Thursday, November 19, 2015

CARTHAGE - 9115

CARTHAGE is a wall of sound and sonic dimensions. Traveling through a desolate world, the listener arrives at the base of a monstrous barrier. 9115 has hand holds to ascend, but reaching the top is miles above and beyond your listening range. This will require a firm grip and steady ears.

Once inside of REND_THREE, the seven minute long first track, the looming cliff, not natural but entity created, is curious mystery. Field noises augmented by opening the microphone to hear distant sounds as well as what exist in the foreground. Like a camera with an extremely slow shutter speed, so much of this environment has been recorded in five minutes. Blurred sound from captured moments of social comradery.

9115 sinks deep underground moving forward. Bass emanating from the planets center slowly vibrates the speakers in an unpredictable pattern. Guitar beings to chop down any listeners who have made it this far. Subsiding, then back in force, there is no safe place at this point. The bass on this cassette gets really low. Make sure your listening device can handle CARTHAGE and in turn you yourself.

From this point it is pretty much like peeling back a section of the planets core and letting the sounds roll out. Dark guitar riffs and bass so low to reach the depths of a singularity. Somehow these sounds still maintain composition. Far enough out there to be completely alien, but still in tow of an artist with conventional ideas. Allowing for a listener to become fascinated rather than squeezed into a tiny subatomic particle.

There is still challenge. In order to leave this world, the ten minute track titled IK_SET must be scaled. Similar in density as REND_THREE, this last monumental en-devour brings randomness, tribal beats in glacial motion and swooping strings, like condors protecting a cliff abode.

This is the first release for the new label Still Heat Recordings. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK. Dark sounds for winters approach so far up in latitude. This cassette by Damien B is an aged and cracked window into consciousness disconnected from the continuum. Available in a run 50.




Links 
Still Heat Recordings - bandcamp - soundcloud - twitter

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sasha Conda - Bronco

Bronco lives in a futuristic society. Time has taken a toll on the population, forcing man's indulgences to be governed by artificial intelligence. Like rats in a maze, cheese hanging over traps, dropping grabby paws to an even bigger maze below. The cycle continues creating a pyramid, with everyone so far down, hopeless of ever escaping. Bronco knows how to move through this maze, looking for the hidden passageways and pleasures only known to aberrant individuals. The A.I. is smart though, and keeps tabs on deviants like Bronco. Making his journey unpredictable and dangerous.

Not known to the computers is the analog soundtrack playing pace to Bronco's adventures. This is some stalwart music for tough guys doing stupid things and getting into trouble. When the tunes start ripping in synthetic Trouble Man homage, solutions to tricky situations always surface. Grooved out beats charging forward, introspection, relaxation and mysterious places. Sasha Conda has created sounds that are wicked cool. Reading Bronco's story written by Patrick Scott-Walsh adds a particular sustenance all music should be envious of.

So many variations of music can be heard on Bronco. The track Jackpot is sweet African dubbed out euphoria. Where the Plasticmen reaches into a more late night hazy club feel. Each track corresponds to a chapter in the story of Bronco. The entire tape plays sticky, with tracks connected and cohesive.

Released on Not Not Fun records in addition of 100. This label has been steadily releasing great music for years... Teaming up with Sasha Conda, the story by Patrick Scott-Walsh and the great art work by Keith Rankin going into the presentation, make NNF319 one of my most favorites of the label. With three hundred and nineteen and counting, that says it for me.























Links
Not Not Fun Records site -  facebook
Sasha Conda - facebook

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Lior Gekler - Claude

Worbeld music from vintage microphones. Sound seeps though times boundaries and is captured on tape. Lior Gekler's music swirls in and out of this reality. Black and white images of children playing in traveling carnivals. Half filled silent movie theaters, piano playing for the scenes, the screen rips distorting the images. Strange sounds are broadcasted, chaos is here. These tunes have been decaying around the edges, adding deeper feeling and perplexing interest.

Claude is difficult to pin down and wrap a genre around. The diversity is tremendous. Soundscaping from subdued moments on the piano to an almost lawlessness expression of sonance. There are times of beauty and sentiment giving way to snarling notes. Like a forest sparkling with rays of sunshine and it's counterpart on a moonless night. Lior Gekler seems to understand this changing the sound array back and forth, delivering daydreams and nightmares from track to track.

This one is out on Full Body Message Records from Berlin. Originally a cd-r finding the pathway to the tape medium in an edition of 50. Other releases on the label cover the unlit ocean floor to snowy Himalayan peaks. Capturing sounds of Earth's drone as it spins around it's star.


Links
Full Body Message Records - bandcamp - souncloud
Lior Gekler - bandcamp


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Never Anything Records - First Batch

Here are some write ups for the first three releases from the new label Never Anything Records. From Portland, Oregon where pop sounds fall off the edge of the North American Plate. And mysterious noises arise from subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate. All captured on sleek cassettes and ready for your ears.

Here are the links!


Links
Never Anything Records site - bandcamp - facebook

John Dillon - The Lost Estate

The Lost Estate is pop music reaching back and then forward through time. Dillon Sturtevant has composed eleven tracks utilizing special channeling abilities. Stretching through multiple dimensions of the continuance, these songs herald rootfull tunes. While something of the past can be heard, John Dillon has thrown this tape forward creating sounds budding with new growth.

There is enough diversity on The Lost Estate for any listener to attune themselves to. Favorite tracks are scattered throughout. I have really enjoyed Shenandoah on the first side. Throwing back a little bit to folky guitar and vocals. The second side sounds exceptionally good with the song Last Golden Age. Poised vocals with groovly composed guitar lines, reminding me of Lloyd Cole's early Rattlesnakes album.

The entire listening experience changes from start to finish, but keeps within set bounds. This makes for a smooth ride. John Dillon has moments of introspection with Friends Like Mine the title track The Lost Estate. While Death Mask sends me to the 80's with hazy synthesizer runs, beats and new wave vocals.

This is Never Anything Record's third tape of the first batch. The Lost Estate is unique in being so diverse within itself. It is difficult to tell at this point where the label will focus other than finding talented artists with beautiful sounds to share. 




Links
Never Anything Records site - bandcamp - facebook
John Dillon - facebook


Demonstration Synthesis / James Benjamin - DS 24

Outside of the Earth's atmosphere, protection from radiation is gone. Particles bombard, bounce and penetrate. The first side of this cassette hearkens to the Soviet /United States space race. Sounds of metal capsules being exposed to emptiness of space while control panels bleep and beep in communication processes with the control hub.

As side A plays on, the suns flurry subsides. Space has become calm and peaceful. Mellow drone ensues and synthesizer stays put in more friendly formations. This soothing atmosphere is finally inturupted by tones of an emense alien mothership tractor beam pulling your small craft into it's hold.

As the tape flips, long distance travel is in store, augmented by wobbly electronic frequencies. Drone exist on the outside edge. The tunes have weight and come across neither playful or disheartening, rather filling the space in between. Slowly turning patterns revealing the many facets of a kalidescope. Well constructed and mesmerizing!

Never Anything Records second release by Demonstration Synthesis and James Benjamin. This one is sound delivered on a curve in relation to the more pop outputs of the first and third of this debut batch. Daniel Leznoff (DS) and James Benjamin combine their talents and create a strikingly alien industrial world. My cassette has indication this was done in a run of fifty.
 



Links
Never Anything Records site - bandcamp - facebook
Demonstration Synthesis site 

Lustana - Part I

Lustana came and set my table for the holidays. Listening to ample amounts of drone and ambient haze makes the desire to hear well crafted pop tunes grow. Not knowing what Lustana Part I was, my ears soon relished the warmth these tunes provide.

Clay Mahn has a very subdued approach in delivering his crafts. Songs feel full but are never overdone. Like the sound meter on a stereo component, flirting with the red line but always staying out of it. Clays voice soft and consistently soothing, sometimes tinged with slight distortion. Creating a hazy dream world. The music is upbeat and diverse to all measures. So much is happening, like a story with multiple characters ending with all of them being the same person. That is how diverse Lustana is, secretly bound in one beautiful story. After listening this tape will be ready to be flipped and heard again.

In the quickly moving world of looking for new and different, sometimes music that is simply well done gets missed. The most amazing aspect of Lustana is the tape gets better and better as the tracks play through. Almost as if Clay is preparing the listener for the heavy hitters on the last few tracks. Like a reverse lull, so unexpected and appreciated. Thank you!

Never Anything Records starts off with a big hit from the plate. This is their first release in their first batch of three cassettes. Let this one cook on a digital preview and i am sure you will want to order a copy. In an edition of 100 as noted on bandcamp.





Links
Never Anything Records site - bandcamp - facebook

Friday, November 6, 2015

Selaroda - viaje a través de sonidos transportative

When listening to new music like Selaroda, the best thing you can hope for is uninterrupted time. Viaje a través de sonidos transportative is asking the listener to join in this journey through serene sonic landscapes. Saturation levels are high and without proper attention bestowed, Selaroda would blur on the surface. The beauty rest just beneath.

The diversity throughout viaje a través de sonidos transportative is tremendous. Tracks range in length from two minutes to over twelve minutes. Other worldly influences can be heard on these music pieces. Some hear on Earth and others strangely unrecognizable. Michael Henning, the force behind Selaroda has talent in engaging the listener from the start. The first track opens the temporal disturbance with a slowly swirling sound fascination. Inviting and intriguing, listening closer to a strange drum world reminiscent of past and forgotten performances at the Caveau de la Huchette in Paris. The third track changes the tempo and moves us from this reality into a majestic drone world where sound oscillates in gentle swells, relaxing and tranquil.

As the cassette flips side two starts and finishes in the same pattern. Two shorter tracks followed by the anchor. Starting off the music has turned slightly, traveling in a world without light. The tones are more recluse, somewhat daunting in nature. We learn this was the dark jungle journey to sacred grounds of Gamelan music of the next piece. A beautiful timeless instrumental providing warmth and well being. As viaje a través de sonidos transportative slips into the last track, wind swept electronics are paired with graceful piano. This mixture provides the most pastoral feeling of the entire composition.

Another Inner Islands release promoting the higher spirit of sound. The discography of the label is strong with thought provoking releases and Selaroda fits like a wooden puzzle piece. Available from Inner Islands in a run of 75.




















Links
Inner Islands site - bandcamp - facebook
Selaroda - facebook - bandcamp

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Baldruin – Portal

Wounded Knife has a special ability to release material from really good artists that are all in peak form. With this newest release by Baldruin on beautiful clear vinyl, there is no doubt this label is going to solidify itself as a top go to label for both artists and listeners.

Balduin music is so unique and intelligently tasteful. Instead of side long pieces, Johannes Schebler‬ takes a more concise path. Tracks are shorter and varied but play through as a whole. I first heard Johanne's talent in the world of meticulously crafted music scenes when listening and writing about Baldruin's sold out cassette on A Giant Fern label titled Miniaturen. The new lp Portal on Wounded Knife follows in this terrene adding a bit more girth to track length and opening new sound venues.

Johannes operates like a surgeon in a 1940's scary black and white movie. The silver colored tray is set next to the body with every gleaming metal tool imaginable precisely laid out on it. You look and wonder what they all could be for. The music on Portal has been created with such a wide assortment of sounds, all shrunk down to fit inside a few minutes span. These sounds create feelings of wonderment. How do they all work together. Maybe there exist a higher understanding of them, like the surgeon of old had. Everything has a purpose and will go into play as needed. This could be the magic Johannes holds in his palms. He understands nothing can be forced, only used when needed and the put away possibly for another time.

Portal plays through with tones heard in alien jungles. There is definitely beauty listening in any direction. But sometimes behind these strange dark leaves and prehistoric flowers there is a deviant creature making itself known. On this expedition, the scenery is constantly changing with quickly flowing shifts in flow and turbulence. Not ever causing the listener to stumble, maybe only changing their pace enough to slow down and listen more deeply. And as the tracks play on and when your mind gets caught in the trance, a voice emerges from the depths. It sounds like it is laboring to speak and this pushing forth of words causes chills at times. This sound journey moves on. Even though your self preservation skills are tested, you are never at odds with Portal. The music is after all a thermos of your favorite warm beverage, enjoyed in sips providing comfort in it's completeness.

There are copies of this available from Wounded Knife. Two Hundred and Sixty were pressed on luminous clear vinyl. All of the packaging and art work parallel the refined sound and grooves they were formed on. This is Wounded Knife's first vinyl record as well as Baldruin's. I am sure this will be sold out soon.

Here is all the press received for Portal from Wounded Knife's site



























Links
Wounded Knife site - bandcamp - facebook
Baldruin - bandcamp - facebook