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April 5, 2010

New Music Life Raft: The Knife, Gram Rabbitt, Joy Orbison, Black Francis and BRMC

The Knife's Opera, new Black Francis and a bunch of other goodies

The Knife: Tomorrow, In a Year–  If it’s on Mute records it’s almost always grand, and The Knife is no exception. If you missed 2006’s Silent Shout run out and get it RIGHT NOW. Imagine smoking too much Opium in a dimly lit and orange-hued Eastern Den, only to be abducted by pinocchio-mask wearing lunatics who cackle and make bird noises right up next to your barely-conscious ear. Well, now Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer have enlisted a host of guests to help them produce/perform an Opera (yes, that’s right, an Opera) based on Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species. Opera was something that, aside from some Bartok I was never really into until last year when I fell in Love with Repo, The Genetic Opera, and it opened up my palette a bit. And while Repo may be genuinely arguable as far as authenticity with the hardcore Opera crowd, I’m pretty sure Tomorrow, In a Day is not. Strange, sweeping and unlike even the regular weirdness Knife fans may have come to expect this is progress from a band that is, by its definition, already ridiculously progressive. Gram Rabbitt – I fell in love with their first album right away but somehow they lost me for the last four years and two albums. It’s funny how sometimes you’re just not ready to hear something. Cultivation, their second record has gone from disappointment to epiphany recently, owning my home stereo system for days on end, their third is on its way to me in the mail and now I’ve got the forthcoming Miracles and Metaphors to look forward to, with four of the tracks playing over on their myspace page*here: http://www.myspace.com/gramrabbit Next, and I’ve been meaning to write about him for a while now, there is Joy Orbison. This is an electronic artist whose stuff will evoke a trippy sort of nostalgia from those of you who were into the rave/trance thing in the 90’s – he is the nephew of Jungle DJ/Producer Ray Keith and his sound draws on trance archetypes and what could perhaps pretentiously yet accurately be called post-dubstep dance music**. Whatever you call it, the tracks floating around out there, especially Hyph Mngo (linked below) remind me of what I loved about late-era Dee-Lite. Some newer stuff has appeared on his myspace recently as well. And last but not least two staples of mine have new albums: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s sixth studio album BEAT THE DEVIL’S TATTOO and Black Francis’ NONSTOPEROTIK – neither of which I own yet (did you think I was kidding when I said I could go broke buying records???) but both of which I have sampled*** and look to be balls-to-the wall favorite additions to the library this year. http://www.lala.com/#search/beat%20the%20devil%27s%20tattoo http://www.lala.com/#search/nonstoperotik ……………… * I know, I know – I can’t stand that burnt-out husk of an ad campaign called myspace anymore either, but it’s worth it for this, trust me. ** I’m not really this verbose at electronic music curation – special bibliographical props to Joe Muggs’ article in THE WIRE #308 (Oct. 2009) – yeah, I’ve been meaning to blog about it almost for that long. *** New proper albums by favorites such as these must be in a prepared sitting, non-stop all the way through without distraction. As Darkseid said to the Justice League, all in good time…]]>