the latest between the weird and the conventional

AVI BUFFALO : at best cuckold : Sub Pop (out now)
Seven: Indie’s golden boy Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg - he was nineteen when Sub Pop released Avi Buffalo’s debut four years ago - returns with the allegedly difficult second album. The result though is a rather airy and unagitated take on Pacific indie bliss, full of subtle virtuosity and certainly a bit deeper than the singalongs on the band’s self-titled first record. 6.75/10


ZOLA JESUS : taiga : Mute (03.10.14)
Dars: With a career now spanning five full length releases, Russian born U.S dwelling Zola Jesus’ emotive songwriting and soaring vocals continue to impress. The whole thing simply is more commercial now, and she’s lost a touch of her mystical, ‘ancient woman’ vibe somewhere along the way. There is less noise and harsh experimentation to find, although an inevitable change in a more dance floor oriented direction. 7.1/10
Seven: The former nu-goth poster girl is going all full-blown pop on us these days. I can’t really say that I’m missing her former nods to the allegedly avant-garde, but compared to almost unbearable songs like first single “Dangerous Days“, her musical past suddenly feels like aural candy to me. 2.5/10


ORACLES : stanford torus : Couds Hill (out now)
Dars: Cosmic, spacey rock of hairy psychedelia and shoegaze, informed with electronic discipline and as many keyboards as they could find. “Stanford Torus“ projects itself cinematically and shoots for the skies... not because it's destiny but just for the love of doing it. 5.9/10
Seven: This actually is a lot better than expected... would love to see them touring the world with The Phenomenal Handclap Band anytime soon. 7/10


FUTURE 3 : with and without : Morr Music (10.10.14)
Dars: The loooong-overdue new album by this Dansk supergroup, essentially comprised of Anders Remmer (aka Dub Tractor), Thomas Knak (aka Opiate), and Jesper Skaaning (aka Acustic). The 'With' Part of this record shines with bold, more song-based pieces- referable to the input of Thomas Meluch (alias Benoît Pioulard) and Anja T. Lahrmann (Ice Cream Cathedral), whereas the second part 'Without' delivers more atmospheric, instrumental goods by the three long-time friends, without any intervention. Good stuff! 7.2/10
Seven: This definitely arrives just perfectly in time for the cold season with just the right balance between well-crafted vocal experiments that feel almost pop, and some instrumental ambient bliss. Hearing “With And Without“ on repeat might even make your most cuddly scarf an unnecessary accessory this fall. 7/10

SEEKAE : the worry : Future Classics (out now)
Dars: Salient strong production quality and ambition to deliver an intelligent and well-rounded record, this time Seekae rely a lot more on percussionist Alex Cameron’s vocals. The production also takes part in a somewhat-introspective nature, expressing itself in melodramatic timbres that, alongside ricocheting percussion and woozy psychotropic-infused synths, induce an otherworldly sonic experience. 7/10
Seven: I never was too sure about these young Sydney gentlemen, but “The Worry“ actually pretty much nails it. A prime example of multi-layered state-of-the-art pop that’s embracing the possibilities of the here and now. 8/10

ZEUS : classic zeus : Arts & Craft/SO Recordings (out now)
Dars: Somewhat of a dreary, worn-out pop effort by this Toronto-based indie rock formation. Unfortunately, nothing truly hits it out of the park but there is a lot to like on this one, and being the good craftsmen they are, Zeus don't produce any duds and there’s nothing you could call a filler. 6.9/10
Seven: There’s a lot to like here, indeed, but still this somehow feels as if you’re stuck with a rather dull example of a college radio channel right after you’ve hit the road. Time to switch to a new one. 5.5/10

GRMLN : soon away : Carpark Records (out now)
Dars: The latest full-length release of Yoodoo Park’s project was written while traveling between the US and Japan, and it’s really a shame that the production is so muddled, cuz “Soon Away“ has some incredible moments that are marred by the sheer inability of the fidelity to convey what GRMLN is feeling. BUT, if you can look past the production flaws, then you’ll find this album a pleasant affair I guess. 5.5/10
Seven: I always liked what this kid is doing, and “Soon Away“ certainly won’t change that since it basically works like a kind of best of Yoodoo Park. You have the loud and eruptive moments and the rather intimate ones; nothing feels forced here, just the good ol’ indie bliss with the occasional nod to forgotten heros and their noise from the mid 90s. 7/10

DORIAN CONCEPT : joined ends : Ninja Tune (17.10.14)
Dars: Austrian musician and producer (and Flying Lotus collaborator) Dorian Concept presents himself in a somewhat new sound here, incorporating lush analogue synths, fuzzed-out vocal performances, and subtle, nuanced control over melody. Not bad tho. 5.9/10
Seven: Not bad at all... I really like that he basically turned his back on his sometimes too cluttered sound from the past. Compared to his standards, some of the tracks on “Joined Ends“ almost feel like a fresh breeze of pop while still flirting with the unconventional. 7.5/10