Mirror – Pass the Town and to the C

September 1st, 2008, 1:16 am

  journal spy effort, japanese indie music, rock, underground, ?????????????????, mirror, on then in, pass the town and to the C, instrumental

Artist: Mirror
Song: Pass the Town and to the C
From album: On, Then, In
[Buy CD][Website][MySpace]

It’s like following a wild flowing river of guitar strings downstream. One encounters rocky banks and beautiful sandy shores in turn. The stream bubbles clear and gentle and breaks white over rocky dams. It spreads into glassy depths, sliding always onward, gathering momentum for the falls.

This song by Mirror (ex Journal Spy Effort) definitely shares a lot of characteristics with those they made in their previous incarnation, with a structure and maturity of expression which have clearly ripened with experience. JSE was like a wild horse, full of untamed potential; and Mirror has now clearly grasped its reins. This is a (mostly) instrumental album very much worth owning if you are a fan of the style.

Architecture Daily

August 24th, 2008, 1:17 am

  architecture daily, modern architecture, contemporary architecture

Arch Daily” is one of my new favorite sites. It’s just bursting with bounties of inspiring new architecture.

The presentation is great, with lots of big pictures and they even give you the plans and elevations. Not everything will suit your fancy, but for my taste, there’s quite a high ratio of fantastic designs.

Here are a few I found quite interesting:

Metal Shutter Houses

  architecture daily, shigeru ban, metal shutter houses

The “Metal Shutter Houses” by Shigeru Ban seem like a modern reimagining of some of the features of traditional Japanese architecture, where sliding panels and doors allow you to open up the house to nature’s breezes and break down the barriers between indoors and out. I personally love the idea of hydraulic folding glass walls.

Slovenia Villa

  architecture daily, slovenia villa, OFIS arhitekti

Here’s an interesting and extravagant use of wood, and what a setting!

Jardin del Sol House

architecture daily, Jardin del Sol House, Corona y P. Amaral Arquitectos

Wow, the view… I love how the pool blends with the ocean, another sort of barrier breakdown. Nice raw, functional interiors too.

Ocho al Cubo House

architecture daily, ocho al cubo house, Sebastian Irarrazaval

An intriguing combo of Zen cave meets convention center. Minimalist secluded areas converge with open pillar-lined spaces. It’s glass and concrete in a modern symbiosis.

Manu Delago – Mono Desire

August 14th, 2008, 12:49 am

Artist: Manu Delago
Song: Mono Desire (Hang Drum Solo)
Genre: Instrumental
[Buy CDs][Website][MySpace]

Here is an instrument you don’t normally see too much of. The Hang Drum.

Very smooth sounding. Check out Manu Delago’s site for some other good clips, including one more solo and some classy group stuff. He is clearly a versatile and talented musician, and I really like the mood of the songs he does with the bass clarinet player.

The sound is a little low on this, and it’s a delicate melody so turn it up a bit.

Denis Kamioka – Handmade

August 7th, 2008, 1:56 am

  Denis Kamioka, Cisma, Brazil, Brazilian, Handmade, Lovefoxxx, Dan Nakagawa

Handmade” stars Dan Nakagawa and Lovefoxxx (singer of CSS) who are both Brazilian musicians. The short film chronicles the emotional hills and hollows in the course of a relationship between their characters. It makes interesting use of visual effects to construct the strongly stylized symbolism that pervades nearly every shot.

This is apparently the first live action project of Denis Kamioka (Cisma), the talented and prolific Brazilian director/illustrator. He has some visually impressive commercial work on his website which is worth looking at.


Journal Spy Effort – Simply

July 29th, 2008, 2:18 am

  japanese indie music, journal spy effort, simply, ep, math rock, rock, underground, ?????????????????,

Artist: Journal Spy Effort (Now Mirror)
Song: Simply
From album: Journal Spy Effort EP
[Buy CD/Mp3s][Website]

Journal Spy Effort was one of the first bands to catch my attention when I started searching for unique Japanese Indie music. This song in particular didn’t really seem to be a part of any genre I could put my finger on right away.

The clear focus is on the wildly gyrating guitar work, and the vocals only come in occasionally to anchor the compellingly complex instrumental architecture.

Since this 2006 EP, they have swapped out a couple members and greatly refined their style, now going by the name of Mirror. Their more recent work will be featured here in the near future.

The Pagan Spolkestra – SOIL

June 11th, 2008, 12:40 am

  The Pagan Spolkestra, soil, Open Arms EP, uk indie music, new weird uk america, rock, folk, psychadelic underground, ??????????????,

Artist: The Pagan Spolkestra
Song: SOIL
From album: Open Arms EP
Genre: New Weird UK
[Buy Mp3s][Myspace]

Some bands have a sound that grabs you because of their pure musical mastery, some have an indefinable aesthetic charm that wins you over emotionally; and some, you guessed it: have a winning blend of both.

From the beginning of the song “SOIL” off of their new “Open Arms” EP, The Pagan Spolkestra plays the musician card & charm card pair with a subtly-building prelude of woodwinds, strings, percussion, and fey vocal oohings. Then the saga unfolds with a vocal lead which is almost José Gonzálezian at points, surrounded by the varied and progressive folky rompings of the 15ish collective members.

All in all a very interesting group, one to keep the old eye on (especially since their next album will apparently feature guest-stars from The Arcade Fire, Xiu Xiu, Deerhunter, and more!).

Stealstealground – Swimming Bird

June 10th, 2008, 1:45 pm

  chinese hong kong indie music, stealstealground, swimming bird, underground, ?????????????????,

Artist: Stealstealground (???)
Song: Swimming Bird
From album: Stealstealground
[Email for album: stealstealground [at] yahoo [dot] com [dot] hk][Myspace][Website][Song Lyrics]

Stealstealground is a brother and sister breathing a music of listless understanding; singing songs of wise and delicate youth. Simple songs of simple beauty and a faint calm sadness.

I wasn’t able to find their album for sale, but if you can, please let me know and I’ll post the link.

Brian Dettmer – Book Sculptor

June 3rd, 2008, 4:26 am

  Brian Dettmer, Book art, surgical tools, sculpture, Carving, Collage

Brian Dettmer uses knives and old books as his rather unique art supplies, and makes surgical three-dimensional collages of brilliant complexity.

The thumbnail image is his carving of “Gray’s Anatomy”. Seems like it would require extreme attention to detail and a high tolerance for tedium, slicing carefully through hundreds of pages to reveal a single word.