Monday, March 31, 2014

Tuluum Shimmering - Sky Tree (II025)

ubiquitous vibrations. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Dreamy, loop-driven passages of energy permeate the listener for this two hour meditation. The brilliant vibrations have the tendency to consume, heightening awareness. At times, one tends to get lost in the swirling buoyancy radiating from the speakers. Sky Tree, a recent tape from Tuluum Shimmering on Inner Islands, is an apt title; above the clouds, where the perceptions are more lucid, Tuluum's flowing benevolence begets sagacity. Until I first heard Tuluum Shimmering, I had not previously experienced anything similar. According to an interview, a variety of instruments -  kalimba, percussion, violin, flutes, sampling keyboard - are run from a mixer through a multi-effects pedal into a 30 second looper, and then out to an amp. Across the discography, their is a tendency to lose oneself in a malestrom of luminous vibrations, a celebration of life. Ever since arriving at the house, Sky Tree has been billowing faithfully much like my sacred indica - highly recommended.

The beginning of the tape is intense, imbued with tension. Ominous - almost cinematic - tones protrude and surge clandestinely. Shortly, languid flute pervades the mix swirling upward. Almost unexpectedly, the friction and clang of percussion becomes audible. Synth vacillates from solemn to uplifting reaching a beautiful point in the recording. Suddenly, resonant piano notes and sacred drone begin to cascade from the speakers. Omnipresent and visceral, wave upon wave surges forth; intricate patterns morph subtly. The flipside resides deep in the haze, a languorous stream of energy that moves more slowly than its peer. Delicate tones from the flute drift lazily in the presence of enchanting drone.

These top shelf vibrations on Inner Islands are exalted. Another wonderful attribute of this release regards the visual aspect - artwork by Tuluum Shimmering; layout by Sean Conrad. Pro-dubbed and produced on red tapes in o-card sleeves, Sky Tree may be purchased directly from Inner Islands. Also, Sky Tree was released with another stellar tape by Peasants. Both can be procured inexpensively 

peace and love, friends :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hellvete - Ode (DD15)

Meditating at Temple Hellvete. Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

We're going deep, literally! Glen Steenkiste's latest release as Hellvete on Deep Distance - recorded prior to Sint-Denijs- contains two side-long omnipotent drones. Ode continues on the path of Glen's recent work, which is documented on labels such as Blackest Rainbow, Tor Press and Crooked Tapes. These recordings, including Ode, bring the present into focus via sustained tones. When the speakers are cranked and the needle drops, incipient notes begin to cluster, forming layers of sustained, resonant energy. The first part of side A constitutes a lovely experience - embryonic light that gradually becomes concentrated. From that juncture, the drone becomes even more cozy. Serene undulations caress the listener on side A. An ethereal, oscillating drone and sustained notes exude brilliant energy. Interwoven strands of flickering tranquility construct the radiant carpet that transports one to the zenith. Sonic nuggets will be unearthed by the active listener; Glen's drones are constantly in motion, revealing subtleties when least expected. Spiritual drone fills the atmosphere on the flipside. Buoyant waves that possess an acute texture surge, emitting awesome vibrations prior to receding.   

Just like my last review of the Lake Mary tape, Ode is pleasing to the eyes and ears - beautiful artwork and insert. Released in an edition of 300 on ultra clear vinyl, I purchased my copy from Eclipse, who have a nice back catalog of Deep Distance lps available. The video below is from Sint-Denijs - enjoy!!   

peace and love, friends :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lake Mary - Komerabi (Cut#6)

few compare to this tape. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

The ambient field has swelled over the past few years, resulting in the emergence of some wonderfully talented artists. However, the immense amount of music currently available makes it difficult to listen to everything desired. Friends, this is one of those tapes to which we are going to light up together in celebration! Komerabi, Lake Mary's recent release on Polish label Wounded Knife, separates the wheat from the chaff putting forth 50 minutes of sonic tranquility. The two tracks which comprise this release, both based on improvisations that feature Inner Oceans and Eric Rich respectively, resonate placidly to bring warmth to your environment.      

Lake Mary springs forth warm drones and heavenly vibrations as the tape begins to roll. The blooming of
awareness begins as the sun peaks over the soul. Embryonic light heals and flourishes; ethereal sound engulfs the atmosphere. Unexpectedly, percussion and various strings appear, vastly changing everything. Shortly the percussion exits, leaving a gorgeous welter of sun dappled strings followed by a flowing ambient passage The lovey vibrations first heard on Planted Tapes are abundantly present. The flipside continues the ascent. A faint drone grows strong progressively, pulsating and then regenerating. Gorgeous, solemn sustained tones flower in the stereo field. Patient tones slightly vacillate before rising. Entrancing piano imbued with poignancy becomes audible. Wailing distended tones swell as notes from the piano cascade lightly. The apex reveals the glistening valley, which is minimal containing piano and swirling sonic elements. Springing out of the morning sun, banjo and piano diffuse progressively, rippling until engulfed by light and airy sound resonating in alignment with the breath. Cascading keys settle into a pattern flanked by pastoral strings.

Komerabi, limited to 50 hand-numbered copies, sold out quickly from the label. The elegant artwork, produced on handmade paper with leaves/plants debris, matches the heartfelt beauty of the music. Unequivocally, Komerabi is essential for those who appreciate lovely ambient music. While the physical copy is unavailable, the digital files may still be obtained directly from Wounded Knife.  

peace and love, friends :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wave Temples - Floating Garden/Hidden Temple (PYR19)

Blissful vibrations in abundance. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Floating Garden/Hidden Temple, by Wave Temples on Rainbow Pyramid, is an enthralling listening experience. For over 30 minutes, the listener is transported to a sonic paradise in which they wallow through serene passages comprised of effervescent and soothing sound - faithful vibrations. Patient hymns carried by peaceful waves ripple through one's soul. Wave Temples keen use of texture makes this tape a joyous experience - this tape often loops in the house. Hazy reveries are immersed by a deluge. Introspective waves meander softly in the twilight. Mysterious vibrations mesmerize the listener. Sometimes the swirling drones are situated in remote waters, becoming enervated as they float beyond perception. Pastoral vibrations coat awareness with a gauzy, wet film. Slumberous, restive drones loop lazily toward the abyss. The end of side A is fantastic, even a little psychedelic. Sonorous undulations engulf the room. Soon, the tremendous force abates as an incipient menacing drone becomes salient. Upon commencing the flip, majestic, yet unsettling synth exudes a dreamy vibe imbued with uncertainty around the contour. Later on the flip, buoyant synth loops calmly. Crystal-covered waves swell and recede while a serene melody merges. The second to last section on the b-side is one of my favorite sections of the tape. Opaque vibrations and clandestine drone gradually evolve to a state of effervescence. 

Floating Garden/Hidden Temple is a lovely tape that fills my home with beauty as it billows hazily from the speakers, penetrating the indica clouds with ease. This tape was part of the Rainbow Pyramid winter batch that disappeared quickly. Produced in an edition of 48 and featuring a cover photo by John Orsborn, copies are still available via Meditations.

peace and love, friends :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dura - Altered Resonance (PS047)

Help is on the way - Dura and Pure Kush! Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Potent oscillations arrive quickly, burrow deep within the still body and illuminate the inner architecture of the listener. Throughout Altered Resonance, on Patient Sounds, there are copious opportunities to merge with the vibrations of life. Mattson Ogg, of Dura, adeptly combines warm drones and ambient/american primitive guitar. With eyelids tightly closed, the supreme resonance cascades through the bones and begets enhanced perception. Nestled in the wave of awareness, one notices the manifestation of delicate strings. Much like the slowly rising sun, incipient strings are initially cloaked by robust drones before becoming a more active part of the compositions - often vacillating between the background and the surface. Overall, Altered Resonance triggers awareness with ease - highly recommended!    
Much like my favorite sonic healers, Ogg triggers the sixth and seventh senses. Powerful drones pulsate as solitary strings vibrate throughout the soul. A deluge of majestic vibrations infuse the atmosphere with vitality -  a crest so high that the infinite blue sky seems proximate. Restrained, tranquil guitar becomes more active, even ascending to the fore as the side progresses. Toward the end of side A, a lovely tempo is achieved; surging and receding drones abut serene strums - heavenly. As the flipside commences, an embryonic drone alternatively oscillates and pulses. Fragile strings and field recordings remind me of the lovely elements that pervade a Josh Mason recording. Ogg's use of texture and tone are prominent on side B. Sustained tones bend toward the light -soothing and comforting. Flowing waves in continuous motion become more reflective toward the end. Ethereal and harshly resonant drones combine with shimmering strings near the end.

Altered Resonance, produced in a limited edition of 50 copies, is sold out at the source. However, Tomentosa appears to have the last copies - vital stuff if you prefer to inhabit these zones.

peace and love, friends :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ryan Emmett - Portrait of A Dog (Orange Milk Records, 2013)

Skywalker and Portrait of A Dog make me go up, up, and away! Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

 Pittsburgh is home to a bunch of great experimental artists. One of whom, Ryan Emmett, released a tape in 2012 on his label, Dynamo Sound Collective. Produced in a extremely limited edition of 15 copies, this multifaceted experimental gem thankfully has been given the reissue treatment by venerable Orange Milk Records. Christopher Merritt's effervescent electronics tape on Orange Milk was one of my favorites of 2013; now it has a partner. Also a member of Hunted Creatures and White Reeves, Emmett adroitly culls myriad strains of music to give life to his otherworldly sonic ideas.

Emmett immediately pulls in the listener with fusion evocative of Chick Correa and Miles Davis. Rhodes-like tones exude a crestfallen vibe which gets even more intense with something reminiscent of muted trumpet. Murky synth and noise give way to what sounds like incessant pounding of a toy piano. With the synth drone still lazily meandering, one perceives poignant piano; tones so delicate that they hang tenuously on the last branch of awareness - lovely! Emmett takes things to the next level in "Making Good Time", deftly juxtaposing soothing and lively sources; Grainy, warm ambient synth mixes with samples. Gorgeous reflective tones lightly billow at the end of side A. Electronics fluctuate and dissipate in the presence of swirling ominous tones as the flip commences. In "Spokane House", various elements manifest throughout. Spatially it is beautiful, with some aspects being more prominent prior to dropping to the back of the mix. Rolling, grainy noise combines with an R&B sample while cloaked, menacing vocals seem omnipresent. Persistent, hazy beats give rise to Emmett's ascending synth in 'Total Horizon' - one of my favorite tracks. Ghastly, yet beautiful, drone completes the tape.

Portrait of A Dog is elevated on the highest of shelves - the one covered in crystals. Though a late 2013 release, this tape will have a spot on Tasty Trichomes 2014. It should be considered criminal that more labels are not putting out this guy's stuff. Have you been able to dig the heady vibe of a Hunted Creatures outing? I've caught a few, and these folks explore some wild zones. Accompanied by aptly designed artwork with light pink cassette shells, Portrait of A Dog may be ordered directly from Orange Milk or via Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Thoughts on Air - Eye Yhahmm (SC002)

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

Variegated, interconnected passages dominate Eye Yhahmm, a recent release from Thoughts on Air on Scott's Cloud. The mood is set by vacillating ambience and a torrent of noise. Urgency is infused as ambient waves quiver fervently prior to morphing when drowned out by soothing, torpid resonance - one of my favorite sections on the tape. Subsequently, the next few parts provide an inviting atmosphere in the form of layers of blurred, warm sound; the constituent parts glow in the mix and exude a pleasantly comforting vibe. The penultimate section of side a slightly mirrors the beginning. Later, a mysterious buzz careens in the presence of decomposing loops that possess a wicked character.

 Sun dappled, blurred waves of ambience step into the light as the flip commences. Before long a serene melody strokes the soul - lovely! Side b transitions between parts quickly - minimalist noise to hazy reflections to tranquil melodies. Shortly, pensive drone mixes with a submerged loop. Opaque anachronisms wade through encompassing hiss toward the end.

 When I listen to Thoughts on Air - the project has been active since 2006 - I often give thanks for the singular, lucid moments. Few artists stimulate my awareness like Thoughts on Air. Most of the releases are done in a limited edition; Eye Yhahmm is likely no different. Produced on orange shells with lovely designs, the excellent artwork complements the music. One may purchase a copy from Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mark Banning - Journey to the Light (SOD104)

Awaken the slumbering soul. Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Benevolence and compassion flourish as your hub of awareness is inundated by faithful vibrations of zither and guitar drone. Journey to the Light, reissued on vinyl by Students of Decay, is Mark Banning's long out of print new age lp. Initially released in a small pressing by Creative Sound, Banning's 1984 private press gem was uncovered by Yoga Records head and new age historian, Douglas Mcgowan. Mcgowan is also responsible for compiling the tracks on the impressive new age compilation from Light in the Attic Records, I am the Center.

 If there exists a sonic panacea, then this is it. Right from the drop of the needle, Banning's facility with composition and texture are conspicuous. He composed this album utilizing processed guitar, zither, voice and field recordings. It represents a constantly shifting tapestry of uplifting vibrations, intimate moments, sonic ruminations, encompassing warmth and ripping tones.  Side A, 'Everlasting Moments' unfolds naturally, with Banning stimulating your perception through otherworldly vibrations. Layers of warm strings cascade and hover at the beginning. Soulful plucks and resonant zither shimmer in the morning light. Buoyant strings sing to the sky's zenith. The reverberating chime of plucked strings combines effectively with zither that fills the soul with light. Gentle currents meander and beget a brilliant deluge. Compared to side A, the vibe on the flipside, "A Sea of Glass", is even more soothing. Heavenly strings gently shower the listener with a calmness that pervades the track. Pronounced, pulsing vibrations abut tranquil cycles of guitar, zither and field recordings.The use of voice in this track acts to complement the instrumentation, such as the ethereal vocal drone that combines adeptly with guitar and zither.

Journey to the Light is an essential purchase. These top shelf vibrations make the flowers of the mind bloom. Copious accolades are due to Students of Decay for reissuing a real gem. This is only the start for Students of Decay in 2014. Future releases include a Kyle Bobby Dunn 3lp; Maxwell August Croy and Sean McCann collaboration; and a collaboration by Duane Pitre and Cory Allen. I purchased my copy from Fusetron.            

peace and love, friends :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Light Tapes 001 and 002

Lately, i've been lighting up to Light Tapes. Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Times are good for tapes. The early part of the year has already seen some great releases from Orange Milk, Scissor Tail, Planted Tapes, Students of Decay, Feathered Coyote, Inner Islands and Patient Sounds among others. And, i'm consciously thankful everyday just knowing that Cabin Floor Esoterica has returned. Now we can add Light Tapes to the list. A collaborative effort between Tomentosa Records and Housecraft Records, the first two offerings from Light Tapes, much like top shelf nugs, permeate the head with ease. Clime, the illustrious duo of Jimmy Billingham (Tidal; Venn Rain; Journey of Mind) and Tuluum Shimmering, releases their last recording in this initial batch. Bring your awareness to these two side-long paeans and experience each breath becoming more lucid. The other tape, a split between I am Just a Pupil and Heat Sureens, is a real blazer!

What is there left to say about Clime's next level soundscapes that align so nicely with the breath? Along with this release, 12th Rain of the Oscillating Universe, the vibrations on their Space Slave tape inspire the sparks of life. Their music seems to move without a trace, yet one is always ascending - such is the subtle variation which begets their hallucinatory vibe. Entrancing loops bask in the radiant glow, yet continually bloom. A tapestry of sonorous swirling noise and swollen ambience loops a fine web around ones consciousness, seeping in slowly. Around 20 minutes in, bird calls coincide with certain elements dropping into the back of the mix; ethereal and flowery pulsating light moves to the foreground. Soulful rhythms manifest along with a gauzy drone. Various percussion features prominently toward end - taking the track to next level. The flipside is much lighter compared to side a; sweetly flowing, soothing vibrations drift unencumbered. There seems to be more space on side b, at least in the beginning, which is lovely. Whether it is side a's rapturous celebration of sound or the flip's gentle tranquility, the synergy between these two sound healers is conspicuous over the entirety.


Grainy guitar undulations loop and mysterious energy billows immediately on the Heat Sureens side. Replete with crystal-covered guitar loops and a diverse voice, Heat Sureens - also a member of Mannateas - has released a tape previously on Housecraft. This side visits some beautiful places, especially in the beginning of track 2. Ascendant, introspective loops drift serenely in the presence of the inner burning flame. Music that exhibits various moods, such as the periodic shrieks, thick buzz and quivering ambient noise present in the third track. In the last track, blurred notes form a delicate web while other sonic elements hover. This side of music is played on repeat.    

I am Just a Pupil follows up an excellent contribution to the Worn Habit noise comp with some of project's best material. Right from the start the collage of noise and ambient sources asserts itself, seemingly merging with ease given the disparate elements: strident crackle, foreboding drone, quivering noise, gentle sound. The recording has the quality of sounding removed and proximate concomitantly. The effect is to endow the music with the quality of a hazy dream. Nearly half way through, the more harsh elements abate leaving behind a beautiful ethereal/new age vibe. This part of the track is something to which I look forward with each listen. Even as the track progresses, this light and airy feeling remains. The mood shifts near the end prior to the tape unexpectedly ending.

Both cassettes, produced in limited quantities, quickly disappeared from Tomentosa's site a few weeks ago. However, another limited batch - along with the Venn Rain recording on Housecraft - will arrive at Tomentosa within days. 

peace and love, friends :)