Does anyone read these?

10 05 2011

Chancha Via Circuito: Rio Arriba                            4-12-11


For all you world music lovers we have the second release from Chancha Via Circuito.  The album is focused around South American folklore in theme.  The music also has a South American bent to it but still sounds modern instead of traditional.  Bristling with drums and ethnic instruments I can’t name the album is a welcome reprise to what is normally heard on the radio (my show included).

RIYL – Tremor, Buraka Som Sistema

Cussing – none that I can tell

Favorites – 9, 11, 1, 3, rest

ZZK Records                                             Matt Romero

Africa Hitech– 93 Million Miles              5-9-11

This is combination of old school techno style music (as in more toward theDetroitand minimal end not Haddaway style) and African (and island) rhythms and productions.  Maybe simpilar put there is heavy ragga influence in the production work of co-producers Steve Spacek and Mark Pritchard.  You will hear vocals at points during the album but there are no full on song lyrics.  For the techno enthusiast this is a must listen to album.  For those requiring more song structure and less experimentation it is harder to recommended unless you are in the mood for some interesting electronic play.

RIYL – the Bug, Benga, Kode9, Warp label artists

Cussing – none I heard

Favorites – 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, rest

Warp                                                 Matt Romero

Johan Agebjorn – Casablanca Nights                             5-9-11

Sweedish producer Johan works in various forms of electronic music and is well known for his 2006 LP in which he does an 80’s italo-disco throwback album.  This time around he continues with a synthy pop feel set in the world of today (as opposed to 80’s italo).  Addicting if you like the synth pop sound.  At times it sounds generic but other tracks just pop out from the album and make you dance.  But that is the nature of synthpop is it not?

RIYL – Zoot Woman, Yelle, And One (but nicer vocals), Freezepop

Favorites – 2, 4 (vocals in English), 6, 7, 9

Cussing – none

Paper Bag Records                                               Matt Romero


More reviews for you to review and disagree with.

1 05 2011

Graham Knox Frazier – Gonna Dig This                           4-25-11

Deep house album is really the only way to describe this.  There are lyrics and basslines and fat kicks but it all comes together like a deep house project.  Nothing poppy here just deep and semi-soulful at times.

RIYL – deep house, Jeno, Simon

Favorites – 2,8,9, any

Cussing – none

Simply Deep Music                                     Matt Romero

Justice – Civilization (single)                 4-26-11

The kings of “checking e-mail” concerts are back with a new single that is about the same pace as there first album.  Disco feel, sample laden, and heavy distortion.

RIYL – Chromeo, Boys Noize

Favorites – both tracks

Cussing – none

Ed Banger                                                Matt Romero

Donwill – Love Junkie (single)                  4-26-11

A great diddy with great hip hop vocal that of course cusses, but there are clean edits.  The Wallpaper remix is super catchy.  The second single on here is pretty good too but a tad more hard hitting.

RIYL – Wallpaper, dance hop, Fast Eddie

Cussing – 1, 4

Favorites – 2, 5, 7

                                                               Matt Romero

Jonwayne – Bowser                     4-26-11

If you like the glitchtronica scene then there is a cd at the station here for you.  Jonwayne puts together a 19 track album that is on the slower side of glitch but doesn’t fail to impress with hard beats and randomness galore.  If you like Mochipet or Squarepusher this album will give you some smiles.  Short and glitchy

RIYL – Mochipet, Squarepusher

Cussing – 5

Favorites – 4, 9, 16, 14, 3, 7, 12

                                                          Matt Romero

TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light             4-26-11


I’m not really sure how this gets filed under RPM when it has a folk vibe at times and definitely has more of an “indie rock” feel then anything else.  This isn’t a great album but it is a solid one with an emphasis on song writing and non-aggressive intriguing music.  Atmospheric post punk comes to mind.  ThisBrooklynbased band does throw in the electronics but it still doesn’t strke me as an electronic album.

RIYL – Interpol, Chow Nasty, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Cussing – none

Favorites – 6, 3, rest

                                                                Matt Romero

Blue Sky Black Death – Noir                        4-18-11

ThisSeattlebased duo is producing ethereal crunchy music with guest vocalists.  If you are into the deep harsh sounds of crunchy etherialism mixed with hard hitting beats interspersed with varying styles of vocals then this album will work wonders for you.

RIYL – Blockhead, RJD2

Cussing – clean

Favorites – 2, 8, 10, 14

Fake Four Inc.                          Matt Romero

Kraak & Smaak – Electric Hustle                 4-26-11

The Dutch purveyors of funk strike again with a new album that leaves funk behind at times but delivers an exhilarating romp through soul and boogie. The album has a very organic feel as there plan is to take this album on tour with a live band.  Great basslines, guest vocals, funky drum patterns, synthy progressive chord progressions; there is something for just about everyone, except the people that want thrash only.

RIYL – Rima, Zero 7, Copyright

Favorites – 1, 3, 4,5,8, 9,10, rest

Cussing – none

Jalapeno Records                                    Matt Romero

Errors – Come Down With Me                         4-26-11     

Glasgowquartet known as the Errors bring up a synth heavy indie electronic that is generally dancey and catchy even when vocals are lacking.  This band formed in 2004 was eventually  picked up by Mogwai from which there sound and career has blossomed.  At times the album gets introspective and moody, all without vocals.

RIYL – Mogwai, LCD Soundsystem, Prefuse 73

Cussing – none

Favorites – 2,3,6,7 8, 10

Rock Action                                             Matt Romero

Dirty Vegas – Changes (single #2)                        4-26-11

The second release for the same single has some good variation in the way of In Flagranti and Mike Monday.  The original mix is on here as well. Everything is very danceable and interesting. It might not be pop dance (yay) but the remixes intrigue.

RIYL – nu disco, house, Basement Jaxx, In Flagranti

Favorite – 1,2,3,4 rest

Cussing – none

                                                               Matt Romero

Elos – Flying with the Fortress                    4-26-11

Dirty crunchy beats with distorted and fuzzed electronic noise somehow combined into a form of music.  Gltich Mob comes to mind when I listen to this album.  With only 7 tracks the strong beats pass by quicly but as a radio dj getting one of these heavy hitting tracks in shouldn’t be an issue.  Prepare for a trippy fuzzed out journey of disjointed parts that combine to make a music of a primal nature.

RIYL – Glitch Mob, Glitch, Distorted Beats

Favorites – 3, 1, 6, 2

Cussing – no vocals equal no cussing

                                                         Matt Romero

Daedelus – Bespoke                                       4-18-11

Probably one of Ninja Tune’s most popular artist at KSCU currently,Santa Monicaborn, Deadelus brings another album to us that is simply amazing.  This album represents an outlook on life to him and he is sharing it with brilliantly crafted music.  The styles may change and the sheer amount of stuff going on may seem a bit over the top but if you listen it all just fits together better then a jig saw and sets your soul ablaze.  Another tidbit about the artist (probably already mentioned in another review by dj shrute) is that he is trained in double bass and clarinet and has a jazz background.

RIYL – Luke Vibert, Prefuse 73

Favorites – 1,2,5,7 all awesome

Cussing – none

Ninja Tune                                               Matt Romero

Fleet Foxes’ timeless “Helplessness Blues”

25 04 2011

Indie-Folk fans, rejoice! Fleet Foxes have returned, and Robin Pecknold & co. bring a timelessly beautiful sound to their second album, “Helplessness Blues.” (Sub Pop) The long-awaited follow up to their breakthrough eponymous debut, “Helplessness Blues” builds on their hallowed harmonies and nature-influenced lyricism with ambitious, unexpected arrangements and  a heavy dose of existential ponderings.

“After some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be a functioning cog in some great machinery, serving something beyond me,” sings Pecknold on the title track, with a similar philosophical, questioning tone permeating the whole of the album.

Check out the delightfully-vintage video for their single, “Grown Ocean.” (Ah, makes me miss the Northwest!)

Other album highlights include The Shrine/ An Argument (10) [great vocals], Montezuma (1),Blue Spotted Tail (11), but really, all are great, PLAY ‘EM ALL!

FCC Clean

RIYL: Okkervil River, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Simon & Garfunkel

Fleet Foxes are playing at the Fox Theater on May 5th… hope you got your tickets, the show is sold out!

– Lauren Duffy

Cullen Omori of Smith Westerns talks touring with MGMT, ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,’ and returning to SXSW

13 04 2011

Chicago-based trio Smith Westerns plays teenage  psychedelic-tinged pop in the vein of glammy rockers T.Rex on their latest album, Dye It Blonde. Cullen Omori and Max Kakacek, both 20, and Cameron Omori, 19, have received favorable reviews and heavy blog buzz for Blonde, which offers a more polished sound than their scratchy, garage rock debut. Lauren Duffy chatted with singer/guitarist Cullen Omori last March just before the band traveled to Austin to perform at South By Southwest.

What are you guys currently doing in New York?

Tonight we’re doing this weird show at Saks Fifth Avenue, playing in a department store… it’s going to be bizarre. But it’s free vodka, free stuff, and we’re getting styled in Rag and Bone gear so I’ll be in head-to-toe denim.

Could you tell me more about the process of making Dye It Blonde?

As soon as we finished Pitchfork Fest, we got into the car and drove straight to New York and started recording the next day with [producer] Chris Coady. We picked him because we thought he was someone who would be able to make really full sounding recordings without the instruments being lost, he makes it so you can hear every part, which is really important to us. We wrote the album over the course of an entire year touring; “Smile” took seven months to write. The way me and Max [Kakacek] write, we write a verse or a chorus, and kinda let it stew and sit and come back to it later. As the song evolves, it gets better and better. I’ve never worked with anyone else musically other than Max, we have a good understanding of how to accommodate the other person, there’s a lot of mutual respect… after seeing other bands and the way they work, I think we work a lot more cohesively.

What has been a surreal experience in the last couple of months?

This last time on tour, there would be a really cool band from that city there. It’s good to see other musicians come to our show, we met Black Lips in Atlanta, and in Portland we went to the Dandy Warhols’ place. Oh, and our friend Ryan McGinley brought Albert Hammond Jr. to the Mercury Lounge show and we got to meet him, which was a huge deal for me ‘cause I’m a huge Strokes fan.

Check out Ryan McGinley’s short film about GIRLS and Smith Westerns, Friends Forever.

I saw that you were photographed for the latest issue of Rolling Stone, what was that like?

It was weird… we don’t consider ourselves models or anything like that. Me and Cameron, we did the shoot, it was fun. They tried styling us but it didn’t really work… they gave us a bunch of clothes and Cameron put three different collared t-shirts on. I always like to keep a record of photos and press stuff, I think its really cool.

You guys have a lot of tour dates coming up, so what can people expect from your live show?

The last tour, we were getting our bearings on how to play live, our new album, and we had to add a new member, so getting comfortable with that. Now performance-wise, really feeling comfortable with songs… I want to get a really nice fog machine.

Are you excited about performing at South By Southwest? It’s your second year at the festival.

I’m super excited, it’s going to be such a turn around from last year, from being broke, staying in a car, sleeping in a hard tile floor; now playing only 4 shows and they’re some of the best shows at South By, and seeing all of these awesome bands.

Here’s Smith Westerns performing “Weekend” at SXSW 2011.

Are you looking forward to opening for Wilco?

Totally excited, [especially] being from Chicago. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was my jam, I’d listen to in seventh grade with my Dad.

How do you feel when people are constantly bringing up your age?

If people want to talk about our age, it’s a fine, its a fact of our lives, you can’t lie about it, but I don’t understand why its that big of a deal. People belittle us and say, ‘they’re just a bunch of kids, they should be grateful for whatever they get.’ We’re musicians, we’ve been doing this for three and a half years. It’s cool that were young and doing it, but it shouldn’t be used in a way to say that we don’t deserve it.

How have you progressed musically in the last few years?

I only started singing three years ago… only the attention-seeking kids in grade school would sing and it totally turned me off from it. Playing in a band, you meet people, hear new music, you get inspired, you get better at playing your instrument, able to reinterpret. We’ve been on tour with some of the best bands of the last 10 years, seeing them play every night, learning from that, talking and hanging out with them. I have the greatest amount of respect for GIRLS and MGMT… two of the best bands going right now. Hanging out with those dudes makes me want to make as good of a record as possible, try to impress them.

What are your plans after this tour?

We have a break in July, and then we’re back out through January.  My personal goal is to visit every continent in the next year and play there… just take it as it comes.

Any plans to go home to Chicago?

We live nowhere right now… I hope so.

Is it weird talking to friends from high school, comparing your experiences?

I talk to very few people from [high school] now, like what they’re doing and what were doing. In some ways… when were on tour, and go to a college party, like, this is what everyone does every weekend? But at the same time… its all good.

25 02 2011

Frivolous – Meterology                            2-28-11

Looking for some interesting tech-house? If so then this album is for you. Sure there are some odd filler atmosphere tracks interspersed but the house tracks are solid in the swing and tend to bring vocal snippets into the music creating a dancey yet intriguing atmosphere. All the tracks that aren’t intermission pieces are long just so you know.

RIYL: tech-house, dirty bird records, claude vonstroke
Favorites – 9,8,6,4,3,2
Cussing – none 

Dirty Vegas – Changes (single)                                   2-28-11

These guys are back with another single aimed at toppin pop charts more then underground sound. Given the love of a guitar type sound lately Dirty Vegas throws together a dance track backed by guitars and a guy singing about a relationship gone sour. Nothing too out of the ordinary. There is a Felix da Housecat remix though for those of you that still find him hipster cool.

RIYL – dance music, progressive house, modern kaskade F
avorites – 7,4,5,2,1, rest
Cussing – none

Kisses – Midnight Lover                                     2-28-11

 A single from the band that is vocal friendly, mixable, and not a typical dance track. This would fall under the indie dance category on beatport. Very pleasant. Track 3 is of typical radio edit length. Great track if you want a tinge of new wave in your set.

RIYL – Hot Chip, Rapture, a hint of new wave in your music
Favorites – 3,2,1
Cussing – none

Telepathique – All Your Lovers                                 2-28-11

Uberfun and ridiculous this EP has just the right of cheese to pull off brilliance. Catchy riffs and pop drums combine for an addictive romp through the speakers. On the flip side they can kind of rock out too so pick it up and give it a spin!! Out of the many many albums I’ve been reviewing this is the greatest left field gem I’ve reviewed.

RiYL – Chicks on Speed, Hot Chip, OKGO
Favorites – 1,2,3!,4,5
Cussing – none

INNERPARTYSYSTEM – American Trash (single)                      2-28-11

A single of a track that cusses. Thankfully not all the supersick remixes cuss. Tracks 3 and 6 are radio edit length. Come on, I know you want to play a track making fun of Americans.

RIYL – electro, Haezer, Belzebass
Favorites – 3!!, 4, 6, 7(dubstep),
Cussing – 1, 2, 8

George Acosta – Visions Behind Expressions                                      2-28-11

George Acosta has been doing house music for years and years now. His latest album release shows off his progressive talents and will delight all those that love the club sound of progressive house. A four on the floor beat with gated synth chord riffs and stabs generally featuring vocal accompaniment so every one in the club can groove and sing along. Progressive house tracks are generally epic in length so the shorter ones are list first in the favorites section.

RIYL – Swedish House Mafia, Robbie Riverria
Favorites – 3, 6, 7, 8, 11, rest except for 2
Cussing – none.

More Reviews from the Scrawny DJ.

13 02 2011

Kids of 88 – Just a Little Bit                                                      2-15-11

A band from New Zealand with that Nu Disco/Indie Dance appeal.  Think Hot Chip and maybe Ghostland Observatory and you’ll have an idea.  A tad poppy but with a good quirk, and  the vocals are great and the music is toe taptastic.  I highly recommend you check out the original mixes unless you are looking for some remix action with less vocals.

RIYL – Hot Chip, Fol Chen, Robyn

Favorites – 1, 2, 4, rest

Cussing – None

SIN                                                                 Matt Romero

Epstein – Sealess See                                2-15-11

Do you like idm and experimental thought provoking music?  Are you down with music that seemingly lacks structure but does in ways you have to dig deep for?  Do you prefer a sound more ethereal then rhythmic and dancey?  If so then Epstein’s latest release is for you.  Soudspace created with an MPC tapped into the urban sprawl.

RIYL – Seabright, Squarepusher, Prefuse 73, Roberto Carlos

Favorites – Pretty much all are short (couple minutes) and equally interesting

Cussing – None that I could decipher

Asthmatic Kitty                                            Matt Romero

Bag Raiders Review

2 02 2011

Bag Raiders – Self Titled 2-8-11

Modular always seems to have very solid releases at least when I get my ears listening to something off that label. Remember how incredibly incredible poplicious yet not pop the Cut Copy album was? What? You don’t? Pull it from the rpm library (or call 408 554 5728 to request it) and play it on your show then fall in love. This album is almost like that. If Cut Copy didn’t exist I’d be fawning over this one because it straddles the pop and indietronic mix so well that there are only a few moments that I shake my head at an album that is so solid I just might burn a copy. Synthy, dancey, poppy, sparkly, slightly broody and full of vocals.

RIYL – Cut Copy, Holy Ghost!
Cussing – none
Favorites – 1,3,5, 7, 11, 2, 10, try the rest

Modular                                                         Matt Romero