So I'm not exactly sure how to promote this. At eleven total artists, I can't really pin this down to easy description. I've gotten my hands on the excellent, Kickstarter funded, first compilation from Baro Records, Compilation 001. Baro (Breathing and Receiving Oxygen) has flown under my radar thusfar, despite reviewing something from Bre'r (a Baro regular) on (cave) recordings in 2012. That's completely my failing as humble curator of this place. The label aesthetic seems to land squarely in the dreamy, glitched, guitar and ambience space. Lots of really chill and challenging vibes here. Sounds like forward thinking memories of a perfect day.
Monday, May 20, 2013
And while we're on the topic of the aforementioned Bre'r, let's talk a bit about the latest from the project of D.A Fisher. This time, on Oakland's Sanity Muffin. Forceful, gritty soundscrapes, aching with homespun emotion and sorrow. A close cousin of drone, but not so much. Within these compositions, notes fall into and out of the mix with only moderate sustain. A bit more sophisticated in structure than most ambient music, although that label certainly could apply here. Drifting in consciousness. I find this more akin to the notion of electronic modern classical. These may be some of either the most beautiful, or devastating melodies you will hear. Heck, they are likely both. Exactly the type of release to help the unexposed masses fall in love with experimental music.
Couldn't find a stream of this for the life of me, so hopefully you'll trust my judgement here. Double sided jcard, edition of 100. Grab directly from the Sanity Muffin Webstore.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Exploratory atmospherics from Matthew Barlow and Andy Loebs, with Northwest Passage on Twin Springs Tapes. Glitched vocals, cavernous ambience, manic drumming and riffage, a single improvisational experience twisted and reformed in post production into a sort of reborn tape scene post rock. From soft reverberating percussion, to meandering schizophrenic strings, and melancholic folksy guitar, the album length c-45 is an expansive and evolving journey. This stuff feels poured over enough to mean something, but spontaneous enough to be still be alive. I was transfixed by the track Wounds And Scars, which combines a sort of ambient heaviness of thick sound walls and an absolutely broken up drum kit being played to death. Kind of sounds like all the deliciously strange interludes from Bowie's Outside spliced together and played on a quadraphonic stereo in the dark at 3am. And by the way, just what is in the water in North Carolina that could be causing such a prolific output of experimental music of late?
Hand dubbed edition of just 40. Individual hand written liner notes (how long must that have taken..), lovingly wrapped up with paper and string. Stream in full and grab via the Twin Springs Tapes Bandcamp.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Slightly ambient, somewhat acoustic folk, sometimes outsider pop from Squanto, with A Gift And A Favor, on Lily Tapes and Discs. Gentle and unasuming through the front half, with delicate finger picked strings and a choros of evening crickets, the flip of this completely destroyed me. The lead track, A Gift, Pt. 2 loops a moaning, plaintive vocal over raw strings and a tornado of noise. Unrestrained and overwhelming. To me, these sounds feel poignant and touching, but I think just as easily to another they might sound comforting and uplifting. Nice little details abound everywhere throughout. Slight background noise creeps in at times offering a charming context around which layers of vocal play losely with timing and meoldy creating a come as you are feeling. Nothing forced, just goes straight into the soul.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Another in an increasingly fantastic run of experimental synth on Field Hymns, Alpha Ralpha Boulevard from Cremator is an ultra smooth dose of planetarium nightmares. Something about this sounds just intoxicatingly, profoundly lonely. Two long form synth sequences that pulse with rich, detailed timbres, and alternate between poles of high intensity, and mellow introspection. Everything has this clean, highly digestable sound, that feels low on double digit polyphony, and high on knife edge precision. What really stands out to me here, is the way in which these two lyric less tracks felt like they told me a story throughout. Something about a narrow escape from evil robot sentries in a hellish cyberpunk futurescape. Menacing, beautiful, killer stuff.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Beautiful, complex, ambience from Konntinent with Closer Came The Light on Home Normal. Rich, precise, crystal clear and extremely melodic. A mixture of elements that travel far outside the assumed boundaries of similar ambient work. Unusual timbres, bits of guitar, and without the inclusion of a dominant percussive element, it somehow finds a way to feel up tempo and fast paced. Each track has a knack of finding melodic ground that seems accessible, and sorrowful, and twists it slightly to shade the edges with just a bit of strangeness. The final track, Sorority Syntax showcases everything this album has to offer, a touching simplistic synth riff that flies above the mix, then descends into a grinding noisy miasma, coming out the other side reformed as introspective drone. I spun this one back to back on nine hour drive and found not a single misstep. Masterfully produced and paced. (I also read that this album was largely improvised… which makes the quality even harder to comprehend.)
A staggeringly large edition of 1750, a portion of which contain a second 2 track bonus disc which is completely worthwhile. You can grab, as I did, on sale for $10 from Experimedia.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Warped, wicked, head expanding beat work from Paul Hares, with Blurred on Rotifer Cassettes. Thick, glassy beds of ambience that breathe in, and out with each pulsating thump. Slightly off kilter, enough to make you think, but locked just tight enough into each groove to get your head going in full nod. Eighteen tracks over an expansive c56 that run the spectrum from zoned out and spacey to crispy and ragged. I had an absolute blast getting caught up in the twists and turns. Hares doesn't sit still for a second, throwing out changes in mood, pace, and production on every single track, fostering a wonderful sense of surprise and discovery. Need more like this one please.
Doubled sided jcard, (maybe intended to be reversible?), hand numbered miniature liner notes, edtion of 100. Grab direct from Rotifer along with the rest of what's left of an incredible new batch.