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PPALMM "Cal-Aesthetics"

We might be in a new golden age of underground electronic music, call it what genre you will. Glo-fi, chillwave, psychrock: sexy names that never quite do justice to the music they’re meant to describe. You’d think an entire generation of American youth was mainlining Robotussin while nodding off over a Moog in a sepia-tinted bedroom. But if all these kids were really huffing computer cleaner, you’d hardly get the choice selection of well-crafted, just-enough-polished electronica that we have today. Acts like Blackbird Blackbird, Pollination, Toro Y Moi, Truman Peyote and Boston’s PPALMM are putting out impossibly ready-to-play music that peels off into experimental directions while still maintaining a pop sensibility. Not all of these acts are touring, or even gigging; many remain bedroom wunderkinds. But it’s a sign of overall fertility that these acts are flowering in the absence of extensive club support. If the music is good, everything else follows. PPALMM’s Cal-Aesthetics is the latest crown of laurels on the brow of this burgeoning scene that’s going to outlive its half-snarky glo-fi label.


The tracks from Cal-Aesthetics hew more to the techno end of the spectrum, away from the warped tape warblings of a Neon Indian. In fact, the overall sound is pretty clean, though dense and detailed. There’s no magnetized tape stressing here to produce that half-step hurky-jurky fade-in/fade-out rhythm that’s so popular these days. PPALMM sneaks in rhythm the “old fashioned” way, with artfully constructed samples and beats. Tracks ‘New Nostalgia’ and ‘Revel’ bring to mind middle period Aphex Twin. The latter especially invokes the heavier, dirrrtier house sounds of Richard D. James in his UK club mode. The medium tempo ‘_outherewithme_’ and ‘elec_TR_olling’ have a leisurely pace and subtlety reminiscent of Endtroducing-era DJ Shadow. All great tracks, but the heart and soul of Cal-Aesthetics is probably ‘Acid Cops’, a techno-thriller that harkens back to the straightup house grinders of the early 90s while infusing the sampling vocabulary with digital treats those pre-Macbook luddites could hardly have fathomed.


PPALMM is probably one of those underground acts that trends more towards the bedroom wunderkind at this point. Though the man behind the music Paul Morse (Paul M. = PPALMM- get it?) has gigged regular in the Boston area, and been on some great bills with Toro Y Moi, Das Racist, Truman Peyote and Class Actress, you get the feeling that outside of New England PPALMM is an unknown quantity. Cal-Aesthetics should change this and hopefully open a few doors. It’s a good thing to hear music from this special scene that doesn’t lean hard on the warbled tape, tremolo-ed “chill thump” to grab the listener’s attention. The “chill thump” could become the new disco beat- played out, lamed out- if people don’t watch out. But if it does, PPALMM will be high and dry with an album that visits Chillville, yet, thankfully, doesn’t live there.


Download "Cal-Aesthetics" for free here.


--Mike Gutierrez



Alchemilla CD release @ Middle East Down 7/10


Alchemilla is releasing their first full-length album this Saturday. Chasing Ghosts is an intense collection of hard alt-rock influenced by Led Zeppelin and 90's alt like Sonic Youth and Pearl Jam. Kat Burke's vocals are powerful and lovely (so is she) at the same time. They make the rock beautiful. The band has been together for a decade and has probably played more venues than you have been to. The bill for the release show is insane:Alchemilla  will be joined by The Force, Planetoid, Captain Cutthroat and The Few. Get tickets HERE

Middle East Downstairs 480 Mass Ave 18+ 10bux

--The Deli Staff


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28 Degrees Taurus, the le duo, VIKOMT @ Radio Bean 7/3

Alliston, Mass band, 28 Degrees Taurus is swinging through Burlington tomorrow for the late night shift to baptize the place with their dreamy classic psych take on the My Bloody Valentine sounds. Also joining them are a couple of heads from Burlington's Aether Everywhere/Mars Pyramid camp, the le duo and VIKOMT, to add the noisy improvs and the synthy drones to the mix. Should be a pretty submerged space echo type of show. Things kick of at 11pm at the Radio Bean.

--The Deli Staff


The Rex Complex returns 7/9 @ Lizard Lounge


The Rex Complex will be returning to Boston, for a show (not permently, sadly) at the Lizard Lounge Friday the 9th. The Rex Complex is a power-house duo who got their start in Boston and Camberville playing a much loved weekly residency at Precinct. Self-described as roots-ruckus, The Rex Complex is one of the highest energy bands to come out of the city. They use a world of instruments from all over the world, from the gyil to the accordion. They will be supported by special guests Railbird and The Slowest Runner in all the World.

Lizard Lounge 1667 Mass Ave Cambridge - 7/9 21+ 10 bux at the door.

--The Deli Staff


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