Sunday, July 6, 2014

Summer Break

purps make the sun shine! peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Honest Bag will return soon with reviews from labels such as Sanity Muffin, Dekorder, Cabin Floor Esoterica and others. If you sent me an email regarding a submission, I will be in touch within the next day or so. I hope the summer has been good to you, your family and friends. In the interim, here's a little infusion of soul.

peace and love, friends :)

Thanks for LoloYodel for the sweet vibe.

Monday, June 23, 2014

William Selman - Equatorial Night (HAUSMO 17)

deep in the bag this Monday morning on the mountain. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

After experiencing Moth Cock's otherworldly rituals at the top of Hausu Mountain, I couldn't make it down in time. Stuck in a state of red-eyed reverie, I quickly setup shop and reached deep into the crystal-covered bag. It's frigid high on the mountain. Yet, I'm immune to the chill; that's because my bowl is burning brightly with the dank mod synth zones from William Selman. Oozing from the speakers in a sultry manner, there is something stealthy and mysterious about Equatorial Night's sweltering, heady rhythms and sprightly bass tones.

Constellations of paripatetic beats metamorphose around bulky pulses. The minutes fracture into seconds. Drifting before our eyes one fateful ellipse at a time, a stretch of lethargic, warm synth floats comfortably. Cavernous reverberations leave one shrouded in sonic mist. Near the end, the last few analog embers crackle once more and then burn out, leaving an ominous glow. Side B contains a more dubious character, which partly is attributed to the pressing tempo. Twisted vibrations and restive beats provide an apt complement to incipient, soothing synth. Moving at an enhanced pace, heady pulses dominate; meanwhile, sustained synth is barely perceptible. As the mood becomes a bit more serious, random energy bumbles and flares ephemerally.    

Limited to 150 copies in green shells with black and white imprints, Kelly Naim's artwork deftly illustrates the mystical vibe that permeates Equatorial Night. Pick up your copy directly from Hausu Mountain.   

peace and love, friends :)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Moth Cock -Twofer Tuesday (HAUSMO 18)

Wake 'n Bake with outer zone free jazz! Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Miles inferred that the wildest vibes have no name. Maybe a reference point or two, but too fucked up for categorization. These guys from Kent, Ohio are coming for your head and there isn't anything surreptitious about their tactics. At times, it resembles a vortex of free jazz and noise with a few other strains of experimental music thrown into the blender; unrelenting varied faces comprised of wretched sonic squalor discharged by clarinet and trumpet; electronic freak outs that sputter and bustle as fragments of unstable noise and damaged loops fissure and smolder - in my parlance, a blazing hash rocket. Previously I decided to take a break during the World Cup, as I am a fervent follower if futbol. However, I just have to tell you about the smash and grab, hyper-kinetic baked chaos from Moth CockTwofer Tuesday on Hausu Mountain is not total football by any means. Rather, it resembles the heavy metal, on the cusp of bedlam that resembles Die Schwarzgelben. Anyhow, back to business. For me, Two for Tuesday means to double the quantity. Better ensure the provisions are sufficient, because the outer zone vibes this duo cranks through a tripped out medicine machine dominate the room in the manner of dank indica haze. It may sound like a welter of confusion to the uninitiated, yet the glowing kinetic mass is continuously in a process of building and razing. This duo operates transiently, spewing their turbulent, stoney mix over the denizens, exulting in the deluge, and then moving expeditiously to the next endeavor. Nothing is out of reach, nor out of bounds. Clarinet and trumpet rage next to electronics that writhe uncontrollably. Loops begin to fracture and fray when the clarinet's breathy tones become enveloped in drone. Climbing a steep, jagged terrain comprised of textured electronics, the duo, undeterred, drive hard for the peak. The flipside is even more bonkers than its predecessor. Upon pressing play, the listener is immediately transported to a house of mirrors. Ephemeral loops along with clarinet and trumpet are spliced and splintered until ejected capriciously. What will happen next? Did you pack that extra bowl? Samples are strewn across damaged tape moves and spectral voices. The middle of the flip is for serious heads. Then they hit these high flying humid zones, emitting an infectious, lethargic vibe. Later fervent arpeggios that could be from an Atari 2600 are joined by cascading glitter.  

Limited to 100 copies, Twofer has snazzy orange shells with black and white imprint. Max Allison's artwork illustrates this trichome saturated trip accurately. Hausu's discography is ripe with heady nugs, particularly the Mugen series. Twofer Tuesday may be purchased directly from Hausu Mountain.

peace and love, friends :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Softest - Music for Rain: Volume One (Inner Islands - 028)

Music for reflection - and some kush never hurts. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

 After being near the abyss, a return to bliss is needed to keep this joint rolling. My head was feeling weary and I needed to recover. Thus, I decided to plunge my hand into the Inner Islands jar which sits on the top shelf. They always deliver me to a serene place where my soul becomes enlightened. The first of two Summer releases on Inner Islands, Softest is the new project of Braden J. McKenna. On Music for Rain: Volume One introspective, soothing music provides one with the space and aural light to meditate on the beauty of the moment. Guitar, synth, and field recordings create slowly morphing soundscapes.

As the first track commences, morning dew glistens softly in the faint, embryonic light. Soft nascent vibrations act like the first cup of coffee, slowly shaking off the slumber in the sun's vastness. The mood is light and airy throughout. Waves of soft colors coalesce begetting undulating tranquility. When you breathe with these sounds, the environment shimmers; the bark of the tree uneven, stale and damp; a sheet of heavenly light flashes hot across the saturated grass coating it in brilliance; and the seemingly immutable sweet scent of the Earth that permeates the nostrils like the first few conscious breaths of the day - sweetly flowing and music for anytime of the day. Ascendant energy rings faithfully in "Surface Dance." Shifting radiance and delicate sounds are interspersed with nature. Peaceful loops combine with gentle streams of rain and crystalline radiance in "Trying"; gentle sounds wallow and ripple in the final track. 

One may purchase Music for Rain: Volume One directly from Inner Islands.

peace and love, friends :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Half High - Calling Nina (Eiderdown 2014)

The menace is loose - disquiet abounds. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Light up before you enter this portal. Once within this ghastly, yet beautiful sonic atmosphere, it's difficult for the flowers to combust. I've experienced many states from the catalog of Eiderdown. However, nothing quite matches the visceral dread and spooked synths of Half High. Based in Sydney, Australia, they are among the founding members of Naked on The Vague. Calling Nina was recorded in a space that was once used by scientists to conduct research on the psychokinetic powers of Nina Kulagina. Following her death, it was determined that a poltergeist had taken possession of the area. Subsequent attempts to channel the presence resulted in twelve deaths. Just like Eiderdown suggests, Calling Nina may be an attempt to make contact with her spirit and collaborate with the inherent vibe of the space. When you press play, be prepared; these excerpts taken from live tracks swoop down from desolate, opaque portals suffusing the environment with dense spine-tingling apprehension. 

 Foreboding reverberations and mellow synth are concurrently crystalline and eerie. Cavernous vibrations abound. Something lurks in the copious recesses that dot the shrouded labyrinth. Sputtering and churning, sonic bile is spewed from the icy speakers - one cannot escape the palpable unease. Downcast synths hover and metallic, paranormal vibrations leave a lustrous streak. Electronics pensively ruminate in disturbed air that trembles portentously. Ravaged, disembodied voices skitter on the precipice. On the flipside ethereal drone and buoyant energy devolve into baleful emanations. Ominous pulses are slowly depleted of
vigor, yet, in a torpor, the terror and fright still loom large. Beams of radiant electronics are refracted effervescently. The flipside becomes progressively more sinister and taciturnly unrelenting. Halfway through it reaches what appears to be stasis. Yet, the chill from the speakers suggests otherwise. Deleterious and ashen, wayward oscillations and voices suddenly abate to the influence of mournful synth.  

I'm spooked and can't stop listening!! These folks from Sydney are first-rate sound sculptures. Five minutes into side A, the blinds on my window literally rolled up unprompted - that hasn't occurred in many years. Eiderdown tapes light up my head like few others. Just like Gonzalez & Steenkiste and Ecstatic Cosmic Union before them, Half High grabs the listener's attention by filling the room with their aura. Instead of golden, meditative drones or cosmic exploration, this time around a sinister, ghastly presence hovers. Max Clotfelter's artwork, a staple of these beautiful tapes, does a nice job of matching the vibe. Released in a limited edition of 100 cassettes, Calling Nina may be purchased directly from Eiderdown.   

peace and love, friends :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Josh Millrod - Seeking the Millenary Kingdom (SM 026)

special tape music on Trichome Tuesday. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

This tape on Solid Melts is for the seeker in you. From the instant one presses play, the listener is plunged into the vast, sonorous world of Josh Millrod, part of Grasshopper. Much like his Grasshopper colleague, Jesse DeRosa, Millrod is the kind of artist one would desire to be behind the controls. The three tracks on tape bustle with fried, ascending synthesizers and enthralling trumpet sections. "Cutting Out Its Silhouette" and "So Many Untils" exhibit Millrod's ability to beguile the listener via adroit compositions. Meanwhile, the cathartic, probing fury of "Hypertrophy (or Atrophy)" produces a sizzling maelstrom as malevolent noise devours the seconds. Pulsating blotches ripple and fray; sputtering energy expands exponentially and strikes with blinding speed. Where to next, I suppose, is a suitable question. As the track progresses, it attains a psychedelic character, heaving and vacillating on edge. With each track, Millrod seems to augment his game, which becomes evident as the ritual energy of "Cutting Out Its Silhouette" oozes out of the speakers uneasily, grasping for the prize at the apex. Wailing, distended trumpet extends until its energy is exhausted, billowing beyond perception. The second half of the track is among my favorite sections on the tape. Millrod's nascent trumpet lines bloom slowly and ascend in a sea of hazy drone. Incipient, soothing vibrations proliferate among sprightly pulses. August waves unfurl as Millrod's trumpet howls in an exalted state. A fervent beam of energy writhes with vitality; undeterred and dominant, it regenerates in a slipstream. 

When I listen to this tape, the sonic possibilities seem infinite, such is the scope of the artist's ability. Seeking the Millenary Kingdom plays on repeat in the land of trichomes, serenading the heads from the crystal-covered top shelf. Produced in an edition of 100 pro-dubbed tapes, this is one not to miss. Highly recommended, one may purchase Seeking the Millenary Kingdom directly from Solid Melts.

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dura - Silver/Lawns (Cut#10)

start your week with these kind vibes. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

When the sun is mostly enveloped by clouds, strokes of light escape the opacity. Vivid burnt orange and yellow streaks swirl within a murky formation. As the shrouded warmth breaks through subtly, tranquil energy contacts the bare skin. Then, all one can feel is light and unabated warmth. The soul of the solar system lighting the path that leads to kindness. Silver/Lawns resonates deeply with nature. Fused with the outdoors, this tape assumes a majestic quality. Dura's recent release on Warsaw's Wounded Knife puts the listener in a dreamy state for a little less than one hour. On Silver/Lawns, Dura uses layers of guitar and lustrous loops to make the speakers breath. Placid waves of guitar drone cascade and solitary strings glisten in the morning dew. Shimmering strings are worked into a dither, while kind american primitive guitar plays over top of ethereal drone. As the sustained sonic energy abates, the strings still smoldering, lovely patterns emerge.    

Wounded Knife produces tapes for tape lovers. This label based in Warsaw exerts tremendous effort to create a memorable audio-visual experience. I highly recommend Wounded Knife to readers of this blog. Limited to 50 copies, it is already sold out at the source. However, digital files may be obtained from the artist. Also, I am in the possession of two copies. If anybody would like the second copy, then send me an email. The first person to email me will receive the tape.

peace and love, friends :)  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Death Rattle - Death Rattle (House of Alchemy 076)

Brutalizer's crystals go up in smoke in the place where bedlam dwells. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

My good buddy from Buffalo ruminates, almost venerably, about the frigid blanket that each winter envelops the denizens of this fine city; the frost covered peaks of homes fighting what seems like interminable bleakness; the icy labyrinthine streets, corridors on which pallid light from above reflects somberly. A tape which fits perfectly in House of Alchemy's discography, the terminal vibrations exuded on Death Rattle would melt the thick ice of desolate winter instantaneously. For some time this Buffalo duo, Jim Abramson and Pat Cain, have been lighting up minds with their highly charged end-game burners. Death Rattle create terror-laced and psychedelic-tinged improvisations. They shake the crystals from your glistening flower and then suffuse the room with an ominous haze; two guys that explore outer zones fervently, working their sound into a frenzy before exploding into infinite luminous particles. 

These guys strike sparks right from the start. Spacey electronics and frenzied drumming pummel one unsuspectingly. Cain works the saxophone hard, coaxing myriad variegated transmissions. The atmosphere could be characterized as lo-fi, sinister and cold. Abramson's presence over the drums is one of the memorable facets of this tape. Rolling disquiet generates a palpable chill as a devouring voice emits expansive terror. The visceral unease felt in the latter stage of track two on side A kept me on edge. Unstable electronics spiral downward; burned out vibrations buzz venomously abutting a depraved voice. A full blown maelstrom awaits on the flip. Cain's sax stretches for the sky among withering energy comprised of percussion and deranged utterances. The climax smolders brightly. Were you to ask about a recommendation, I would reply: Cain and Abramson imbue this cassette with primal intensity, awash in mystery, oddity, trepidation, wonder and ritual. Whether billowing a dense, dark apprehension or traversing the dreary, dank catacombs, Death Rattle does not abate until the last faint gargle. Are you lifted yet?

Death Rattle shakes with feral intensity perched atop House of Alchemy's crystal covered steeple. Produced in an edition of 100, Death Rattle may be purchased directly from House of Alchemy.

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Orto Stro - Deaverchester (TST008)

lost in the haze of these sweet vibes. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

While I have yet to hear the entire discography of Twin Springs Tapes, Deaverchester's mix of hazy ambience, virulent noise and visceral apprehension presents a nice contrast to many of the releases covered here. A somewhat mysterious release on Twin Springs Tapes, a dearth of information is available about Orto Stro, an artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. Though I was unable to locate anything on discogs, the soundcloud page will allow you to sample the foreboding ambient goods that make Deaverchester such an irresistible listen. Orto Stro's music is saturated with palpable disquiet and warm sound; guitar and drone create otherworldly transmissions that momentarily seem lucid, only to be obscured by nascent noise and eventually subsumed by a deluge. Yet, as the noise devours the tape - flecks of memory swirling in the breeze - there's something beautiful that juts up from the sprawling mass of disquietude. Given the intensity of Deaverchester, I recommend leaving your mental luggage at the door and ensuring that the crystal-covered provisions are sufficient. Upon pressing play, solemn, warm guitar drone subtly becomes ensconced in morphing noise. Suddenly, one feels less proximate; not necessarily enveloped by the slowly unfurling intensity, but it reminds me of the manner in which time warps the accurate portrayal of a memory - quite lovely. Sinister screams ravage the tape, and distended voices roar with feral intensity. The listener travels in a noisy kaleidoscope on the flipside. One is shrouded by frenetic noise immediately. When it finally abates, the charred fragments still displaying a crackling afterglow, something dubious emerges; we may need some boots for this. Abruptly, encroaching noise writhes uncontrollably.  

Produced with lots of love, Deaverchester comes in an edition of 50 cassettes and may be purchased directly from Twin Springs.

peace and love, friends :)  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Unicity - S/T (PURR041)

crystal covered slow burners precipitate sweet relief. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Infinite radiant stellar objects bring about astral reverie. Unicity's self-titled release on Constellation Tatsu is a synthesizer adventure through the cosmos. Layers of blissful, variegated synth coalesce to make the speakers breath. This particular release has a dreamlike quality; Sections segue adroitly, focusing the listener's mind on emerging sonic phenomena. Parts evolve subtly, which endow the music with an expansive and encompassing feel. Overall, Unicity's mindful approach makes for stellar compositions. As we accelerate into vastness, an entrancing synth loop and ethereal drone put the listener at ease; concurrently, signals echo to illuminate the starry mind. Shortly, we arrive in a dubious environment characterized by minimal drone and interstellar tones that warble. As awareness flowers, resplendent blinding ecstasy is absorbed by each pore. Distant synth registers as barely perceptible, while bleary drone proves disorienting. My favorite part of the tape occurs soon as copious new age vibrations circulate among tidal sounds. Swirling light colors are emitted from the speakers among plaintive synth. Embryonic pulses fill the air. Quietly emerging, other cosmic elements begin to shimmer - crystalline, pulsating, ringing. A solemn drone caught up in a celestial vortex is spewed into the infinite releasing warm, tranquil vibrations.

These dreamy jams should keep your head flying high! One of three excellent tapes from the Constellation Tatsu's spring batch, the S/T release from Winnipeg's cosmic explorer is available directly from Constellation Tatsu for $6. Why not give a little more at the margin? Pick up all three cassettes (Les Halles and X.Y.R.) for $13.

peace and love, friends :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Banana Pill - Weave (CW18)

the right medicine for your head. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

When the two sonic shaman in Banana Pill exhale, their beautiful art paints the atmosphere in peaceful, warm hues and tones. Weave, a recent release by Finland's Banana Pill on Cosmic Winnetou, endows the listener with brilliant undulating energy via guitar, violin, synth and other instruments. One cannot help but be moved by the mellifluous, benevolent mood that pervades each track. Yet, this is not an inert release. Banana Pill's adroit ability in composition sees them manifest soulful moments from pulsating waves of heat; majestic violin; dusty strings and kind melodies, encompassing drones. Subtle changes abound, with certain elements moving to the fore after prolonged periods of dreamy drift. Visceral, cozy drones vibrate through the soul. Weave compares well to some of my favorites on Hapna and Apestaartje - one of the best this year.

One of the most memorable facets of this tape is the flow, and Banana Pill pours it on heavy right from the time the play button clicks. In "Wave", blurred strings contort prior to being engulfed by an aural dream - tender and pulsating. Pastoral and idyllic, splintered sunlight circumscribes the listener while soothing violin strokes the soul. Robust waves reach for the zenith, vibrating and brilliant in nature. As they crash toward the trough, the light flickers out. Track two, "Shapes", commences with peaceful, bright strings and gentle violin, which eventually becomes more assertive. Where the first track contained warm, intense colors, this one dances gingerly behind a hazy veil - lovely! Pleasant strings ripple through the head as crystalline synth concurrently echoes in the side A closer, "Spiral." The flipside is just as captivating. Inchoate energy becomes concentrated, bathing the listener in soulful vibrations. Affecting violin softly vacillates among august drone - another lovely moment! Ethereal and ubiquitous, "light" truly realizes the track name - vast, luminous, and vibrant music that precipitates blooming awareness. Squirming electronics are deluged by quivering radiance in the final track. Placid strings ruminate calmly only to be overcome by cascading tranquility.      

Top shelf lofty love for this tape, and that goes for the other two cassettes in the sixth batch. Cosmic Winnetou tapes are produced with lots of love. In this instance, 75 home-dubbed tapes feature the artwork from one of my favorite artists, Sylvia Monnier. Sold out at the source, which is unfortunately true of the entire batch, get your Cosmic Winnetou fix at Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Rodman-Melchior Melchior-Rodman - S/T (FAB026)

lovely vibes from Fabrica Records. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Letha Rodman-Melchior's side - A - encapsulates myriad elements. Diverse and covering a wide range of moods, disparate sound sources are interwoven vividly; ultimately creating songs that spring to life right before your ears. Side A features collages that are comprised of field recordings; films and songs playing in the distance; room ambience; and her instrumentation, which is employed to great effect. These soundscapes have been tended to meticulously; the visceral tension in some places is difficult to elucidate - one of the best facets of this side. Altogether, Letha Rodman-Melchior's side makes me return for more. A second is not spared, as hauntingly beautiful, even mournful, loops coalesce with icy piano notes, wah guitar and room ambience. "Marsh of Decay" is definitely one to remember. The use of field recordings at the end makes it even more evocative. Shortly, in "Cleomedes" wayward transmissions circulate, while a piano somewhere off in the distance sings affecting notes. Eventually, it moves proximate to release a tranquil melody. Following these two stellar tracks is "Messala" which makes one's heart race before a sonorous voice parts the clouds. Somewhere in the distance, dusty strings play a slow song. "Patavius" is another standout track. A light and airy piano flutters effortlessly. Toward the end its character suddenly turns plaintive - quite lovely. Meanwhile Dan Melchior-Rodman's side is completely different. The flipside employs plentiful sources, loops and noise to create something that is constantly morphing.

This moving, sonically rich cassette from Fabrica is limited to 100 copies, from which the proceeds will be donated to the Letha Rodman-Melchior cancer fund. Anybody who is interested may purchase a copy directly from Fabrica Records.

peace and love, friends :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Stephen David Heitkotter - Heitkotter (TIME-LAG 052)

lets get lifted together, friends :) peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

The austere cover may trick a few folks. However, it reveals nothing about the raw, frenetic acid fried contents within the sleeve. As we travel down the illuminated private press trail, eventually we begin to traipse when the signs become opaque and the lights dim. We have entered the hallowed territory of Heitkotter; cited in some places as one of the most obscure psychedelic masterpieces, the story that surrounds the album - much like the music itself - is murky and full of intrigue. Heitkotter is the sound of a person staring into the abyss before never begin heard from again. From what is known, Heitkotter was the drummer for a Fresno band, the Road Runners, in the mid 60's. The subsequent period included psychotropic drugs and mental instability. Steve recorded the LP before 1971 and, along with his brother, disseminated the promos to a number of FM radio stations in California's San Joaquin Valley. A full electric effort, nobody knows for sure if others participated in this recording. Steve's brother, Bill, posits that it was a solo effort; that Steve was too much of a loner at the time to have collaborated with former bandmates. The masters were destroyed due to non-payment. With Steve subsequently committed to a state mental institution, and no interest in the music being exhibited, one would expect that nothing else occurred. Yet, a vinyl digger unearthed the only known copy at a radio station closing sale in the mid to late 80's. Being the work of a genuinely insane person, Heitkotter's ramshackle outsider acid-garage-blues smolder with manic energy and a sinister nature. Sometimes the playing is tight and heavy, only for Heitkotter to go off on a tangent - sometimes returning to the thread; that goes for the vocals, too. Hoarse and rough, the lyrics are muddled. At times, they are unintelligible. The final minutes are ominous - the sound of a person disintegrating.

 The insert which accompanies the deluxe repress by Nemo at Time-Lag - mastered from the best original copy; 180g audiophile vinyl; exact reproduction of labels - makes the most apt statement about Heitkotter, "What's amazing is that today, even after a quarter century of vinyl excavation that has unearthed dozens of inconceivable LP's, there is still nothing to rival the Heitkotter in sheer primal tension, the sense of deadly, indefinite 'presence' that seems to stalk the record." Sold out at the source, one of the last copies that is being sold for a reasonable price is available at Fusetron.

peace and love, friends :)

thanks to artmaniac53 for the good vibe!