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Electronic

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Alissa Vox Raw "VOX"

Alissa Vox Raw renders the spirit of soul with a modern experimental edge. She creates a unique style of exploratory Motown-pop songs made entirely from her voice. Alissa Vox Raw is a one woman machine; she is a multi-instrumental looper, who even plays a mean kazoo. Her latest EP “VOX” released this March, is an incredible play of 60’s soul sounds raw. “Where I’m Going, I Don’t Know”, kicks off the EP off with a shuffle in its step with breathy beats behind an empowered vocal. “Don’t Ask Me Why” is smooth with warm tones that get your body swaying to a bebop vocal that loops into sing-a-long harmonies. “Don’t Keep Me Waiting” gets you clapping along with attitude. Alissa’s entire EP is creative, taking styles of the 60’s to new contemporary heights. Catch a glimpse of her EP below. Coming our way soon go to her web page for show listings.

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The Digital Wild

Austin’s premier radio station KUTX (98.9 on the digital dial) recently announced the lineup for somethin’ pretty damn great, and pretty damn Austin, in the form of the Live Vibe Collective presented KUTX Live free all ages concert series. Completely unsurprisingly, this event that happens at local meat n’ booze establishment Uncle Billy’s is particularly well-curated. Frequent visitors to The Deli might notice Hard Proof and Keeper on that list, our own 2014 #36 and #3 finishers, respectively, in The Deli’s Best of 2014 for this city.

Another name you should most certainly get familiar with from KUTX’s event before you head out to yet more free music (goddamn we are so spoiled guys) is the act ushering in the whole shebang with the first series in the concert. That’d be deep electronic pop act The Digital Wild, who are opening the series on April 5.

To prep ya for these exciting events here’s a bit from the most recent output from The Digital Wild, a group that fits as well into the indie camp as it does the beat-based in the Austin scene. The track is called “Around,” and anyone who ever dug Portishead’s early shit will find something immediately attractive in the slowed down, souled up sound here. The song is without a doubt a sultry pop hip-hop track, a quality that owes much to lead singer Chantell Moody’s alluring elfin voice that has a slight, engaging tinge of someplace cold in Europe to it. But, there’s also an element of cabaret lounge smokiness to “Around,” something especially heard in the slinking, wailing horns whose wavering, off-kilter style has a kinda “Life in Glass Houses” by Radiohead feel going on. That kind of genre blending and bending is The Digital Wild’s wheelhouse, something they do not just well, but seamlessly.

“Around” is just the latest addition to the small but growing digital pile of terrific tracks The Digital Wild has been putting out for about a year now, and it bodes nothing but well for the upcoming concert series. Start whetting that musical appetite now with “Around,” and check out one or five of the KUTX Live events happening soon.

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Album Review: The Family Almanac's Eponymous EP

The Family Almanac’s self-titled EP, out earlier this month, starts as it promises: “Dream I’m In” is like a sleepy sequence from a foggy Sunday, or a pleasant hangover morning in the Gorge. Vocalist and keyboardist Elizabeth Pixley-Fink gentle voice delights in the mood. The EP carries us to sleep, or to the edge of it; that is a place where the band’s music might do instead of sleep.

The slow, soporific mood carries on through the short EP. The first half of the record, including a stuttering jam by the band’s other vocalist Blake Mason, sound like the warm and sultry tunes of ‘70s harmonizers like Steely Dan and the sonic landscapes of Fleetwood Mac. 

The fourth song on the EP is “White Sugar”, a slow, bluesy ballad with doo-wop echoes in the background. The song builds to a beautiful chorus, about as loud as the band ever gets. But the sleepy tone is back for “Susie”. If the skin started to cook with “White Sugar”, here it is enjoying the shade once again on a hot day. 

The last track is another by Family Almanac’s male vocalist. “So It Goes” is a bouncier track than the rest, played with as much urgency as the band musters on this EP. 

Recently I had the pleasure to see the Family Almanac play a house show (the perfect venue for their lighthearted soft rock anthems) and found a lot to be excited about. With its talented members, Family Almanac has plenty of leverage to evolve in the future. I only hope they will release a longer album soon for those lazy Spring mornings when their sounds can start the spinning of my mind with ease.

- Eric Togethoff

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Your Plastic Toys

The term “Poser Pop” shows up sometimes in the words Austin’s future-leaning Your Plastic Toys have written about themselves. Check their online shit, and you’ll see those two words more than once, those two descriptors that aren’t really a genre as such, but more a stance by Your Plastic Toys on their own place in music. In our estimation, the idea is that Your Plastic Tree poses at pop, refusing to make the standard plays while still fully playing a pop game. They are as art-aware as they are pop-aware as they are experimentally on point, and their music is at once a serious approach to pop music making and a bit of a mockery of the pop that’s already out there (in the fine tradition of acts like Talking Heads, The Fugs, or the very contemporary PC Music label out of the UK). A band that views the pop rulebook through half-broke virtual reality goggles.

In that same vein, you’ll also see a lot of abstractions and hyper-modern shit on Your Plastic Toys’ various web profiles, like glitchy saturated pixel-heavy images created by the band itself, short thoughts and quotes decoupled from their source and presented as something to be considered on their own, and not a single clear photo of the band to be found. This digital obfuscation of the band, its image, its motives, its views, evokes a highly modern feeling of existing in a never ending swirl of bit-noise and net fuzz, and it’s exactly what Your Plastic Toys’ sound is like.

On the just-released album OOO, shoegaze-gone-modern swells and currents of sound layer over tight digital beats and the vocals are threaded in and out heavily tweaked and disaffected, sometimes even disdainfully so (to great effect, it must be made clear). Your Plastic Toys comes through like a band seen and heard through a diabolical storm of TV snow on a channel that’s shakily fading in and out of a 1990s tube TV in a busted up apartment with a courtyard pool in the summer. It’s music that rides on that bright burning edge of culture just curling out from the future and into the present, and that throws back a tech-addled vision of what it sees to those still lingering in the cultural past. Take a listen to one of Austin's most forward-thinking bands below, and inject their entire new album here.

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Malik

South By is dead, long live South By. Or maybe not, what with the trend this South By being a smaller, more compressed (but still quite corporate) version of itself, with less free shit, fewer unofficial parties and a lot more roadblocks downtown (that last is probably a good thing). Regardless, SX is over, we can all return to being regular levels of alcoholic-ness and taco consumption and maybe actually sleep a little and walk a little less. Speaking of, is it possible to get more and less healthy at the same time? Because all those miles walked have to count as some sort-of workout, but mixed with ounces drunk and pounds of tacos consumed...not so sure.

Now that the SouthBeast is good 'n slain, it also means the online portion of The Deli is back in full swing. We've been goin' hard as nails on the street at South By Southwest this year, and if you were there, you probably saw somewhere between one and five billion of our print issues, and maybe even our exhibits of synthesizers and stompboxes at the Convention Center, or our showcase with magazine cover-gracer and electronic wizard Roger Sellers. If you did pick up a magazine, or came by one of our events, The Deli thanks you and your wonderful, sexy, good-taste-having self very muchly.

To usher in the post-SXSW year (we might as well just call the day after SX the New Year on the Austin Calendar system), we've got somethin' quite good for your ears that's also appropriate to what we saw this year at SX. Quite happily for us at The Deli Austin, SXSW 2015 saw what this writer believes was the most hip-hop of the highest quality that the festival has ever seen. This has been a long time coming, and whatever made it happen (people finally realizing there's an audience for it here? less indie acts shoved into the fest by a smaller corporate presence?), we're goddamn glad that this city is finally coming around in at least some ways to hip-hop. With that in mind, we present Malik, a young homegrown hip-hopper that's just the newest and freshest entry into the already excellent and underrated Austin hip-hop canon.

Malik's dropped three tracks in the last month on Soundcloud, and listening across the three you can get a taste for what this kid can do and what he's got to offer. And what Malik has to offer is smart, attractive hip-hop. From the most recent track, the chronologically-named "March 9th," you know that he's music aware, with that beat based on a sample from classic Outkast ("Vibrate"). You know from track "On My Own" that Malik can toe that Drake-associated pop/hip-hop line, but that Malik falls more firmly on the hip-hop side while hittin' the pop bullseye just as nicely as the Degrassi vet. And you know from all three tracks that the man can spit quite clever and thoughtful, with lines like "I can't lie, you the baddest that I ever seen/But it's sad to say that your tree of life is far from evergreen," on track "Life." It looks like Malik is about to drop more music soon, so get up to speed below with "On My Own" and keep a lookout for more from this top-notch example of the Austin hip-hop world. SXSW 2015 is just a start; there's a hell of a lot more hip-hop to come from this town going forward.

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