Snap Sounds

Snap Sounds: Reuber

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REUBER
Ring
(Staubgold)

This is the most characterful techno album in a long, long while. Instead of obeying minimalist trends, Reuber goes for something epic — Ring is Kosmische, but much more enthusiastic and lively and cheerfully vulgar (the finale verges on trance) than anything that sound's huge cluster of revivalists have put forth in the past few years. The surging syncopation is Moroder-esque or Tangerine Dream-y rather than studious, and the album's energy verges on gonzo, from the coiling, roiling metro-ride momentum of "Ringer" — the centerpiece and highlight — to the tribal fervor that lingers at the far edges of the two tracks before and after it. Performance clips of his Tuvan throat techno after the jump! Read more »

Snap Sounds: Munly and the Lupercalians

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MUNLY AND THE LUPERCALIANS
Petr and the Wulf
(Alternative Tentacles)

Munly J. Munly has long been one of the most enigmatic yet prolific figures of the Denver Music scene. And with his latest lineup, concept band The Lupercalians, he’s tapped into a treasure trove of possibility. Ostensibly the first of a series of albums focusing on the imaginary world of the “Kinnery of Lupercalia,” Petr and the Wulf is a dark retelling of the Prokofiev children’s symphony, whose characters are trapped by circumstance and each other in a deadlocked circle of vengeance and fear. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Wovenhand

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WOVENHAND
The Threshingfloor
(Sounds Familyre)

Whether it be the western plains or the Appalachian highlands, David Eugene Edwards of Wovenhand has long looked to the American landscape for inspiration, crafting songs which weave these diverse geographies together into a bold tapestry of richly textured sound. And yet, dating all the way back to the early days of 16 Horsepower, Edwards has never shied away from sifting a few foreign elements into his bold Americana. With The Threshingfloor (Sounds Familyre, 2010), he sets his gaze eastward, blending elements of Eastern European, Middle Eastern, and Romani gypsy music into his stark melodies and faith-layered lyrics. Read more »

Snap Sounds: La Plebe

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LA PLEBE

Brazo en Brazo

(Kool Arrow, 2010)

Don’t be fooled by the melancholy acoustic guitar that opens the new La Plebe album, Brazo en Brazo, for all of a few introductory notes. Just as soon as the ear is lulled into world-music lullaby-land, the horns and drums quickly pop up, until, like a day at the races, the full blaze of La Plebe’s instrumentation blasts through, and they’re off!

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Snap Sounds: Clubroot

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CLUBROOT

II MMX

(LoDubs, 2010)

Purposely constructed anonymity as a reaction to this supposed Internet Age of Information is by now pretty passe in music circles (cf. Silver Columns, jj, Burial). So some may have rolled their eyes when future dubber Clubroot went that route with his first releases, even though the music was intellectually sensuous and the first full-length release received raves from Dubstepforum to Pitchfork.

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Snap Sounds: The Walkmen

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By Landon Moblad

THE WALKMEN
Lisbon

(Fat Possum)

You & Me, the Walkmen’s excellent 2008 album, showcased how strong the band could be while working within a mellower, more plaintive framework. Not that they’d ever been entirely void of it before, but that album’s wistful horns and lyrics dripped with melancholy that hardly let up. Early publicity about its follow-up, Lisbon, hinted at the group’s desire to revisit some of the more raucous material they toyed with on earlier albums and then fully succumbed to on 2006’s track-by-track cover of the Harry Nilsson/John Lennon album, Pussycats. Read more »

Snap Sounds: The Books

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By Landon Moblad

THE BOOKS
The Way Out
(Temporary Residence)

During the far too long half-decade wait between albums, it became easy to wonder if maybe Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong, together known as The Books, had lost some of their creative juices. Luckily, one listen to The Way Out proves the wait was well worth it. If anything, this is an album so meticulously thought out and crafted that the two years (they officialy began recording in 2008) it took to create makes complete sense. It’s clear now that it wasn’t a lack of ideas, but rather a surplus of them to work through that caused the delay. And the final product, 15 tracks spread over nearly 55 minutes, is some of the finest work of their career. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Björk and Dirty Projectors

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BJÖRK AND DIRTY PROJECTORS
Mount Wittenberg Orca

Mount Wittenberg Orca is neither the first nor last time Björk sings about oceans, mothers, and plant life (re: “Oceania”). But now, she has the genius of the Dirty Projectors ­– in particular, producer and Dirty frontman David Longstreth – looking at Mother Nature, too. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Kisses

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KISSES
"People Can Do the Most Amazing Things"
(This Is Music)

Kisses has become a Snap Sounds stalwart before even releasing a debut album, because the upcoming album's songcraft is terrific. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Kurt Vile

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By Irwin Swirnoff

KURT VILE
Square Shells
(Matador)

Seven songs of drifter daydreams. There is something so beautifully lonely and core-hitting about the way Vile's sprawling songs continue to evolve. He can't be written off to any scene or fad -- he's one of the most poignant, affecting songwriters around. Check out one reason why after the jump. Read more »