Friday, December 28, 2012

Tasty Trichomes - favorite nugs of 2012

Just like any year, 2012 contained some beautiful highs and precipitous downers.  Yet, music was my Magical Shepherd  - peace and love to my bro, Jay, and Miroslav - guiding me through vicissitudes and assisting the ascent.  I've never been one for making lists.  There are some immensely talented writers that have compiled wonderful lists - my Foxy D bros, my friend Justin, and many others.  My list for 2012 is below - and it would not be complete without an accompanying nug or two!  There is no order to the list.  However, there is one promise: some heady times!!  Here it is, in true grip it and b-rip it style!

peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)   


Motion Sickness of Time Travel - S/T (SP016)


Willie Lane - Recliner Ragas (HUM 1004)

Günter Schlienz - Tape Studies (sicsic031)

Sylvester Anfang II - Perzische Tapijten (GPS75)

Sylvia Monnier - Never More Camellias (CW06)

Herbcraft - Flowering (JDR001)

Derek Rogers - Institutio Amet (SS03)

Raajmahal - S/T (KELLIPAH 009)

High Aura'd - Sanguine Futures (BATHETIC 63)

Planets Around the Sun - Ram of Heart and the Earthen Chariot (Sloow Tapes)

MV & EE - Zebulon Residency box set (C.O.M. 38)

Travelers on the Golden Road know the score.  Zebulon is a C.O.M. classic, with the best sound of any MV & EE boxset.  Another factor that makes this release special is the list of players: Rongoose, Smokehound, Herbcraft, Jeremy Earl, Jarvis Taveniere, Steve Gunn, PG Six, Willie Lane and Andre Vida.  Steve Gunn on Environments is some heavy stuff!  Limited to only 99 copies, this meticulously hand-crafted beauty disseminates the Spectrasound vibe.    

peace and love, friends :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Century Plants - S/T (TD50)

a sonic hash rocket that will re-calibrate your dome.  peace and love to Humboldt Relief :) 

There is no amount of state control that could keep these supreme vibrations from pummeling your weary head. This is a beast of a release!  Essentially, your arsenal does not possess powerful enough interceptors to keep this blazing hash rocket from redefining your head-space.  This one-sided live lp, marked by the intense vocals of Ray Hare, finds Century Plants inhabiting a different territory relative to Dissolvers.  The jam that comprises the only side of this lp is a tribute to British hardcore legends, Discharge; performed in the punk spirit of '82.  The idea is apt, given Ray's contribution to that era as the lead singer for Washington DC's Deadline.  Everything about this lp is awesome.  Yet, it's the manner in which Ray's vocals combine with the sonic assault of his Burnt Hills brethren -Eric Hardiman and Phil Donnelly - that defines this blistering side-long track. Where Dissolvers unleashed charged, drifting zoners that were an amalgamation of noise, doom, metal, drone and psych, the S/T vinyl resides in more rock-imbued environs comprised of punk, noise and psych rock.  First, this music deserves to be played loudly so that the energy flows properly. There's really no time to acclimate, as these guys bring it fiercely from the drop of the needle - a sonic onslaught that will not abate.  Subsequent to the ominous vibrations of the beginning, swirling, fuzz-drenched feedback, bass and percussion lock into a heavy groove - vapor trails emitted from Ray's echoing vocals.  A powerful statement from upstate NY's finest.  With quantities dwindling, secure your copy via Tape Drift or through Flipped Out Records.

peace and love, friends :)

thanks to chrusty and albanysonicarts respectively for the good vibes

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lake Mary (PT002)

a nug that properly embodies the beauty of Lake Mary.  Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :) 

Whoa!  After hearing the new Lake Mary cassette- the project of Chaz Prymek - on Planted Tapes, I opined: 'holy gee...  where has my head been?"  Well, that's too easy to answer.  This was my first experience with Lake Mary, and i lament not being attuned to these flowering sonic paeans earlier.  The music on this c40 is an amalgamation of drone and folk.  More so, it personifies the inherent beauty of Lake Mary, which is situated near the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon proximate to Salt Lake City, UT.  The A side is just as beautiful as many of my 2012 favorites, while the flip exhibits Chaz' facility with acoustic guitar.

'Canopy', which encompasses side, is an ode to all that is beautiful, conciliatory and peaceful.  The ethereal drones of side A drift through the head like an idyllic summer morning, as the embryonic glow of the music graces the shade garden with shards of sunlight warming the earth.  For most of the track, the sonics stay inert in a shimmering state of being.  The use of vocals, in the form of bright sighs, mix perfectly with the music.  As swells of serenity pervade the listener, soft sighs dot the landscape like ellipses of the mind.  The mix becomes quiet approximately 10-11 minutes into the track, until glistening strings that grow in vigor and soft keys seem to signal a transition.  A few minutes later, stringed instruments swell along with poignant keys.  The gorgeous field recordings are the kief on top of the nug.  For those that travel the Koen Holtkamp/Appestaartje/Mountains/Hapna zones, this is top shelf stuff!  The flipside contains one track, 'Mardotsha', which again seems to be comprised of a few different parts.  Chaz' playing on this side is excellent.  'Mardotsha' encompasses contemplative, acoustic sojourns bathed in crackle and tape hiss.  After hearing these works, i imagine its splendor glistens brilliantly among the environs of Lake Mary.  Each part of the track has a different feel, with Prymek transitioning easily between styles.  The second part exhibits Prymek's adroit use of space and time.  The sonics encircle your head in the manner of Bill Callahan.  Meanwhile, the penultimate part of this track displays bucolic guitar - definitely for lovers of Danny Paul Grody.

We are in the presence of a wonderful artist.  Produced in an edition of 70 tapes, the cassette features the beautiful, apt artwork of Bethany DeMarco.  Lake Mary was home-dubbed and hand-assembled with the assistance of Planted man, Joey Wiley.  One may purchase this cassette directly from Planted Tapes.

peace and love, friends :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Former Selves / Journey of Mind split (SS04)

waves of healing energy.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

The healing energy of this music is undeniable.  On this split between Former Selves and Journey of Mind - released on Jimmy Billingham's label, Sunk Series - two extremely talented artists illuminate the pathways that lead to the cosmos.  Both artists produce sublime ambient works, each possessing special characteristics.  In the end, their music leads to same place of peaceful awareness.

Former Selves commences the split with warm organ-like drones emanating from the synth and embracing the listener - concomitantly uplifting and contemplative.  The shimmering beauty of this section travels with ease over the synapses, becoming part of the listener's journey.  Delicate, torpid synth hymns slowly engulf the head.  Soon, bright droplets of synth expand over a sea of ethereal protracted tones.  Waves of energy wallow in the presence of moon as slowly cascading tones randomly descend from the sky.

Journey of Mind is Jimmy Billingham's most recent project.  His side commences with a warm, woozy static-inculcated plea to the cosmos.  The stars align for this trip into the ether, as the listener ascends into constellations of bent shapes, warped sounds and a welcoming climate.  Golden sighs dot the sky as a stream of tranquil energy explodes before being reconstituted.  If you think the first track was gold, then wait until the minimal beauty of the second track graces your head.  Even though the track spans only a few minutes, I think it represents some of Jimmy's finest work.  It begins with distorted, breathing notes that glisten in the starlight.  This part alone makes me excited about ambient music.  Next, it is followed by cut-up, distended and smeared sounds.  Throughout the year, we are fortunate to be in the presence of  those few golden moments of music that personify life - the culmination of sadness, regret, elation, contemplation,  and ambiguity among other things.  A perfect manner in which to end the year.

It would be a wonderful treat to hear both of these artists working together.  Don't forget to give some love to Olive Oyl, as this split pervades the head and becomes part of your experience.  Released in a limited edition of 50 numbered, pro-dubbed, imprinted cassettes, the cosmic artwork for this tape is attributed to Jennifer Crouch and Jimmy.  One may purchase this lovely cassette directly from Sunk Series.

peace and love, friends :)