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In a week where we’ve found DKFM is nominated for a second online radio award, it’s hard to keep our heads from spinning. But we’re here for you, and for new, and we’ve got plenty of both to keep everyone satisfied. From today’s release of Panda Riot’s Part Time Punks Session (brilliantly executed, that), to the new Vesper Records release of Dreams are Like Water, the debut EPs from Charcoal Skies and Team Tremolo, the sparkling new single from perennial favorites Indoor Voices, the reformed and re-polished Shallow, the epic new teaser single from Lapse, plus Dreams Wash Ashore (releasing September 8th) and The Age of Colored Lizards have new material they’d like you to consider. Plus we’ve finally got hands on the new Frankie Rose LP, with competing textures and colors, and the first single from the band When The Sun Hits, from the forthcoming Immersed Within Your Eyes EP on Saint Marie Records. Rounding out the roster, fresh tones from Pink Milk and YuKuBerī that simply must be heard. Finally, new music from Italy’s Sitting Girl With Arms Bent, full of charm and sparkle. Let’s do this!

That’s not to ignore last weekend’s new additions, including SPC ECO, Widowspeak, Plasticstatic, Turnover, Lilac, Ask For Joy, Seafang, Megumi Acorda, Death Bells, Headclouds and hamsas xii. We’ll somehow make this all work, with a minimum of failure.

New Tracks Weekend kicks off 8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific, and continuing through Sunday at midnight Eastern, 9 Pacific. It’s the first weekend we’ll spin some of these tracks, and may be the last weekend for some others. Remember, you can listen listen via the station page at DKFM,  on Shoutcast, and on TuneIn Radio for iPhone/Android/Windows. Plus we have our branded apps for Apple’s iOSAndroid and Blackberry: listeners can vote thumbs-up/thumbs-down on all the new tracks, helping us determine what graduates to permanent rotation. Your voice counts! Or load up the “Internet Radio” tab of your iTunes desktop client, and you’ll find DKFM Shoegaze Radio under ‘Alternative’. You can even keep up with the new tracks and artists you may have missed, as we’re live-tweeting every track on our sub-Twitter DKFMTracks account. Now you’ll know what you heard, or catch up on what you missed. Keep up with our new Facebook group for real-time discussions of what you’ve heard, and sound off!

And, as always, thanks for listening, and thank you for your support!

Before DKFM became a known name, we were familiar with Kalamazoo’s Crash City Saints. 2010’s epic LP, Glow In The Dark Music, presented a band in full throttle: sweeping, powerful, but always tuneful. Classic singles “A Life Worth Living” and “Cough Syrup” exemplified a band at the top of their game, and poised to take over the world. Bits of Astrobrite, with a sprinkling of Jesus and Mary Chain, Crash City Saints sparked with electric energy, and a stamp on the sound that was both deafening and undeniable.

So what happened to the lads? Other than a 2011 EP, they seemed to have fallen off the radar, much to the dismay of fans everywhere. So there was much rejoicing at the news that they’d signed to Saint Marie Records for their long-awaited followup, due 11 August. But Are You Free? is described as a far more ambitious project than might have been expected. Are You Free? was initially conceived as the shoegaze Quadrophenia. I wanted to tell the story of a teenager growing up in a small town in the early 90s set to songs meant to function as various homages to the bands I loved (the bands that “saved my life” as The Smiths once put it) from that period). However, as with every musical endeavor of mine to date, it soon became clear that my ambitions were bigger than my recording budget, and many song ideas had to be scrapped. Ultimately, this was probably for the best.”

From the opening “folky” bars of “Ice Cream Headache”, you may think you’ve landed in some parallel universe. Once the tuneful haze sets in, you’ve found yourself in familiar territory. Part Arcade Fire, part Beatles, but undeniably Crash City Saints, you’ve started on a journey that’s uniquely their own. Filled with a midwestern cool, and a consistent propulsion throughout, this is a joyous return. If you’re late to the party, this is a great time to catch up. Crash City Saints’ Are You Free? LP releases on 11 August (vinyl, CD, digital), but preorders are live now via Saint Marie Records.

Follow Crash City Saints via their Facebook page, and on Twitter. Go. Now. Do it.

From well-received early singles, to sparkling remixes, to their debut LP, Northern Automatic Music on Saint Marie Records, Chicago’s Panda Riot have continued to evolve from beachy cuteness to a dream pop band demanding to be taken seriously. And they are to be taken seriously. With all the hard work evident on their most recent album Infinity Maps, seems like the critics are finally catching up as well. We sat down with the chief architect and sonic sculptor Brian Cook, to talk about composition, pedals, sampling, as well as future plans. Press play and follow along, won’t you?

DKFM: It can’t be JUST us… this album seemed to take an absurdly long time to finally be released into the world. Tell us about the journey to release?

Brian: It takes a while for the vibe of an album to wear off. We could have made an album right after Northern Automatic Music and it probably would have sounded similar, but thats not what we were after. I  spent about a year teaching myself to build guitar pedals and then actually building them. I ended up building about 50 different pedals for this album. I built them based on what the song needed–even it was just one little moment in a song, I’d build a pedal just for that. It took awhile too because we have our own studio. We were experimenting more with the recording and the composition.  When we record something into the computer it isn’t just about taking what’s there and making it sound better. We’d try to push things beyond that. For instance, we may record a drum part, then chop it up in the computer, listen back and then try to recreate that version live; record it and then merge the 2 versions. So you end up having a mixture of organic and inorganic elements.

DKFM: It seems that there are more layers, more competing textures, that there’s just more going on in Infinity Maps than you’ve attempted before. If anything, seems like an incredible attention to detail. Talk a little about the recording and mixing process.

Brian: From a technical/gear perspective, I built out a computer that could handle and process large numbers of tracks smoothly. We also bought a pair of Mackie Controls, which is a digital control surface that talks to Logic Pro. Having 16 faders and not having to mix with a trackpad or mouse is super freeing. It really bridges the analog console approach to the digital realm. Moving faders, twisting dials feels much more natural. And once you have the ability to manipulate recorded elements fluidly with a computer it can become an instrument in its own right. All this equipment–the Mackie Control and the Mac Pro are from 2010 or earlier. The pre-touch screen stuff is brilliant and cheap nowadays.

DKFM: Tell us a little about the unique guitar textures you’re getting on this album. What goes into making the Panda Riot sound?

Brian: I had a pretty specific approach to recording and mixing the guitars from the start. I would do a take and then send that signal back through a different amp, pedal, mic combination a bunch of times.  The cool thing about that is that it doesn’t end up sounding like 100 overdubs since all the tracks are derived from the same performance. When it came to mixing I’d have about 8 different textures of the same part (x2 takes) to play around with, so for rhythm guitars I could then blend all those together.  It’s similar to working with a drawbar organ in a strange way where it’s one big sound but you can play around with the harmonics and texture.

The chaining of pedals and understanding what the best order is to exploit a certain sound also takes a long time. But it’s that very precarious chain of events that’s special. You twist one knob and the whole thing could fall apart. Twist another and it’s magic.

DKFM: Infinity Maps is notable for solid songs, bookended by luscious short song snippets in between. Was that a fortuitous use of existing material on the cutting room floor, or a conscious decision to give the LP even greater depth and colour?

Brian: Overall the idea was to treat everything as a moment. Some moments or feelings are more fleeting than others, but that doesn’t make them any less important. Everything was composed based on what the album called for.

One of the things we were focused on was thinking of songs or parts visually like a film. You have moments, scenes, establishing shots, lighting etc. With that in mind, it was pretty clear what each song needed to be.

Chimera, Infinity Maps and Parachute use elements or were directly sampled from elements of Aphelion for example. Parallels samples Arrows. Glass Cathedrals samples Night Animation. I’ve always been a fan of early hip hop and sample spotting. It’s cool to hear a piece of music show up in a different context and take on a new feeling or meaning.

DKFM: How do you think the album’s been received thus far?

Brian: We’ve gotten a really great response so far. It feels good to have it done and out there. And people seem to be picking up on the aspects that we spent a long time trying to bring out.

DKFM: You headed out on tour, bringing the Panda Riot roadshow to the West Coast last year. Now that the album is getting traction everywhere, making any fresh tour plans to amplify the signal?

Brian: We did a small tour on the East Coast in June which went over really well. We are planning on playing out a lot more. The songs off this album translate really well in a live context which is a relief. Because when we were writing the album we never considered how hard/easy it would be to play live.

DKFM: What’s next for the Panda Riot Express? New video productions for the existing songs? New songs in the works?

Brian: We are planning on releasing Infinity Maps on Vinyl in the Fall which we are pretty excited about. We’ll have some new music videos between now and then too.

DKFM: Finally, what one thing should everyone know about Panda Riot?

Brian: We are all descended from outer space aliens.

Follow Panda Riot via their website, and social channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Catch the fever.

 

First drop the needle on Sleep to Dream, the long-awaited return from Whimsical, you’d get the impression you’ve received the pre-mastered version. It’s the sound of the band practice down the hall, barely heard through three walls, and over the street noise. You’ve been had. This opening interlude is just the setup for the sonic bust-out, almost a metaphor for a long-buried and unheard album finally bursting forth with a 21st century sheen. Buried guitar squall emerges into cascading guitar waves. Guitarist Neil Burkdoll intertwines these guitar waves with another layer of glossy filigree, as suddenly multiple guitar lines are having a conversation from different sonic angles. Vocalist Krissy Vanderwoude overlays the proceedings with a crisp and clear-eyed vocal that comes off as both experienced and optimistic.

Track Two, “Lost and Found” opens with a guitar coda that seems almost immediately familiar (though this reviewer can’t for the life of him draw its parallel). But this familiarity branches off into new colors and directions, all founded on a bedrock guitar churn, as you’re led into unfamiliar but comfortable territory.

By the time you get to the LP’s third track, “Surreal”, new sonic vistas have opened up. You can no longer simply assume direct references. There’s some Lush here, a dash of Robin Guthrie, even a bit of late 80’s twee pop guitar work, but the distillation of all these only reinforces Whimsical’s unique sonic imprint. This combination of rhythm, guitar and vocal is now become instantly recognizable as Whimsical. The song structures all put the “pop” back in “dream pop”: these are song-centric dream pop confections carefully crafted by adults.

It’s tempting to go through a track-by-track dissection, but this is one of those albums you simply fall into. If the assembled palette hasn’t grabbed you by track three, this brand is not for you. The strength of Whimsical is in the songs and the arrangements, carefully balanced, hauntingly lovely.

The foundation for all these songs has existed for over 15 years, with recorded bits lying dormant on a lost hard drive for all that time. At the time of first recording, Whimsical consisted of Krissy Vanderwoude (vox), Neil Burkdoll (guitar, sounds), Mark Milliron (guitar), Brian Booher (bass), and Andy Muntean (drums). Neil later added keyboard flourishes, re-edited drums based on today’s music software technology, and produced a final packaged presentation. Focused, polished, re-recorded and overdubbed, the songs on Sleep to Dream all have the freshness of now. Which is only unfortunate for guitarist Neil Burkdoll, as he’s recently admitted in an interview that he doesn’t listen to new music. To the rest of us, this is the new music. To paraphrase Mick Jagger, we know it’s not rock and roll, but we love it.

Sleep to Dream releases 24 February on Saint Marie Records (order link here). Follow Whimsical on Twitter and Facebook, and get in on the ground floor… fifteen years later. Don’t worry, in this case no one will judge.

Austin’s incomparable Bloody Knives released the first single and video for their forthcoming EP, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This. Tuneful, compelling, bleak, nobody makes an amazingly joyless noise like Bloody Knives. Your closest comparison is A Place To Bury Strangers, and still, this is not that. Signed to Saint Marie Records since forever ago, Bloody Knives have brought a controlled chaos to their output that is strong enough to peel paint from the wall near your hotplate. This single only amplifies the band’s aesthetic, and stakes a claim to dominate the noisier axis of shoegaze in 2016. “Reflection Lies” is all that and a bag of crack. All hail the kings.

Plans for a Spring tour are in the works, including several dates along the West Coast. We’ll keep you posted as we learn them, because we (like you) really don’t want to miss this live show.

Follow Bloody Knives on Facebook and Twitter, and check out their prior releases via Bandcamp.

It’s been a helluva week. If you’re like us, you need an escape. We can help. We’ve got premieres, and new music, because you demand it. We’re deep into the new LP from Blindness, finally released on Saint Marie Records, and chock full of fuzzy goodness. But we won’t stop there. Melbourne’s Jay Penaflor just dropped an EP, Human Abstracts, worth your attention. A tasty world premiere from DROEM. Brand new music from Brooklyn’s 2;Frail that’ll peel your cap back. The new single from Presents for Sally is a tasty confection, to be sure. But we’ll also go deep with the Blind Mr. Jones reissue of Tatooine, because, never forget awesome. We’re also tracking Russian shoegaze mafia-types vvait. Your brain cells will be challenged. More pre-release tuneage from Leonard Las Vegas, whose Jagmoor Cynewulf LP releases September 4 on Blackjack Illuminist. We’ve got your sneak preview. We’ve also got some dreamy waves from Soft Summers, just chilly enough to cool you off on a hot day. New Blue Herons music, plus Alderanne, maquinas, Moving Panoramas, Cat Hair, Orange Vision, The Foreign Resort, TUATH and We Are Temporary. And the follow-up from Time Spent Breathing, getting their brand established. We’ll FINALLY be able to get in more from Wozniak’s new Auster EP. Lastly but not leastly, we roll out a lovely Byrds cover from King Penguin, via London’s Fruits de Mer Records.

We’re still pushing Keep, Glace, Wen, Pure Morning, Nightjacket, Ultra Material, Schonwald, Howling Bells, Under Electric Light, Lowtide, Youthmemory, Swervedriver, Spirit of the Beehive, The Churchill Garden, Day Ravies, Shojo Winter, Lust, Cattle, Trementina, White Poppy, Cryuff in the Bedroom, Looprider, The Lovely Intangibles and much more.

Also, there’s a brand new single from Sinead O’Connor out today. We won’t be playing that, though.

New Tracks Weekend kicks off 8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific, and continuing through Sunday at midnight Eastern, 9 Pacific. It’s the first weekend we’ll spin some of these tracks, and may be the last weekend for some others. Live365 listeners: it’s your votes that count! Your thumbs-up / thumbs down ratings determine what is kept in permanent rotation. Listen via the Live365 station page at DKFM, on iTunes Internet Radio under “Eclectic”, and on TuneIn Radio for iPhone/Android/Windows. Latin America relay: try Radio Terra. And still commercial-free everywhere! You can even keep up with the new tracks and artists you may have missed: we’re live-scrobbling via our last.fm profile. Now you’ll know what you heard, or catch up on what you missed.

Too much month at the end of our money.

Win the weekend! First, let us bring you a world broadcast premiere from longtime favorites Echodrone. They’ve signed to Saint Marie Records, the new long player Five drops February 24, and is now available for preorder through SMR. Don’t sleep on it. What else? We’ve going all in with Stranger Kings, whose debut ST LP on Northern Records is a jewel in its own right. We’re also pushing Japan’s She Her Her Hers, with a bounty of shimmering tracks that will keep your attention. We’re also long on Scarling, which makes its too-long-awaited debut on OUR air, so we’re rushing as much as we can to your ears. Also, new Ringo Deathstarr. Yes, way! Less than 24 hours old, it’s still warm!

So you want more? Classic Jawbreaker, Infinity Girl and Dissolve, brand new Magic Love, Sound of Ceres, Cameraphone, the blues-infected noise chaos of The Butterfly Gang, ADVAETA, Dividend, fumo, etti/etta, The Fashion Focus, Aubrey, Spring Decade, Flannel, The Starlight Run, Lazy Calm, Highlands, Movienite, and a boatload more. Packing it in, pressing down tight.

And, yes, we’re still pushing Static Daydream, Lunar Twin, Pupila, Follow the Sea, Hemingway, TuT, Secrets of the Beehive, 溶けない名前(tokenai namae), Dead Mellotron… you know the drill. If it’s new and worth your time, we’re all over it.

8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific, and continuing through Sunday at midnight Eastern, 9 Pacific. It’s the first weekend we’ll spin some of these tracks, and may be the last weekend for some others. Live365 listeners: it’s your votes that count! Your thumbs-up / thumbs down ratings determine what is kept in permanent rotation. Listen via the Live365 station page at DKFM, on iTunes Internet Radio under “Eclectic”, and on TuneIn Radio for iPhone/Android/Windows. Latin America relay: try Radio Terra. And still commercial-free everywhere! You can even keep up with the new tracks and artists you may have missed: we’re live-scrobbling via our last.fm profile. Now you’ll know what you heard, or catch up on what you missed.

If you were hoping for FKA Twigs, sorry, there’s a public radio station up north that can help you.

For the last two weeks we’ve been pleased to bring you sneak peeks from Lightfoils’ Hierarchy LP, due July 8 on Saint Marie Records, and worth every bit of the hype we’ve heaped on it. As early adopters of Lightfoils, through personnel changes and delays, we’ve been expecting the new LP to vindicate our evangelism. And it has. Expect this album to land on our Top Ten list at year’s end.

We’ve also been heavy promoters of Highlands, who produce a psychedelic shoegaze stew that caught staff attention immediately. “Nightmares”, “Evil” and “Railroad” have been in rotation since practically forever. Now Highlands kicks it up a notch with their forthcoming LP, Dark Matter Traveler, due July 15 on Say Again Records. That such a moody melodic soup would originate from sunny Long Beach, well, can’t explain it if we tried. Music for headphones. Music for fog. Music for your more epic moments. We’re glad to be able to preview choice cuts from the new album, available soon.

Keep your ears on New Tracks Weekend for the next few weeks, as we tickle your earholes with pre-release music worth your attention. Preorder Lightfoils Hierarchy via Saint Marie Records, and preorder Highlands Dark Matter Traveler via Say Again Records.

Perfect trifecta (quadfecta?) of releases tomorrow, with some of the most anticipated music of the year. Wichita Recordings brings us the self-titled full length from Cheatahs tomorrow. While some of these tunes will be quite familiar to you from prior singles and EPs, they still produce some of the most compelling music in the genre, and their time has arrived. These fuzzy edges don’t dull on repeated listenings.

Up next via Graveface Records, The Casket Girls bring their second LP, True Love Kills the Fairy Tale. A haze of absinthe and regret, this is psych-tinged pop music bent sideways. You can tell a lot of care went into the production of sound and harmony, and these tunes will stick to you like a thick country gravy. Initial anthemic singles “Same Side” and “Holding You Back” only solidify the notion that this will be in heavy rotation on your turntable for the rest of the year. Deal flagyl online 200mg with it.

Lilies on Mars bring Dot to Dot, via Saint Marie Records. While we have no advance promo on this one, if the lead single “Dream of Bees” is any indication, this should be a heady, blissful dream-pop concoction. We’re rather looking forward to what the rest of the album has in store.

NOT to be forgotten: Soft Science drops Detour, via Test Pattern Records tomorrow. Crunchy sounds, sweet vocals, this is some of the tastiest sound California is likely to serve up this year. We promo’d two singles last weekend, be assured we’ll pin your ears back with additional awesome tracks this week. Heavy rotation in studio this past weekend, heavy rotation on air starts tomorrow. If you weren’t able to keep up with us this past weekend, this is what you missed out on:

Soft Science – Feel from Test Pattern on Vimeo.

 

static_waves_2The venerable Saint Marie Records once brings out the crown jewels of their roster: the second in the series of Static Waves compilations lands on November 26th. With 32 tracks from the SMR stable of artists, 23 of them previously unreleased, the Static Waves series has proven to be the best compilation series since 4AD’s This Mortal Coil project.

Last year’s compilation had two previously unreleased tracks that ended up in our Top 50 of 2012: Drowner’s “Breathe” and Tip Top Tellix’s “Counting Days”. A previously released track that also made last year’s Top 50 now appears on Static Waves 2: The History Of Colour TV’s “I Knew It Was Wrong But I Did It Anyway”.

With a bench as deep as Saint Marie Records has, you can be forgiven for thinking that the Static Waves series is perhaps the one must-own disc of any given year. All the stalwarts of our own playlists are here: Lightfoils, Spotlight Kid, Panda Riot, Drowner, Jetman Jet Team, Elika, Nightmare Air, Andrew Saks (formerly Sway), The Blessed Isles, Bloody Knives, Presents for Sally, The High Violets, Resplandor, Scarlet Youth, plus a sneak peak at the forthcoming Strata Florida LP from Louise Trehy (half of 4AD veteran Swallow). And with most of them dropping new and exclusive tracks or unreleased remixes just for this compilation, that’s a compelling argument. With a sale price of $5.98 for the double CD, well, you have no excuse.

Full tracklist follows:

Disc 1

01 Seasurfer / We Run *
02 Jetman Jet Team / Red Wind (Tokyo Mix) *
03 Elika / Moving Faster
04 Drowner / Hide Yer Eyes *
05 Orange Yellow Red / Time Slows Down *
06 Nightmare Air / Icy Daggers
07 Andrew Saks / Farewell To The Hills
08 Tip Top Tellix / So Beautiful Eyes
09 Young Boy / Secret Place
10 Shortwave Broadcaster / Smile *
11 broaddaylight / Three Light Six (2013 Lighter Mix) *
12 The Blessed Isles / Round And Round *
13 The FLIR / It Didn’t Happen *
14 Bloody Knives / Suffocation *
15 Blackstone Rangers / Frozen Echo
16 Presents For Sally / Softly Spoken/Outside Honey *

Disc 2

01 Keith Canisius / Meltdown *
02 Lilies On Mars / For The First 3 Years *
03 The High Violets / Gravity *
04 The History Of Colour TV / I Knew It Was Wrong But I Did It Anyway
05 Resplandor / Feel *
06 Spotlight Kid / Sugar Pills
07 Panda Riot / Good Night, Rich Kids
08 Cloud From The Sea / Ever New *
09 The Spiracles / A Thousand Miles Away *
10 Strata Florida / Automatic *
11 Scarlet Youth / Note For A Stranger *
12 Lotte Kestner / Ties That Bind *
13 The Patience / In Vain
14 Carta / It’s Always As It Always Is *
15 Lightfoils / How It Is
16 We Need Secrets / Swimming Pool *

* Previously Unreleased

Sure, Santa didn’t give us our shiny new Lightfoils teaser, or a fresh track from Tip Top Tellix to match last year’s chart-topper. Small quibble. What is here more than makes up for the loss.

Digital-only release available soon via the usual suspects (iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, eMusic), but the Static Waves 2 CD is available for preorder right now at the Saint Marie Records webstore. And with the $5.98 price tag, it’s a bargain at twice the price. Our highest recommendation.

© 2017 DKFM Shoegaze Radio