Tag Archives: Thom Yorke

Spines of The Heart Sets Standout Sound For Bryan Diester

22 Feb

Bryan-Deister-300x266

Completely setting the dark and mysterious tone for the album Spines of The Heart, Bryan Diester mixes his classical piano training with heavy vocals. Drawing influence from the dark and grungey sounds of 90s grunge, Spines of the Heart sets the tone for deep and reflective listening for listeners. Diester’s musical background shows the variety of music he is capable of performing. He has previously trained in the genres of classical, jazz, blues, and progressive rock.  With spotlighted tracks such as All That I Have and Into The Sky, Diester delivers an overall steady grunge anthem of his own in his album. Citing the great Kurt Cobain as a significant influence, listeners should take note Diester is definitely full of ambition alongside his musical talent, as he currently is studying Writing & Composition at Berklee College of Music.

For more listening:

Reckoner (Flying Lotus Remix)

24 Jul

“A remix is an alternative version of a recorded song, made from an original version.”

-Wikipedia

Two of the best musicians today happen to be close friends. Their musical styles are very different, but their music meshes so perfectly that something completely new and pure is born as a result. It leaves you wondering if there is an end to the limits of music.

The artists I am talking about are Flying Lotus and Radiohead, more specifically Thom Yorke. Their relationship is strange, bringing together British and West Coast influences. They often play each other’s music at live shows and when they get together to make a song the result is usually astounding.This song which you are presumably listening to right now is a take on the Radiohead song Reckoner as remixed by Flying Lotus.

The first thing you should notice is that he completely replaced the beat with one of his own. It has essentially been turned into a hip hop song, but a ghostly one which cuts a completely new road for the genre and solidifies FlyLo‘s experimental capabilities. The clicking noises are my absolute favorite as they maintain an extremely uneven beat which is so strangely gratifying. The vocals, perfectly layered over each other, are darker and filtered, giving the entire song this haunted feeling. At 2:20 the song ends culminates to what could be the ending of a cheap horror film, a very strange last note. Most of the original song had been cut out, but that which remains is so beautifully mixed that it just demands quiet respect. If I were a member of Radiohead, I would be utterly enthralled that something like this could be made from my music.

Now by no means do I think this remix to be ‘better’ than the original song. It is its own complete separate entity and a unique listening experience. Comparing the two would be like comparing apples and oranges. Except maybe that in this case, both of them would be the color gold.

-oko

&O

P.S. One of the song’s off of Flying Lotus’s Cosmogramma features Thom Yorke performing amazing lyrics. Just in case you didn’t go out and listen to the album like I so direly urged you to… here is that song. And let’s not make the same mistake twice now. lulz

Radiohead – Ahead of the Music Business?

22 Feb

The Beatles sent their fans into frenzied conspiracy when the propagation of the “Paul Is Dead” rumor began in 1966. Well, I presume I too am falling into the trap of theorizing because the Beatles never came out and said the entire thing was a hoax created by them. But, come on, we are not dumb. Fans destroyed Beatles’ records by playing songs backwards searching for clues. Nuggets were found at the end of “Strawberry Fields Forever” (I Buried Paul) and on the cover of Abbey Road (Paul is not wearing shoes or socks, barefoot, like a corpse). It took the Beatles’ fan populace by storm. But it was all a planned prank, executed as a clever marketing ploy. If you destroy a record searching for clues, you have to go out and buy another one. Plus, people would go out of their way to buy and listen to Beatles’ albums excessively. The Beatles knew how to make money and sell records. They were ahead of their time.

On the heels of Radiohead‘s new release King of Limbs, I am tempted to believe that they too are way ahead of the current musical climate. It is a simple truth that the music business has suffered mightily at the hands of free digital downloading and sharing, illegal but widespread. As I posted several days ago, charts are showing this economic slump. There are no signs that it will get better. Album sales are putting up a defeated fight. If you want to make money today as a non-mainstream musician, there seem to be two options. Either tour wildly or do what Radiohead is doing. But it seems that Radiohead’s pioneering strategy is going unheeded.

Radiohead is living in the future. Thom Yorke and company are intelligent marketers, well-versed in the convoluted wasteland of album sales. When Radiohead released In Rainbows in 2007 they decided to allow fans to purchase the album at whatever cost they saw fit. Radiohead, not being affiliated with a record label, saw most of the profits.

I know, most right now are probably saying, people paid close to nothing for the album. This is completely untrue. Most people paid around four euros for the album, according to a poll by Gigwise.com. That’s around $5.50. Yes, it is a couple of dollars less than what they would have received from an album sale at an online store…but, no, go through iTunes and Radiohead could have seen only around 25 percent of their profits. In Rainbows made nearly $10 million dollars in less than a week, according to an article on ultimate-guitar.com. People paid because they felt bad. Despite what you hear about downloading and sharing, most still believe that this is stealing. So, Radiohead’s “stupid” strategy made the band millions of dollars in a poor album climate. I’d say that is pretty solid.

For King of Limbs, Radiohead announced the album’s release on Feb. 14, 2011. They released the album on Feb. 18 through their website. It was like a shock to Radiohead fan’s systems. The band got everyone excited. People needed this album. So, King of Limbs, created a stir. This album has a set price, but fans can also receive a physical package including “two clear 10-inch vinyl records, a CD and an elaborate package including several large sheets of artwork, 625 small pieces of artwork and a plastic sleeve,” according to Rollingstone.com for $48. The digital album has already been released, but the physical CD will not be shipped until March 28 and the package, May 9. Why the delay?

Is there really any question of what Radiohead is doing? The last song on their new album is called “separator” and the last line of that song is “If you think this is over, you’re wrong,” as Okocim pointed out in his review of the album. I smell Beatles’ intelligence. Some fans have created a theory that the album has a part two version that will be released. The CD is not being shipped until March 28 and the huge package with TWO vinyl records is not being shipped until May 9. I’m not saying that part two does exist and will certainly be in these physical releases, but it is not hard to reach a conclusion that this may be the case. People love feeling like they are getting something that others are not. Watch the $48 package sales increase over the next few months, all awaiting the shipment in May, which will have two LPs, one that may hold a surprise to those who paid more money. Yeah, Radiohead knows what they are doing.

Radiohead – The King of Limbs – Album Review

20 Feb

 

* Brief Intro *

I traversed the old and treacherous forest path with careful footing and a steadfast swagger. While other human souls did exist every now and then along the path in this preserve, none of them where tuned into the show, not that they were fly enough anyway. With my random assortment of color, complemented by the length of my hair and the aviators covering my eyes, I stumbled with precision on the haphazardly placed stepping planks. I also was the only one, I think, who was aware of the festivities. All around green party-animals were getting drunk off sunlight and dancing to the beat of the breeze. I would stop to socialize, but I was an important guest. Like a peacock feigning bliss, I took the turn off the main path and climbed my way up the mountain, god knows what assumptions would be made if anyone saw. As I entered the hall, familiar bark faces greeted me, and as I made my way up to the majestic giant oak which resided in the center I was greeted by his booming voice. “Finally!” a brief chuckle, “The witness has arrived!!! Now let’s turn this party into an epic!!!” bellowed the Tree King.

* End Brief Intro *

And I thought I was the only person who talked to trees. It seems like Radiohead has proven me wrong, with their latest album The King of Limbs. I guess I’m going to have to find something else which is alt (alternative).

The title of the album is named after a tree which is located somewhere in the Savernake Forest in England, and according to the internet is one of the oldest tree’s in Europe. My tree is more gangster though. But I guess all woods have their respective kings and queens, and since now its the cool thing to do *sigh* get acquainted with your local forest king/queen today! Magic will help.

The sign's gotta be legit.

Apparently the whole album has been put up free to listen by the band  HERE
So listen to it while you read. Aren’t they a bunch of nice guys?

Basically, this album is amazing, and not like listen to it a few times and you get into it amazing. By my second listen, I’m sitting here typing this and rocking the heck out. It’s everything you loved about their previous albums, but in the future.

What I mean by this is that Radiohead is using cutting-edge elements of dub-step and even trip-hop in their songs. A friend of mine pointed out on facebook that it seems very Flying-Lotus influenced. I completely agree and it makes sense considering how they are on the same label and Thom Yorke has been featured in a Fly-Lo song. And the dub-step makes sense since they are British.

The very first song on the album, Bloom, showcases the Fly-Lo influence perfectly. While it opens up with some traditional Radiohead sounding synths, it quickly introduces a beat that normally would make no sense, but because of the way it is looped fits very well. Thom Yorke’s vocals then finish the song, with beautiful layering and harmonics, a trend that will continue throughout. A very experimental first song which pays off heavily.

The next song, Morning Mr. Magpie, goes in the completely opposite direction with a most basic dub-step beat, which is only truly revealed half-way through. At this time, the band chooses to implement what I like to call a chill-down (As opposed to a Hardcore Breakdown). The beat continues, while most of the other instruments cease playing, resulting in a sort of dreamlike sequence or bridge. This is very masterfully done, and, with a name like Morning Mr. Magpie, I’m pretty sure this song also is alluding to the British psychedelic era.

That is until you listen to the next song, Little by Little. The song sounds like something that was made in the 60’s and ripped entirely. The singing is actually the only thing that exposes the song’s true time period. It’s a modern day take on a 60’s style, absolutely proper experimentation on Radiohead’s part.

I don’t know the name Feral, or the ruthless trip-hop beat, but I’m pretty sure that this next song is my favorite off the album. This song captures perfectly that sort of mystic and eerie vibe which I have come to absolutely love. Something between the non-existent vocals, the unrelenting drums, and that one short synth riff that plays only a total of three times, absolutely sells me. Oh, and when it ends with that bass riff, even if but momentarily, just forget it. I’m going to write a whole post one day about the merits of outros, regardless the length.

The next song Lotus Flower, I personally believe is a reference to Fly-Lo. What I believe stands out in this song, while hard to notice since they are not the focal points, are the guitar and the background vocals. I enjoy the small things in music. Another very good song by all standards. Oh, and there’s this…

I cannot stress enough how much those dance moves speak to me. They are awe-inspiring.

The next two songs Codex and Give up the Ghost I refuse to review, the reason being that I have always been traditionally biased against Radiohead’s slower pieces. I have nothing against the quality of the music, it’s just my own personal preferences don’t allow for a sincere positive review. Basically they bore me to death and tread towards depressing. The only redeeming part in my book is the bird noises transition between the two songs. But don’t let me sour them for you; I’ve heard from a few online sources that people actually consider the last three songs to be the best off the album, so it honestly depends on your tastes.

And in that case… moving on to the last song Separator, the drum & bass line seem promising off the bat. The vocal’s teeter on falling into the same category as the previous two songs, but once the guitar comes in I’m thoroughly pleased to say that this song is an amazing, chill, vibe-out tune. A pretty synth kicks in and the album ends on a very light, mysterious, and optimistic note.

One word: Professional.

I said earlier, but just to re-iterate, the album is amazing.

If I had to scale it I would give it a 6.84/7.25

This has been my first ever song-by-song review of an entire album. The rating scale is here to stay and I might explain it at some point in the future, but right now I need to stop listening to this album on repeat before I kill it for myself.

Happy listening! And don’t forget to talk to trees now that it’s mainstream… conformists.

&D

P.S. Apparently there is crazy amounts of conspiracy that this is only half the album and that the psychical LPs have two records in them. I mean, the last line of the last song is “If you think this is over, you’re wrong”. This post might have a part two… just saying.

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