This Week's Featured Downloads
Year of the Pig
What's Your Rupture?
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Before we get started, a small editorial note: In order to thwart spam blockers, we’re going to simply call this band F’ed Up in this email, and let you fill in the missing letters.
After about a hundred singles and a trailblazing and totally killer full-length (Hidden World on Jade Tree), F’ed Up have finally dropped the record that will alter people's perception of hardcore. In a genre that's remained pretty rigid over the years (politics, dress code, sound), F’ed Up has always done a good job of avoiding convention -- for instance, covering the Shop Assistants and Dolly Mixture is pretty evolutionary for a band in their world -- but this EP on What's Your Rupture (America's premier hardcore label…ha!) delivers on many more accounts. First off, “Year of the Pig” is more than 18 minutes long. And yes, no matter how much you might doubt this, it does kinda sound like Poison Idea jamming with Pink Floyd. But along the way, F’ed Up manage to conjure up a gentle blues howl and then head into Bad Seeds territory with male/female vocal interplay, before launching the full-on repetitive Krautcore attack (wait, was it Neu! jamming with Poison Idea?). As the HC purists walk out the room, enter a whole new, and much larger, crowd. A fascinating blog by the band (lookingforgold.blogspot.com) gives some powerful theory behind this release involving the Chinese Zodiac, a rallying call against sexual abuse and exploitation of women, and a recording session draped in gold and lit by fire; but this is a record that simply can’t be explained, a definitive and challenging statement from the future of hardcore.
Other Music Digital Exclusive
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I can’t say that I’m an expert on youth culture in modern Scandinavia, but I’ve spent some time in the woods and the cities and riding the rails of that beautiful, bucolic corner of the world, and it’s not hard to understand how hippie culture has managed to hang on there well past its tenure in the rest of the universe (save Japan of course, where longhairs will always reign). There is just something simpler, something peaceful about even a bustling metropolis like Stockholm that inspires you to step back, slow down, maybe even to turn on and tune out. As it turns out, the rest of the western world has been tuning in to the trippier side of rock and roll lately, from folk to progressive to stoner-rock, and excellent labels like Finland’s Fonal Records and Sweden’s Subliminal Sounds have found an international audience in recent years by documenting the local scene.
Mylla, whose debut album is available now at Other Music as a worldwide exclusive, spring from the same Stockholm scene centered around the mythical speakeasy BC club that birthed favorites like Dungen and the Works, and while they share much with both of those excellent groups, their sound is much more driving and loose, much less prone to introspection than the communal party vibe. With a heavy Hammond organ, swirling guitars, a pounding rhythm section and one of the more alluring rock and roll flautists heard in years, Mylla’s sweaty sound incorporates elements of early progressive rock, driving international R&B artists like Nino Ferrer, and even classic rock’s freewheeling power. Vanya was recorded earlier this summer on Faro Island, a speck in the Baltic Sea that until recently was closed to tourism due to top-secret military installations. The band and their entourage took back this island paradise with their music, sticking flowers in the rifles and freaking out all night to the sounds, and that joyful vibe permeates the album. It may be just another dose of harsh reality in your corner of the world, but if you turn up this music and let it transport and transform you, it’s still possible to tap into something a little deeper and more primal than this sweaty workday life.