Monday, January 27, 2014

Trabajo / Madrugapha - Split (NK49)

press play for the purps. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Next to trusty Sherlock resides a stack of what I refer to as High Times and Heavy Action - tapes! However, it's not just any random stack of tapes. Within in it, you will find analog vibes of the times: tapes that provide a seamless conduit to the soul during a specified period. It is familiar territory for one of my favorite cassette labels, No Kings. I really dig the manner in which the label operates. Rather than release 5 or 6 tapes per batch, No Kings puts out a tape or two every few months. Another facet which makes it discernible is the eclectic roster within the experimental genre. No Kings boasts everything from Motion Sickness of Time Travel to German Army to Wether to Talk West. Those do not necessarily represent bookends in the No Kings universe. Rather, they are cited to provide an estimate of its vast range. As plumes of indica billow through the environment, Trabajo and Madrugapha radically redefine the space in between. From the first smoke-shrouded emanations on side A, both projects travel a trichome-dotted path to the brilliant light. Trabajo, from New York, consists of TJ Richards and Yuchen Lin. The music on their side unfolds dreamily. It has been referred to as folk and world music. Along with those tags, these devotionals are something I refer to as music for the soul. It adroitly couples sampled Indonesian Gamelan recordings with synth, percussion and effects. The languorous vibrations move in the manner of calm molecules, congregating above and inculcating the environment with a sense of serenity. Supreme reverberations and waves of synth wash over the listener in the heady opener, "Five Signs of Decay of a Celestial Being." Lookout though, because the dankest vibes follow in, "Mad at Lovely." The fourth track on side A, "Pi Pa Lu" possesses airy and bubbly synth. Life-affirming rhythms seep into the soul as embryonic waves of tranquil electronics move proximate to the listener as side A comes to an end - music aligned with breath. The flipside presents a mix of lofi experimental/psych music using fuzz guitar, vocals, loops, delayed mbira and keyboards.  A veritable spectrum is emitted from the speakers with Madrugapha at the controls. "Purple Swamp" takes a few pokes at the third eye. Delayed mbira cascades over peaceful loops, haunting vocals and keyboards; think of Keith Jarrett partying with Dolphins into the Future and Tuluum Shimmering to get an idea of this awesome sound. "Rotovolquismo" adds a bit of psychedelic disquiet to the mix. However, I like my landings light and fluffy, and Madrugapha brings us down with the hazy, ethereal and introspective beauty of "El Planeta Nubaru."

Another reason to follow No Kings: the artwork. This split is released in an edition of 100 pro-dubbed, imprinted tapes with risograph art on assorted paper. According to No Kings, the artwork is inspired by bejeweled saints buried in the catacombs of Europe. Sold out at the source, find your ticket to bliss at Tomentosa.        

peace and love, friends :)