"Love, Death, Immortality" - An album review by Harry Levin
The Glitch Mob, a trio of producers who pioneered the bass heavy Los Angeles ‘beat’ scene, have returned to blow your speakers with “Love, Death, Immortality,” their first album in four years.
“Drink the Sea,” the Glitch Mob’s debut album was released at an interesting period in the evolution of Electronic Dance Music (EDM). May 25, 2010 was almost two years before Skrillex’s grammy-winning EP “Bangarang” defined the new style of bass heavy techno. The scene was still a very blank canvas, and as with every emerging genre, the early years of experimentation lead to truly innovative music. “Drink the Sea,” combined authentic instrumental sounds with a dark electricity. Dozens of different drums accompany each other with syncopated rhythms, resulting in a series of futuristic tribal dances fit for a battle scene in any sci-fi movie.
After an initial album release tour lasting from late 2009 to early Novmber 2011, The Glitch Mob dropped off of people’s radar. Singles and remixes were sparse, each member pursued solo efforts, and during that time Avicii released “Levels,” launching EDM into worldwide sensation it is today.
Currently, electronic sub genres are categorized by bets per minute (House: 128, Dubstep: 140, Moombahton: 110, etc.), and every number one club hit follows the same formula (Intro-vocal theme-buildup-drop). Comparing these “standards” to “Drink the Sea,” will reveal that the Glitch Mob doesn’t abide by any of these. Tracks fluctuate between 80 and 130 bpm. There are no generic glistening synths, shaky womps, or universally accessible lyrics to force the trio into one specific corner of EDM.
Now, four years later, the question is where does this new album fit? Is it just as obscurely beautiful as the debut, or has the Glitch Mob become just another name on static rave lineups? Without a doubt, they have embraced the current sounds, but throughout the album, the Glitch Mob finds the perfect opportunity for an injection of ingenuity.
The opening track “Mind of a Beast,” is by all means another raucous drumstep banger, but two and a half minutes in, the Mob throws you back to 2010, and the tribal drums come out. Congas, bongos, trash cans, paint buckets, and every other ominous percussive instrument stand together as if to say, “We are the Glitch Mob and it’s time to fucking listen.”
“Becoming Harmonious,” gives the die-hard fans an homage to their older productions. Metal Mother’s voice provides the same nondescript, soothing wash as Swan’s did on the first album. Her vocals are the light at end of the tunnel; the silver lining. While the enormous thundering of the Glitch Mob follows a short lyrical introduction she presents, her tranquil timbre remains constant, allowing the dynamic transitions from loud to soft to become seamless.
“I Need My Memory Back” soars above the other electro hits on the radio. The first section follows the expected EDM formula, but as the second buildup closes, and anyone else would take us back to the beginning, the Glitch Mob remind us who they are. The booming big-room metronome is replaced by a real kick drum, and the computer-generated filler synths are washed away by an effected tone that would only be heard out of the amplifier of one Tom Morello. This crunchy, distorted guitar flows through your ears until settling on a galloping metal rhythm. A veracious snare joins the metal guitar and the desire to mosh become undeniable.
While “Love, Death, Immortality,” is much more commercially viable, these three producers made some of the most rockin’ electronic music out there. Catch them at Coachella and various other festivals throughout 2014.
We are proud to have created a brand new series of playlists inspired by certain moods, actions, and mindsets. Check out “Lillies on a Lonely Day” over on our Soundcloud.
"This is a playlist for somber solace, sultry soliloquies, and reflective daze. Yeah, we know what you’re feeling. Let it all out with this collection of downtempo electronic, ambient, gentle melodic trap, ethereal, dreamlike trance, and philosophical chill hop.”
"Midnight Sunrise" is an invigorating, motivating, and uplifting mix of house, deep house, progressive, dub, techno, trance, and electro for those times where your sun comes out after dark. We’re talking about long nights in ecstatic dance; we’re talking about dry mouth and wet bodies; we’re talking about next-morning headaches, audio induced goosebumps, and flashing lights. That’s right, everyone; we’re talking about losing yourself… completely. Let yourself go. Don’t forget to turn on the sun!
This is a special guest mix by DJ BoogZ, and we are proud to feature it on our page as the first Thumosaic Brainworks guest mix. This recording consists of chillwave, trap, hip hop, ambient electronic, chillstep, drumstep, and a speaker busting vibe that can take any night in a better direction, whether you’re turning up or slowing down.
Phaeleh - Lounge (Original Mix)
Ellie Goulding - Guns & Horses ($unday $ervice Remix)
Pink Floyd - Money (Modified Noise Trap Bootleg)
Avicii - Wake Me Up (Nick Gunner Remix)
Santigold - The Artist (Huglife Remix)
Faithless - We Come 1 (Ensof Trap Remix)
Tommy Trash ft. Showtek & Moguai - Sunrise [Wont Get Lost] (Spaveech Remix)
Katy Perry - E.T. (ReepR’s Ultraterrestrial Remix)
Big Chocolate - Sound Of My Voice (B!ggs Remix)
Imogen Heap - Just For Now (C L E M E N T ! N O Remix)
DJ Yankee - Requiem For A Dream (Trapped In The Dream Edit)
Metric - Help I’m Alive (Styte Remix)
NorRasta & iLLest Vibes - Purple Haze (Original Mix)
NERO - Innocence (Original Mix)
XX - Crystalized (Minnesota Booty Remix)
Jeremih - Down On Me (MiHkAL Remix)
Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans (Kin Rocha Trap Remix)
Ladies and Gentlemen! Curs and Wretches! Students and Fellow Degenerates! India House has just ended their flaming stretch down the tarmac of highway 101 on their first, brilliantly successful tour leaving behind only the reverberating walls of venues and the hollow remnants of revelry. Thumosaic Brainworks enjoyed the privilege of covering the tour consuming that sweet, sonorous rock n’roll of India House, The Honey Tones, Teton, and several other talented, starving, intoxicated artists. We will be bringing you in depth coverage of the entire tour shortly, but right now stop whatever you’re doing and sip a tasty fermented beverage while enjoying the scuzzy, yet melodious sounds of Anxiety. Only one of India House’s numerous new tunes. -Jack Deklayn, Staff Writer.
Michael Cutt is a solo guitarist out of the guts of Long Beach and although this tune (his first recording) lacks a title, its in possession of an abundance of guts or soul or virtuosity or whatever the hell it is that creates the heartthrobing notes of longing and doubt that characterize this wonderful track. Keep an eye out for more of this promising, gutsy musician. -Jack Deklayn, Staff Writer
This remix of Ben Pearce’s “What I Might Do” from Kilter is, in our opinion, one of the year’s best nu-disco and house tracks! You’re missing out if you don’t give it a listen.
by Harry Levin, Staff Writer
The music of San Francisco has maintained a lovely reputation ever since flowers grew wherever The Grateful Dead and their multicolored following of loving individuals treaded barefoot, carrying with them one of the most influential cultures in history. Regardless of how deep the music industry has sunk its roots into the efforts of the modern musician, an artist coming from San Fran will produce sounds of jubilance, togetherness, and peace. Keep in mind, I said “sounds” not lyrics, poetry, or any such art form burdened by the finality of words. The Summer of Love was never about preaching a message. If there was one, it would be: Feel Good, Be Free, and the music continues to communicate that perfectly today.
Tim Cohen, frontman of the Fresh & Onlys, emulates the music of San Francisco perfectly. Although he isn’t a native of the city, his musical career began there, and he embraced every aspect of its culture. All of his projects invoke communication through sound as opposed to words, none more so than his current solo project, Magic Trick. Compared to his other more collaborative works, it is clear Cohen is in complete creative control when it comes to Magic Trick, and that San Francisco is where he belongs. The new album, River of Souls, released on December 3rd, 2013, demonstrates Cohen’s multigenre love, embracing the prospect of “Feel good. Be Free.”
A truly fantastic quality that Cohen is able to integrate into his songwriting, is the power of implication. Cohen clearly wrote music to be performed among friends and psychedelics, while sitting in a circle in some serene setting. A good pair of headphones, and closed eyes is all it takes for you to be there with him. Almost every sound heard on River of Souls that isn’t Cohen’s voice or the even, reverberant strumming of his guitar, didn’t actually need to be recorded. Every other sound heard is an extension of his voice or guitar. On “Crazy Teeth,” Cohen and his friends are sitting on an island. (Perhaps the one in the sun Weezer sang about) The slow, laid back electric guitar plays separated melodies and rolled out major chords as he leads you along with a simple tune favoring the love of all women, not just the pretty ones. Backup vocals begin with unison chords, eventually evolving into more interesting entrances of the theme; a few of his friends decided to sing along. The beat is driven by generic percussive sounds, the most familiar of which is a tambourine; we’re sitting in a drum circle. Such musical gatherings are happening in San Francisco as you’re reading this and while I was writing this. People from all walks of life with a need to express themselves through rhythm flock to these public jam sessions. To be involved is truly enlightening.
While the more lush, hopeful concert experience, where one song can last thirty minutes, is San Francisco’s bread and butter, the Summer of Love was a time of new musical ideas. If an artist is to truly produce an ode to SF they have switch it up, and Cohen excels in his attempt to do so. “You Have To Do,” “Blinding Light,” and “My World,” are two tributes to the New Wave movement. Drum patterns become heavy, driving the beat forward with heavy snare and kick, Cohen’s voice becomes more controlled and more definable, and instead of sitting in a circle, you’re back in a small one room venue. This is not a downgrade at all. The guitar and backup vocals are there to remind you that you’re still in SF. “Blinding Light” evolves into a Phish-esque progressive jam, and the lovely ladies performing back up vocals on the 60’s doo-wop record, “You Have To Do,” do exactly what there supposed to; emphasize the the theme with whirling, consonant harmonies in perfect contrast to the singer’s melody.
Every artist is influenced by their home, but few can use city streets, skyscrapers, and public parks as a muse for endless creativity. Tim Cohen is now among the ranks of The Clash, The Notorious B.I.G., and the Grateful Dead, all of whom captured the heart of their city. Though the first two names mentioned inspired change through anger and action, all the Dead and Cohen want to say to you is feel good, be free.