unearthing subterranean media since 2009

Modern Man

So, I’ve got an awful lot on my right mind now. (Sorry for the skipped posts.) I’ve been sipping a great deal of whiskey and reminiscing about my beloved South. Because of this, all the bands I’ve been listening to have been from that humid, gothic, beautiful region.

Today’s review comes not from my gorgeous home state, but our close neighbor to the east, South Carolina. Foremost, let me mention that South Carolina seems to be undergoing a massive musical awakening. Maybe better stated, the internet has leveled the playing field making it possible for the tuned-in public to see the wealth of musical talent that is rooted firmly in the “not Williamsburgs, not Londons, not Los Angeleses, and not even Nashvilles” of the world.

Perhaps the reason music in these rural settings is taking flight with such success is because it’s not really a reaction to anything. The kids in these regions with massive amounts of creativity and talent have been ignored for so long by the Pitchforkers, and Vicers, and Tremble Tremblers that they really don’t give a shit what people think. There is no expectation. They are simply making the kind of music that they love to play and listen to. This is not to say that they’re not plugged in to what is happening in the music world. I’d venture to say that any “music kid” in the southeast could out hip any High Fidelity-esque record store clerk anywhere in this country. All I mean is that when you ain’t got nothin’, you ain’t got nothing to lose.

Because these folks have nothing to lose, they continue to pour everything they’ve got into everything they make. The music is good, the music is real, and the scenes in these regions will continue to breed incredible music whether they’re getting reviews on blogs or not.

Enter: “Modern Man.”

Modern Man is an incredible one-man act out of Greenville, South Carolina. The brainchild of Allen Glenn, Modern Man makes music that is highly representative of the musical melting pot that is South Carolina right now. His music is drone. His music is lo-fi. His music is surf. His music is shoe gaze. His music is, I don’t give a shit, I’m making music that I like, and it happens to be really cool right now.

His production is straight forward enough. There’s tons of tape hiss and static pop, but his post production skills (I assume he’s producing himself…?) are really sensational. Along with dreamy lyrics, distant, reverb-y vocal production, and fuzz guitar loops, there’s also really raw splices of static, organ, and bass. Juxtaposed against highly repetitive drone-y loops, these underproduced but strategically placed splices function as the subtle movement that really pushes the songs along.

Remember that whiskey sipping I mentioned earlier? Well, it’s starting to get the better of me, so I’m just going to link you to this guy’s music. It’s really good.

South Carolina, keep doing your thing, and when it stops being cool, keep doing your thing anyway. We love you.

There’s a really great write-up on Modern Man and other emerging South Carolina acts over here at the blog, Sons Club.

Check out Modern Man’s music over here on their facebook page.

Listen: Modern Man – Tweaker To Santa Fe

Download Free EP Here.

Pop Winds

So, for the past few days I’ve been making out pretty exclusively with Montreal based record label, Arbutus. It’s a nice relationship, really. I come home from work, sit down on the couch, and she comes to me through the internet and gives me sweet Canadian kisses on my cold, tired, bored ears.

This morning she gave me another sweet gift, “Pop Winds.”

Okay, creepy “making out with internet web pages” euphemisms aside, Pop Winds’ record “The Turquoise” is absolutely phenomenal.

Though vocally this group seems greatly influenced by Animal Collective and other similar electronic infused indie psychedelica, Pop Winds sets themselves apart from the pack with some very subtly arranged instrumentation. At their most frenetic, they entangle layer after layer of synth arpeggios with tight vocal harmonies, bit crushed midi drums and smooth, sexy saxophone. They definitely know how to “wall of sound” the hell out of you, but they also seem to be steeped heavily in the knowledge of the economy of music. They have a lot of “music money,” but they seem to only spend a lot when they know it will benefit the song. This acute attention to song structure is what keeps Pop Winds (as their name implies) rooted within the boundaries of pop music.

You can download “The Turquoise” here.

Listen: Pop Winds – “Met Some New Colors

Wild Nothing

Well, I’m off on a journey to find love against overwhelming odds. Maybe I’ll be forced to fight mysterious woodland creatures to protect my simple way of life and preserve the forest community my colleagues and I have built into the trunks of trees. Maybe there will be some sort of beautiful, ethereal equestrian flight involved. Maybe I’ll be given a magical weapon by an unlikely ally to assist me in my quest. And maybe, just maybe, when the smoke from the final battle is rising, and my love slowly turns to meet my gaze, her perm springing in the stillness of post battle, this album will trumpet forth from the surrounding clouds. And are we ascending now? Into space? We are. Locked in a loving embrace, our infinite love rising slowly into the glassy ether.

Download the album here.

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