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“This World is Without End”: Ambitious noise-step on Chino Amobi debut

Since the end of the 90s, electronic musicians have been experimenting with bleaker aesthetics to give voice to a society that lacks a social safety net and seems to be careening towards destruction. The work of artists like Burial in the early 2000s ushered in an era of dubstep that was defined by a deep sense of loss and loneliness. Groups like Crystal Castles and Boards of Canada brought new elements of eeriness to electronic music, and the rise of vaporwave in 2011 turned the techno-utopian pop jingles of the early 90s into anthems of despair.

In this tradition comes Richmond electronic musician's Chino Amobi's debut album, sardonically titled PARADISO. Oscillating between an edgier version of the soundtrack to Stranger Things, chaotic noise collages, and experimental dub-step, Amobi's PARADISO is ambitious and powerful.

-Written by Michael Dranove



Quirky genre-bending on Mike of Doom's MICHAEL


Irreverently quirky, with a slurred, seemingly codeine influenced flow, DMV producer Mike of Doom's latest album, MICHAEL, is an amusing and at times semi-serious collection of songs about Mike's life. The strongest element of this album is its genre bending. Mike of Doom explores everything from vaporwave to punk to trap without ever losing a sense of playfulness and confidence. The genre bending keeps the album fresh, and despite the sometimes stale subject matter of the songs, the music is truly entertaining to listen to.

A pleasing and ambitious release from DMV's own Mike of Doom.

-Written by Michael Dranove


Sneaks makes synth-spoken-word great again

On her 2nd full length release, DC-based Sneaks shows she is a creative tour-de-force. As the minimalist backing tracks drive the music under the oblique spoken-word metaphors, Sneaks somehow manages to make listeners forget the fact that her music has no melody, barely any harmony, a rhythm section consisting almost solely of drum tracks, and lyrics that often don't even rhyme! There is some serious originality at work in this music, anyone able to take the sound of Devo, strip it to its bare bones and somehow keep the music enticing is worth looking out for.

-Written by Michael Dranove


Whimsical grief twinged indie-pop on eerie Near Northeast music video

The first few seconds of Near Northeast's Indali are ethereal, almost like the sound we imagine people hear when they are approaching the gates of heaven. Slowly creeping through the ambiance are reverb heavy guitar lines, keeping the music somewhere in between shoegaze and indie pop, with the legato feel helping the music steer clear of twee.

A certain seriousness is essential for the song given its subject matter: a mother and child being dragged out to sea by riptide. The video's visuals underscore the tragedy in the music, with images of playful beachgoers intermingled with footage of people being drowned in tsunamis. As drummer Antonio Skarica put it in an interview with DC Music Download, “The line is so thin between carefree frolicking and complete destruction.”

Near Northeast's new album True Mirror drops May 3rd.  You can catch the album release show at St Stephen's church on Newton St this Friday night.

 -Written by Michael Dranove


Alt Pop

Band name: 
The New Up
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
Venue name: 
Velvet Lounge

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