When electronic producer and musician Matthew Dear released his latest album Beams a few months ago, “Fighting is Futile” was an instant stand-out. The track is a study in abstract avant-pop music with its jagged hand-clapped beats and staccato vocals that fit together much like a jigsaw puzzle, forming an intricate and well-designed piece of art as a whole. Matthew Dear comes to Voyeur Nightclub on November 16th for Making Time. Tickets for the 21+ show are $10 in advance, $15 at the door; more information can be found here. Below, watch a short, behind-the-scenes video about the album, and stream the song “Fighting is Futile” here.
Simian Mobile Disco, the electronic duo from London comprised of producers James Ford and Jas Shaw, will be hitting the stage at December 7th’s Making Time party with Dave P. Last week the duo released an EP called A Form of Change with material taken from the sessions of their acclaimed Unpatterns album. The Making Time event will take place at Voyuer Night Club; tickets are $10 to $15 here, and doors open at 9:00 p.m. Stream the title track of the EP here, and then listen in on their interview and DJ set with Making TIme’s Dave P during FYF Fest.
In our interview with Jon Barthmus of Sun Airway yesterday, we talked about the band’s visual sensibility and the stunning album sleeve photographs by Tokyo art collective N-A-M. With its sophomore album Soft Fall out this week and a homecoming show happening at Voyeur tonight, the band released a making-of video showing the preparation and staging of the shoot. Here’s how Barthmus described it:
I didn’t realize when I contacted them how labor intensive it all was It was like a thirty-hour shoot ‘cause they actually hang all those wires—and they tie a leaf to a wire and hang it up, and they do that hundreds of times. And there’s a dozen people all doing this at the same time. Then they set it up and bring in the model and take the picture and that’s it. There’s no crazy computer trickery, which is kind of what I assumed it all was. What you see in the photo actually happened.
Check out the video below, and dig deeper into Fantasy and Reality – N-A-M’s series that inspired the cover – at this Huffington Post gallery, look at more of the collective’s work at its website and get information and tickets for tonight’s Sun Airway appearance at Making Time here.
Soft Fall is the featured album in this edition of Unlocked; hear the spotlighted single “Close” in Monday’s post, read Tuesday’s album review; watch the “Wild Palms” video in Wednesday’s post, read my interview with Jon Barthmus from yesterday. And stay tuned to The Key for future album spotlights on Unlocked.
Philadelphia’s Sun Airway can be a lot of things. Musical and visual stylists. Surrealist dreamers, lovelorn introverts, sonic trailblazers – often all within the same song. Their dazzling sophomore record Soft Fall was released on Dead Oceans on Tuesday, and the band is celebrating its release with a hometown show on Friday for the Making Time $2 Bill at Voyeur. We’re exploring the album this week on Unlocked, The Key’s regular spotlight on new and significant releases by Philadelphia-based artists, and today we have an interview with band leader Jon Barthmus. He and I sat down after Sun Airway played XPN’s Free at Noon concert a few weeks back and dug deep into the band’s creative palette, from collaging five full orchestras to finding the right photographs to accompany its sound.
The Key: So firstly – congrats on Soft Fall! It’s a really bold record, it has a confidence and groove to it that sets it apart from from Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier. Did you feel more confident making it?
Jon Barthmus: I definitely did. The first record was done with like no money whatsoever —really cheap microphones and very little gear, and I was learning those programs that I was using as I was going along. There was such fundamental things that I just didn’t know, like really simple things to do in programs that when I learned them I was like “Oh my God, how did I not know this? How did I make a whole record without knowing this?”
TK: “There’s this keyboard shortcut that could have just saved me hours…”
JB: Yeah, or even stuff like, “I guess you can’t do this, I guess I can’t crossfade anything.”But of course you can, and I just didn’t know! And I wasn’t really learning other than just doing stuff and trying to figure it out as I went along. So this time I got to buy better mics and got to take my time with it, actually got to do a couple days in legit studios, and had more people’s hands on it. They know what they’re doing better than I do, so that was definitely really helpful. Continue reading
Philadelphia electronic rock act Sun Airway releases its excellent sophomore album Soft Fall next Tuesday. It’s rich in atmospheric textures and driving rhythms, and we’ll be digging into it with you all week on Unlocked, The Key’s recurring spotlight on new and significant releases from Philadelphia artists. That series starts on Monday, but today, we’ve got a brand new track from the band. Listen to the symphonic pop of “Black Noise” via Soundcloud here, and get more information on the band’s upcoming appearance at the Making Time $2 Bill show on October 5 here.
This Friday’s August edition of Making Time RADio will mark the two year anniversary of DJ Dave P hosting the show and bringing what he loves to refer to as “futuristic sounds” to the airwaves of WXPN. From 7 to 9 p.m., he will be broadcasting live on 88.5 from WXPN studio; during the show there will be a free Making Time RADio listening party at Morgan’s Pier where devotees and listeners can congregate and celebrate. The event is 21+, and you can get the scoop at the Facebook invite page here.For more information, visit Dave P’s website here. Listen to the archive of the July edition of Making Time RADio and view the playlist here. Listen to all the Making Time RADio archives here.