eightball & MJG – Reason for Rhyme (screwed by DJ Screw)

I have to say, at the Monterrey tribal guarachero rave I wrote about for The Fader, it was incredible to watch the DJs go from 128bpm tribal, then slam into a cumbia rebajada (crowd cheers!) then move onto crunk-en-espanol, then Cypress Hill en espanol, then back to tribal, all in the space of 10 minutes. It was the only rap moment of the night — mediated by syrup-cumbia… and the dancing never stopped! Outside the party, one kid walked around with a SWISHAHOUSE tee on.


  • Here’s what ppl dont understand. We were raise in Texas, so screw music is what we know. But our parents raised us with traditional music like cumbias, etc. This is our music, a mix of what we know and what we grew up hearing.

    + + +


    My latest essay, on the slowed-down tempos of screw + its influence on contemporary bands, has been published in this month’s Frieze and is available online. It begins with DJ Screw and ends with interview observations from Romanian programmer Paul Nasca, responsible for the Bieber stretch algorithm.

    Ten years ago this month, one of the great, lazy American geniuses died, at the age of 29, from drinking too much cough syrup. His name was Robert Earl Davis Jr., and I believe he stole the technique that made him famous from the Mexicans. . .



    Games, “Strawberry Skies” from That We Can Play (Hippos In Tanks) 2010

    I never got around to posting “Everything Is Working,” the first track I heard from Games earlier this year/in late-Spring if I can clearly recall. If you were at a party where I played/”DJ” or listened to Rupture’s Mudd Up radio show on WFMU over the Summer – specifically episodes I guest-hosted/filled-in for Jace, you probably heard that track and me going on about how effortless, charming, and amazing it sounds. Needless to say, I was looking forward to hearing more. During the wait for their mini-album That We Can Play, which is out now on Hippos In Tanks,  Games (Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never and Joel Ford of Tiger City – two producers currently based in Brooklyn – one of whom we’ve been listening to all year!) released a series of fantastic screwed-retro mixes/mix tapes, steeped in 80s synth-pop-mystic and nostalgia (taking forgotten, obscure songs from the 80s, slowing them down, and in that process transforming them into murky, cinematic, dreamscapes). You can grab those mix tapes over at their Tumblr WAY SLOWER. Some of the characteristics (dreamy, woozy, etc.) are found on those mix tapes bleed into the five tracks on That We Can Play, especially on the opening track “Strawberry Skies,” with excellent vocal contribution from Laurel Halo, whose “Something I Never Had” we’ve played out/and on Mudd Up too, .

    Yes, today is my birthday! I survived last year (barely). Hugs, large bills, mp3s, and gift certificates to the crematorium all accepted…

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    big birthday post over at MuddUp! includes an old Rupture mix excerpt, chopped & screwed Nicki Minaj, free software for turning Biebz into Hopelandic ambience, 16 minutes of Algerian chaabi, GIFT OPTIONS, and, as always more.

    Eat, drink and consume media, for tomorrow we get deleted.

    Or maybe not deleted. Maybe just replaced with squid pictures.