Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Former Selves - Calico Sunset (sicsic 053)

Former Selves + Pure Kush = the dream team.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

 Dr. Gonzo once presciently averred that the tape recorder is for special music - a head full of LSD sure leads to some profound perceptions!  He is correct, and we are fortunate to span time with some wonderful artists and labels that generally release their music on cassette.  Over the last two years of writing for this site, I have encountered a few releases that make me recall the reason I listen to music.  Usually, those tapes are highly experiential.  Along with being well-composed, they augment life.  They represent sounds that fuse with the soul.  Often the radiating energy moves so proximate; a force that exhibits an enveloping aura.         When i listen to Calico Sunset by Former Selves on Sicsic, the ubiquity possessed by the placid sounds can permeate the roughest exteriors.  Currently, there are some wonderful artists creating lovely ambient and new age sounds.  Among those are the Iasos tape on Rotifer; Original Flowering Earth jams on Goldtimers and Planted; the JD Emmanuel 2xlp on Aguirre and the Motion Sickness of Time Travel tape from the recent batch of Sicsic.  Calico Sunset shimmers just as brightly as the aforementioned, as Former Selves disseminate dank crystals profusely via patient drones and slowly unfolding soundscapes.

Calico Sunset is a continuous ode to life.  The masterful 'Stillness' commences the tape.  Analogous to the sweet floral scent of the nascent summer, layers of tranquility drift through the flowering trees.  The soft, enveloping warmth illuminated by the splintered sunlight.  Pulsing serenity and gentle swells of ambient sound caress the head.  Contemplative notes echo the lightness of the moment.  The end is lovely with meandering tones that move soporifically within the drone.  Soothing tones chime and twinkle, acting as a bridge between the first and second track, 'Inside and Around'.  The second track, at the beginning, is centered on ringing sounds, breaking waves and external transmissions.  As the track matures, the listener is delivered into an oasis of august light composed of contemplative, elongated tones that sit pleasantly in the fore of consciousness.  Soothing tones modulate and flower from the drone, glistening in the atmosphere.  Toward the end, layers of enlightened sound manifest.  The last track on side A, 'Through Time', succeeds in combining beautiful piano and synth.  The piano exudes delicate sounds and intricate patterns.  Peaceful currents of ambient sound gradually move to the fore, while the piano, barely perceptible, moves to the background.  The flip kicks off with a real treat - the exquisite voice of Lynn Fister!  Side B begins with 'Kindred Spirit'.  As gentle and warm as the breath of a loved one, the lovely sounds embroider on to the skin as the constituent sections of the track come into being.  Warm, reverberating tones move in and out.  The are complimented by an uplifting drone and harmonious keys that coalesce nicely with Lynn's angelic voice.  On 'Parallels', burgeoning synth slowly moves into the zone.  Upon reaching the core, it radiates serenity as a meandering drone combines with light and airy tones.  Tones are inflected and float on the contours of the track.  The title track is the last stop, as Lynn's voice hovers and swells over voluminous, gentle passages of synth and piano.

 These are the sounds to cultivate loving kindness and awareness.  Once the listener presses play, they are immediately ensconced in serenity.  Released in a limited edition of 85 tapes, and accompanied by the beautiful designs of Lynn Fister, Calico Sunset will find a cozy spot on my end of year list.  Though it is sold out at the source, secure your copy at Tomentosa.
peace and love, friends :)