Listening Post #10

by Alex Brammer

1. Danny Brown – Lost

This probably isn’t the best song on Danny Brown’s new record Atrocity Exhibition, but it’s still one of the best tracks of his career. It’s a pity, then, that it’s sandwiched between the two highlights of the album – posse cut Really Doe and wild hall-of-mirrors ode to drug abuse Ain’t It Funny. This track is packed with quotables – try listening to “I’m like Kubrick with two bricks” and tell me that you didn’t nod your head along. The production, too, is on point – Playa Haze starts with an eerie vocal loop before sliding some lo-fi horns underneath it. Haze and Brown are a match made in heaven.

2. Captain Murphy – Crowned

If you haven’t been following outsider Hip-hop closely the past couple of years you might have missed Flying Lotus’ rap side project Duality under the moniker Captain Murphy. If you haven’t heard it, go listen to it, it was one of the best rap projects of 2012 and the total lack of communication from Flying Lotus since its release has afforded it a certain level of cult mystique which makes the record just that bit better. This is one of maybe two or three Captain Murphy verses we’ve got since then, and it’s a wonderful, ominous track. His vocals are pitched down far enough to make the crashing, terrifying beat sound upbeat by comparison. Keep this in your rotation for Halloween.

3. Bon Iver – 21 MOON WATER

It was a bold move of Bon Iver to keep the instrumentation so down in this track, but my God it paid off. You might hear a garbled snatch of beat in the background from time to time, a glitchy saxophone poking its head up here and a quiet siren there, but the overwhelming feature is Bon Iver’s voice, deep under autotune. It feels like a lost Blonde track, and if you’ve somehow missed out on listening to 22, A Million then go do it now. You won’t regret it.

4. Tycho – Horizon

Tycho’s often been criticised as being a shameless Boards Of Canada ripoff who took their sound and watered it down to go pop. That critique does have a grain of truth to it, but I’m still pleased that Tycho is as popular as he is. Anyone who takes ambient stylings to the mainstream, and does it so well, is all right in my book. This track takes those Boards Of Canada influences and pushes them to the back, so while it’s still a noticeable influence, it really feels like Tycho’s asserting his own identity. It’s a lovely bit of chillwave to throw on in the background as you mess about doing nothing in particular, and it doesn’t really need to be any more than that.

5. Tim Hecker – Veil Scans

This feels a lot like a sister track to Captain Murphy’s Crowned – both were released through the Adult Swim Singles programme. They’re also both dark and bloody intense. Veil Scans is a wavering drone backed by what sounds suspiciously like a crazed woodmill eating away at the rest of the track. It’s disturbing, inaccessible and you’ll probably hate it. The first time, at least. After a week you’ll want to listen to it all day long.

Listen to the PearShaped Listening Post #10 Playlist below.