Music » In Rotation

Angel Marcloid of Fire-Toolz on the voyages of a digital native

Plus: Resonance Series cocurator Ben Baker Billington on the mind-melting footwork of Teklife, the Reader’s Luca Cimarusti on Meat Wave’s mean, moody third album, and more

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A Reader staffer shares three musical obsessions, then asks someone (who asks someone else) to take a turn.

Meat Wave - PHOTO BY ANDREW ROBERT MORRISON
  • Photo by Andrew Robert Morrison
  • Meat Wave

Luca Cimarusti, Reader music listings coordinator

Oasis, Be Here Now The Britrock superstars' notoriously drug-­fueled and universally panned third record has aged exceptionally well, if you ask me. Toward the beginning of the sessions, according to coproducer Owen Morris, someone in the band ordered an ounce of weed but was instead delivered an ounce of cocaine—which kicked into demented overdrive a creative process rooted in excess and grandeur. Hated by pretty much everyone in 1997, Be Here Now attracted some hilarious reviews—a critic for the Irish Times wrote that it "has all that dreadful braggadocio that is so characteristic of a cocaine user." But at this point in time, the epic song lengths, over-the-top production, and massive orchestral padding sound like a perfect foundation for the band's soaring melodies.

Meat Wave, The Incessant You know the story: beloved locals write a third album and go into the studio with legendary engineer Steve Albini to record it. The Incessant is darker, meaner, and moodier than anything Meat Wave have done before. And it's good—the sound of a band at the top of their game.

The prolificacy of Future Drug-addled emotional Auto-Tune addict Future might be the hottest, trippiest rapper out there right now. His Free Bricks collaboration with Gucci Mane was the perfect way to close out 2016, and the two full-length records he released in the span of seven days last month were a really monumental way to kick off this year. Rumor has it that a third full-length is about to drop, and it'll surely be great too. Keep 'em coming.

Luca is curious what's in the rotation of . . .

DJ Taye appears on the latest Teklife compilation, On Life. - ANDY J. SCOTT
  • Andy J. Scott
  • DJ Taye appears on the latest Teklife compilation, On Life.

Ben Baker Billington, solo performer as Quicksails, cocurator of the Resonance Series

Sarah Davachi, Vergers Sarah's distinctive style combines electronic composition and acoustic instrumentation. After her recent set at the Stony Island Arts Bank, where her long-form piece for harmonium and two cellos put the room into a trance, I bought her LP Vergers, where she explores the EMS Synthi 100. Lots of writing for this instrument is based on quickly changing tapestries of analog sounds, but Sarah dives into minimalism and careful movement. I recommend all her work.

Teklife, On Life My appreciation for Teklife goes back years, but no matter how many times I hear these artists' mind-melting percussion, it still turns my brain to goop. They constantly push their work forward within the already experimental footwork medium. This 23-track compilation, their latest release on Teklife Records, brings together work by veterans RP Boo and Traxman and bonkers tracks by younger producers such as DJ Earl, DJ Paypal, and DJ Taye.

The International Noise Conference The 14th annual International Noise Conference was last month in Miami, and I was invited to play for my second year. The free weeklong event hosted 15-minute sets from hundreds of acts at a beautiful dive called Churchill's in Little Haiti. Standouts included beautiful movement and audio from North Carolina's Oceanette, a shred fest by Thurston Moore and his brother Gene, and an amazing show from Chicago's Forced Into Femininity (Jill Flanagan used the whole venue as her stage and finished atop a double-decker bus in the parking lot).

Ben is curious what's in the rotation of . . .

The cover of Nico Niquo’s Epitaph, on Orange Milk Records
  • The cover of Nico Niquo’s Epitaph, on Orange Milk Records

Angel Marcloid, solo performer as Fire-Toolz, owner of Rainbow Bridge Recordings

Dan Siegel, On the Edge Vaporwave is a gateway drug for 80s and 90s smooth jazz and new age music, and this 1985 LP by pianist Dan Siegel is one many such albums I love. The wedding of synth and drum machine on "The Last Waltz" expands from a few twinkling stars into a moonlit shoreline so paradisal and crisp that it energizes you. "Two Hearts on Fire" is saccharine and romantic but somehow also dystopian. FFO flying over mountains, Baywatch, 80s cop dramas, synth bass, slap bass, synth slap bass, and WeatherStar 4000. I've already sampled, like, half of this album.

Eric Marienthal, Crossroads This 1990 album was a catalyst in my jazz hunting—it isn't synth music that sounds like it might've been written by a jazz pianist. The megahot all-star lineup includes Terri Lyne Carrington, Vinnie Colaiuta, Chick Corea, Alex Acuna, and John Patitucci. Terri makes me miss drumming more than I have since I saw Ben Baker Billington at Elastic last year. My band teachers always tried to get me to play jazz like this, not Nirvana and Queensrÿche like I wanted.

Nico Niquo, Epitaph Last year I decided to get to know the Orange Milk Records catalog. It's more than 100 releases deep, and this 2015 album sticks out like a golden sparkling thumb. Epitaph constantly teases the listener with tiny fragments of techno and trap among its perfectly arranged emulations of early new age and digital music. (By the way, Orange Milk just released a Nico Niquo album called In a Silent Way.)

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