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Bande de los Apaches - Forever

Bande de los Apaches - Forever

Here in New Orleans it’s carnival time. Nearly every night this week there are parades all over the city. Once you’ve been to enough of these parades, they lose a lot of their appeal, and as that happens your focus draws away from the flashy floats and the beads flying through the air and towards one of the most underappreciated facets of New Orleans culture: the high school marching bands. The New Orleans tradition of small brass ensembles have been slowly getting more of their due, but these marching bands don’t cut albums and are rarely experienced outside of carnival. 

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Reverb Brasil releases Brazilian Tsunami Box Set

Brazilian Tsunami

Brazil truly seems like its own little world, a nation known for its cultural output, yet it always feels like it's not exactly put out there as much as the rest of the world peeks in. For Brazilian surf music, they have a champion advocating on their behalf: Reverb Brasil, headed by Leopoldo "Mocotó" Furtado. Reverb Brasil is to some extent a label, but mostly a platform to spread the word about Brazilian surf music. Reverb Tsunami is their most strident statement yet.

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The Cholla releases Link of the Surf Guitar EP

The Cholla - Link of the Surf Guitar

I think cartridge-based video games and surf music have a lot in common, having to impart feeling without the aid of vocals and having to do so with a very limited set of sounds available. Going even further than that, surf often tries to evoke a sense of danger and adventure, which is very familiar territory for video games. The themes that stand out in video games stand out because they're great: you're usually going to hear them on a loop, often for hours, so if you still like them after you've completed the game then that's a feat.

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Amphibian Man - No Surfers in My Town

Amphibian Man - No Surfers In My Town

Amphibian Man has emerged from its tadpole phase as a one-man bedroom project into a 3-piece band that performs live and does real band things like not release music every 2 months for free. First and foremost, I'm happy for them. Amphibian Man has been one of the biggest stand-outs in surf in recent years and I love that they're making money from it both from records and from people seeing them live. Wish it could be me but Ukraine's not too close.

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The Kilaueas - Touch My Alien

The Kilaueas - Touch My Alien

Sometimes I worry that I lean a little too hard into the sound production quality of an album vs songwriting, but for a band with such apparent surf fanaticism as The Kilaueas it really does feel like it’s the missing piece. The guitar sounds so much bigger and deeper than their previous LP Waki Waki Woo, the reverb so wet and loud enough to fit their stage act.

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X-Ray Vision - Panique Au Biblos

X-Ray Vision - Panique Au Biblos

X-Ray Vision as a technology is frequently thought of as gadgetry for means of espionage, and going by that definition it’s a surprisingly good fit for this band, blending spy tones with Astro-Man zip-zoop.

Central to this is the keyboards, swapping duty between swirling hammond-esque sounds and more futuristic electronic sounds and a few in-between. Sometimes in a fittingly spy manner, sometimes reminding me of their fellow frenchmen Les Tigres du Futur with a spastic approach.

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