SOMEWHERE UP THERE: Australian cross-art form collaboration group Aphids undertook a mightily ambitious venture last year based on the 1977 Voyager Golden Records project, where gold-plated copper LPs containing nature sounds, samples of current and ancient languages and music were sent into space with the Voyager spacecrafts. The hope was that this information would reach other worlds. In the words of President Jimmy Carter, the records represented “a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.” The similarly minded Forever Now project aims to convey “the sublime irony and beautiful horror of being alive in 2014” and features one-minute sounds from composers all over the world, including the Athens/Ghana collaboration between The TaxiCab Verses and Kofi Atentenben & The Warriors, as well as UGA music faculty member Natalie Williams. Williams’ CV is mind-bogglingly stunning and should be read thoroughly. See forevernow.me for more information on Forever Now.
WHAT DOES THIS BUTTON DO?: The new album by the chill-but-not-too-chill Vaperror came out over the holidays, and it’s only been Flagpole’s publishing schedule that’s kept me from covering it thus far. The 12-track album pretty much stays the established Vaperror course of bringing a bit of old-school dance/garage—stated with full knowledge that what constitutes “old school” will forever be debated intensely—and futuristic downbeat. The most easily accessible track is “Perfect Circle [Night Drive],” which features a dance-ready beat and a solid bounce-bounce squelch most often associated with happy hardcore. This paragraph has now gotten entirely too term-oriented even for me, so let’s stop there. Head to vaperror.bandcamp.com and check it out.
NOISE ANNOYS: So there I was, checking out new, Athens-based tunes, when out of nowhere I’m thrown off-kilter. The track at fault is “Mighty Small,” by the mysterious Dead Nihilist. Incorporating taped statements by serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and several minutes of a statement on global warming by Charles Manson, the song’s musical backbone is a glacially paced guitar that sounds barely anchored. The is from a two-song demo dump named Roughly Conceptual. It’s a mere speck in the Dead Nihilist universe, which has seen at least seven new releases since early last year. Even though there are a couple of collections (namely Dni The Truth and Jamzzz’s) that could pass as proper records, most of this stuff seems like it’s been dumped on the web as a way of saving hard drive-space. But, who cares? Occasional spine tingling aside, I’ve had a blast digging into this mess of noise, glitch, jazz, loops and feedback. Dig your own hole via deadnihilist.bandcamp.com and microphone42.bandcamp.com.
MAKE YR MARK: There are still a few weeks left to cast your ballot in the 2015 Athens Hip Hop Awards. This year, there are 21 categories, ranging from Best Barber Shop to Best Mixtape. The purpose of the awards ceremony, which is in its third year, is both to embrace and to illuminate the full scope of the local hip hop community. Voting ends Feb. 10, and this year’s show will happen Feb. 14 at the Morton Theatre. For more information and to cast your votes, visit chocolatecitylive.com.
BITS-N-BOBS: The latest full-length release from Old Smokey, Wester Easter, was released on cassette tape by Wilmington, DE label Humble Twin Records. See humbletwinrecords.storenvy.com. Packway Handle Band originally asked Jim White to produce a new album for them, but it wound up being a full-on collaboration. The result is Take It Like A Man and i credited to Jim White vs. The Packway Handle Band. It’ll be out on Yep Roc Records Jan. 27.
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