Monomania, the sixth album from art punk artisans Deerhunter, is what it would sound like if My Bloody Valentine lent their Boss pedals and temperamental vibes to The Byrds. Unlike their drum machine and saxophone experiments on 2010’s Halcyon Digest, Monomania is all about dirty riffs and lead singer Bradford Cox’s raw swagger.
While the track “Leather Jacket II” has the musty aroma of trashed Levi’s fresh from the Salvation Army, Deerhunter gets rootsy on the country jig “Pensacola” and the bluesy “Dream Captain”. On the album’s title track, Cox rages over gritty guitar lines and booming drums.
Key Tracks: “T.H.M.”, “Sleepwalking, “Monomania”
- Eli Zeger
SKY FERREIRA INTERVIEWS DAFT PUNK
In the new issue of CR Fashion Book, electronic duo Daft Punk talk to Sky Ferreira (random) about their upcoming release, Random Access Memories, with an accompanying black-and-white photo spread that has the helmeted duo modeling a plethora of sumptuously sequined duds. Here are a few choice bits:
SKY FERREIRA: What’s the meaning of your album’s title, Random Access Memories?
DAFT PUNK: The title plays with concepts of computer memory and human memories, establishing a loose parallel between the human brain and the hard drive—both are somehow randomly fragmented devices. We have always been fascinated by the relationship and connections between man and machine.
What is the essence of the album?
This album is about technology going towards humanity, in a world where humanity is going towards technology. We tried to capture robotic emotions with music, replacing this time our electronic machines by real human beings.
You’re fascinated with the past. If you could travel to any moment in time, when and where would it be?
It’s a tough question to answer. Maybe witnessing the completion of the Great Pyramids, then traveling to see the remaining Six Wonders of the World, which are now long gone.
You have said in many interviews that dance music as a whole is suffering right now. Why?
Dance music is almost exclusively made today with laptop computers, on the same software, with the same virtual instruments, and a lot of the same drum sounds. Computers, as music instruments, are making it difficult for musicians to have their distinctive sonic personality, and a lot of dance records are starting to sound the same, in a very formatted way.
This album has been in the works for a long time. What is one of your best memories from putting it together?
Being in the studio with Nile Rodgers, one of our childhood heroes, was definitely one of the highlights. He just brought his guitar to Electric Lady Studios in New York and started to play. It is the exact same guitar he’s been playing on all these records and songs we love, like “Le Freak,” “Good Times,” “I’m Coming Out,” “He’s The Greatest Dancer,” “Upside Down,” “Let’s Dance,” and “Like a Virgin.” It was an amazing moment.
Read the entire Daft Punk/Sky Ferreira interview at CR Fashion Book.
- Mark Dommu
Grimes at Coachella, 4/21/13. Photos by Mark Dommu.
WEIRD ASS TRACKS: “A DANCING SHELL”
Wild Nothing’s (AKA Jack Tatum) label, Captured Tracks, has apparently been hypnotizing all their bands into thinking that they’re living in the eighties. Some of their releases (Beach Fossils’ “Careless”, Mac Demarco’s “Freaking Out The Neighborhood”, and DIIV’s “How Long Have You Known?”) sound like hits you’d find on Rhino’s Just Can’t Get Enough box set.
“A Dancing Shell” is the dreamy first single off of Wild Nothing’s upcoming EP Empty State. The swirling track features laid-back spoken verses, like on Ian Dury’s “Hit Me With your Rhythm Stick”, while the slow-motion choruses sound like Spandau Ballet’s “True” overdosed on Lunesta.
I interpreted the lyrics as being from the point of view of a prostitute when Tatum as the narrator whispers, “Saw myself fresh out at the moon. And I sold myself so I can be a big star. And I’ll be your monkey every night. If it makes you love me, watch me now.” A little over halfway through the song, a grand, aquatically-processed saxophone solo breaks out over the hazy synthesizers and straight-up drum grooves.
The video compiles a bunch of trippy animated art pieces that closely resemble the album cover of XTC’s classic Drums and Wires.
I’ve been in love with Wild Nothing’s ethereal new wave sound since I first heard “Shadow” and I can’t wait for the new EP.
- Eli Zeger