Track of the Day..."So Derobe" from Joy Orbison

Joy Orbison
"So Derobe"
From The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow
Aus Music 2010

Listen to “So Derobe” MP3

Joy Orbison (a/k/a producer Darren J. Cunningham) has outdone himself on this follow-up to 2009's massive, jet fuel on Xanax, "Hyph Mngo". Once known as “She Dressed the Best,” “So Derobe” is included on his new EP, The Shrew Would Have Cushioned the Blow, and the sound just percolates inside your ears running the length of your spine and into your feet. It paints an evocative picture which expands his normally blissed out sound with the deep touch of latin tinged, percussive, finger snaps and Human League/Boyz II Men samples. The transition to the ambient part is unexpected, but it works well with the overall tone. A little bit of sonic-cine!

The track is smart and is such a genre mixer that it has been embraced by just about everyone out there. If we were forced against a speaker to make a comparison, the track sounds most like Alex Gopher with 21st century production -- but that is just musical hairsplitting. It's simply an amazing dance cut.

Check out video for "Hyph Mngo" here.

Joy Orbison(Official) | MySpace | Aus Music

What's On The Hi-Fi...Balmorhea Album Review


Western Vinyl 2010

Listen to “Bowsprit” MP3

Constellations is the impressive fourth album from Austin's Balmorhea, a group founded by Michael Muller and Rob Lowe (both songwriters and multi-instrumentalists). The album draws upon the imagery of a variety of sources such as Moby Dick (a work which itself contains various references to heavenly patterns), translating these influences into delicate and reflective instrumental compositions. Recorded in the fall and winter months, Constellations retains the seasonal quality of winding down and rest. The album was actually written prior to the release of the band's third release All Is Wild, All Is Silent (released in March 2009). After over a year of hibernation, Constellations is released this month on Western Vinyl.

Apart from the impressive calibre of their musicainship, Balmorhea stands apart through a confident melding of experimental classical influences (piano, strings, composition) with folk instrumentation (guitars, banjos, claps). Not altogether unlike Clogs or Rachel's, Balmorhea retains a unique American identity.

Constellations is an evocative album for the beauty to be found in the spaces around sounds, for the quiet vastness of the clearest of night skies.

Balmorhea will be touring North America throughout March with Efterklang and heading to Europe in April with Nils Frahm. Keep checking the band's official site for updated tour dates.

Constellations Tracklisting
To The Order Of Night
Winter Circle
Steerage And The Lamp
Night Squall
On The Weight Of Night

Official | Western Vinyl

What's On The Hi-Fi Interview with Liars

Listen to “Scissor” MP3

We had the chance to catch up with Liars' Angus Andrew on his recent trip to Paris for a quick chat about the upcoming release Sisterworld (to be released 8 March 2010 on Naïve).

Asked about what we can expect from the upcoming release, Angus explained that he and his band mates Aaron Hemphill and Julian Gross are known for taking tangents, and that this album is no exception. Sisterworld forms a natural progression from the band's earlier work, arguably taking a darker path, and incorporating layers of orchestration for the first time.

In order to prepare for their earlier release Liars (2007), the band went back and immersed themselves in sounds that they liked as kids, bands such as OMD, The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees. However, this time around, the band looked closer to home. Angus explained that they looked to their current home of LA, with an eye to trying to understand how it works -- getting a view of the city's underside. A city, which Angus explained, has its share of rejected people. And if there is a theme which connects the songs on Sisterworld, it is about being uncomfortable in one's own place and looking for an escape -- what Angus calls a "Sisterworld".

In conjunction with Sisterworld, Liars have embarked on an ambitious project of including a remix / reinterpretation of each of the album's 11 original tracks. Angus explained that this project took on a life of its own, against a background where remixes tend to be stale and boring. The idea behind the project was to collaborate with artists who are not particularly known for doing remixes -- to invite these artists to reinterpret the tracks on Sisterworld. Angus admits to being a bit surprised at the warm reception of artists to the project -- all of whom are artists which the band admires and continues to enjoy (e.g., Thom Yorke, Melvins, Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio), Bradford Cox (Deerhunter / Atlas Sound) -- full tracklist below).

In the past, the band has spent stretches of time living and working in Berlin. Angus explains that he was attracted to Berlin since it provided a certain alienation, having moved there from NYC. In Berlin, Angus was removed from media sources and able to focus on creating music. At the same time, Berlin presented various difficulties - not knowing anyone or the language, a place where even buying a guitar string was a particular challenge. And now, the band is really enjoying LA. As Angus puts it, LA is like coming home and recording in your parent's bedroom.

As to the group's appeal, Angus believes that part of this attraction may relate to the band's integrity. For Angus, Liars are not about placating anyone - they are making music for themselves, regardless of what others might be saying.

Liars will be heading out on tour next month throughout the US and Europe. Check the group's official website for tour information here.

What's on Angus' Hi-Fi?

PJ Harvey, "My Beautiful Leah": A track which has been personally influential for Angus. There is a bass sound on this track which Angus has tried (and continues to try) to replicate.

Bauhaus, "All We Ever Wanted": A spooky classic.

Psychic TV, "Just Drifting": Angus loves the lyrical content, and, well, the weird sense of drifting.

OMD, "Waiting For The Man": This version gives the original Velvet Underground classic a new lease on life.

Blond Redhead: "In an Expression of the Inexpressionable": This is a track which Angus first came across before he started to make music. For him, this a track which makes one realize the possibilities of song craft, the idea that songs can be more of an idea -- providing the inspiration to think of possibilities.

Sisterworld - Reinterpretations Tracklist
Scissor - By Pink Dollaz, Lance Whitaker & Transformation Surprise
No Barrier Fun - By Duetonal (Alan Vega / Suicide)
Here Comes All The People - By Atlas Sound (Bradford Cox)
Drip - By Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead)
Scarecrows On A Killer Slant - By Tunde Adebimpe (TV On The Radio)
I Still Can See An Outside World - By Boyd Rice (NON)
Proud Evolution - Thom Yorke 500qd Remix
Drop Dead - By Fol Chen
The Overachievers - By Devendra Banhart & The Grogs
Goodnight Everything - By Melvins
Too Much, Too Much - By Carter Tutti (Throbbing Gristle)

Liars (Official) | MySpace

What's On The Hi-Fi...Podcast Eight

While you listen to the podcast click here or on the image above to go to our podcast artist gallery to find out descriptions, links and more.

Listen to "Podcast 8" MP3

Artist - Track Names
3) YEASAYER - "O.N.E."


Track of the Day..."Fold" from CLAPS


From (EP) New Science
Guilt Ridden Pop (2010)

Listen to "Fold" MP3

CLAPS is a minimal synth pop three-piece from Saint Paul, MN formed in April 2009. On "Fold", their first single from their debut EP New Science, the trio mixes some heart into the minimal electronic beats by way of lead singer Patrick Donohoe's plaintive delivery. Although they haven't been together as a group for very long, we expect great things in the future from this band.

New Science is available now on Guilt Ridden Pop.

MySpace | Guilt Ridden Pop

Track of the Day..."Marchin' In" from Lo-Fi-Fnk


"Marchin' In"
New album expected in 2010

Listen to "Marchin' In" MP3

Lo-Fi-Fnk are two young Swedes, Leo Drougge and August Hellsing, who make playful indie-pop dancefloor music. The two met in high school and formed the group back in 2001. In a complimentary division of labor, Leo is charged with songwriting, production, lead vocals, bass and percussion, while August focuses on production, mixing and keyboards.

The group's first full-length release Boylife was released in 2006, seeing the duo hit the road, headlining dates in Europe and opening for bands such as The Rapture, Hot Chip and Justice in the US. NME referred to the Boylife track "City" as conjuring images of Daft Punk tossing aside their helmets to reveal Bangalter and de Homem-Christo in a state of ecstasy. And in 2008, Kitunsé featured the track "Want U" on their Compilation 6.

Lo-Fi-Fnk are now working on their second album which is expected to be released later this year. A hint of the sound to come takes the form of the track "Marchin' In", a laidback call to youth with a snapping and piano chord driven melody, featuring the backing vocals of Maja Gödicke.

Watch the video for the track here -- however, don't be fooled by the languid images of sea life, there is danger in these waters.

Official | MySpace

Track of the Day ..."Teenage Romance" from Bear in Heaven

Bear in Heaven

"Lovesick Teenagers"
From Beast Rest Forth Mouth
Hometapes / Dreamboat (2010)

Listen to "Lovesick Teenagers." MP3

Beast Rest Forth Mouth is the second release from this quartet made up of Jon Philpot, Adam Wills, Sadek Bazaraa and Joe Stickney. The album speaks to the points of the compass ("Beast Rest Forth Mouth" / "East West North South") and the inevitable pause of uncertainty at reaching a crossroads. All transplants to Brooklyn from the American South, Bear in Heaven create a distinctive sound wrapped in a rolling fog of kraut beats, treated vocals and synth washes. The second single "Lovesick Teenagers" is a darkly optimistic reminder that while the years seem to tick by with an unfaltering regularity, you never lose hold of that teenager that you once were.

Released in the US last year to a warm critical reception, Beast Rest Forth Mouth will be seeing its European release in April 2010 on Hometapes in association with Dreamboat Records. The band are now on the road with Cymbals Eat Guitars throughout in North America, interrupted by a stop at SXSW, and then off on their first European tour. Be sure to catch Bear in Heaven at Point Ephémère in Paris on 27 April, or in London at The Lexington on 20 April and at Windmill Brixton on 26 April.

The band will also be in Brooklyn on 18 February at Grasslands and again on 9 April at The Music Hall of Williamsburg with Cymbals Eat Guitars.

MySpace | Hometapes | Dreamboat

Track of the Day…"O.N.E." from Yeasayer

From Odd Blood
Mute / Naïve (2010)

Listen to "O.N.E." MP3

The Brooklyn trio are back this February with their second album Odd Blood. Giving a new twist to their experimentalism, Yeasayer have left behind the progressive world beat tip of the 2007 album All Hour Cymbals. On the new release, the band focuses their sights, embracing a more electronic and underground pop sound (inspired, in part, by 70's ambient electronica). Fret not, the blessed quirkiness remains. Give a listen to the warped Caribbean-beat inflected second single "O.N.E.".

Not shy of dropping trow and running through the dessert, Yeasayer have put together an otherworldly video for the first single "Ambling Alp".

Download "Ambling Alp" here.

Official | MySpace

Track of the Day…"Funny Symphony" from Ninca Leece

Ninca Leece

"Funny Symphony"
From There Is No One Else When I Lay Down and Dream
Bureau B / Tapete Records (2010)

Listen to "Funny Symphony" MP3

Ninca Leece's debut album, There Is No One Else When I Lay Down and Dream, is the distillation of her travels, playing clubs and festivals, writing soundtracks and various musical collaborations over the past few years. Having grown up in France, Ninca went on to study music production and vocals in Rotterdam and then to tour the globe as part of various projects. She has now relocated to Berlin, and the musical imprint of her adopted home on her brand of minimal electro, "glitch and synth pop" is undeniable.

In producing and arranging her album, Ninca plays with electro sounds and melody, mixing in layers of organic instrumentation and field recordings. As she explains, the result is a "collection of my experiments in sound and emotions -- lots of funny little things, broken hearted sounds and melodies. It's about glitchiness, quirkiness, sexiness".

Have a listen to "Funny Symphony" - Ninca's French and English vocals provide a looping melody, gently warming the chilly permafrost of electronic clicks and cuts.

Watch the video to the track "On Top of The World".

Official | MySpace | Bureau B | Tapete Records