Friday, September 28, 2012

"The Hired Hand" film score by Bruce Langhorne (ST07)

it makes sense to couple this glistening nug with one of 2012's best albums.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

BEST OF 2012

As pure and nourishing as the initial ray of sunlight on an auspicious day; as wistful as a lucid memory of a departed loved one; and as ephemeral as the leaves of autumn, disintegrating under the weight of time.  Within a few seconds of the needle meeting the vinyl, the elegance of Bruce Langhorne's first solo record and the score to Peter Fonda's directorial debut - the cult classic, "The Hired Hand" - is so palpable as to infuse your soul with the gentle touch of a friend.  The initial vinyl release from Scissor Tail Editions - operated by Dylan Aycock (Talk West, Mohawk Park, the Doldrums and more) - is the stuff of legends.  Recorded in the garage of Langhorne's Laurel Canyon home using an Echoplex and two-track revox tape machine, the music has the property of propinquity - it feels like Bruce is next to you.  It is an aesthetic that graces the releases of Scott Tuma.  Difficult to compare, this lp will please fans of Sandy Bull and John Fahey.  However, i have yet to hear anything quite like it - elegant!

The story of this album is enchanting: Instead of scoring the film in a projection room, Langhorne opted to shoot the film on to a small black and white camera, which he would take home.  While watching the film, Langhorne would play along with his beautiful 1920 Martin guitar.  His girlfriend would record it and then play it back, allowing Bruce to overdub a variety of instruments such as piano, fiddle, harmonica, Appalachian Dulcimer, banjo, Farfisa organ and recorder.

'The Hired Hand' is a can't miss record.  Pressed in a limited edition of 1000 copies on 180 gram vinyl, the cover photo is from Bryan Ruhe and the layout from label proprietor, Dylan Aycock.  Anybody interested in this classic may purchase it through Scissor Tail or Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)

special thanks to the 2raloo channel on you tube for the video.  click here to see other videos of 2raloo

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Holefold Diver - Morphing Mass (hd001)

Abyssal psychedelic bliss, and the matching trichomes.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Lunar Miasma, the celestial sonic vehicle of Panos Alexiadis, regularly illuminates the cosmos with his synth constellations.  On Holefold Diver - Morphing Mass, Panos' new collaboration with Giorgos Axiotis, these astute sound artists take the abyssal plunge, transporting the stars to the ocean floor.  The transitory psychedelic sounds exhibited on Morphing Mass were made for the intrepid sonic seeker in each of us.  The sound is true to the title: an evolving aural adventure that bathes the receptors in its myriad layers and rich waves of sound.  And, the pace throughout is nonlinear; the disparate sounds vacillating and blazing new paths. This is a work of great depth.  Sometimes I find it advantageous to close my eyes, moving more proximate to the center of the sound.

At the beginning, embryonic, eerie synth drifts delicately through a labyrinth of assorted sounds.  The mix progressively becomes more intense.  A few minutes into the track, some of the heaviest sounds from a Panos-associated project manifest, as warped, reverberating sounds signal the descent to another strata of the ocean, while shards of synth concomitantly emerge from the clandestine environs of kelp.  Meanwhile, the synth from the beginning is still running strong.  The sound crests approximately one-third through the track, and then recedes as an elongated beam of sound breaths with vitality.  Almost halfway through, the synth adopts a heavier edge, the tones fraying as it seeks to remain intact. At this juncture, the track transitions, briefly, and attains a more minimal sound.  Without warning, a brooding, monolithic drone buzzes with ferocity - your inert body registering the palpable waves of energy.  The last part of the track is more minimal and introspective.  Even in this more minimal realm, the music continues to display different qualities. It's one of my favorite sections of the track.

There are very few artists that make my mind swell with pleasure like Panos.  And, this new project with Giorgos Axiotis has wonderful potential.  Morphing Mass was produced in an edition of 100 cdr's.  It is accompanied by two-color screenprints on 1.3 mm thick card paper.  As for purchasing a copy - I have yet to see this in stock at a distro - I suggest contacting Panos.  Also, my bro is selling a copy through discogs.  Though I failed to embed the track, here is a link to a sample: "morphing mass" [edit].

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Exhalers - Wave Reader I.O (Exo Tapes 003)

Enter the peaceful kingdom of the Exhalers.  Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Exo Tapes, based in Portugal, has become one of my favorite labels of late.  Their limited-edition tapes from the likes of Mediafired; JCCG; Sky Stadium, and Meadowlands feature alluring ambient music and wonderful artwork.  However, at the zenith of the Exo peaceful kingdom resides the Exhalers, the tranquil synth project of the label proprietor.  The Exhalers trilogy - Wave Reader I.O; II.O; III.O - represents some of the most beautiful music of the current year.  While it travels in similar zones as Dolphins into the Future, Panabrite and Jürgen Müller, it boasts a unique energy.  These serene sounds represent a narrative as experienced through the eyes of a dolphin and its relationships.  The song titles for the trilogy refer to an unfinished story of love and friendship. 

 Lately, this has been my first choice for late night listening - priming the body for a serene odyssey.  The feel throughout is friendly and placid, but also inquisitive.  Some of the best features of Wave Reader I.O regard the use of space and the myriad of textures. Notes that hang on the edge of consciousness bubble whimsically, expanding in your head before fading into the deep blue.  Submerged drones meander, as the light from the surface beams to the ocean floor. 

A new trilogy is currently in the works.  While you prepare to experience the fascinating sounds of Exhalers, purchase the JCCG and Mediafired tapes from Tomentosa. 

peace and love, friends :)  

Friday, September 21, 2012

Lunar Jams for Tom Carter (FC9)

Lunar jams for the man, Tom Carter!  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

In days such as these, i sit in awe of the benevolence demonstrated by my friend, Uli Rois, proprietor of Feathered Coyote Records and part of the awesome Bird People.  In early spring of 2012, a musical hero of mine, Tom Carter, was hospitalized with pneumonia while touring in Europe.  The hospitalization and rehabilitation was lengthy, with Tom returning to the US in late July.  Over the past few months, there has been a tremendous response to assist Tom with his medical expenses and recovery of lost income. Lunar Jams for Tom Carter was organized by Uli, with all the proceeds going to the Robert Thomas Carter Irrevocable Trust.  These eclectic, crystal-covered jams were made by people with a heart of gold.  Produced on two tapes and 120 minutes in length, Lunar Jams for Tom Carter - a compelling mix of known quantities and budding beauties - has a ubiquitous warmth that fuels the journey through the cosmos.

  Herbcraft's celestial psych orbits Tom, its resonant tones exuding love.  Docking in an idyllic field, Hellvete's idyllic tones are tantamount to the embrace of a good friend.  A curious energy stirs in the vast distance, when MV + EE serenade Tom with one of the heaviest versions of 'Tea Devil', transitioning into probable 'Environments' as their fealty to Tom exudes vaporous trails of love - a jam of the highest magnitude!  Bird People distribute medicine to all the denizens; their psych meanderings providing the space for inner gazing.  A simply fantastic voyage, 'I Gather the Limbs of Osiris', is the conduit through which the breath flows.  My brotha from another motha, the venerable Marc Roberts, wrote a beautiful piece on Bird People that extols the beauty of this wonderful project.  Flying high, Common Eider, King Eider's 'Lung' exists in an area of rarefied energy - its resonant drone illuminating the path; while Autistic Argonauts' spacey emanations echo in the vast field of life.  Planets Around the Sun krauty bliss explodes over the denizens, crystals landing gracefully on their heavenly bodies.  Much respect should be accorded to Planets Around the Sun.  When i'm searching for the conduit to higher zones, Planets Around the Sun always deliver me to the proper destination.  And when you arrive, James Jackson Toth's languid blues cover the expanse like slow rolling fog.  Everything builds to the apt closing track from heavy psych rockers, Primordial Underground, in which Tom played on two albums.  'Blinding Stars' is a jam from the Loss of Affect release on September Gurls/Strange Attractors.  Tom's adroit playing features on this live nug of blistering psych that permeates the third eye.  This tape is packed with luminaries such as Simon Dellaserra; 23:00 A.M.; Acid Rambo and many others.

  This release is the evidence that kindness, empathy, and love have no limit.  Lunar Jams for Tom Carter is housed in a soft plastic case, with monochrome artwork and an 8 page booklet.  One can purchase a copy directly from Feathered Coyote.

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Brother Ong - Mysteries of the Shahi Baaja Volumes One and Two (Sounds Eternal Music 002)

Brother Ong and Larry with the sweetest of offerings.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Folks, this is the kind of music that acts as your unconditional friend, a true ally of the soul.  It has a fealty on which one can consistently rely.  Only the obstinate would erect obstacles to the sagacity of the hymns contained on Mysteries of the Shahi Baaja: Volumes 1 and 2, on Sounds Eternal by Brother Ong, a recent moniker of fellow Pittsburgh denizen, Mike Tamburo.  A multi-instrumentalist, Mike was given a shahi baaja - an electrified and modified version of the bulbul tarang - for his 34th birthday by his wife, and it allowed a return to a space of experimentation and creativity; on this 2 volume collection of ethereal, ascendant and introspective tracks, the sounds of renewal float gracefully through the head-space.

  The morning sky was blue and the air unadulterated, as 'Sweet Nectar of the Sun Lion' serenaded the day with tones of renewal.  In 'Tratacum', solitary strings resonate softly, a beautiful sound that reminds me of Scott Tuma's Digitalis releases.  Tabla appears on the next track, 'A Peace Lagoon', which add a nice contrast to Mike's idyllic melodies.  The final track of volume 1, 'Elementals', is a personal favorite.  It is a track with many sections, and at its heart, represents life-affirming music with the quality of benevolence.  Volume 2 contains the uplifting aura of the first, yet also has an introspective quality to it, which is experienced on the opening and closing tracks.  In 'Kiss of the Perfumed Dragon', sparse tones advance cautiously through the catacombs, not knowing that which may manifest.  'Splendor of the Sun' exudes sonic warmth.  Some of the most powerful moments are found in the final track, 'When my Caterpillar Flies'.  It commences with introspective tones that exist lightly, until they fuse with a glorious drone, an unforeseen burst of energy.  There are several transitions, and it ends with surge of distorted strings.

The sounds here are appropriate for casual or more focused listening.  However, the latter is preferred, as one of the best aspects of Brother Ong is his proclivity to create vivid soundscapes.  One can purchase a copy, along with the excellent Deep Water Creation, at Mike Tamburo's Bandcamp page.

peace and love, friends :)


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rambutan + Parashi - Lesser Halogens (Sicsic035)

Dieselberry Deathstar:  if you're going to travel to the outer limits, then one needs the appropriate fuel for this sublime odyssey in sound.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :) 

Well.  It's almost 2am here, which is an apt time to talk about Lesser Halogens, from the duo of Rambutan (Eric Hardiman) and Parashi (Mike Griffin).   However, this glistening nug on Sicsic is more than just the usual collaboration among adroit artists; it is about synergy.  Eric and Mike bring some of their most intriguing ideas to this release, and the result is a psychedelic journey that accelerates into the recesses of the mind.  The title and tracks partially refer to the the five group VII halogens, non-metal elements which lack one electron and are highly active;.  And, their energy is ubiquitous, as the five halogens stir in the atmosphere with erratic energy, yet always entrancing and unpredictable.  Throughout, the various energies exuded by their instruments collide in sonic ecstasy.

Halogen 1 hangs low with its light drone and bursts of energy, gradually drifting through reverberating tones and electronic signals.  It has a vibe reminiscent of NNF Barn Owl - fantastic!  Next, oscillating burned-out tones combine deftly with eerie synth and noise.  A nice rhythm is establish before taking an unexpected turn to the darkest of environs, a place without an exit.  Brooding transmissions surge forth, an electronic beast.  Unequivocally, Halogen 2 is one of high quality.  In Halogen 3, a robotic sounding loop is punctured by a persistent, ascending whirling mass that appears in the distance, initially, and then envelops the listener - entrancing music.  The flipside contains the same entrancing characteristics of the previous side.  Bursts of electronic energy combine with beats that hover with a beautiful uneasiness.  The last track is cosmic seance, with its initial soporific pace, pernicious sounding synth and percussion.  Halogen 5 radiates tremendous energy that threatens to subsume the listener, prior to fading away.

This music is of such high quality that it should be coupled with the best buds from the dispensary!  Even better, it is still available stateside at DiscriminateLesser Halogens is produced in a hand-numbered edition of 85, with stunning artwork by Samuele Bastianello.

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Crystal Palace - Spirit Quest (RC57)

et tu, Brutus?  crystal-covered nugs for the Spirit Quest.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief

This is the type of tape that lights a fire under my bong. On Spirit Quest by Crystal Palace - a side-project of fellow sonic traveler, Christopher Merritt - the serene vibes from some of his earlier releases are partly eschewed in favor of a spectacular world that is imbued with shifting electronics and vacillating sounds.  These are the type of sounds that enter the bloodstream clandestinely, prior to dropping its payload in your pleasure center.  And, the artwork that accompanies Spirit Quest is emblematic of the fascinating sphere in which these sounds reside.  Each section inhabits a different realm, sort of akin to snapshots of unique experiences.  The placid zones that end side A, and the tender strings/field recordings toward the end of the flipside coalesce perfectly with the fluctuating soundscapes.  Regardless of the moniker, i am amazed by the depth and diversity of Christopher's sounds and ideas. They range from the warm areas explored on Sacred Phases and Digitalis to the more overtly psychedelic sounds that are present on this tape, from Rotifer Cassettes

With alacrity, I await the next step of this intriguing project.  Buy the ticket for this heavy trip from Rotifer.

peace and love, friends :)