Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Problems That Fix Themselves - besides

b-sides or besides, very nice word usage from Problems That Fix Themselves. This tape is exactly that, tracks not making it on the vinyl album Which is Worse. The earlier lp was on the blog back in March of this year. The new cassette is six tracks and right around thirty minutes. The sound is thick for besides, making this listen more concise and a little darker than the lp.

The best words to describe besides for me are a grandiose electronic fog with blinking lights in the distance, heavy listening through, brief moments of letting up, and then sounding even more impenetrable on subsequent tracks. There are beats and then pure washed out drone. Then there is the longest track "medley", this is a different sound than the rest. More industrial, like a soundtrack to a futuristic cartoon, where robots are assembling a fleet of space craft that shove off into the void near the end. I really like the track just before this "restless", like a pleasant cruise in a climate controlled vehicle, looking out over a pummeled wasteland. You are there, but completely removed simultaneously. There are two tracks "facemask and noelle redux", which use a really modified vocal component. Both are different and both add to the depth of besides.

 If you liked the lp Which is Worse, and you feel you can handle besides you should definitely grab this cassette. These tracks exists on the periphery of many listener's thresholds and then they fall directly into the wheelhouse of others. Cracking the door a little more open for Problems That Fix Themselves, and shedding light on how this unique sound is developed.

This cassette is out on 1980 Records. A cool Chicago area label that has tons of releases. Check out besides when you get a chance. Give it a good listen and you will be pleased.





















Links
Problems That Fix Themselves site - facebook - twitter
1980 Records site - facebook

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dragontime - Dragontime

Ready for a modern sound spiritual journey? Dragontime has the connotation of being a fantasy adventure, but this cassette is far from the world of the PBS inspired show Dragon Tales. Robin MacMillan and Kephera Moon have composed an illusive and difficult to label, jaunt through serene and soothing sound landscapes.

The first track "Futures Past" is a mesmerizing beginning with a Native American beat juxtaposed with ethereal synthesizer gently dancing over the flickering fire. This is followed with an angelically sung and simply composed track titled "Women & Children". Moving along is helped by a western style played organ on "Matty Groves Part 1". Dragontime is drifting by quickly and the patterns recorded for the listener are so varied. You would think this causes cacophony, but a very cultivated approach  bonds all of the tracks together. As the fourth track begins, the beat changes again and is accompanied by beautiful vocals. Sound patterns change pretty much on every track. Even on "Matty Groves Part 2", the music leans to an almost eastern world inspired homage. This continues with "Serendip" which introduces the drone sounds of a Tampura, played in the depths behind hand drums and flute like synthesizer. Nine distinctly varied musical sojourns over a half hour make Dragontime a true sound expedition. Everything is played in a tempered medium, making this listen the perfect soundtrack for a future purification ceremony.

From what i read, this is a re-issue from 2012, originally released as a cdr by Psychic Arts. The Inner Islands label has connected with Dragontime and released this in June of 2015 in cassette version.
This is a very good choice for Inner Islands because Dragontime really represents the vibe of the label. Superbly diverse, but maintaining the high spiritual quality of all the labels endeavors.





Links
Inner Islands site - bandcamp - facebook
Dragontime - facebook

Sunday, July 12, 2015

ℐ sherri - SOFT SPOT

This cassette has been turning over consistently in the deck for the past few days. There is so much good music out there, and as an avid listener, i like to hear as much as possible. Sometimes you hear something and it just clicks in place for you. A multitude of variables go into this, like the kind of mood your presently in and then your disposition over a longer period of time. What time of day it is and how energetic or tired you are. There is this point, when all of the x y and z's pinpoint a piece of music and your incarnate stumbling self. Like a nail gun firing into your shoe, fortunately right between your big and second big toe. You are stuck to the floor because it happened to be wood. It's cool though, you are happy and not hurt at all. Just thinking how often does this happen. You stare or in this case listen with amazement.

So i was pecking on the keys and dragging the mouse around by the collar. J Sherri pops up on the screen. That is a funny picture... Looks like a skeeter got you, maybe something bigger. Could be a friend whizzed a disc in your back when you went to grab your cold beverage. Funny pictures are 50/50 when it comes to music, so i have a solid chance for good tunes.... Wow, sounds really great. So unlike the rural back scratching pic. A few more songs in and i am completely sucked in. This music and my subsistence are giving each other a big hug... Only 10 cassettes though, marketing genius you are J Sherri.
Gonna half to buy this now.

Soft Spot is 10 songs and way over 30 minutes of goodness. Music to listen to with your friends. Addicting, like shaved ice in the summer with dr. pepper and coffee syrup on either side. Do i have a favorite song? Yes but it keeps changing with every other listen.

Out on Camp Daze Music from Missoula, Montana. Camp Daze is an all age music festival and tape label too. 10 cassettes for internet sales, with 6 left as i write this. Maybe if you go to Montana and start turning over those big river rocks you may find more copies. But it will be much easier to get one of the few that are left from Camp Daze's bandcamp page.







Links
J Sherri - bandcamp - facebook
Camp Daze site - bandcamp - facebook


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Igor Amokian and Army of 2600 - Welcome To Glitch World

Boxes in basements are being ripped open from the inside. What was once shelved as obsolete has been building resentment while resting in tucked away places. The time has arrived and Atari 2600s across the world have been summoned forth by Igor Amokian and Army of 2600. Marching into 2015, not just demanding to be heard but rather welcoming listeners to join the ranks.

As only a meager private in the Chiptune Corps, my knowledge of this sound grows with each push up, every three mile run and with all of the new sounds provided by training officers like Igor Amokian and Army of 2600. This is their world. Music is foreign. Sounds live in an unrecognizable medium that paralyzes new recruits as they try to make rank. There are moments when i hear my youth. Maybe a memory of the hum of the coolest game room you ever walked in. Distinct sounds from one machine moving like a centipede from one console to another. At all times the noise almost deafening, trying to drown out exuberant feelings of awesome fun. 

Igor Amokian and Army of 2600 is a true departure from traditional anything. This tape has purpose, the sounds are not just random samples thrown together willy nilly. The collaborative composition between Igor Amokian and Army of 2600 has stamped this genre of music with deep respect for me. Before i would have called this chiptune style amusing and fun. That has changed now. This is serious. There is so much involved with the creation of these tracks alone. The future is pretty much unbounded.

Welcome to Glitch World is a great title for this tape. Anyone who has not had the opportunity to become involved now has the invitation to join Igor and Army of 2600. A great starting point, but for experienced chiptune listeners, probably an even better staple of sound. I really can not say being only a private.

This is number four for Bonding Tapes. The label rests in a world phasing in and out of temporal connection. Each time the portal is established another complete mystery is passed through.
If you do not have any cassettes from Bonding Tapes yet, it does not matter where you start, they are all great. This is just the most recent release.





Links
Bonding Tapes site - facebook - bandcamp
Cool Video Promo

Crown Larks - Blood Dancer


Sometimes the combination of so many well cut pieces of stone create a structure that causes wonder. The musicians on Crown Larks have come together creating an amalgam eclipsing each individual member. The sound is ultimately difficult to pin down and that is decisive.

I think i read words like free, rock, avant-garde, jazz and eclectro. Those are nice words for throwing labels on this for the shelves of the radio station. I feel the best description of Blood Dancer is six musicians bringing a vast amount music love, listening knowledge and skilled instrumentation to one album and laying down a cairn for everyone on their listening journeys.

The first time I listened to Blood Dancer my minds was lost at what to think. Was not sure how to like this one. After rolling through the cassette repeatedly, I have realized there is so much more than rippling sounds on the surface. Fathoms of intricacy can be heard below and with each listen this meter gets deeper and deeper.

Crown Larks have created an album that will slowly grow and firmly root in the listeners mind. There are tracks that push towards chaos, and then there are tracks that dwell in the sweet listening spots of ageless musical heritage. The diversity of sound is grande and all of the tracks connect, making this an excellent start to finish listening pleasure.  Labels are always a really good indicator of the quality of sound we can listen to and this is out on Already Dead Tapes and Records... So that ends that sentence. You still have choices of vinyl, tape or cd formats. If you have not listened to Blood Dancer already, give this one your ears for the entire ride.




















Links
Crown Larks site - twitter - facebook
Already Dead Tapes and Records