Brooklyn’s Bear In Heaven have been carefully carving out their post-everything sound since forming in 2004. Electronic music has been an underlying element of the triumvirate’s evolving sound, with vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Jon Philpot and guitarist Adam Wills often moonlighting as DJs. What’s more is that over the years they’ve had a select few BIH tracks masterfully reinterpreted for the dance floor by masters Matthew Dear (“Autumn”) and Lindstrøm (“Lovesick Teenagers”).
While on their just concluded international trek supporting their acclaimed fourth album, Time Is Over One Day Old, featuring kick-ass singles “Time Between” and “Autumn,” we connected with Jon Philpot over e-mail and found out more about Bear In Heaven’s passion for DJing.
Bear In Heaven’s Time Is Over One Day Old is out now on Dead Oceans. Continue Reading
Tiga and Matthew Dear have released their collaborative effort “Fever” culled from Tiga’s upcoming follow-up to 2009’s Ciao! produced under Dear’s Audion alias. A remix package featuring reworkings by Maetrik, Acid Arab, Tom Trago and Kink will drop on April 7.
Obligatory press gush from Audion (a.k.a. Matthew Dear) about the techy single: “Tiga and I worked on ‘Fever’ for an entire day, running it through various tempos, styles and arrangements, but nothing would stick. Then, sometime around 2am, it all clicked. We moved out of the way and the song essentially wrote itself. The vocal hook commanded the new direction, and after it was laid out, we slept. What you hear is that 2am perfection; only reachable when the world and your mind is asleep to all things conscious.”
Tiga vs Audion’s will embark on a mini tour, playing Berghain in Berlin on on April 30,Pressure & Electric Fog: The Riverside Festival, Glasgow, Scotland on May 2 and Oval Space in London on May 4.
Check out the duo’s new jam below.
Koze through the looking glass is a reading of bedtime stories for cosmic disco romantics. A follower of its own path and bringing an enchantment honored by the album cover’s mediaeval superhero impersonation, its light-fingered grip holds firm throughout. Heavy is the path less travelled, winding up like clockwork until the springs go loco when it does, with sighing vocals indicative of the reassurances Koze consistently offers.
Deep house settlers keep things simple, working a little heartening charm that lets you reach your own woozy highs and joys, whether by long unbroken background synth lines (“Royal Asscher Cut”), the impeccably preened (“Ich Schreib’ Dir Ein Buch”) or just by knowing that Koze will take his time until you’re soul-deep in the beats, with a plinking set of chimes here or a Beams-worthy appearance by Matthew Dear there.
“Magical Boy” notifies that spring has sprung, complete with the sound of bounding bunnies and a cast of quirks. “Das Wort” holds a flashlight to the face of Dirk von Lowtzow, but becomes a cuddly folk-in-toytown detour, part of another facet that Koze might spring something new at any moment despite gambolling down a pretty preordained yellow brick road. “Homesick” is more a neo-soul format with a Susanne Vega-style lead, and “Marilyn Whirlwind” jumps out at you with a rare lack of sensitivity but plenty more funk and electricity compared to the headswims Koze coaches.
File under: Swahimi, Apparat, Noze
Matthew Dear’s evolution continues, now settling into a midlife shuffle that marks the point where 2003’s Leave Luck to Heaven and fifth album Beams have very little in common. The vocal style that he’s allowed to seep through record by record now takes center stage, its leftfield pop aspiration sort of hanging off beats with a languid keeping of distance, using a kind of Beck-meets-Davids Byrne/Bowie gabble. Dear’s persona is now either too cool for everything, or not cool enough for anything, veiling happiness in a saddened slouch, with low-spirited charm (“Do the Right Thing”) or droning frustration (“Shake Me”).
An eponymous dedication to Detroit-schooled house and techno has now progressed into sounds nagging at the mainstream through plenty of 80s references (the infectious, even if you don’t know why, “Fighting is Futile” and the showy DIY funk “Up & Out”), while simultaneously sounding as if they want nothing to do with any particular scene (rebel without a cause “Earthforms,” electro burrower “Overtime”). It does leave fans in a quandary: embrace the changes or bemusedly wonder what’s going on.
May this review be so bold as to say if Dear’s original sound first rapt you, you don’t necessarily need this in your collection. For first-timers, everything sounds very well drilled as if this were Dear’s signature, skippered by a character that’ll take many listens to make sense of. A dream topic for message board arguers, that’s for sure.
File under: Tiga, Audion, Talking Heads