Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ua Yenoh Cry Cry / Space and Order (Orl 17)

spiritual zoners. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Bows of obeisance are a harbinger that beget astral inundations. For 40 minutes analog waves mutate and assume copious forms. As a listener, these otherworldly passages offer an intriguing study in sound. Space and Order, the first full length release from Big Blood's Shon Mahoney, is something in which to immerse oneself. On this tape from Orila Records, Shon utilizes a combination of keyboards and physical instruments to conjure celestial vibrations that populate the listener's sky. Space and Order exhibits a lovely confluence of psychedelic and minimalist sound. These instances are sonically potent.

Immediately, a soothing drone abuts enigmatic fluctuations. As the drone morphs, a section of animated notes become audible. The second track on side A hits the Honest Bag sweet spot, displaying the aforementioned character of the tape. Drones, touching on the beauty of Eliane Radigue, are surrounded by cosmic signals and noise. Toward the end of the side A, peaceful echoes from the periphery move more proximate, exhibiting a character that is opaque, yet vibrant and lustrous to an extent. The flipside starts strongly. Charred, sustained layers of keys are interceded by poignant manifestations. The drone writhes, displaying an irregular form - visceral, as one can almost feel the sound disintegrating, flecks of energy pierce the listener's body.

Produced in a limited edition of 100 pro-dubbed tapes, the artwork is by Shon Mahoney and the sleeve design by Coleen Kinsella. Space and Order may be purchased directly from Orila, or through Tomentosa.
peace and love, friends :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Space Slave November Batch ---- Righteous Acid - S/T (Space Slave 29) and Stag Hare - Angel Tech (Space Slave 30)

A Space Slave soundtrack to purps heaven. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Much like the Purple Skunk, with each batch of tapes Carl from Space Slave promulgates a distilled, effervescent elixir that represents some of the most heady experimental analog vibes around. The last batch was epic and is still spinning in my trusty tape deck - Clime, 4-way Swim Trunks split, and Cape and Cowl were among my faves. As the end of year approaches, Space Slave blesses us with two great tapes, both with artwork by Phil French, from Righteous Acid and Stag Hare. Once Space Slave shoots you into the stars with the hash oil heaven jams of Righteous Acid, Stag Hare is the medicine that maintains elevation - and oh, the sites on this ethereal ride are fascinating. Stag Hare weaves a dreamy mix of new age and ambient/drone experimental jams.

 It is a two part party: first one goes to indica heaven with Righteous Acid - proper fuel for a quick, steep ascent! The self-titled cassette possesses a heavy hitting dose of psych with waves of percussion and funk that emit clouds of wah crystals. Righteous Acid, the psych project of Alex Sarad - who also plays percussion in Invisible Astral Healing Rhythm Quartet - boasts lovely, varied rhythms and impressive, vibrant fretwork. Throughout the self-titled cassette, the seamless transitions in mood make the sonic scenery sparkle. This nug has a little of everything, from mellow and serene to cosmic and spacey. Side A begets soothing vibrations immediately. Zenith piercing riffs appear toward the end. Mesmerizing rhythms are ubiquitous; they infuse the atmosphere with beauty in track 3. Light and airy sonics are the perfect match for entrancing rhythms and sporadic whistles. For me, the beginning of side B is analogous to blindly reaching into the bag and pulling a crystal-covered bud of goodness. Drifting through the omnipotent stillness of the cosmos, waves of wah vibrations ripple toward the abyss. This is highly recommended for all of you astral explorers! Funky vibes and rhythms create a lively platform for the blistering fretwork that appears near the end in track 3 on the flip.

Now that you are properly feeling good and lifted, Stag Hare accelerates one into enthralling and constantly morphing environments. Ethereal vibrations abound as copious rhythms coalesce with healing energy. According to the insert, Angel Tech consists of precursor tracks to a larger project. Unique to this edition, these peaceful vibes will eventually manifest in copious ways. Angel Tech weaves a dreamy tapestry consisting of new age, ambient, drone, and experimental vibrations. Certainly, this is music to accompany one in the moment, and I would recommend listening attentively to these meditative sojourns. As side A commences a burst of glistening energy, once nascent, becomes palpable - it modulates serenely. An incipient drone grows in strength and warmth - embraces one's body. Buoyant layers are interspersed with lively, and even at times, propulsive rhythms. Prepare for flowing unfettered waves of benevolent energy. In the second track, a torpid passage vacillates in the sonic breeze. Suddenly, varied and driving rhythms give the music another dimension, which juxtaposes nicely to the ambient and somewhat somber feel of the track. On the flipside, burgeoning vibrations become ethereal waves that drift placidly. A deluge of lustrous waves approach with fervor - awesome energy here. Going forward in the next track, tranquil beats and embryonic warm drone encompass one. Sustained reverberations are joined by peaceful layers of electronics. Shortly, the tempo increases in accordance with the rhythms, prior to drifting off with a blissful drone.    

Sitting pretty on my top shelf - and in my healing kit - Space Slave tapes are essential for fellow tape enthusiasts. Therefore, grab these two while they are available from thee source. Produced in a limited edition of 100 home-duplicated tapes, the next batch of Space Slave will be available to purchase on November 26.

peace and love, friends :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Headboggle and Vibrating Garbage - Untitled (BOTR019)

the dankest party happening in your head.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

You're here, and now it's time to party! Lately, I cannot get enough of this sativa-fueled nug between Bay Area sound artists and noise brothers Headboggle and Greg Garbage, the latter of whom has been featured many times in this trichome-covered stash of supreme vibrations. This cassette is the result of a rehearsal for a one-off collaborative performance in 2012. With Headboggle utilizing Ciat-Lonbarde/ Blippoo and Greg Garbage on MFB/ 606 these electronic zoners explode, streaking across the starry night sky, disseminating its payload on those ready for its heavy-duty vibe. This collaboration emits ubiquitous energy which infuses the surroundings with entrancing, and sometimes funky vibrations that keep your head nodding. 

Despite the symmetrically timed sides, there's nothing even or balanced about these electronic serpents which accelerate, writhe, and contort willfully through one's environment. All one can do is allow the spectacular vibe to play out. On side A, grainy transmissions and deep beats are joined by electronics which vacillate, and increasingly driven rhythms. A confluence of stuttering, hissing, and echoing noise abuts synth that exhibits myriad textures. Suddenly, we drift through some vague spaces prior to being infused with high flying, lively energy. The end of side A is outstanding. Upon reaching the apex, waves of aural energy grace one - lovely! The flip continues the trip. Heavy, periodic beats and incipient energy gradually gain strength as side B commences. Later, the mood turns eerie, leaving one isolated. Shortly, scrambled signals and a wall of noise threaten as it juts, bubbles, screeches and swirls. 

Produced in a limited edition of 80 pro-imprinted and pro-duplicated chrome cassettes, the artwork is by Greg Garbage, and the layout and design assistance credited to Paul Browning. Your ticket to lifted times may be found directly from Beer on the Rug or through Tomentosa!     

peace and love, friends :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Widesky - Floatsam (Bridgetown #91)

meditations on sound. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Floatsam, from Bridgetown's summer batch, is music that mesmerizes the head. Widesky is the musical project of musician and multimedia artist, Seth Chrisman. Disparate elements such as processed instruments, field recordings, found sound and radio static coalesce into enthralling drones; minimal passages of reverberating noise; and expansive, opaque passages of modulating warmth. Sometimes the music takes on a turbulent or blustery character as one is bandied about in the sonic breeze. At other times, it churns and ascends hazily as the sound perpetually shifts. Rooted in a sense of place, I find these compositions to be experiential. Closing one's eyes, the unremitting waves eviscerate the levy/filter in your head, showering one in radiant aural light.

 As the cassette begins, the listener is submerged in undulating waves of various intensity and solemn drones that move tortuously. Of particular delight is the emphasis on exploring texture. The transition from 'Floatsam part 1' to part 2 is lovely. Nascent tranquility manifests prior to being consumed by a noisy vortex. In 'Jetsam', a deluge of hiss-covered drones refract as they contact the water to produce hazy and luminous vibrations. 'Coriolis' opens the flipside. Elegiac and introspective drones reverberate as we peer down at the rotating earth. This track provides a nice contrast to some of the more intense, yet just as beautiful, moments on side A. Moving more proximate to the water, the last track, 'Gyres', ensconces the listener in grainy noise and colossal, animated waves of great magnitude.                  

A lovely tape, and just the type of thing one expects from Bridgetown. A first edition of 50 cassettes sold out quickly. Fortunately for us, a second edition of 50 cream colored tapes has been released. Featuring full-color labels and double-sided printing on heavyweight gloss stock, Floatsam may be purchased directly from Bridgetown.

peace and love, friends :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kroykah - Holy Turns Homely (HF01)

Guide Me Little Tape! Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)  

Moments such as this are a reason to smile. Over the last few years, there have been several instances of excellent music writers/experimental music sites extending their passion into the realm of the tape label. A few of those include my good friends Crawf (Planted Tapes - Tome To The Weather Machine, Decoder, TMT); Carl (Space Slave Editions - The Radiant Now); and Steve (Jehu and Chinaman - Decoder). Each of the aforementioned has blossomed due to their inherent passion for tapes and experimental music. Carl's label, Space Slave, is one of my favorites. Space Slave's last batch, cumulatively, is one of the best of the year.

Now, one of the most informative experimental music sites, Guide Me Little Tape, has created the in-house label, Horror Fiction Tapes. Instantly, one can perceive the love and dedication put into these tapes. This is the advent of something exciting for those who enjoy experimental cassettes. Horror Fiction releases are meticulously hand-crafted and feature innovative inserts in the form of pages from mass market novels - I couldn't help but read the engaging writing of David J. Skal while listening to Kroykah's latest release. However, the most impressive thing about Horror Fiction Tapes are the sonic vibrations on offer. The first two releases on Horror Fiction - tape bundles already sold out - involve sprawling guitar burners and experimental jams marked by disquiet and poignancy.
A few tracks in, the listener is consumed by poignant, fateful and foreboding vibrations that manifest in myriad ways. Sometimes downright chilling or morose; at other times the tape assumes the form of a sullen figure whose contour pulsates with the faint glow of hope. Holy Turns Homely, the initial release on Horror Fiction Tapes from Vancouver-based sound artist, Tanner Lobey (Kroykah), has a tremendous amount of sonic depth that moves ephemerally. For me, that's my favorite aspect of Holy Turns Homely: the manner in which the artist explores ideas using a vibrant sonic palette. No track sounds alike. As the tape commences, bleak reverberations fray as they ascend. Shortly, somewhat uplifting and hopeful layers modulate in the listener's head-space. In the next track, copious signals swell and flicker with their dimensions palpable in varying shades of light. Hold on though, because the sonic vacuum awaits in the next track. As we float towards the void, fateful palpitations become increasingly visceral - one of my favorite tracks. Hazy clouds comprised of blinding ambiance slowly expand, occasionally burrowing into opaque regions as side A comes to a close. Signals vacillate wildly as the flip begins. Shortly, melancholy vibrations abut percussive echos. Moving towards the latter part of side B, disquiet consumes the listener as a deluge of chimes and notes create a flurry of brisk currents. Hazy frequencies and noise - similar to a spinning radio dial - lead into the last track. The fourth track on side B is lovely. Haunting ambiance swirls in clouds of trembling apprehension that cloak the navy blue night sky. Ominous and mournful, it's icy figure arrives in the form of woozy, bleak waves.

Both HF01 and HF02 have me excited about the next batch! Holy Turns Homely is released in an edition of 35 hand-stamped copies. Professionally dubbed on chrome tapes, the inserts were duplicated on pages of the 1980's novel, Scavengers, by David J. Skal. One remaining copy is available directly from Horror Fiction.
peace and love, friends :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Romannis Mötte - Kozmische (FEF14)

high as a kite with this cosmic nug!  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

The music of Romannis Mötte is fuel for sonic explorers, leading to a gateway of heightened aural perceptions. Transitory expeditions enriched with slowly unfolding, spacious and vibrant soundscapes shimmer for the duration. A long burning light guides the listener through two sides of intricate kosmische zoners. Romannis Mötte is the project of Chad Davis (Hour of 13, U.S. Christmas). Kozmische - issued on Fort Evil Fruit and the only release of Romannis Mötte - is the culmination of recording from 2005-13. As suggested by the title, the project is influenced by kosmische luminaries such as Klaus Schulze, Manuel Göttsching and Tangerine Dream. The first two tracks on side A are contrasted in mood, but exhibit Davis' adept composition skills, along with the use of texture and space; something to which the attentive listener will become accustomed over the 50+ minute trip.

  Track 1 on side is among my favorites of 8 excellent tracks. Sonic energy burrows into the clouds, producing blurred radiance. Shortly, the room is blessed with brilliant, churning energy - riding the crest of a beautiful wave. Racy synth, resonant and edgy, is occasionally joined by solemn, sustained layers in the third track. The last track on side A is fascinating. Mysterious and ominous vibrations wallow, and one can hear shrieks in the distance. Each track is a slowly unfolding story. Subtle changes abound throughout. Yet, on this track there is a dynamism present that witnesses a lovely transition. Crystalline layers of sustained serenity gently soar among propulsive rhythms and effervescent tones. Nascent, sinister vibrations surround one as the flipside commences. As it plateaus somewhat, the energy whirs prior to the introduction of elegiac synth and spacey sounds. Lively, opaque synth lights a path through the stars in the second track on side B.  Kozmische ends brightly, as we ascend into the light among peaceful, soothing synth.        

Kozmische glistens like faithful Popeye! Straight from the top shelf to your unsuspecting head, Davis' composition skill is omnipresent throughout. Subtle changes introduce new elements into already compelling, slowly unfolding soundscapes. Therefore, I suggest listening attentively.  Kozmische is limited to 100 hand-numbered copies in clear purple cassette shells. Though it is sold out from Fort Evil Fruit and unavailable through No Magic Man, Kozmische is available from a discogs seller. This is merely an option for those interested. Also, Kozmische has been recently re-issued on lp, by Phantom Records.

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monte - Index (Dept04)

ear candy.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

A vestige of some spaced-out escapade reappearing in ambiguous form many years later, Index from Monte on Department Tapes is ear candy for those who enjoy blissful, cosmic and mysterious synth. Having the fidelity of a distant dream, Monte bestows two sides of blurry ambient vibrations and field recordings. I have been playing this tape everyday for the past week or so.  One reason is the mysterious nature, which is almost palpable after each listen. An engaging tape, no single element dominates the sound. Index has an intriguing sonic blend, ranging from deep blue mystical synth zoners/sci-fi passages to tranquil drones.

As side A begins there is a lovely juxtaposition of organic sound and multifaceted passages of warm, cloaked energy. Softly ascending synth and field recordings of water soon give way to a warm climate in which arpeggios fervently ride the contour of a radiant wave. Shortly, we jettison to the cosmos where mesmerizing oscillations orbit the head. Quickly moving arpeggios accelerate, becoming a brilliant stream of energy which quivers vigorously. Placid drone and relaxing loops end side A in style. Blurred loops animate among grainy bird calls as the flipside begins - lovely! The next track is completely unexpected. It has a blown out electronic Tracey Trance vibe. After that excellent departure, we land in nug heaven as soft ambient waves modulate uninhibitedly. Withdrawn rhythms hit the head like a lazy breeze.

Of all the tapes I purchased from the last Tomentosa update, Index is the one that I listen to most. There is not much known about Monte, and this cassette is extremely limited - 30 copies.  I'm very impressed with the sounds on the label and anticipating the next batch.  Mostly likely, the last few copies are available from Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Rafi Bookstaber - Still Way (Azriel 10)

intimate moments.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Omnipresent, patient meditations that are tethered to the breath permeate the head and heart with ease. Earthly tones echo in the vastness as the sun-stroked body revels in gently flowing streams of loving kindness. For me, the art of Rafi Bookstaber is among the most prominent in contemporary folk/psych music. Still Way, on Azriel, is analogous to watching heavenly light pass through a filament. The hues and textures comparable to Rafi's undulating tranquil stringed vibrations that caress the head. Over both sides sparse passages slowly unfold before refracting in copious directions, circumscribing the body in benevolent energy. A member of Death Chants, the Wolfpack, Mendocino, and Aswara, Rafi's solo recordings on Azriel and Humito are some of the most trichome-covered in the honest bag healing kit. When one has to temporarily retreat from the moment, these vibrations provide a convalescent setting. Still Way will spin on repeat in the decks of those who enjoy Sandy Bull, Willie Lane and other like-minded travelers.

A limited cassette for which little information is available, Still Way may be purchased from Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tipow - Dust From Ancient Holographs (Worn Habit no. 11)

purps and Tipow =  haze for daze and transitory trips.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Dust From Ancient Holographs is the type of tape where the artwork and sonic matter align perfectly. Even before entering the zone of Tipow, the beautiful and mystical artwork engrossed me for a while - probably the best that I have encountered this year. Then, upon entering the portal, all one can sense is the next step. Shrouded in opaque, ambient transmissions from various sources, Dust From Ancient Holographs, on Worn Habit slowly expands throughout one's head. Comprised of degraded tape manipulations and lofi guitar excursions, this is the debut tape from the duo of Josh Tippery - Royallen, Reefer Tree, Perspectives and more - and label proprietor, Michael Pouw.  Given that I believe this tape to be highly experiential, a parsimonious review follows.

Dusty tones ripple in a snowstorm of oscillations and hiss, as side A begins.  Ambient sound from a bygone era shifts in the aural light. Ethereal, yet caught in a gauzy web. Tape moves turn eerie until being subsumed by a sea of hiss. Near the end of A, lightly echoing tones ripple to the boundary awareness - my favorite part on side A. There really is nothing quite like the beginning of the flipside. As side B move into motion, a tape sample of an overt, religious freak with an authoritative voice speaks passionately: "because you act on what you believe, you receive." As the subject's myopic voice degrades into blurred waves, one is placed under the spell of something that can be described as elegiac, ruminative, and mysterious. Grainy and torpid, these otherworldly emanations swell like clouds of indica haze.

Buy this tape, and one will receive the comprehensive Worn Habit experience. First, the foldout style inserts are among my favorite from any label. Each Worn Habit tape that I have purchased contains lovely artwork, which is just as much a part of the experience as the music. Produced in small editions with lots of love, this tape is already sold out at the source. Dust From Ancient Holographs may be purchased from Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)