Articles by " The Asclepiophone"
The beloved M|O|D crew trap darling LiL TExAS (Sam Barry) is a wizard. Never have I heard a more cohesive display of so many tangential genres and pop ideas than with his most recent single “Talkin 2 U.” LiL TExAS summons a pack of glistening celestial influences for “Talkin 2 U”—a heart-swooning pitched vocal sample, frantic footwork bass, laser flourishes, west coast krump chants, and a skyrocketing talkbox solo. Barry seems to keep busy playing by his own rules now, creating higher ceilings for himself with each successive release. And LiL TExAS will continue to wow the DIY club scene with a string of summer tour dates supporting Flosstradamus.
The title track is from LiL TExAS‘ upcoming EP Talkin 2 U, out May 27th on UK-based synth & bass label Donkey Pitch. Donkey Pitch was also nice enough to give us some extended samples of the Talkin 2 U EP, and based on these early listens it sounds like our summer pool playlists will be filled with plenty of LiL TExAS.
With such pioneering acts as Passion Pit and the recent success of Chvrches, the bar for sticky glitch-painted synthpop is set pretty high. However, the Brooklyn-based duo My Body stands very tall next to this hypothetical bar. Originally from Portland, Darren and Jordan decided to relocate to Brooklyn and reform My Body as a living, breathing, touring two-piece. With their stuttering splashes of electric color, pitched vocal chirps, and ethereal coos, the fluttery warmth of My Body delivers a couple of impressive debut singles with “New Cat” and “Gentle Friend.” You can check out the My Body live setup below, as well as the video for “New Cat,” a series of moving geometric shapes and hypnotizing scene transitions. Don’t sleep on this act. My Body has a lot of room to grow along with some wonderful talent. Looking forward to more gooey pop goodness.
Sunglasses Kid is a brazen 80s cinematic pop mason. The British beatmaker suspends layers of smoky synth pads with synthetic brass blasts, plasters on some digitized bass slaps, weighs the whole track down with bounding percussive crunches and sprays on a fresh coat of sparkling chrome guitar solos. It’s certain that Sunglasses Kid has an intriguing obsession with 80s pop culture and just so happens to deliver the goods with a handful of stunning instrumentals. Check out “Holding On” below and be sure to head over to his SoundCloud page for the feverish “My Destiny” and full-throttle’d “Drivin’”.
Also, all you vocalists out there, Sunglasses Kid is looking to collaborate… sounds like the perfect recipe to me.
The Reel World is a PORTALS feature that focuses on tape culture. The ongoing series discusses recent tape releases and prominent cassette labels in an attempt to better understand the growing comeback of analog hiss.
This month we got a hold of Tyler Gardosh of Birdtapes. This up-and-coming music label has had an explosive presence in the DIY cassette tape and vinyl scene, with 7 beautifully designed releases over the past year. Tyler has had the pleasure to work on key releases from rising artists like High Pop, Julia Brown and Elvis Depressedly, among others. We spent some time with Tyler to discuss the beginnings of Birdtapes, his secrets on packaging design, and what the future holds.
Would you mind introducing yourself and tell us a little bit about the inception of Birdtapes?
My name is Tyler, and I’m from Doylestown, PA, which is probably most famous for Circa Survive or Balance and Composure at the moment. Right now I live and run the label from Brooklyn, which I started in January of this year. I’ve always wanted to run a label, I think that’s a lot of kids’ dream job when they first really get into music. I started a little label project with my friend Joe back home called Birdseed and we released a compilation that I’m still proud of and listen to—’A Very Communal Commotion Compilation Summer 2010‘.
Then I came to New York for school and was pretty busy with that but once I graduated I knew I wanted to get right back into music. Teen Suicide—’Goblin Problems’ came out in June 2012 and I loved it when I heard it and contacted them right away. I didn’t meet with them until they played CMJ in October and then we sent the 7″ to be pressed. By then they had already released the next album, and by the time the label released the ‘Goblin Problems’ 7″, they had broken up, but that album still rules and it’s awesome, it’s BRD001.
So what draws you to the physical releases of music?
Well, I love vinyl and cassettes but the cassette culture especially is so unique and I think it has a sense of community and intimacy that you obviously don’t get with digital. I really try to make our releases unique in their packaging and in limited runs to stick to that idea of uniqueness.
I absolutely LOVE your packaging. It definitely is pushing the envelope for the DIY cassette label scene.
Thanks a lot, I’m really happy with the response I’ve gotten with the tape packaging. For the Julia Brown tapes, I got chipboard cases and cut out the circles, spray painted them bubblegum pink, and then stamped the title on them. Had business cards printed with different images of clouds and the credits on the back, there were about 50 different cloud images for 75 tapes. I’m glad they came out so well and people dig it, but honestly I don’t think we made our money back on those; they cost a lot to put together. My intentions were just to make the tapes compelling, I think the tangible product is awesome and I want other people to feel that way and want to hold on to it and not just throw it away or anything. Our releases are available digitally for free and the tapes come with a download code so it’s sort of like how can we give value to the physical release. I have a lot of fun with the packaging and as long as people keep buying the tapes I’ll keep making them, even as we transition into more vinyl releases, really. I hope to carry over the same ideas with our vinyl packaging. I think it’s going to be a fun challenge trying to apply the same ideas from a small run of 50 tapes to a run of 500 records.
There is growing excitement for the new Elvis Depressedly album, how did you anticipate pressing vinyl? It’s a big leap from magnetic tape to stylus grooves.
The Elvis Depressedly ’Holo Pleasures’ 7″ is a big deal for the label, it’s essentially a make or break type situation where we invested everything we had into this pressing before we put up pre-orders. I love the album, and if I had to take a risk on any release, I’m glad it was this one. I’m confident we’ll be able to sell them. Once we passed the 100th sold on release day I think I relaxed a lot more. It was a great feeling. I really appreciate everyone that supported the band and the label and ordered a record. I’m also really excited to get photos up on the store, the packaging and vinyl colors are really cool and I can’t wait for people to see them. We have about 50 blood red left right now so you should go buy one if you haven’t yet
What does the future/2013 have in store for Birdtapes?
We’ve got several releases planned and a few coming out this summer, some compilations in the works, and an awesome tour with Julia Brown and Elvis Depressedly in July. Right now we’re working with The Le Sigh on a zine that will be sold in the online store we’re building. We will also carry merch, art, distributed vinyl and cassettes, and other zines.
I started the label in January and I couldn’t have guessed people would be this into it and so supportive. I’m just going to keep pushing it as much as I can and thanks to everyone who ever bought anything from us or reblogged/retweeted/shared anything. I also have to thank Sam Ray for helping me out and working with me, Julia Brown and Elvis Depressedly for their help, support, and letting me release their amazing music. Pill Friends, SW/MM/NG, and High Pop for trusting me to release their albums in the very beginning. Alex Barsky for helping with art and packaging, Emma Garland for her support and help with press, and Rachel Levy for being our west coast intern. Infinity Crush, Happy Trendy and LVL UP are rad too. Everyone should check out Double Double Whammy, Orchid Tapes, Chill Mega Chill, Seagreen Records and Spooky Ghost.
Also shout out to PORTALS for running a cool site with original content and actually interesting features, and for even considering me interesting enough to be a part of it.
The Double Double Whammy (DDW) crew are known for releasing lo-fi, high-octane, good ol’ rugged American rock sounds. Just to be thorough, last year DDW coddled a wild array of anthemic basement rock releases including LVL UP‘s Space Brothers and Spook Houses‘ Trying. Now the Purchase, NY-based DIY music machine are busting the doors wide open with their first vinyl 7″—LVL UP‘s Extra Worlds.
Extra Worlds is a collection of 6 rowdy yet passionate rock vignettes. Wormy guitar melodies, lightning-cooked drum lurches, and bleary-eyed suburban imagery—depictions of youthful explorations supplemented by thoughtful, poetic phrases that are stately placed throughout Extra Worlds. On par with their previous release Space Brothers, LVL UP are perfecting their unique format of super efficient rock hooks with plenty of bluesy subtext and crowd shout-a-longs.
You can snag a copy of LVL UP‘s Extra Worlds 7″ from the Double Double Whammy online store for a measly $6—what a steal!