Diversions


Music Review: I Was Totally Destroying It by uncdiversions
August 6, 2009, 6:53 pm
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I Was Totally Destroying It

The Beached Margin/Done Waiting

(Greyday Records)

Chapel Hill’s I Was Totally Destroying It has an interesting problem. They produce a metric ton of songs. We’re talking a 15-song debut, a new 12-song double EP and a forthcoming sophomore LP to come in October, all produced in just a touch over two years.

With such prodigious output from a fairly new band, it’s far from expected that every song should be great. And that hasn’t been the case. 2007’s self-titled debut was a motley affair, placing well-crafted pop-rock gems alongside similar songs that were bland in comparison.

And The Beached Margin/Done Waiting, the new vinyl-only double EP, suffers from a similar problem, one that is thrown into sharp relief by the album’s release strategy.

The four new songs of The Beached Margin have been hitched to the incredible step forward of this year’s earlier Done Waiting EP, which was available as a free download. But the problem is that next to the fast, furious and sonically expressive songs of the earlier release, The Beached Margin sounds like the table scraps put out only to flesh the affair out to full length.

It’s not that these new songs are bad. Far from it. “The Witch That’s Riding My Back” is a wonderfully propulsive bit of self-defeatism powered by interlocking guitars and garnished with shimmering keys. But the style is used to better effect on “Done Waiting,” which adds a killer keyboard part and more direct lyrics attacking an ex-boyfriend.

As with these two songs, how much you’ll like this collection will be largely influenced by whether you’ve heard Done Waiting already. If you’ve heard neither “Fences” or “Teeth” before, you’ll appreciate the lumbering bass lines and bombastic self-loathing that’s done well in both. But if you’ve already been enjoying “Teeth,” which by the token of Rachel Hirsch’s seething vocal performance is one of IWTDI’s best songs, the weaker “Three Little Pigs”-aping “Fences” will feel like kid’s stuff in comparison.

But no matter your previous experience with the material, this double EP continues to prove that IWTDI is improving. And while The Beached Margin might feel like the cold leftovers to Done Waiting‘s hot, fresh meal, they’re both made up of the dishes that weren’t quite good enough for the feast of the band’s sophomore album.

And with a whole album’s worth of songs that range from good to great not making the cut, October’s Horror Vacui will be a disappointment if its not one of the Triangle’s best CDs this year.

I Was Totally Destroying It will celebrate the release of its new double EP with a show at Durham’s Pinhook tomorrow. Goner and Free Electric State also play. Show starts at 9 p.m. and costs $5.

– By Diversions Editor Jordan Lawrence

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I can see you by dailytarheel
September 3, 2008, 9:07 pm
Filed under: Diversions

Kompakt Electro Attack:

Some of you might remember the Cologne based techno label, Kompakt, from last year thanks to stellar releases by the Field and Gui Boratto, not to mention the underwhelming full length by Supermayer (the dynamic duo of labelhead Michael Mayer and Superpitcher.) This year they’ve already dropped jaws with the amazing re-release of all four seminal albums by ambient electronic maestro Gas (Reinhardt Voigt, also of techno duo Burger and Voigt.)

But perhaps what has me most excited on the horizon is the first official full length album from Rex the Dog, “The Rex the Dog Show.” The album features a slew of new tracks as well as the majority of his previous singles and remixes, making this both a wonderful compendium for an up-and-coming producer as well as a good introduction for the uninitiated. Rex (who has also done releases for the popular Kitsune label) is something of an anomaly in the Kompakt stable, favoring a more distinct electro sound filled to the brim with analog synthesizers and strong pop sensibilities, making him one of the most accessible artists on the label.

His new single “I Can See You, Can You See Me?” is one of the best electropop songs I’ve heard in years. Deftly mixing warm arpeggiated synth lines and processed vocals, Rex is able to use what is obviously an acid house template and make it into a pop song. In doing so he’s somehow managed to craft strong catchy hooks that actually stay with the listener, something most techno is unable to do.

I expect this album to be a big release for both Kompakt and Rex and you should keep your ears open for good things down from the pipe and slew of remixes for the upcoming release. The single for “I Can See You, Can You See Me,” features reworks by heavy bass champion Drop the Lime and a stellar club mix of the single by Rex himself. The official release was on September 1st through Hundehaus (Rex’s label) and Cooperative Records. Hopefully we’ll see a stateside distribution soon enough.

here’s the video for the single, it’s cute as hell:

here is rex the dog’s official website:

Rex the Dog’s Official Website

here is rex the dog’s myspace:

Rex the Dog’s MySpace

Ben Pittard



Diversions is back on the blogs by dailytarheel
September 3, 2008, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Diversions

Welcome to the temporary home of the Diversions blog. In the coming weeks, the entire DTH website will see an overhaul and we will return to being a stand-alone page, but for the time being we will be located on this page.

In this week’s issue you will find an extensive story on this weekend’s Hi Mom! Film Festival, which will be taking place throughout the weekend at various venues in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. In addition, we have a progress report on Vinyl Records and a preview of the fall concert series at Duke.

As always, be sure to check out our opinions on new releases in music and film.

Have a good weekend.

-Jamie Williams, Diversions Editor