Aparde debuts with acoustic "Glass"

From Berlin producer Aparde (real name Paul Camillo Rachel) comes a stunning debut in ten stains. On Glass, Aparde roots his sound in textured percussion (including literal sampled glass), thoughtful piano themes, and deliberate use of negative space. He provides his own warm vocals on many of the tracks and harmonizes with ANËKIN on lead single "Mouth" (download available via XLR8R).

The video, produced by Aparde himself (he's also a visual artist) and cinematographer Sandra Puchner, follows in the theme of shielded vulnerability, with its human subjects obscured by what appears to be fogged, increasingly dirt-covered, and/or otherwise-rendered translucent glass. And it, much like the rest of the album, is emotionally shattering: "Forget all that I've told you / I have nothing more to give" is the haunt this song ends on after a sparse, repeated verse.

From start to finish, the front-loaded Glass stays instrumentally adhesive, but certain elements like the entrance of a breakbeat leading to polyrhythms on "Sober" and the title track's confession that Aparde "sees [his] life through milky glass" offer the listener an object of focus and clarity in an airy landscape reminiscent of past works by atmospheric contemporaries Jon Hopkins and Max Cooper.

Glass is out today, October 13 via Ki Records, a label founded by producer Christian Löffler, whose Mare Reworks first introduced me to Aparde. From this year's heavy rotation list, here's "Youth":

17/10/07 weekend roundup: RΞZZ, k?d, ttwwrrss

First, a PSA courtesy of my Starbucks app: free pumpkin spice whip on any PSL this weekend but any intention of #basically commemorating Canadian Thanksgiving was probably coincidental given this promo ends Sunday, a day short of our entire long weekend.

More importantly (although this is subjective), rising Canadian DJ RΞZZ is in Toronto tonight at The Danforth with LA's No Mana, on a tour supporting RΞZZ's recent debut, Mass Manipulation. Up-and-coming producer k?d, who's been on the bill for other shows in the tour, is missing but scheduled at The Velvet later in the evening, leading some to believe that the two might appear at both venues.

Both work within the rather limitless bounds of the "future electronic" genre, a generation after the likes of Porter Robinson and Madeon. RΞZZ was picked up by OWSLA and subsequently mau5trap, fellow Niagara native deadmau5's label, in 2015. Here's k?d's latest cut, a joint track with Dallas youngster Medasin:

Meanwhile, a personal long-running favourite, ttwwrrss is due at Doors in Hamilton, ON tomorrow night, October 8th, on a bill featuring headliner CURTA. Ironically, I'm writing from Hamilton at the moment, but also from a brief coffee stop en route to Niagara Falls -- it figures I won't personally be sticking around north of the border for this packed weekend.

The following twwrrss pitch is from about a year ago, but in light of NHL opening weekend:

sort as: ritual / no escape out of time

English quartet R I T U A L -- Adam Midgley, Gerard O'Connell, Tommy Baxter, plus Mononoke -- released No Escape Out of Time last Friday and I cannot stop hearing it in the back of my head.

It's not unlike when I was first introduced to their music by Aaron Axelsen in San Francisco, before Club cheval's set at MEZZANINE last summer. I rarely give a second thought to songs I don't recognize when spun by a DJ or between sets, unless I'm triggered by a memory of the same song heard previously in another set or set change playlist (and then my first thought is, "oh I guess this song/beat is popular"), but I found "Josephine" and From the City to the Wilderness online three days later, by looking up its beat but melodically uplifting title lyric: "Josephine / I'll never be good enough."

The September 29 release is just as hauntingly relatable with a sort of noir sophistication meant for a slow motion capture. (Short film director Jackson Ducasse capitalizes on this viscousness.) It also introduces "Hotel Bars", the youngest and only track not released prior to the full collection, alongside a version of "Drown the Lovers" that features a verse and chorus vocals from Atlanta rapper 6LACK.

The English quartet ring in strong on lyrics and form, giving the PBR&B style popularized six years ago by The Weeknd and his contemporaries a welcome revamp. If you're all about sad songs in the club, vocal harmonies, and sombrely reflecting on the state of everything right now, there's no escaping this.

the 100th song and predictive truth

Remember that interview I was cramming for that other weekend? Well, I signed onto the team this morning. I knew I was going to write this post the day I signed for it. Despite no guarantee of success in the ensuing four interview rounds, I knew that it would set forth both a new routine and a new city.

I won't let you in on every past double intent, because then I'd be too easy, but by the third "day" (or 2017.09.14 in Gregorian, per this 22nd "day" summary), a pattern had emerged in entry frequency. It was also on that third "day," that I heard James Maloney's Gaslight for the first time and finished my very last job interview (for the time being, at least). The unfolding pattern was too strong to resist, and so I followed it, con brio, until the 21st "day" -- the last of yesterday's five hasty 23-line entries.

Which brings us to today's revelation, that a Gaslight track would be track no. 100 on the 22nd "day."

But I don't think things are meta enough yet. Later on that third "day," I also knew "Blink" would be the 100th song. Apparently, it didn't take me long since the first "day" (or 2017.09.05 in Gregorian) to determine that. But humans, we're just sophisticated machines. Three Gregorian days before the third "day," I had been inspired by a commercial event and the rapidly deteriorating glass camera of my trusty Android camera lens to finally convert to a dusty iPhone I'd received as a holiday gift in 2016.

And as goes tradition, any change of device would compel a new custom, subtly-selected ringtone.

If you've guessed correctly, there's very little force in #voodooisms. I don't try to predict the future, nor do I really "summarize" the past. There are songs on the list that have been in heavy rotation and songs that stuck after a single play. But every title, lyric, or musical motif triggers a vivid memory...

My ringtones, the conditioned triggers that they are, always make it into #voodooisms. (Sometimes lyrics distract.) Overall, I'm pretty happy with the overhead metaphor "Blink" provides and the piano melodies foreshadowed by my very personal track no. 25 / "day" 20 yet also reminiscent of Dario Marianelli's string-based "Attraversiamo" (sorry, James). And overall, I'm pretty happy with how this month and my documentation of #voodooisms turned out, if the writing was a tad rushed and sloppy.

With every double intent, it's the most brutally honest I've been on a page. I trust you to understand, no matter how hurt or accusatory a passage feels, it's strictly a documentation of the past without any present intent of blame. If it still doesn't make much sense, thank god, because then I'd be too easy.

Here's easy: September was fun. I wrote 21 poems (if you will). I acted on camera for a professional filmmaker for the first time (music video to come). I landed four jobs (in four hilariously different fields). I chose one (direction to grow in now). And I reconnected with friends (whom I hadn't seen in years).

If you ever wonder why your days become increasingly short as you age, it's because they are relative.

... and if everyone is looking west at wildcat peak, but you already know what that looks like, look east.

the 100th song and personal learning

I knew I was going to write this post the entire time I was cramming for an interview this weekend, but once my schedule cleared, I didn't know how I wanted to start. I'm used to getting caught in the lede, knowing a good lede will get you far. And I'm afraid I didn't start with a good lede during my interview. But getting caught in the lede also suggests a desire to be heard. Makes sense for the interview, but maybe less so here. Here, I am ultimately writing for myself. To document what I feel like documenting at any given moment. Albeit publicly, to save my written words from my compulsion to get rid of them.

I can start on August 13th or on August 31st, but ultimately, I am making public the same information.

So in keeping to plan and further reinforcing that I've yet to learn how to count (read: live linearly), let's start on the 31st. It's Thursday morning, I've woken up to some positive news and have an afternoon appointment to keep. In between, I post a #Latergram and decide, a month and some after the fact, to add this Kanye West cover by Alexander Lewis and Brasstracks to a playlist titled #voodooisms.

#voodooisms is the longest continuous documentation I've kept of... well, anything. It is what it sounds like: a collection of songs that mirror my life as I've lived it, though retrospectively. And retrospectively, I never intended to appropriate any religious practice besides mine of music. Presenting track no. 99 --

Let's roam back to track no. 98 and the lead photo. Only three artists repeat in #voodooisms and, being the fake hipster I am, they are Yeezy, Bon Iver, and Lorde. But Lorde holds the distinction of being repeated as the main artist of a track both times. (The other two only got in via feature or remix.) I'm a certain commitment-phobe, but I let Ms. Yelich-O'Connor slide here, for reasons to be explained.

On August 13th, I caved to expectations by attending San Francisco's annual Outside Lands festival for the first time. Despite having lived in the Bay for four years, this occasion was the result of being back in town as a tourist (the fact that I left only 12 days prior is a minor but notable detail for your amusement). I figured I might as well tour and see Maggie Rogers after getting sucked into Now That the Light Is Fading based on Vallis Alps' good words for "Alaska" during my interview with them late last year.

Meanwhile, "Green Light" grew on me like a leech, despite my resistance both to its too-upbeat-for-Ella chorus and to adding a second Lorde song to #voodooisms after "Tennis Court" made the list in 2013 by characterizing my high school modern European history class and the decision to enroll at Cal for my undergraduate degree that year. I caved here too, likely due to convenient symmetry and lyrical themes.

Little did I know, August 13th would become immensely personal wherein, after an undisclosed number of brunch mimosas and framing my post-academia year with "Alaska" and "Green Light," I found myself clearheaded after being emotionally shredded by stellar live renditions of both songs. It was a cathartic release more substantial than I'd ever felt before, which brings me now to my selection of track no. 100.

If you've guessed correctly, there's very little force in #voodooisms. I don't try to predict the future, nor do I really "summarize" the past. There are songs on the list that have been in heavy rotation and songs that stuck after a single play. But every title, lyric, or musical motif triggers a vivid memory that was then.

It's morning on the 31st when I'm realizing again -- this year's dog days are over, and it just so happens that, like every one of my other great fortunes, the 100th #voodooism will come at an appropriate juncture of my personal history. Find me, as I await my day-to-day to fall back into a predictable routine, for my feet to fall into a new city, and for my newly-graduated-and-living-at-home self to fall into a new song:

Lately, I've been learning about machine learning, and humans are just sophisticated machines, right?