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Dendrons x 5-3-8

"Gleefully discordant properties of early Scritti Politti" – Uncut

"Willfully obtuse, yet intrinsically irresistible. Extraordinary" 9/10 – Classic Rock

"Hypnotic post-punk pulse exists in a continuum with bands like Wire and Omni— tight bass groove, melting guitar leads, and all" – Stereogum

"Slashing and contemplative" – Brooklyn Vegan

"Sprawling slacker jam" – FLOOD

"Spindly, propulsive post-punk that doesn't shy away from a bit of brawny catharsis" – Post-Trash

Chicago-based five-piece, Dendrons have today released their much-anticipated second album, 5-3-8. The band has found widespread acclaim for this new album from Uncut, Classic Rock, Stereogum, FLOOD, Brooklyn Vegan, Post Trash, CBC Radio, Under the Radar, KCRW and more.

The release of the new album arrives in tandem with a video for "High In The Circle K", a standout track to be lifted from the new album. The song features bombastic grooves, and wiry, spindly guitar lines delivered over a bed of often monotone vocal delivery, segueing into a cathartic, 2-minute climax of hypnotic guitar work. Speaking about the track, Dane Jarvie of the band says: "The album's namesake comes from one of the repeated lines/mantras in this song: “Fifths, thirds, octaves only” — almost as an appeal for a sort of utopian ideal. A dumb simplification. A desirable reduction."

5-3-8 – titled as a reference to the lyrical refrain that appears at a few points of the album of “fifths, thirds, octaves only” – was recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas and Highland Recording Studio in Phoenix, Arizona; it was produced by Tony Brant and Sonny Di Perri (Protomartyr, DIIV, Nine Inch Nails, Animal Collective, Emma Ruth Rundle, Dirty Projectors) before being mastered at Elysian Sound by Dave Cooley.


 Dendrons hit the road before they even knew exactly where they were headed. On New Year’s Day 2018, Dane Jarvie and Zak Sprenger first convened in Chicago to start a new project, recording a demo at home by the seat of their pants, and almost immediately after, began to play shows. “I would just email as many people as possible,” says Jarvie. “I’m like, ‘Can we open this?’ It didn’t matter if it was in Dallas or New Orleans or Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was like, let’s go.”

With a band name chosen by flipping through books in the library (“Dendron” is Greek for “tree”) and a sound and lineup in healthy evolution as they bounced around North America, Dendrons were finding who they were in front of a live audience. Over the course of 2018 and 2019, they were developing a propulsive, acerbic rock style both reminiscent of midwestern peers like Deeper and Dehd and reaching beyond to develop an unmistakable aura all their own. They put out their debut, 2020’s Dendrons, and were packing their bags for a full European tour before it had to be abruptly canceled when borders closed and venues shut down around the world. Suddenly, a band that cut their teeth on the road had to get comfortable staying at home.

“It was out of necessity,” says Jarvie, who started brainstorming ideas for a new album back at his family’s home in Phoenix, Arizona, just after the pandemic took hold. When he returned to Chicago a few months later, the full band of Jarvie (vocals/guitar/synth), Sprenger (synth/guitar), Matt Kase (bass/synth/vocals), John MacEachen (guitar/samples), Nick Togliatti (drums), and Stef Roti (drums) formed a bubble to get together and work out what would prove to be their highly ambitious and meticulously crafted second album, 5-3-8. “It was just like, well, we can’t tour, we can’t do anything,” Jarvie remembers. “So we might as well just stick together and really create something.”

Meeting three or four times a week, and ultimately rehearsing almost 40 song ideas, Dendrons began to methodically whittle down the batch to a set of songs that weaved through one another intricately, with lyrical and musical motifs dancing around a swirling rock arrangement. Taken on their own, tracks like “Vain Repeating” and “Octaves Only” tap into the manic energy and wit of bands like Wire and Stereolab—but in the context of the album’s full vision, they come together to paint an album informed by the post-truth spectacle, and a desire for optimism in the face of isolation.

The lyrics paint those emotions with subtlety, having been put together partially through a cut-up method, grabbing words and phrases from places such as CNN and CSPAN. “That was a real intention with this record was to try different techniques in terms of how words are coming together—stringing together sentences through collage,” Jarvie explains. On “New Outlook 1,” he sings in his direct, almost Stephen Malkmus-like style: “Soon we’ll be stooped over laughing / Watching ourselves high on a vision.”

“You’re always gonna leave a record feeling like there is something more to be said,” Jarvie says. “I don’t believe in a magnum opus. Art is contextual and exists for the specific time and circumstance it was created in. Every record is a conversation with the last.”

Purchase/stream Dendrons "5-3-8" here.

 

Dendrons x Vain Repeating

"Hypnotic post-punk pulse exists in continuum with bands like Wire and Omni — tight bass groove, melting guitar leads, and all" - - Stereogum

Chicago-based five-piece, Dendrons are today sharing "Vain Repeating", the final advance preview of their forthcoming second album, 5-3-8 which is out on August 26. The band, which has just wrapped up a Mexican tour with A Place to Bury Strangers, has found tips for this new album from Stereogum, FLOOD, Brooklyn Vegan, Post Trash, CBC Radio, Under the Radar, KCRW and more.

"Vain Repeating" changes tact from the jungle-inflected world of "New Outlook II" finding the band tapping into a punkier sound, switching flows and dynamics in a similar fashion to Magazine, Wire, etc. Speaking about the track, Dane Jarvie of the band says: "The song was created as a word pastiche of inconsequential data, spit out in aura of self-importance. The song deals with a loose promise of either cathartic piety, or vanity, through repetition, depending on who you’re talking to."

Dendrons x New Outlook II

Chicago-based five-piece, Dendrons are today sharing their new single, "New Outlook II" – it's the latest to be lifted from their forthcoming album, 5-3-8 which is out on August 26. The band has found tips so far for this new effort from FLOOD, Brooklyn  Vegan, Post Trash, CBC Radio, Under the Radar and more.

The new track, "New Outlook II" finds the band tapping into some of their proggier sounds, taking from jungle influences and cutting this with a Krautrock sensibility. The song's lyrical refrains switch between “soon we’ll all be laughing too” and “Distance. Time. New outlook” pitting these around a quick bpm. "It is a continuation of themes explored on the preceding album track, “New Outlook,” explains Dane Jarvie of the band, "how trial and error, personal aesthetics, and every perceived achievement is reduced to comedy with enough passing time. How there is freedom in that. It’s about holding your life loosely."

5-3-8 – titled as a reference to the lyrical refrain that appears at a few points of the album of “fifths, thirds, octaves only” – was recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas and Highland Recording Studio in Phoenix, Arizona; it was produced by Tony Brant and Sonny Di Perri (Protomartyr, DIIV, Nine Inch Nails, Animal Collective, Emma Ruth Rundle, Dirty Projectors) before being mastered at Elysian Sound by Dave Cooley.

Read more on Stereogum.

Ben Marc x Glass Effect


“Often classified as a jazz artist, though obviously when you listen there’s a whole lot more going on in his music than that. On Glass Effect he keeps pushing the boundaries, he just keeps pushing out and stretching.” - NPR

"swirling arrangements—which synthesize jazz, hip-hop, neoclassical, and electronic" - PITCHFORK

“The music swirls and floats past like a multi-coloured cloud” - STEREOGUM  

"It’s one part Four Tet to Freddie Hubbard, the intersection where Bonobo meets Blue Note, reflective of the contemporary UK jazz scene’s penchant for modern club sounds as well as traditional jazz performance.” - TREBLE    

Producer and multi-instrumentalist Ben Marc, a key figure of London’s cutting edge jazz scene, has just released his debut full length, Glass Effect, via Innovative Leisure. A follow up to last September’s acclaimed Breathe Suite EP, the album is an assured and accomplished 13-track realization of a singular vision that unifies a multitudinous profusion of influences (from free-jazz, to broken beat, to hip hop and beyond) into a sublime whole, underscoring his quest for a distinctive sound: lambent and low-key, yet dizzyingly intricate. The album is rounded out by stunning LP artwork and packaging by accomplished designer Vlad Sepetov (Kendrick Lamar, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Brittany Howard). As a counterpoint to the album’s meticulously layered production, the last couple of weeks Marc has shared a pair of raucous and soulful live studio videos by his crack six-piece band performing album highlights “Mustard” and “First Batch,” underscoring just how potent his songwriting is.

It’s a rare talent that can link Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, Ethio-jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke, Afrofuturists Sun Ra Arkestra, and grime legend Dizzee Rascal, but Marc has long blurred musical worlds and criss-crossed boundaries. On double and electric bass, he flits between jazz, classical, and electronic music, whether playing on Greenwood’s award-winning score for the film The Master or touring with Astatke for over 10 years, as well as working with the likes of Matthew Herbert, Charles Mingus, China Moses, and Soweto Kinch – and even joining Tina Turner onstage.

Marc, the alias of Neil Charles, has quite the musical pedigree. While studying classical double bass at the prestigious Trinity College of Music in London, Marc had a chance meeting with Gary Crosby, linchpin of Tomorrow’s Warriors (the crucial London jazz educators that connect the UK new wave luminaries, from Nubya Garcia to Moses Boyd) after which the possibility of jazz shone like a beacon. This began a game-changing journey that led him to play with the jazz group Empirical and then to form the free-jazz trio Zed-U, alongside Shabaka Hutchings (Sons of Kemet, The Comet is Coming) and drummer Tom Skinner (The Smile), whose collaborations ignited a new passion in Marc for electronic music. 

One of the reasons that he started writing Glass Effect, says Marc, was going to nightclubs in Ibiza and experiencing the heady sun-dappled euphoria of a summery dancefloor, as well as the beat-driven production of artists like Four Tet, Bonobo, Machinedrum, DJ Shadow, and Madlib. But the album also wears its London influence prominently - on “Jawbone,” there are echoes of broken beat, the genre that came out of house and 2step in the early-2000s, while the Mike Skinner of the new UK scene, Joshua Idehen, intones over the brass-led “Dark Clouds” about the resilience of being a Black man in the city. Ultimately, Glass Effect is an uplifting record. “Keep Moving,” a track Marc wrote in Japan in a hotel room at 4am after a show with Jose James, and which again features Attica Blues singer Midnight Roba on stunning vocals, feels like it’s beckoning a bright future over daintily dancing flute. “It’s hopeful,” says Marc of the album. “We all need as much of that as we can get.”
JIMMY EDGAR x METAL/GET UP

Jimmy Edgar, one of electronic music's most versatile and unique producers, has just shared a futuristic double A-side single for collaborations with hyperkinetic pop producer SOPHIE and fellow Detroiter/hip-hop mainstay Danny Brown. The new singles arrive in the wake of Edgar’s collaboration with Hudson Mohawke earlier this year, making for a sprawling trilogy of genre-bending, boundary-pushing forrays through underground electronica and hip-hop, illustrating the breadth of his vision and talent.

"SOPHIE and I met at Fabric in London in the 2010s and since then we have performed live together as well as worked together with artists such as Charli XCX and Vince Staples,” states Edgar. “‘METAL’ is reflective of our love for designer sounds finely sculpted on boutique computer equipment.” The song arrives alongside “GET UP," a tough love motivational set to springy synth flourishes and bass rattling throughout which Danny Brown does irreparable microphone damage.

More at: Pitchfork / Fader / Consequence of Sound / Stereogum / Clash / Line of Best Fit / Hypebeast