March 30, 2012
Guest Editor #1: Lushlife pt.3 of 3

Squealer Transmission 11 - Guest Series #3: Lushlife by Squealermag on Mixcloud

The third and final installment of Lushlife’s spot as guest editor sees us out this week as he tells us about the lead track from his upcoming LP Plateau Visionand how Earl Sweatshirt has reinvigorated his interest in hip-hop. Give the whole mixtape a listen through the link above and if you missed it you can check out parts one and two here and here.

Lushlife - Big Sur
Here’s the lead “leak” from the upcoming Lushlife album, ‘Plateau Vision’. The song was produced by my Western Vinyl labelmate, ‘Botany.’ There’s a beautifully palpable air of ’60s psychedelia in the production, and coupled with the romance for some “lost and hidden America” embedded in these rhymes, I feel like ‘Big Sur’ really encapsulates some of the aesthetic underpinnings of the new LP.

Earl Sweathshirt - Datass

For most of the last decade (the noughts, that is), I was fully disinterested in hip-hop. Apart from Aesop Rock, the college/backpacker rap set didn’t appeal to me, and the stuff on the radio became something that I simply couldn’t relate to on a musical level. So, it’s been really nice to hear dudes like Earl Sweatshirt breathe some new vigor into rap music. This joint is brief, low-fi, and to-the-point, but it’s got major vibes. I’ll tell you what. It’s fucked up to feel dissociated from music you care about so much, so huge ups to Earl and co. for making music worth listening to in 2012.

The Lushlife debut LP, Plateau Vision, will be released on Western Vinyl in the near future and you can have a listen to some tracks on his soundcloud here.

February 23, 2012
Power Animal

Squealer will never complain of being sick again. Philadelphia’s Keith Hampson, the driving force behind Power Animal, spent ten months in and out of hospital and, although too fatigued to play his instruments, he still managed to piece together the songs for his latest EP, Exorcism, which came out on Tuesday.

In spring 2009 Hampson re-worked years of bedroom recordings with the help of his brother and four close friends to make the excellent People Songs, released last year on Waaga Records. Full of strings, synths, bells, horns, samples and two drummers, the sessions produced an album of experimental rock/folk reminiscent of, to name but a few, Efterklang, Do Make Say Think, Anathallo, Broken Social Scene and Akron/Family. The songs of Exorcism, however, represent an enforced departure from this initial format, largely due to being arranged mostly through Hampson’s collection of thrift store cassettes and SP-404 sampler whilst recovering in bed. While still carrying the same percussive energy, imaginative songwriting and touching lyricism that make it recognisable and just as enjoyable as his previous output, the songs are swathed in washes of tweaked or reversed samples and electronic production values that prove Hampson’s talent knows few bounds, be it medium, circumstance or sickness.

Despite being billed as an EP, Exorcism actually carries 11 tracks (six originals, five remixes) and is out now through Crash Symbols and Hampson’s own label/charitable organisation Human Kindness Overflowing. As such it’s available on a “name your price” basis here, but bear in mind that for every $2 paid, $1.50 will provide three meals for those in need through Philabundance and the other 50 cents goes toward future funding of charitable projects through HKO. If we really needed another reason to get involved, that would be it.

February 1, 2012

A fitting name for a musical entity that creeps between dark, acoustic folk and Velvet Underground-style fuzz-jams, Philadelphia’s Creepoid released their debut full-length online a whole year ago. Slowly-surfacing new music, however, reveals a re-emergence of a band who appeared to only narrowly miss their chance at huge recognition with their stunning Horse Heaven LP.

Horse Heaven brings to mind contemporaries Kurt Vile or The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, surrounded by the noise-walls of Sonic Youth and Beck’s unwavering, cool charm. A diffuse list of heavy-hitting reference points, yes, but Creepoid’s late-night, girl-boy-harmonied hooks reveal a band willing and able to hold their own against competitors further off the mark.

Check out the whole of Horse Heaven below: