I’m trying to make a concerted effort to be less shy about the music I make off and on in my spare time and so I finally decided to post two songs on my soundcloud, which i’m calling “phases” and “washed” respectively. These are supposed to go along with another group of songs/sketches/demos or whatever you want to call them in an album sort of thing which i’ll post here in some form soon.

Watch: New Balam Acab Song Live in SF, CA (06/01/12)

Pennsylvania’s (20 yrs old) Alec Koone aka Balam Acab recently came to visit San Francisco’s The Elbo Room (for the 120 Minutes party) to play a live set of his personal blend of beautiful washed out, organic, electronic, ambient percussive productions (or whatever you want to call them).

The set began with what I believe to be three or four new songs (or at least songs unfamiliar to me) followed by live renditions of tracks from 2011’s stellar “Wander/Wonder” album. And for those of you who follow Balam Acab’s soundcloud closely, I can say that I didn’t recall hearing any of his other self released songs/remixes. Unfortunately, this means that he did not play his awesome new stomach bubble fake trap “Ass Pop” track he just posted on soundcloud (a day prior to the show) either.

Regardless, Balam Acab gave a great performance working his Launchpad and SP-404 well (and whatever other gadgets he had going), giving San Francisco a mesmerizing night of pleasantly hypnotizing sounds (or as he mentioned “boring sleepy time” sounds) that was definitely as good or better than I expected.  The next time you see that Balam Acab comes around your neck of the woods, take my word and go give him a listen.

Check out Balam Acab playing a new track I’m referring to as “Don’t Be Afraid” due to the vocal sample throughout the song.

Although I had never heard this next song and thought it was an awesome new track (and yes, it’s still awesome even though it’s not new), it is apparently a Balam Acab remix of an old unreleased track “Heavy Living Things”

Burial & Massive Attack Collaborate on Limited Edition 12″

Burial & Massive Attack recently teamed up on a new two-track limited edition 12″ (album art above) released on Inhale Gold and The Vinyl Factory (limited to 1000 copies). The 12″ includes an original collaborative track “4 Walls” as well as a Burial remix of “Paradise Circus” (off Massive Attack’s 2010 album Heligoland). Take a listen to both below. Great stuff.

Animal Collective debuts New Songs on 2011 Tour

After a brief break from touring and the release of solo albums by respective members Panda Bear (Tomboy) and Avey Tare (Down Under), Animal Collective are back at it again with a slew of new material to support their 2011 tour dates. With longtime member Deakin rejoining the band after a multi-year hiatus, Animal Collective is back to being a four piece and has since crafted at least ten new songs that are currently being showcased on tour.

I recently caught them live at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco and as luck will have it, some other kind Animal Collective fan recorded their set there and posted the songs broken up online. I originally found the bootleg from this Collected Animals forum thread, but since them someone has refined that audio recording and re-posted it here (download link below):

Animal Collective – Live in SF @ GAMH (4/13/11)

Their set list  consisted of 14 songs in total, including 10 new songs (indicated by the *) to go along with four nicely reworked classics as listed below:

  1. Change*
  2. Stop Thinking*
  3. Did You See The Words
  4. A Long Time Ago*
  5. Take This Weight*
  6. Knock You Down*
  7. Brother Sport
  8. Mercury*
  9. Your Choice*
  10. Frights*
  11. We Tigers
  12. Summertime Clothes
  13. I’d Rather*
  14. Little Kid*
Also if you hadn’t heard, Animal Collective played Coachella a few days after the SF show and intro’d their set with a ridiculous audio visual light experience thanks mainly to Coachella’s amazing moving main stage. Check out the video below for proof:

That was easily the most epic thing I saw at Coachella in 2011 and it will definitely take a while for something to top that.

Four Tet’s Releases New Material on his FACT Mix

Here’s another post that really should’ve been written up at least a couple months ago, Four Tet’s recent mix he did for FACT magazine. Oh well, better late than never. By the way, although I’m only going to talk about Four Tet’s mix, there are a ton of other great artists that have done FACT Mixes, and I would highly recommend checking them out.

You should by all means judge for yourself, but in my opinion Four Tet put together a pretty spectacular mix; and as a result, it’s been a mainstay on my playlist since first hearing it. Not to mention that he’s been playing a few of the songs from the FACT mix in his recent live sets, so if you see him live, you may (as I did) feel the urge to re-listen to some of the songs again, and again, and (well you get the picture). But seriously, his little synth riff on “Nothing to See” was stuck in my head for at least a week.

I can definitively say from memory that Four Tet played his “Matthew and Toby” remix and his new song “Nothing to See” (which starts about 31 minutes into the mix fyi) at the Treasure Island music festival (which is where I took that picture above) and that those two songs were without a doubt some of the better highlights of TI for me (and are also coincidentally my two favorite songs on the mix).

Anyways, less talk more action. Check out the download link and tracklist below. Enjoy.

[Edit: FACT finally removed the link to the mix but I have since reposted a new link below]

Download Four Tet’s FACT Mix

1. Rocketnumbernine – Matthew and Toby (Four Tet remix) [Text Records]
2. Pheeroan Ak Laff – 3 in 1 [Passin’ Thru]
3. Soul Capsule – Seekers (Ricardo Villalobos remix) [Trelik]
4. Mount Kimbie – Blind Night Errand [Hot Flush]
5. Grevious Angel – Move Down Low VIP [Soul Jazz]
6. Ro 70 meets Move D – Untitled [Source Records]
7. Floating Points – J+W beat [Planet Mu]
8. Ramadanman – Glut [Hemlock]
9. JD Robb – Canon in Percussive Sound [Folkways]
10. Index – Starlight (break) [Record Shack Records]
11. Four Tet – Nothing to see [Soul Jazz]
12. Falty DL – St Marks (Cosmin TRG remix) [Rush Hour]
13. Luke Abbott – Holkham Drones [Border Community]
14. Oni Ayhun – OAR004A [Oni Ayhun Records]
15. Bob Holroyd – African drug (Four Tet remix) [Phonica]
16. Lata Mangeshkar – Too Mere Saath Rahega Munne [EMI]

Aphex Twin Plays New Material Live

A few weeks back, Warp officially announced that the mysterious and illustrious man named Richard D. James aka Aphex Twin (among a number of other monikers) scheduled a short (and rare) string of DJ dates across Europe this summer (see the remaining dates below). This past May 15th, the first of said Aphex Twin DJ sets occurred in France at the Metz in Centre Pompidou.

Regarding the current Aphex Twin tour dates a Warp Records spokesman stated that,  “Richard himself says his sets are full of unreleased tunes”, which is quite intriguing to say the least. However, as fans of Richard James’ work know well, the man casts a wide net of musical stylings as demonstrated by his ridiculous discography (of his Aphex Twin alias alone), so the fact that he is playing some “new tunes” is a bit vague in terms of knowing what to expect.

Well, lucky enough for us (not fortunate enough to be there, or in Europe for that matter) we don’t need to hypothesize or conjecture as to what James’ new Aphex Twin creations sound like. A number of videos with pretty decent audio quality have surfaced on the internet, and not only do the majority of the songs he played sound new, they also sound pretty damn good. It’s got me looking forward to the next Aphex Twin release, whenever and whatever that may be. But don’t just take my word for it, take a look/listen for yourself below.

Aphex Twin (Remaining Live Dates):

05-26 Düdingen, Switzerland – Kilbi Festival
06-12 Inverness, Scotland – Rockness
08-28 London, England – LED Festival
09-26 Ibiza, Spain – Space Ibiza

New Madvillain Song at Madlib DJ Set (1/29/10)

Madlib played a DJ Set to a hyped crowd at The Mighty in San Francisco, CA this past Friday, January 29, 2010. Given the billion or so projects the man has going on at any given time it was no surprise that Madlib aka The Beat Konducta spun a pretty healthy variety of music. The only seemingly concurrent theme I could pick out in his set was that he had a hand in either sampling or producing each song himself (and believe me, there is a lot of music that falls into that category).

In other exciting news, the MC during Madlib’s set confirmed that a new Madvillain record is coming out this year (as we previously discussed here), in addition to the fact that 2010 will also see release of a new Quasimoto album!

During the DJ set Madlib played plenty of “exclusive” tracks; for example, he played a new song from Madvillain 2 (check out most of it in the video below). The (as of now) untitled song reminds us of Madlib and (formerly MF) DOOM‘s  initial masterpiece Madvillainy as it also encompasses the winning formula of solid drum beats, dramatic interludes, startling horns, DOOM unveiling his best/wittiest saved up lyrics (“Guess you had to be there…there was free beer!”), and appropriately funky samples that only Madlib could ever dig up in his 4 ton (!!!) collection of vinyl. And do I here a Tom Jones sample in there?