Well, here we are again. It’s been a weird week.
How are you liking this? Anything you’d like to hear? Hit me up on twitter @ryanruppe! Also, please tell your friends about Ryan’s Music Picks, please.
Brendon Small’s Galaktikon (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
If you really appreciate metal that slams, then you definitely are a fan of Metalocalypse. If you’re mourning the end of Dethklok, then you need to get into Brendon Small (the Metalocalypse guy)’s science fiction concept album, Galaktikon. It’s got everything you’d expect from a Dethklok album except Nathan Explosion, plus a Steve Vai-style instrumental track. (There’s supposedly a Galaktikon 2 in the works. Expect to see it here when that comes out.)
Noname – Telefone (FREE DOWNLOAD ON SOUNDCLOUD)
If you’re a fan of Chance the Rapper, you’ve probably heard Noname (formerly Noname Gypsy). Her new solo mixtape is lyrically deep with complex rhymes that hint at her background in slam poetry. The production is jazzy and funky in a vaporwave way, but it’s definitely more like midi versions of Stevie Wonder than it is Vektroid. This is excellent.
Lemon Demon – Spirit Phone (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
Neil C (the driving force behind Lemon Demon) is perhaps one of the strangest and funniest people on the internet. No joke. I’m sure you’ve heard some of his music before, like The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, or Mouth Sounds (his version of the PokeRap is a current favorite). This album from Lemon Demon gets a bit gothy, but it’s way more Oingo Boingo than it is Nine Inch Nails or Hot Topic. It includes a song from the perspective of a man trapped inside a video game cabinet, and that one’s not even one of the stranger ones. If you like your millennial power pop to be a bit off-kilter and feel like maybe it’s been spending too much time reading creepypasta on livejournal, this is absolutely for you.
Flamingosis – Bright Moments (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
I just found out about this album and this guy, like, yesterday. Mention heavily-sampled, laid back tropical beats and I AM IN like very little other music out there. Sure, this guy is clearly also a fan of The Avalanches, but he has created a very distinct sound from them. There’s a lot of 1980s television theme song funk going on here along with remaindered Motown deep cut vocal samples. Fans of vaporwave will find things they like here, but none of this is glitchy JRPG soundtracks or business training video samples. Bright Moments just has that VHS sheen that sounds so good in 2016.
(If you choose to pay $0, this album is free on Bandcamp)
Russian Circles – Guidance (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
Instrumetal that leans mathematical, dark, and layered without being oppressive or punishing. This is huge and epic without seeming sentimental. It’s the kind of metal that makes you want to do great things.
Slime Girls – don’t forget ep (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
I have enjoyed hearing bands like Slime Girls move away from the limitations of chiptune music without actually moving away from the aesthetic that brought them to chiptune in the first place. This is a 5-song ep of songs that wouldn’t feel out of place in first-party Gamecube game, if the final few levels of the game really made you look inward and reconsider some of your life choices in a mostly positive and uplifting way.
(Look for a link to a free download on their Bandcamp page)
Cornelius – Fantasma (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
This is one of my favorite albums of all time. I own it on CD (!), and it was just remastered and re-released digitally. Cornelius has influenced a whole bunch of your favorite artists, for instance: his music is in both Scott Pilgrim vs. The World AND Yo Gabba Gabba. This is an album of, well, some baroque pop, some ultra-luxe tropicalia, some weird synthesizer experiments, some riotous rock and a bunch of other stuff even harder to classify. It’s like listening to an incredibly deep and referential piece of fiction: the more you listen and research, the deeper it goes and the further you’re convinced of its genius. Fantasma is a bit of an event album, I think. Though it works spectacularly in the background, this is a kind of record that you could put in your headphones and really lose yourself inside of for the better part of an afternoon.