Showing posts with label eric taxxon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eric taxxon. Show all posts

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Thursday, March 22, 2018

video review: 'punk' by eric taxxon

Wow, this went... long. Really damn long, but I think I got to the right point.

Next up, something to knock out of my backlog, so stay tuned!

album review: 'punk' by eric taxxon

The last few projects from Eric Taxxon I've put on the Trailing Edge. Not entirely by choice - I ran out of time with The Art State at the end of 2017, I really did want to give that one a full review given the richer set of ideas and more abrasive experimentation, but One Pop didn't give me a lot to say, and while 'Guns' is a damn great song, the rest hasn't quite stuck with me in the same way as, say, Paul did.

But this was one of the projects I wanted to review in full, mostly because Eric Taxxon was going into a territory few producers or artists dare anymore: plunderphonics, taking a plethora samples and musical fragments to vividly recontextualize them for his own work. Now this is not unfamiliar territory to him - I distinctly remember his project Copy from 2016 that actually sampled me from one of my videos - but Punk seemed more ambitious, more driven by Taxxon's acrid distaste for modern copyright law and a desire to make a pointed and layered statement about it. Now keep in mind sampling for free mixtapes has not gone away, but the fact that one could pay for Punk - this project is available on Bandcamp, not DatPiff - means this was definitely in questionable territory, because I'd put money on none of these samples being cleared. And that's always a murky legal territory even if it is free given authorial consent - that's always been one of the big grey areas with fanfiction - but on the other hand I've just had a week where I've had multiple videos either stripped of their monetization or blocked outright by copyright bots without any proper third-party arbitration and despite Fair Use and Fair Dealing conditions on YouTube, so I'm just about in the proper mood to enjoy the hell out of this! So okay, what did I find on Punk?

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Thursday, January 4, 2018

the top 50 songs of 2017 (VIDEO)

And there we go. Massive videos, really proud with how they turned out - enjoy!

the top 50 best songs of 2017

I said on Twitter a few months ago that of all of my year-end lists, this one is always the most complicated - because it's by far the most personal. With the constraint of a list of hits or talking about records in aggregate, you've manufactured some distance - but if you're just going through the list of the songs that spoke the most to you regardless of whether they were a single or not, there's no separation or barrier.

And when you add to the fact that 2017 was a tumultuous year - not just for me but for most of the world, although I did have my own share of trying times - it's a little unnerving to go through the cutting process and realize how dark it truly got. There isn't much escapism in this top 50, and what escapism does show up is very much colored by consequences waiting in the wings. I'm not saying it's downbeat - in comparison to the melancholy that colored a lot of last year, there are more pronounced moments of joy and triumph - but it is by far the most unsettled, pulling the least punches and ultimately producing a psychological profile of my year in 2017 I'm still not quite sure what to do with. But hey, all of these came from albums I covered this year, and I wouldn't have spent a month pruning this list to its form now if I didn't have faith in it - even though I can guarantee there'll be a fair few conspicuous entries that aren't here if you're comparing to other critical lists. So let's get this started...

Friday, August 11, 2017

video review: 'paul' by eric taxxon

And this was a nice welcome surprise - very niche and underground, but welcome all the same, you should definitely hear it.

And speaking of underground...

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

album review: 'paul' by eric taxxon

So those of you who have been watching since earlier this year probably remember me covering Eric Taxxon, an independent electronic and synthpop producer who has a reputation for putting out a lot of homegrown but remarkably catchy and varied projects within a year, touching everything from chirpy, lo-fi synthpop to plunderphonics and ambient experiments.

Well, guess who is back with a new project - which yes, I'm a bit late to the punch covering, but the fact that my patrons were as willing as they were to vote on it was kind of promising, especially as Taxxon still is very much underground in terms of music critic coverage. And in contrast to the wild experimentation of his career thus far, this album Paul looked to be doubling down on and refining the synthpop sound of his last record The Anthill, with even a few tracks that might even hint towards greater accessibility. And yes, normally that'd throw up a red flag for me but again, very much underground and if Taxxon was going to use that focus to further purify already strong melodic progressions, I was excited about what this could bring. So no more wasting time, what did we find with Paul?

Friday, January 20, 2017

video review: 'the anthill' by eric taxxon

So I enjoyed this a fair bit more than I thought I would - it's a little quirky piece of synthpop that has more cohesion and solid melodic arrangement than I think a lot of people will give it credit, and it certainly is pretty damn memorable. Overall, you're going to want to check out this guy, he's pretty chill.

But next up... whoo boy, it looks like I've finally hit 25,000 subscribers! I'm thrilled to get there, but man, it took a while. So what to do next.. well, stay tuned!

album review: 'the anthill' by eric taxxon

So I've talked a little in the past about accessibility to music, and how in today's day and age anyone with an internet connection can find ways to get their music out there, record labels be damned. But over the past couple of years as a music critic, I've observed both sides to this issue, especially for independent acts - sure, you might not need a label for promotion or to ensure your music is vaguely listenable, but that means that the floodgates have been torn open and for every act of high quality we get a whole lot more copycats, recycled material, and weirdness that for everyone's sake should have gotten lost in the avalanche. And I definitely think this is worth restating: just because an artist might have a weird idea that seems different doesn't mean they get a free pass - points for creativity, but execution also matters.

And yet given that I've now opened my own schedule doors thanks to Patreon, we have one of those more experimental acts who have climbed the list: Eric Taxxon. An electronic producer from Santa Cruz, California, the claim on his bandcamp is that none of his projects will sound the same - and having gone through all dozen or so of them, he's definitely correct in that regard, because his material tears through every reach of electronica like it's going out of style. From plunderphonics to drone to midi-driven electro-pop and noise, this guy has gone into a lot of territory with his disjointed grasp of melody, fascinating collage of samples, and occasionally fascinating conceptual frameworks. Oh, and did I mention that the majority of them were dropped over the past year? We're past Drake and Ty Segall levels, folks, the sheer amount of material Taxxon has released is a little astounding - but it's also indicative that some of his pieces could afford a bit more care and refinement - Taxxon puts his toes in these waters, but perhaps a little more refinement might make them stick the landing a little better, or feel like more cohesive and developed songs? Because here's the thing, he has made some stuff I've liked - the more developed synthpop of Fymynob was pretty solid, and some of his plunderphonics experiments have been fascinating, especially Copy - but I'd be curious to see what would happen if Taxxon decided to dedicate more focus to a singular project and really refine it. That said, his newest project The Anthill did seem like something I could get behind - pivoting back towards synthpop, it could very well be interesting. So what did we get with The Anthill?