Former adult film star Sasha Grey discussed her musical project, the collaborative group aTelecine, with us in her VYou interview a few months ago. aTelecine’s 2010 album, the ambitious exercise in sound A Cassette Tape Culture, was pretty, weird, and unexpected in many ways, owing much to the heady dark electronic workouts of Chris + Cosey while always retaining a truly original sound. Their forthcoming The Falcon and The Pod (out August 9, the first of three promised 2011 release from aTelecine on Pendu Sound Recordings) promises to push even harder, and even further.
The lesser-known cousin to The Knife, Planningtorock’s vocal theatrics resonate easily and eerily familiar to ears trained on Karin Dreijer Andersson’s vocal theatrics. Whereas The Knife scans as electronic music with a devilish bent, Planningtorock creates landscapes more difficult to maneuver, choosing to compose operas instead of three-minute pop songs. W is the ghost of a Broadway show, what one imagines the bones of, say, SleepNoMore would sound like if they were translated into music. “Doorway” is an incredible song, but our money is on “The Breaks” for the most powerful moment on the entire record.
We assume CHLLNGR is pronounced “challenger,” but we’re making the conscious choice to say it as “chillinger” because it fits the music. Haven comes on slow, deep, and fast, like the album we assume Drake would have in him if he hung out in the southern US for a few weeks. Syrupy slow and distorted, cut from similar cloth but weirdly (and awesomely) less hopeful than Holy Other, Haven songs “May 3” and “Ask For” brim with fractured soul. We’d be remiss if we didn’t also point out his equally essential remix of The xx, available at CHLLNGR’s Soundcloud.
Laurel Halo, Hour Logic
Here’s to eschewed expectations. Laurel Halo’s debut, King Felix, was a heady mix of synth-pop just eccentric enough to reward multiple listens. Rather than continuing to channel the spirit of Hounds of Love-era Kate Bush, Halo’s second album breaks new, icy ground for her sound. Without the buoy of Halo’s voice that let much of her music’s light in, Hour Logic is notably darker, a collection of bleak sonic experiments that make us think of WARP or Schematic Records a decade ago. The twisting, looping madness is a good fit. This is an album we want to stay inside and listen to on headphones over and over again.