Electronic

Wander the Weird World of Shmu in This Psychedelic Album/Video Game Mashup

Here’s a bit of a fun (and odd) one for you strangeness-loving musicheads out there in Austin-town this Halloween: quirky experimental musician and Zorch-member Shmu has just put out a quite fun album of his layered, colorful music called Shhhh! (which we’ll get to reviewing in full sometime soon), and alongside it he’s released a free compuoter game of the same name to accompany the album proper! This kind-of welcome cross-platform, multi-sensual experience seems to be a bit of a trend with the more boundary-pushing musicians of the day (one of our favorite rappers Malik did something similar not long ago), and it’s one we welcome with gamin’ fingers and music-eatin’ ears at the ready.

In the case of Shmu’s digital package (heh…heh), a quick jaunt through the game appears to say that it’s a kind-of psychedelic post-modern walkabout through a bizarre garden that looks like it was created by shoving the internet in the 90s, the old exploration/puzzle game Myst, a whole lot of high-quality drugs and the music of Shmu together into a digital blender. This game would be what popped out the other end of that imaginary machine, and the gameplay in my experience so far is of the first-person “explore this weird, but peaceful world,” art-piece-style genre (but which has shooter controls in its settings, so presumably at some point there be somethin’ to shoot at).

Shhhh! the game is utterly the perfect atmosphere within which to experience the deep dream pop music of Shmu, and it’s free for both Mac and PC here, so if gettin’ a bit weird with your music-listening appeals to you, this is right up your oddball alley. Also, give one of excellent tracks from the album below to getcha in the weirdness-explorin' mindset while the game download settles its strange self right on into your 'puterin machine.

Portland-based band, Paste, release their first EP, "Amoral"

Portland-based group, Paste, just released their first EP, “Amoral,” at the beginning of the month. The group describes itself as “ferocious” - probably an overstatement, considering their not overly aggressive sound sound, but they are indeed correct when they say that their "songs cover a wide variety of styles and moods.” All four tracks on their EP waver between rock, pop, and electro, seamlessly merging qualities of all three. “Carnivores,” the third song on their EP, exemplifies the group’s tendency towards glam rock with a creative use of effects and a melody that plunges in and out of distortion. On the other hand, “Spring” (streaming), uses bright harmonies and catchy rhythmic patterns inherent to pop. Their music’s variation in genre will, as promised, satisfy any musical mood. - Isabel Rolston

Experimental singer/songwriter BERU released nostalgic EP “Adult Emotions”

Like the sound explorers Keiji Haino and Vashti Bunyan, Jessica Nicole Collins has channeled complex moods through BERU's stream-of-consciousness applique since her 2006 year-end single "Spaces In Time". Her live engineered sound collages would completely envelop venues and listeners, emanating existential themes and affectations of world-weariness. But her newest EP “Adult Emotions” is different.

“For this EP, I wanted to make music with sounds that I've loved since I was a child.”

Just as the title suggests, BERU’s newest collection is mature in conception: dense and measured, wistful and purgative. But the songs are also an eidetic recollection of innocence in the eye of loss.

“One of my best friends passed away last year, and I needed to set my emotions to music from a time before I knew pain like this. I have to sing about my loss, so I can look at it from the outside and try and understand it.”

She tags the release with descriptors like “island goth”, “smooth rock”, “newage”, and “doom metal”, and rightfully so — these influences, and more, are abound in each of the six songs. Collins recites ‘90s adolescence by memory, from Yucatan pan flutes, Miami Vice, “the chillest of beats Enigma used,” and Bryan Adams’ suave guitar-lead auras.

BERU’s EP “Adult Emotions” is available now, free to stream on Bandcamp. Her next performance will be on December 5th, to help celebrate the sophomore album release of Los Angeles’ synthpop/goth trio Ghost Noise at Non Plus Ultra. Watch the music video for "Darker Currents", directed by Michael Norquest, below. - Ryan Mo

Seventeen Evergreen Celebrates Album Release - 10/23

The San Francisco based neo psych band, Seventeen Evergreen will be celebrating their album release at The Chapel on October 23rd. The duo´s new EP, Epiphanie Solaire is being physically released by the Santa Cruz based limited edition vinyl label, Spiritual Pajamas. Make sure you pick up Seventeen Evergreen´s new 12 inch vinyl and check out the digital release via Bandcamp.

The Swedish rock band, Dungen will also be performing at the album release party. This is going to be a good show! Do your best to support awesome local independent artists!

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