Record Highlights — Midwich Records Debuts

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Midwich Records is a new Chicago record label dedicated to electronic music, ranging from techno, ambient, experimental and noise. The label is releasing music on vinyl only, complimented with digital downloads. The covers are adorned with the retina-burning work of renowned artist Mark Salwowski.

The first two releases from the label are new records from Detroit’s Moon Pool and Dead Band and Chicago’s MAGAS.

Moon Pool and Dead Band - MEQ 2x12" (MW-001) MAGAS - Heads Plus 12" EP (MW-002)

Moon Pool and Dead Band’s MEQ (pronounced MEK–futurespeak for ‘mech’) is an album of swinging, dirty, analog techno-funk, created with mountains of old synthesizers. MEQ consists of Moon Pool and Dead Band’s earliest  track, reworked by some of Detroit’s (and ex-Detroit) best producers: Patrick Russell, BMG (Brendan M. Gillen of Ectomorph), JTC (Dabrye/Charles Manier aka Tadd Mullinix), Ice Cold Chrissy (Coyote Clean Up), Michael Dykehouse, Erno the Inferno and Nate Young in Wolf Eyes mode. MEQ plays like an album, rather than a collection of remixes.

MAGAS’s Heads Plus is the first proper vinyl release from James Marlon Magas since 2009’s Violent ARP. For the past several years, Magas has been concentrating on instrumental production, eschewing vocal histrionics of previous work, in favor of moodier, more open-ended composition. This focus has resulted in the bombastic and hallucinatory Heads Plus, an all-instrumental wallop that fuses howling ARP Odyssey, capricious Juno funk and fuzzed Rhodes anchored to the ever-present throb of the Roland TR-808 drum machine.

 

 

Record Highlight — David Feldstein

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

After 20 years on pause, David Feldstein has finally crafted his debut album to represent his love of guitar-driven rock interwoven with catchy hooks and folktronic rhythms. Raised in Chicago and exposed to the burgeoning 90’s scene, David wanted to take his influences of Smashing Pumpkins, Urge Overkill and others and meld them into his own unique sound. These song structures and riffs have been bouncing around his mind for two decades. Surrender The Silence is David’s effort to showcase those ideas while trying to express something that is uniquely his own. The title track’s wall of overdriven electric guitar is in juxtaposition to the acoustic arrangements of “Grand Inspiration” and the folktronic beauty of “Gravy Train.” Having a work that is uniform was the antithesis of David’s motivation. David sought to highlight his many influences and express the core value of guitar-driven music with which he was raised. “There’s something about cutting a solid album where each song is different and unique that intrigues me.” Using some public domain speeches as a backdrop to the music give the tracks a textural flair. This album shows the listener where David Feldstein has landed after so many years.

 

Record Highlight — Monk Parker

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Monk Parker‘s first studio album – How The Spark Loves the Tinder is available now from Bronze Rat Records.  Parker serves up an alt-americana so sedating in its pace, that you might actually live a few years longer when you finally come back around from the time-slip it puts you in.  Pre-order now.

 

Record Highlight — The Lonesome Billies

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

The Lonesome Billies shoot from the hip with their own take on a classic country sound that has been described as “boot stomping, gator hootin, whiskey swilling music”. Four men from the badlands of Hazel Dell who have stuck together from their early days and have developed a bond akin to brotherhood, all while playing unapologetic dark and dusty honky tonk music.

Like the outlaw singers and guitar pickers who came before, these fellas tell stories, playing a mixture of songs both capable of starting a whiskey-fed bar fight or a Texas two step. The Billies embrace the DIY, anti-establishment ethos of 70’s punk rock and outlaw/honky tonk music, playing original music born out of their unique experiences. Four life long friends who grew up listening to the likes of The Ramones and The Clash make for a loose, rough and tumble approach to country music.

The band was formed by Clayton McCune (lead vocals, guitar) and Jeff Gaither (lead guitar, vocals) as a two-piece in early 2010, but quickly evolved; adding longtime childhood friends Mike Scheidt (bass, vocals) and Glen Scheidt (drums) to round out the four-piece. “From seeds to tumble weeds” the Billies grew up together in Hazel Dell, Washington and have been in and around the Portland music scene for many years. While much of their music is dark in it’s subject matter, the foursome is known for their fun, energetic live shows. Sighted influences include: Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams along with more contemporary country musicians like Whitey Morgan and Sturgill Simpson.

Their LP, It’s Good To Be Lonesome will be available on vinyl very soon!

 

Record Highlight — Vision Control

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Image of Vision Control 7"

NYC skronk & dance by John Pugh (Free Blood,!!!).  Limited to 500 copies, with silkscreened covers….available from Fast Weapons.

 

Record Highlight — William Alexander

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Residing on the Southern California coast, young songwriter William Alexander infuses sound and culture and turns them into compact pop gems. For years he has  been developing an extensive song catalogue as sun-streaked and sugary as his SoCal peers but with a relaxed modernity that is distinctly his own. Now with the help of east-coast indie upstart Yellow K Records, Alexander will finally share his recordings. His debut album, Strangest Things, is available on vinyl for the first time!

 

Record Highlight — Soft Sleep

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Soft_Sleep_EP

After sorting through a pile of micro cassette recordings he’d made over the last handful of years, Tony Ruland (The Lonely Forest) decided it was finally time to do something with them. He needed some help, so he called up Erik Walters (Silver Torches) and Kyle Holland (Cumulus), and thus, the core of Soft Sleep was born.  The project will feature many guest appearances from past bandmates and touring friends alike – a revolving door!

The Soft Sleep EP includes two of the first completed tracks from the project. Featuring Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie) making bass, mellotron, and vocal contributions. This first release from Soft Sleep is divided into 200 clear and 300 pink 7″ vinyl records, and will be available for a limited time from Rocket Heart Records.

 

Record Highlight — Mittenfields

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Optimists cover art

Mittenfields‘ new album Optimists is out on vinyl now!  Recorded and mixed by Eamonn Aiken at The Bastille, produced by Mittenfields & Eamonn Aiken, mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering, and cover photo by Gilberto Cazares.

Combining a densely layered three‐guitar attack with raw, nervy vocals, Mittenfields have drawn comparisons to some of the best indie rock acts of the 1990s. Far from an exercise in pure nostalgia, however, the DC‐based ensemble has crafted its own unique sound combining elements of indie rock, shoegaze and noise pop.

 

Record Highlight — Nick Ferrio & His Feelings

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Nick Ferrio is a Canadian songwriter working in country and folk music. His sophomore album, entitled Amongst the Coyotes and Birdsongs examines the ferociousness of love.

Amongst the Coyotes and Birdsongs is a subtle, understated and confident collection of songs. Recorded partially in Sackville, NB and partially in Toronto, ON with producer Gavin Gardiner (The Wooden Sky), the album features collaborations with Julie Doiron, Tamara Lindeman (The Weather Station), Steve Lambke (Constantines), Ian Kehoe (Marine Dreams) and Evening Hymns. Building on his previous releases Introducing Nick Ferrio & His Feelings and Half the Time, Ferrio has come into his own with Amongst the Coyotes and Birdsongs, offering catchy and sophisticated songs, and claiming his place as one of Canada’s best kept secrets.

 

Record Highlight — The Mons

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Untitled ("In the Original it's Red") cover art

You are probably wondering, “Who are these dudes and why are they bothering me?” If you know about Mexican Cheerleader, The Mashers, Lynyrd’s Innards, Apocalypse Hoboken, The Arrivals and countless other offshoots, chances are pretty good these are dudes you know. 5 dudes to be exact. 5 very good looking dudes.  

The new LP – Untitled (In The Original It’s Red) will be available for a very limited time on vinyl in June 2015.  Be sure to watch The Mons for pre-order info soon.