For many, news has already traveled that My Bloody Valentine - after 21 years, 2 months, 29 days and 23 hours* - has made available their new record m b v (yes, creative, we know!). The album is for sale on their website as a 180 gram LP complete with CD and digital download for $30.50 (plus shipping). Alternatively, the CD and digital download are also available separately.
Beyond the obvious point of interest - the 20 years between My Bloody Valentine recordings, particularly given the critical acclaim its predecessor Loveless received - m b v is a fascinating recording due to, what else?, it's process. In the age of digital recording, most contemporary releases are recorded digitally even if they are purchased in an analog format.
Back when CDs where still en vogue (and En Vogue making CDs), they used to always include an anagram indicating the recording's provenance, DAD, AAD, ADD, DDD, and so-forth. These anagrams refer to the type of process used to: record, mix, and transfer the audio in that order; the A's meaning analog and the D's for digital. By the mid to late 90s these designations had been given up, for they weren't incredibly beneficial to consumers and even by that time most albums were either ADD or DDD; which is to say almost everything was done digitally. Only classical CDs seem to have maintained this practice only because many of the recordings are from the past when only analog recording options were available. So, in 2013, My Bloody Valentine orchestrator Kevin Shields decided to make m b v entirely analog, from start to finish. If companies still published the recording information on the packaging, m b v would proudly boast an AAA.
What else would we expect? Kevin Shields' has been up to this since the beginning; taking 2 years, 19 recording studios, countless engineers, and a rumored £250,000 to record 1991's Loveless. Falling in this same vein is the album m b v itself. The music sounds fantastic, as only My Bloody Valentine can sound fantastic. It still maintains the same kind of dream quality which made the band popular in the first place, and because there has been 20 years since now and then it doesn't seem derivative. Yet, even in all that time, m b v is not as logical as Loveless is, the ride is a bit more bumpy, almost like a lesser-known Sonic Youth LP. Of course, like Sonic Youth or My Bloody Valentine's earlier work, it takes time to let the music steep, to sink into your skin and brain and have it become you in that narcotic way music can get you sometimes. Until the fix hits, see if you fall under Kevin Shields' spell:
* As per spin.com where you can stream the whole m b v album from YouTube.
Sleep ∞ Over Conjurs 'Scarborough Fair' in New Digital Single 'Rooftop'
Stefanie Franciotti, the mastermind and sometimes sole-member of Sleep ∞ Over, is out with some new material: what I'm presuming is an Australia/New Zealand tour only 7" (this is unconfirmed) single, but is also streaming on their label Hippos In Tanks' Soundcloud stream (this is confirmed). The A-side 'Rooftop' is stuttering and medieval with faint wiffs of 'Scarborough Fair' in there too. 'I Want To Be Alone' is an eerily haunting version of Vashti Bunyan's 1965 track (I hadn't heard of him either). Gorilla vs Bear has unearthed it and graciously shared with the world on their blog, if you were curious. Here's Sleep ∞ Over.
Glacial Beauty: Michael Lovisa with Empty EP.
The one thing I'm most excited to talk about this week is Michael Lovisa's new EP Empty. The three tracks which make up the EP are effortlessly beautiful, but in that fragile way of ice --- where even the heat by touching it is enough to destroy it. The winterly introspection makes me wonder if these are songs of loss in some way and also make them perfect for blustery nights and snowy days. This 25 year old Italian producer has a few more interesting experiments on his Soundcloud that are worth checking out and the Empty EP is available for lossless download for only $5 on BeatPort through Digital Lab Records.
The Knife's Combustible New Track 'Full of Fire'
The Knife is back! Always pushing the envelope and sexually charged, 'Full of Fire' is the single for The Knife's upcoming record Shaking the Habitual on Mute. At almost 10 minutes the song is a direct attack, full of lyrics like "All the guys / and the signori / Telling another / False story / Liberals giving me a nerve itch / Now living / And always moving / Not a vagina / It’s an option / The cock / Had it coming / Ha ha ha ha ha ha." To accompany it, The Knife had a video piece made by the Scandinavian video artist Marit Östberg which can be seen here. In my opinion, while well intentioned, the short film is not quite as realized as the song, but manages to shock and awe like any good contemporary art piece should.
Shaking the Habitual is on presale from the Rabid Records Store as a 3 X LP ( ! ) for $42.00 and units of the limited edition 3 X LP will be released for general consumption on April 9, 2013. There are 13 tracks on the record, including this one: