It’s been some time since I’ve reviewed any music (the Neighborhood Fest doesn’t count), so here goes. You might be surprised to hear that this distortion-electro artist called Boys Noize is German. If you aren’t, then you need to do some reading up on modern electro artists (I have quite a bit of stuff written here, just look around). France is all over the house/electro scene right now. Back to the CD.
It’s quite good. DJ Alexander Rihda aka Boys Noize is making music very similar to SebastiAn and some of Justice’s earlier EP stuff. Possibly comparable to MSTRKRFT if they used more effects to rip apart their hard but pristine sound. This album Oi Oi Oi is similar in sound to his already released EPs. It’s a very hard, rough sound that is conveyed through the deep bass hits overlayed by heavily distorted synth riffs. There’s a bit of glitch thrown into the mix too. Look at the album cover (a disco skull), it exemplifies the sound perfectly.
The songs throughout the album start off great. The trouble that I have is that they all don’t amount to something. You can have a great intro with the bass dropped out and slam in with the effects and everything, but the song needs to go somewhere. I feel like trance has a good grasp of the rises and falls, but sometimes the majority of the time trance DJs overdo it (especially in long live sets). Songs like “Don’t Believe the Hype” and “Oh” are really great songs because they have the synths come and go with new elements being introduced through the songs. Songs like “Shine Shine” and “Vergiftet” just don’t cut it for me.
Overall, it’s a really good record, and the remixes that he’s done are amazing as well. Oi Oi Oi doesn’t really measure up to the likes of Ross Ross Ross from start to finish though.
Sunshine is a science fiction film that takes on a plot similar in theme, only far into the future (I hope), to Apolo 13. The premise of the movie is that the world is in an extended winter resulting from the gradual death of the sun. We (humans) sent a team of scientists to the sun to restart it, but it failed. Sunshine follows the second team sent up with the same mission as the first. Maybe it isn’t that similar to Apollo 13, but I figure that the two are some of the best space movies that I’ve ever seen, so they fall into the same categories for better or worse.
All of the basics are covered here. You have your scientists clandestine to save the world, but their predecessors already screwed up. You have group conflicts due to personality problems, decisions that are made, and the necessary sacrifice of people to save oxygen. On top of that, there’s a whole spiritual/insanity/abstraction aspect thrown in for size.
This really is one of the best movies that I have seen this year. It’s captivating from the get go and there are twists in the plot the entire way through. Unlike most movies, it doesn’t really have a decidedly positive or negative ending; your interpretation of the ending completely depends on how you felt towards certain characters and other events in the movie.
For those who care, this movie has the label of being an indie film (Fox Searchlight). That being said, the CG in Sunshine is far too complex for the movie to have had a small budget. It has its fair share of famous actors (Cillian Murphy, anyone?), but the budget for this movie couldn’t have been that small. Either way, it was amazing. It had the abstractions that fit in an indie film, but the major studio production value. Quite amazing.
Just a quick review here. This book takes on a very intriguing premise: What happens if the entire human race ups and disappears?
Really, its interesting… the premise, that is. After reading it, I have discovered that it was originally an academic paper, and it shows. Of course, the authors have probably dumbed down some of the technical aspects and made some of the content more accessible. The main problem that I (and the other people who I have talked to) have with the way that the book plays out is that it answers the question and then way more than the question.
The book definitely makes some points on the topics of global warming and the effects that we have on the environment. The bibliography at the end of the book gives the book a level of credibility that I feel other works of this nature need to have (I’m speaking to you, Inconvenient Truth).
If you want to read a book that is highly scientific in nature, this is probably a great bet for you. I just couldn’t keep up with the overload of small anecdotes that the book stems off of.
I have never been to a concert/festival like the Neighborhood Festival, but I can assuredly say that I will go again next year. Here’s the premise: Steve Aoki puts together this indie festival of artists on his label and his friends who just put on amazing shows. I’ll just give a rundown of the artists I saw and listened/danced/rocked/jumped to.
Starting off the day (around 3:30) was Funeral Party. I’ve never heard of them before, but they are the epitome of an indie scene punk band, complete with synths and a great bassist. They have great style and put on a great show. For opener, they started things off on the right foot.
Next up were Andre Legacy and Dirt Nasty. Two rappers who couldn’t write a serious verse if their lives depended on it. Then again, no one was in the mood to listen to some hardcore deep rap, so they fit in perfectly. Hilarious and off-color.
I believe that Squeak E Clean followed. Again, an artist (actually a DJ) who I’ve never heard of. Simply stated, starting off with MIA is a sure way to my heart. Following with some Justice, Daft Punk, Klaxons, Hot Chip, and other great electro kept me all ears throughout his entire set. First real DJ set I’ve watched and paid attention to, it was a great mix.
It got confusing here because I thought that Guns ‘n Bombs was up next, but only Johnny Love came out and started to spin some heavy noise glitch stuff when something went wrong with the needles. They weren’t playing something right and when he’d fade to one of the tables, it’d cut out. Odd, annoying.
Har Mar Superstar. What a show. I’m not saying I liked it, I’m still not sure. It was outlandish to say the least. I’ll leave it at that.
Here’s where the good stuff comes in (read: the DJs/rappers/artists who I’m familiar with). Flosstradamus came out and the crowds gathered (it was around 5/6ish). How they mix electro with hip hop and mainstream tech house is beyond me, but it works perfectly and the crowd loves it. I forget what the mix was, but they just went straight into Big Pimpin’ from an electro song. WHO DOES THAT? Pure genius.
So J2K stayed on the decks and Autobot went out onstage to meet Kid Sister who put on an amazing performance. Kid Sister is an amazing rapper and she puts on an incredible show wherever she goes (at least thats what I’ve read and seen). Following in the footsteps of MIA (as many female rappers are right now), the energy in her shows is so high and she’s all over the whole stage the entire time.
Moving away from hip hop/rap, we go to Crystal Castles. I don’t know who did the lineup, but I guess they had to throw them in somewhere. This 8-bit massacre tore the crowd to shreds. Probably the most hardcore artist here, even though their genre/classification falls somewhere in-between electropop and 8-bit industrial.
Back to the DJs. Steve Aoki (the creator of all of this) was up next. Again, mixing the electro with mainstream tech and some Yo Majesty! (I’m pretty sure it was Aoki who threw them in there). Somewhere amid Daft Punk’s Television Rules the Nation and Steam Machine, Aoki become possesed by some DJ gods and decided to stage dive into the crowd, something I’ve never seen a DJ do. It was amazing, he got passed over me, and like a good crowd, we got him back up onstage just in time for the next song to come in. Incredible. And as a side note, it was pretty cool seeing all of the artists playing at the festival come onstage for Aoki just to show their support for him.
Wrapping up the DJ set was DJ AM who kept the electro going for his 40 minutes. Good mix, not too eventful though.
And the heavy hitters are now ready to perform. Chromeo was next to take the stage openning with the intro to their latest album, it was obvious that this would be the funkiest performance of the night. They kept the crowd dancing for their entire set and it was sweet when we all started chanting “2 step, 2 step, 2 step” for the best song: Fancy Footwork. It took a couple more songs to get there, but they finally closed with it, and every just went insane. I’ve never really been in a crowd where the intention is dancing, not moshing. It’s a nice change of pace.
Wrapping up my night (I left a bit early) was a knockout lineup of Spank Rock, Amanda Blank, and Santogold. Amanda Blank and Santogold are two girls who are also following in the path the MIA has laid down for indie female rappers. Spank Rock got big at the same time as MIA, so I figure that they are equals in terms of innovative sounds. Yet another great set that kept the crowd going until their 40 minutes were up.
Mickey Avalon took the stage next, but I had had enough. My feet were killing me, and Avalon isn’t really up my alley of musical tastes. I decided to call it a night, it was time.