Breaking News: New Nine Inch Nails EP Out This Friday

nin

This Friday, iconic industrial rock titans, Nine Inch Nails, will be releasing a brand new EP.  The upcoming EP, titled “Not the Actual Events”, will be released on their website (http://www.nin.com) on December 23rd and is the group’s first release since 2014.  The new material will also be the first project to feature the group’s newest member, Atticus Ross.  The duo of Ross and Reznor have worked on numerous successful scores in recent years, like “Gone Girl”, “Before the Flood”, and “Juno” to name a few, so their collaboration on new NIN materials will be very interesting to hear!

Unfortunately a single for the upcoming project has yet to be released.  With the project recently being announced, it is very unlikely we will hear any previews before the EP’s release date Friday.  However, a review of the project will definitely be posted once the EP is out!  Visit the site regularly to see more updates about the new Nine Inch Nails EP along with all other music news and content!

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Breaking News: Business Casual Releases BIZBOX #3

bizbox-3-office

Today, one of the most prominent vaporwave/electronic labels, Business Casual, has released the third installment to their bi-monthly release promotion project called BIZBOX.  BIZBOX, which has become extremely popular since it first started last summer, is a series of releases where the founder of Business Casual, who goes by the stage name “christtt” and also has some of his own tracks included on this BIZBOX release, creates cassette tapes for certain releases and bundles these tapes with stickers, assorted merchandise, and a surprise cassette tape, usually of a record that had yet to be pressed on a physical format.  For example, BIZBOX 1, which featured Don Mason’s “Summer Love” also came with the surprise cassette tape for SYLLABUS’ “July”, which was never been pressed on cassette before.  These release projects are usually out of 200 and sell out extremely fast.

For BIZBOX 3, Business Casual has decided to bundle together “Digital Office” 1, 2, and 3 and has labeled the box set as ‘Office’.  Each “Digital Office” release is a compilation of artists who have released material through the label in the last few years.  The individual cassette tapes made for these releases when they initially came out have since sold out, so this is probably the last opportunity for fans to buy these records on cassette tape before they sell out for good.  Business Casual, who only release vaporwave and various electronic albums through free digital download and extremely limited cassette tape pressings, seem to have continued success with their BIZBOX projects and I won’t be surprised if this becomes a staple for the physical copy release aspect of their label.

Despite being really into vaporwave for the last few months, I still have a lot to learn about the young and up and coming genre.  However, I know for a fact that if you are a new fan to this style of music, like myself, Business Casual’s impressive catalog of releases is the best place for you to start.  Almost all of my favorite vaporwave artists have come from this label and the ability to download any release I want for free allows me, and other listeners, to have access to hours upon hours of the genre’s leading artists.  If you like what you hear definitely support the label and pick up your own copy of the BIZBOX 3 box set ‘Office’ before they are sold out for good.  The link to purchase the tapes are posted below along with free streaming of each “Digital Office”.  Who knows, maybe you’ll receive one of your favorite vaporwave releases on cassette tape as well with your purchase!

BIZBOX 3:

http://music.businesscasual.biz/merch/bizbox-3-office-limited-edition

 

500 Word Review: Blank Banshee “MEGA”

blank-banshee-mega

Recently, vaporwave and experimental electronic artist, Blank Banshee, released his latest album titled “MEGA”.  “MEGA” features a recognizable vaporwave sound that is common througout the fairly new genre, but also has numerous aspects that separate Blank Banshee and his material from anyone else in vaporwave and in the process show the growth in the genre over the last few years.  Personally, I was not too familiar with vaporwave as a genre before this review and actually knew nothing about Blank Banshee himself, so I thought this would be a interesting album to review since I did not have a previous background in either the artist or the genre they write in.

Despite not knowing much about Blank Banshee himself, it was very apparent within the first few tracks that his sound was one that heavily relied on the use of reverb.  Throughout the entire release the high quality production is constantly accompanied by a heavy use of reverb, which enhances the sound and style that Blank Banshee himself is trying to achieve.  However, the use of reverb isn’t the only prominent tool used to capture this desired sound heard on “MEGA”.  The frequent use of soundscapes (that at numerous times even creates an atmospheric vaporwave sound), trap influenced beats, and various altered samples helps encompass the ultimate sound of this project.

In my opinion the strongest feature of Blank Banshee’s unique sound is the numerous soundscapes heard in tracks like “Frozen Flame” and “EXOS”.  These almost entirely soundscape based songs, mixed in with reverb and even some panning like that heard on the more hip-hop influenced “Sandclock”, help show how multi-dimensional “MEGA” is and in return prove that vaporwave as a genre is beginning to evolve and diverge into different subgenres.  These soundscapes and synth pads, created using various pan flutes, string and wind instruments, and other software-generated sounds only help to compliment the trap-like beats heard on virtually every song.  Along with this, the bright yet simplistic album artwork helps to visually describe this sound while fitting the vaporwave aesthetic.

When listening to “MEGA” the use of experimentation is also extremely obvious.  Fitting the style of the genre itself, “MEGA” constantly jumps from section to section, never staying on one riff or part for too long.  The short length in tracks (the longest track on the record is only 2:37) allows for these brief compositions to flow easily from one track to another.  Despite experimentation, there are only a few moments where the record is rough sounding and not melodic.  Usually heard at the beginning of the release, these seemingly unpleasant sections and samples are slightly distracting, but do not last long and ultimately have a small, yet significant negative impact on the release.  Most of the album is actually very relaxed and slow in tempo except for the track “My Machine”, which sounds like a modern version of a notable earlier The Prodigy release.  However, during the melodic moments, this experimental electronic sound pays off and helps incorporate the vaporwave sound in a refreshing style.

In summation, I give “MEGA” by Blank Banshee an 8.3/10.  If you’re new to vaporwave like myself I definitely suggest starting here with this album.  Its high quality production and mix of classic vaporwave influence with modern sounding beats and instrumentals helps bridge the gap between an electronic music fan and a long time vaporwave fan.  Listen to the full album below and if you enjoy it make sure to pick up a copy off Blank Banshee’s bandcamp page!

 

Download “MEGA” here:

https://blankbanshee.bandcamp.com/album/mega

Update: Thomas Giles (Tommy Rodgers of BTBAM) Releases Second Single Off Upcoming Album “Velcro_Kid”

btbam

About a month ago, Tommy Rodgers, the vocalist of Between The Buried And Me (BTBAM) announced that his solo project, titled “Thomas Giles”, had signed to Sumerian Records and that a new album would be released on November 4th.  With the announcement for the upcoming record, “Velcro_Kid”, Giles included his first single “Strangers in a Paranoid Mind”.  This single featured a more aggressive, Nine Inch Nails inspired sound which resulted in a weird, but very good track.  The second single, “Slow Gold Becoming”, was released earlier today and features a totally different sound than that of “Strangers in a Paranoid Mind”.  “Slow Gold Becoming” showcases a rock influenced, almost spacey sounding, trance/edm track that even has some very slight but noticeable Bassnectar influences.  This new song is both interesting and extremely catchy and has caused my anticipation for this record to grow exponentially!

I’ve attached the video for this new single below for those who want to give it a listen and I’ve also posted the link for the blog about the first single and album announcement.  Give these two stellar tracks a listen and preorder the new Thomas Giles album, “Velcro_Kid”!

https://eriksalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/breaking-news-tommy-rodgers-of-between-the-buried-and-me-signs-to-sumerian-records-for-new-solo-album/

Breaking News: Tommy Rodgers of Between The Buried And Me Signs To Sumerian Records For New Solo Album

btbam

Between The Buried And Me’s frontman Tommy Rodgers has just signed with Sumerian Records under his solo project, “Thomas Giles”.  His new album, “Velcro_Kid”, will be released November 4th and a single, “Strangers in a Paranoid Mind”, has been released to promote it.

Based off the single it seems like the project will have an industrial electronic sound, very similar to Nine Inch Nails.  The single itself also had some similar aspects to Marilyn Manson, however I believe that will only be seen on this single and that the album itself will keep this NIN theme as a main inspiration throughout the project.  The single itself sounded odd in a good way.  It was very experimental, and at some points, keyboard sections and vocal parts even sounded as if they were taken off “Colors” or “The Parallax II”.  Overall the single is very interesting and I am definitely looking forward to the release of this new album!  Check out the new track below: