Monday, September 30, 2013

Xiphiidae - Quaking Myth (Zorn33)

I'm at the peak of kush mountain, and Quaking Myth is the dollop of kief that delivers us into the light.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :) 

 The initial revolutions of Quaking Myth encapsulate the qualities that I tend to seek in music - and really, that can be said of the entire record.  There is undeniably something special occurring in those nascent rotations, which finds the listener eager to immerse themselves.  Hazy, lo-fi wonders meander and multiply, quickly expanding throughout the head.  Xiphiidae is the project of Housecraft proprietor, Jeffry Astin.  Originally released by Housecraft in 2010, Quaking Myth receives the vinyl treatment from Aguirre Records.  The music is a lovely amalgamation of many different styles and influences.  Aguirre's description is right on: "...broad influences from modern and ethnic drone, tape music, music concrète, kosmische and lo-fi, among others."  The stunning artwork speaks to the music. 

  A sequence of ephemeral and variegated waves undulate, piercing the dome and refracting in myriad directions.  Shortly, vivid colors merge in the shifting autumn light.  Track 1 on Side A is a conduit to awareness.  Swollen passages of benevolent sound engulf the listener.  Patterns and shapes begin to pulsate merge, dissociate, and recede into the haze.  There is a wonderful progression throughout from the solemn to the more ascendant - this track is played on repeat in the house.  The flipside delves into the qualities that make this project great.  Instantly, one is catapult into a misty forest of garbled tapes, minimal and foreboding drone, and sinister rhythms.  The following track is imbued with hypnotic rhythms, field recordings and airy incantations.  Finally, a buoyant drone progressively expands; prodigious rays of aural energy abut robust and resonant sound - intense and lovely!  However, toward the end the sonic waves morph, becoming elongated and moving in a dreamy manner.

Top shelf vibes from Xiphiidae!  These won't be around for long.  I purchased my copy at Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Black Thread - Effulgent Angel Piss (Turmeric Magnitudes)

Drifting somewhere in the hazy rainbow among fraying threads.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Effulgent Angel Piss is the elixir of aural athletes.  A few weeks ago, I wrote about a tape replete with uplifting lo-fi nugs, Fragrant Hoof Carvings, from Black Thread on Turmeric Magnitudes.  Since then I've been able to comb the discography, which exhibits the different dimensions of this awesome project.  On this tape we're descending a few levels, which finds us ensconced in aural fog and knee deep in withering ambient loops of Effulgent Angel Piss.  

Once 'Effulgent Angel Piss' is discharged from the speakers, misty ambient loops dilate.  Shortly, there is an intriguing contrast between the luminous, lo-fi static-encrusted loop and the solemn reverberations that appear sporadically.  Minutes later, tones bleed into the other, while the sonic fidelity plummets a few levels. Undulations of hiss and static shroud the track. Yet, even as one perceives being farther away from the music, the opposite occurs;  the opaque beauty of the hazy energy radiates widely and seeps into the soul - lovely!  On the flip, a voluminous, airy tape loop ruminates in the clouds, buttressed by vibrant shapes and colors.  With the loop decaying, the listener floats in the slipstream - the austere light is blinding!  Soon, the noise becomes more intense, nearly cloaking the sounds.  As the noise subsides, we depart the clouds to enter a new atmosphere full of feedback that circumscribes streams of serenity.

 From the top shelf with love.  Black Thread creates a singular sonic environment which juxtaposes ambient tape loops and noise.  This project touches on the densely layered, haunting ambiance of Stephan Mathieu, while channeling the weathered, ambient minimalism of William Basinski.  I highly recommend the entire discography - expect to see more Black Thread nugs on this blog in the future.  One may purchase Effulgent Angel Piss directly from Turmeric Magnitudes.  Also, Black Thread tapes may be purchased from Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hellvete - Sint-Denijs (BRR245)

enthralling drones and Cali Kush trichomes!  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

After many revolutions of Sint-Denijs, the second vinyl release from Hellvete - Glen Steenkiste of Sylvester Anfang ii - on Blackest Rainbow, the uplifting sonorous waves of energy suggest one thing:  Be here now.  Over two sides of vinyl, ethereal and buoyant energy brings the listener into the moment. A captivating lp, Sint-Denijs extends a hand of friendship to the listener.  Now, this shouldn't be construed as an indication that this is an ambient or new age release.  If anything, this lp contains a welcoming, spiritual quality.  Beginning with the earliest releases in 2005/06, Hellvete continuously evolves.  Some of the latest releases, including the Crooked Tapes release, reflect the influences of minimalism and folk music from throughout the world.  In this release, Glen realizes the beauty of these sounds by employing harmonium, bowed banjo, electric tampura, and analog synth.  Throughout Sint-Denijs, Glen's prodigious soundscapes bathe the listener in august light.  And, this lp accomplishes that with a focus on subtly changing attributes, such as texture, which enrich the immense sound. Overall, the effect of Sint-Denijs is analogous to copious rays of sunlight endowing the chest with warmth.

As the needle drops, 'C-142' emits a nascent harmonium drone.  The crystalline, sustained tones shower the listener with tranquility.  Concentrated beams of energy allow the listener to watch the breath flower in the moment.  With time, the sustained tones become more robust and the shifting details audible - music that elevates the soul.  On the flip, 'G-356' places the listener in a trance, beginning with loops of electric tampura that permeate the head.  Shortly, the pace increases.  Within a minute, the addition of harmonium and synth proves hypnotic.  At the end, reflections on the beginning manifest as undulations of electric tampura embrace the listener - my favorite track on the lp.        

Sint-Denijs is the fast acting sonic medicine in the Honest Bag healing it.  If today I could do one thing to make a positive difference in the life of a friend, then I would introduce them to Sint-Denijs.  To learn more about Hellvete, read this interview on Decoder.  With a quickly dwindling supply, only 8 copies of the 180 gram frosted clear vinyl remain - the black vinyl is sold out. Before Sint-Denijs goes OOP, purchase a copy directly from Blackest Rainbow.

peace and love, friends :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Imperfect Masters - This Humanly Mess: Music of El Cerrito for Clarinet and Boot, Vol. #23 (fon35)

voluminous, woozy sounds that breath life into the night.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

  Even prior to experiencing this tape, the story on the back of the j-card proved intriguing; I pondered the words for a long time, continuously re-reading them.  Under the radiant energy of the crescent moon, a beautiful amalgamation of tones from two adept improvisers begins to slowly drift into the listener's head-space.  Throughout This Humanly Mess: Music of El Cerrito for Clarinet and Boot, Vol. #23, on Full of Nothing, a bucolic vibe is emitted.  Imperfect Masters is the duo of Robert Horton and Dan Plonsey.  Robert Horton is known for creating musical instruments, one of which, the boot, features on this release.  The boot is a four string slide instrument. His partner on this release, Dan Plonsey, is a renown composer and saxophonist - though he utilizes the clarinet on this release.

Upon pressing play, these skilled improvisers seem the perfect match: the woozy strings of Horton intersect perfectly with the soporific, slowly expanding sound emitted from the clarinet.  In the next track, droning strings vacillate uninhibitedly in the background. Plonsey's clarinet ascends ever so gently at the beginning before matching Horton's energy with fluctuating tones.  There is a lovely intersection of jazz and blues in the third track.  The resonant strings of the acoustic boot coalesce nicely with the hovering clarinet. On the fourth track of side A, drone and boot combine with the soft emanations of the clarinet.  Droning and resonant strings create the perfect backdrop for the diffuse - and at times coiling - clarinet, which envelops the head like indica haze - one of my favorite tracks on the tape.  Frenzied strings abound at the beginning of the second track on the flip.  Shortly, Plonsey's clarinet howls - yet, not too aggressively - while scraped strings exist in the back of the mix.  In the last track, energy slowly exudes from the clarinet - quiet stillness engulfs the listener as strings wobble gently.  Before long, the boot oscillates, becoming more prominent.             

Lately, I've been listening to this on the porch under the starry sky and luminous moonlight - nice conditions for these vibes.  This Humanly Mess: Music of El Cerrito for Clarinet and Boot, Vol. #23 is highly recommended. Produced on red, transparent tapes with lovely artwork provided by Ivan Afanasyev, this tape is sold out at the source.  However, Tomentosa always has the goods.  One may purchase This Humanly Mess: Music of El Cerrito for Clarinet and Boot, Vol. #23,   from Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tuluum Shimmering - Before Us Is Our Ocean (RC74)

Dank, serene vibrations for your day in the sun.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

As gentle vocals swell adjacent to mellow strings, one can almost perceive the cool breeze from the ocean and the enveloping sun. The loop-driven music of Tuluum Shimmering possesses a luminous aura and a gentle nature.  With loops of mellifluous vibrations permeating the listener's head, the releases from Tuluum Shimmering have the sonic feeling of being nearby.  And, the scope of Tuluum Shimmering's sound is wide.  Where the dreamy undulations of Ulau Tau/Spirit of The Sun emitted hazy ritualistic vibrations, Before Us Is Our Ocean, on Rotifer Cassettes, presents an idyllic sonic setting for the listener.  Loops of sweetly flowing vocals, strings and percussion become hypnotic.  Words do not do justice to the ubiquitous beauty of Tuluum Shimmering.

Before Us Is Our Ocean is buoyant and will put your head at ease.  Only 5 more copies remain.  One may purchase this tape through Rotifer.
peace and love, friends :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Lace Bows - Bows of Summer (ExoTape016)

summer purps bring the haze for daze!  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

As variegated leaves flutter in the air and descend to the ground - their texture changing with the time - the vivid experimental sound collages of Lace Bows engulf the body, producing moments of elation as well as a yearning desire for the past.  Lace Bows is adept at combining disparate elements into a cohesive, breathing whole.  The act of integrating strands of ambient music, tape loops/tape music and field recordings is done perfectly.  If you enjoyed the SCKE// tape from last year, then you will find a lot to love here.  Bows of Summer, from Exo Tapes, is the frosty nug your head needs for waning days of summer.

Without hesitation, the first track unleashes prodigious layers of warm sound.  As the sonorous layers reverberate, the layers fray at the edges and metamorphose into rays of healing energy, which are tethered to solemn, sustained tones.  The second track sounds like festive beach music heard from afar.  Loops of serene sound are cloaked in musty haze.  Later, a section of strings becomes ensconced in hazy loops and begins to decompose.  Toward the end of the track, as the veil is lifted, funky,soulful vibes abound.  In the next track, shifting currents of light ambiance slowly expand.  With time, the sound becomes more cohesive and concentrated in the hazy atmosphere.  Almost three minutes in, the track achieves a wonderful balance with peaceful reverberations coalescing with field recordings - the moonlight glistening on the water.  'Christmas Sun' has a different feel, as sonic sparks are emitted from a crackling drone.  Shortly, cascading energy abuts ethereal strings.  Hazy, decomposing samples transform into a pulsating beam of warm, meandering sound in, 'Lakes in Moon'.  Soon, twinkling droplets of peaceful sound shimmer in the soft light, while a flute flutters in oscillations.  The last track, '40 Summers Left' is one of the most beautiful on the tape.  Clouds of haze subsume tender sonic energy and field recordings.        

Friends, this site was created to celebrate this type of music.  Exo is one of the best, and Bows of Summer  is the crystal-covered nug which will bring the good, deep vibe like few others.  Produced in an edition of 25 tapes, with artwork by Whatever™, it is sold out at the source and through Meditations.
.  However, always dependable Tomentosa may have a few of these eventually.  In the interim, dig the digital tracks - one of the best tapes of the year.

peace and love, friends :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Parallives - Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit (ExoTape014)

Sweet sativa!  Soothing and hypnotic top shelf vibes from Lace Bows and Former Selves.  Friends, along with this wonderful tape, the most important thing that I can express is to keep Humboldt Relief in your heart and thoughts during these tough times.  Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief - you are always in my heart and thoughts :)           

A collaboration as strong as Lace Bows and Former Selves does not emerge often.  Moreover, it is even less likely that the sonic results of a collaboration illuminate the best attributes of each artist in a manner that creates something singular.  Yet, this tape accomplishes the feat of bringing together two creative and talented musicians.  Lace Bows is a wonderful manipulator of sound, creating evocative sound collages which exist under a layer of haze.  The lovely paeans on Bows of Summer, engulfed in dense sonic bliss, resonate warmly.  It's one of the best tapes around, and a review is forthcoming.  There are few artists that operate in the realm in which Former Selves resides.  Calico Sunset is one of the most beautiful tapes released this year.  Therefore, the synergy sounds fantastic - hazy loops, soothing drones, solemn notes and moments of elation.  Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit, from Parallives on Exo Tapes, is hopefully the first of many tapes from this talented duo!

A nascent drone emerges from sonic flashes.  Passages of ethereal sound pervade the head with a sense of immediacy; tape hiss and loops are in the background. Subsequent to a section of opaque transmissions, the track proceeds to some of the most mellifluous stuff of the year.  Pastoral drones and sun imbued tones glisten in the morning light.  The corresponding energy from the beginning manifests once again, bringing awareness into the enveloping light of day.  On the flipside, a loop abuts an inchoate drone, radiant even at a distance.  An edifying drone resonates vividly.  Slowly, a section of emotionally resonant notes protrude lightly among samples and loops.  As the track appears to crest in a sea of samples and loops, there is a subtle shift to sounds of cascading water and copious layers of peaceful sound.  Shortly, the myriad sources of sound coalesce into a hazy sonic being that orbits the head - stunning!

With artwork by Whatever™, Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit is limited to 50 tapes.  Sold out at the source, secure one of the last remaining copies at Tomentosa.
peace and love, friends :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I am Just a Pupil - I Don't Know Yet (dbt. XXIV)

Humboldt Relief is in my heart during these tough times.  Please keep them in your heart, too. Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

This tape here is a fine example of taking a chance without knowing or hearing anything.  When one browses the selections at places like Eclipse or Tomentosa, there is almost always an opportunity to find a hidden gem.  That's the case on I Don't Know Yet, by I am Just a Pupil on Diatom Bath.  Aside from a bandcamp page, there's a dearth of information available on the artist.  The artwork is suggestive of the contents, which generally consist of warm, lofi nugs that exhibit an expansive quality.  I like the speed at which this tape travels, which is nice and easy. 

 Soon after pressing play, ambient vibrations and loops turn hypnotic as shapes begin to manifest from the contrast of plodding tones and lighter, more lively sonics.  This music gives proper notice to your head - good times are here.  I really dig the second track, which in a way touches on the hazy, visceral warmth of the Khonnor Typewriting ep on Type Records from nearly 10 years ago.  The track begins as Twinkling tones, opaque waves, and buoyant vocal drone begin to expand through the environment.  Together the elements are like the haze from my favorite top shelf smoke.  Shortly, the vibe escalates, finds stasis and hazily drifts.  Present in this track, as well as the others, is a proclivity for subtle change that create discernibly beautiful patterns of sound.   Unexpectedly, the flip shortly departs from the warm ambient vibe; instead, the listener is confronted with intense, unpredictable thrusts of violent sound mixed with faint pulsations.  As a whole, it churns and creates cycles of energy.  At this point, the sound exists under a veil; and, before long, sun imbued tones vacillate contiguously to a drone.  Discernibly, the tempo shifts down a few levels before inundating the listener with layers of fiercely reverberating sound.   

In total, this is a great tape from a nice looking label.  Diatom Bath already has put out a bunch of quality releases, with a slew of intriguing stuff planned for the future.  No soundclips available, but that should be an incentive to purchase the tape. Buy it before it goes OOP at Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sandy Bull - E Pluribus Unum (SP1002)

right nug for the times.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Sandy Bull certainly traveled a unique path. His musical language continued to evolve with each release. Sonically, it is edifying and pleasing to the soul.  Fantasias and Inventions were imbued by elements of jazz; folk; Arabic, Pakistani, and Hindu music, Bach and more.  More than the genres referenced in a particular release, these records illuminate the pathway he traveled, the sounds that he heard in his head.  As Bull said after Inventions, "I'm going to see where all this leads me...I mean I'm going to keep on listening for what is going to come out of all the kinds of music that reach me, some of which I'm able to join together and others that I haven't been able to fuse yet."  E Pluribus Unum, Bull's third release for Vanguard and most recently reissued by Sutro Park, witnesses him going for a more psychedelic sound compared to Fantasias and Inventions - the artwork alone gets me excited!  On E Pluribus Unum, Bull primarily uses electric guitar with the output split into amplifiers four ways, oud, and percussion.  The results somewhat resemble the energy heard in Bull's cover of Chuck Berry's, 'Memphis Tennessee'.  This is a recording that puts me at ease, as the music flows easily without constraint.  Personally, it's my favorite Bull release and something that I listen to weekly.

E Pluribus Unum may be purchased through Amazon.
peace and love, friends :)

thanks to Rare Recordings for the sweet vibes!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Reuben Sawyer - Constricting Realities (PURR030)

This one brings the peace; and Humboldt Relief always brings the love!  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Constricting Realities floods an austere environment with encompassing vibrancy.  An aggregate comprised of myriad shimmering layers of peaceful energy.  Layers of sound billow, approaching the listener in a dreamy manner.  Aural euphoria circumscribes the listener for the entirety of Constricting Realities, by Reuben Sawyer on Constellation Tatsu.  There is a perspicacious awareness to texture and tone throughout.  This is right up there with Kyle Landstra's lovely Cosmic Winnetou tape in the ambient realm of experimental music. In the first track, a gradually expanding and voluminous drone places the listener in a state of elation. Early in the second track, a nascent resonance develops rapidly.  Multiple layers of vibrating sound caress the listener.  Warm energy cascades, drenching the listener in bliss.  The sound in the environment experiences several metamorphoses.  Instances of gentle currents subsumed by soft drones and unrestrained reverberating tones are performed adroitly.  Pure mediation music follows in the last track of side A, as heavenly energy abounds.  The flip is the same trip.  Elements slowly coalesce and undulate.  Shortly, the listener is besieged by celestial vibrations.  The last track is awesome, and much different than the previous ones.  This one commences with some of the most aggressive sound on the tape prior to making the transition into a tranquil climate - slow ascent of the sun.

Highly recommended, Constricting Realities is available directly from Constellation Tatsu.

peace and love, friends :) 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ø+yn - Tentaculeando A La Puna (TP#6)

crystal-covered zoners!  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :) the Honest Bag wouldn't be around were it not for their generosity and kindness.

 The most expeditious route to the head occurs when Ø+yn, a experimental psych/folk collective from Cordoba, Argentina, is the sonic vehicle of choice.  Once these acoustic vibrations permeate the head, they maneuver with ease like dank, potent indica.  Taken as a whole, Tentaculeando A La Puna on Taping Policies is an intense and extremely resonant release; and, I will venture to state that the aforementioned begets an enriching, vivid experience.  The Brutalizer nugshot above is apt to describe this music.  Physically, Brutalizer is variegated, dense with many crystal-covered layers, and exhibits glistening hairs.  Those characteristics correspond to the sonic realm in which Ø+yn inhabit .  Ø+yn's acoustic psych paeans are plentiful.  For over 40 minutes the soul is the recipient of copious, edifying vibrations.  Sometimes the atmosphere is consuming and violent.  Yet, at other times Ø+yn exists placidly in the head - the flipside contains sparse and beautiful moments.  All of this leads to my favorite aspect of this tape - the manner in which the innate beauty of this collective embraces the listener.  There is a fraternal nature to this music, which makes one feel connected and involved.  The heavenly vocal drone and percussion of the beginning give way to gentle waves of mandolin.  At other times, the incantations are piercing as a haunting violin traces the quivering breath.  At the end of side A, the listener is treated to a beautiful array of voices that coalesce among the lovely percussion.  On the flipside, serene vibrations from gently plucked strings are contrasted to violin that vacillates wildly.  Later, lovely bells serenade scraped strings and tender violin.  The deluge of strings at the end serve to slow the breath - magnificent!

Taping Policies is one of my favorite labels - Thurston Moore cassette in the future - and Tentaculeando A La Puna is highly recommended.  Released on pea green cassettes with gorgeous artwork and liner notes in Spanish, secure your copy by sending an e-mail to Taping Policies.  

peace and love, friends :)