Das Zeitgeist Zimmer, 14.05.12-20.05.12
New music made easy, with learned correspondents Johann Gottfried Herder and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Name: John Maus
Listen: ‘Mental Breakdown’
Need to know: More of the same from pop’s most philosophical son
Herder: It’s often said that if Shakespeare was around today, he’d be using his mastery of the English language in the realm of hip hop. “What light through yonder window breaks a ho?” Y’know, that kinda thing. So if, like me, you’ve been wondering what Descartes would be doing if he were around today, look no further.
John Maus is, as every piece of writing on Ariel Pink’s pal must contractually point out, a philosopher by day, a singer by night. Now, you’d be forgiven for missing the link between the use of rationality and reason to explain and prove our very existence and ‘retrolicious’ anti-pop, but Descartes would totally be espousing Maus-esque haziness if he were around today. This is a man that actually died from waking up too early for work, after all. If that’s not chill wave, I don’t know what is.
Anyway, ‘Mental Breakdown’ is taken from an upcoming collection of early John Maus rarities, and it’s sure to please fans of last year’s excellent We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves. In the Cartesian spirit of reason and rationality, Maus calls the new LP A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material. It’s out on July 17th through Ribbon Music.
Listen: ‘Jump Up’
Need To Know: ‘Post-everything’ pop maverick signed to No Pain In Pop
Hegel: There sure is a lot of this internet-y post-everything music around at the moment — you know, the sort that doesn’t bother to settle on any one specific influence and instead chooses to lob basically everything into the ol’ mixing pot. Listening to this stuff feels a bit like being possessed by the demonic LSD soused spirit of Beck. And that of course is a very good thing. But where is this all leading? What’s the logical end point of this constant crossing of the genre streams?
Well, from where I’m sitting there’s only one way this can go. Picture the scene, it’s 2423, the environment has collapsed, and we’re all living in the slightly irradiated rubble of Hull (because hey why the hell not and besides they’re big on the cannibalism down in London), and the fallout has been harsh form the deadly Nicki Minaj/Lady Gaga wars of the 24th century. And as we scuttle about the ruins fighting for tins of beans and preserved bottles of Ironbru, there is only one cultural institution remaining that preserves any remaining sense of order and humanity. It’s The Sound, the product of hundreds of years of mashing up genres from past and present — it’s literally all music ever produced coalesced into a single murky brown tone projected outwards from a great temple adorned with cardboard One Direction cut-outs, and posters of Michael Jackson and Beethoven. And we worship it like a god. All hail The Sound. The Sound demands obedience and blood sacrifice. There is only The Sound.
So that’s pretty terrifying, eh? It’s all a bit like the Beneath The Planet Of The Apes bit where all the freaks worship that nuclear missile, except of course there’ll be a lot more Prince Iconography in this future. Just think long and hard when you listen to this fantastic new Doldrums track, courtesy of Dummymag. This skewed hip-hop/psychedlia/pop banger could be the seed that leads to that terrifying tomorrow.
Need to know: Belgian electronic duo David and Charlotte, possible day job as American Apparel models
Herder: If you like your electro slick and sexy and (and, let’s face it: who doesn’t?), boy did you came to the right place. Soldout make the kind of Knife-esque dance pop it’s pretty hard to avoid dancing and/or love-making to. It seems like this Brussels duo know that all too well, though: their new video mainly features them mulling around in a laser-lit club wearing sunglasses and generally nailing that ‘hey, we’re wearing sunglasses indoors but it’s not a big deal’ look. Well, Soldout, it is a big deal. And you look like you’re in a perfume advert.
Listen: ‘I Like It’ Ep
Need to Know: Acidhouse/rave luminary who’s back at it
Hegel: VCMG proved earlier in the year that you can be crotchety and old and still be a hell of a lot better at making decadent dance music than all these dub-steppin, plant food abusing, Nick Clegg effigy burning young wastrels combined.
Now Adamski is solidly continuing this trend, and as you may recall he’s the acidhouse/rave type who helped introduce the joys of Seal to the world (also, when is Seal going to get the trendy modernising Gil-Scott-Herron/Bobby Womack treatment? It’s way overdue). Adamski is back recording under the moniker that made his name, and it’s fair to say that it’s really helped put a spring in my step. His ‘I Like It’ EP is set to be released on the May 28 on Continental Records and you can listen to the whole euphorically banging thing above.
Based: Glasgow & Canada
Need to know: banging experimental hip-hop, EP out on Warp July 24
Hegel: TGNHT are a new duo composed of garish Glaswegian maximalist Hudson Mohawke and Canadian producer Lunice. I think their name is supposed to be pronounced ‘tonight’, but maybe I got that wrong and they want you to instead pronounce it phonetically, which means their name is “tuhh-guhh-nnuhtttee”. Which is a tricky name to drop while retaining our hipster credentials/dignity.
Ho hum: it’s Monday, folks, and I think my brain is melting and slowly dripping out of my earholes. So to get the crux of the matter, these two fine young men have a new forthcoming EP set to be released on Warp Records on the July 24, and in the meantime you can now listen to a choice track taken off said EP. It’s an experimental hip hop banger with some damn silly bass, but in a good way, at once both loud and obnoxious but also somewhat restrained, or at least ‘restrained’ as compared with Hudson Mohwke’s usual brand of day-glo head-splitting madness. So to summarise: you basically should just crank it way the fuck up for this one.
Enjoy previous Das Zeitgeist Zimmer posts here