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Friday, June 4, 2010

Crystal Castles

Ontario Canada's Crystal Castles released their second full length "Crystal Castles (II)" on May 25th. It's pretty great. Funny thing is that the album actually leaked in April and managed to dominate a bunch of dance charts as an mp3 without an actual release.

I really don't know quite where to place these guys (or more specifically this guy, Kath, and a girl, glass). They're not really a dance group and the hipster kids love them. I don't know I guess the hipsters must be getting angry or something, because Crystal Castles sound a lot more like Atari Teenage Riot than Animal Collective. Hey speaking of !Atari, the band isn't named after the 1983 game. The name is actually a reference to the She-ra TV show.

So getting back to the sound, I guess you'll probably have to make your own judgement on this. It's kind of dancy, but with yelling and lots of really cool production techniques and really cheesy MIDI and 8-bit synths. They are capable of pulling off some vocal treatments that would make Skinny Puppy jealous.

In the short time they've been around, this band has been surrounded by controversy. They have been sued for copyright infringement on at least 3 occasions: once for art and twice for samples. To be honest their first album probably contained more sampled music than music created by the band. That being said, their second effort is much stronger musically and feels more like an album than their first record, which came off sort of like a random collection of singles and sound collages.

Well, here are some videos. Enjoy

Off the new record here's "Not in Love"

This is "Year of Silence" which is built on samples of Sigur Ros' "Inní mér syngur vitleysingur" wonder if you can guess why I like it so much....

Last here's a track off of their first album that I happen to like quite a bit, "Vanished"


kennedy said...

My brother really likes these guys, and after he made me listen to them, I do too.

Anonymous said...

Correction, the band were never sued for songs from their debut album. They could not be sued for those samples because the songs in question were unreleased demos which were never meant to be heard.

If you look at the credits for the debut, there's 5 samples used creatively in the 16 songs, so your statement about samples is wrong and exagerated. CC wrote their debut album.

Lauby said...


Dethtron said...

anon: totally didn't intend to imply that they were sued over their first album, my fault for writing slopilly. no more drinking and blogging. but.... just because there are only a handful of sample credits doesn't mean they didn't sample lots and lots of stuff to make that album. You have no idea how easy it is to just steal a snare hit or a bass note and bury it in enough effects to make it sound new. Fuck i'm not even implying that this doesn't take musical talent either, just stating a fact. for a reference point listen to the beginning of NIN's "downward spiral" then go watch thx 1138, then go look at the liner notes to "spiral." you'll find no mention of samples of the movie anywhere, but it's sampled all over the place. Repeat the same excercise for that movie and any front 242 album. you'll find the same thing.

Heretic said...

For some reason I thought CC was a British band. All the better, their first album was amazing and I might buy their second.