With the Song of the Summer debate finally fading in the rearview (it was a tie between Iggy and Ariana, right?), it’s time to look ahead to fall’s musical promise. Autumn always feels like a time to get weird, to invest in albums after a sunny singles-filled season.
This fall, we’re… Read More
Late last year, we published a pretty epic list of incredibly tough books for extreme readers. Our readers clearly like a challenge, because it drew heaps of discussion, and as such, we thought we’d extend the challenge to other areas of pop culture. First up: music! Here’s a selection of 50 albums that we think make for particularly challenging or difficult listening, because they’re emotionally harrowing, technically demanding, or just plain old make your ears… Read More
Paul Thomas Anderson has reunited with Fiona Apple for the video for “Hot Knife,” the second single from last year’s The Idler Wheel…. It’s the latest episode in a long creative relationship between the two, and it got us thinking about similar connections between directors and musicians — specifically, noted directors and the musicians who’ve served as their muses over the years. Here’s a selection of the most… Read More
We’re constantly fascinated with the creative process here at Flavorwire, and one of the most important components of that process is the space in which it takes place. For musicians, at least as far as the recording process goes, this place is the studio, and as such we thought we’d take a look at the studios of some of our favorite musicians. The contrasts on display are intriguing, from the endearingly chaotic to the pristine and very expensive, from analog to digital, from minimalist to decked out in all sorts of crazy-looking… Read More
This week sees the release of The Marriage of True Minds, the new album by Matmos, and as much as anything, this means that we’re excited to spend hours on end picking over where on earth all the sounds on the record in question come from. The Baltimore-based duo have long been some of the music world’s foremost exponents of sampling all sorts of weird and wonderful sources for the sounds they use, and in celebration of the arrival of their new record, we thought we’d look at their weirdest moments, along with some other artists who’ve specialized in finding samples in strange places.
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Cat Power’s new album Sun dropped earlier this week, and the fact that she uses Auto-Tune on the track “3, 6, 9″ has generated almost as much interest as the album itself. For an ostensibly innocuous pitch-correction effect, Auto-Tune has generated a heap of controversy over the last decade, ever since Cher introduced it to the world during the chorus of “Believe.” Much of the opprobrium directed at the use of the software is entirely justified (Hi, Eiffel 65! Hi, Chris Cornell!), but that’s not to say that every Auto-Tuned track is a priori awful — so we’ve set ourselves the challenge of finding 10 tracks that use its sound in creative or interesting ways. And for clarity’s sake, we’re discussing Auto-Tune as an audible pseudo-vocoder effect here, not as a production tweak to correct an errant vocal — otherwise every chart song since the turn of the millennium would be eligible. Anyway, let us know if we’ve missed anything. First person to suggest “Believe” or anything by T-Pain gets a lump of coal for Christmas.
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The new Modeselektor album is out this week, and if you’re into cerebral electronica, well, it’s going to nestle happily alongside the likes of Squarepusher and Autechre in your music collection. There’s something to be said for music that’s bewildering at first listen, but reveals its charms over the course of repeated listens — music you have to work at, in other words. Although it’s electronic music that seems to have had nerdbait locked up in recent years, thanks to the advent of “intelligent” dance music and the efforts of labels like Warp, highbrow music pre-dates synths and DAWs by a long way. If you’re up for a challenge, there’s a selection of similarly mind-bending music awaiting you after the jump. Turn on, tune in, and see if your brain doesn’t just melt.
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Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been amusing ourselves identifying some of the most terrifying people in various musical genres — hip hop first, and then metal. For the last in this impromptu series, we thought we’d look at the world of electronic music. While it generally isn’t home to convicted murderers or flesh-eating lunatics, that isn’t to say that it doesn’t have its share of disconcerting types. So here are 10 such individuals, from a twisted firestarter to the Biggest DJ in The World™. As ever, suggestions are welcome.
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A couple of months back, our own Kathleen Massara celebrated the release of Peter Nadas’s weighty novel Parallel Stories with a selection of 10 epic novels that we dared you to finish. Of course, this also got us thinking about equivalents in other art forms, whether it’s film (Charlie Kaufman’s interminable Synecdoche, New York springs to mind immediately), theater… or, inevitably, music. The history of music is full of albums that are awfully difficult to sit through in their entirety, whether it’s because they’re “difficult” or just because they’re damn long. So here are 10 albums we dare you to finish. Have you got any challenges for us?
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How time flies. It’s been over a year and a half since our own Judy Berman commemorated the end of a cold, bleak February by looking at some of her favorite EPs — short albums for a short month, and all that. As she noted at the time, “these minimalist, economical mini-albums have introduced us to countless new acts that couldn’t muster the cash or didn’t have the material to record a full-length [release].” But while most bands record a debut EP and move onto more weighty records as soon as they can, some musicians remain enamored of the shorter format. So to celebrate a month where cracking mid-career EPs seem to be coming thick and fast — there are EPs due out this month from Future of the Left, Brian Eno, and Kurt Vile amongst others — here are some of our favorite non-debut EPs. What are yours?
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