Sunday, April 13, 2014

Strange Mountain - Levitation Mist

Murmurs of the earth and concentration on the eightfold path buried in looping analog drones from Strange Mountain with Levitation Mist on Illuminated Paths. Unfiltered ambient mediation often juxtaposing a warm open melody against a more complex slightly noisy rhythmic movement. A push pull of complimentary pieces, each presented raw and damaged, sometimes so much so that a complete unraveling of the soundscape seems imminent. Moments that must be enjoyed consciously, perceived with the purity of the present, for they did not exist before, and will not exist after. 10 Tracks, five on each side, with two exclusively on the physical release. The run time of each side was considerably shorter than the length of the actually tape, causing you to have to consciously seek out the second half.

Edition of 25 hand made unique works of reconstruction. Each tape duplicated on top of an old church tape with labels stuck on top of the originals. Album art and liner notes folded inside the old soft poly case with a "Flags of the World" trading card adhered to the back, the whole thing sealed with a smiley sticker. Madness, I love it. Grab as I did direct from Illuminated Paths.

Steve Kenny - Night Warning

Paranoia inducing synth waves from Steve Kenny with Night Warning on 905 Tapes. Mysterious hallucinatory stuff. Bold repetition of constantly evolving lines that swirl around the cortex, offering something slightly different on each pass. Super limited number of elements, which allows conscious interpretation to dissolve giving way to close examination of the timbre on display. And that timbre, well, it's kind of like this 90's clubbed out broad and spacey thing that got smashed into the floor and slowed down to 1/4 speed. Rave tracks for the Sloth master race circling the earth in their starship. Two side long tracks, with possibly two on the flip, but without a track listing I couldn't be sure. Sounds like taking a bath in cough syrup to freshen up after a night of sleeping on the bathroom floor.

Edition of 75 pro dubbed beauties, transparent eyes starring back from the shell, some of the coolest on tape art I've seen. Grab direct from 905 tapes, or stream in full at the label Bandcamp.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Symbol - Online Architecture

Wow is this good. Swirling ambient dirt from Symbol with Online Architecture from Holodeck Records. This one has a toe on the spacey synth ambient side of the line, and the other on the earthy damaged side, heels directly on top of said line, greedily grabbing the best of both. Hissing twisting static running ragged on top of some high speed arpeggio stuff that dashes back and forth inside your closed eyelids. Funny that even though a lot of this is moving at breakneck speed, it feels slow. Spinning so fast the image blurs and becomes a continuous cycle. Wonderfully damaged to the point of near post industrial classification, but held back, just. And of course with 6 tracks over almost 40 minutes of tape, there are moment of wonderful actual slowness, where melodies appear, show themselves and recede into the background. As always, hard to properly describe things that sound good when describing noise, but this does. Measured, thoughtful intensity.

Edition of 200 (you know you're a big time label doing runs of 200)! Pink tapes, pro dubbed and imprinted. Not sure where I can find a pink track to run on, but I suggest you grab a copy of the tape direct from Holodeck (releases on April 8th) and see if they can tell you.

Ant'lrd - Biblioteca Nod Out

Noisy outsider ambience from Ant'lrd with Biblioteca Nod Out on Baro Records. Last time I checked in the Ant'lrd project, things were blissful. Sunday in the lazy chair glistening guitar mush. This time around it's a bit more challenging. Rough hewn pieces that stick out like jagged edges from a ball of drenched fuzzy melody, scraping a bit as they swirl and twist into your consciousness. A healthy dose of obfuscation and vagary that clouds the judgement of some really fantastic ambient underpinnings. To me, the eight tracks contained feel like a collection of like minded one off compositions and orphan recordings. None of them quite "fit", but still feel acquainted. Sounds that love each other but aren't quite in love if you catch my cliche'd drift. And it makes for an interesting listen. Harsh for the soft crowd or vice versa. The closing pair of tracks A Mellow Hum for Cycling in the City Pt.1 and Pt.2 are where I made the most of things, hazy undulating repetition and all.

Edition of 100, pro dubbed a duplicated on solid orange. Can't quite figure out the art on this, but I love it. Looks like some sort of peyote fueled field party. Stream in full and grab direct from the Baro Bandcamp.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Novy Svet - Doce

12 song retrospective release from industrial folk legends Novy Svet, with Doce on Kill Shaman Records. As you would expect in a compilation album, a wide range of the styles and genres from a decade plus of releases are reflected. I'm far from the authority on the entire body of Novy Svet work, but of the handful of releases I'm familiar with, the industrial element has far more prevalent. I was pleasantly surprised to find an eclectic and extremely melodic folk side that I did not anticipated. Textures, tones, vocal styles all exist in a firm, beautifully constructed space that sounds like almost nothing else. Vocals that verge on the militant and return to romantic with conviction. Sparse acoustic guitar twisted with just enough strange to make things challenging. Weird like I like it, puts you under a spell.

Can't find an edition size on this one, but it looks excellent nonetheless. Black vinyl, little liner notes with tribal figures, grab direct from Kill Shaman Records.

Kevin Hein - Gauze II

Serene meditation from Kevin Hein with Gauze II on Baro Records. Perhaps more than meditative ambient, this release (a continuation of Gauze) explores an interesting intersection between drone and shoegaze. Layers of guitar floating over think layers of melodic softly rendered chaos. Perfect mood music, the sort of thing that begs for flow yoga and afternoons in your favorite chair, headphones on, tea in hand. Tracks blend together, and if they are separate, I can't recall an interruption as they meld seamlessly. For classification purposes, this lands on the guitar side of things, displaying wonderful restraint in playing, tracks defined as much by the breathing room between notes, and the notes themselves. Soft, bright, effortless.

Edition of 100, doubled sided inserts, pro duplicated on clear red. Stream in full and purchase on Bandcamp, or go direct to the label.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Flowery Dreamcatcher - Hen To Pan

The removal of notions of time, and being. Moments where indiscernible instruments swirl into a fog of hiss and warble. Perceptions of past and future are overwhelmed by a soundscape so firmly rooted in the present as to eliminate the consideration of all others. Hen To Pan from Flowery Dreamcatcher on ((cave)) seems to reference the appeal of vintage New Age soundscapes, but steeps that reference to an era in the absolute perfection of a soundscape so satisfyingly honest and delicate as to eliminate the applicability of any time bound reference point. The flip sounds like outtakes from Bowie's Black Tie White Noise phase were captured to tape, removed from the reels, burned to ash and painted on the walls of a prehistoric cave to be interpreted by your headphones. Sounds crazy I know. But if you're a freak about your ambient soundscapes, you wait for tapes like this. Two single side tracks, no notions of coming or going. Just feel them in the present.

Edition of fifty, I have no idea how this is still available, but lucky you, it is. Grab direct from ((cave))