KSUA Music Notes: Sept. 10, 2013

Alan Fearns/Sun Star Columnist
Sept. 10, 2013

Artist: Blank Banshee

Album:  Blank Banshee 0

Comments: An artist from the post internet scene of musicians.  Blank Banshee put out this album in 2012, before the vaporwave fell out, but according to his facebook, another album (Blank Banshee 1) was supposed to come out this summer. Anyway, this album has a strong progression along tracks.

After the start up, we get the track “Wavestep,” which is basically a genre tag onto Banshee’s trap**, vaporware fused sound.  The song introduces Panda Bear***-type vocals split up with clever sampling, and fountain twinkles falling in between.  Midway, the kick drum switches up the beat, then dissipates out into the clubby “Bathsalts”.

The fourth through sixth tracks revolve around electric bass lines, going from cloud heavy textures, to stark and moody grooves. Tones sound a little reused by “Photosynthesis.” It’s definitely a weaker track, but has a cool music video. From the hazy sunshine of that track, it goes into the lost, empty territory of “D ☰ ☰ P $ P Λ C ☰”. “Dreamcast” is another great banger in the vein of “Wavestep” and “Cyber Zodiac” drifts out eerily into the best segment of the album.

“Teenage Pregnancy” is such a great a track with sideswaying click beats and synth lines that skitter around swelling pools. Then there’s the glitchy vocal hook, “-I’m just a kid, I-i-i-i.” It gets better though, with “Purity Boys” (Purity Ring and Beach Boys), which is the most on-point vocal pitch shifting I’ve heard in awhile. “Visualization” is a meditative track that generates thoughts of staring across a grassy field, but is only a default home screen.  “World Vision” is super simple but glorious.

While Blank Banshee 0 uses a lot of the same mechanics as today’s beat production, it’s a lot less gimmicky and more cohesive all around.

Genre: Wavestep

Artist: Sheep, Dog & Wolf

Album:  Egospect

Comments: Since Daniel McBride’s EP, Ablutophobia, dropped in 2011, the 19-year-old multi-instrumentalist has refined his jazz-edged indie folk with crisp production and woven melodies covering a wide range of sound.

“Egospect” begins with arms wide open. The drums are everywhere and layers of wispy howls stack onto each with smooth plucked strings. Warm horns burrow throughout the mix of most of these tracks.

“Glare” creeps out with precise tripping rhythms. Drums are more spacey, but still active and synced up with the diverse colors of sound. The downward falsetto break in the chorus is really catchy. The following track is very Fleet foxy, before kicking into heavy mode.

“Ablutophobia” comes back for the full length, it spirals up and down scales, fades out into acoustic solitude, then gets slayed by a euphonium solo. The whistling in “Guaranteed Defective” gives it a theme song feel that doesn’t quite blend with the little explosions in McBride’s structure. Afterwards, an acoustic guitar takes center (“Nothing. Probably”), and is played in an Andy Mckee/Pinback cross manner. prouduced debut.

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