INCHES010: New Wax fr. Pelican, James Pants, Foot Village, 60W Kid, MMC (+ MP3s, video debut!)
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 (artists and labels, indie or otherwise), 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.
Last week, we focused exclusively on local indie, Manimal Vinyl. This week marks the return of the regular column, with two entries from San Fran-based imprints (featuting L.A. artists, of course), lots of love for size "Small" records, and an exclusive video debut from this city's own shout-and-drum ensemble, Foot Village. Dig in! Submissions or suggestions? Email us.
San Francisco upstart Gold Robot Records has already played host to a surprising spate of talent, from Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, who dropped a likewise limited 7-inch there last year, to promising L.A. transplants Railcars. The label's first compilation showcases its more beat-oriented side. The "A" features a slow-burbler from Anticon associate/ Restiform Bodies beatsmith Bomarr alongside a more upbeat electro number by PDX mixtapist and Audio Dregs recording artist Copy. On the flip, their grooves visible through that rich pumpkin-orange wax, are this set's true gems: a moody psychedelic rap piece by Meanest Man Contest (whose Eriksolo is L.A.-based), and a warm instrumental jam from Roman Ruins, who moonlights as Beach House's touring drummer.
Meanest Man Contest - "Partially Smart" (MP3, from the Partially Smart LP)
Purchase now via the Gold Robot web store.
Southern Lord is, without a doubt, one of the most significant metal labels currently in operation, and it turns out, that label's operations -- which include tending to the output of the legendary Sunn O))) -- take place right down the street in East Hollywood. Hard-rocking instrumentalists Pelican recently moved not only from Chicago to L.A., but from Hydra Head Records to the Lord, and the Ephemeral EP inaugurates that collaboration with style. These three extended songs aren't black metal so much as they're post-rock explorations of heft and gloom. Earth guitarist Dylan Carlson joins the fourpiece for a cover of his band's dooming 1990 sprawler, "Geometry Of Murder." It's the perfect closer to a truly exceptional slice of riff-oriented and tuneful golden grinding.
Pelican - "An Inch Above Sand" (MP3, from pending What We All Come To Need LP)
Ephemeral is already out-of-print. Visit the Southern Lord web store for other releases.