30-minute invincibility

Wax Tablet
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  April 4, 2014

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TR!LL!ON$ by DJ God.Damn.Chan.

>> We could not help but notice how quickly the feelings of invincibility washed over us while listening to TR!LL!ON$, a new electronic beat tape released by the DJ God.Damn.Chan. It feels great — often in ways we necessarily can’t put into words. All 29 minutes lurch along in A-list style, whether via the big swirling synths of “Stutterer Shutterer,” the hiccupy funk of “NotAtDinnerrrr,” or the barebones crew anthem of “KoolAsKimchi.” Particularly love the way this dude does drops. He doesn’t just knock out the whole structure of the beat; he lets you feel it crumble and decay. We only wish we had the MC capacities to step out in front of this swagger. Even “Sneezus,” a track in fitting with the ugly production values of the Kanye record, shows Chan able to clarify styles that aren’t necessarily his, layering a sustained gross bass tone with weirdo synth bombs and jittery clicks and clacks. Recommended: goddamnchan.bandcamp.com.

>> The man Kris Rodgers dropped a new EP of his narrative driven piano pop last week, a solid seven tracks of drippingly earnest, irony-free major-key melodies and heart-wrenching subjectivity titled Whiskey and Soda. It’s roughly half covers — one of them the Billy Joel preacher “Vienna” and another, gratingly, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as performed by Leon Russell — but we’re oddly partial to the Rodgers originals “Summer Love Affair,” a charmingly tossed-off little wriggler, and “Don’t Cry” an over-the-top mourner with its DNA in ’80s hard-rock balladry that actually somehow works. We even agree with this analogy: whiskey is to soda as dude’s voice is to synthesized piano. Hear Rodgers’s newest work at krisrodgersmusic.bandcamp.com.

>> Boy, are Olas ever something special. The seven-piece flamenco-folk group released their new album Cada Nueva Ola this past month, a brilliant five-song fusion of contemporary and traditional styles from Western folk, American rock, Arabic and West African rhythms, Flamenco dance, and Spanish verse. They play a record release show at Mayo Street Arts on April 12th, and we can’t think of another room in town that could so capture those spirits. And to think we almost lost them there — that nearly two-year indefinite hiatus is firmly over. Hear Cada Nueva Ola in full today at olasmusicanddance.com.

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