Electronic

VIDEO PREMIERE

Mood Tattooed - No Compromise

Gerard Marcus

Brooklyn-based Mood Tattooed is a musical project which balances elements of electronic synthesis, American folk tendencies, and fluid song structure to create music that sounds free of constraints. Written by singer-songwriter and composer Hagan Knauth, his music is generally melancholic, dealing with themes of both internal and external fear and anxiety. His new music video for “No Compromise” explores these themes visually. Made in collaboration with videographer Matthew Sullivan and artist Margaret Pinto, the video follows an alien being as it explores the forest and small towns of rural upstate New York. The creature is immediately odd juxtaposed against its surroundings. In a statement from the artist, he says he “wanted the creature to appear inefficient and out of place in the landscape,” which gives the character an enjoyable sense of absurdity. As you watch it move through the wilderness of rural upstate New York, it just seems odd, less of an immediate threat than just a confused being clearly in the wrong place. It’s almost funny, until you realize the creature’s mission, which is to collect various objects and eventually abduct a human for a bizarre ritual of unknown purpose (except to the creature performing it). Who or what is this creature? What is it doing here? Should we judge it based off of its absurdity or its actions? There are all good questions with no definite answer, other than to pull it back to themes found in the music. In the words of the artist himself, “perhaps the fact that the creature is simultaneously threatening and laughably absurd is all a metaphor for the little monsters we make in our heads.”

VIDEO PREMIERE

Jenny Pulse - My Love Turns To Liquid

Phillipe Roberts

For her reimagining of Dream 2 Science’s “My Love Turns to Liquid,” Jenny Pulse doesn’t so much rebuild the song’s aquatic groove as put it on ice. Gone are the watery drip samples and the soothing waves of vibraphone. She drains the warmth out of the bassline until it stings and lets the lead synth glide and creep. With her voice caught in this untamed whirl, Jenny Pulse sounds adrift but playful, blissfully lost in a glacial landscape far from the original’s soulful electronic paradise.

The video, premiering today here on ThrdCoast and edited by CMI in Minneapolis, takes that vibe of joyful isolation and runs with it. Filmed on a (to quote the artist) “very fucking cold” day in January, it chronicles a Lower East Side, New York romp through the rapidly decomposing lens of a VHS camera. Jenny frolics freely while her surroundings are cloaked in glitchy anonymity; other than a peculiarly menacing snowman, hers is the only face visible, prancing about in frosty joy as the world distorts and collapses around her.

Pre-order Jenny Pulse upcoming tape "Jenny Pulse Cassette" HERE. Out August 31st via Drop Medium. 

PREMIERE

Moonheart - Breaking/Broken

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Gerard Marcus

Have you ever loved someone-a mother, a friend, a life partner-who’s emotionally sporadic? It has a way of making you lose yourself in anxieties that aren’t your own. Finding your way out of the maze of another person’s emotions is hard, and it can force you to learn how to emotionally separate yourself from aspects of their life. It’s not easy, not being hugged when that’s all you want, not seeing a smile after you told what you know is the funniest joke ever. But love keeps you there.

Moonheart’s new single “Breaking/Broken” reminds me of this space. The track is simple-lush synths layered over cavernous percussion and flickering electronics, with singer Kim Iman’s voice ping-ponging in stereo like rippling water running over it all. This simplicity is all in service of my favorite aspect of this track: its structure. The song opts-out of a familiar verse-chorus pattern, and instead floats through a lyrical stream of consciousness. It evokes the contemplation one has after yet another failure to connect with someone they love, remembering all the good and the bad in the relationship, while trying to figure out what comes next. This emotional middle ground is hard to grasp, but Moonheart has captured it perfectly.

REVIEW: Sir E.U + Tony Kill - African-American Psycho

Raquel Dalarossa

I first heard DC rapper Sir E.U on Rob Stokes’ album from earlier this year. That release, a collection of soul and R&B-influenced indie rock, featured the rapper in two songs and, incidentally, was co-produced by Tony Kill. Perhaps that was the project that brought the two artists together, a stroke of serendipity that would lead to the creation and release of their ten-track album, African-American Psycho.

Whatever the circumstances that originally forged this union, the meeting of their minds feels momentous for both the rapper and the beat maker. No doubt they’ve individually dabbled in the experimental before—Sir E.U, for example, recently put on a 25-hour performance—but this feels notably different from any of their previously released material. African-American Psycho plays like a loose concept album, and together, Sir E.U and Tony Kill confidently push boundaries within and outside themselves, without much care for whether you’ll be able to follow them into their new territory.

Truly, the record feels like a psychotic breakdown, mixing electronic production with bleak beats that create an at times subtle, at others overt, but almost always present feeling of distress. The distorted, overblown treatment on everything from vocals to percussion makes it hard to understand the discrete elements in each song, which is part of the trick; tracks like “Let Me Tell You About My Dog” and “No Sex” are loud, overbearing, and confusing. But the production also lends itself to the frantic, almost manic tone of the album as a whole.

Sir E.U’s vocals mostly serve the beats, but his virtuosic ability to mold his own voice and inject tricky emotions into it—or erase all emotion from it—make him a standout. In “Ultra,” his erratic mumbling adds a strangely smothering effect to the propulsive beat, while in “Lower Self (For Freaks Only),” his voice sits in a low, sinister register uncomfortably close to the ear, and he takes shallow gasps for breath as though his lungs are being slowly crushed. In “No Tax,” which features LeDroit and Nappy Nappa, unintelligible vocals are layered atop one another to the point that it feels schizophrenic.

Even the most danceable track, "Cha," feels dense and busy, and Sir E.U seems to lose steam by the end of it, his vocals fading into the background. Hearing this, combined with their contributions to the Rob Stokes album, makes African-American Psycho feel like even more of a feat. It seems these two can do pretty much any genre they please, and it's hard to say where their ideas will take them next.

VIDEO PREMIERE: Plattenbau - Security

Will Shenton

Where most in the pantheon of retro, VHS-style music videos go for an understated, DIY aesthetic, Plattenbau's latest uses it as a canvas for vibrant, kaleidoscopic visuals. While the lo-fi tracking fuzz remains as a nostalgic filter, the colorful geometry that cascades around the Oakland duo is utterly mesmerizing, especially when coupled with the propulsive industrial beats they've become known for.

Taken from their forthcoming EP, Endless, "Security" indulges in a long simmer before boiling over. Opening on nothing but deep, driving synths, we're shortly treated to Megan Biscieglia's restrained, almost whispering vocals. Over the course of the song, her voice expands and recedes, occasionally bursting into soaring cries before retreating back into intimate, conspiratorial tones.

Throughout, the manic distortions of worn-out videotape take on vivid colors and textures, adding layers of dynamism to irresistible effect. "Security" is a piece that surprises both lyrically and visually, bringing new life to an already riveting track.

Endless drops June 5 on Glowing Dagger.