Often the epicenter of creativity, the 1970’s were an age of strange and developmental times. This was when punk rock would develop, the age of disco would become a dead and deceased breed, and the age of experimentation would take new forms. Country Life is the fourth studio record by Roxy Music, which would catapult to the tops of the charts for its wild ability to shift and mark the largest revolution in music history since art and glam rock hit the scene.
Drawing an inspiration to the growth of sounds and devices in the 60’s, the 1970s allowed musicians and artists to branch out and start to mold this otherworldly sounds with their instruments. As Bryan Ferry who also grew a similar resemblance to Bowie, there was Eddie Jobson on the strings and synthesizer who worked with John Gustafson on the bass. Andy Mackay made an appearance on the saxophone and oboe with Phil Manzanera on the guitar. Leaving Phil Thompson to handle the percussion and start to create heavy, more straight-forward crashes on the percussion.
Country Life follows the more British styled production sound using more spaced out instrumentation and the sense of structure just has that undertone behind it. Rather than focusing on the big band style of rock music, the album is actually smaller subsections of rock that cut through the air in a noisy, feedback and reverb heavy glam rock opera. It is a production of a show and truly feels more and more as a storyboard that Roxy Music rides to create one of the better displays of a glimmering fourth record.
With tracks “Three And Nine”, “If It Takes All Night”, “Triptych”, or even “Casanova”, there are multiple styles that coincide within each other to create the overarching grasp of Roxy Music. With Country Life, the four different listed tracks are all entirely different concepts and styles that create this fluctuation within the tone of Country Life. It relies heavily on moving the listener through these varying stages while keeping a consistent theme and nature to the background.
Roxy Music has these moments of grand bravado that feel as elaborate as they did when released back in 1974. The way the instruments are controlled and the way that there is this somehow, relaxed method behind the very forward style is unbelievable. It is impossible to pinpoint one section of Roxy Music that works here because it simply all works in unison. Without Country Life, there would be little to no explanation on how some of the more inspiring records of yesteryear were made. Country Life makes it possible to have the fireworks display and showcase the little intricacies of the rock ‘n roll icons.
Listen Here – BandCamp
For his sixth album as Pictureplane, Travis Egedy owns the identity that’s been his to claim all along: Degenerate. Via music, painting, fashion, and DIY events that combine all three, he’s spent a decade investigating the esoteric, embracing the paranormal, and otherwise riding for the lunatic fringe. Now, Degenerate finds our anti-hero standing tall on the periphery of polite society, addressing his fellow outsiders over a booming soundtrack that merges electronic body music, industrial hip-hop, gauzy ’90s New Age, and gothic darkwave. If 2015’s Technomancer confronted the ways our lives are merging with external technological forces, this album moves inward, examining how pain can cause the soul to either atrophy or—in Egedy’s case—thrive.
We open on a dystopia that’s oddly familiar. The squelching synth of “Pit Viper” surges forth like venom catching a pulse as Egedy sings, “I’m lurking for something to get my mind off nothing / Abuse of power comes as no surprise, world on fire, an epitaph for a dying empire.” The next scene is no less unsettling as “Gang Stalker” serves up pure paranoia in both message and its relentless, vintage-NIN-evoking beat. Later, “Disasters of War,” named after the grisly Francisco Goya print series, depicts disconnect in our violent world: “We sit pretty with our empathy, black-painted shells, youth cast under a spell.” But Degenerate soon reveals alternate paths through the murk. We find solidarity on “Sex Trigger (Burn in Heaven),” where Goth Boi Clique founder Wicca Phase Springs Eternal trades lines with Egedy over a beautifully burnt soundscape. And with “BDSM,” there’s escape—into a soft-focus fantasy of whips, synths, discipline, and drums.
Pain was a recurring theme in the two-plus years that Egedy made Degenerate in his Brooklyn garage studio. Even as he honed his dark art, embracing both new tech (FL Studio, finally) and old toys (he found the Yamaha keyboard he made his first beats on, via eBay), he saw parts of the DIY community that inspired that art unravel in terrible ways. Oakland’s Ghost Ship fire not only took people Egedy knew, it led to the hostile police shutdown of the DIY space he came up in, Denver’s Rhinoceropolis. That loss, in turn, factored into the suicide of dear scene compatriot Colin Ward—the kaleidoscopic, breakbeat-driven “Color Spectrum (Tokyo Drift),” which features emo-trap upstart smrtdeath, is a tribute to his magical spirt. Another friend passed too: GBC’s shining star Lil Peep, all of which underscored the adversity that artists face in America’s rapidly gentrifying cities, from economic hardship to lack of access to safe spaces and health services.
Degenerate does mourn, getting lost in the crystalline jungle of “Obsidian Blade” and blissing out amid echoing keys in “Intoxicate,” but it doesn’t acquiesce. In defending his beloved culture online, Egedy became a target for alt-right trolls who’d call his dead colleagues “degenerates”—the same term the Nazis used to debase abstract artists. On this album’s thumping title track, he reclaims the word as a badge of honor, something to distinguish truth-seekers from repressed squares. One song later, he’s threatening to unleash freaks everywhere over the blown-out rap swagger of “Gatecrasher.” And by the bleakly banging closer “White Flowers,” Egedy’s become some kind of renegade goth warrior: “My blood is like a glacier, living my life on a razor / I’m so erratic, wearing black and white like TV static.” In the end, all that radical individualism is about inclusion: we’re an entire race of degenerates waiting for the right moment to show our stripes.
Listen Here – Soundcloud
ITS BEEN A SHORT WHILE SINCE THE RELEASE OF “LOOSE SKREW” BACK DECEMBER OF 2017 BUT DA$H RETURNS WITH A NEW 8- TRACK EP TITLED “IS HE DEAD YET?” WITH PRODUCTION FROM LORD FUBU, SLEDGREN, YOUNG GOD, ANTWON CARRERA, RIO MAC, D2, REVENXNT AND MULATTO BEATS
Produced By: Tony Seltzer // Listen Here – Soundcloud
Back flipping out onto the scene with a cute, but flaunting standing ovation; Lil Uzi Vert became a hero to most with his blockbuster single “XO TOUR Llif3”. An iconic tagline pushing the dead friends and careless motives made Uzi a quick star in the limelight of current hip-hop. With his 2017 full-length studio release Luv Is Rage 2, Uzi made years of work seem effortless in one of the best releases of energy stemming from a record in a long time.
“Two®” is the opening track to the circus of sounds coming from Uzi, a turn-up Mozart of the modern age. The booming production and the autotuned singing is one of the methods that propelled his sound into an audience of millions in such a short time. It was the Philadelphia attitude and the overlord status that takes over on Luv Is Rage 2, allowing Uzi to capture this pride behind his approaches. “I really really wanna let you know that I really don’t give a fuck what nobody say about me. ‘Cause you know I’m the one, yes I’m the one that really started all this” Uzi describes through this tainted, almost fogged instrumental. He is in full control however as the next jump into the raging beast of “444+222”.
“Breathe in, breathe in, breathe out, shake that ass, speed up, go fast, slow down, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, Million on me Jay-Z, Count off, fuck nigga, pay me!” is the sudden workings of the 808 bass that powers the animal of devilish intent. “444+222” is the first track on Luv Is Rage 2 that abandons the relaxed method and latches onto the intense and sudden punches. Uzi brags “Rockstar, that’s of course, white girl like Lorde. She don’t really get too impressed Honda Accord, long as she get her beauty rest then I’m aboard.”
Suddenly, Uzi then jumps into the waters of “Sauce It Up”, an important athletic display of his lyrical cleverness and the methodology behind his work. With the iconic instrumental with enough swing to get a church choir dancing, the production from DJ Don Cannon adds an immense weightlessness to the record. “Cash shower, make it rain no game, Atari. Ride me like a Harley, only boy in the party. I was on the phone, yeah with Playboi Carti, Comme des Garçons, Hearts all on my cardi” is one of the memorable lines that stems from the witty, driving anthem of indulgence.
With a solid mix of both fast dance heavy tracks and the more melodic, heartfelt Uzi; there is enough to take away from Luv Is Rage 2 as it makes Uzi standout as a monolith in rap. Whether this style is hated or loved personally, there is astounding amount of effort that goes into Lil Uzi Vert’s sound and the production is just as crisp today as it will be in ten years. Not only is the product an interesting and engaged look at Philadelphia’s risen star, but it is fun as hell too.
The midnight creep stemming from the ocean of oversaturation in music culture, the overabundance of music, and the real process of weeding through the mire; $UICIDEBOY$come in a full fledged assault. Leaving no disparity behind them, I WANT TO DIE IN NEW ORLEANS is the first album from $UICIDEBOY$ that has an entirely different tone. It feels professional and a step in the direction of being an album that surpasses the shock and horror of their earliest music. This is a more refined, less crude New Orleans hip-hop.
From their earliest moments of I WANT TO DIE IN NEW ORLEANS, the sunken vocals of Ruby, one half of the $UICIDEBOY$ came in a drawn fashion. “Yeah I was the wave but now I feel the tide pulling back… Now I’ve got everything I ever wanted but now I don’t want it” as the mesmerizing Morse styled instrumental works behind him. It is then the pairing that makes $crim, the other half of $UICIDEBOY$ form into the near heartbroken verse of “but lately I feel guilty, I feel so badly. They say I made it, and that should be satisfactory.” He then moves on to say “Lately I feel like I have nobody, all alone in the empty hotel lobby” as the instrumental loses the percussion and just clambers along with the smooth singing voice.
Instead of proceeding with caution, I WANT TO DIE IN NEW ORLEANS then takes a sudden nose dive into the fiery pits where the levees once broke. They explain their disdain for music corporation on “Phantom Menace” as Ruby screams “Fuck the rap industry; I’m down for the motherfucking count. All you fucking clowns, I could really do without.” This is where the aggression starts to ride in a full wave of pain with the following track “WAR TIME ALL THE TIME”, a personal favorite off I WANT TO DIE IN NEW ORLEANS.
A carnival of terror opens the mosh pit as chopper gun rounds and lightning bomb flashes go off as $crim controls the microphone. “Dead bodies all around, hundred rounds out. Smell it in the air every time I’m fucking round town… Your chain snatched, I like the way it shines, when I’m back the black blood diamonds glisten and hear the victims yell” in a vulgar display of lyrical athleticism. He is an animal within the court as the pounding instrumental crowds the listener and traps them in this 808 cell that continuously punishes. But there is a salvation that comes within the final moments of I WANT TO DIE IN NEW ORLEANS.
With “I No Longer Fear The Razor Guarding My Hell (IV)”, a saga that was once displayed at the height of $UICIDEBOY$ obscurity, there is now the imprint left behind the massive footprints of hip-hop. They are the depression firing squad that works to deliver on one of the hardest hitting musical performances in the past. Now, they are a more professional and approachable group that works to form under the jaded lines of the industry. They have no masters and no real motives, but their music is a clear statement from one music lover to another.