Thursday, April 24, 2014

Randall McClellan - The Healing Music of Rana (SA034)

the tape player is for special music. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

When I was hurting, a friend kindly bestowed on me these beautiful sounds. I would like to share that gift you. The gift arrived through the window in the form of radiant sunlight; channeled through the pulsating speakers, sacred drones with raga attributes and melodies hover until quietly acquiescing to another manifestation. Regarding the sound, it is powerful. When played at a high volume, the lovely energy reverberates throughout the body - healing waves. Randall McClellan is a founding member of the electronic music studio at The Eastman School of Music (1967). Over a period from 1966-1985, The Healing Music of Rana slowly came into being; the music is a result of McClellan's interest in North Indian vocal music, classical electronic music technique, and the study of esoteric mystical traditions. These improvisations were created with Moog Prodigy and Micromoog synthesizer - positioned to allow for simultaneous playing - among other instruments. For maximum pleasure, the tape aptly recommends modifying the bass, treble and loudness settings to your preference. McClellan's voice is simply majestic on these tapes. More so, when combined with drone and Moog the serene undulations bring the moment into focus.

This beautiful music exists on the highest of shelves. Previously issued individually, Randall McClellan has teamed with with Sun Ark to reissue all four of the cassettes in a limited edition box set. I take The Healing Music of Rana with me throughout the day. McClellan's drones infuse one with vitality and tranquility. Unequivocally, this is highly recommended. Released in an edition of 200, I purchased my copy from Fusetron.

peace and love, friends :)


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Before Returning (CFE#40)

Cabin Floor Honey Bud! peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

There is nothing like a Cabin Floor Esoterica (CFE) cassette. The whole ritual of examining the artwork, inserts, and then listening is singular. Everything is crafted by hand; the wonderful people who run CFE design everything meticulously. Obviously, we have yet to even discuss the sounds on this small run label. Cabin Floor's discography is populated with some excellent releases from Joseph McNulty; White Fir; Bear Bones, Lay Low; Shep and Me; Franklin & Lajoie, R. Franklin; and Gorman to name a few. Artists bring some of their best music to the label. After leaving briefly, CFE have returned with a tape titled, Before Returning. Produced in a limited edition of 8 copies, the sounds that comprise Before Returning represent a day. The title suggests that this is a personal tape. At one point a jazz record plays continuously. Sometimes silence and sporadic glitch suffuse the tape.     

The next batch of Cabin Floor includes Mr. Herbcraft, Matt Lajoie! Unlifted represents Matt's first record under his name. The zoner, variegated tones from 'Loser (Garcia)' swirl in a kaleidoscope; the speakers begin to breath as Lajoie's dreamy guitar pulsates languidly - sweet Susie! Additionally, Dylan Golden Aycock of Scissor Tail Editions, and Rag Lore are scheduled to release cassettes. With the love put into making these tapes, it's only natural that they are produced in small editions. These upcoming sounds are simply beautiful. It makes me dream of tranquil days in the grass by the summer sunlight.

Cabin Floor Esoterica

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

ParashiMAbH - S/T (TD66)

ParashiMAbH sends me up, up and away! peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :) 

The tight, sweet nugs of Chocolope remind me of the musical relationship shared by Mike Griffin (Parashi) and Peter Taylor (Mortuus Auris and the Black Hand). Both artists recorded various releases for the majestic Stunned Records. More so, Taylor's MAbH project recorded a spacey head trip for Griffin's Skell label early in 2013. With its genesis in a London pub, Griffin and Taylor collaborated by mail for this project on Tape Drift; the S/T release exhibits a deft confluence of the texture-rich, abrasive, industrial magic spewed by Parashi and the alluring drones, ornate soundscapes and ability to inject the atmosphere with disquiet of MAbH. On this effort for Tape Drift, Griffin and Taylor take the deep dive into a bubbling, piercing stew injected with layers of menacing noise; bubbling, airy electronics; cacophonous reverberations; and dreaded rhythms. One of the salient hallmarks of this tape is the ease with which the artists cycle between moods, such as a shift from a more light and airy atmosphere to something more threatening. Even within that attribute is the manner in which the ideas evolve. Griffin and Taylor's skill in composition begets maximum impact for the listener.

In a somewhat weathered sonic environment, ethereal waves drift smoothly and signals spiral. After a hazy noise collage abates, a delicate drone modulates; yet, did you feel the cold chill up moving up the spine? The claws of Parashi's foreboding noise leave copious cuts on the torso, and MAbH's poignant drone produces tremors - whoa! Frosty waves splash in an agitated manner. After a brief silence, a portentous drone floats restlessly in an atmosphere shrouded in aural fog. Uneasiness careens until razed by a potent combination of spacey signals and malevolent energy. Auditory hallucinations flap uneasily in sinister currents - incredible!! A more minimal environment is established shortly. Before long, iridescent signals accelerate and bend around protruding noise. The noise's embryonic state erupts; a deluge of buzzing, rumbling, and stuttering vibrations decimate everything in its path. The last part of side A could be more ghastly than anything previously. Both artists establish a lighter mood on the flipside. Gorgeous electronics orbit with ease in the beginning. Shortly, the unexpected arrives in the form of what sounds like heavy duty, charred riffs; approaching the red with alacrity, the listener is circumscribed by radiant tones and swirling feedback. Later, effervescent layers multiply, eventually drowned in rolling noise.
It may be the day after 4/20, but the party does not stop when vibrations of this caliber fill the house. The S/T is part of the same batch that features the killer Millions tape; both tapes are in short supply. Produced in a limited quantity, the artwork is by Myste French and Ted Trager. One may purchase copies of this excellent collaboration either directly from the source or via Flipped Out!

peace and love, friends :)

  thanks to Albanysonicarts for the good vibe!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Les Halles - Invisible Cities (PURR 042)

tranquil energy that permeates the radiant, yearning soul. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Whether shards of sunshine illuminate the quiescent soul or opaque, introspective clouds muddle the tempo of the breath, Les Halles, to borrow a phrase from the beautiful Pema Chödrön, makes music to help the listener start where you are. Invisible Cities, by Les Halles on Constellation Tatsu, utilizes flute and strings among other instruments. Introspective, languorous waves of flute flutter in a hazy atmosphere and dissipate in the palpable crackle and hiss. As we begin the climb this morning to the zenith of 4/20, the sun is engulfed by ubiquitous sonic fog. Yet, Invisible Cities is the perfect accompaniment for a journey over a tortuous route that leads one to the light.  

 Waves of warm hiss and crackle combine with mellifluous flute that billows lightly through the head in the opening track, "Between Two Deserts." Jovial voices circulate harmoniously. The hiss bubbles and surges, spraying the exterior with a fine mist. In the following track, patient strings exude calmness and mix with looped flute, the wavelength of which stretches from the speakers to the soul. Layers of placid energy echo and meander over the fragile resonance of plucked strings. "Wave from Memories" presents music that is intertwined with the breath. As swaths of equanimity multiply, rippling peaceful energy engulfs the listener. In the final track on side A, meditative tones twinkle and abut mystical loops. The flipside commences with my favorite track, "Grow in Lightness." Serene beams of sunlight are spread wide across the blue sky, breathing life into the still, dormant body. Contemplative tones with a light and airy character circulate while  faint strings whisper in the penultimate track. Flute ripples softly dissolving in the opaque atmosphere. The final track, "Illusion of Movement" is notable for its adroit use of space. Flowery, inner seeking waves drift lazily and slowly disperse. Occasionally, the hushed murmur of brushed strings is audible - lovely!

Constellation Tatsu tapes are omnipresent in my cassette deck. Released as part of Constellation Tatsu's spring batch, the artwork and design are credited to Dieter Durinck. Invisible Cities is highly recommended and may be purchased directly from Constellation Tatsu.  
peace and love, friends :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Justin Marc Lloyd - Your (LEM-140)

the right medicine and vibes for Highday Friday! peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Bring on the crystals! The march to 4/20 traverses some heady landscape. In one minute the sun may be gently warming our back, then in the next, shrill, static-laced blasts from a truculent beast encroaches. Bruizer may put one in a trichome trance, but Your shakes off the kief, using it as the fuel to jettison one to the world of Justin Marc Lloyd. Your, a recent release from Justin Marc Lloyd on noise label Love Earth Music, bubbles over with industrial stridency, textural dissonance and spaced out zones. In several instances, myriad genres coalesce to provide an industrial/minimal/psychedelic vibe. Two of the most pleasing aspects,of Your, are its visceral nature, and Lloyd's adroit use of subtly and space throughout. The latter aspects keep the listener on edge. More so, the Dr. Wayne Dyer picture disc is the kief on top of the bowl!

Your commences with foreboding, fractured vibrations and static-laced noise and hiss. Pulsing orbs and minimal, bubbling noise sporadically erupt in the second track. An influx of blurry waves soon gives way to intense oscillations. Toward the end a volcano spews heavy noise that engulfs the denizens. In "the Number Five Tasted Wrong, part 1", the din of wayward strings loops next to fried vibrations that persist to spawn deep in the head prior to becoming concentrated. At the zenith, it could come apart instantly - awesome stuff here! Part 2 exhibits an instance in which Lloyd subtly introduces elements to increase the tension. Decayed machines rumble and sputter sparks in "Panic Dreams". Lloyd approaches the listener from a different angle in "Most of the World". Spacey and torpid drift combines with resonant strings. Languorous, static coated loops mix with jarring noise and obscured vocals in "Most of Our World". My favorite track, "Delectable Personal Present-Moment Freedom", follows. Cloaked vocals echo beneath a sea of sputtering noise and ambient fluctuations. Shortly, the pace subtly increases. Things get even more surreal as the textures begin to bounce off the walls and noise infiltrates one's space. The disquiet spikes in the following track, "Seemingly Under-Lion Self-Talk in the Form of Adam's Sharp and Heavy Apple".

Your is a head trip from the top shelf! Limited to 150 copies, the cd's eco-packaging features Justin Marc Lloyd's artwork. Your may be purchased directly from Love Earth Music or via Rainbow Bridge.

peace and love, friends :)   

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sugarm - Pure Racket (HAUSMO 15)

sweet as Sugarm. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

The speakers exude ominous hiss - a harbinger for sure. Within seconds, bursts of preternatural energy, static encrusted loops and discordant noise arrive. Arcs of luminous vibrations begin to undulate in the presence of aggressive percussive machinations. The introduction on side A, "Anti-Life Equation", primes the listener for an incredible listening experience. Sugarm's latest release on Hausu Mountain, Pure Racket, is more than an amalgam of various genres and styles; part noise, rock, ambient, kosmische, and psychedelia, trepidation will ooze from the speakers in one moment only to be replace by an influx of warm tones in the next. With Pure Racket in the cassette player, the bowl is literally runneth over. Just like Miles', McLaughlin, and the gang once said about their music: "call it anything." Sonic surprises are ubiquitous - maybe a route not anticipated or an element which one did not expect; the idyllic american primitive acoustic guitar that resonates among field recordings in "No Place, No Thing" is an example. Beyond the aforementioned, Pure Racket's two sides are discernibly different. 

Sugarm does not provide the listener a minute to acquiesce, as we jettison the strident feedback and vacillating noise of the the first track, arriving in a misty environs of the "Second Pig". Hazy, ritualistic vibrations, characteristic of early Popol Vuh, are jolted by writhing static textures - gorgeous juxtaposition. Urgency palpably hovers. It comes on dreamy, and then turns psychedelic. Decomposed tones fray as they meet the air. Finally, tension is released in the form of warped reverberations. "Casual Town" is my kind of place - no doubt a dispensary on the corner! Soporific drums mix with distorted waves of synth. Things turn even more surreal as the tempo increases. A welter of noise and static-laced samples are circumscribed by a beat that teeters uncontrollably- awesome track! "Police State (of Mind)" coats it with kief and caught me off guard with a combination of spacey and psychedelic noise. Lost in the City's - the penultimate track on side A - use of poignant synth and static noise that echos and frays at the periphery has a visceral, haunting effect. If you were on edge for side A, then the flipside should take care of your head -warm drone, field recordings, gorgeous melodies and more are present. Indica permeates the sinews that comprise these jams. Blurry tones twinkle amid noise of field recordings at the start of "Strange Rules". Shortly, the sky is illuminated with dreamy, yet effervescent, fireworks. As it descends a few levels, warm drone combines adeptly with synth that surges. Meandering warmth endows the atmosphere with serenity, and faint vocals swirl delicately among field recordings in "Hog Farm." Hypnotic synth billows in an opaque environment as indecipherable vocals ripple in the next to last track, " I Met Berserk." Sugarm brings it home in style with benevolent synth and lively low ends.

One only locates Pure Racket upon inquiring about the top shelf strains on offer. Sugarm's latest on Hausu Mountain is highly recommended. Often I spin this tape for hours at a time. Pro-dubbed and produced in a limited edition of 100 chrome cassettes with gray shells that feature purple imprints, Pure Racket may be purchased directly from Hausu Mountain

peace and love, friends :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ant'lrd - Biblioteca Nod Out (Baro33)

a tasty nug for high times. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Churning clouds are strewn over pulsating ambient collages that exude murky warm hues and dusty emanations on Biblioteca Nod Out, from Ant'lrd, the project of Chicago's Colin Blanton. Recently released on BARO Records, Biblioteca Nod Out covers some blissful terrain - different from many ambient tapes I've heard lately - characterized by a dreamy quiescence that suffuses the atmosphere throughout. Fans of the SCKE// release on Kiks/GFR will dig these vibes. This tape is a tale of two sides. Where as side A drifts through the inviting haze with the collages merging below the radar, the flipside contains two long-form tracks comprised of loops. Side A starts with foggy tape moves that whirl frenetically as opaque tones sit in the back. Blurry waves, beats and samples negotiate the engulfing opacity. Incipient energy glimmers in the indica haze and soon becomes concentrated. Shortly, clouds impinge to make the bass and drone loops faint. Before long, light and airy vibrations circulate torpidly. The latter parts of side A are excellent; pale tones chime frantically vacillating in a gale before giving way to unstable ambient energy burning brightly in the navy sky above undulating waves. Two longer compositions - A Mellow Hum for Cycling in the City pt. 1 and pt. 2 - are contained on the flipside. In pt.1, warm and airy waves of ambient sound are cloaked by persistently encroaching haze. Occasional buoyant tones jut out from the clouds. Obtuse tones wallow pleasantly, often buoyed by intermittent waves of luminous energy in the latter.

Released in an edition of 100 cassettes with orange shells, the heady artwork by Charlie Megna matches the vibes on offer. Biblioteca Nod Out may be purchased directly from BARO.

peace and love, friends :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Brown Piss - Subterranean Grapevine (fm9)

straight from the stash. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Sometimes every macro facet of a tape gets into your head; and, that is the case for Subterranean Grapevine by Brown Piss on Fluxus Montana, a noise label operating out of the beautiful state referred to in the label name. Subterranean Grapevine is the desolate sonic refuse that flows uneasily downstream; gurgling noise, ominous churning, hiss covered rhythms, pulsating fury and persistent oscillations meet at the confluence. Brown Piss is the project of Jason Hodges, better known for his grindcore band, Suppression, and noise/electronic duo, Mutwawa.  Both sides promise to leave no listener unscathed, yet I admit having an affinity for the flipside. 

Streams of sputtering hash oil sludge flow at the pace of snail as side A begins. Shortly, fierce crackling and rusty detritus pierce the skin within this vortex; persistent, ominous pulsations and metallic clang move to the fore in the latter stages of the track. Sounds from a decayed engine morph into manic signals in the second track. Heavy dissonance encroaches upon the listener. In the third track on side A beams of dusty sound resonate portentously before fracturing into myriad pixels. Screeching signals and decayed beats deliver one to ritualistic noise. At one point the noise could be characterized as similar to the sound of Thurston Moore's guitar in certain parts of Washing Machine. The 
"Floronic Man" is a side long strident collage. Faint signals vacillate uncontrollably and are consumed by a hazy morass as the flip commences. Hiss covered oscillations spin out of control; sparks of dubious energy orbit in its wake. Echoing dissonance billows, engulfing the atmosphere. Mutant machines churn next to cascading sheets of opaque noise. Tortuous pulsations shudder and weave dubiously through a labyrinth

Along with the stellar sound on offer, the artwork by Matt Taggart is pretty cool. It appears to be a picture of a man and woman smiling, but the man has a soldering iron proximate to his left temple. Released in an edition of 50, contact the label owner to secure a copy of Subterranean Grapevine.

peace and love, friends :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Peasants - Sawngs (II026)

trichome tuesday starts nicely with the latest offering from Peasants. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Generally, I prefer to start the day with the kind of vibrations that throw off the shackles of lethargy and embrace awareness. The latest offering from Peasants on Inner Islands has proved as sonorous as the birds that sing outside my window in the early morning. Peasants is a duo from Portland. Sawngs is comprised of music recorded in Washington Park. Tranquil sounds of nature don't permeate the recording; rather, they are an integral part. Along with the lovely sounds of nature, Peasants use languorous guitars that emit idyllic energy. An intimate recording, the dreamy vibe is ubiquitous; hazy transmissions ripple toward the waiting soul. Delicate tones fluctuate in the late morning sunlight. Reverb-soaked strings billow, yielding the sweet, plentiful scent of earth and a gauzy veil of mist. Sometimes the strings echo towards the zenith. At other times, they manifest as swirling ambient energy in the afternoon heat, touching down on the listener benevolently. These songs are aligned with the human condition and something that I unequivocally recommend; especially as the vibrations that breath life into your body upon arising. It's difficult to select a centerpiece, as the album flows beautifully. However, the penultimate track is special. "Slow Flowers" unfolds dreamily. The longest track on the album, it provides the artists an opportunity to explore their ideas more fully. Strings covered in reverb resonate lightly among birds in the beginning. Ethereal drone drifts lazily. As the track progresses, the vibe becomes even more dreamy and hazy. Slowly, meandering sustained tones and vocal drone move to the fore. Folks that dig Koen Holtkamp and Apestaartje are in for a real treat.  

Oh sweet, dank goodness! Inner Islands releases are produced in limited editions. Sawngs may be secured directly from the label, along with Tuluum Shimmering's latest jams.

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

German Army - Tassili Plateau (FH043)

my wake 'n bake (no shake) jams - peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

For a while, Holland Village was untouchable, situated at the apex of my German Army (GeAr) column of tapes - until I heard the new one on Field Hymns. Crystal-covered Tassili Plateau, on Field Hymns, has a dank, otherworldly quality that hovers and permeates like the finest indica. A surreal mountainous area in the middle of the Sahara, Tassili n'Ajjer is renown for the rock art - 15,000 drawings and etchings currently identified to date - that suffuses the landscape. It is a magnificent record of human evolution and the movement of animals among other things; the images correspond nicely to the GeAr jams on offer. Evacuate your head space prior to liftoff because this LA duo lights up your head with an array of  intriguing textures on synthesizer and guitar; ebullient, evocative passages; ritualistic burners; adept tempo/mood variation that endows each jam with a singular character; and hash oil-coated drum machines.

GeAr is impressive from the time one presses play. "Border Marsh" features voluminous, sustained synth which modulates to yield a dreamy effect; however ominous, intractable vibrations descend shortly. The juxtaposition is beautiful - the unyielding, writhing metallic sound that abuts eastern imbued tones. Warmth pervades the atmosphere in "Mumbai" as pleasant, reverb-soaked melodies dance on the air. "Antiseptic" presents something different than the first two tracks; decayed drum machines caked in dust combine with ghastly synth and some of the cleanest vocals that I've heard in a GeAr recording. Walls of thick noise meander, while the synth twinkles in "Crooning Ignorance". The last track on side A, "Indian Beast" is one of my favorites. Slow moving, hazy beats churn as crystalline tones exude geometric designs. Embryonic droplets of beauty mature into sonorous streams. Pack it tight for the flip because once you press play a continuum of beats plummets which precipitates the release of fervent, dense tones into the atmosphere. Another outstanding track is "Bondage". There is a ritualistic nature to this track which imbues it with an intriguing, dubious character. Sustained synthesizer - voluminous and bleary - bends around the labyrinthine structures that partly comprise the lunar landscape in "The Sexual Cycle of Human Norms." The last track is about as heady as they come. "Goa" is the sound of the Beach Boys hotboxing in some futuristic ballroom.      
Tassili Plateau is one of a few recently released recordings from German Army. Released in an edition of 75 cassettes, Tassili Plateau is highly recommended and may be purchased directly from Field Hymns.

peace and love, friends :)