To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, Radio 1190 will be spinning Irish indie artists all day today. Then tonight, CU's radio crew will host a Locals Live session at Innisfree Poetry Bookstore, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., Boulder, at 6 with Denver-based bedroom-pop artist Total Goth.
Boulder-based record label, First Base Tapes, has already dropped four releases (digital and cassette) since its conception in October. Its latest, an 18-artist compilation album, First Kiss Comp., emphasizes the label's love for smooching and local music.
First Kiss Comp.is a diverse, eclectic mix of mainly Colorado artists that gives listeners an overall a cohesive blend. The tracks range from emo, to lo-fi indie, to electronic, to post-punk, to experimental rock. Featured artists vary from local scene heroes — such as Bleak Plaza, Montoneros, American Grandma — to new and exciting projects like CooCoo Bad Brains, Beat Soft Pop and Wrinkle. Standout track, "Undertheseajawn" by Scary Drugs, is a bouncy jaunt, recorded live to capture the raw energy of the group. The track features the riffy, musical complexity of math rock along with the fun, easy-going feeling of Mac DeMarco.
Overall, the album is an interesting look into the current state of indie rock in Colorado and it stands as the flagship statement of this up-and-coming local record label.
Denver-based electronic experimentalist, Thug Entrancer, is back with a monolith of a sophomore album: Arcology. Much like Death After Life (2014), Arcology is a dense, conceptual electronic record that tells a complex story without lyrics.
The album, based on an alien colony, puts forth an esoteric and deconstructive mood — straying from Thug Entrancer's usually subtle style of electronic music. Though the album is more colorful and diverse, Thug Entrancer still manages to keep it dark and mysterious. The futuristic sounds and textures sound much like Aphex Twin in execution, but the equipment he uses resonates very retro. The drum sounds are reminiscent of '90s underground house artists, but are also inventive and original. Though this is not an album for everybody, Arcology is much more digestible, subtle and palpable than other experimental electronic albums. Undoubtedly, Arcology is one of the best and most interesting albums not only to come out of Denver, but electronic music as a whole.
Ever since dance-rock duo Prince Rama was discovered in a dive bar by Animal Collective's Avey Tare in 2010, it has become a cult act in the indie-sphere. Though the duo doesn't necessarily make electronic or rock music, the music is self-described as "now age."
Prince Rama's new album XTREME brings groovy beats to the table, quipped with captivating and strange personalities. Simultaneously, the duo mixes campy synths and aesthetics of '80s New Wave along with punky dance-rock energy, much like LCD Soundsystem or The Rapture. Though the product comes across as catchy and dancey, Prince Rama plays music that's strongly tongue-in-cheek, with lyrics that poke fun at clichés and pitfalls of the genres. Overall, the album is fun, weird and danceable, but doesn't leave much substance to chew on as an active listener.
Calvet is Radio 1190's music director. Read more reviews: coloradodaily.com/columnists.