Creating cassettes sounding good to the mind and feeling robust to the touch. Eiderdown Records combines music and art making beautiful statements with each release. These two were both October 2016 productions and are worth all the time to explore.
Here are the links to both if you do not prefer to scroll...
Jake Blanchard had a split cassette with Hellvete back in 2013 on Tor Press. I had this tape in my list to find in the states, but it never happened. Couple of other cassettes, Jake Blanchard's debut on Feathered Coyote Records in Austria and a 2014 release on IKUISUUS from Finland are out there, but shipping is steep for single cassettes from Europe. Fortunately Eiderdown Records has brought Jake to Seattle, Washington and has produced a high level offering both in sound and in art.
Describing the sounds of Colour Discolour is a task for music scholars, but i will still do my best. There is a courtly tone permeating the start of this cassette. Somehow regal, but in a constant state of a madly tripping frenzy. The notes are so fast, creating a droning visage. The closest music i can relate this to is some incredible banjo work by Roscoe Holcomb, one specific song called Little Gray Mule. Listen to Jake take the ageless sounds and bend them through a psychedelic time spiral. An ambient ocean of sand, with a oasis and tents around it, the festive atmosphere goes on through the cool night. Colour Discolour takes the sounds through till dawn with almost forty minutes of mysterious energy. They begin to simmer and mutate on the second track titled The Witches Horse-Block. A Gamelan tone without and bells being struck, only the vibrations after the initial ring are heard. The second side is all Distant Migration. A complex composition emanating from tribal origins. The pace quickens as blood is spilled and the frenzy of the ceremony numbs sight and sound. The last few minutes taper off as this majestic ritual comes to an end.
This cassette was released in an edition of ninety from Eiderdown Records. A label which adds the the most vibrant screen printing to heavy card stock for every installation. The art for Colour Discolour was done by Jake Blanchard as well as the batch companion release, Down Of The Hamsa by Bird People. Worth getting a copy in every sense of the words "super cool".
This is my second exploration of Bird People in the later part of 2016. Cosmic Winnetou has a really nice four way split with Bird People as one of the artists. Eiderdown Records secured a lengthy forty five minute live recording at the Burrow in Vienna. All to themselves, the label gives them the highest level of treatment with beautifully two sided screen printed artwork on heavy card stock, clear cassette bodies, and a limited edition run of ninety.
Down Of The Hamsa is the title of this cassette. Sounds are heavy and sustained as bows vibrates strings in a seething symphony. Bird People creates a foreboding night ceremony with the opening track, "Flight Of The Hamsa". Trance music for souls looking into the ember laden fire. Small burning particles drift upward as the music breathes with the oxygen intake of the burn. Almost ceremonially the music lightens as dawn begins to paint the black sky. The morning is welcomed by meditative flute and horn with the second track, "On The Lake At Sunrise pt.1". Continuing to the emergence of the sitar and a homage to the day in more Indian classic music style. Bird People seems to deconstruct what they have assembled on the last track, "On The Lake At Sunrise pt.3". Thirteen plus minutes of sounds pulling their roots and floating among the concordance. Each instrument and musician powering them gently bumping one another until energy dissipates and the live performance comes to a stop.
Excellent all the way through. Drone sounds with so much depth and texture. Available from the Eiderdown Records bandcamp page. Some of the most electrifying sounds and artwork available on cassette today. This goes for every Eiderdown release.
Finding the tones to make the consciousness vibrate just under the resonating level of departure. Fusing a mechanical world with roots in the organic. Drift. paralyzes your thoughts and drops them into the ambient ocean, all in one slow burning planetary re-entry. Rich pastoral drone, stirred for hours with sentient workings. The beautiful noise we have is the new sound, the space in between.
Arthur Dent & Deeper Than Space have combined to lay down the drone heavy. So slow and melodic, like watching glaciers move or water evaporate. If you are even the slightest bit tired, Drift. will finish you off. This is stuff for Experienced drone listeners only. Constitutions must be at their highest levels. Float tank sound preparing minds for astral departure. The title track "Drift." wedges you away from your body with an almost monastic hum that stirs beneath as the vastness of space lures from above. This is followed by the grandiose "Chindogu", revealing a slightly disturbed ambient soundscape of infinitely extending boundaries. Sound mirroring man's knowledge as if heard from a microscope and telescope in stereo. The hum of energy of a planets outer atmosphere being bombarded by space particles of all sizes.
An epic sounding composition getting the classiest treatment from Bonding Tapes. The highest magnitude of care was used in presenting Drift. Boxed like jewels and banded as a fine gift would be. Arthur Dent & Deeper Than Space has found a label in Bonding Tapes that really understands how good this composition is. Released in October, there are still copies available. One of the best releases in all aspects for the year.
Here are two cassettes brought forth by a pair of heavyweights in the hazed out ambient ring. These Are Not Records brings everything together in exquisite tape moldings. Both releases are main events and will not disappoint the experienced listeners.
Sometimes music corners the mind fending thoughts back as they try to drift. Rambutan starts Universal Impulses deconstructing notes and tones. Pulling your consciousness into the mix and nullifying the ability to comprehend. A intense designed approach by an experienced creator. The result aimed at mind cleansing for the new interconnected mass to be nurtured by Universal Impulses to a higher state.
Forty minutes hanging in the most mysterious ambient stasis. The first few tracks teeter on the edge then the remaining pieces sink with strong ambient gravity. The beauty of this cassette by Eric Hardiman who is Rambutan, is the pathway the sounds lead down. Take off or landing depends on what your perspectives are during the heart of this composition. The beginning wobbles and clanks spinning faster to reach equilibrium. Then, centrifugal forces add weight, causes the world to sit heavy as the sounds drone across a perplexing subtle noise filled surface. Universal Impulses is sound finding a groove and falling deep to the bottom of the V. In this sense, the world where sound waves settle to a thick blanket across the listeners awareness. Rambutan deals a heavy hand and Universal Impulses takes steps only farther down into the pit.
There are seventy five of these cassettes released by These Are Not Records, a Scarsdale, New York label. Number nineteen in their catalog. Eric Hardiman has releases all the way back to Stunned Records and also runs his own label called Tape Drift. Combining with These Are Not Records, Universal Impulses is a dense ambient offering that drips with the beauty of the world around it.
The massive engines are tuned on for this ground vibrating drone burner by Kösmonaut. Processional percussion amid a fanfare of horns. The towering wall of noise pushing all sounds to extreme points of distance. An alien entourage of music is then drummed forth among harmonic ambient might.
Songs for Healing tackles a half an hour divided among eight numbered tracks. Patrick R. Pärk who is Kösmonaut, is simply a huge weight of aural pressure. Rumbling thought, flattening the sound space, then wise enough to let all things grow again. The second side of this cassette only exists as counterpoint to the first. The time comes when all complex processes, either natural or man made, end. Rebuilding occurs and is done beautifully well. Mr. Pärk hovers between extremes, in a protected alcove as the wind sweeps the outside wastelands. The listener sitting along side has the opportunity to discover their own sound vista as their ears gather the emitted vibrations. Tones are somehow majestically sparse at times, crafted from the talented offering of Patrick's skill. This beauty marches away on the last track allowing the tape to reverse and Kösmonaut to enter again.
This Kösmonaut release is out on the label These Are Not Records. This release and the preceding cassette titled Master Generator are both dedicated to Patrick R. Pärk's daughter Sevigny Aislin Pärk.
She has a blog you can check out and see how much love is in the Park family. You can also find a write up of Master Generator on the label A Giant Fern here.
Order a copy from These Are Not Records out of Scarsdale, New York. There is also one copy left on the Kösmonaut bandcamp page. Either way this is a very good composition and These Are Not Records artwork and packaging is beautiful.
When you leave the physical world and are waiting in the relocation lounge for your astral directions, Life Without Structure will be seeping into your awareness. The pleasantries of pop music without all the barbed hooks causing mental anguish while listening. YlangYlang lifts the ladle out of the composition cauldron, ears sniffing the brew, adding a pinch of just enough of what is needed. These sounds are good, especially the unraveling of beats into a drone world and finding them again to complete the circle.
Life Without Structure is a half an hour of sparse beats and a soft voice speaking to your consciousness. Catherine Debard balances all components of her sound with delicacy and talent. Listening in amazement, then all to quickly the cassette ends. The tape plays like an inverted bell curve with the start just a little higher than the finish. Upbeat sounds sinking into the ambient goo then climbing out just enough to be able to hear how far down you traveled. In the middle, the track titled Lavender Wow is an alluring drone piece and although different from Uncertain Landscapes and How Thin is the Skin of the Soul, is not dark or foreboding. The first track of side B, The Way Shadows Play, makes the ascent towards the finish. This is the longest piece on the cassette and in my thoughts the most beautiful. An evolving from the heavy molecular medium to flight and planetary departure. A graceful and just off kilter enough genre bending vestige you will wish would keep playing longer.
Life Without Structure was released on Crash Symbols at the end of October. There are some copies left at the Crash Symbols bandcamp page, but these are getting low. YlangYlang has composed something very personal and is very much a pleasure to tune in.
Crash Symbols has an inherent wisdom to combine these two artist on one split release. The sounds on both sides seem to have tentacles that run through the plastic housing of the cassette. Matt Valentine and Sun Hoods are really different, but for this instance there is a special connection. The artists complement each other making this tape incredibly good.
What stood out the most is the depth and skill of construction of sounds for both Matt and Sun Hoods. The first side shows "MV" destroying the sonic landscape with an arching electric barrage. A ballad without words performed for over twenty minutes. Impressive as if Matt were actually playing to fend off the reaper. Like Charlie Daniels battle with the devil, only this fight goes fifteen rounds. The second track crosses time and brings it back with a mutated blues sound. The first reference i connected was Mississippi John Hurt. After looking at the title of the track, this was confirmed as Louis Collins is a Mississippi John Hurt song from 1928. The synchronicity is, i just listened to a Mississippi John Hurt record this week. Matt's blues homage morphs into angled guitar crossing space like the Silver Surfer with headphones on.
The Sun Hoods side ratchets down a burns like the cooking fire in a Mongolian yurt. This is where life finds both nourishment, companionship and pleasure. Four meditative tracks for your thoughts to harmonize with. An Indian raga, or clandestine folk tunes from the somewhere in time, then you get to Sedna. A departure into a sticky dub world with the future ghost of Augustus Pablo is already there. The melodica sounds like it is about to fade away as the sky drips with placid sounds from an amplified atmosphere. Sun Hoods stand out for me. Their side provides tranquility to the "MV" flip. Unique and exceptional, this tape can keeping reversing in the deck and maintain high interest for time to come.
Crash Symbols released this in late September in an edition of one hundred. Down to three on their bandcamp page. If you live on the UK side of the Atlantic, A Giant Fern has eight copies for sale on their bandcamp page. Doubledotdash!? has copies of the first Sun Hoods release on their bandcamp page if you are interested. I looked and already had this in my wish list.
Would have never guessed Slayer had so many albums. Was going to go over and listen to a few with Iain Shaw & David Shrigley but they would not let me park. Then they started yelling "Hey You" and a bunch of stuff, i could not keep up with. Looked down at my phone and noticed an email come through telling me off, could not make it out for sure but there was a kind of British dry humor in the whole thing. Went over and parked by the lake and watched some weird person get bitten by a snake, then climb a tree and humorously get attacked by a swan. But he was OK.
I wish i could explain how this cassette titled Listening to Slayer is so infectious. If i could, there would be no reason to purchase a copy. This is the second release by Iain Shaw & David Shrigley on Already Dead Tapes and Records. Cool and fun, like the first tape titled Awesome. You can get them both for a reduced price, but there are only a few bundles left. Listening to Slayer was released in October in an edition of one hundred.
This is amazing synchronicity. I was listening to a radio show called Ground Zero last night and the topic was thousands of people hearing mysterious sounds in Spokane Valley on December 14th.
Here is the link if you are interested. Today i started listening to Onryō by Fetishes and was dazed at the similarity of this music to the sounds heard by Spokane Valley residence. Now Fetishes only delves in this moment, but it is there. This cassette titled Onryō is more of a droning industrial barrage, complete with timeless worshipers chanting for their enraged metal gods to descend to the planets surface. And they do.
Onryō are angered or vengeful ghosts in Japan, or at least that is the Japanese word for them. I am sure these rage filled spirits are every where, but Fetishes keeps the Eastern aspect to the sound with both cover art and vocals in the recording. What an astounding composition in regards to maintaining the violent perception. This tape is all together scary, as if Fetishes has some method to channel sounds from the spirit world and record them for those with enough constitution to listen. There are four twenty minute tracks, each opening the portal with an ambient interest. Listen to far and you are pulled in to the mayhem of a realm you will want to escape from. Incredibly all of these recordings are done live by a mysterious Mr. Q. There is not much information on this release, making the world of it's origins a shadowy and obscure venue. Onryō is a tape for noise lovers and those interested in paranormal investigation. Use extreme caution on listening to this, remember the 1998 movie Ringu?
Hopefully listening to Onryō will not produce the same effects.
Eighty minute long cassettes released in an edition of one hundred on Already Dead Tapes and Records. They are available now if you want to rid yourself of all Christmas spirit.
Beguiling the sound waves with incredible skill and patience, obody has an armament of instruments and musicians soaring low to the ground. Just beyond being able to reach but igniting the imagination with a massive physical presence. These tunes are reminiscent of Palace Music, real and vulnerable. Ostensibly simple at first listen, but magnificently complex is the true depth. Is A Bridge / A Ready Place binds a rural landscape to a world moving in an opposite direction.
Is A Bridge / A Ready Place plays like a saga of hardship and turmoil over years of enduring life's sufferings. A beautifully told story complete with musical nooks and crannies to get lost in. A stone surrounded well with a lost soul at the bottom. No one uses it anymore but tales of who is down there bend and mutate with each telling. obody has taken the hour they have and told the tale the best. Resonating with percussion and strings of every nature, delivered in cadence with ears always seeming to wait for the next piece. There are many influences heard in obody's sound. As mentioned before Palace Brothers and more to the kin of Dirty Three, Smog, Scud Mountain Boys to name some that make sense to me. The tone remains constant throughout the entire listen. A mesmerizing acoustic bewitching with empathetic vocals making you really feel the emotion of life.
This is out on Already Dead Tapes and Records in both cassette and vinyl. Released in an edition of one hundred tapes and not sure how many records. Number two hundred and twenty nine for the label. Almost fifty of Already Dead Tapes and Records releases were done this year. That is busy.
There is a good video on the Already Dead Tapes and Records page.
Lonely tunes for lives where tiny sparks are so bright. Minimal in delivery, seemingly unplanned, someone pressed record while Misery Loves Co. slowly explodes with inner emotion. Singer and songwriter hiding a powerful current. A direct conduit connecting true turmoil to your ears. Then playfully disguising how disturbed these sounds really are.
This is Business as Usual, a new cassette out on Already Dead Tapes and Records. Five tracks across thirty five minutes. There is no exact pinpoint to describe the creations of Josh Miller and mastering by Mike Schuur. The wide array of approaches used to make this composition allow the listener to take the passengers seat while Josh drives with one hand on the wheel. The other mashing the radio dial and alternately pointing out the window at the unfamiliar landscape this ride is going through. Some where about half way through the sublime pleasantries of simple acoustic guitar and sparse vocals end. The landscape burns as Josh floods the cabin with ice cold air. Then you are away with a twisted AM radio frequency projecting a ghostly Neil Diamond tune, all the while comfortable because hell is behind you. Lastly, Misery Loves Co. plugs their latest "drone" cassette into the deck, takes off the human skin and gets down with an electronic chirping funk for the insect world. Business as Usual is impressively unique and perplexing.
This tape was run in an edition of sixty by the prolific machine of a label Already Dead Tapes and Records. There are only two copies left and available at the label's bandcamp page. Business as Usual was released just last month in November.