We’re just now wrapping up our one-tape-a-week-or-more release schedule with Ghosts, the new album from Florentine four-piece The Vickers, ten tracks that represent the culmination of their transformation into one of Italy’s more recognizable touring psych pop bands.
Though we may not have a new tape out next week, feel free to stay tuned - we’ve got plenty more planned for this spring. Which is to say, for the week after next.
"The third Italian band represented in the Crash Symbols catalog, The Vickers hail from Florence, though the band is usually on tour as much as not. That wanderlust has been reflected in their music for years, though ‘Ghosts’ is their most ambitious work yet, transiting from the spectrum of regional pop derivations into the colorful realm of psychedelia. They are ‘influenced by immortal 60s melodies, mixed with a touch of 90s spleen,’ so to speak, and the modest four piece lives up to that legacy with confident vocals and suitably echoing guitars. Their palette for rock and roll shines through easily in diverse rhythms, evoking the acid rock of the early 60s or The Mothers of Invention (as if necessity forced a somewhat different pace to their development), and in their penchant for varied song structures. They just signed to Zuma Booking so hopefully all this business will be transpiring in the US by the time our ‘Ghosts’ tape sells out… though who would really want to move away for too long from the ancestral home of the Medici or the cradle of the Italian Renaissance? I bet the food is amazing."
6:34 pm |
April 16 2014
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We released two new tapes last week, representing two generations of intrepid synth recorders; Kentucky producer Mark Williams’ techno abstractions and Gay Cat Park, an Italian duo active in the early 80s and with a growing contemporary audience abroad thanks to their popular single, “I’m A Vocoder.”
Bary Center -Veiled Void (Bandcamp)
"Bary Center is Mark Williams, an eccentric Kentucky producer with a penchant for fuzzy techno and demure dance music; he made waves in 2013 with releases as DJMRTHEBEST, a more foot-loose beat project on Gnar Tapes that showcases his natural sense of humor and broader influences. Following on his ‘Break Through the Pain’ cassette for Asheville, NC’s Headway Recordings, ‘Veiled Void’ is a subtler move toward a growing body music influence in Williams’ work, perhaps transmuting to some extent the more self-conscious composition that has characterized DJMRTHEBEST. Appropriately enough, Matt Weiner of DKA Records (Featureless Ghost, CGI Records, etc…) mastered the album, we’d like to think placing a seal across Williams’ current configuration; cohesive, minimalist synth bangers."
Gay Cat Park - Synthetic Woman (Bandcamp)
"Gay Cat Park is Graziano G. Ravizza and Davide Gatti, two icons of Italo disco and synth-pop who recorded the band’s hit ‘I’m A Vocoder’ in the early 80s while the two were only 14. Though the single was an effortless success and the two set out on their own careers, the single was never followed-up - their extended opus being considered not commercial enough at the time. That changed in 2012 thanks to the interest of Texas based Medical Records, the specialist reissue imprint now well known for their contribution to keeping current the exotic synth-work of a bygone era, who dove into the two’s archives to assemble a first LP for the project. Influenced heavily by Kraftwerk, Tomita, and Depeche Mode, Ravizza and Gatti recorded most of these tracks at home studios, layering them on standard UCXS Sony tapes or TEAC Tascam four tracks. In Medicals description, this is for ‘fans of early Depeche Mode, Yaz, and the lighter synthier side of Italo disco,’ but their heft is timelessly fun, if the name ‘Gay Cat Park’ didn’t make that clear enough at first blush. For our cassette edition, the a-side contains their album ‘Synthetic Woman’ as issued by Medical, but for a little extra oomph, the b-side contains just that: b-sides, edits and variations that evolved but never cohered with the tracks that would eventually make up Medical’s release."
11:32 am |
April 15 2014
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We’ve had a new release out every other week this March and we’re wrapping things up with another, the debut tape and first collection from longtime collaborators BK Beats and Black Noi$e, released together with Potholes Music. From Potholes…
After connecting over the Internet back in 2010, Black Noi$e and BK Beats have toyed with the idea of cooking up tracks together. It wasn’t until 2012 that something actually materialized. Since that time, the two have gone on to collaborate with some of hip-hop’s finest rising talents, including the likes of World’s Fair, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Main Attrakionz and much more.
Today we are excited to release their latest project and their first physical collaborative release, Nonbelievers, on Potholes Music and Crash Symbols. The EP features guest appearances from Deniro Farrar, ZelooperZ, Shady Blaze, World’s Fair and more. Along with the free digital download, listeners also have the option to purchase a limited edition cassette, which also includes the EP instrumentals.
If you enjoyed MondreaM.A.N.’s M A N EP for us or Lil Kids’ Slow Rainbow tape, you’ll enjoy the variety on Nonbelievers, though it has the same force and consistency as an album versus a more ‘mixtape’ experience. The instrumental b-sides are gravy, a clarification on the parameters of the partnership between BK Beats & Black Noi$e and an amazing listen unto themselves.
Stream the tape below or click through to our Bandcamp to order a copy. Thanks for listening! More from us soon…
10:22 am |
March 24 2014
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In addition to his involvement with Faun and a Pan Flute, Atlanta recorder Daniel Bailey helped co-found the Primitive Patterns imprint and records solo as Carey, with past efforts ranging from acoustic DIY psych into noisier acousmatic works, sometimes flecked by kosmische or kraut tendencies. VI showcases his range as a multi-instrumentalist, a deftness on keys and strings being particularly noticeable, though the album shines as much for its sensitive production as the intimate tonality of his playing - whatever pace he sets. Each track is a unique vignette, some less than two minutes and the longest more than eight, all with their own animus. Tracing the subtle direction of energy in intonation and repetition enhances VI’s beauty, lending volume to Bailey’s vision, however he’s chosen to cast each of its successive moments.
Cassettes are available here (in case you haven’t intuited that you can click through these Bandcamp players, but I reckon redundancy isn’t always bad).
7:42 pm |
March 18 2014
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Our first mixtape in a while and by far our biggest, with some amazing new material… The Cyclist, Seth Graham, Charlatan, Foodman, Holly Waxwing, Baal Astarté, Luxury Elite, Stephen Farris, Blackhoods, Vanilla Hammer, and Cream Dream all sent in new tracks, among many others… we’re proud to have it featuring an amazing contribution from Brett Naucke’s upcoming LP on Spectrum Spools and a track from one the first projects we’re working on with a fellow West Virginia artist, Unsung. We were concerned to triangulate a great variety of material on this mix and though it often skews toward minimalist electronica, psychedelia, and a little pop that maybe sounds weirder than it needs to, we hope there’s a little bit for anyone that’s been following Crash Symbols over the year. Click through to Bandcamp to download for free. Thanks for listening and thanks to all the artists involved for making this and the label possible.
2:31 pm |
March 11 2014
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The second tape we mentioned earlier: Playa Piano, a collection of brilliant mash-up/edits from Cam Potter of Little Spoon. Check out the first single “I’m a Grown Up, For Real” along with a stellar write-up from Impose, or just peruse the album over on our Bandcamp. Thanks for listening <3
"The Playa Piano cassette is a logical progression of our modern mixtape fetishism, DJ Screw worship, and softening of battle lines between mainstream and indie. Yom San chops Cam’ron’s ‘Hey Ma’, looping and freaking the piano sample to Yeah Yeah Yeah’s ‘Maps’ like Greg Gillis with a codiene addiction. On ‘I’m A Grown Up, For Real’, he meshes Jay-Z’s ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’ with Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’ and it could feel like this has been done before, but Yom San’s low rpm-mentality infuses the mash-up with just enough new car smell to take it for a test run. It feels safe to say, Playa Piano is the end game. It was the last move to be made in the culture of mash-up and in post-DJ Screw stylistic biting. It’s finally over, people. (At least, until Greg Gillis is forced into retirement by Coachella and promised a yearly stipend on the condition he headline in 2024.)” -Blake Gillespie, Impose
2:51 pm |
February 25 2014
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We imagine Thessaloniki’s Plastic Flowers as a fairly intrepid duo, George Samaras and Angelos Paschalidis, even if only for the gracious introduction to Greece’s contemporary music scene that our preparations together have provided for Liz and I. Their new album Evergreen showcases a streamlined version of their typical sound while preserving the interest in tape machines and analog synths that still best distinguishes them, though much in their music still willfully avoids easy categorization. To call it shoegaze or dream pop misses the real relationship, and to hear their instrumental work upends everything; more noise churns below the surface than can simply be heard.
We’ve been working on this for a minute and we’re glad to finally be sharing it - keep your eyes peeled over at Inner Ear for information on the vinyl edition or click through to our Bandcamp for the cassette. We’ll also have information available for digital purchasing shortly.
11:56 am |
February 25 2014
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Here’s an artifact from before the winter, a new single from Beggars in a New Land - whose debut was our third cassette, and fourth release ever (circa January 2011). They’ve lately landed at the likes of Earmilk and Interview Magazine, so we couldn’t be prouder. Check them out on SoundCloud and stream their new single below.
3:17 pm |
January 16 2014
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Earlier this season we announced plans with Greek duo Plastic Flowers, whose album Evergreen was originally slated for release around now. The intervening months have left us with plenty to do while the band segues onto Inner Ear Records, a noted Greek indie imprint founded by their countrymen in Patras, a contemporary cultural center in northern Peloponnese. Our new plans call for a coordinated album release in February, just before the band begins touring internationally through March and April.
Outside of that, we’re psyched to be getting ready for a rest over Christmas, but thanks to everyone for their help making 2013 an incredible year for Crash Symbols. Merry Christmas and thanks again for listening!
Dwight + Liz
9:57 am |
December 21 2013
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Thanks to Hartzine for premiering “French Theory,” one of our favorite tracks from Exotic Club’s No Dance cassette (and a natural selection, all things considered). Click here to scope their coverage and stream below.
2:05 pm |
November 25 2013
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