INCHES001: Fresh Vinyl from L.A. Artists on L.A. Labels Ft. Mika Miko, Xasthur, and more (+ MP3s)
In the unpredictable wake of music's digital rebirth, vinyl has experienced a modest boom in popularity, seen by many (with delicious irony) as a replacement for the awkward middleman that is the compact disc. INCHES seeks not only to review the output of L.A.'s healthy vinyl community (one populated by many indies and some well-intentioned majors), but to pay dap to those who continue to tend the flame, believing that good music deserves much more than a handful of ones and zeros. This week: Five recent releases by five L.A.-area artists on five L.A.-area labels. Suggestions? Email us.
Mika Miko is no stranger to the Weekly readership. The Valley-bred party-punk quintet ("all-girl" until the recent addition of drummer Seth Densham) is one of the archetypal bands associated with Downtown's lo-fi mecca, The Smell, which makes the group's placement on Post Present Medium an organic one. PPM is owned by No Age's Dean Spunt -- founded in 2002 after he won a collision-related settlement against a Backstreet Boy (no joke) -- and specializes in all things noisy, punky and pretty. MM's recently released sophomore LP, We Be Xuxa, does well at capturing the live energy that has electrified so many house parties and made the band famous in the first place.
The vinyl sold out in less than five weeks, which is a shame considering how well those clicks and pops compliment the ruddy bass and playful experimentalism, but a forthcoming repress will feature a limited run of colored vinyl (150 copies, so says PPM's Josh Taylor). Next up for the label is a 12-inch mini LP featuring an L.A. sludge supergroup of sorts, White Shit, which comprises Andy Coronado (Skull Kontrol, Wrangler Brutes) and Big Business/The Melvins' Jared Warren and Coady Willis.
Second pressing forthcoming. CD available (if you must) via PPM's web store.
Mt. Washington's Shafiq Husayn has a greater history within L.A. music than even most hip-hop heads know. Crack open a copy of Jurassic 5's Quality Control, and you'll find the man's name attached to two songs left untouched by resident super-DJs Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark. Husayn's production style was futuristic even then, and possibly more so when he laid down beats for Ice T's O.G. Original Gangsta (1991). He's best known as one-third of Sa-Ra Creative Partners, but within that group and elsewhere, the man's work stands out as ethereal, bassy, percussive and soulful -essentially the blueprint of this city's current "beat music" scene. The Frequency Cla$h, released earlier this year, sounds at right at home between Madlib and Flying Lotus -- though he's probably influenced both -- and best on vinyl.
This 12-inch EP, limited to 1000 copies, comes courtesy of Pasadena's Poo-Bah Records (both a label and a digger-friendly new/used record store), owned by Ron Stivers, who works the shop floor seven days a week. He cofounded the imprint in 2004 with producer Black Monk and flagship artist Ras G. Poo-Bah's excellent 10-inch series will soon resume with offerings from SAMIYAM and Kankick, but before that, Stivers is giving Nosaj Thing's Drift a proper (as in "on wax") release.
Purchase at the Poo-Bah Records store (2636 E Colorado Blvd, 91107) or via MySpace.