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The Up-Turn

@TheUpTurnMusic / tinyurl.com/upturnfbook

Monthly Archives: March 2012

I haven’t been wowed by much acoustic music this year so I was pleasantly surprised to find this submission from Blown a Wish the project of musician John Schoneman.  Finger-picked guitar melodies and layered vocal harmonies aren’t exactly the most novel ideas in music at this point, however, Blown a Wish just does it so damn well that it’s impossible to deny.  Comparisons can easily be made to Fleet Foxes or Bon Iver but that would be selling his music short as it stands on its own.  Opening track ‘Out on the Street’ fades in softly with Schoneman hanging on his wordless vocals for over a minute setting the tone for an entire EP of delicate and intimate songs.  It’s music that sounds like it should have been recorded by a band but is too personal to be the product of anything else other than the work of one inspired musician.

-PK

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The last time we heard new material from Jai Paul it was the instant classic ‘BTSTU’ which went on to be one of the year’s best tracks as well as a beat for Drake and then finally done justice to as a beat for Pusha T (in response to Drake).  Unlike most other producers that hit it big with a track on the internet, after ‘BTSTU’ made him huge, Jai Paul remained very quiet with no new material for almost an entire year.  That all changed today when Jai Paul dropped the demo for his track ‘Jasmine’.  Considering how much hype was built around ‘BTSTU’ and how Jai Paul made us all wait for such a long time to hear this, it goes without saying that ‘Jasmine’ has a lot to live up to.  While this is only a demo for the track, Jai Paul pulls of something as memorable yet completely different than what we’ve heard from him before.  ‘Jasmine’ employs some auto-tuned vocals and guitar lines that sound straight off Daft Punk’s Discovery and succeeds at making one of the most sensual songs I’ve heard in a long time.  The emotion and vibe coming from Jai Paul’s vocal delivery hits the same sort of pop gold as Thriller era Michael Jackson.  Hopefully it won’t be 11 more months until we hear more material.

-PK

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Dirty Projector’s Bitte Orca is one of the very first albums that introduced me to the wonderful world of indie and art-rock.  Dave Longstreth’s talent at creating pop-based avant-garde music made Dirty Projectors one of my favorite bands, however, since 2009 I’ve had no new full-length to gush over.  Thankfully the band is prepping to release a new album later this Spring and they just dropped the first leak from that album ‘Gun Has No Trigger’.  The track works as a cleaned-up and refined version of the sound they played with on Bitte Orca with all the gorgeous back-up vocals, abstract drum beats and bouncy bass we could hope for.  Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian Haley Dekle sound fantastic providing most of the songs background with a their dynamic swoons.  Exactly the kind of song to get me excited for the album.

-PK

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Best Friends have exactly the spring jam I need to get me through the mixed results of hearing back from colleges with their track ‘Break My Neck’.  It’s impossible to stay in a any sort of bad mood once the guitar lick comes in and the band starts jamming out in perfectly sloppy harmony.  The song never slows down it’s irresistibly sunny-pace and the singer stuffs in enough “woo’s” to get the song stuck in your head for days.  The video only mirrors the band’s carefree attitude with the guys grilling, playing sweet tunes and generally having a good time.

-PK

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If you’ve been checking our homepage for the past few days you may have noticed that we’re amping things up with the amount of articles each day.  For at least the next 10 weeks we will be increasing the amount of daily content and big features.  Our goal is to have at least one major article (editorial, interview, review) posted on the site each week with at least 5 interviews and 4 reviews planned to drop over the course of April and May.  I’m kickstarting the project with a conversation I had with French musician Samuel Lugwig Salla who records as Mister Bibal.  Mister Bibal got our attention when he dropped the fantastic F A I L U R E LP off Trueflav Records earlier this month.  The release is a stunning collection of electronic beats and compositions with some great features on there as well.  Samuel and I chatted about his influences and classical musical upbringing and the conversation can be read (mostly unedited) below…

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Earl Sweatshirt’s ‘Drop’ freestyle is one of the earliest examples of why Earl deserves the massive amount of hype he has and why Odd Future earned their current fame in the first place.  Tako Tomago decided to take that track and warp it into a mellowed out remix with some soft synths and slowed-pace.  At first I anticipated a typical chopped and screwed treatment to the song but Tako Tomago really worked at reworking the track’s feel and vibe.  It’s an entirely different listen than the original and gives plenty of incentive to relisten to some of Earl’s best lyrics let alone one of the strongest O.F. verses.

-PK

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xxyyxx has been putting out a lot of great music lately, most of which has reached its download limit on soundcloud and is sadly only streamable.  Luckily xxyyxx has decided to do the right thing and compile most of his tracks into a tight 14-song album which can be downloaded at a ‘name your own price’ over at Relief in Abstract.  Over the course of the album, xxyyxx crafts atmospheric sample-based bliss that range from slow-burners like ‘TIED2U’ to the dubsteppy ‘Love Isn’t Made (ft. Steffaloo)’.  It’s clear that the witch house micro-craze of 2010 has had a positive influence on xxyyxx’s work as he’s able to pull off the sounds better than any project called ‘✞▽.Δ.37’ from that movement.  Stream xxyyxx below…

-PK

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I thought I’d have an accurate idea of what kind of sound to expect from Aussie-based Royal Headache who just put out this single on punk label What’s Your Rupture?.  Even the opening 4-seconds of feedback supported my lo-fi/thrashy/punk assumption.  I’m very glad I was wrong.  Turns out Royal Headache is much more Guided by Voices than Black Flag and crafted an incredibly melodic and catchy piece of rock with their single ‘Down the Lane’.  The track has a distinct 60s rock vibe that is making it hard for me to take this track off of replay.  What’s Your Rupture? is prepping to reissue their 2011 self-titled album on May 8th.

-PK

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The newest entry in the growing amount of spliced and warped VHS videos is this short stunner for I Come to Shanghai’s ‘Tied Down’.  Like most videos in this style, there is no plot to follow.  Instead, the video provides a gorgeous backdrop for an already gorgeous song.  Considering that ‘Tied Down’ doesn’t even pass the 1:30 minute mark the directors approach is appropriate.  ‘Tied Down’ comes off the groups new release Eternal Life Vol. II which is streaming over at their bandcamp.

-PK

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Forgetting all the micro-trends of the past few years, one of the most important recent musical movements has been the humanization of electronic music.  Sure we’ve had synth-pop for a while now but electronic music has changed a lot since the icy robotic sound of Kraftwerke with one of the most important releases being Animal Collective’s emotion driven Merriweather Post Pavillion.  With their Jahnimal EP, Noir Cœur have stricken the same sort of emotional gold as Animal Collective did in 2009.  Over 5-tracks, Noir Cœur craft a fantastic sound that relies on the strength of the singers just as much as the warm backing instrumentation.  It’s a sound that is missing from your typical chill-wave artist and it’s earning the group some well deserved buzz around the blogosphere.  Download the tape over at Noir Cœur’s bandcamp and hear more music at their soundcloud.

-PK

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