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Showing posts from 2019

The High Sheriffs - High Sheriffs

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Have spent many years looking through thrift store records for sounds like these. Here now and listening on cassette..... A cyclic return on both sides, who would have wagered cassettes would be rejuvenated, and the sounds of Appalachian roots? Matt Scherger and Jacob Sunderlin fly back, past the hot licks and overly groomed fineness of bluegrass and Chicago blues. Gently setting down on a porch front with friends and family, the creativity and relaxation consumes them with welcome.

The beauty of the High Sheriffs is their vast amount of musical interests and genres they take pleasure in. These selections stir memories of Bascom Lamar Lunsford (who has a version of Swannanoa Tunnel), Buell Kazee, the joy of Harry and Jeannie West, the subtle power of J.E. Mainer. And then, jumping to sounds like Mississippi John Hurt and the diversity of the trio Koerner, Ray & Glover. Not to mention a Hawaiian flirt on the the track "We are Waiting for the Sun" and the psychedelic trac…

Jon Collin - From a Petrified Forest

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In 2013 this post on Microphones in the Trees helped me learn, jon collin / serfs. Did some listening but regrettably by the time a decision was made to purchase, the physical editions were gone. Many compositions by Jon Collin have been created between then and now. With the latest batch bundle from Garden Portal, Jon Collin's sound has been delivered with much appreciated delight. Accurately describing these guitar passages will take many listens, thoughts, words, scratched out words and much neophytic descriptive skill. With the goal of one more person finding the inner beauty Jon Collin prolifically shares, these sounds deserve all the attention for a undisturbed listen.

From a Petrified Forest was recorded earlier in the spring of this year. The location, Tyresta National Park, south and a little east of Stockholm, Sweden. The tracks have no names other than alphanumerical place holders. The composition starts with a field recording of Jon walking to a place presumably these …

Mu Vonz - Trouble Land

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This is the radio dial late at night. These are the sounds we strain to hear but fade out before fully absorbed. A little bit of everything on a chilly night, mixed with a glowing manicured bonfire and a mug of something hot. Relax and turn the volume slightly higher, Mu Vonz finds stride with the loose thoughts in your head. Sounds to melt with, words that amuse and provide wonder. Eight times eight sinking deep, Ai disolving fragments of an old equation e=mc2 made into a song. Trouble Land has words filled with observations and meaning, as well as "icecubic centimeters of anything you need". Get caught in the beats, the words, the surreal chill warmed by Mu Vonz.

Crafted a few years back, this new Mu Vonz release has never gone physical, until now. Already Dead Tapes and Records has cherry picked these solacious beats and rhythmic poetry and given them a cassette body. Mu Vonz has found home on Already Dead for a handful of years now, three cassettes before and a split 7&q…

Greyon Greene - Belong to It

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The subtle rhythms made as street lights speed in and out of focus. Like a train clicking along the tracks or car wheels across a concrete section of highway. How many times have we slipped into a trance like state while traveling across lengthy distances? A repeated feature flickering like a radiantly illuminated sign, then fading away for an upcoming aspect to hold place. Thoughts wander and ideas bubble to the surface, both falling away as the daze rearranges. Greyon Greene's Belong to it is like a soundtrack for late night travel. The conscious held fixed, released then secured again.

Some tracks pulsate with sounds from a snare drum in a marching band or a pack of Black Cats detonating in perfectly timed cadence. The beat sparks the mind, thoughts racing ever so slightly, the night journey pushes on. Then, these sonic pulsations are gone, the landscape empty of motion and activity. The dazzling frolic across dimly lit terrain bringing the conscious to desolate fields. Greyon …

BLOOD RHYTHMS - CIVIL WAR

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The spirit being pierced by anti-harmony and severe turmoil. Voices cry in anguished urgency. There is no help for them, these sounds only a warning from the dimensional nexus. A place beyond current perception, an open aural pathway most would refuse to travel. BLOOD RHYTHMS is just downright scary. Knowing these sounds lurk within those around us could be even more frightening. Is this a completely rearranged creativity or is there a direct connection to an unknown world, dark and foreboding by the carefree standards of today's society? When music ceases to be and the cacophonous sounds become hyper focused, thoughts race and reach to understand. This composition titled CIVIL WAR defies rational thoughts. From the shrill opening tones, through both garbled and crystal clear messages, a drone like glue of electronic static holds everything together for a brief listen. The unknown reasons these sounds were made, clearly has purpose and tremendous significance.

The first two tracks…

Julia Bloop - Out of the Bloop

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Sitting on the beach in Kekaha, Kauai, the sun has a few more hours before it rises away from view. Sleep has settled like a fog, all is quiet, only the crash of waves can be heard. In the distant horizon, a silhouetted land mass holds firm focus. This is the island of Niʻihau. Protected, forbidden, a place only natives can travel to and from. There are satellite views, also select trips to the northern uninhabited part of the island, beyond this, there is extremely limited knowledge of the small village residing there. Tonight is special, the ocean is relatively quiet and the wind pushes from there to here, throwing a sonic pass exactly on target. Traveling the seventeen miles without corruption, beautiful melodies are heard with welcome. They are clear and magical. Instilling images of old growth palm trees gently touched by a western breeze, their green luster sparkling from the moonlight's reflection. Sandy paths leading down to the beach where long lines of waves produce crys…

Jacken Elswyth / Alula Down - Betwixt & Between 5

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The fifth tape from Betwixt & Between Tapes follows format with another split. Amazingly both sides are live and sound absolutely gorgeous. These artist reach into the mysteries of improvisations and drone like tranquility. The fifth edition includes a special treat from Jacken Elswyth and Alula Down. Each sharing there own renditions of Sweet Lemeny, both holding on to the folk roots but growing in directions never traveled. 

Jacken Elswyth continues to display an extraordinary prowess in banjo playing and unruffled creativity. East meeting west one hundred years ago. Classical like ragas as framework for improvisation then toggling to Appalachian melodies. An all instrumental version of Sweet Lemeny reaching across time, both bowed banjo drone and English folk style playing. The three tracks on Jacken's side pull on the love of music. Thought provoking beauty in sound and done live. A unique style harnessing great understanding of music that has come before, helping with th…

Inner Travels - Nature Spirit

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The harmony within everything around us can go unnoticed. Fast paced lives glaze over serene beauty in so many moments of each day. The landscape radiated by multiple angles of the sun, changes pace and purpose through every planetary rotation. A light wind through trees, water cascading over the Earth, insects and animals both making noise from movement and calls. Looking through the car window or from a sealed air conditioned environment, only the view can be absorbed. Like watching a orchestra play but not hearing the music, at some point we need to connect to the world that has been before us and will be after. Inner Travels newest release titled Nature Spirit helps us understand. We need this union, like photosynthesis for our thoughts, the spirit requires nurturing, understanding and patience. 
Nature Spirit is a composition of three tracks divided over forty minutes. Each selection starting with recordings of both flora and fauna in the countryside they exist. Steve Targo who …

Ashan - Transfigurations

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There is pressure on this planet. At sea level the pressure is 101.325 kilopascals or one atmosphere. In everyday life, the weight of one atmosphere goes unnoticed. The human body has evolved to be comfortable in this environment. Just a little deeper than ten meters underwater, the experience will be equivalent to two atmospheres. A heaviness similar to these new sounds by Ashan. Sonic tranquility pacifying thoughts, something listeners gravitate to and hold special. This is the ambient one atmosphere. But here is the connection, these sounds compress upon the consciousness. Not in the sense of an onus weight, more of a focused force, causing the mind to seek deeper meanings.

Transfigurations is six tracks divided through forty five minutes. These selections set the listener far into open oceans, fifteen meters down with full sunlight exposing the expansiveness. The weightlessness holding complete serenity like a child in supportive arms. Sounds traveling from distant origins arrivin…

Severino Pfifferling - Musik für Spülmaschine und Synthesizer

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The melodic and methodical jet of water in cyclic motion. Intense heat causing almost dreamlike stasis. Severino Pfifferling extracts the circulatory sounds of the Spülmaschine (dishwasher) and provides them with an orchestra via synthesizer. This is a long awaited union, fortunately finally available from the Cologne, Germany label Strategic Tape Reserve.

Yes, this combination does sound far fetched and almost incomprehensible. The genuineness though, is within the sounds of this composition. The listening experience for this description started without knowing definition the German word Spülmaschine. Just pressed play on the cassette and sunk into the mysterious world of Severino Pfifferling, there was never a correlation between the sounds recorded from the washer. After reading Strategic Tape Reserve's bandcamp description and listening again, almost all of the intricacies of this kitchen work horse could be understood. Severino's synthesizer adding alien notes to a rum…

Nicholas Langley - Plays The Vitamin B12

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Exceptional music can happen instantaneously or take a circuitousness journey. For this new release on Strategic Tape Reserve, the long path is complete. A new composition by Nicholas Langley, one of the musicians who plays with the improvisational group The Vitamin B12. This group has had different members over it's long history including Nicholas, but the artist Alasdair Willis has always been the denominator. The first connection is easy,  Nicholas Langley has played in the same group with Alasdair Willis. In the years centered around 2010, Alasdair Willis composed a thirty track solo work titled "Rock Formations". Not sure if this was ever physically released, but "Rock Formations" is available to listen and download on The Vitamin B12 bandcamp page.

The second connection is Nicholas Langley's new arrangements of selected tracks on Alasdair Willis' "Rock Formations". With so much music available to digitally listen to, comparing Alasdair&#…