Thursday, June 27, 2013

Journey of Mind - Brain Sink (Worn Habit no.08)

 Brain Sink is one of my favorite crystal-covered nugs!  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Solitary droplets of melancholy reverberate in the listener.  Pensive notes are adeptly juxtaposed to soulful plucks that tremble.  Jimmy Billingham's lovely sample-based project, Journey of Mind, fits snugly in the blossoming discography of Worn Habit.  Through his music, Jimmy demonstrates a proclivity for crafting something that resonates emotionally within the listener.  On this tape, it's almost as if he bends time - such is the quality of the sounds - slowing its progression and allowing the listener to absorb the constituent parts. Rather than something which will transport you, Brain Sink on family fave Worn Habit, is an introspective meditation that shifts in the passing seconds and minutes.  Brain Sink exists calmly next to the listener.  It's the type of music that holds your hand while guiding you through time.  To be present as these sounds warble, bend, get lost in the hiss, ascend, descend and move laterally is to realize something beautiful.  The intensity of the beauty on display belies the length of the tape.

Side A is beautifully constructed and moves through several sections.  Elegant and cloaked, it moves tortuously.  An introspective track that flourishes under the veil, it commences with tender plucks and mournful notes that reverberate.  A few minutes in, a nascent wave of buoyant energy manifests, becomes submerged and returns to its former state.  The synergy of all three elements engenders aural euphoria - the coalescence of introspection, nostalgia, and buoyancy.  I return faithfully to the flipside.  Side B is some of the best music I've heard this year.  Flowery in sound and languorous in pace, each iteration removes a layer as the listener moves more proximate to the essence.  This track receives a lot of playtime next to the trees.  Lethargic waves of gentle energy meander in the clouds as rain droplets descend from the leaves of verdant trees.  Passages of ethereal sound drift naturally through tenuous branches - beautiful and comforting!  Side B exists in the time lag.  It slows life, exhibiting its nebulous states, blurred lines and tangential nature.  Deeply affecting, it's one of Jimmy's best tracks.

 More crystal-covered top shelf nugs from Worn Habit!  Brain Sink was released in conjunction with an instantly out of print cassette from Tuluum Shimmering.   Endowed with the love of being home-dubbed, Brain Sink is accompanied by lovely foldout artwork.  Both are likely to be available at Tomentosa in the near future.  For now, the last copies of Brain Sink are available directly from Worn Habit.                               

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Ypotryll - Yellow Smoke (JZK032)

sweet as honey - i dig this smoke from Ypotryll.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

When I think of yellow smoke, i'm reminded of the tasty accumulation of copious spirit smoke that leads to a tranquil environment.  In the event that the aforementioned does not present itself as attractive, the meditative, multifaceted compositions on this tape will deliver you to the same place.  Yellow Smoke, by Ypotryll on Jozik, is a tape of languorous, expansive, opaque soundscapes that at times nestle comfortably in the head.  Other times, the listener is mesmerized by sustained, potent oscillations or the lovely progression in sound, which is the highlight of side B.  These compositions are not sweeping or ethereal.  Rather, the soft energy it radiates on side A is reflected within and morphs throughout.

  On side A, resonant, sustained tones billow in the haze.  Mysterious and meditative, it's the type of sound that envelops the listener.  Tranquil tones manifest periodically, becoming permanent with each passing breath.  The expansions and contractions are ubiquitous.  Oscillations echo on the periphery.  Shortly, the track transitions to a place dominated by potent, vigorous oscillations and bursts of noise.  The flip is great!  Within a track, this artist is proficient at establishing a sonic atmosphere and subtly modifying its direction.  Side B comes together almost immediately, conjuring images of meditation among trees.  The juxtaposition of the echoing beats, like the ripples in a pond, and gentle sound which glistens in the mist is beautiful! Screeching guitar exists deep in the mix.  Shortly, vocals and multifaceted noise enter the mix.  As the components move simultaneously at a loud volume, it's extremely pleasing to the ears.  Over time the prominence of each part seems to shift.  Meditative drone aligns with the breath prior to opening the eyes.

A great tape from a label that I highly admire and recommend!  Limited to 50 copies, it comes in a soft poly case with a hand-stamped insert.  Jozik and Tomentosa have the goods!

peace and love, friends :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Noir and Antic Hous - Catoptromancy (GLD028)

fuel for a deep exploration into the unknown.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)  

There are few inhabitants in the areas where these sounds manifest.  When one listens to Catoptromancy, by Noir (Jesse Osborne-Lanthier) and Antic Hous (Michael Plante), it is the experience of disparate sonic elements completing the other; of sound coming into being and then departing; the birth of something from unlike sources. One of the most attractive facets of this release is the experiential component and awaiting that which will next occur.  Jesse and Michael created these compositions with an array of instruments: custom modular synthesizer, reverberation tank, Teac A-2340 reel to reel, Jomox T-Resonator filter matrix, trumpet and hybrid computer software. Released on GoldtimersCatoptromancy is not dominated by any one element.  Rather, it succeeds in exhibiting the relationship of opposite elements/ideas and exploring sound. The beautiful, minimal artwork does an excellent job of portraying the music.  Regarding mood, some may perceive it as dark ambient music.  However, move beyond preconceived notions.  This is head candy for the sonically obsessed. 

 Sustained tones whir and echo beyond the periphery on 'Floats Forever'.  Meanwhile, 'Fever Dance' could be some type of space ritualistic zoner - it adeptly combines pulsations and resonance.  The churning noise and buzzing sound of 'Capitulating Oscillations' ends with submerged oscillations juxtaposed to signals and hiss.  Perhaps my favorite is the first track on the flip, 'Altostratus Hair'.  Perfect for meditation, it has the resonant quality of a raga.  Surging waves of sound resonate strongly.  Shortly, a nascent drone is noticeable. It garners strength quickly.  Hovering over everything with its golden energy, the tones modulate and massage the head.  The lucid waves of sound soon move to the background, replaced by something more opaque and removed - lovely stuff here!!

Limited to 50 copies with a double sided j-card and professionally duplicated, Catoptromancy may be purchased directly from Goldtimers.

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Jailbird - S/T (House of Alchemy 066)

dank dread never felt so good.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

  Jailbird flew the coop to disseminate these dank drones that furtively unfurl to reveal its sinister purpose.   The self-titled tape, released on House of Alchemy, is a collaboration between Husere Grav and Wm. Berger.  Just knowing that this is a project of Husere Grav, who made a fine contribution to the Stunned discography, is enough to excite one about the sonic possibilities on offer.  Brooding and ominous, Jailbird exists all around you.  Yet, no one is certain of the precise location.  You see, it exists in the thick tape hiss; the blazing, resonating drones; the oscillating haze; the passing seconds and the dubious future.  On side A, a slow moving drone expands to envelop all denizens in its path.  Before it slightly morphs, a static, virulent drone inculcates a sense of dread in the listener.  Shortly, opaque tones squirm within the slowly moving mass.  Periodic bursts of frayed synth and barely audible plodding tones portentously come into being near the end.  The flip exhibits a different character, as charged layers of sound modulate and resonate - vigorous tones that flare, dissipate and resurrect.  Vibrant and unconstrained, it is soon consumed by an amorphous, yet expansive body of sound.

The pernicious artwork alone made the trichomes and hairs on my nug quiver.  Released in an edition of 100, it is part of the recent batch that includes an awesome tape from Sheldon Siegel, Three Euro Breakfast.  Secure your copy of Jailbird directly from House of Alchemy.

peace and love, friends :)  .

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Creation VI - Akroamatikos (CW13)

stoner spinach for your trip to the cosmos.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

On Akroamatikos, Creation VI emits prodigious ambient drones and soundscapes that enthrall the listener.  Released on one of my favorite labels, Cosmic Winnetou, this is a listening experience characterized  by immersion. These long form tracks may appear inert in sections, yet contain many moving parts. With music so beautiful, the listener is stimulated to attentively observe the slowly shifting sound. Throughout all four tracks, Creation VI combines subtlety with more conspicuous transitions in sound and mood.  As one inhabits the environment where the drones resonate fervently - it is engrossing - each encountered strand of sound drips from the minute hand, fluttering in the cosmic dust as fate approaches.  Now, I'm not sure about the instruments utilized on this tape.  However, I'm certain about one thing:  Akroamatikos is a one-way ticket to the cosmic doorstep of seemingly infinite sonic possibilities.

From the time one presses play, the aforementioned sonic possibilities manifest.  Burgeoning resonance transports the listener to the horizon, from which the ascent commences.  'Arche' acutely combines an intense  character with more gentle sounds of various timbre.  Gradually, the drone becomes more concentrated and intense.  Warm blotches of sound pulsate within the consuming drone.  Soon, the warmth is replaced by something more mysterious.  Periodic currents of cosmic dust find the accelerating mass impenetrable.  The addition of a nascent, soft drone - light pulsations - a few minutes later is a nice juxtaposition to the heavy elements.  Almost ten minutes in, one perceives a change in the intensity of the sound, which feels a step or two less potent - gorgeous change in tempo!  Toward the end, a sense of serenity prevails and the sound slowly descends to a state of rest.  The luminescent squeals and ritualistic drone of 'Logos' offer a different perspective compared to the heaviness of its predecessor.  Shortly, a solemn drone nearly consumes everything in its path - a nice contrast to the beginning.  At this point, the listener pleasantly drifts along.  Ethereal bursts of energy appear later in the track, sprinkled with ambient magic.  Surprisingly, heavier tones come into being at the end, which slowly dissipate in the ether.  The flip begins with a fine exhibition of mixing  peaceful elements with shifting mood.  Warm sound meanders tranquilly in the beginning of 'Eidos', growing in stature.  Currents of hiss arise. For those that prefer peaceful, warm sounds, this is your track.  A few minutes later, the effervescent serenity seems more subdued.  Before long, a deluge of metallic textured tones abuts the drone.  Moments of poignancy and warmth coexist to wonderful effect.  Even later, the placid sound fluctuates between soothing drift and and being more immediate - a stellar track!  'Panta Rhei' is a nice meditation on sound, as a golden, buzzing drone exists next to fluctuating tones.  Growing in vigor, the drone overtakes everything.  Yet, it's character changes once it reaches the zenith.  It's a beautiful thing to watch it morph as other aural elements come into being.  At this juncture, the sound is fierce and a sense of immediacy becomes evident.  Variegated tones manifest in the subtly shifting soundscape.  The overall feel is moderated a bit by swirling ambient sound and repetitive tones.

Much like Popeye, Akroamatikos is covered with glistening crystals on the inside.  Therefore, don't give this a superficial listen - the type of experience where you multitask.  Sure, the music will sound great regardless of your level of concentration.  However, there is a sacred gift for the traveler who wants to experience this music without other stimuli present.

  The latest batch of Cosmic Winnetou is awesome.  Perhaps the best part is the beautiful artwork of Ana Cabaleiro, which accompanies all three tapes.  The artwork for each tape connects wonderfully with the music.  Though it is sold out at the source, i was able to find a copy for sale at Meditations. Shortly, it will be available through 905 and Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bunalim - S/T (PHS-002)

hairy, sticky buds for this Turkish psych workout.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Wild, fast jams are a way of life, especially on Friday.  However, by adding the flavor of Turkish psych to the mix, it's tantamount to glazing a bowl with hash oil - the good vibrations expand exponentially.  Turkish psych has a singular, lovely character which is more than evident on the self-titled release from Bunalim.  Reissued on Guerssen imprint, Pharaway Sounds, Bunalim is the Turkish word for "depression".  This short-lived band from Istanbul - inspired by fuzzed out western rock of the day - melded the influence of Middle Eastern folk to their sound - with otherworldly results. More so, Bunalim is full of heavy players that went on to record with the likes of Erkin Koray and Cem Karaca, who managed and produced the band. This album is a compilation, as the band never made a proper album, which collects rare singles from 1970-72.  Heavy, raw and full of fuzzed out guitar, your head will never be the same.

About five years ago, I spotted the cd version at AKA in Philadelphia.   Pharaway came to the rescue and did an excellent job with the vinyl reissue.  A nice pressing, which is accompanied by liner notes, secure your copy through the venerable Time-Lag.

peace and love, friends :)    

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cray - Digest 54 (sicsic051)

see you in the cosmos!  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

The good vibes continue to exude from the speakers, and this time around it's the head expanding, mod synth jams of Cray.  When you traverse in sounds like this, one thing is for certain: this music will take you places.  Yet, once your head pierces the cosmos, the final destination is anything but certain. Digest 54, from Cray on Sicsic, is an explorers dream. So leave the dissonance at home, for the aural peaks, valleys and vicissitudes encapsulated within each trichome covered constellation will work your head like a nice dollop of kief!  Cray's bag is full of sonic possibilities that are channeled through Moog Voyager, DSI Tetra, Roland Jupiter 6, Omnisphere, Buchla 200e and euro modular.  Variegated textures and use of space are two salient elements of this release. Overall, it's one of the wildest head-trips encountered on the glowing path that is 2013.

With the commencement of the tape, the pendulum in the mind vacillates.  The ominous currents of fate lift the listener through the third eye, accelerating toward the infinite. 'Led', the first track, sets the mood for the wild times which follow.  Those times approach quickly because the second track, 'Un8d', drifts to a different state immediately.  The contrasting elements of the blips/bleeps and uniform drone are adeptly intertwined.  If a cosmic airport exists, then this would be the music of the inhabitants.  Next, buzzing low-ends are introduced, giving the sound a sinister edge prior to dissipating.  The celestial energy is reconstituted as a placid drone.  Among my favorites is the fourth track, 'Ugly Martian'.  Hiss and crackle leads to blurred sinister sounds that fluctuate.  Warbled waves of energy are interrupted as Cray unleashes these wicked emanations smeared in hash oil and pulsating with interminable mutant vigor -excellent stuff here!  See a pattern?  Each head trip is endowed with merits.  There is not a second of wasted time on this C62. Boisterous signals expand while metallic passages of sound fray at the ends in 'Moxigene 2'.  Another layer is added along with repetitive ringing tones.  My favorite track is 'Delva', the final track on side A.  Over a nearby hill, a nascent energy pulsates mildly.  Yet, as it approaches, a panacea manifests healing vibrations that circulate like a body of unimpeded water.  Patterns emerge, glistening in the mind's eye and ensconced in serenity.  A stunning manner in which to end Side A!  The flip glows just as brightly.  Dank rhythms and tones of various hue and energy expand, jut, ascend and reverberate in the ether.  Oscillating patterns of sound expand into space.  Existing in the catacombs of the mind, an intense amalgamation of sonic energy permeates the head.  It leaves the listener stunned and dazed in an attempt to perceive and process the disparate aural components. A brief reprieve leads to a passage of virulent tones, searing currents, mutating energy and fateful droplets of sonic matter.  When in concert, the synergy of the elements is immediate and beautiful.  Moving into a different state, the next track exhibits the coming together of blips/bleeps and protruding notes of random energy.  They precipitously lose energy and wither, until being reborn, as cascading tones pulsate.  Lastly, warm tranquil waves of energy emerge and recede among playful tones.  It's a fine way to end the tape!

Like any of my favorite nugs, Digest 54 is loaded with crystals on the inside.  The attentive listener should be prepared for the harvest.   Digest 54 comes with all the love of being home-dubbed in real time.  Released in a hand-numbered, limited edition of 80 tapes, it features some of the wildest artwork yet by Csenge Csat├│.  Though it is sold out at the source, your ticket to cosmos may be procured at S.O.L Sound.

peace and love, friends :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Paul Hares - Blurred (RC70)

a tape suffused with crystal-covered vibrations.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Dense waves of blurred sound pulsate and disintegrate. Crisp beats and stuttering sonics leave one elevated in the clouds.  'Flight Over the Praire' is one of many outstanding tracks in this eclectic, fine exhibition of beat infused ambient music.  Blurred, from Paul Hares on trusty Rotifer, pulsates with vitality and variety. This tape is full of crisp beats, dank rhythms and mutating ambient soundscapes.  A tape endowed with profuse vacillations, the listener is guided through a myriad of sonic environments that are discernible by texture, pace and style among other things.  The artwork is informative. Once the celestial gateway in your mind is thrust open, the deluge of ideas appears infinite.  The 18 zoners on this tape encompass many styles including spacey/cosmic; mystical; tropical; warm ambient; and eastern tinged.  Admirers of Manual; Khonnor; BOC; and OPN among others will be in for a head trip!

The differing moods and styles employed make this tape glisten among its peers.  Exquisite ambient warmth resonates among expansive synth and beats that hang heavy in the third track, 'Morning Dew'.  'Monsoon Rains', the fifth track, moves in a different direction.  Opaque, blurred sounds gently caress the listener's head.  With head in the cosmos, one notices burgeoning ominous currents that manifest furtively.  The slight, yet perceptible, shift in mood is done adeptly.  Crisp, potent beats coalesce with submerged warm oscillations and low-ends in 'Power of Love'.  Meanwhile, 'Autism', the second to last track on side A, has a tropical feel.  Comprised of cascading, solitary tones and engaging beats, it's yet another facet in the bulging sonic repertoire of the artist.  'Amsterdam Trip' is a fine way to settle into the flip.  Billowing clouds of sideways sounds, blurred structures and plodding rhythms illuminate the head.  One of my favorites is the eastern tinged 'Landing on the Desert', which could be some type of mutant electronic homage in the cosmos to Willie Lane.  Few tracks exist in the rare air of 'Carotid Labyrinth'.  Soporific, blurred sounds fluctuate among a grainy backdrop, propulsive beats and low ends smeared in trichomes.  One of the better electronic tapes I have heard this year.

Along with the Iasos tape from Rotifer, Blurred sits in trichome heaven and is highly recommended.  Produced in a limited edition of 50 professionally duplicated cassettes with great artwork and an insert, Blurred may be procured directly from Rotifer.

peace and love, friends :)  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Golden Pawn - This Lake is a Misty Mirror (SS17)

music with which to embrace the day.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Tranquil synth, piano and guitar paeans, with a brief - and thoroughly enjoyable - detour through crystal-covered environs transform the day.  Gentle, benevolent passages of sound caress your head as the morning comes into the day.  The second outing from Golden Pawn, on Space Slave, is the kind of music that one takes with them throughout the day.  This Lake is a Misty Mirror finds Mark Kuykendall, of The New Honey Shade, Andrew Bones, and Scissor Tail Records and Talk West head honcho, Dylan Golden Aycock disseminating idyllic, serene vibrations.  Being familiar with Dylan and Mark's solo output, I'm not surprised by the synergy.  Yet, it's more beautiful than I previously imagined.  Exquisite ambient music manifests in ways in which one cannot imagine. And, that's the story here as hazy warmth slowly envelops the room, billowing with each breath.  Even more, one can discern that much effort went into realizing the beauty of these tracks.

'Rolie Polie' opens the tape as opaque, hazy notes reverberate and tingle among field recordings.  There is a comfortable, languorous pace to this track.  Resonant beams of soothing sound jut out from this hiss to illuminate the mix.  Especially near the end, the adept use of space augments the lovely sounds.  In the second track, 'Golden Pond' Rhodes like tones  swell and glisten in the presence of idyllic instrumentation.  The last track on side A, 'Deccahondricondle', differs from the others.  Incipient energy slowly asserts itself with echoing voluminous tones that ripple prior to descending - similar to some of Miles Davis' melancholy moments.  Soon heady rhythms and cosmic synth pervade the track.  The rhythms disappear, and a drone shimmers while being circumscribed by oscillations - my favorite track!  The flip contains the sidelong title track, 'This Lake is a Misty Mirror'.  I could listen to this track on repeat throughout the day.  There is a quiescent beauty about this track.   Gentle guitars combine with piano that glistens.  Poignancy becomes audible in the middle.  Yet, the flowering gentleness still shines through the surface.

Unequivocally top shelf vibes on this tape. I thoroughly enjoyed the eclectic batch to which this tape belongs.  Released in an edition of 50 with hand-painted stock, it is sold out at the source.  However, Meditations still has the tape in stock.  A special tape on a blossoming label, it deserves ones full attention.
peace and love, friends :)