The next release on Gold Robot Records will be the debut LP by LA-based Young Hunting. Hazel will drop on June 11th as a limited edition 12”, there will be only 500 copies available. You can pre-order the album now. One person will be chosen at random from the first 100 pre-orders to receive an original test pressing as an added bonus.
Los Angeles quintet Young Hunting’s debut full-length album Hazel begins with gentle, lush dream pop and ends with stark, desolate gothic folk. The record, inspired mostly by failed affairs, a divorce, and life in the shadow of LA’s show-business culture, took the band two years to produce. Primary songwriters Hari and Ilya first met in 2007, quickly bonding over a shared appreciation for Nick Cave, Jason Molina, Can, and the classic California pop of the 60s and 70s. Tracks for “Hazel” were recorded in various locations around Southern California, including a former ranger’s station in the Angeles National Forest, Grandma’s Dojo studio in LA’s Koreatown, a rented one-bedroom desert house outside of Joshua Tree, and living rooms, garages & guest houses in Echo Park.
This one has been in the works for a while, and we’re super excited that it has finally been announced. Our next vinyl release happens to be a collaborative effort with Turntable Kitchen as part of their Pairings Box series. Seamonster’s Neighbors 7” is limited to 460 total copies (400 on blue vinyl, 60 on gold vinyl) and is only available physically through their subscription series.
The music of Virginia Beach’s Seamonster (a.k.a. Adrian Todd Webb) has long been a favorite in our home. Although it’d be a mistake to over-generalize his style, I think it is fair to say that, by and large, Webb is known for recording tunes that are crisp, thoughtful, and exude a tender warmth. It’s also true that he generally favors a DIY-styled sonic palette that collects sounds from a combination of traditional and non-traditional sources from which he creates his folksy, often quirky, key-board anchored tunes. His Two Birds EP was one of my favorites released in 2010 and his new Baldessari LP is similarly excellent and engaging. As you can imagine, we were honored when he and his label (our good friends at Gold Robot Records) suggested we partner for this release through the Pairings Box.
Although not precisely “new,” both of the tracks featured here are exclusive to this release and have never been previously released in any form. The a-side “Crystal Tear” is based upon a novel by Alfred Jarry and features instrumentation recorded from 2010 paired with newly recorded vocals. It builds upon a gently swaying, clean melody that is pillowed with a mesh of shimmering tones, taut acoustic guitar, and a slow, steady rhythm. The result is a soundscape that is hazy and pleasantly dream-like.
Meanwhile, the b-side, “I Thought I Saw You In My Peripheral Vision,” is built from music Webb originally recorded in 2005 with an old Yamaha keyboard. It’s now partnered alongside newly recorded vocals and a few “iPad calculator flourishes.” It’s quietly buoyant and charmingly playful with its laid-back, head-bobbingly upbeat tune and swirling keys. Together, the pair of tunes are an irresistibly fun set that compliment one another beautifully.
Here’s some shots of the single-sided etching on the upcoming Coasting 12” by Monster Rally & RUMTUM, out December 4th. The vinyl is limited to 250 copies, with only 100 being sold online, so pick one up before they’re gone.
We’re pleased to announce the next release on Gold Robot Records, the next collaborative record from Monster Rally & RUMTUM. The 12” features a single playable side and fully etched art on the other side (which you can see here). The pressing is limited to 250 copies, only 100 of which will be sold online (each artist will receive 50, while 50 will be distributed to physical retailers).
Coasting is the second collaborative effort from Cleveland natives Monster Rally and RUMTUM. It picks up where the duo left off on their debut EP, finding the artists sharing samples, vinyl, and drums. Their funk-influenced, beat-driven tracks are put through a globe-trotting lens of Caribbean calypso (Sunbay Hotel), Middle Eastern dance (Veil), Peruvian cumbia (Chicks) and American soul (Coasting).
The title refers to the recent cross-country moves that Feighan and Hastings both made in the last year (to Los Angeles and Seattle respectively). The EP is a reflection of these new locations and has a sunnier, more upbeat vibe than MR&RT EP’s winter influenced beats.
The artwork on the 12” is an internationally influenced piece as well. Combining Asian, Middle-Eastern, Native American and Indian cultural motifs, the EP artwork visually mirrors the sonic compositions that it represents. The etching on the vinyl is a Mandala, influenced by Tibetan sand paintings.
Seamonster’s Baldessari LP drops today! The vinyl edition is limited to 250 copies pressed on easter yellow wax and all orders will instantly receive an MP3 download of the album. The digital version also includes bonus remixes by Monster Rally, Yalls, Roman Ruins, Eric Steuer, and DJP & MrT!
The album is named after John Baldessari, an artist whose creative appropriation of discarded materials to make new and interesting art was a huge inspiration to the process of making this particular group of songs. The following instruments were used to create this record: Casio Sk-10 toy keyboard (which he received as a Christmas present in second grade), Yamaha PortaSound PSS-130 (thrifted), ukulele, an old iphone (purchased from a friend for $50), a Campbell’s soup can, and a broken Danelectro guitar.
“The results are sublime and beautiful.”
“Musically, Webb balances elements of traditional songwriting against his conceptual musical explorations. For example, there are clear sonic road signs pointing to his Elephant 6-inspired background (especially Neutral Milk Hotel and early Apples In Stereo). Throughout, lo-fi psych gives way to fully textured compositions and delicately threaded instrumentation.”
- Turntable Kitchen
“Building a lush orchestra of what I sometimes think of as “miniature noises” with less presence, but that in Webb’s work gain a new potential to inform the overall system, which unfolds most spectacularly in the presence of his voice.”
- Decoder Magazine
Buy the limited edition 12” now over at the GRR shop!
We’re pleased to bring you a new video for Monster Rally, this one featuring the tracks “Forager” and “Jungle Nights” off the recently released Beyond the Sea LP. It stars Joyce Boone, the USA’s best female arm wrestler. It was directed by Geoff Feinberg, who described how the video came to be:
“As far as arm wrestling goes, I was drawn towards it because I have childhood memories of my dad and my hulking cousin having these epic feats of strength face offs, the main one being arm wrestling. I remember watching these and being both amused and terrified by these two grunting dudes trying to tear each other’s arms off! There is a pretty hilarious story they used to go on about how they once had one of their arm wrestle matches in the middle of a wedding party.
This video came about almost coincidentally – I have been making a documentary (which I’m editing now) on a guy who happens to be a part of the whole arm wrestling scene over here in NYC, which has a small but loyal following. This guy hosts a weekly arm wrestling practice in the basement of his place in Queens, which he has been been doing for the past 15 years, so its a bit of an institution. There’s an open door policy, anybody from old timers to newbies show up and there are a lot of characters that end up coming through – great faces! While the doc I had been making is not really about arm wrestling, it plays a part. So, I had been filming a bunch of these practices and getting a load of footage, way more than I needed, but I couldn’t stop myself. It seemed pretty ripe for a music video (I really like documentary music videos and have had it in the back of my mind to do one for a while now). These practice sessions form the first half of the video.
The second half of the video is from the Empire State Golden Arm Tournament held each year in November, in the middle of Port Authority bus terminal. I had met Joyce Boone at the practices in Queens (she comes to everyone of them) and decided to film her as much as I could at the tournament, and it is her who features winning at the end of the video – queen of arms! She is reckoned to be pretty much one of the best female arm wrestlers in the world, definitely the country. I think that tournament has been going on for about 34 years now.
As far as the track goes, when I think of Monster Rally, I think of the lush and idyllic sounds I dig so much. I liked the idea of doing a slightly more gritty music video, using heavier tracks. I thought it would make a nice contrast – luckily Ted was totally open to this. The intensity of Jungle Nights & Forager are a good match for what is going on in the video. I wanted everything to start off being super masculine and then subvert this towards at the end of the video where we see the women step up and have these intense arm wrestle battles.”