Vaadat Charigim

Tel Aviv natives, Vaadat Charigim ("Exceptions Committee") are a trio consisting of Juval Haring, Yuval Guttman and Dan Fabian Bloch. They play a blend of 80s Israeli underground rock (influenced by the likes of Plastic Venus and Yossi Elephant) with a more contemporary Shoegaze sound.

Despite the language barrier, songs that have leaked online, have won praise both in the local as well as international media, due to Haring's unique vocal style - a beguiling combination of melody and dissonance, sweetness and darkness.

Producer Kyle "Slick" Johnson (who has worked with Modest Mouse, Wavves and Cymbals Eat Guitars), worked for long months together with the band, on their debut album - "The World is Well Lost", which was recorded by the band in a south Tel-Aviv apartment. It is set to be released in September 2013.

Tuff Blades

TUFFBLADES is Indy-based duo David "Moose" Adamson and Chris Madsen. The two friends recorded their debut EP Marshall Faulk: Primetime last winter, with experimental tracks "Daydreamin'" and "Lookin' for a..." establishing the project's roots firmly in the footwork tradition, which originated in the nearby city of Chicago. A sample-heavy footwork hybrid with its characteristic raw, relentless drum machine workouts, punctuated with massive sub bass, all at irregular time intervals (no reliance on 4/4 time signatures here!) and a few hand-claps thrown in for good measure.

Despite its overall freeform structure, there is a striking continuity maintained both between and within the songs themselves. However, rather than establish this continuity via traditional mechanisms (e.g. loops, hooks, or any semblance of a chorus), Tuffblades prove less is more with innovative use of only a small number of samples, which all thematically link to either early 90's house/dance and/or sports field recordings during live play.

Think of a 3-second C&C Music Factory sample that's been slowed down, chopped and screwed to within an inch of its life over the course of a minute and a half, but with the discretion of an avant-garde hip-hop producer along the lines of Shlohmo or Brooklyn producer Slava, giving a nice 21st century footwork gloss to the entire track. The overall result is an updated, cohesive take on footwork that stays true to the genre's roots, while also emanating enough of an original lo-fi pop sensibility to sound totally natural alongside contemporary electronic music productions.

Winslow

Drew Auscherman, Kyle Impini, and Matt Hoover of Winslow hail from basically the last place on Earth from which anyone would expect anything of actual cultural merit to emerge. Their native town of Carmel is an affluent Indiana suburb comfortably situated between the outskirts of the Indianapolis metropolitan area and the edge of the properly rural holy-shit-i'm-actually-in-the-middle-of-nowhere country. In other words, they're sort of stuck at what feels like the edge of civilization: not really close enough to the city to absorb any potentially cool/edgy urban vibes, and not really far enough away from it to claim total independence from it or to have originated from genuine obscurity.

What their self-titled debut album Winslow proves, however, is that three high school kids from the suburbs are still just as capable of producing an authentic (and surprisingly informed) lo-fi record with crappy equipment at their parent's house in the 2010's as kids from the suburbs in the 1990's. With its jangly guitars, woozily climbing bass lines, and unpretentious vocals caked in feedback, there is no question that these precocious kids have taken notes from some of the most iconic indie rock bands of the 90's. Lyrics on tracks like "Carmel Bitchez" express the universally relatable small town angst: "She's been been waiting so long to get out of this god damn town once and for all", with Auscherman's vocal style typically falling somewhere between Rivers Cuomo (but not as whiney) and J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. (but not as angry).

Listening to Winslow it almost feels as though the internet never even happened (and maybe not even cell phones). But Winslow is by no means stuck in the past or weighed down by 90's nostalgia, primarily thanks to its easy, surf aesthetic, which effectively distances their sound from mucky grunge, and places Winslow more in the realm of 21st century peers like Beach Fossils and Real Estate.

Still Winslow is certainly atypical with respect to their capacity for strikingly intuitive songwriting and their ability to effortlessly play-- well, not so much just "play"--they actuallytotally shred on the guitar. The unexpected saxophone accompaniment on the album's closer "Kill Some Time" provides an unforeseen and poignant end, leaving a sweet taste in your ear, while also subtly suggesting Winslow has much more up their sleeve for their sophomore release.