INCHES reviews Baron Zen, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, Soft Circle + High Places, I Heart Lung [MP3]
In the strange wake of music's digital rebirth, vinyl has experienced a modest boom in popularity, seen by many as a replacement for the awkward middleman that is the compact disc. INCHES reviews the output of L.A.'s healthy vinyl community (artists and labels, indie or other), believing that good music deserves much more than a handful of ones and zeros.
With due respect to Dean Spunt's excellent label, we've grown weary of waiting for a new release from PPM. The time that's passed following the arrival of the White Shit 10-inch has sent us back to our crates, an act which thankfully turned up this sorely overlooked split from two groove-steeped projects. Recently relocated to L.A., Brooklyn duo High Places delivers an 11-minute track that opens with choral reverb then sprinkles electronic flourishes into the mix as the steady, jangle-happy beat blows forth. On the flip, NYC's Soft Circle, a.k.a. Hisham Bharoocha, does a bang-up job living up to the label's description of two long-players that fall "between ESG on acid and Ravi Shankar if he produced club tracks." The first, "Light Bright," is easy and organic, while "Don't Just Stand There" is an aggressive, hypnotic rhythm feast of the !!! variety. Like Ibiza with a soul.
Download: Soft Circle - "Light Bright" [MP3]
Another one that almost slipped through the last remaining cracks of 2009, this Baron Zen single not only delivers a few audible treats, but unique packaging to boot -- individually spray-painted jackets (plus a decal or two if you're lucky) in black, purple, orange, and yellow. Orange might be the most fitting, considering San Jose rapper Dave Dub's reference to "tangerine perfume," one of a handful of Gary Wilson-like oddball lyrics that bookend the creepily cooed chorus, "I stay relaxed/And she stay relaxed/On my back in a strange woman's room." The skittering percussives and wampy electro beat are given a synth-loving chillwave rebirth by James Pants, while the B-side sports two versions (plus instrumentals) of "Talk To Me!," a catchy and warmly goofy track built around the titular demand of the Baron.
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