The Wasted Innovation of Skream!

As anyone who has bothered to gloss over its history will know, dubstep is a widely misunderstood and underappreciated genre. The impression that I get from YouTube comments (at least as far as American audiences go) is that most casual listeners think dubstep is some mutant hybrid of obnoxious samples, grinding novelty synths and drops filthier than [disreputable figure] [performing sexual act] on [elderly family member].

As a teenager growing up in England with a habit of listening to hours of late-night radio, I feel like dubstep is one of the few genres of music I’ve truly seen develop from the very start.…   [continue reading]

The Myriad Talents of Doug Lussenhop

This article ties in to a podcast I recorded with Doug Lussenhop, available here.

Doug Lussenhop, also known as DJ Douggpound, is someone with far more output than many might expect. Mostly, he’s remembered as the editor who helped shape Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! into its distinctive and influential form. While his editing work represents a huge catalogue, it’s the tip of an incredibly intriguing iceberg. Lussenhop is never content to sit back, comfortable, in any one box. His creativity has branches in almost all forms of media, from music and writing to innovative live performances and apps.…   [continue reading]

Secret Cave Office Chart [JULY 2017]

I’m not sure how it ended up this way, but this month’s is the most disparate offering I’ve curated yet. Still, there’s only one point in it that I think is uncomfortable and jarring. Be aware of the transition between Boards of Canada‘s Satellite Anthem Icarus and Modest Mouse‘s Ocean Breathes Salty; it’s a particularly nasty one. Unfortunately, it was a bit too late to do anything about and Ocean Breathes Salty is good enough to get past it. Beyond that, this month’s playlist skips from genre to genre without a moment’s rest. On the whole, it works quite well with a playful verve.…   [continue reading]

The Great Developmental Professor Elemental

This article ties in to a podcast I recorded with Paul Alborough (Professor Elemental), available here.

In our last podcast, we spoke to David Liebe Hart. In that particular case, we had a personality on our hands who’s very difficult to detach from his character. The flip-side of that is a creative whose use of a character is acutely deliberate. That’s precisely the bill that Paul Alborough, best known for his popular Professor Elemental alter-ego, fits in spades. However, Alborough is a vast talent regardless of such construction. He calls to mind an important truth; something we’re all guilty of in an age of information.…   [continue reading]

The Enduring Mystery of David Liebe Hart

This article ties in to a podcast I recorded with David Liebe Hart, available here.

If you’ve ever spent any time with a toe dipped into Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!then you’re probably aware of David Liebe Hart. His first appearance came in the episode Salame, which heavily featured his music, puppets and thoughts on extra-terrestrial mythology. From there, he’s seen himself cast in numerous editions of that show, as well as various spin-offs, promotional materials and live tours. He’s become an integral part of their universe, whether Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim approve of it or not.…   [continue reading]

Dion Lunadon (The D4, A Place to Bury Strangers) Interview: On his Debut Solo LP

Having spent over two decades with several bands including A Place to Bury Strangers, The D4 and The Scavengers, it’s surprising to realize Dion Lunadon hadn’t released a solo work sooner and, even more so, to learn it wasn’t planned to exist.

“I hadn’t written by myself for years and felt I needed to create something with no compromises and something that reflected who I am. Out of anything I’ve ever done, this record definitely captures that more than any other. I wasn’t planning on releasing any of it, which is a great place to write from. I wrote it for me.” 

With the help of Bambara’s Blaze Batch, APTBS bandmate Robi Gonzalez and Chris Woodhouse (recording engineer for Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall), Lunadon wrote and completed the album over three months in Brooklyn, NY.…   [continue reading]

Secret Cave Office Chart [JUNE 2017]

Having been rather busy this month, on a variety of projects, June’s Office Chart is much more off-the-cuff. It found itself put together in short spots of downtime. Its choices were more impulsive; thrown on in the moment, as the whim took me. That said, I may have accidentally come out with the best end-product yet. Perhaps, in the past, my agonising over equal genre-mixes and ordering was a mistake. While I have spent some time making sure that there’s some coherence in the flow, a lot of the work did itself. The songs just seemed to make sense next to each other.…   [continue reading]

Eggsy Interview: Trainers, The Unexplainers and Goldie Lookin Chain

John Rutledge is perhaps best known for his alter-ego of Eggsy, a principle and founding member of Goldie Lookin Chain. As one of their main voices, he’s made a name for himself as a consistently funny lyricist and, at least to my mind, incredibly underrated rapper. After years of prolific output, he and his crew show no signs of slowing down, with another new album due by the end of summer. Unique and colourful in the hip-hop scene, GLC always took a more sideways, yet realistic, look on the working-class streets of Britain.

Despite being a key part of GLC, Rutledge has managed to break out into intriguing things in his own right.…   [continue reading]

BONZIE Interview: Zone on Nine, Collaboration and Intimacy

I first discovered BONZIE, an American musician whose talent betrays her age, purely by accident one evening. Since, I haven’t been able to stop listening to her oddly cathartic music; strong in the belief that I haven’t heard songwriting this refreshing in years. Her first record, Rift Into the Secret of Things, is a gorgeous trek through melodious brevity. While short, the potency of the material within leapt from my speakers with an understated purity. To be more accurate, the music of BONZIE laps against your eardrum with all the playful provocation of relentless waves.

Like soft ocean ripples, her songwriting brings with it a depth that sounds like it’s swirled the entire planet to reach the quiet beach you find it on.…   [continue reading]

Reviewing OKNOTOK Before It’s Even Released…

I challenge anybody on this planet to try to outdo my Radiohead fandom. Presently, it’s a task that would be posing to just about anyone. Even Thom Yorke likely knows less about his own band than I do. I’ve obsessed over unreleased and rare material for the majority of my life, down to the shortest snippets of half-baked soundcheck jams. Therefore, I have some extra insight into what to expect from OKNOTOK, Radiohead’s reissue of their legendary record, OK Computer.

Admittedly, much of the extra material set to appear on the reissue is well-known already. Even a casual fan could have heard the b-sides on EMI‘s own Collectors Edition.…   [continue reading]