Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged minimalist

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head Earrings / Lady Robot Red Pocket Mirror

I used to be a fussy gal when it came to keeping up appearances. I obsessively straightened my hair, checked my makeup many times a day, and had a sizable collection of collared shirts. Along the way—between the radicalizing of my politics, inheriting much of my grandmother's wardrobe, and deciding that what I call ugly chic best represents my humble upbringings and current socioeconomic situation—I put my flat iron in storage, threw out all of my makeup (save for a mascara wand for special occasions), and gave away all my collared shirts that required starch.

Letter from New Virginia

Did you know that one of iTunes musical categories is “unclassifiable”? Such a description is apt for the music of Donny Hue and the Colors. The group uses many unusual instruments, including autoharp, melodica, glockenspiel, and theremin, as well as guitar and organ on an album that can alternately be described as psychedelic, minimalist, and orchestral. The instrumental “Into the Woods” plays like the opening of a movie, setting the tone for the album.

Arminico Hewa

When I was twenty, I flew off to Japan one spring with a stated mission “to be alone.” While this may sound more glamorous than it actually was, I did accomplish my goal. Unable to speak to anyone, wandering between cities and sights in dazed confusion, I was undeniably alone. It was either the best ten days of my life or the strangest—and really, it was probably both. Japanese band OOIOO recreate the strangeness of that experience.

Stark Ring

I love simple. - Stacy Christopher The Seattle-based jewelry maker of Stacy Christopher Jewelry does indeed. The beautifully elegant and thoughtfully minimalist Stark Ring arrived in a simple brown, tuck-top box with the image of a crow hand-stamped on its face.


When Mia Doi Todd’s _The Golden State _was released in 2002, I thought her work was oddly impressive. Her strange voice as captivating; if not always soothing or particularly enjoyable, it impressed me and kept me tuned in. Her first (and only) major-label album, it compiled tracks from her previous independent records, and it looked like Todd might Sony/Columbia Records’ new “it” girl. Time passed. Her contract wasn’t renewed. She contributed to other, better known musicians’ projects while two more solo albums came out to much less critical acclaim.


If you want to get the party started, here is the album to get the job done. Fabriclive.36 features James Murphy and Pat Mahoney on this release of electronic disco to minimal disco. The Fabriclive.X repetoire features a new artist release on a regular (if not monthly) basis out of the Fabric night club in London. These works are compliations of artists spun up for the night club dance crowd.

Death of the Sun

Former singer/songwriter of the Metallic Falcons (with CocoRosie's Sierra Cassady), Matteah Baim branched out on her own not long ago and has come forth with her debut solo album, which includes collaborations with some of today’s biggest names in hipster folk, including Devendra Banhart and 90 Day Men’s Rob Lowe. While the musical composition stands out to me more than Baim’s crackling voice, her cover of the African-American spiritual, "Michael Row Your Boat Ashore (Michael Row)," is a delightful surprise halfway through the disc.


I can’t listen to this record without thinking the word "self-indulgent." Imagine you are in a room with a piano, a bass guitar, a microphone and your thoughts. Nothing is written down. In fact, the lyrics and instruments stream out in paragraphs. You talk about your life, friends, family, text message conversations.

Transparent Things

“We were just pretending to be Japanese,” say Fujiya & Miyagi. Surprise! Fujiya (reference to the cult record player) and Miyagi (pop reference to Pat Morita’s Karate Kid character/racist stereotype) are three white men from Brighton, UK. Much like fellow Brits Hot Chip, they bring minimalist, poised electro with their ambiguous irony. Fujiya & Miyagi cite Krautrock such as CAN and Neu! as influences. Certainly the German imprint is there in the album’s low-key, layered grooves and artful calculation.