Balam Acab – Wander/Wonder

The massive over saturation of data in today’s society is daunting. Present technology affords us the luxury of having any piece of knowledge, any semblance of history and antiquity be it the military strategy of the Phoenicians or the import and exportation of domesticated horse semen. This ease of acquisition has changed the way we live, developed a dissonance simply by being over informed, and helped develop new forms of expression to the ones who take advantage of its virtues. Balam Acab is a sterling example of the latter aspect of the phenomena.

Alec Koone, the plainclothes moniker of Balam Acab, is notable for a few reasons. He’s the baby face of TRIANGLE Records (a label which should be commended for both its austerity and its artists’ ability to both shudder your spine and lovingly massage your ears with their work), just a spry 20 years old, yet his keen and often ethereal skill with reworking samples render his age irrelevant. As his previous effort, the sumptuous See Birds EP proved, Balam Acab has an uncompromised direction for his music, devising bright R&B vocal samples into dark and distant cries for help, as accompanied strings and bass laden drums trap you in places unknown, unfamiliar and at times both haunting and poignant. It’s hip-hop for the ketamine crowd, witch house for the downer-induced, dance music for the crowds utterly sick of high BPMs. And it’s gorgeous. Continue reading “Balam Acab – Wander/Wonder”

The Rapture – In the Grace of Your Love

Preface: Many of you might have wondered what had become of Lipstick Communism, it’s dormancy leaving a harsh cry in the ears of its several dozen readers, its absence a bitter aftertaste of those who reveled in the opinions of a small few. Never mind our MIA status, we’re back with sincere apologies and I myself have returned after a bitter bout of writer’s block which lead to the dark annals of alcoholism, only to emerge with a tragic and besmirched worldview. And that just makes for better reading.

New York based dance-punk trio The Rapture played a major role in the whole post punk revival that was oh so popular in the early “aughts,” a scene that took a raw propensity and married it to the more electronic and dance elements that took hold of the 80’s and early 90’s and nearly strangled them. Whether this is something to be admired or cursed, The Rapture helped form a sound that was ruthlessly beaten like a horse just out on to the tracks, barely even able to consider a suitable place to die. But The Rapture did it in absence of conviction and with a desire to hold every instrument hostage until they got as much fun as they wanted out of it, lest we forget the all-too-important free jazz sax solos. In the Grace of Your Love, the third LP release from the band and a heart-warming return to the James Murphy DFA Empire Inc. should mark a union of the scratchy, rambunctious scatter shots that Echoes made you swoon over with the almost-too-polished-shoe-shined-dance-floor romps of Pieces of the People We Love. What ends up coming from five years of work and a brutal cowbell neglection is a band in an identity crisis, an album that the late Annie Lennox, were she alive, would probably soil her knickers over (RIP Annie Lennox, who is definitely, indisputably no longer alive.)

May you warm the soul of heaven, you sweet angel.

Continue reading “The Rapture – In the Grace of Your Love”