Ee - "Capital Plans"

Giant Robot #43
Top Picks

"If there's a genre of Asian-American music, EE is the best. Of course, the goal of any band is to transcend labels, and the San Francisco gruop does that, too. The bands' new eight-song album, which we got in a home-burned CD-R format, ranges from mid-tempo rock to an atmospheric instrumental, and these guys always play their own instruments with zeal. Tobin Mori's vocals seem more active than ever, as he hits a variety of notes and sounds. Ex-Seam leader Sooyoung Park handles some of the guitar duties, so there's indie rock history backing up the sound, too. I hope EE keeps pushing forward. If the band made music full-time, released albums more often, and actually toured, it might get the following it deserves." en

XYZR_KX - "Inanomie Op.221"

Illinois Entertainer, 6/06
Around Hear 2

"Although the melodies at times meander, XYZR_KX (Jon Monteverde, performing under a pseudonymous acronym for “scissor kicks”) somehow manages to keep Inanomie OP.221 engaging. The three-movement suite ambles through the lo-fi reverie of “She Looks Disruptive” and semi-ambient noodling of “Crusades And Silhouettes,” concluding with the jazz and electronic dance-infused “Lose Your Voices.” All in all, it’s 26 minutes of satisfying experimentation." – Jeff Berkwits

Giant Robot #37, Summer

"One-man band Jon Monteverde includes a cast of contributors in his latest indie-electronica opus, which ranges in sound from metal-machine free jazz to Star Wars droids talking to ambient sounds off the street to what might be acoustic Tropicalia. It's hard to pin down Monteverde into any genre, but the one constant is his vocals. When he chooses to sing, he shows the same delicacy as Ben Gibbard and the same soul as Tae Won Yu. Then he dissolves back into weird instrumentals, leaving you wondering what the hell just happened. Enigmatic yet pleasing." mw

Maria Photopulos - "EP"

Altar Magazine #5

"This is a nice, funky album. It has the pauses and breaks of modern slow music, echo's and all. The type of echoes that have made the likes of Portishead and Mazzy Star famous. With a musical style of that sort Maria's lyrical love angst sits nicely. She has the type of artistic spark that reminds me of Erykah Badu's style. Maria's is not nearly as perfected, however that enhances her style musically. "If you were mine" is definitely one of my favorite tunes on the short album of six songs. There is a lot of 70s flair modernized throughout the set. It reminds me of a loud 70's sweater that has been re-hemmed - it fits any season well. A movie acronym would be House of D. If you liked the music featured in that movie, you will love Maria."

Punk Planet #69

"Photopulos has some bite to her songwriting, opening this EP with a short and snappy (literally) pop song. During quieter moments, traces of the energy on more upbeat tracks quietly pulses with her changing rhythms and hushed, bluesy vocals. She doesn’t let her songs stay too long in one place, subtly speeding things up and slowing things down.” [Article Scan]

Giant Robot #37, Summer

"This indie-folk EP is just raw and energetic enough to make the jump outside of bohemian coffeehouses and into your headphones. The first song contrasts a super-sloppy, practically slurred singing style that contrasts with crisp guitar and perky handclaps. It’s rollicking, and will make you want to do karaoke next time your mouth is numb from a trip to the dentist." [Article Scan]

XYZR_KX - "Falls off the curb, chump style."

Giant Robot #38, Fall/Winter

"Fuzzed-out singing-songwriting with a little bit of shoegaze and maybe even some more Prince or The The mixed in. The intensity ranges from indie electro-guitar to full-on rock, but there’s always some vulnerability, whether it’s the quavering vocals or lo-fi-yet-powerful- production." [Article Scan]

Altar Magazine #4

" XYZR_KX... is a whole new way of looking at the world of music. The mystery behind XYZR_KX... a guy with a vision to transform traditional pop music into his own unique brand of erratic guitars, wispy vocals, and experimental electronics... Full of passion and youth, Falls of the Curb Chump Style should be put into heavy rotation on college radio stations nationwide. " [Full Text]

Grooves Magazine #16, p85

"More passion than purity, more brash than composed, the sound has a definite impatience to it... explodes out of the speakers... manages to keep an impressive narrative going throughout the disc, one of youthful exuberance, innocence, and vulnerability." [Full Text]

Illinois Entertainer, 1/05
Review - 'Best of Around Hear 2004'

"Listening to Jon Monteverde, who is XYZR_KX, feels like stumbling across an unreleased My Bloody Valentine B-side or a lost Boards Of Canada cassette. There's a timeless simplicity to the heart-tugging indie pop of Falls Off The Curb, Chump Style, which is spiked with flourishes of electronic beats and wistful melodies. Essential lo-fi bliss for anyone sick of cloying emo lyrics and cut-up juxtaposition." [Full Text]

Splendid Magazine, 1/14/05

"Quietly earnest folk-pop, narcoleptic electronica... jaw-dropping power." [Full Text]
"Actually, Records."
UR Chicago, 1/20-2/16/05, p33
Mini-Feature: 'Labelmakers: Punc Rock'

[Article Scan]

Columbus Alive, 02/18/04
Short Article re: Label Showcase

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The Other Paper, 02/19-24/04
Short Article re: 'Three Shows with Buzz'

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