Synth

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. 

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.

REVIEW: Clebs - I'm Here

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Phillipe Roberts

At core of Clebs’ debut EP is the question looping through every recording since the first wax cylinder: what here is human? Recording is an exercise in artifice, a selection and compression of real-time events into an endlessly repeatable fantasy. With their first foray into the art of sonic distillation, vocalist Emilie Weibel and drummer/producer Jason Nazary go for the jugular with a particularly violent approach; I’m Here quite literally feels like a mutilation of their personalities into a unitary, Frankensteined sound-beast, flexing its reconstructed muscle in an exploration of these newfound capabilities. Though some moments gesture towards sunnier pastures, the most surprising element of I’m Here is how firm its footing feels in the long stretches of abstracted body horror, slicing apart familiar rhythms, melodies, and sampled sound into something that feels truly alive, twitching with a dangerous curiosity.

From start to finish, the organic, pulsating fusion that is I’m Here manages to sound painstakingly labored over without overworking the ear. Every second is brimming with immaculately designed easter eggs and microscopic detail. Pitched-down voices buried under fuzz on closer “Light Spectrum” combine with bubbling, randomized arpeggiations to eerie effect; as a whole—and this is meant as the sincerest of compliments—it comes off as the soundtrack to a late-night infomercial from another dimension, a peek behind the static curtain into a mundane glimpse of the beyond.

Truly, Clebs’ finest gift may well be in creating trancelike environments that feel as if you’re observing them from a distance, or from a bubble of relative safety. “Bass Chrysalis” (WHAT A TITLE) is a shining example. The glitched-out voice breakdown in its latter half, where thumps of bass pound against the sharply pitched gliding melody, doesn’t so much consume you as linger, tantalizingly, just out of reach. Clebs are masters of the experimental tease.

When the duo branch into immersive, pop-like territory, they never quite let themselves run wild or become too consumed by rampant emotionality, preferring instead to constantly tweak and tune their creations like a pair of obsessive technicians. Though it emerges chopped and crushed, leaking a trail of vocal teardrops from Weibel, opener “Homemade Bread” is the record's most out-and-out danceable excerpt. Its central beat flails and flops with a drunken urgency. Nazary weaves a staggering polyrhythmic collage, populating it with buzzing snippets of Weibel’s voice placed deep into the mix. The track leers with a frightening intensity, threatening to break out into some form of “drop,” some kind of sustainable, emotive four-on-the-floor chug, but never does.

Even the title track, whose looped, bumping beat comes the closest to providing the sturdy bedrock necessary for a pop song, can’t help but inject blasts of howling noise, roaring in at jarring volume to keep you awake and aware through the haunted nursery rhyme chanting of “If the bomb explodes, then you come back home.” I’m Here is not for the faint of heart, nor for the faint of head. But if you’re looking for a brief detour into stranger waters or a peek into the grizzly unknown, look no further.

PREMIERE: Huck - Does It?

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Phillipe Roberts

Put those warm and fuzzy connotations to the side and it becomes easy to dismiss romantic love as a form of thrill-seeking, a high-stakes game of emotional chicken. When the dust inevitably settles, who remains intact and who will be stuck saving face?

In delicate ballad form on “Does It?,” Huck gazes into his own reflection for a while, watching his consciousness “turn into streams” as he tries to read the writing on the wall. The arrangement is sparse—electric piano and brushed drums speak at a whisper, as if he’s trying to keep his sleepless self-serenade from being heard by someone in the next room or even in the same bed. Huck sounds beaten down by love, desperate to parse out whether this latest obsession is another disaster in the making while admitting his own faulty judgement.

“I understand a fragment while a greater truth exists” might feel too relatable to bear, but Huck cushions it in woozy, synthesized slurs, his voice a beacon of clarity while darkness crashes around in a deafening silence. As the arpeggiated final climax comes burbling in, only to be replaced with a slowed down and detuned reprise, you can hear those fears becoming reality. Defiance is an admirable trait, but that assured calm only comes after the storm. “Does it?” is the sound of Huck bracing for impact, a wounded soul taking shelter within himself.

REVIEW: Kai Basanta - earth

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Will Shenton

As we noted in his recent video premiere, Kai Basanta has a penchant for blurring the line between digital and organic. Every facet of his new EP, earth, seems determined to draw both elements into the liminal space that divides them, blending jazz instrumentals with synths, samples, and drum-machine beats. The result is an artful take on jazz-hop that feels more intentional and dynamic than the bounds of the genre usually dictate.

From the summery grooves of "sunlight" to the off-kilter mashup of a Kendrick Lamar interview and an Olivier Messiaen quartet that is "love," earth isn't afraid to show off Basanta's impressive range. The album feels like an ascent into unrestrained creativity, as we move from more recognizable tropes into the simmering soundscape of "shadows," its beats resolving slowly out of an ominous ether before closing the EP.

At first glance, earth feels familiar, and perhaps that's the point. It's only by delving deeper into its textures and homages that we can see Basanta's sound evolve right before our eyes.