ASS: Find A Partner!

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Postby xwd » 2012.07.03 (20:44)

Pandora's Pinata by Diablo Swing Orchestra [via Random D191759265358]

I have to admit, when I saw the "avant-garde metal" tag I was expecting 20-minute free jazz odysseys with blast beats or something. But hey, ASS is all about trust, so I went in seeing what I'd get, and I have to say, I probably should've double-checked the band's name.

Things start off really energetic with Voodoo Mon Amour which lets you immediately that the band does exactly what you'd think they do: play a crazy hybrid of metal, swing, and orchestral stuff. This first one has some New Orleans jazz influences, which meshes far too well with the heavy guitar riffs and frantic drumming. Like, seriously, this is an awesome way to kick off the album. I think I was completely sold on the album less than 10 seconds into it, which is good for me. There's other styles of jazz in later tracks too, the next track Guerilla Laments has a latin feeling. And of course there's plenty of not-jazz in there, the track after that, Kevlar Sweethearts, doesn't really have any jazz at all, opting for more. It's great! Variety is awesome, provided it's all good. Which it pretty much is here.

The album switches up the mixture of its various components from track to track. Heaviest track is probably Exit Strategy of a Wrecking Ball, which has a nice orchestral breakdown to mix things up. This is followed by the lighest track, completely orchestral Aurora, since Diablo Swing Orchestra needs to show, just like Epica, that they don't need a guitar to rock. Or something along those lines, I think it's neat.

I'm not so good at understanding operatic vocals, which there are quite a bit of, and I'm not so good at understanding lyrics either when there's all this other stuff I can be paying attention to and it's not like the vocals are mixed for ease of understanding anyway. So I can't really comment too much on the vocals other than "they sound cool" which is about all I ask for usually anyway.

It's always a good idea to close strong, and after the low point in the middle the album gradually increases the tension up to the end of Of Kali Ma Calibre before dropping it down for the closer Justice for Saint Mary, which of course ramps things up even more, ending with some all-out post-production-enhanced chaos. Which as a sucker for chopped-up and rearranged cheesy electronic effects, was awesome for me.

My favorite tracks are Voodoo Mon Amour for reasons already stated, Honey Trap Aftermath for its nice groove and wah-wah. I could use those to blow things up to. Good album.

>> xwd

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Postby Tunco » 2012.07.10 (12:19)

Passed Me By by Andy Stott (rec'd by xwd)

The album feels like it was submerged in water, under soil, cheese; recorded in a windy terrain, etc; beats with unusual time signatures, weird shifts and the inclusion of different sounds that don't belong in house music that resemble no-memory sine waves of Sachiko M of the EAI scene (this specific sound is present only in one song, to be fair); all these elements are ultimately conducive to house music that feels experimental. Everything feels a bit 'unstable' because of that never-coming, non-existent climax that makes you keep waiting for it; I think it's a good thing that it feels 'unstable'. I guess this is an aspect that makes it good for 'just chilling out', along with other aspects.
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Postby xwd » 2012.07.10 (20:55)

Wizard of Oh by Omar Santana [via bobaganuesh_2]

I'm a pretty big sucker for cheesy dance music from the 90's. And there are few dance music styles cheesier than the European branch of hardcore electronic music, with its pounding kick drum and sped-up vocals and off-beat open high-hats. It's awesome! It makes me want to just forget about everything for a while and just start flailing around as hard as I can until the beat stops HA HA GOTCHA IT'S NOT STOPPING SUCKER KEEP DANCING.

Anyway this is gabber, or gabba if you're too hyped to say thing correctly. It's got what you'd expect, have some kind of exciting crazy build with random vocal samples in there, tease the drums coming in, cue the hoovers, maybe mix in some acid because that destroys dancefloors too, and then you finally let it all go for a few minutes with as many cheesy tricks as possible. Rhythmic repetition of sped-up vocal samples, rapid retriggering of drums, letting the kick drum drop out for a moment so you can catch your breath, breakdowns with the anthem, things like that. Oh, and you can't foget those kick drum sounds. Deep, distorted, and hard. And yes, it can get harder. Bass Keeps Pumping (Pump It Harder Remix) is not joking, it sounds like it's going so hard it's going to break something.

You need to be careful with this stuff, though. Listening to more than 20 minutes of it at a time can cause permanent brain damage or severe exhausation, unless you're not tired yet in which case go right ahead. Everyone else will be fine listening to the 4 tracks on this 12", unless they're not into this stuff in which case there's more room for me to flail around. Fun, silly music for a while. Don't expect to get anything else out of tracks that are named after the most common vocal sample used in them.

Not sure what my favorite track was, they all felt about the same (except for the remix which is just silly) but I guess I'd go with Boy Is Banging because it has a Public Enemy sample during a breakdown.

>> xwd

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Postby Seneschal » 2012.07.11 (10:59)

I Created Disco* by Calvin Harris [via kuuuuuuuri]

I was rather surprised to discover that this album had been widely panned by critics and listeners alike – it’s rated less than 3/5 on RateYourMusic and less than 60 on Metacritic. True, lyrically speaking this was never going to win many plaudits (sample lyrics: I like them black girls/I like them white girls/I like them Asian girls/I like them mix-raced girls/I like them Spanish girls/etc. etc.). But as is the case with most dance music, to complain about shoddy lyrics is to miss the point. The music on show here is of the ‘mindless entertainment’ variety, music that you can enjoy without thinking too hard about it, and in that regard it mostly succeeds. I find it hard to criticise tracks like ‘Acceptable in the 80’s’ and ‘The Girls’, which I quoted earlier, when they’re just plain fun to listen to. Moreover, Harris seems to know exactly how cheesy his electronic beats are at times, and doesn’t take himself too seriously; anyone who calls their album ‘I Created Disco’ clearly has their tongue firmly lodged in their cheek (especially when they were born in 1984). Overall, despite containing a few filler tracks this is nonetheless a rather enjoyable album.

*The French bonus tracks, which kuri also recommended for some reason, aren’t really anything special, mostly just uninspiring remixes of certain album tracks.

Verdict: B

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Postby Corky Romano » 2012.07.13 (22:35)

Proanomie by Vomir [via Tunco]

This was... interesting! I didn't listen to the whole song, though. It sorta sounded the same for the first 10 minutes. I could tell some effort had gone into making it! I couldn't find any beats or cool melodies to listen to, sadly. They were probably omitted on purpose. It certainly was pretty noisy. I couldn't tell if it was original or not, but I'm guessing it was, somehow. I'm not sure if it's really safe to listen to this type of music for more than an hour! I hope the next rec I get isn't noise!

Are we doing ratings now? I can get into that...

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Postby 乳头的早餐谷物 » 2012.07.29 (15:33)

:(
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Postby aids » 2012.08.19 (15:34)

New round starting Tuesday. Lemme know if you'll be participating.

In other news, I'm starting with new pairs. It's a clean slate, so my apologies if you get someone twice.

  • aidiera
  • xwd
  • ortsz
  • Rose?
  • mediate
  • gloomp
  • TommyWiseau
Last edited by aids on 2012.08.21 (05:55), edited 5 times in total.
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Postby 乳头的早餐谷物 » 2012.08.19 (15:44)

in
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Postby xwd » 2012.08.19 (16:22)

I'm in. Also, sorry for being poopy and not updating things. Here, I updated the blog.

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Postby mediate » 2012.08.20 (16:29)

Definitely in.

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Postby aids » 2012.08.21 (06:24)

▲▪►▪▼◄▲ wrote:New round starting Tuesday. Lemme know if you'll be participating.

In other news, I'm starting with new pairs. It's a clean slate, so my apologies if you get someone twice.

  • aidiera
  • xwd
  • ortsz
  • Rose
  • mediate
  • gloomp
  • TommyWiseau


round xiii
Aidiera >> Rose >> gloomp >> xwd >> mediate >> TommyWiseau >> ortsz >> Aidiera
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Postby Corky Romano » 2012.08.21 (22:23)

I wanna play too!
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Postby aids » 2012.08.22 (05:53)

Corky Romano wrote:I wanna play too!


Why do you have two NUMA accounts? (I'll get you for next round.)
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Postby aids » 2012.08.24 (12:47)

http://albumswapping.tumblr.com/post/30099252226

Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus by Charles Mingus [via ortsz]

I told ortsz that I love jazz, and while that’s true, I don’t have much and I don’t listen to it that often. But this is a gem of an album. gloomp once told me that most jazz is improvisational, and I didn’t believe him at first. But now it makes sense. Jazz can’t be written down and memorized, it has to exist in the moment; it has to be spontaneous and unexpected. And Charles Mingus is a wonderful example of that. All eight tracks on “Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus” are upbeat, meaningful and catchy. My favorites were Theme For Lester Young and Mood Indigo, but the whole album was great. The spoken word part of Freedom was surprising and interesting, but what brought the whole album together was the head-bobbingness of the tracks. Each one got my noggin dancing, and I loved every second of it.

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Postby mediate » 2012.08.26 (23:38)

Anomaly by Norrin_Radd [via xwd]

This is awesome. Just ... awesome. Norrin_Radd, from what I can tell, is a guy who enjoys his NES music who wondered how death metal would sound in the same style. To that end, he created his own compositions to explore this idea and experiment with it. This is what came from it, and it's pretty damn awesome. I never thought I'd ever find myself headbanging to chiptune, but there it is. He created some very groovy and interesting songs here. A definite 10/10 from me here. This album is amazing start to finish. I highly recommend it to all.

EDIT: Almost forgot! Download here! Buy (when it's available again) here!

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Postby Rose » 2012.08.26 (23:48)

Agony & Irony by Alkaline Trio (via Aidiera)

Honestly, if I had to give someone a perfect example of radio-friendly music in the last decade, this would be it. This is about as pop punk as it gets. Live Young, Die Fast would be my favorite track. And... really, that's about it. Nothing about this album was even remotely new to my ears; if I didn't hate the word "generic" so much, I'd use it here. It was totally okay, just nothing special.

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Postby xwd » 2012.08.27 (01:02)

High Atmosphere by Various Artists [via glomp]

A very nicely preserved collection of old folk tunes. I think techincally it's "old-time" music, according to this thing I'm reading. It's from 1965, and it's a bunch of ballads and other stuff. It was pretty cool! The people involved have some very interesting voices (the yelping octave changes were kind of neat the first time they hit me), and there's a variety of instrumentation too, ranging from a capella to like, two things. Mostly banjo, some fiddle, some guitar in there too, a few instrumental tunes too to show off mad banjo skills. There were plenty of interesting riffs in there too.

One of the parts I particularly liked were the little conversations that were had before or after songs on some of the tracks, where the compiler would ask about the history of a song, or the musician would talk about what they just did. The title of the compilation comes from one of these incidents, where banjo player Wade Ward talks about the "atmosphere" of different tunings, and the "high atmosphere" where he came up with the tuning for a certain song.

I'm not too sure if I can really pin down the feeling I got from this. It was half me listening with intent curiosity, and then there was also a lot of longing for things, worrying about things, and sometimes just cutting loose and enjoying life despite all of its hardships with some silliness or wicked banjo riffs.

All in all, the fact that I can't really tell this apart from more modern folk says how timeless it is, or how clueless I am, or how stangant the genre is, or something. It was an enjoyable album, check it out if any of this appeals to you.

I'ma go listen to Beck now.

>> xwd

This probably goes without saying but you can bet your pop-punk-listening ASS I'm in.

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Postby aids » 2012.08.28 (14:36)

round xiv

Aidiera >> mediate >> Rose >> xwd >> gloomp >> kuri >> TommyWiseau >> Aidiera
Last edited by aids on 2012.08.31 (17:12), edited 1 time in total.
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Postby unoriginal name » 2012.08.28 (18:29)

Irfan - Seraphim [via Rose]
Okay, silver lining: At least the first album of this new "season", if you will, isn't something I'm indifferent to. However, it's not something I liked either. Haha, oh, no, I did not like this at all. Straight up: this is one of the worst albums I've ever had the sorry fate of sitting through. I mean, this shit is fucking awful, oh my god. Seraphim wholeheartedly embraces a number of my biggest musical turnoffs. Here is an album that is not only lifeless, but at the same time seeks to suck the life out of everything around it as well. It's an album of "ethereal ethnic" music, which apparently means some woman crooning meaningless "exotic" sounds over some washy mishmash of "exotic" instruments, probably of Arab origin, although they're used to so little of their potential that I couldn't possibly be sure. This is music for the waiting rooms of New Age societies that would be pyramid schemes expect the leaders are too fucking stupid to know how to run one.

I really want to emphasize: I fucking hate this album. Not "haha dude that was soooo bad", no, I seriously fucking hate this. Music this lazy, this lacking in imagination, with such a strong odor of "we don't need to try, people love this world music shit", makes me angry. My time on this planet is too preciously short to spend any of it on garbage like this. Fuck off, and die.
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Postby Rose » 2012.08.28 (18:32)

^ 10/10 would make you "suffer" through an amazing album again
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Postby Seneschal » 2012.08.29 (22:35)

hey, ass is alive

I'm a bit rushed off my feet at the moment, so I just want to say ahead of time that I would like to be in the round after the next one (hope that's clear)

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Postby aids » 2012.08.29 (22:42)

Seneschal wrote:hey, ass is alive

I'm a bit rushed off my feet at the moment, so I just want to say ahead of time that I would like to be in the round after the next one (hope that's clear)


That will be round R16. Tunc is going to be part of R15 and only R15. I'm on top of all this.
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Postby mediate » 2012.08.31 (02:18)

xx by The xx [rec'd by Aids]

This will sum up my entire review right here: I'm not a fan of indie pop/indie rock/britpop/indie in general. Before this, I was introduced to exactly 2 "indie" artists. Oasis by a friend of mine (nope, didn't like em) and the Arctic Monkeys. I've listened to the Arctic Monkey's debut album. I gave up after 3 songs; too annoying for me to go on. That album hurt me to listen to. Not gonna go through again. Then The xx came along ... and to be fair, I was looking forward to this in a way; I was hoping that maybe I just chose very wrong with my choice of artist to listen to before (it happened before; started listening to In Flames to get into death metal, didn't enjoy it too much, then I discovered Opeth, Death, and took it off from there). So, I listened. Didn't like it, was bored out of my mind, tried again on a different day. Second time, I went in more open and willing to accept it ... didn't change my opinion much though. This, to me, is way too boring. Not slow (I listen to plenty slow music, that's not the problem), it's just downright boring to me. The singing puts me to sleep. Most of the songs just seem to plod along with no energy. The beat is repetitive as hell. I just ... I'm bored of this. There's a few good points. One is the good intro for Islands and outro for Infinity. The second is that Romy (the girl) has a good singing voice when she finally gets into it (VCR till about 1:50, Islands for examples, Shelter). The guy (Oliver) on the other hand ... I just wish they'd have left it at Romy to do the singing. Honestly, I hate his style of singing (VCR after 1:50, Crystallised, Islands, Infinity). I hate that slurred style that I keep hearing from him. I think, in the end, his singing put me off and just killed the mood for me. The beat is okay, I guess, sounds very repetitive and same-y throughout the album, so I just didn't care too much for it. All in all, for this entire album, I didn't care too much for. Which puts changes my views of indie ... none. I still feel nothing for this type of music. No rage, no hate (hate for certain artists, but that's a different story), no nothing. Just, indifference. I respect people that love this kind of music, and I also respect people who make this kind of music, but it's not for me. It's not in my tastes. Sorry. 2/10 from me. Maybe if only Romy was singing, I'd have enjoyed it more (or maybe I'd have gotten bored of it a bit later than 3rd song in). Either way, not for me.

ADHD Version: 2/10. Album boring.

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Postby aids » 2012.09.02 (04:58)

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Postby 乳头的早餐谷物 » 2012.09.02 (08:04)

I'm for the next one and also I will post my review.
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