Thursday, 24 February 2011

I Am a Lake of Burning Orchids - Summer in My Veins [2011]

Artist: I Am a Lake of Burning Orchids
Album: Summer in My Veins
Label: n/a

I Am a Lake of Burning Orchids' debut release, Summer in My Veins shows the artist taking an interesting musical route, residing somewhere between the cathartic harsh noise at its most soul-crushing, dream pop at its most fuzzed out and experimental music in its most tightly structured form.

I found out about this through the Yūko Imada page, who has undoubtedly inspired this beautiful little six-minute EP (I'm thinking particularly of "Flowers of Flesh" from Ōme (2009)). I Am a Lake of Burning Orchids takes the blueprint laid out by this track, builds on it and develops it into something really beautiful. I detect a lot of 8-bit type stuff going on here, but it could just be that the distortion is spooned on so thick that it has completely destroyed the audio resolution, and I mean this in the best possible way. Like great shoegaze music, the distortion on Summer in My Veins serves to confuse the sound to the point that new layers of implied harmony creep into one's subconscious, revealing something new on every listen. To me, it feels like Final Fantasy being played through the eyes of a noise artist, which can only be good really.

While the longest of the four tracks is 1:58, I feel that on one level, it works really well as a concise statement. In any case, this is a strong debut release and is certainly recommended listening.


1) Summer in My Veins
2) I Hereby Promise...
3) All You Did Was Love Me; All I Did Was Hurt You
4) My First Kiss Was in the Rain. It's Gone Downhill Since Then.


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Lil B - Rain in England [2010]

Artist: Lil B
Album: Rain in England
Label: Weird Forest

It's 1:30AM and I've just been listening to this album. I don't know if it's just the state of mind I've been in lately, but this always seems to hit me at a deeper level, particularly tonight. It's easy to dismiss Lil B on account of hypocrisy, but that's avoiding the matter at hand: he just says what he feels, and like everyone, when he's in a certain mood, things come out a certain way. That's the simple reason why he's so great. He has no concern for how he comes across, and whether people see him as an artist following a consistent line of thought and trying to deliver one message. He's just a person.

Tonight I've been thinking a lot about my own perception of things and how I'm choosing to live my life. Listening to B's musings at these times is perfect, because you're hearing someone else's experiences delivered to you in a comparatively unfiltered way. Even when you talk to someone you're close to, you don't go that deep. That's what music should be about, communicating in a way that is impossible through everyday methods. Music has the power to transcend and Lil B knows this. And at the same time, he's just a person.


1) Birth to Life
2) Everything
3) Just Dream
4) Love Is Strange
5) My Windowsill
6) All Women
7) Earth's Medicine
8) I Am the Hellraiser
9) My Business
10) Hate Is Fear
11) Letter to Family
12) All My Life
13) Death
14) God Kissed Me

Weird Forest
Norman Records