Tag Archives: Top Albums of 2K11

The Best of 2K11: THOED MYNDEZ – THOED MYNDEZ

Witch house/drag was never meant to be discovered, much less go mainstream. Artists associated with the scene shrouded their faces (often literally) and chose unicode-laden, google-breaking names in an effort to keep this underground from becoming the next dubstep, or whatever.

But scenes, as scenes often do, fall apart, often as much from internal pressure as much as from unwanted outside examination. The witch house label, more of an in-joke than an actual genre, is being left behind and many of the relentlessly productive artists are continuing to push forward, leaving the scene for the tail end of the bandwagon. Even the catch-all term “drag” fails to pin down anything more than a penchant for pitch shifting, leaving many of these artists free to make their own rules and craft their own genres.

THOED MYNDEZ features two artists who have orbited the witch house/drag explosion (and resulting implosion), often overlapping small areas of the scene’s imaginary Venn diagram without ever seeming to fit the construct enough to wear the label comfortably. THOED MYNDEZ is Nattymari, a dub and DJ Screw acolyte whose Youtube channel currently hosts over 200 of his tracks/videos, and Party Trash, another productive-as-hell artist who has released 9 albums and EPs in little over a year, in addition to several collaborative projects.

This witch-house-but-not tag-team cranks out an inordinate amount of oppressive noise. Sure, there’s some touches that bring the witch into the backyard, if not into the house proper at times and, yes, the love for DJ Screw shifts the vocal samples into sizzurp territory now and then, but the overall EP bears more resemblance to early industrial tape experiments and the faulty analogue equipment of hundreds of electronic forefathers.

There’s also brief glimpses of buried beauty scattered among the sonic wreckage. The title track opens with a few cracks of tonal daylight before the darkness sets in, sounding for all the world like a Last Rights bonus track, right down to the metric tonnage of doom-laden chords and interspersed aural damagers.

DAILY ROUTINE also features some brighter keyboard work, but with an underlying bad vibe, giving it the feel of a John Carpenter soundtrack cut, the sort of intermediate piece that supports the scenes between the horror. There’s nothing particularly comforting about the fact that NO ONE IS DYING RIGHT THIS MINUTE because odds are, it won’t be long ’til it happens again. And again. And again.

[Not included on the album, but well worth a watch/listen.]

But for the most part, THOED MYNDEZ is a batch of brown acid. Dangerous shards of noise rain down on a bed of distorted drums and pulverizing sub-bass, occasionally punctuated by punch-drunk, pitch-shifted vocal samples. It’s disorienting and uninviting, but in the best “no one gives a shit about yer precious genres and self-imposed limitations” sort of way.

Download full EP here.

/s/CLT

1 Comment

Filed under Electronica

The Best of 2K11: Leann Grimes – Leann Grimes

The name caught my eye first. LEANN GRIMES. Sandwiched somewhere in the middle of a list of other, less remarkable names in a long list of remixes and new stuff on a music blog whose name escapes me now.

LEANN GRIMES.

A dig at pre-fab country pop, coupled with the rain-soaked imagery of a million post-drum-and-bass Brit alleyways filled with Burial fans morosely checking each other’s hoodies for authenticity.

“What the hell,” I thought. “Let’s give this a shot.”

Leann Grimes – Got to Grime

I hit Play on Got to Grime expecting to be menaced by some sort of dark, bass-heavy growler which would start using its vibrations to shove things around my desk in an ominous and not-quite-dancefloor-friendly sort of way. Instead, I got headsmacked by a vibrant, damn near summery slice of evocative-in-that-sort-of way-that-you-can’t-directly-put-your-finger-on musical magic that pretty much defined “bouncy” in new and wonderful ways, ways that would never again see the word relegated to such petty uses as describing post-conditioner hair or school bus rides.

And I hit Play again. And then again. And then I went looking for more.

You don’t often find an album this celebratory and unabashedly cheerful without the artists involved inserting some sort of ironic distance or “statement” into the mix in order to maintain their “serious muso” cred. None of that bullshit here. Leann Grimes hugs music with both hands, recycling riffs and hooks from a collection of indie artists (The Strokes, Miniature Tigers, Deerhunter, CAKE, Local Natives, Kings of Convenience) into a recursive statement of love: I make music because you make music. (Or as he states on his Bandcamp page: “If it’s a new indie track, I’m going to remix it.”)

Leann Grimes – Memory Noise

His whole album is pure joy. I defy you to find another album out there as good-natured as this one is. It’s impossible to listen to without smiling (at least internally). The love that he has for his subject matter (that is: music) shines through on every track. And as much as I love the darker side of music and surround myself with droning, buzzing, angry musical things, I can’t relegate this into “bubblegum” territory because of the obvious (and I’m using that word AGAIN) love that went into this project.

And then there’s this: Grimes dedicates the album to both the musicians (show of hands? that’s quite a few people) and (AND!) the music bloggers (Another show of hands? Yeah, that’s pretty much everybody else in the room.) who connected him with these artists. You can’t help but feel included. Leann Grimes is the universal power of music in 14 tracks.

Leann Grimes – I Do Work for You (Non-album Soundcloud cut)

If, for some impossible reason, this album fails to connect with you, then head over to his constantly updated Soundcloud page. If you can’t find something to like, then I honestly fear for your soul.

Pick up the whole album here. Gratis!

The Facebook of Leann Grimes.

The Soundcloud of Leann Grimes.

Leann Grimes has an actual, real band!

Here’s an altogether more entertaining review of this album.

/s/CLT

[By the way, if you like what you’re hearing/reading, feel free to pimp out our posts by using the handy little Whore Bar located below. Thx.]

7 Comments

Filed under Electronica, Remixes