Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Matthew As More - Apocalypse Never

Turn the radio dial and hear the static of straining waves trying to obtain clarity. Fuzzy sounds from unknown distances are the most interesting, but they wax and wane, capturing then fading away at peak moments. Matthew As More has worked through the mathematics and fabricated the mechanism to negate attenuation. These distant languished melodies now clear, a sagacious world of sound finding focus.

Apocalypse Never is another incredibly well done composition doing it's best to escape classification. Matthew As More manipulates time and genres, delivering a most subtle creation. Sixties rock and roll, modern pop, distorted funk transforming into deteriorating punk, Apocalypse Never is filled with a profusion of sounds. The longest track, "Matthew As Less", which kicks off the second side, is the most telling in respect to bringing distortion into substance. A radio dial being turned to eventual sonic delight. If the goal is trying to understand Matthew As More, this is an excellent eight minute sound shred that has it all. With twelve tracks making the bones of Apocalypse Never, the framework is incredibly solid. The number of catchy riffs and sticky vocals is more than can be processed on just one listen. Apocalypse Never is a tape for many repeated listens and this is a guaranteed fact by Lost in a Sea of Sound. If you just want to hear how talented Matthew As More is, based on a more traditional song structure, check out the track "Born To Coast". This track has cycled as a favorite in many listens. When opening the bandcamp page, the default track is "Dream Is", an understandable choice, but difficult to select. The ballad like "Science Fiction Double Feature", excellent, as well as the honed "Maya Ingenue", could easily be the go to tracks when opening the bandcamp page. A lot of great music on Apocalypse Never is the take away.

Released in March in an edition of fifty by the Iowa label Personal Archives. Not sure how many copies are left, but they are currently available. Personal Archives does have a good bundle deal going and this would be one to get for sure. Would have never guessed this would be one of the best cassettes of the year so far. And it is!

Personal Archives -  bandcamp
Matthew As More - bandcamp

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Rod Hamilton & Tiffany Seal - Enchanted Forest

The energy of summer is at a peak. Heated days causing fauna to take solace in dark hues of stalwart fauna. This cycle producing a vibrant chorus of sounds at both dawn and dusk. A time when the natural world harmonizes for all to hear. This is a specific beauty, changing tunes throughout the world. Rod Hamilton & Tiffany Seal have channeled into this aural field. Their composition Enchanted Forest, has an awakening vigor. Diversity throughout, but maintaining cohesive spiritual fabric.

Enchanted Forest is extremely difficult music to classify. Many sonic approaches are used, including layered sonic rhythms, classic Indian flute wanderings, warbled drone, traditional beats behind voice and field recordings. These observations are based on many listens of Enchanted Forest. Fortunately the diversity and controlled margins make Rod and Tiffany's composition one to repeat. There are many comparisons that come to mind, but these brighten and dim with each track. One that holds consistency in tone and feel is music by Brian Eno and Jon Hassell. Their 1980 album was called Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics. Although the differences are understandably great, there are a few tracks on Enchanted Forest that kept bringing me back to Fourth World. Another interesting comparison, music and tone completely different, the track "Know You Birds" brought sonic images of "Weapon Training" by Throbbing Gristle from the 1979 cassette At Ajanta Cinema, Derby. Both tracks going through sounds made by animal and machine respectively. Rod and Tiffany are really out on their own path. Fortunately with the sound and feeling they embody, this is a beautiful trail to follow.

This cassette was released by Rod Hamilton & Tiffany Seal in late June. In an edition of two hundred, copies are available from their bandcamp page. Enchanted Forest makes the second release described by Lost in a Sea of Sound for Rod Hamilton & Tiffany Seal. Previously worked on Versatile Ambience released on Ehse Records. Copies of this cassette are still available form the Ehse bandcamp page.

Rod Hamilton & Tiffany Seal - bandcamp -

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Molly Tigre - s/t

Very Special Recordings delivers another genre smack down to the listening world. This time a cassette debut by Molly Tigre. Some descriptive words from the bandcamp page, "Polyrhythmic stew", "Ethiopian Funk" and "Progressive Jazz Cocktail". Without a proper listen, these categorizing labels are still very broad. Sample a track or two and the overall feeling will only mirror they way you feel when pressing play, the pitfall of sampling music online. How can the mood of an entire album be conveyed when the average time for skipping a song to the next is so high? Not going to go into this data set, but here is an interesting article if you are interested. So let us dive into Molly Tigre and try to get the emotions these musicians are trying to bestow.

First and foremost, each person playing music on this release, either in the band or as a guest, is extremely talented. Their love for music is derived from the music they love. With the base of the band being a quintet, the amount of influences is going to be high. There is a very tight connection to the sounds of the recently passed Getatchew Mekurya, an astounding Ethiopian saxophonist. He developed horn sounds resembling Ethiopian war chants known as shellela. Powerful and haunting, the sax seems to focus in your consciousness, forcing you to take heed. Yes, Molly Tigre is commanding, rhythms imparting energy for a full hour or so. There is also both smoothness and playfulness. Like Ethiopian jazz master Mulatu Astatke mashed up with the chilled and tropical arrangements of Les Baxter. Resounding real jazz sophistication hanging like exotic arrangements from candle lit bamboo rafters. Or Brooklyn born Eddie "The Sheik" Kochak's rhythms backing New York's James Chance, super middle eastern influenced groove gone awry with punked out funk. Molly Tigre takes listeners on a world tour, but maintains poise throughout the entire composition. The objective is never to show how much they know or how skilled they are, the solid rhythms of both base and percussion keep these songs too perfectly grounded for that. So, free form jazz, this is not. Molly Tigre is the cool fifties vinyl you luckily find in the thrift store. Five guys standing by the hotel pool in matching suits, holding instruments like armament, half smiles on their faces, saying yeah to time, you caught us working. After listening through this release multiple times, there are many feelings Molly Tigre imparts. Straight forward from start to finish but complex all the way trough, i guess this describes life itself.

Released on Very Special Recordings in the middle of May. Not sure what the cassette run is, but tapes do have two extra songs not available on any digital platform. Thanks VSR, for making the physical purchase just a little bit more special.

Very Special Recordings - facebook - bandcamp
Molly Tigre site

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Marta SmiLga - Lunar Maria, Vol. 1

Notes stretched out to cross the horizon, their pure sounds enduring radiation and elements. Warbled tones arrive from unknown sources, sonic contours under duress. Marta SmiLga is situated by the edge of a cold sea, listening intently to a distant world. A consciousness absorbing an aural landscape, contemplating the world beyond the horizon. Imagination is cast a couple hundred thousand miles away to an orbiting sphere, dark seas splotched across it's exterior. The surface of the Earth and Moon are totally different, but there is a connection. Droning vessels are used to cross each void, the buzz and bleeps of life making the journey.

Lunar Maria, Vol. 1 is built around the theme of the moon and its vast craters. Early astronomers thought these impact zones were seas on the lunar surface. Marta SmiLga uses song titles reflecting actual craters on the moon, such as "Mare Nubium", "Mare Orientale" and "Mare Ingenii". Six tracks in all, with an introduction and conclusion. It is interesting how humans have established what can be classified as classic space sounds, since there is really no sound in space. Our ideas possibly based on early science fiction movies, sound effects from planetariums or even some inherited memories of the journey our possible ancestors made to arrive here. These connections can be their own lengthy discussion, the focus now is Lunar Maria, Vol. 1. A brilliant droning canvas with sonic brush strokes from a world most will never see. Marta SmiLga has composed extremely fluid and coherent atmospheric music for the atmosphereless emptiness. A sonic companion for dreams of travel to the moon and beyond. Beautiful with wandering tones of mystery, Lunar Maria, Vol. 1 is complex but never a difficult listen. The weightlessness keeps this heavy easy to digest.

Released on Crash Symbols in April. When the process started for listening and writing descriptive words, there were five copies left. Now there are only two. If interested, get one of the last couple copies quickly, they will be gone. Crash Symbols sells out just about everything in short amounts of time.

Crash Symbols site - bandcamp - facebook

Monday, July 2, 2018

Thomas Bey William Bailey - La Production Interdite

To begin this description of La Production Interdite, volume and quality of the playback sound system need to be addressed. Listening to this composition at lower decibels and through newer all in one powered speakers, produces a totally different experience. This is compared to a serviced cassette deck, delivering higher decibel sounds through real stereo components and quality speakers. There could be an argument for the beauty of duality, La Production Interdite having two deliverable aspects. With this potentially being true, the mood and feel of inferior playback is only a byproduct. Louder volume and components of caliber are the best starting point. There will be a very immediate realization that Thomas Bey William Bailey did not intend for La Production Interdite to be background ambiance.

With the proper listening environment established, the most pressing issue will be the conscious state. Thomas Bey William Bailey uses sonic structure to permeate psychic barriers listeners have constructed. An aural fusillade with focus on the third eye, the physically demonstrated center point between both eyes, located above the bridge of the nose, on the lower part of the temple. Here, La Production Interdite applies pressure, like a wedge sending vibrations through the mental constitute. Dividing a world of overlaid drones by tearing and ripping the aural fields. Thoughts become unconnected as supplementary sounds arrive from a spectrum with unknown ends. The overall intensity augmented across the infinite lull. So much empty space, the most minimal sounds in limbo across a dazzling and tranquil field. Peaceful moments are continually interrupted by an immense force, underlying currents conducting cosmic radiance. This can be both beautiful and terrifying. Thomas Bey William Bailey has composed an empyrean world, the fabric of sound in constant flux, making difficult to describe the ebb and flow. Interludes of total sparseness, like an astronaut on a distant space walk, ultimately alone. Turning towards the sun, radiation fills the face shield, want for isolation again is the only thought. This rotation maintains it's azimuth as both feelings become welcomed and dreaded simultaneously.

All of this on the first thirty minute side of La Production Interdite. The second side takes listeners through the inner workings of Thomas Bey William Bailey motivations. Like a director's cut, narration is combined with an echo of the first side. Astral projection, doppelgängers and how the conscious responds to sonic input are some of the topics breached.

La Production Interdite is released on Elevator Bath from Austin Texas. The cassette made in a very limited run of only fifty. The description Elevator Bath has on their bandcamp page fits this Thomas Bey William Bailey composition so well, "Elegant abstract music: Highly developed, often atmospheric, subtly intense, always open to interpretation". Another release from the label pondering the fringes and pulling on new beauty.

Elevator Bath site - bandcamp - facebook - twitter
Thomas Bey William Bailey site

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Doll - Hiss

Sounds escaping from time. Like watch dogs or guards, recording devices are positioned on make shift perimeters. There is no struggle, sonic patterns are captured on magnetic tape or in binary form. This aural pool is full of all noises, initial vanguard cacophony sacrificed without hesitation. Soon the instruments used to keep the Hiss contained within a specific time frame will reach capacity. The machines will begin to frizzle and wail in their own mechanical way. Creating more sounds, new notes, bleeps and blurps to join the departing throng.

The Doll is coltish and also very sussed. Hiss is brought to life with the most basic tools. Combing melodies, noise and field recordings, listeners are pulled into a world of imagination. An industrial play ground brought to burbling life by creative force. What remained motionless and silent was bestowed energy and purpose. Hiss has eight tracks with mostly one word descriptive titles like, Saw, Static, Wheel, Radiator and Bubblewrap. All clues to what interest the The Doll at the time. The track Home Sweet Home combines the surrounding world in field recordings with that of The Doll. Maybe indication this artists is of our world, or at least here for a spell.

Released this month, Big Sleep Records produced fifty copies of Hiss. This is the first release for the label this year. Lost in a Sea of Sound has described previous Big Sleep Records outputs here. If you want to continue exploring, The Doll has many recordings on their bandcamp page ready for listening.

Big Sleep Records - bandcamp
The Doll site - bandcamp

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Yiorgis Sakellariou - Diapsalmata: A Collection Of Short Works

Yiorgis Sakellariou has pulled from the infinite sound pallet. A difficult endeavor much akin to a chef with a fully stocked gourmet pantry. The ability to use too much or wildly unfamiliar is very easily crossed. Reading the ingredients makes the dish sound exotic and mouth watering, but the taste is overwhelming. Yiorgis Sakellariou has not taken this path. Sound sources are very recognizable, signals, chants, insects, train stations and watermills to name a few. These are part of every day life for many people. On their own, any of these attributes can be overwhelming and caustic. How will this composition feel? What is Yiorgis Sakellariou's purpose? Listen through Diapsalmata: A Collection Of Short Works, and then the following description may connect.

An aural painting for your consciousness. Brush strokes dissolving, relinquishing their collective images in sonic euphoria and sighs. The scene dissipates leaving faint images unmasked on the sonic canvas. These exposed bones are gradually covered up by eroding factors on sound itself. Common noises, repeated in countless successions, filling the fabric life is accustomed to. Infiltrating our thoughts until each listener is in a nostalgic coma. Subdued by sounds categorized as the droning ambiance called every day existence. Diapsalmata: A Collection Of Short Works changes our perceptive receptors. Familiar is dismantled, soothing white noise changing alkalinity, revealing red or blue on the litmus paper. Yiorgis Sakellariou is too experienced to leave listeners at ends of the spectrum. His composition feels like the world we live in, yet purposefully shifting slightly out of phase. Resulting in a sonic nudge, a gentle push to help us understand the complexities of the world we all try to simplify.

Released on the Belgium label Tanuki Records only ten days ago. Probably in the fifty to seventy copy realm from past release quantities, but this is uncertain. Many Tanuki Records releases are sold out, so do not push Yiorgis Sakellariou's composition off for too long.

Tanuki Records - bandcamp - facebook
Yiorgis Sakellariou site

The Binary Marketing Show - Short​-​Term Fix For a Long​-​Term Death

In the depths of dreams, where disjointed sounds connect for no reason, becoming revelations for brief moments then crumbling as the conscious awakes, this is a Short​-​Term Fix For a Long​-​Term Death. Folk music separated by continental drift, left to evolve over an incomprehensible stretch of time. So long, organic origins have deteriorated, dusty electronics hiss, buzz and crackle, trying to continually share a love for music a culture had progressed to. Foundations in gorgeous music making, heard through unique creativity and layers of wonderful mystery.

These ten track will require repeated explorations before bearings come into focus. The Binary Marketing Show has a dream like quality, aural foundations in the fleeting moments between wake and slumber. A place of all things making sense, yet the mind smiles with feet on the table because nothing is really what you think. The really fascinating qualities of Short​-​Term Fix For a Long​-​Term Death are the illusions of sing along vocals and cadence. These attributes can be heard vividly in the fields of high wavering grass, only to be consumed by wind and rustle when any attention is turned to investigative direction. The gist of what these words are doing their best to convey is, don't think too much, only listen and succumb to beautiful creativity. Abram Morphew and Bethany Carder are making sublime sounds in a world of immediate reveal. Digital investigations fortunately can not touch their source for the love of music they cherish. Short​-​Term Fix For a Long​-​Term Death can not be explained and that is it's best virtue.

Scheduled for release on Friday, June 29th. This is one of the rare occasions Lost in a Sea of Sound's words come before the release date. Excuses for not ordering a copy will be justified only from their sources. And there are two choices, the cassette, used for this write up, and black vinyl for the analog groove enthusiast. Released in quantities of one hundred and three hundred respectively. This is also a label conglomeration of New York's Already Dead Records & Tapes and Kalamazoo's Satellite Records.                       

Already Dead Tapes site - facebook - bandcamp
Satellite Records site - twitter
The Binary Marketing Show site - facebook - bandcamp

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Touched By an Angle #2

Crash Symbols has the connections and experience for a monumental summer soundtrack. Filled with pressure cooked beats, simmered vocals and sun drenched ambient sound waves, Touched By an Angle #2 can feed all audiences. With twenty six tracks, twenty six artists, Crash Symbols has done the calculations on congruent compression and rarefaction. These artist's offerings flow with seams so gentle, there is difficulty distinguishing Touched By an Angle #2 as a V/A conglomeration in any sense. Explaining how many cassettes have sold so far. There are only a few remaining, so quit reading and get to placing an order.

You need a few more descriptive words..... There is a label in California, "Bonding Tapes". Their first release titled Quality Time Volume 1 reminded me of Touched By an Angle #2. The thickest connecting threads are an assortment of hidden beautiful beats. Where does this music come from and how do you find it? The same questions surfaced when listening to Quality Time. The process of compiling such a large array of unexplored artists rivals the difficulty of fitting their works together so smoothly.  Touched By an Angle #2  is like a laser cut sonic jigsaw puzzle, once completed, suitable for framing.

From the twenty six artists on this cassette, Lost in a Sea of Sound has had the opportunity to describe only a small handful. Fletcher Pratt with a previous Crash Symbols release (sold out), YlangYlang with an earlier Crash Symbols release (also sold out) and former_airline with releases on many labels. The connection for Lost in a Sea of Sound was an excellent cassette on A Giant Fern. So using the descriptive words "unexplored artists" is accurate from these listening and writing foot holds.

There are some new favorites on Touched By an Angle #2, but each listener will find those own their own. With such well chosen music, this will change with repeated listens. Crash Symbols also has a bundle with a high end glow-in-the-dark pin (last picture). If you have read this far, thank you! Hopefully your opportunity to grab a tape and a pin is still there.

Crash Symbols site - bandcamp - facebook

Monday, June 25, 2018

Stars Are Insane - To Be There

A little over a year ago, Lost in a Sea of Sound described Stars Are Insane's Rok Lok release To Be Here. Now the label has released a companion cassette titled To Be There, the span of time capturing thoughtful movement through existence. Listening back on the cassette To Be Here and reading the words used to connect sound and thoughts, clearly shows just like the music, writing changes over time. Not sure how Stars Are Insane feel about their sounds, but reading early descriptions on Lost in a Sea of Sound seems like a different person was doing the work. Wisdom, experience or repetitious droll, not for the musician or writer to know. The listener or reader must make these analogies themselves.

There is definitely a flowing stream connecting To Be Here with To Be There. Tributaries like the ends of branches making their way to the supporting trunk. Music takes this route, sounds in the distance radiating at the same fervor. It would be inaccurate to describe To Be There as different from To Be Here. Many of the tracks could be easily divided differently among these two releases without changing the overall feel. And the feel.... melodies in the far reaches of the aural landscape. Dust hazing the sonic fabric in the form of feedback and distortion. Gentle vocals whispering directions, opening conscious pathways to a quiet heart. Is this mutated pop music or the exposed veins from ambient erosion? Stars Are Insane cycles through both worlds, returning these vivid dreams during each restful interlude.

To Be There clocks in around forty minutes divided through ten tracks. Copies are available from the Rok Lok website as well as their bandcamp page. There are also a few tapes remaining of the To Be Here release.

Rok Lok Records site - bandcamp - facebook
Stars Are Insane - bandcamp - facebook

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Cookie Tongue - Orphan Arms

Past the massive stone walls of the Gormenghast castle, out through the ornately decorated gates, keep following the path to the inviting glade. There on a small hill, trees towering in a circular pattern, a small group of musicians gather. The sounds about to be played have been outlawed, sparking the consciousness is something the collectors can not condone. Having people think, and the most heinous crime, being creative, undermines the structure of the current state. These thoughts hide in unspoken corners as dusk slips away unnoticed, a fire beings to take long lasting form. The back flaps are opened on a horse drawn covered wagon. A vibrantly dressed player turns and outward waving one hand down as the other begins manipulation of a small traveling piano. The fanfare has begun for the night.

Cookie Tongue is not of this realm. Current music trends have paved over their world. Orphan Arms reaches out, grabs a hand a pulls us to hear. Drawing listeners through the structures minds have created. Someone singing, a banjo playing, drums made from skins, these things have been forgotten. Rhythms gain intensity, Cookie Tongue plays with a cyclic fever, a wax and wain faster then the cycle of the moon above. "When your dancing shadows reign, we are the colors tonight - When your dancing out of light, we are the colors tonight". A song to make your "Rubber Hard Thumb". These words ring in listener's thoughts through the night. Bodies swaying to the musical sparks, the unencumbered glow with creativity and delight.

Orphan Arms holds moments of good spirited fun, then squeezing harder to free subdued introspection. The backing drum always hinting to Native America, a connection bridging physical and spiritual. Stringed instruments surfacing passed down genetic memories of folk songs across Europe, Asia and Africa. The depth of the night is tethered by the unpredictable beauty of each and every song.

Released last year on compact disc, still available from Cookie Tongue's bandcamp page. Orphan Arms has been re-released on cassette by the super eclectic label Eh? Records. You can order a copy from Eh? or straight from Cookie Tongue. The closest and best comparison i could make for Cookie Tongue is another album with similar beauty, Where Snakes & Seers Go by Laughing Eye Weeping Eye. Not the same in sound only in free spirit.

Public Eyesore / Eh? site
Cookie Tongue - bandcamp - facebook

Nagual - Florida

In a past journey, Nagual made their way through Florida. Like the thick humidity in every part of the state, their sounds saturate the entire listen spectrum. Two tracks on this compact disc, one recorded live in Miami the other live in Gainesville. These populated nodes becoming focal points for wildly glowing energy from ancient times.

For the selected piece from the Miami show, Nagual is pulling from the early Cenozoic period, channeling life from a dense Florida land mass. Murky heat waves of sound oscillate in a steady rhythmic cadence. Air buzzes with ancient vitality, creatures breathing in the tropical density. This is Florida before humans existed, vast amounts of time droning beneath the sun.

What was included on this compact disc for the Gainesville session stays in a similar realm, but has an entirely different tone and feel. Middle Jurassic period, the south Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico begin to form. Florida has separated from Gondwana and the land mass begins partial development as a peninsula. Beginning it's two hundred million year continental drift. Nagual has compressed this energy into the Gainesville piece. Massive drone seeping out of oceanic riffs. The force behind Florida's current geological position.

Nagual's Florida compact disc was released on the Miami's HologramLabel. In an edition of one hundred, available from Nagual's bandcamp page or the HologramLabel bandcamp page. These are live recordings with some final processing to make them ready for release. Excellent sounds on both tracks and a great recording to get involved with both Nagual and the HologramLabel. Have been a fan of David Shapiro & Ian McColm for a long time and Florida is another example of why.

Nagual site - bandcamp - facebook
HologramLabel - bandcamp

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Bird Songs - In & Of

A world of reporting, important information relayed across molecular space. Life's moments captured, dialogue potentially never heard again. Stored somewhere on magnetic tape and now digital memory. Bird songs has spliced the reels, fed history across metallic heads, brought back moments time has buried. This process requires a soundtrack, In & Of is the complete resource. Ambient guitar landscapes backing forgotten people washed upon the shore. A delicate balance, augmented by some very choice field recordings.

In & Of starts off with heavy political reporting, Weather Underground launching a bombing campaign across the us in the late 1960's. Bird Songs creates an AM radio buzz while playing solemn melodies in accompaniment. The effect is very intriguing, nostalgic and relevant simultaneously. The second track seems a little more modern, and very tenuous. There is more fervor as the harmonies concur in magnitude. Sounds return to social struggles in the same time frame as the first track. The venue is the 1969 National Revolutionary Conference for a United Front Against Fascism. Another heavy, tying In & Of together. The finale is the most colorful, titled "Hope", showing everyone we need as much as possible.

Released in April in an edition of forty on Rok Lok Records. Bird Songs is Andrew from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He has created a moody composition, that remains solid across all five tracks. There are a lot of details in these recordings and the aural tones make this one to repeat many times. Copies are currently available from Rok Lok Records.

Rok Lok Records site - bandcamp - facebook
Bird Songs - bandcamp