Champion Rocka is a duo consisting of producers The R.O.A.R. and Chooky whose speciality is the tropical-inspired dance music genre known as Moombahton. Their most recent track, ‘I Want’ features Manhattan artist Vice Royale. She graces this infectious beat as beautifully as she does the promo for the upcoming video. Silhouetted by dazzling visuals, she delivers the hook as strobe-paced editing imitates the equally quick chopping of her vocals. The song was released on December 17th, by Moombahton.NET a week after it was released on Champion Rocka’s soundcloud.
Philadelphia’s EDM producers are incredibly productive, consistently churning out originals, remixes, and live exclusives to keep the ever-hungry electronic dance scene in this city fed. Representing Glitch Squad once again is Jack Deezl with his Input Error EP. The mid-tempo groove features rapid fire arpeggios, power chords, and deep, fat bass. It also revolves around samples from ‘Modern, Normal’ by Memoryhouse. Fried Monk (who just released an EP with Glitch Squad) and <radioaddict> provide imaginative remixes, straying from the original’s tempo and reinterpreting the Memoryhouse sample.
Alison East – A Lecture on the Limits of Human Knowledge (for Sandy Stone) [Friendly Circle Records] December 14, 2014
This release of experimental noise music found its way into my inbox last week by way of minimal noise artist Alison East. ‘A Lecture on the Limits’ consists of layered tracks of the Alchemy VST synth, creating fluttering tones devoid of melody or coherent structure. These are meditations in the design of waves, tweaking any and all parameters until she sees fit to retreat. This work is also an artistic expression of Alison East’s journey through gender transition.
She has two other releases dating back to November of this year, both with similarly lengthy titles. Her first release is also credited to Transition Hierachy. From what I can tell, this is another alias for Alison East and that EP’s liner notes implicate one Jay Vee, who I suspect might be Alison’s former identity. In her own words: “Trans-Activism has gripped me in a big way recently, I have to point out others verbal flaws at every instance… Friendly Circle Records describes itself as a Record label to release transgender artists throughout the world, so it should be interesting to see what comes of this project.”
Skinny Puppy – illisiT official video + tour [Metropolis Records]
Skinny Puppy released a new music video a month ago for the song ‘llisiT,’ from their latest album Weapon, which dropped last May. It was directed by Jason Alacrity with visual FX and CGI by Damon Shelton. The protagonist, masked in a Friday the 13th Part 2-style potato sack engages in mischief around a warehouse, spliced with shots of classic industrial imagery like sparks, broken skulls, and toy robots. He is hunted by a SWAT-type baddie who eventually meets a high-tech death from cybernetic spiders inspired by the imagery of Weapon‘s artwork.
Skinny Puppy will be touring starting in late January through to March, which I am absolutely stoked for. There couldn’t be a better way to start out 2014, and a year to the day after seeing Velvet Acid Christ live during their come back tour! If you don’t know about Skinny Puppy’s legendary live show, please educate yourself ASAP. Look out for coverage by yours truly.
I mentioned this show in the last volume and it didn’t disappoint, even though my night was somewhat chaotic. My photographer was driving and I was quite keen on drinking a four pack of Yuengling lager, starting no sooner than I stepped out of the South Philly Chinese take-out/beer store whose questionable food I stopped ordering months ago. We took the PATH into Manhattan from Jersey City to avoid that nasty Holland Tunnel toll. While walking to the PATH station, I noticed that all my money was missing and doubled all the way back through the Newport Centre Mall parking lot, across Marin Boulevard to see my $60 cash laying there on the sidewalk… Sigh.
We got to the Lower East Side lounge at the end of Caroline Polachek’s set (after a miserable guest list fail). Jensen Sportag followed. It was their first show and they travelled all the way from Nashville to perform. Their set included selections from their recent release, some improv, and a few covers, most notably Stevie Wonder’s ‘You and I.’ The singer Austin used an Antares AVP-1 vocal producer, a Novation Launch Control, and a PreSonus Vocal Pre-amp. Elvis, the keyboardist, used Ableton controlled by a Novation Remote keyboard and a Roland VP-550 Vocal & Ensemble Keyboard. He performed live electronic vocals and vocoder work in unison with Austin’s effected vocals. The production was clean and came through nicely on the venue’s sound system.
The two decorated their equipment with Amnesia Roses and next to Austin’s rig sat a Honey Locust Thorn Cluster cast in bronze. This decor resembled their album art. Elvis is a hell of a keyboardist and the two really brought the dynamic musicianship of their album Stealth of Days to life. The resident DJs took over after. They gave an impressive debut performance and I can only hope to see Jensen Sportag’s name on more flyers in 2014. I also am eager to see who Sea Level Live brings out next. I can totally dig making a monthly routine of seeing live performances by progressive electronic artists.- Mr. Manic