“Smoke Signals” by Brooklyn band Snowmine. Frontman Grayson Saunders explains “Smoke Signals depicts a man who thinks he’s the rescuer, but in reality is more lost than his marooned lover. It’s not until the fog clears that he sees he has created these tiny miseries for himself, and that he can join her on the shore, on her solid ground.”
Take a listen to Mai Kino. ‘Burn’ is elegant, delicate and seductive, echoing with sublime tangled vocals and intricate beats. It raises you to a pale blue sky in a second, only to let you free-fall down cliffs of mesmerizing synth-pop beauty and pick you back up as surreptitiously as a springtime breeze.
Mai Kino is small and delicate as much as she is majestic and vibrant. If this first single is representative of the rest of her work, then her name will go down in music history for sure.
I appreciate the spacing of singles to videos, as when they arrive in that order with a few weeks in-between, it gives me time to rediscover a great track. Today, I’m circling back to NYC duo Refs (producer Zachary Andrew and r&b virtuoso Richard Saunders), with their tail of detachment and big city life in the video for “Pain Goes Away“.
What are you listening to?
I have a bit of a crazy system for how I listen to new music – I try to get through anywhere from 5 to 10 new albums per week, and I listen to each one 3 times apiece. 3 listens is just the right amount for me to get a sense of what an album is about, and for the best songs to stay with me. Lately, a few records have jumped out at me: Kendrick Lamar, Tuxedo, Jack Garratt, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, in particular.
About Big Data
I am Big Data, and I make paranoid electronic pop music. My debut album, ‘2.0,’ just came out on 3/24, and I’m currently on tour in the US supporting it until May 2015.
We are constantly on the computer trying to “get things done.”
It isn’t easy to do things efficiently on the internet. Attention is liable to drift like a breath strip in an ocean gale.
I’ve become accustomed to finding music to play in the background while I “work”. Music without words, music that creates atmosphere, music that, in a sense, is “useful.”
￼Ambient music flourishes on the internet. Amidst the clean, organized rivers of text and image that pour from our screens, ambient music hovers like an incandescent mist, innocuous, utopian, intoxicating. It keeps us locked in this or that highly unnatural contortion we’ve managed to twist our bodies into to answer FB messages while making it all feel sustainable and true. Retina displays become complex ecologies that breathe and smile on the wings of a cresting synthesizer. Emails are soundtracked to feel like momentous assertions of creativity and will-power. And yet, ambient music is at heart patient, devotional, spiritual often – and thus is very anti-internet. Its this tension that makes it so ripe and so real in this context – a tool to remember ourselves, and a tool to forget, insidious and generous, helping us be productive little members of society while reminding us of the sublime, boundless void.
Here are a couple randomly selected greatest hits from my productivity-centric business lifestyle. Best enjoyed with cinnamon coffee and 17 tabs open on Chrome or equivalent.
Kyle Bobby Dunn “Ways Of Meaning” – Kinda like spray-on mosquito repellent, it lands on your skin from a distance and covers you like a misted atmosphere, as opposed to, say, mosquito repellent “”cream.”” The first song is called “”Dropping Sandwiches (In Chester Lake).”” He has his wits about him and is musically generous I feel, and I really respond to that, when I need that.
Emeralds “Allegory of Allergies” – This record is like the moment when you add a final extra splash of hot water to a bath that has lost its original scalding temperature. The heat slowly drifts from your feet towards your chest and laps in gentle ebbs up the cliffs of your shoulders. Ancient algae and Loch Ness monsters and empty whiskey bottles in a British swamp.
Dirty Beaches “Love Is The Devil” – Fill a glass 50-50 with rain and red wine and chug it while re-enacting a Marc Chagall painting in a 24-hr McDonalds. Earnest and right and wrong, so, human.
And, the playlists are up! Check out what rocked in March, via all your favourite platforms (Rdio, Soundcloud, Spotify and Youtube). Check out some killer tracks from Christine and the Queens, Black Coast, Ben Khan, Young Wonder, Man Made and many more.