Boy In Static
The LA-based label MUSH, home to the clever instrumental hip-hop of Caural, Daedalus, and Company Flow’s Bigg Jus, has signed one of our favorite local pop projects: BOY IN STATIC. Having touring with 13 & God last year, the Boy (a/k/a Alex Chen) jumped from the Notwist’s Alien Transistor label to Mush to release his second disc, Violet. “I had to leave the Alien Transistor,” he explains via e-mail, “but they like Mush and agree it’s a good place for me. So we are still pals.” The follow-up to his well-received debut, Newborn, is slated for release next year. “Newborn was a night of half-awake dreams: Violet is the morning after. So in some ways it is as different as night and day, but it’s also the second act in the same play. It’s full of extremes, from quiet wine-glass-and-piano duets to songs with guitar solos over 30 layers of handclaps.”
Chen is looking at some tours for next year with his retooled live band. “We’re trying a lot of new things out. Two drummers, viola, shortwave radios, handclap breakdowns, and singing into telephone handsets. I am definitely hoping to get a lot more exposure here in the US, and Mush is a really strong domestic label.” Chen also has more remixers in on his sweeping bedroom-pop sound. Her Space Holiday is reworking the first single, “Where It Ends,” and Keith Kenniff, of the as-yet-unheralded local act Helios, is also working on a track. Violet will be released on And Records in Japan, where the remixes will appear as bonus tracks.
Mush is also set to release the second full-length from Cambridge rapper/producer K-THE-I??? K is one of those truly underground dudes who release albums that get written up in Japan but walk our streets in near anonymity. His debut, Me, Myself, K-the-, 3rd Person -I???, was released by Dayton’s Beyond Space Entertainment in 2004. The follow-up is Broken Love Letter (Mush), and it drops on Election Day. A talented MC and poet, K-the-I??? can spit so fast, it sounds as if the disc were being played at the wrong speed, and his supremely psychedelic hip-hop music is more like Jimi Hendrix than Jay-Z. Visit his MySpace page and download three bizarre 10-minute-plus psychedelic collages he calls “This Lovely Falling Autumn.” “This record will be put out eventually, but in a way more advanced version,” he writes. “Featuring some real talented musicians I know, and by musicians I mean people who play instruments, not MCs.”
In a follow-up to our 808 epilogue last week, we asked for some MP3 DJ sets from the archivists among our local techno elite, and they really came through. On-line you can find sets from minimal guru DJ JON SCHMIDT and a live PA from Jay Flower (a/k/a KEEPALIVE from unlockedgroove). Flower uploaded it before heading off to Europe, where the NEC graduate will study in Switzerland, perform the music of Osvaldo Golijov in Vienna, and play the Macarena Club in Barcelona on November 17 alongside Jaume Pages of the buzzing techno label Regular Records.
Also on-line, we’ve posted a link to download a new mix from Mass Muzik owner PAT FONTES. Called “Presidential Power,” the mix is super-deft, of course, and a quick overview of new electronic sounds, including snippets and samples from past presidents on the importance of our highest office. Fontes: “I honestly had no interest in politics, but as of late I figure it’s up to people to share ideas and thoughts to better our environment. I loved making this mix; not only was I thinking musically, but I got to express some ideas and use some great samples that were recorded years and years ago.” Fontes is also headed to Europe for a few gigs; if you’re headed that way, you can catch him in numerous spots around Germany and the Netherlands starting November 15. “I wish I could play more in my own backyard,” he writes, “but I don’t normally go out and about trying to get booked.” Check him out at www.patfontes.com.
Boston-bred producer MORGAN PAGE is still killing it on the West Coast, having just finished putting touches on Nelly Furtado’s “Maneater” as well as tracks by Ultra Naté and the popular tech-house artist Kaskade. And the mysterious Boston artist SLUTTT is making waves with her/his remix of the Teenagers’ “Homecoming.” Last we checked, it was at #24 on that Hype Machine Web site. Lots of this is up at the Circuits page on-line. All told it’s somewhere near four hours of free music. Don’t you just love the Internet?
On the Web
Boy In Static: //www.boyinstatic.com/