Duderman Discovers No. 3 – The Out Circuit

30 05 2008

The Out Circuit

Ambient, experimental music is never really my bag.  There’s a fine line between music that emphasizes texture over melody and, you know, music for yoga sessions.  On a side note, my heart will be crushed the day I see “Holistic Stretching To Brian Eno’s Music For Airports” offered in those community college fliers I occasionally get in the mail.

However, I’m a big fan of artists that blend electronic atmosphere with organic, heavier elements such as forceful vocals, the occasional big guitar, and a good rhythmic backbone.  One such band that goes for this fusion is Seattle, Washington’s The Out Circuit.  It is, essentially, a one man project totally helmed by former Frodus bassist Nathan Burke (the band name is derived from the Frodus track “Out-Circuit The Ending”).  In 2004, the project released its debut album Burn Your Scripts Boys, which is a largely ambient work that can fill lofty halls with its atmosphere.  However, it is their latest album Pierce The Empire With a Sound that strives to find a balance between Nathan Burke the Experimentalist and Nathan Burke the Post-Hardcore Reckoner.

Pierce The Empire… has its share of ambient simplicity (“Across The Light”) and intensity (“The Fall of Las Vegas” which features Sean Ingram of Coalesce on vocals).  The key highlight of balance, though, is right in the middle of the album; “The Contender,” a soft/loud/soft track which features guest vocals by Thrice’s Dustin Kensrue, is where the fusion between ambiance and vehemence works perfectly.  As a whole, The Out Circuit is still inches away from finding THE sound Nathan Burke he desires.  But, at the moment, what he has produced so far (especially with this album) is truly meant to be heard.

Don’t expect this album to be played while soccer moms try to find nirvana.

The Out Circuit Myspace
The Out Circuit – The Contender

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Duderman Discovers No. 2 – The Depreciation Guild

22 05 2008

The Depreciation Guild

There are lot of memories floating around the grey, plastic confines of my Super Nintendo Entertainment System. I remember the time when I finally beat Starfox, the moment I defeated my cousin Dan in a fierce 7 round gauntlet of Super Mario Kart (Rainbow Road FTW!), and the sheer insanity that Uniracers put me through. Glorious wonderful times, despite the fact that I was probably closer to my Sega Genesis.

So, my ears were perked exceptionally high when one of my friends introduced me to Brooklyn, New York’s The Depreciation Guild. The band is two guys, Kurt Feldman and Christoph Hocheim, and a Nintendo Famicom. When I heard this, I was one part intrigued, another part worried. Seriously? A video game system as a band member? How could this possibly work without being some kind of cheesy gimmick? Are the concerts mini Gamer Conventions?

However, with a listen to their debut album In Her Gentle Jaws, all my fears were vanquished. It’s wonderful, dreamy shoegaze that co-exists with the very unique beeps and boops of a Nintendo soundchip, which is programmed by Feldman. Filled with atmospheric instrumentals (the title track, “Water Window”) and some wonderfully upbeat numbers (“Sky Ghosts,” “Butterfly Kisses), this is the kind of album that should not be dismissed; furthermore, In Her Gentle Jaws is ESSENTIAL for any self-respecting music lover. Seriously. Scout’s Honor and all that shit.

And it won’t kill your wallet either to dive into this album; it’s available FOR FREE off their website, in either a full album download or individual tracks. So, it’s worth checking out. You will certainly love it.

The Depreciation Guild’s Website *album downloadable from here*

The Depreciation Guild Myspace





Duderman Discovers No.1 – Aushua

17 05 2008

Aushua

Today, I add a new feature to this ever-growing blog: Duderman Discovers. In these special blog entries, I will put the spotlight on a little known band that, in my opinion, all of my readers should be aware of due to their talent (or lack of) and potential. Pretty cool, right?

The first artist I want to spotlight is a band from Orange, California called Aushua. I was made aware of these guys by Thrice, who expressed their admiration for this group so much that they recruited them for backup vocals on The Alchemy Index tracks “Firebreather” and “Child of Dust,” as well as recommending them on their website (www.alchemyindex.com).

Out of curiosity, I checked their Myspace and was immediately taken by their sound. It reminded me of all the best qualities of early anthematic U2 (soaring guitars, a steady rhythm section), but without the “we play ONLY stadiums” pretentiousness. Singer Phil Newyear is a captivating person to listen to; every lyric sounds so heartfelt that you can easily become attached.

Their No Harm Done EP is available through various digital retailers like iTunes and Amazon, and it’s DEFINITELY worth checking out (it’s also super inexpensive). From the title track to the final track “Soldier Boy,” Aushua has a sound that many bands often (unsuccessfully) strive for a sophomore album or a “mainstream breakthrough.” Aushua, still a young group, has this cherished sound already in the palms of their hands.

Aushua Myspace

Aushua – Sister Saves