Friday, November 30, 2012

Prayer - Second Species (PURR0012)

as sweet and mellifluous as Tape.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Joe Houpert is a prolific artist.  Along with Nathan McLaughlin, Joe forms the excellent, Loud and Sad.  This has been a fruitful year for them, releasing a tape on //Cae-sur-a//, an lp on Greenup Industries and issuing lathe 1 and 2 on FET.  A more recent project is Tilth, Nathan and Joe's trio with Cody Yantis.  They released a lathe on FET and a full-length on Soft Abuse.  Additionally, Joe has a solo project, Prayer.  Earlier this year, he released a tape on Sunshine Ltd.  Now, he is here to cure your end-of-year blues with the four compositions of serene and contemplative synth.  Second Species, on Constellation Tatsu, finds Joe at his sharpest.  To induce the aforementioned tranquility, synth is looped and layered while treated with effects; the ideas are slightly altered throughout.  His acute sense of pace is conspicuous over four tracks.  Furthermore, he is adroit at juxtaposing/ordering dissimilar sounds, ultimately begetting a beautiful synthesis.  Due to these characteristics and his musicianship, Second Species reminds me the Swedish masters, Tape.  

The second track on side A is my favorite of the tape.  It is an unmistakably uplifting track, as looped synth reverberates placidly, glistening like the embryonic sun.  Waves of serenity abut elongated, contemplative tones - the effect is beautiful.  After one ascends to the peak, the comedown is soothing. Another great track opens the flipside.  In this track, protracted organ like tones echo calmly - this is unabashed relaxation music!  Soon, another layer of synth is added, the contrasting tones produce a moment of beauty.  The track swells around the middle and ascends more proximate to the end.

The soothing blue colors and minimalist design are a strong signal to expect something beautiful.  Constellation Tatsu has caught my attention recently with a string of awesome releases.  It has been a great year for this young label!  Buy the Prayer tape directly from Constellation Tatsu.  Also, check out the great batch deals, and the new batch that features the highly anticipated EN/Jefre Cantu-Ledesma split tape.  Four awesome tapes for $16 - kind of difficult to beat that deal!

peace and love, friends :)

Matt Krefting - Sweet Days of Discipline (KSE #220)

feeling fortunate to span time with this artist - one of the best listens of 2012.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Best of 2012

For those that listen to a lot of music - or outside of music, tend to realize the beauty of the moment/the significance of the breath- there are times when one actualizes the experience.  By that, I refer to exhibiting a profound appreciation of the present moment.  For the past five months, the music on Sweet Days of Discipline -the latest release from Matt Krefting on Kendra Steiner Editions - has traversed and illuminated the labyrinthine welter of synapses and receptors, leaving me in awe.  Simply stated, this is the type of music one remembers fondly years later.  This tape-based music has extracted tears from my burning eyes, produced elation, and left my mouth agape at its unrivaled beauty. 'Elegant' is about as apt of a descriptor for these affecting hymns.  There is something otherworldly that emanates from the speakers. 2012 has produced many wonderful aural treats.  Within that set is a subset of sonic experiences for which there is no comparison.  Sweet Days of Discipline glistens like my best bud.   If you are that kind, then don't waste a second - head over to Kendra Steiner Editions to purchase this beautiful nug.

peace and love, friends :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ignatz - Because Time is Too Short (TPCASS04)

throwing sweet, dank nugs at the head of Krazy Kat.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

BEST OF 2012

This nug is unlike anything you will hear in 2012.  Ignatz is the moniker of Brussels-based artist, Bram Devens.  When Bram is not expanding minds with sativa-smoking Sylvester Anfang ii, he creates third-eye zoners that are a nexus of folk and blues - even a little rock sometimes.   Because Time is Too Short - the latest Ignatz release on Belgian label, Taping Policies - is full of deep-fried blues and folk that will re-animate your THC receptors.  This singular sound is achieved through acoustic instrumentation and effects, with improvisation an important component.  

The tape achieves lift off with the upbeat, 'Some People Keep Their Change'.  This track is comprised of skittish strings and Bram's unmistakable croon.  The next track, 'Stop Shining' is entirely different, as a welter of strings bathed in effects and random transmissions circle overhead.  '(Oh) I know you', the third track, is my favorite of the cassette.  For those that enjoyed the Virgil Caine re-issue on Time-Lag, this one is for you. It's full of deep-fried, ramshackle blues that mix perfectly with Bram's voice.  The mood changes with the next track, 'Inside Sight', an introspective zoner of scraped strings and quivering vocals.  The last track on side A, 'The Evening Light', is notable for its delicate strings and ethereal aesthetic - reminiscent of the excellent In Search of Light by Danny Paul Grody.  One instantly settles, as the flip starts with the playful, 'I Miss My Dog'.  However, the mood changes with, 'Pale Moon' as somber, warped strings float through the thin night air and are then pervaded by a beam of concentrated energy.  Another favorite is the fourth track, 'Everyday Vodka'.  Bram's vocals have a different quality in this track, as whimsical strings are blurred with effects.  Later, a beautiful effect is achieved with cascading, woozy strings.

This tape - and the entire Ignatz discography - will always have a safe spot on the top shelf.  Released in an edition of 100 on black cassette shells, Because Time is Too Short is adorned with Bram's wonderful artwork.  Ignatz releases disappear quickly.  Perusing US shops and distros, not many older releases are available.  Therefore, order directly from Taping Policies before this one goes OOP.

peace and love, friends :)

Ignatz - a tape release show from Taping Policies on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Misner Space - Golorium (TQ34)

trichome terror for resin-coated receptors. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief

Golorium is an absolute zoner from the latest batch of Tranquility Tapes.  The batch keeps things fresh by promulgating a darker, heavier sound; rather than the warm ambient paeans of the recent past, the sounds on Golorium - by Hamilton, Ontario based, Misner Space - and Turning Point, by Andreas Brandal, traverse different zones that are foreboding and brooding, yet emit the same alluring aural candy that one expects from a Tranquility release.  Beneath the pastoral artwork of Caroline Teagle churns an opaque, sprawling psychedelic concoction of guitar, synth, electronics, and vocals that removes the filter and permeates the eager mind.  At times the music drifts eerily through the hazy atmosphere, making the listener curious about the next step.  The description that accompanies the tape is apt: "they manage to straddle the distant lines of beautiful, playful, and downright creepy all at once."  All one can do is press play, turn off the lights, and hope that the conduit is still intact for the return trip.

Pure dread and unease expand in the room like musty smoke as one presses play.  Twisted voices tremble and coil over churning metallic sounds, while ominous tones form a solid foundation.  And, as the music - concomitantly scary and beautiful - becomes more intense, one begins to yearn for their woobie.  The pace of the first track boils with suspense.  Ostensibly gone, the beautiful vocals reappear next to swirling vibrations.  On the flipside, mangled transmissions and echos of yesteryear lightly manifest.  Without ambiguity, there is a lighter edge to the beginning of the second side.  Sounds imbued with a comfortable lethargy progressively turn brooding, as caustic shrieks and vocal incantations descend from the spectral sky - music that breathes with anticipation.  Contemplative and whimsical notes languidly pervade the haze in the last section of this track.

The music that comprises Golorium is a real head trip!  Produced on chrome cassettes and pro-dubbed, Golorium glows brightly with the beautiful designs of Caroline Teagle.  With only a few copies remaining, purchase one directly from Tranquility Tapes.

peace and love, friends :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Stone Baby - Present, Yet Altogether Elsewhere (sicsic037)

something sweet and dank for this trip into unknown.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :) 

Present, Yet Altogether Elsewhere may be the heaviest tape in the new Sicsic batch. Stone Baby is the excellent duo of Jen Marquart and Cory E. Card, the proprietors of Rochester, NY label, //cae-sur-a//.  At times, the sound buttresses the listener.  It is highly evocative, consisting of thick, heavy drones, scraped strings, ringing tones, and an otherworldly atmosphere.  Beautiful music tends to permeate the room, and Present, Yet Altogether Elsewhere succeeds in that regard.  Unequivocally, an entrancing trip.  So, go for the full trip - perhaps trichomes and all?  But leave your baggage at the door because one should operate lightly in this climate.

   As the first track commences, there is nothing that would suggest a quivering, haunting sound; rather, the ethereal strings bathed in effects ring uninhibitedly into the atmosphere.  Then, something dubious appears, discordant and fraying.  A welter of dreadful sound is juxtaposed to the glistening strings, and the result is chilling - gorgeous!  The recurrence spawns thick, heavy sounds that emanate from recesses of the body.  Explosive strings move pensively, and it temporarily abates.  Again, in the beginning of the second track peaceful, ringing tones abound.  The ascending sound swells in the uncertain environment, fraying and becoming more intense.  Then, it arrives, descending from an earlier time - inside the squirming sound something strives to be free.  On the honest bag nugometer, this track is rated five purple king kush nugs out of five.  This is exactly that which I seek in music - high quality stuff!  In the next track, solitary strings reside inside the drone, which has the quality of proceeding uniformly, yet flaking, as the sonic beast hovers ominously, whispering pleas and cries from yesteryear.  Eventually, it settles into a beam of drifting energy, remnants from another time temporarily amplified.  As it approaches the zenith, other elements become audible.  The effect is stunning.  A thick drone swells and recedes, trying to morph in shape, as several layers of resonating strings join the drone.

This one is highly recommended - Sicsic in the zone. Present, Yet Altogether Elsewhere is an awesome tape - a real head trip!   Produced in a hand-numbered edition of 85 cassettes, and displaying the beautiful artwork of Johannes Schebler, secure your copy through Sicsic.

peace and love, friends :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

González & Steenkiste - Through the Mountain (FCR11)

The description on the Bear Bones website recommends listening to this in the sky or on the couch - race you to the couch, and then we will meet in the sky!  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Sometimes life can be vexing.  Issues can descend upon one from many angles, engendering helplessness.  At that time, it's appropriate to reach for the medicine, and i'm talking about Through the Mountain.     Through the Mountain is the second release from González & Steenkiste, bros from trichome-packing Sylvester Anfang ii.  The zoners on this release, from the beloved Feathered Coyote Records, are multifaceted; listen to to them in the morning, and it awakens the soul as the sun welcomes you to a new day.  Listen to these drones at night, however, and it will transport you to the constellations that abound in the navy blue sky.  Much like life, on this tape the process is the best part.  If one passes through too quickly without exhibiting appreciation - focused on the objective rather than process - then one forgoes an opportunity to enjoy the journey.  The soothing drones on this tape resonate with peaceful energy and mindful awareness.  It is replete with introspective zoners that snake through the labyrinth of synapses and receptors.  The radiant energy at the top of the mountain is supreme.

The beginning of the journey commences with 'Foot'.  Incipient drones move languidly, yet produce sublime vibrations that suffuse the environment with serenity.  The pastoral, sun-baked drones are akin to an offering.    As we ascend the mountain, we arrive at the 'Belly'.  In this area, charged, resonating vibrations move across the expanse and consume the body, producing euphoria.  It possesses a different energy compared to the first track - a silver beam of radiant sound - as swirling tones gently lift the body.  Next, one arrives at the 'Chest'.  At such heights, one may become woozy.  However, this introspective zoner is the fuel for flight.  Over a gorgeous drone, shrieks of violin move unpredictably. Yet, the music always massages the front of your head.  Hopeful vibrations are ubiquitous.  Continuing onward, ominous vibrations abound as the peak of the mountain shrouds the departing sun.  However, 'Eye' signals arrival with an alluring mix of sound - celebratory.

This one is highly recommended!  When it comes to Sylvester Anfang ii side projects, González & Steenkiste can puff with the best of them.  Through the Mountain features the beautiful artwork of Ernesto González.  One may purchase this glistening nug directly from Uli.

peace and love, friends :)   

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bil Vermette - Archives I (Field Studies 07)

meditative synth journeys.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

One of the best facets of listening to experimental music is to meet people that expand your scope, enrich your comprehension, and create opportunities to learn.   As much as it is a soul satisfying endeavor, it, too, is educational.  And, that is one of the reasons Field Studies has special place reserved in my heart.  Not only does it produce great ambient synth tapes, but on this occasion introduces us to an adroit artist, Bil Vermette, who started making music in the 1970's. Prior to proceeding with the review, I would like to mention the wonderful interview that my Foxy D colleague, Steve Dewhurst, conducted with Eric Hanss, proprietor of Field Studies, and Bil Vermette.  Not only did it augment my understanding of the music, but it was highly educational.  The music on Archives I is notable not only for it's unparalleled beauty, but also for its ingenuity.  Where contemporary artists are able to select and order ideas from a myriad of times/settings, Bil did not have that luxury.  In listening to the material that was culled to produce Archives I, one is immensely impressed at Bil's ability to create evocative music.  Throughout this tape, there is a strong correlation between the title of a track and the subsequent sound - in that sense it is very powerful.  From the perspective of somebody that was previously unaware of Bil's music, Archives I is a pleasant surprise that will please those who enjoy tracing the waves of sound that emanate from the speakers - a peaceful excursion.  Most of all, it serves as an introduction to a wider body of music, one that includes the beautiful Katha Visions private press lp.  While one can locate the mp3's online, Katha Visions deserves to be re-issued on high quality vinyl.

The opening track, 'Beach Scene', is notable for its elongated, nascent tones and other layers that produce euphoria - the mist from the water is palpable.  'Phase Through Infinite Mediums' is a journey through the third eye.  Here, the listener is entranced by the shifting cosmic tones and effects.  The pace of the last section, more subdued, is alluring.  One of my favorite tracks, 'View From Above', is meticulously composed.  The mysterious tones of  'Cold Waters' flow gently, while metallic beams of sound illuminate the depths.  The last two tracks of side B, 'Church Scene' and 'Rainforest I' respectively, are stellar tracks.  The former seems to have a faster tempo than the other tracks.  At the beginning, frayed organ tones breath life into the track and then move to the background, as sublime cascading tones of various tempo descend on the listener.  The latter is notable for its gentle hovering drone.

Not too many labels can match the last batch of Field Studies: Panabrite, Bil Vermette and Brett Naucke.  Also, the Foxy D interview mentioned the possibility of a second Archives release.  Regardless, the three aforementioned gems should fill any lover of music with alacrity.  With only 100 tapes produced - pro-dubbed on chrome - this one is likely to disappear soon.  One should certainly visit Field Studies to purchase this stunning cassette.  

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

3 Leafs - Live at Cafe Du Nord (tt2)

from the top shelf with love.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

The glistening nug pictured above, the venerable King Kush, is a heavy duty indica that produces effects very similar to these blissed out jams, one of the latest releases from the authority: crystal-covered Triangle Tapes.  3 Leafs create krauty/space psych with a minimal contour.  There are a myriad of members from various San Francisco bands.  On this evening Tim Cohen - vocals / keyboard / percussion; Josh Pollock - guitar / sampler; Warren Huegel - drums; and Diego Gonzalez - bass were at the controls.  Also, they have one of the best rhythm sections around - it takes the music to the next level.  There are contemporary bands/artists (Expo 70, White Hills, Gnod) making similar music.  However, that which emanates from 3 Leafs is a singular strain - pure top shelf.  After combing the discography, one becomes inured to the panoramic effects of their hypnotic jams.  With efficacy, they demonstrate an ability to conjure a certain mood in great detail.  With these cats, it's always a wild trip.  Yet, the destination is only revealed when you exhale, with the vapor trails producing copious wisdom.  Simply put: 3 Leafs Live at Cafe Du Nord is the trichomes that adorn the triangle.

The jam commences with hazy, swirling guitar circumscribing your figure, preparing to permeate your head and deliver trichome transcendence.  Out of the smoke appear dubby vocals that remind me of a more rock-oriented Black Dice circa Beaches and Canyons.  A righteous groove is birthed from the trenchant rhythm section, while the guitar loosely navigates, serenading the seekers.  Drifting on clouds of dreamy delayed vocals, keys and guitar, the jam shifts into a bass/percussion part.  Sustained guitar shifts in the light, demonstrating a myriad of faces.  The sound recalls the great heights of GYBE! Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven.  Soon, this part moves to the background, as the bass and drums take hold.  Embers swirl from the kinetic guitar, and the delayed vocals/cosmic keys appear like an apparition.

Unequivocally, this is music that will redefine your pre-listening rituals.  It is important to note that this is more than merely a tape.  Triangle Tapes go to great length to create a comprehensive experience - music and artwork.  There is no standard template with Triangle.  Every release is unique.  Burnt to Perfection comes in beautiful cases with an insert and stamp.  The 3 Leafs tape - second edition - comes with a metallic leaf and some of the finest artwork of the year by Jon MDC; band logo by Dylan Simon .  When Stunned Records was orbiting our sphere, I emptied my pockets and bowl to buy their tapes; Triangle Tapes give me the same special feeling.  If you even remotely enjoy this type of music, then do the right thing: purchase this nug directly from Triangle Tapes.  Domestic denizens may purchase from aQ.  The second edition was produced in a limited run of 50 cassettes, of which few remain.

peace and love, friends :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Spectral Being - Ritualistic Burning (AD051)

cosmic zoners for the death star.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

As the artwork suggests, Spectral Being permeates your head with over one hour of kosmische zoners.  Ritualistic Burning is a listening experience characterized by immersion.  While one could conceivably listen to this while performing other tasks, it would not allow the listener to form the deep relationship that this music deserves.  These tracks have the power to transport you to that peaceful place in your head.   With each track, the listener can feel this trio of friends - Kyle Landstra, synth and loops; Chris Kondrat, synth and effects; and Mitch Smith, bass and effects - becoming more strong as a unit.

The tape commences with 'Upon a Circular Dawn', in which inchoate tones mingle in the shadow of an ascendant sun - a very playful, intimate atmosphere.  Without notice, Zawinul-like tones - uplifting, bright and friendly - appear and contrast nicely with the sparkling synth.  The mood changes with 'Decoding Pyramid Transmissions'.   This track is very psychedelic, and I did not expect the beautiful shoegaze sound that emanates from multiple layers of synth.  Soon, slow moving waves of sound wander without constraint - gorgeous!  Next, they proffer music for which to countenance one's fate.  'Interfacing with Earth's Gravitational Hum' is concomitantly beautiful and unsettling.  It presents an excellent juxtaposition in mood.  Tones are birthed from the cosmos, then grow tendrils that embrace one with its buzzing energy.  The bass supports the overall sound nicely in the fourth track, 'Ancient Memory'.  In some of the tracks, the bass is too loud and obscures the synth - all tracks were recorded live.  However, it feels just right on this track.  With this type of music, the bass can play an integral role; and, I eagerly await to hear future recordings. With the kush smoke enveloping everything in the room, 'Tidal Sequence' kicks off the flipside with bouncy notes and textured synth - similar in feel to the first track.  The next two tracks are 'Ritualistic Burnings part 1 and 2'.  In the first, the trio really comes to life and they display a wonderful sense of space.  Nothing is forced here and things develop naturally.  Elongated tones move innocently in the glistening light - music for gazing inward as one feels the breath moving sinuously through the body, aided by the gentle, friendly tones.  In 'part 2', a sublime drone extends to the stars while arpeggios swirl in the sweet spirit smoke.  The tape closes with the stellar, 'Forest Cathedral'.  

Ritualistic Burning is an excellent first release from this talented trio.  The weed tree divined that more sweet spirit smoke could possibly permeate your head in the near future.  Ritualistic Burning was produced in an edition of 40, and it is accompanied by the awesome artwork/photography of Jackie Riman with the layout attributed to Joshua Tabbia.  Don't sleep on this tape.  One may purchase Ritualistic Burning directly from Already Dead Tapes.

peace and love, friends :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chapels - Last Nights (House of Alchemy 060)

 for this journey through the world of Chapels, a little Popeye will keep the Blutos of your life at bay.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

You are going to require some inner resolve to climb this mountain: a mix of deep space tones and organ drone bliss.  Thus, for this journey through the world of Chapels, a little Popeye will keep the Blutos of your life at bay.  Last time around - a split with Jeremy Kelly - fractured strings reverberated heavily in the humid, dank night air - an ominous environment.  Of all the Chapels releases to which i have listened, they have the quality of holding you in a state of suspense.  With each experience, one takes a step into the unknown - to unlock the lock of a door that might reveal something sinister, or maybe a portal into something ethereal and divine.  Nothing will quite prepare one for that next step.  On Last Nights, the latest Chapels release on House of Alchemy, an intriguing mix of sound coalesces to create something akin to 2001 meets Radio Amor-era Hecker.

Side A could be the soundtrack for some type of NASA training simulation.  It commences with a buoyant, amplified, yet unsettling drone.  A transition occurs, in which a periodic swells of sound are interspersed with a rolling, metallic tones.  Throughout the track, various emanations from the vast realm flourish briefly before disappearing into space.  If you enjoyed the recent Obscurer cd, then you dig these sounds.  Side B is discernibly different. Opaque muffled sounds are followed by the aural haze of oscillating drone and noise. There is a beautiful contrast between the idyllic tones and heavy noise.  Proceeding through several sections, the overall sound morphs and nothing is constant.  Sometimes the oscillating drone is more present - glistening and uplifting.  While at other times, it's a more noisy affair.  Chapels juxtaposes these elements in an alluring manner.  This tape demonstrably exhibits the aforementioned beauty of Chapels.  I like music that takes me places, and Chapels is the fuel for some of the wildest odysseys.  One may purchase this cassette, as well as the new batch, directly from House of Alchemy.

peace and love, friends :)            


Friday, November 2, 2012

Hering und seine sieben Sachen - On Kwas (CW07)

sweet and sticky sounds from the Sicsic master!  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Friends, you are in for a real treat!  Here we have a collection of late night zoners and moonshakers from Sicsic master, Daniel Voigt.  For those unaware, Daniel is the proprietor of my favorite tape label, Sicsic tapes.  For me, the beauty of Sicsic tapes is analogous to way Stunned Records became a prominent part of my life.  One brings these sounds into their home, and they become inextricably linked - imbuing the crests and troughs of a certain time and place with friendly aural matter.  And, that is how this tape, On Kwas by Hering und seine sieben Sachen on Cosmic Winnetou, affects me.  There is a certain mystique about these sounds that makes the night time the right time for listening.  There is a disclaimer of sorts that accompanies this tape: music like a young kitten.  very soft at the neck. but beware of those claws.  Initially, it gave me a good chuckle, bringing a smile to my face.  Those words, however, accurately describe the feel of this music.  Daniel created and dedicated these tracks in anticipation of a trip to Moldova.  Everything here is live, with no overdubs; and, Daniel's gear for this release includes synth, sampler, tapes and effects.

The title track comprises side A, and it has many faces.  It commences with a playful, buoyant melody.  One wonders that which will follow - and then the sharp claws manifest.  The playful tones fade, and they are replaced by haunting, hard to decipher vocals.  The sound heaves and recedes, becoming menacing at the peaks.  The effervescent tones from the beginning are long gone.  Soon electrically charged sound circulates in the environment, buttressing the vocals.  At this juncture, lots of elements are audible concurrently - it seems to be reaching a climax.  And, then gradually, the first part recurs, yet not as effervescent.  Instead of emitting buoyancy, the sound moves languidly.  Later in the track, there is a transition in which warm, yet contemplative tones caress your head.  Quite alluring!  The flipside starts with 'Wobbleknee', a much different sounding track.  The synth has the energy of heated molecules, echoing, as vibrant tones bounce excitedly in the cosmos.  Twinkling sounds and soporific vibrations add another element to this engaging track.  'Mulberry Stains' is the stuff of legends.  It's an irresistible track, that exhibits Daniel's acuity with pace.  Calm, resonant beams of synth rise and break, enveloping the listener in pure reverie.  Next, solitary flares of bright color are emitted as heavy tones bounce in the mix.  Tender tones dance excitedly on the crests of dreamy waves, as the track closes with obscured vocals.

Listening to the latest batch of Cosmic Winnetou (Mark Bradley, Sylvia Monnier, and Hering und seine sieben Sachen) fills me with alacrity for the next set of tapes.  On Kwas was produced on chrome tape, home-dubbed on akai tape deck in real time, and accompanied by a professionally printed j-card featuring the artwork of Ronnie Oliveras. One should act quickly as this limited edition of 50 hand-numbered copies is nearly sold out at the source - only two copies remain. I love bringing the sounds of Cosmic Winnetou into my home. Invite these sounds into your home, and allow Cosmic Winnetou to illuminate your headspace.

peace and love, friends :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Loud and Sad - False Intimacy (//Cae-sur-a//025)

if you think this nug is lovely, then wait until Loud and Sad permeate your head with angelic hymns.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Best of 2012

In the remote darkness and silence of my consciousness, these poignant tracks delicately illuminate the austere expanse, replacing despair with enveloping august light.  The power of music to travel expeditiously over synapses and recalibrate your reality is singular.  And, in those moments, when False Intimacy -a recent release on the excellent Cae-sur-a - graces your head with elegant notes, it's commensurate to the touch of a good friend, a partner on whom you may depend.  Loud and Sad is the long running project of Nathan McLaughlin  and Joe Houpert.  In the spring/summer, Nathan released Echolocation #6 on Sicsic, along with the tremendous The Refrigerator is Emotional on Senufo Editions.  Meanwhile, Joe's Prayer project has been lighting up my head for the past few weeks.  Additionally, they are collaborating on a new project, Tilth, with Cody Yantis. This year, especially the latter part, Loud and Sad have been busy, releasing this tape; Lathe #2, a companion to False Intimacy; and soon, Unknown Species on Greenup Industries.  Earlier this year, my fellow Foxy D colleague, David Perron, hosted a wonderful in-studio session with Loud and Sad on his weekly radio show, Free Form Freakout - access the show here.  It was through this podcast that I learned about the Loud and Sad project and the special bond that Nathan and Joe share.  Only through David's show was I able to learn that Loud and Sad is at the cross-section of their individual works.  At times plaintive and introspective and at others warm and ethereal, False Intimacy is comprised of works on solo piano and processing.  

In 'Example 1', contemplative notes coalesce with protruding, acute beams of sound.  As the track matures, other layers slowly emerge endowing it with warmth.  The ending is particularly beautiful.  As track one finishes, it merges with the opaque drift of, 'Example 2'.  Delicate notes, suffused with electricity, morph and recede in 'Example 3 and 4'.  For me, 'Example 5' is pure heaven.  This last track spans the majority of the flipside.  It commences with the synthesis of a warm, static-laced oscillating drone and elegant piano.  Solitary keys come into being and then slowly disintegrate.  Soon the oscillating drone moves to the background while distended keys echo.  The middle part is stunning.  As the track proceeds, the piano has an increasingly clean sound, seemingly devoid of processing.  It's an achingly beautiful section of the tape.

Cae-sur-a always has some of the best nugs around.  They have released some fantastic tapes from the likes of Baldruin, Hering Und Seine Sieben Sachen, Pine Smoke Lodge, April in the Orange and Rambutan.  Along with Loud and Sad, the new batch includes the awesome Bjerga/Iversen and Drowing the Virgin Silence tapes. The presentation is strikingly beautiful, which is due to Travis Johansen.  False Intimacy comes in hand made, silk screened, stamped and numbered matchbox cases with a booklet, in an edition of 100.  Lathe #2 disappeared from Discriminate quickly.  Don't suffer the fate of missing out on this cassette:  purchase your copy of False Intimacy, along with the new batch, directly from Cae-sur-a.          

peace and love, friends :)