The first record this week comes from The Silver Lake Chorus, a group from the affluent Hollywood suburb of Silver Lake that records choral music. I'll admit, from first glance this sounds like pretty much the worst thing of all time. However, their new record "The Silver Lake Chorus Remixes" will convince you otherwise.
This new release uses the lush vocal takes from the group's first album "The Silver Lake Chorus" and pairs them with ultra-tight electronic instrumentation. Instead of writing from within the group, TSLC asked indie rock legends to compose the songs. Sia, The New Pornographers, Ben Gibbard, The Flaming Lips and Justin Vernon (from Bon Iver) all contributed songs for the original release. This remix record adds the production skills of Carmen Rizzo, Blade Foley, Groovesoup and Hammock to the picture, creating a gorgeous, ethereal final product.
"The Silver Lake Chorus Remixes" has layer upon layer of dense synths and drum machines with gorgeous vocals sitting on top. Start with the track "From The Snow Tipped Hills," a Justin Vernon composition remixed by Carmen Rizzo. The song combines Bon Iver melodies with Gold Panda production to sculpt a forest of beautiful melody. Other standout tracks include "Heavy Star Movin' (starRo Remix)" and "Same Song (Blade Foley Showtime After Dark Remix)." This record surprises the listener with gentle pleasantries and deep production. Check out "The Silver Lake Chorus Remixes" for a peek into The Silver Lake Chorus' breathtaking world.
We also have the first release from Norwegian duo Let's Eat Grandma, "I, Gemini." The group sounds like a perfect combination of The Knife with Youth Lagoon — they wrap themselves comfortably in reverb and synthesizers.
Let's Eat Grandma are remarkable for both their musicianship and their age — both members were a mere 15 years old when they began to perform regularly. "I, Gemini" showcases muted synthesizers, graceful stereo elements and elements of electronic groups like Four Tet over the course of its 10 songs. Tracks "Eat Shiitake Mushrooms," "Chocolate Sludge Cake" and the two-part "Welcome to the Treehouse" series are all masterpieces. A ton of different sounds are heard throughout the record — everything from xylophones to ukuleles can be heard floating somewhere in Let's Eat Grandma's dreamland. "I, Gemini" is an incredible first record and definitely hints at big things to come for the Norwegian duo.
"The Magic" from San Francisco experimentalists Deerhoof is another installment in the group's great discography of avant-garde rock. Deerhoof began in 1994 as a collective of four multi-instrumentalists interested in pushing rock and roll to a new frontier.
"The Magic" is the 16th release from Deerhoof, an impressive feat for any band. A group as inspired as Stereolab, Deerhoof never really settles on one sound. From Krautrock to avant-pop, "The Magic" is a perfect storm of influences. You can hear obvious Deerhunter and Shopping influence, but narrowing the record down to one genre is nearly impossible. The album is frantic, bubbly and weird — in the best way possible. There's a ton of twitchy guitar work, compressed drums and monotone vocal lines throughout the piece. Standout tracks are "Life is Suffering," "Criminals of the Dream," "Acceptance Speech" and "Little Hollywood."
Catch them all on Radio 1190 KVCU this week.
Jarocki is Radio 1190's music director. Read more reviews: coloradodaily.com/columnists.