Photo Credit: Betsy Gonzalez
NINE SHADES OF GRAY: Marching Banana Records just released the debut full-length from Athens/Atlanta artist Delorean Gray (aka Jacob Chisenhall), Star Tropics. Its nine tracks work so well together in a near-perfect distillation of hazy imaginations of what the ’80s sounded like, vaporwave aesthetics and contemporaneous bliss. It’s full of appropriate synths and a slight amount of self-effacement, but mostly it’s an homage to what used to be called “adult contemporary” pop. The thing is, though, this only works because the influences are so clearly 20th Century. Anything more recent would render this as weak, pandering easy listening. To crib a phrase from a place I’ve forgotten, the tools of the past become the art forms of the future. Utilitarianism becomes expressionism. Listen for yourself at graydelorean.bandcamp.com and marchingbanana.bandcamp.com.
PANCAKES WITH DAD: Lucky Numbers, the new collaborative album between producers murk daddy flex (aka Terence Chiyezhan) and Isaak Pancake (aka Garrett Burke) is out now. I’m not much of a gusher, but dammit, this thing is good. While I’m most familiar with murk daddy flex’s work and can’t really speak to the division of labor here, I can say this collaboration is a wonderful stretching of his skills, which were already significant. There’s a lot of additional instrumentation, although I suspect a lot of this was via digital manipulation. It’s a million times more aggressive than his previous work, especially on tracks like “Rehearsal Dinner” and “Rock Heaven.” Coming in lean with a mere 13 tracks is evidence of thoughtful editing and conviction of presentation, too. It’s the best mix I’ve heard lately that freely incorporates early industrial-music sensibilities with modern presentation and ideology. Dig it equally at murkdaddyflex.bandcamp.com and isaakpancake.bandcamp.com.
DESERT SONGS: New West and Normaltown Records will celebrate the release of the new album by Dega Friday, Mar. 2 at the DT Productions office (1368 Prince Ave. in the heart of Normaltown). It happens at 8 p.m. and costs $8. The two-piece band—Kalen Nash (Ponderosa) and his wife Aslyn, who has two solo albums on Lemonade Records—create expansively gorgeous songs driven by propulsive synths and keys, syncopated rhythms and perfectly blended twin vocals. This should be a nice time for anyone looking for a cool show in an nontraditional atmosphere.
CONGRATULATIONS: Hats are off to Athens engineer Jay Rodgers for his recent acquisition of ownership of decades-long Watkinsville company Full Moon Studio. He’s worked at the studio for 17 years, and is the longtime studio manager and lead engineer. Visit them online via thefullmoonstudio.com.
WELL, I’M BEAT: A massive release by Apostle is out now courtesy of Star Rats Records. It’s named Shallow Graves and contains one track, which is also named “Shallow Graves.” It’s massive because its running length (nearly 18 minutes!) is positively apocalyptic, and its sound is no less so. It’s a wild, full-on journey through varying styles (’90s-ish screamo, trad hardcore, a smattering of metal) that seems to have some sort of narrative, but I can’t discern what it’s about. It’s also exhausting. By its end, I couldn’t exactly tell what was going on, but it was clear something was. I dunno, it’s hard to say. Give it a whirl at starratsrecs.bandcamp.com.
STAY QUIET AWHILE: The UGA University Union will host a silent disco Thursday, Mar. 1 from 8–11 p.m. at the Tate Center Grand Hall. The concept, born out of necessity for late-night parties at large music festivals, has spread to standalone events and has been utilized most recently locally at select hip-hop shows. Attendees will be issued a headset upon entrance and enjoy the music of three separate DJs through the course of the night. It’s free for UGA students with their UGACard and five bucks for the general public.
BASS-O-MATIC: There’s a new track available from UGA student Luke Bass. It’s named “Mood” and is buoyed along by a nice, pretty piano melody and decorated by different studio elements and modern hip-hop and R&B flourishes. Bass writes and records his own material, which isn’t exactly a rarity, but seems to definitely explain at least part of the comfortable bedroom-studio feel of this. Give it a click at soundcloud.com/luke_bass.