Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Dissonant electronic drone from the UK's Benge to drown out 2014 to.  Listen to "Minimalist Work (Sustained Tone Branch)" below in its entirety and download it here.  Happy New Year!  Hooray!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Dope Body

Somehow i missed the latest album from Baltimore psych-punk-noise rock quartet Dope Body last October.  "Lifer" is full of the frenetic, intense energy the band is known for, coming in with angular melodies, a bombastic drum attack, and guitar riffs to shred your earholes.  It's a goddamn blast.  Listen to "Hired Gun" below and grab the record from Drag City.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Rubber Band Gun

Here's some lo-fi, bedroom psychedelica courtesy of New York's Rubber Band Gun.  Take a listen to "The Creation of Master Computer" from new album "Horror Sounds in Stereo" below, and then head here to download the album (name your price).  Hooray!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Favorite Films of 2014

I don't get to see as many movies as i used to.  With a toddler running around all the time at 100 miles per hour, there just isn't any time.  And that's okay.  I still manage to see stuff here and there, and while there are a bunch of movies that i've missed, and that i think would probably be on this list ("Nightcrawler," "The Babadook," "Snowpiercer," "John Wick," etc.), the films i've seen have been pretty damn good.  Here are eight of my favorites.

"Under the Skin"
It's hard to call Jonathan Glazer's latest film my favorite movie of the year.  It's a difficult film, a kind of art house, sci-fi verite, but it stuck with me in a way no other movie has this year.  In so many ways, the best films are the ones you're still thinking about days later, and this story of an alien being preying on men in Glasgow did just that.  It's dark, and beautiful, and has the ability to just crush you.

"Grand Piano"
A good, old-fashioned thriller in the mold of Hitchcock or DePalma that pumps up the tension and suspense with a mastery that would make old pros jealous.  Elijah Wood is always a blast.  I love this movie.

"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Wes Anderson has a perfect batting average with me.  He has yet to make a movie i don't love, and his latest is, while short of his masterpiece, really damn close.  Anderson's normal quirky tone, detailed set pieces, and wonderfully framed shots are all there, but there is a dark undertone throughout the work that lifts it above some of his other work.  And Ralph Fiennes is simply amazing.  I want him to be in all of Anderson's movies now.

"Guardians of the Galaxy"
I'm a comic book guy...of course i loved this movie.  All films should have a talking, outer space raccoon.

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier"
You gotta love when sequels outdo their predecessors, and an old school espionage feel, as well as an excellent cast from top to bottom make "The Winter Soldier" one of the best comic book movies to ever be produced.

"The Lego Movie"
If you have not seen this movie based preconceived notions that movies based on toys are terrible...ultimately i agree with you, but "The Lego Movie" is the proverbial exception that proves the rule.  It's one of the funnest movies i've ever seen.  Just watch it.  Everything is awesome.

"Only Lovers Left Alive"
A vampire movie directed by Jim Jarmusch, starring Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as the cool and detached aforementioned creatures of the night?  Sign me up.  This movie is too cool.

"Blue Ruin"
A revenge film as played out by people who have no idea what they are doing, this film feels real and visceral, a suspenseful thriller that rounds its edges with some dark and bleak humor.  Nice.

So there we have it.  Here's hoping the new year sees me seeing more movies.  I deserve it.

Thom Yorke - You wouldn't like me when i'm angry

A couple of months ago, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke dropped a surprise album on us via BitTorrent, that did all kinds of crazy shit to my computer and gave me a headache since i am a dummy.  The album is now up on Bandcamp, as well as a new single, "You wouldn't like me when i'm angry," which i actually dig more than anything on the record.  Take a listen to the icy jam below and go here to download.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!

courtesy of Albert Tanquero collection
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all you wonderful boys and girls out there!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Shabazz Palaces

Another album i seemingly ignored this year was "Lese Majesty," the latest effort from hip-hop act Shabazz Palaces, and a furthered continuation of the duo's deconstruction of rap music.  No one else sounds like these guys.  There's something almost cosmic about their musical interpretations.  Take a listen to "#CAKE" below and get the record from Sub Pop.

Monday, December 22, 2014

D'Angelo and The Vanguard

I'm curious how many writers and bloggers are rushing to update and edit their year end best-of lists, since D'Angelo came seemingly out of nowhere a week or so ago to drop "Black Messiah," his first album in 14 years.  From the tracks i've heard, it's a really solid neo-soul and R&B offering that wholly indicates that he's still got it...that he never lost it.  Political under and overtones and callbacks to the modern and old school greats of funk and soul, the album feels like an instant classic.  Anxiously awaiting a vinyl release.  Listen to "Sugah Daddy" below.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


So i've been so caught up in the triumphant return of Faith No More, that i forgot how prolific Mike Patton can be, and thus was completely unaware of his new project with Australian composer Anthony Pateras called Tetema.  The "Geocidal" LP was recorded across three different countries, three different continents, and then assembled afterwards.  That kind of scattered, piecemeal approach gives the music a bizarre and otherworldly feel...and it's fucking fantastic.  Listen to "Tenz" below and look for the album next month on Ipecac.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Fucked Up - Voce Rubata

Canadian newspaper "The Globe and Mail" teamed up with The Canadian Opera Company and Canadian record label Arts & Crafts to put out a six song album of Canadian artists making music inspired by 2014 new events.  It is called "Broadsheet Music: A Year in Review," and Fucked Up contributed a 17-minute opera track called "Voce Rubata."  It is a legit opera song, and seems so left field for the punk band, that it almost feels perfect.  Listen below.

Favorite Soundtracks of 2014

As a record collector, i am a constantly evolving devotee of whatever niche gets my blood pumping at the moment, whether it be obscure psych rock bands, releases from underground punk labels, or private press oddities.  The last couple of years has seen my collection of vinyl soundtracks and film scores virtually explode, as i hunt down hard to find original pressings and pick up all of the wonderfully and lovingly made reissues.  The film score revival is in full bloom right now, and i could not be happier.  So, here are my top 5 soundtrack releases for the year, both old and new.

5. The Visitor by Franco Micalizzi
As usual, Mondo did a bang-up job of putting this release together, from the beautiful Jay Shaw artwork to the mastering of Micalizzi's bonkers score to Michael J. Paradise's bonkers 1979 movie.

4. Ms. 45 by Joe Delia
Joe Delia's haunting piano-based score to Abel Ferrara's 1981 revenge flick finally saw it's first official release this year thanks to the good folks over at Death Waltz and cover artist Alice X. Zhang, and it is absolutely criminal that it took that long.

3. Looper by Nathan Johnson
The score for Rian Johnson's 2012 film comes courtesy of his cousin Nathan Johnson, and consists of an often cacophonous mix of small orchestra and sampled and processed percussion effects.  At times it's unsettling, at others beautiful, but it pairs perfectly with the film.  Oh, and Mondo's release is absolutely gorgeous, a gatefold LP with a cover of gold bricks wrapped in a burlap sack designed by the ever-amazing Jay Shaw.

2. Only Lovers Left Alive by Jozef Van Wissem and SQURL
It wasn't only a great year for reissues, we had some excellent scores to new films this year as well.  The score for Jim Jarmusch's "Only Lovers Left Alive" features an amazing blend of experimental guitar playing and warped rockabilly performed by his own band SQURL and the amazing composer Jozef Van Wissem.  The album plays just like the movie...fucking cool.

1. Under the Skin by Mica Levi
I debated putting Mica Levi's wonderfully haunting and minimalist score to Jonathan Glazer's extraordinary "Under the Skin" on my best albums list, but held it out for soundtracks instead.  The music is all at once spellbinding and nightmare inducing and fits the picture perfectly.  It is mind-boggling that this is Ms. Levi's first film score.  She nailed it.

Next week, i will try to compile some of my favorite movies of the year...but i'm going to try to watch some more of them first.

Favorite Album Covers of 2014

I've always been a sucker for a great album cover.  They can make me purchase something i otherwise would have never checked out.  Here are my five favorites from 2014:

5. Swans - To Be Kind LP
The whole layout for the latest album from Swans is fantastic, a whole set of vintage-looking crying children heads centered on an off-gold palette.  It's amazing.

4. Perturbator - Dangerous Days LP
Seriously, just look at that cover.  How could you not like it?  It looks like an early-90's comic book.

3. Chopping Mall OST LP
I actually thought about just doing a whole blog on different soundtrack album covers, but the sheer amount of fantastic releases coming out from Mondo, Death Waltz, Waxwork, One Way Static, and on and on just makes that a futile task.  One of my favorites to come out this year is the beautiful cover for the "Chopping Mall" score created by Australian art duo We Buy Your Kids.  I would totally hang that on my wall.

2. The Omen OST LP
Phantom City Creative designed the cover for Mondo's reissue of "The Omen," and it's perfect.  Creepy, unsettling, and just beautifully crafted, it's the art of nightmares.

1. Plank! - Aphidelity 7"
I don't know why i love the cover to proggy Manchester duo Plank!'s "Aphidelity" 7" so much.  It looks like a poster for the kind of movie we would have rented for a sleepover back in grade school.  If someone wants to make this "movie" a reality, i will gladly pitch in.

Aside from awesome artwork, all of these releases have some pretty stellar jams on them as well.  Check them out.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Todd Terje

Aside from this being the season for lists and favorites, it's also the time of year where i play catch up and listen to all of the things that came out in 2014 that i somehow missed or ignored.  That brings us to "It's Album Time," a collection of funky disco jams for the middle aged set from Norwegian producer and DJ Todd Terje.  Remember how fun Daft Punk's last album was?  Todd Terje is doing it this year.  Take a listen to "Delorean Dynamite" below and grab the album on Olsen Records.

Holy Cow! It's my Favorite Songs of 2014!

Here are 104 songs that made 2014 special.  They are in no particular order, just written out as they came to mind, one song per band or artist.  And as always, if anyone wants to put all of these jams on a playlist of some sort and send it to me, i will reward you in cookies...sweet, sweet cookies.

Every single one of these is my favorite song of the year:

1. Glass Candy - "Rise"
2. Mac DeMarco - "Passing Out Pieces"
3. Linda Perhacs - "River of God"
4. Liars - "Pro Anti Anti"

5. Protomartyr - "Scum, Rise!"
6. Trust - "Capital"
7. New Bums - "Black Bough"
8. Morgan Delt - "Obstacle Eyes"

9. Young Widows - "Kerosene Girl"
10. Luminance - "Obsession"
11. Eagulls - "Possessed"
12. King Dude and Chelsea Wolfe - "Be Free"

13. Helms Alee - "Tumescence"
14. Sun Kil Moon - "Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes"
15. Yumi Zouma - "The Brae"
16. Have A Nice Life - "Defenestration Song"

17. Marissa Nadler - "Was It a Dream"
18. Power Glove - "Blood Dragon Theme (Reprise)"
19. Future Islands - "Seasons (Waiting on You)"
20. Thou - "Free Will"

21. Ben Frost - "Venter"
22. White Lung - "Drown with the Monster"
23. The GOASTT - "Moth to a Flame"
24. Viet Cong - "Continental Shelf"

25. Golden Retriever - "Flight Song"
26. Barren Harvest - "Claw and Feather"
27. Swans - "A Little God in our Hands"
28. Sleep - "The Clarity"

29. Deafheaven - "From the Kettle onto the Coil"
30. Symbol - "Clear Passage"
31. Nothing - "Somersault"
32. Movement - "Like Lust"

33. Cluster Buster - "Female Protagonist"
34. Ex-Cult - "Ties You Up"
35. Twin Shadow - "To the Top"
36. Mica Levi - "Love"

37. Odonis Odonis - "Angus Mountain"
38. Black Monolith - "Eris"
39. Jozef Van Wissem and SQURL - "The Taste of Blood"
40. EMA - "Satellites"

41. Wolves in the Throne Room - "Celestite Mirror"
42. Haunted Hearts - "Up Is Up (But So Is Down)"
43. Amen Dunes - "Lonely Richard"
44. Slow Pulse - "Prayer"

45. Allie X - "Bitch"
46. Heroin in Tahiti - "ALO"
47. Peter Matthew Bauer - "Philadelphia Raga"
48. Wovenhand - "Good Shepherd"

49. Perturbator - "Hard Wired"
50. Zola Jesus - "Dangerous Days"
51. El Mahdy Jr - "Lost Bridge"
52. Iceage - "The Lord's Favorite"

Whew!  We're half way there.

53. The Orwells - "Who Needs You"
54. Dalhous - "Abyssal Plane"
55. King Tuff - "Black Moon Spell"
56. Myrkur - "Natten Barn"

57. Ritual Howls - "Zemmoa"
58. Coral Cross - "The Coldest Steel Across your Face Slides"
59. Alex G - "Serpent Is Lord"
60. Los Angeles Police Department - "She Came Through (Again)"

61. Deers - "Bamboo"
62. Yob - "Unmask the Spectre"
63. alt-J - "Hunger of the Pine"
64. Tony Allen w/ Damon Albarn - "Go Back"

65. Pallbearer - "Worlds Apart"
66. TOPS - "Outside"
67. You'll Never Get to Heaven - "Adorn"
68. Pharmakon - "Body Betrays Itself"

69. Gap Dream - "Strong Love"
70. Roses - "The Fog"
71. Recycle Culture - "Drown Me Up"
72. Panda Bear - "Mr. Noah"

73. Youth Code - "Consuming Guilt"
74. Andy Stott - "Violence"
75. Whirr - "Heavy"
76. Princess - "Molly"

77. Blut Aus Nord - "Paien"
78. Fear of Men - "Sleeper"
79. Thom Yorke - "A Brain in a Bottle"
80. Dream Police - "Pouring Rain"

81. Grouper - "Call Across Rooms"
82. Ex Cops w/ Ariel Pink - "Tragically Alright"
83. Jennifer Castle - "Nature"
84. Katie Gately - "Pivot"

85. Mastodon w/ Gibby Haynes - "Atlanta"
86. Ariel Pink - "Picture Me Gone"
87. Doss - "The Way I Feel (Recycle Culture's Slow Emotion Reel)"
88. Aphex Twin - "minipops 67 [120.2][Source Field Mix]"

89. Death Blues - "Loss"
90. Lust for Youth - "Armida"
91. Run the Jewels w/ Zack de la Rocha - "Close Your Eyes (and Count to Fuck)"
92. Keep Shelly in Athens - "Fractals"

93. Pompeii - "Loom"
94. Black Milk w/ Mel - "Everyday Was"
95. Mamiffer - "Flower of the Field"
96. La Casa al Mare - "Sunflowers"

97. Leon Bridges - "Coming Home"
98. S. Maharba - "Memorial"
99. Joel Ford w/ Ejecta - "Breathe"
100. John Carpenter - "Vortex"

101. Ty Segall - "Susie Thumb"
102. La Hell Gang - "So High"
103. Fucked Up - "Paper the House"
104. David Bowie - "Sue (or in a Season of Crime)"

I'm sure i'm leaving dozens of songs off of this list, but damn it, it can only be so long.  Go out and listen to all of these right now, and be sure to come back tomorrow for my favorite album covers of the year.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

And Now...My Favorite Albums of 2014

It's that time of year again...December...where scores of websites, blogs, magazines, etc. bombard the internet and airwaves with lists, lists, lists!  Not to be out done, we here at Heaven Is An Incubator feel it necessary to offer up our own year-end lists, favorite albums, songs, movies, and so much more.  So without further ado, here are my picks for favorite albums of the year, presented in alphabetical order because i don't have the time or energy to rank the damn things.

Alex G - DSU
Hooray for the lo-fi cats this year, offering up goodies and crunchy nuggets reminiscent of the finest cheap beer and smoke-filled rooms that the 90's had to offer us.  Alex G crafts the kind of home-recorded, bedroom pop that makes teenagers pick up guitars for the first time and makes thirty-somethings reevaluate their own musical callings.  This album is a wonder.

Amen Dunes - Love
The music of Amen Dunes can seem like a hard egg to crack at first listen, an improvisational blend of experimental folk and aural explorations.  "Love" is the band's most streamlined and coherent album to date, a perfect slice of neo-Americana, dusty and lonesome folk songs to lose yourself in.  This is the sound of long, solo drive through middle America, the windows wide open, the skies blue, the farmland stretching for miles at a time.

Aphex Twin - SYRO
We got a new album from Aphex Twin this year!  It sounds just like an Aphex Twin album...and that's just awesome.

Ariel Pink - Pom Pom
So much bad press for Ariel Pink...and deservedly so.  Pink says a lot of dumb, misguided, and profoundly wrong shit, and as to whether or not he really means any of it doesn't really matter.  At worst, he's a mysogynistic asshole, and at best, a snarky, trolling douche bag.  But goddamnit, he makes wonderful and fascinating music.  "Pom Pom" is like some kind of crazy novelty album, a collection of snickers and quirks that all at once lets you in on the joke while pretending that it's not one.  Irony and sincerity have become nonexistent...and it's wonderful.

Death Blues - Ensemble
Death Blues is the project of Volcano Choir percussionist Jon Mueller, and "Ensemble" is a vast and booming meditation and exploration on death, and ultimately how it affects our lives.  This album is big and dense and sounds like travelling the world, searching for answers through foreign lands and customs.  At times it's like a dirge, at others a proclamation, and at others a solemn hymn, but there's something so glorious about the way everything comes together.  This album makes me want to travel.  It makes me want to live and explore.

Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
Mac DeMarco looks like he should be cleaning a bowling alley somewhere.  He's scruffy and odd, but he's also a guitar virtuoso, churning out jams that sound like Tom Petty in a blender, but also sound like no one else out there.  There's a warped and water-drenched sensibility to everything he does, and that swagger sticks to the brain like chewed up gum.

EMA - The Future's Void
Doom and gloom come up big on the sophomore effort from Erika M. Anderson, otherwise known as EMA.  There is an overarching darkness that covers all the electronic noise and 90's guitar-revival shred that encompass the album.  This is a record for your black spaces and cold places.

Grouper - Ruins
To describe the latest album from Liz Harris' Grouper, i'd have to go with devastating.  "Ruins" is the mic-in-a-room sound of heartache and staring solemnly, quietly into the abyss.  It's a sonic picture of sadness incarnate, a faded, black and white photo of someone long gone, and it makes for a haunting, intoxicating listen.

Have A Nice Life - The Unnatural World
Post punk meets black metal meets drone on the second album from Connecticut duo Have A Nice Life.  The band somehow manage to match the power of their 2008 debut "Deathconsciousness" (which got a wonderfully packaged reissue this year), yet still manage to explore new crevasses and cast new and dark shadows across their gloomy soundscapes.  "The Unnatural World" is fantastic, but you'll probably want to go ahead and just buy both records.  You'll thank me.

Iceage - Plowing into the Field of Love
Denmark's Iceage is now three for three with their long players.  On "Plowing into the Field of Love," these wasted, snot-nosed kids add some cow-punk to their normal repertoire of post punk punch, and the effect is damn near perfect.  Here's hoping these kids continue to explore this aesthetic.  It can only lead to good things.

Liars - Mess
Seeing that Liars have been one of my favorite bands for the last 10+ years, it's hardly surprising that their seventh album is going to make my year-end list.  "Mess" finds the trio completely embracing the electro-industrial elements they began flirting with on 2012's "WIXIW," finding new ground to traverse in the paths and sounds of the Wax Trax forefathers 25 years ago...and it works amazingly well.  These songs make me want to dance, they make me want to drive, they make me want to slam my head through glass.

S. Maharba - Memorial
S. Maharba's "Memorial" EP needs to be put on a constant loop in my earholes when i'm trying to fade out and go to sleep.  The four songs that comprise it sink and flow and carry my lifeless body off to the nether regions of the universe.  Part trip-hop, part electronic exploration, the album is pill for happiness.  I'll take another please.

Nothing - Guilty of Everything
Shoegaze was such a big part of the music i grew up listening to, and with the old guard all putting out new albums or going on reunion tours, it's nice to see that there's a new breed of reverb artists ready rattle our brains and make our ears bleed all along.  San Francisco's Nothing come from a heavy metal pedigree, but amp up the guitar layers and vocal effects to craft something the folks at Creation Records would have drooled over two decades ago.

Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
It was kind of a Renaissance year for metal bands in 2014.  Arkansas doom purveyors Pallbearer took everything that was amazing about their 2012 effort "Sorrow and Extinction" and just multiplied by 10 for "Foundations of Burden."  The sophomore release finds the band much more comfortable with their sound than they were just two years ago, a bombast of shredding guitars, punch-you-in-the-mouth bass, pummeling drums, and stoner vocals that sound like they were created from the best parts of lesser metal heads.  This album is a monster.

Perturbator - Dangerous Days
Looks like i'm going to have to call it.  Perturbator's "Dangerous Days" is my favorite album of 2014.  The electronic score and soundtrack to a movie too awesome to ever exist, the latest from French artist Perturbator, was the one record i came back to over and over and over again this year.  And in a year with a veritable bevy of artists and bands making music for pretend movies, that's really saying something.  Above all else, "Dangerous Days" is fun...and we all need some fun sometimes.

Run the Jewels - RTJ2
You know what was awesome?  Run the Jewels.  You know what's even better?  Run the Jewels 2.  Killer Mike and El P just outdo themselves with their sophomore collaborative effort.  When the saxophone kicks in during Killer Mike's verse on album opener "Jeopardy," holy shit.  And then, impossibly, every track just gets better than the one that preceded it.  "RTJ2" is easily the best hip-hop record of the year.  I don't think anything else even comes close.

Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers
Another album of organic, late night electronic music from Manchester producer Andy Stott is just what i need to unwind to and let the day slip away.  There's a minimalism to the whole affair that somehow makes this record sound huge, even in its quieter moments.

Sun Kil Moon - Benji
To me, "Benji" is probably the best artistic work from Mark Kozelek since his Red House Painters days.  The album finds him middle-aged, confronted by his own mortality, and examining all of the normally mundane things in life that have now found significance due to life's own fleetingness.  Maybe it just hit me at the right time in my life, now that i'm a dad, and have spent the last couple of years reevaluating everything.  Regardless, it's a beautiful record and deserves your attention.

Swans - To Be Kind
Swans have always sounded like the heavens crashing down upon us all, the oceans rising, the floodgates breaking, the howling winds blowing everything into oblivion.  There is almost a nihilistic edge to the sonic art created by Gira and Co., so why should "To Be Kind" be any different, two hours of challenging and often bleak music, never meant to be taken lightly.

Thou - Heathen
Heavy metal albums don't get much better than "Heathen," just one of the numerous releases from Baton Rouge sludgers Thou.  It was a very busy year for these southern gents.  Aside from the towering and ferocious "Heathen," 2014 also saw the release of EP's, splits, and an excellent contribution to an "In Utero" tribute that will knock your socks off.  I gained a whole new appreciation for all the many different kinds of metal this year, and Thou was probably the main reason for that.  Perturbator may have gotten the top spot for me this year, but Thou was a really close second.

And there you go.  Stay tuned for my 104 favorite songs of the year.  That's two for every week!  Hooray!

Oneohtrix Point Never and A.G. Cook

So, a new track from synthesizer-wunderkind Oneohtrix Point Never popped up today, this one featuring fellow electronic music mad scientist A.G. Cook.  "Bubs" is frenetic and all over the place, but it feels like there are some holiday undertones trying to bubble to the surface.  It's a fun two minutes.  Listen and download below.