Music Briefs: Tycho, Envy Corps, Immortal Technique, Bonny Prince Billy

Music Briefs are provided by DJs from KXUA 88.3 FM, a student-run radio station broadcasting out of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. KXUA is a non-profit station dedicated to serving the NWA community with the most eclectic blend of music possible. Listen online at

Tycho – Dive

Label: Ghostly International (2011)
Genres: Electronica, Downtempo
Sounds Like: Boards of Canada, Memory Tapes

Review by TG Keas, KXUA Music Director

It’s nice to get some chill electronica that isn’t also chillwave (most of the time) or “washed-out bedroom pop”. Tycho constructs beat-driven soundscapes. Not really danceable, at least in the imaginable sense, but the percussive elements give the synths some great backing and allow the moods to shift in space. If you’re not into the mellow stuff, you might want to give this one some space. But if you want the soundtrack to a particularly gray December afternoon, Tycho has a few good cuts.

Envy Corps – It Culls You

Label: Self-released (2011)
Genres: Indie Rock
Sound Like: Radiohead, Muse, Walkmen

Review by Zeek Martin

British Iowans, The Envy Corps, have a real knack at producing melodic rock songs that keep your attention both lyrically and musically. No gimmicks, just solid efforts that pay off. There is no denying the Radioheadesque expositions that do rear their heads from track to track – but it isn’t entirely annoying and it works most of the time. There are some funky tracks amidst the more mournful (“Palace on Stilts”, “Med Song”) lilting songs. Love Radiohead? You will like The Envy Corps. Don’t care for Radiohead? That’s ok, you will still like the Envy Corps.

Immortal Technique – The Martyr

Label: Viper Records (2011)
Genres: Hip-Hop, Hardcore Rap 
Sounds Like: Jedi Mind Tricks, Dead Prez, Akir, Diabolic

Review by Harrison Grimwood

The Martyr is Immortal Technique’s fourth official album and it is available for free download all over the Internet (see with an express encouragement to not only take the album for free, but to burn and distribute it as well. The beauty of listening to an Immortal Technique album is that you’ll either a) learn something new that requires further reading b) hear something of historical significance rarely spoken of in hip-hop or c) a combination of both. The album is hard from start to finish and it features other well known and quality hardcore emcees like Vinnie Paz (of Jedi Mind Tricks) and Dead Prez. As well, it features a guest spot from the peaceful and spirtual emcee Brother Ali. Overall, the album is not groundbreaking for Immortal Technique, but it is a continuation of his growing legacy.

Bonnie Prince Billy – Wolfroy Goes to Town

Label: Drag City (2011)
Genre: Folk
Sound Like: Leonard Cohen, Sun Kil Moon, Red House Painters

Review by Ginny Garber

Here’s an album so subtle your ears will stretch to detect all its sound, even with headphones. Will Oldham, or Bonnie Prince Billy, delivers this album with a sense of quiet contradictions, where God is both unresponsive to our calls, and has given us a spirit of power and love. All this, blanketed by soft, opium lullabies.