All posts by opanting

Fever The Ghost – Crab in Honey

The Los Angeles’ glam psychedelic rock quartet starts their EP from the right ear and slowly moves to the left as it settles with “Calico,” which fosters the energy for you to move your head back and forth and come up with some interesting finer choreographies. The doubled stereo vocals lead through this groove with some synthesized ambiance as the drums pulsate through the sonic texture.

“A Parliament of Owls Determine the Fates of Greater Men No Less Than 5 Stories Above Us in A Dream” (Woah) leaves you with an internal sense of arpeggiated happiness, by maintaining an uplifting melody all throughout. “Crab in Honey” is definitely the most representative song of the EP. It is the most dynamic song in terms of melody and harmony providing a journey that takes unexpected turns and is full of pleasant surprises. The song has an Ars Nova flare to it without the medieval instruments but with the choral and melodic harmony and sentiment.

“Crab in Honey” painted through the reverb

This is what "Crab in Honey" looks like through the reverb.
This is what “Crab in Honey” looks like through the reverb

The last song, “We’ll Never Know” completes the EP, giving it a wholesome identity. This acoustic ballad, followed by short and impulsive leads, carries through as the falsetto voice slowly sinks into your stomach. With this song FTG shies away from their psychedelic elements and embrace the more dreamy aspects of their music, a more simple yet effective song to adjourn the EP with.

Fever The Ghost will be touring the U.S. this upcoming spring including a show at SXSW. They have more songs than the five they released on their EP and I am sure they will be just as moving. Make sure to check them out if you are at any of those locations to enhance your sense of spatial properties, the performances are just as colorful as the EP.

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MNDSGN – Breatharian

Breatharianism, the subject of this album, is a philosophy practiced as a lifestyle claiming that food and possibly water are not necessary, and that humans can survive solely on “prana,” the Sanskrit word for “life force,” which can be harnessed from the sun. The experimental, electronic, and soulful music comes with an all-encompassing groove. It has an air to it, you know, the kind of music that changes the atmospheric pressure around your ears causing the sounds to wrap around the rhythm so tightly. The bass lines stand out in the first half of the album, which are defined to the point that it makes it hard to believe that it is one producer making everything. I think I know what breatharianism is all about based on this album. Breatharianism is a strange subject, but it makes sense within the context of the album’s music. After downloading Breatharian, I found myself listening to it for breakfast and dinner. Many of us consume music like we consume food, routinely and with much anticipation. We harness it for energy in various situations. With this in mind, I have added Breatharian to my weekly nutritional intake, it’s cleansing and fulfilling.

1. Click Play:

2. Now look at this:

This is what Breatharian looks like through the reverb

Graphic Artist: Oswaldo Diaz
Graphic Artist: Oswaldo Diaz

The 14 track-album starts with “inhale” which sets the sonic mood of the album. The steady drums accompanied by a simple and catchy bass line ride along as an array of strings sweep through with the keyboard, all of this gives way to a sampled interview explaining breatharianism. This song is followed by “greendowns wit 0.,” where the bass pulsates throughout the song for about two minutes; it’s the kind of song you can listen to from multiple directions. MNDSGN (Ringo Ancaeta) also samples some contemporary artists like Toro Y Moi’s “How I Know,” which is featured on the song “just air,” slowed down and at a lower pitch he manages to add the hip hop flair to it. MNDSGN will be playing around southern California this upcoming month, catch a set if you feel like adding some interesting performances to your diet.

Check out his music!

Fever The Ghost at Los Angeles’ The Echo 7/15

In terms of influences, the band sounded like David Bowie and The Doors played musical chairs to Tame Impala in Jack White’s backyard, who lives in Alex’s World. Sonically, the performance was impulsive; I couldn’t get a grip on it, I couldn’t hold a thought for more than a minute. The show wasn’t one piece; it was a series of frames that cut through the story with much ease. Ok, enough with the analogies. The truth is I found comfort in Fever The Ghost’s sonic un-structure. I didn’t know where it was going, but it was so appealing that I tucked away my preconceived notions of music and let them lead the way, I knew I would enjoy it nonetheless.

This is what the concert looked like through the reverb

Graphic Artist - Oswaldo Diaz
Graphic Artist – Oswaldo Diaz

Even though the psychedelic rock quartet is fairly new, they performed with maturity, showing much experience on stage and letting the music provide presence for them. Surrounded by pedals and synthesizers, Bobby Victor, followed the guitar riffs while he playfully pranced around the arpeggios. At times, he focused on the pedals to add more space when the music got heavy, and other times he provided dreamy high-pitched vocals that simmered everything down. Casper’s echo driven vocals were shrill and short, and although I couldn’t understand much of what he was saying, its innocence gave the overall crunch a nice balance. The most memorable aspects of the show happened when they jammed. The instruments would slowly get louder and less clear, eventually reaching a sonic climax at which point the guitarist would duck down to stir the pedals, leaving the drummer in sight, drenched in sweat, battling with the snare as the walls of sound tugged against the audience’s body. In the midst of all the noise the music would suddenly stop, letting the bass valiantly provide a catchy groove as the music took a turn. It’s an experience. Go see them.

Fever The Ghost, which is composed of Casper Andrizzo, Bobby Victor, Nicolas Overhauser and Mason Rothschild, will release their debut EP this September. Seriously though, put more than two songs on your Facebook page, America needs more space exploration.

Listen and download the song “rounder” here:

Concert Review: Dark Furs at Los Angeles’ The Satellite (7/6)

I walked in to a room with about twenty people when I heard a female voice in a British accent softly say, “we are Dark Furs” followed by the overdrive and aggressive guitar as they opened with the song, “Concrete Corners.” The performance left me in a dream-like state, not necessarily pensive, but excited. It was colorful, embodying every spectrum from dark to bright, which is the way I would describe Suzanne May’s voice as it covers a wide range in a swift, unpredictable, almost untamable way. Smoothly transitioning from forceful tunes, to the more jumpy songs that made the crowd walk towards the stage; suddenly there were a couple of dancers among all the “indie standers.”

This is what the concert looked like through the reverb

Graphic Artist - Oswaldo Diaz
Graphic Artist – Oswaldo Diaz

The performance started with some edge; rightly so it caught the attention of all the onlookers, and as the audience awkwardly approached the stage, Dark Furs quickly set the tone and took the shame away with much assertiveness. Each song offered more character and I sensed that the crowd got increasingly more engaged. The show got progressively dreamier as guitarist Chad Philipps, standing to the right, looking down, ominously pierced through chords with more delay. The show hit its culmination with the ballad tune “French Love,” it gave the concert its place in time as the guitar inhaled upwards and her voice exhaled through the venue. The synthesizer and drums rained over the melody making every right leg in the venue pulse against the floor.

Besides the minor technical mishaps that happen during small shows, the performance was captivating. The band really seems to focus on the music as a whole and no one instrument or musician stands out; they do a great job at removing the human element out of their performance. I highly suggest you to attend one of their shows and listen to their music, although there were four performers, Dark Furs sounded bigger than they looked.

Dark Furs at The Satellite (7/6)
Dark Furs at The Satellite (7/6)

Check out their music!

Hiatus Kaiyote – Tawk Tomahawk

Who knows what Hiatus Kaiyote means, but then again, who knows what genre the music from their debut album Tawk Tomahawk falls into, “future soul” seems fitting, but I stopped questioning their motives two seconds into their first song; it really doesn’t matter. Nevertheless, don’t let the confusion “scratch the nape, just like a snake” because the music is technical, spatial, organized, and it sits so elegantly in your soul. There are few bands that can offer the perfect blend of technicality without losing their sensitivity. No doubt Hiatus Kaiyote has mastered the craft of using music as a medium to expand on a feeling, whatever that may be to you. Really though, you can do anything to this music: drive to it, smile, get jealous because they are so talented, but don’t you dare dance to it, sorry, you can’t. If you want to properly dance to Tawk Tomahawk you will need six arms, two hips, four legs, thirty fingers, and a pair of golden wings. 

This is what the album, Tawk Tomahawk, looks like through the reverb

Through The Reverb - Hiatus Kaiyote
Graphic artist Oswaldo Diaz.

The album starts introspectively with the song “Mobius Streak,” introducing various string instruments through the reverb, and suddenly the vocal harmonies swim through your ears, sweep through your stomach, and slowly “ramble through your heart eons,” making you realize who you will be spending the next thirty minutes with.  The piano gives way to the guitar in “The World It Softly Lulls” followed by the joy in Nai Palm’s voice; literally, you hear joy coming out of your speakers, not music. “Malika” provides a mixture of colors and rhythm; it accentuates the vocal dexterity of Nai Palm, in which her voice thumps through the pace. In contrast, “Ocelot” leans towards the dub side, providing more punch and randomness within its organization, “spot dot dot.” 

“Boom Child” could be considered an instrumental song; Palm’s voice becomes another instrument through the incomprehensible lyrics as it joins the sonic texture. And then “Rainbow Rhodes” happens; it accentuates the versatility of the band in various aspects. I hear J Dilla, Flying Lotus, Future Islands, and right when you’re getting the hang of the rhythm, boom, harmonies swoop in, I hear Hiatus Kaiyote. Then the synthesizer introduces the next song, “Sphynx Gate,” in which instruments provide a dance floor as the bass dances through the beat. I had never heard an instrument dance through a beat before; it’s unlike anything else.

The album ends with “Nakamarra,” which is apparently Hannah’s tribal name, but the song escalates as the drums become more complex with each chorus. It leaves you with an internal sense of happiness because Nakamarra could very well be you while the listener and Hiatus Kaiyote “pulse” together. 

Unmistakably the Australian band will be adding more followers to their list, which includes Erikah Badu and Animal Collective, as they tour for two months around the world. Make sure to catch them as they tour the U.S. this upcoming month, if the live videos are an accurate portrayal of their craft, they will surely provide an amazing live performance.

Check out their music!