What’s an enterprising band or label to do but release a record? This fall’s looking particularly promising for sounds coming out of the 313/248/810/734.
A flurry of Detroit artists are getting processed and publicized by national recording companies. From the long-anticipated release of Slum Village’s full-length album for Interscope Records (you know, the same one that’s been floating around in bootleg form for months and months now) to the gorgeous, deceptively complex psych-pop of Outrageous Cherry’s Out There in the Dark (out Sept. 14 on Del-Fi Y2K), the offerings cover Detroit’s broad and wild musical spectrum.
Keep your eyes peeled, too for Whatcha Doin’, the first full-length from D’Town Flamin’ Stooge Groovies, the Go on Sub Pop Records (produced by OC’s Matthew Smith). But wait, there’s more from Smith and cohorts: North-country pop troubadours, the Volebeats, in which Smith plays guitar and sings, are slated to release their latest outing on New Hampshire indie Safe House Records. So, enough keeping up with the Smith.
Techno superstar Carl Craig’s Detroit-based Planet E label rallies the troops for a pair of tasty releases that should fill dance floors and record crates. As if Craig wasn’t busy enough with the recently released Programmed, an LP slab of techno-jazz from Innerzone Orchestra on dance major Astralwerks, he’s also helming the unveiling of Innerzone decks-master Recloose’s Spelunking EP on Planet E (set for Sept. 14 release). Better still, he’s mining Planet E’s vaults for the collection, Geology: A Subjective Study of Planet E, a multiartist comp featuring out-of-print, classic and previously unreleased tracks by Planet E’s stable.
Taking the funk further from a Detroit home base is Soul Clique, whose new collection of tweaky, beaty city-at-late-night musical landscapes, Unification, will be released in late September on Small Stone Records. Word is, too, that eclectic urban rock cruisers spyradio are on the make in their Flunk Company studio readying tracks for late-fall release.
Detroit’s indie-pop kids are never ones to rest on their laurels, either, with more than a handful of full-length post-post-modern pop classics to follow up on successful singles.
Spectator Records, which put short-takes by Detroiters Galicja and 57 Waltz in the hands of discerning listeners last winter, is working on full-length follow-ups from both bands. The label’s track record of carefully crafted atmospheric pop-based sounds and gorgeous artful packaging is reason to prick up your eyes and ears.
Cloud Car, Royal Oak’s bittersweet hooky-poprockers offer a follow-up to their "For Chan" single with the irresistible full-length, Pretty Sneaky Sis, on Delaware’s Sonicstream Records.
And last, but not least, Ann Arbor’s Westside Audio Laboratories will officially release the full-length CD from A2 art-pop outfit flashpapr, Do What You Must Do (on the heels of a successful run of handmade "skate park" editions) in mid-September, just as the band members disperse to their various scholastic pursuits.
A few miles east (in Ypsilanti, to be exact) hip-hop indie ReAl Entertainment is readying the release of Pt. 3, the new EP from free-flowing rhyme crew 5Ela.
And word on the hip-hop tip is that Paradime, the next in the line of skilled melatonin-challenged Detroit MCs, has signed on to Kid Rock’s former label, Top Dog, and will be releasing a full-length in late September.
The above-outlined excursions in sound and commerce are just the tip of the autumnal iceberg, of course. Check in with In One Ear and MT for the rest of the story.
Loosen your wallets, warm up your hi-fis and, in the words of Smokey & the Bandit’s Snowman, keep your ears on, cuz fall’s gonna be fresh. Chris Handyside is a freelance writer for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]