Thursday, May 29, 2014

Crown of Eternity - Vibrate the Cosmos (Crown of Eternity, 2014)

Trichome power! Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

The ethereal soundscapes and blissful chants that comprise Vibrate the Cosmos plant the flowers in your mind and then stick around for the crystal covered harvest. Crown of Eternity is the husband and wife duo of Mike Tamburo and Gallina Tamburo. However, this is more than a musical project. Mike and Gallina teach Kundalini yoga in Pittsburgh and operate a yoga and vibration healing center, Crown of Eternity. If I could select one word to describe Vibrate the Cosmos, then it would be "immersion." For well over an hour, Mike and Gallina stimulate your awareness through renditions of sacred Kundalini yoga mantras and heady soundscapes that combine psychedelic, ambient, shoegaze and looping music. The detailed liner notes provide background on each mantra. For over a few years, I have been listening to Mike's music. At the cross-section of his many projects, Mike's soul shines brilliantly to endow the listener with serenity and warmth. With Gallina joining Mike, they create one of the most beautiful releases with which he has been associated. The lush instrumentation supports the vocals appropriately; it creates a tranquil environment in which their voices soar majestically. Traversing a magnificent rainbow arc from beginning to end, layered chants and vocals illuminate barren areas. Omnipresent in my favorite track, "Ecstatic Har", Mike and Gallina's energy flows unabated. Mellifluous, melodious and imparting heavy vibrations from the beginning, the entrancing chant and instrumentation is a manifestation of the lucid awareness referenced in the album title.  

The beginning of "Ra Ma Da Sa" is the sonic equivalent of dawn and sunrise. Embryonic vibrations resonate delicately in the beginning. Shortly, radiant beams of guitar echo and the duo's vocals gradually grow in vitality. Psychedelic particles sparkle among the stars in the following track, "Ang Sang Wahe Guru." Sonorous, heartfelt vocals combine with dreamy guitar. Later in the track, synthesizer disperses infinite healing vibrations among all denizens. The spacey intro to the next track has the vibe of the more recent Expo '70 releases. The mantra recited by Mike and Gallina rises and falls in the manner of the breath. Gallina's piano adds to the track nicely. Subsequent to "Ecstatic Har", tremulous notes mix with a languorous recital of words from Guru Arjan, the 5th Sikh Guru. 

According to the liner notes, Crown of Eternity's music is written and arranged with A tuned to 432 hz aligning with Universal vibrations. I often find myself rejoicing and singing to the energy that flows from the breathing speakers. One can purchase a copy directly from Crown of Eternity.

peace and love, friends :)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Cloudsound - S/T (Fluere Tapes 01)

purps! buckle up... peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Earlier today I tried to remember, albeit unsuccessfully, where I heard about Cloudsound, a project of Lee Boyd that always keeps the listener lifted; later, i remembered that it was from Ana, of the venerable Microphones in the Trees. This is the initial effort from Fluere Tapes of Sweden. If subsequent releases can match the overall beauty of the s/t cassette from Cloudsound, then it will be a bright future for Fluere Tapes. Over two sides of tape, outer zone guitar excursions ripple from pulsating speakers. Cloudsound traverses the cosmos, making transitory landings, but never veering from the trichome-laden course of a sonic explorer.

Subsequent to the flowers going up in smoke, resplendent clouds billow resulting in a welter of variegated sonic energy orbiting the starry mind endlessly. Crystal-covered ragas; kind jams; meditative hymns; outer zone seekers - this tape has it all. The guitar playing is beautiful and bright - evoking the beauty of Known Quantity-era Willie Lane- trickling out under the glare of sunlight. Blown out bliss cloaks intricate finger picked patterns and drone. Lofi shoegaze makes a brief appearance. Serene drone exists in dense ambient clouds. This tape makes the speakers breath. On the flipside, Cloudsound's ascent continues unscathed. Basho-esque finger picked guitar has a clean sound. Shortly, spacey effects appear, which add a nice element to the recording. Buoyant notes burn brightly until trailing off -heartfelt vibrations. Warm drone emits pulsating light that partly cloaks idyllic strings. There's not a downer on this tape. A little later, a brief stop in psych folk territory catapults us among celestial bodies. 

The photograph, by Christy Romanick, who also appears in the side A closer, connects nicely to the music. The illustrious Liz Pavlovic is responsible for the layout. Available as a cassette or cd, I highly recommend these jams. On a night when the sky is clear and the stars abundant, this tape provides a nice companion. Both formats were produced in a limited run; secure a copy directly from Cloudsound.

peace and love, friends :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Gora Sou - Living XXL (NL009)

high times! Gora Sou shines the light into my day. Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Living XXL is an apt title for Gora Sou's third release on Noumenal Loom. Boundless possibilities seem to exist in the head and heart of Marc Übel (Gora Sou). His skill in composition engenders tracks that are uplifting, contemplative, and elegiac. A combination of new age and experimental music, the tracks that comprise Living XXL have great depth. Any randomly selected moment on this tape could be deconstructed to reveal copious ideas and sounds. 

Upon pressing play, delicate notes echo on the periphery of consciousness - extremely light and resonant. An entrancing effect occurs as they move more proximate with each iteration. Upon reaching the crest, the wave breaks. The listener is inundated by ponderous tones and ambient manifestations that fissure. An exquisite collage leads to the third track, which possesses different energy from anything on the tape. An ominous loop circulates furtively while ethereal sounds jut up and hover. "Three Palms Avalon" is my favorite track on the tape. Übel really shines in such moments. The clouds part to reveal inspiring and hopeful vibrations. The latter part of the tape - tracks 5-8 - is incredible. In the following track, Übel pours it on heavy. The gorgeous beginning, comprised of rain drops and heartfelt sound, progresses to include periodically rising crystalline tones. "Bay of Seven Moons" is heavenly. Bright and blurry ambience pulsates and transmogrifies wondrously, which reminds one of the beauty contained in Venice-era Fennesz - resplendent, morphing clouds of sound. The last few minutes of this track precipitate elation. 

 With each release, Gora Sou becomes more entrenched on the crystal-covered top shelf. Übel's music is a regular part of my life. This is a mindful listener's kind of tape, if you know what I mean. Also, I tend to look at Birch Cooper's artwork when listening to Living XXL. The design, hues and texture do a nice job of encapsulating the feel of the music. Produced in a limited run of 100 home dubbed tapes, only a few copies remain. One may purchase Living XXL directly from Noumenal Loom.

peace and love, friends :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Cosmic Dead - Easterfaust (Sound of Cobra, 2014)

Stoney sailor trichomes take you higher and higher. Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief:)

With summer rapidly approaching, the medicine for your head arrives in the form of Easterfaust, featuring the latest jams from The Cosmic Dead on Sound of Cobra Records. Scotland's finest smoke you out with two sides of heady psych/Krautrock/garage action that will keep you shaking it until sunrise. Zoned in over two sides of heaviness that is never static, this tight recording witnesses the Cosmic Dead ascending in all of their psychonaut crystal-covered glory. Sometimes they drift among the cosmic dust; lethargic thuds of percussion, distorted murmurs, dreamy bass and shimmering strings circulate in the vastness. At other times, their alchemy envelops the sky, such is the ferocity of their attack. These guys are always probing the sonic unknown, searching for higher environs to illuminate via their aural onslaught.

As the needle drops, the heads are already in the ether drifting serenely. The slow burn of looped guitar floats effortlessly along with languorous percussion and bass. Plumes of distorted vocals billow over the listener. Untethered and wide-eyed, the shimmering ellipses of space dust lead to a rapturous psych frenzy - i love how the ethereal drift turns into Hawkwind-imbued high times. Riding a high, beautiful wave, the band hits the groove with alacrity. Piercing the zenith, the psych maelstrom careens as charged riffs, driving drums and dreamy bass provide the fuel. The flip is packed so tightly that it burns brightly across the sky in overdrive mode. Who knew that a higher gear existed? These guys singe the kief coated flowers right from first revolution of side B. Resolute drums, spacey synth, writhing bass and hash oil coated riffs recall the heady vibe of Blue Cathedral era Comets on Fire and Acid Mothers Temple. A feverish pace is attained until they settle somewhat and explore an atmosphere replete with brilliant, celestial objects. James T. Mckay's guitar, unfettered, oozes preternatural vibrations, while Julian Dicken's frenzied drumming coalesces with Omar Aborida's heady bass lines. Gradually, the energy picks up and one senses the precipitous deluge. Yet, just when the inevitable seems ready to tear your head open, they descend a few levels to a place somewhat reminiscent of the beginning. After a brief respite, Aborida's chugging bass and Dicken's manic drumming set the scene for Mckay's pyrotechnics to light up the night sky once more.

 Easterfaust is the sound of four travelers with their finger on the moment. This is too good to miss. However, if you dillydally, then this massive hash rocket is bound to pass you by; the first pressing sold quickly. A second pressing, of 200 copies, was recently released. Bryan Olson's heady artwork adorns the front, while Henri Claudel is responsible for the artwork on the backside. Easterfaust may be purchased directly from Sound of Cobra.
peace and love, friends :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ōgon Batto - 007 (HAK007)

Vivid vibrations that guide you through the dubious darkness. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

The overwhelming sense of disquiet burns brightly from the bowl immediately. Bleary, opaque synth and ominous low ends have a portentous effect. Hazy noise careens until, unexpectedly, a sequence of piano notes finishes the track. Ōgon Batto, in the seventh release for Hare Akedod, exhibits a prowess for composition throughout this tape; the tracks seem structured for optimal impact on the listener. Many of the tracks could be regarded as ambient/dark ambient, yet there are infinitesimal manifestations of Krautrock and American Primitivism in some of the tracks; more so, the eerie cinematic feel produces evocative moments - a reason that this tape loops at the house. Ōgon Batto is the moniker of Bent Von Bent, co-curator of Hare Akedod. Along with David Edren - Hare Akedod/DSR Lines - they create limited edition electro-acoustic cassettes. I highly recommend the back catalog, especially Raju Arara. In the second track, the guitar is more pronounced compared to other tracks. Cascading piano notes produce waves of eerie chill. Meanwhile, reverb-soaked chords spread through the atmosphere with ease - a lovely juxtaposition. Menacing vibrations continue to circulate in the following track, "Jacht Op Allen." Contemplative piano ruminates in the stale air next to majestic zither. Ritualistic percussion increases the tension, which gives the track another dimension; poignant waves fade in while mutant synth manifests on the periphery. The flipside contains beautiful instances of minimalism. Enigmatic tones move furtively in the beginning of the first track on side B. The track slowly comes into being. Shortly, waves of synth pulsate, accelerate and descend all around the listener. Throbbing drums jut up through the sheen of gauzy electronics toward the end. The second track, which features field recordings, is lovely and more minimal than the others. The penultimate track is fantastic. Exhibiting celestial arpeggios and sustained tones that have an organ-like quality, it's the coalescence of something one might hear from Miasmah and Lunar Miasma.

Produced in a limited edition of 80 tapes on transparent tapes with white print, the beautiful artwork was also produced by Bent Von Bent. Ōgon Batto's meticulous work has produced one of my favorite releases of 2014. Hare Akedod tapes don't hang around for long. Before they are OOP, secure a copy directly from Hare Akedod. Tomentosa should receive copies in the near future.

peace and love, friends :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ø+yn & Rapa Nui - Eco Paradigma (FCR031)

Crystal-covered Feathered Coyote. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Friday is for heads, and this dense, psych nug from Feathered Coyote will saturate your receptors with glistening crystals to help power you through the weekend. Over the past year or so, Ø+yn has become one of my favorite contemporary psych acts. Following an excellent collaboration with Uton on Eiderdown, this effort with Rapa Nui - recorded during Ø+yn's tour of Lima - snakes through the crystal-covered corridors of the labyrinthine head before emerging in the fuzzy light. These two psych heavyweights complement the other nicely. Eco Paradigma can be described as intense, sonorous, and entrancing. Rapa Nui's free jazz intertwines smoothly with the psych of Ø+yn to give Eco Paradigma a tortuous, ritualistic quality. Through the various peaks and valleys, it's an unpredictable sonic journey. Along with the stellar musicianship, the tempos utilized magnify the visceral effect of the music. Ominous and swirling with intent, the listener can feel the wind of fate grace their shoulders right from the start. Cavernous tones from the tuba encompass the sax, didgeridoo and  percussion. Enigmatic guitar and relentless drums contribute to the psych frenzy. Fuzzed guitar billows and sax lightly wails among swirling voices. The end of side A is majestic, sounding like a mix of free jazz, psych and 60's fusion. Resonant strings and percussion commence the flipside. Shortly, sax protrudes and spirals around awareness - a lovely start to side B. Plodding tones are circumscribed by fuzzy strings. At the apex, the guitar gleams and resonates on edge. Propulsive rhythms and spiraling feedback give way to various percussion, acute tones and drone from the didgeridoo.        

Ø+yn and Rapa Nui give me Blue Dreams - highly recommended. Eco Paradigma should set your head up nicely for the vibes which follow, a split between Ø+yn and Montibus Communitas. Produced in a limited edition, the lovely artwork by Arturo Quispe, of Rapa Nui, matches the hazy vibe perfectly. Eco Paradigma may be purchased directly from Feathered Coyote.

peace and love, friends :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Tor Festival 2014! Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Tor!! Jake Blanchard - proprietor of Tor Press, musician, and renowned visual artist - has been putting on shows at Todmorden First Unitarian Church for a little more than a year. Featuring a mix of local bands and those from around the world, the shows have generated immense positive feedback. To celebrate the first anniversary, Tor has decided to host a festival in Todmorden, West Yorkshire that will occur from July 25-27. Spread across three venues, the line-up reads like a whose who in the fields of experimental, psych, drone, noise and folk music. Some of the artists to perform include Honest Bag favorite, Bear Bones, Lay Low; Bridget Hayden; These Feathers Have Plumes; United Bible Studies; and Lobster Priest. Lobster Priest's tape on Blackest Rainbow melted the hard hash instantaneously! All of the funds raised for the three-day celebration will be used to compensate the artists/bands and operate the festival.

As of a few days ago, Tor Press mentioned that only 20 weekend tickets remain. So, instead of lighting up the tasty, head over to the festival sites:
Festival Website
Facebook Event

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Inner Travels - First Light (TST010)

lightness of being - peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

From moments of lucid awareness under brilliant light that flickers to celestial voyages in an azure sky, First Light has proved to be my favorite Twin Springs release. On this cassette, Inner Travels utilizes space and texture adroitly to beget instances of joy, focus and contemplation. Brilliant sparks of life kindle in cupped, trembling hands. It makes one want to hold that energy with eyes shut and to be thankful that you realized something beautiful, even for a brief moment. First Light, much like the most alluring things in life, has a transitory quality.

 Delicate, gauzy rays of sunlight traverse the soul from the time one presses play. Incipient light billows gently. At a distance, the vibrations are misty. Yet, as they approach, the radiance envelops the listener. The glare is ephemeral - a beautiful apparition. Majestic pulsations and voluminous waves saturate the receptors. Reverberations of sonic ellipses encompass the heart in kindness. Luminosity twinkles at the periphery; gradually, it swells among the verdant earth. Sequences of synth swirl benevolently, much like the tenderness heard from one of my musical heroes, Joe Zawinul. The various placid textures that are present in the tracks culminate in crystalline waves. Inner seeking tones burrow deep to reveal the eternal flame. The flipside -the Sky side - is suffused with reverie. Inside the slipstream, cavernous tones combine with evanescent manifestations. Bleary synth bubbles until evaporating. There's a lovely, removed feeling in some of the tracks on the Sky side. Observations from afar approach slowly, glimmer in the inner eye and then ascend into the clouds. Suffering vanishes as variegated energy glitters and expands throughout the soul.    

First Light is the mellifluous bird that beckons at my window in the morning; it infuses my home with tranquility. If you want to touch someones life with music, then I would give them this tape. Created primarily with a PSS-380, First Light is limited to 50 copies. With only a few remaining, secure your copy directly from Twin Springs, one of my favorite tape labels.        

peace and love, friends :)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Shingles - God First Planted A Garden (2:03)

tasty flowers from the 2:00 AM garden. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

The vibes on God First Planted A Garden - released on reborn 2:00 AM Tapes - are engrossing. Jesse De Rosa's synth inspired project, Shingles, uses various instruments - and even a typewriter - to create a tense, chilling, and ambient atmosphere. His skill in composition leaves the listener on edge. Dark waves encroach and the deluge feels imminent. At times, it reflects the portentous ambience of early Type Records releases; a little Max Richter, too.

As the tape begins to roll, mutant sounds swirl and sparks of electricity illuminate the barren sky. Metallic key strokes join a synth that pulsates with intent. Hushed sequences of synth percolate on the periphery. Deliberate tones fray in the second track on side A. Shortly, soaring incandescent waves interweave as the listener careens in currents that vacillate uneasily. Rapid fire bass lines throb, sending highly charged currents through the head; all the while, the analog warmth of the MS-10 rises from opacity to greet the listener with icy streaks of blue synth that spiral in a foreboding manner. Austere noise crests as sinister vibrations heave and then abate. As the flip starts up, we rise with the sun. Some of the most gorgeous work occurs at the beginning of side B, which is somewhat of a departure from the previous side. De Rosa goes for gold with a combination of majestic synth and warm noise that churns with vitality - lovely! Charred riffs burn brightly and assorted noise smoke the listener out in the following track. Shortly following in the next track, ethereal synth provides warmth and a welter of sound orbits. "The Garden" pummels one with vibes that float on the precipice. "Further North's" pensive synth traverses volatile currents - quite beautiful. De Rosa tweaks your head once more with variegated notes that unravel.  

De Rosa always packs the dank tightly and takes your head on a sonic trip without peer. Unequivocally, God First Planted A Garden is one of the best tapes I have heard this year - that goes for the artwork, too. Additionally, 2:00 AM's stellar batch includes tapes from Autistic Argonauts and Vales. Sold out at the source, you owe it to your head to procure one of the last remaining copies at the top shelf 905 shop.

peace and love, friends :)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Imperial Topaz - Full of Grace (TQ56)

Shining more brightly than ever! peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Full of Grace is the 'nova' release for New York-based synth duo, Imperial Topaz. Featuring Caroline Teagle and Zachary Zierden, Imperial Topaz' adept use of electronics coupled with varied rhythms - and Teagle's moving, nuanced voice- result in evocative, poignant tracks. With two previous releases - one of which is a split with Motion Sickness of Time Travel - Full of Grace ascends from the strides made on the MSOTT split and emits shimmering golden, yellow rays of energy. Teagle's affecting voice and breathy vocals, which featured prominently on the split, suffuse the atmosphere. Bleary synth and crystalline vibrations are provided more room to develop on the vinyl release. Icey, melancholic melodies comprised of variegated textures and enervated beats establish a dreamy, somewhat torpid, tempo for the majority of both sides. Yet, Teagle's beautiful vocals melt the icicles, imbuing the tracks with a degree of warmth.

The ominously titled intro, "Death Drift", is surprisingly idyllic - one of the most peaceful tracks on the album. Shimmering synth floats gently as droplets of electricity twinkle. A stream of buoyant energy occasionally overcomes everything, only to subsequently subside. Drum machines pulsate and throb next to Teagle's light and airy voice in the following track, "Juarez". Mysterious, contemplative synth exudes dark waves. "Moonlit Mind" sprinkles the kosmische crystals over crisp rhythms. Teagle's breathy vocals are joined by electric buzz and textures that one might associate with an organ. I love the energy of the final track on side A, "White Car". Infectious, driving rhythms abut Teagle's mellifluous voice. As it careens in one instance, her voice gently rises and falls in the next. Deliberate tones seem to echo for infinity and lightly touch the listener's consciousness. The title track starts off the flipside. Tranquil passages of synth float easily, while deep beats and stuttering drum machines provide the backdrop to Teagle's ethereal voice. Their use of texture is salient in the subsequent track, "Follow". Pace is integral to conveying the vibe in the next track, "The Soul Still Burns". Effervescent synth races through a labyrinth and is followed closely by bouncy tones. The synth and electronics dart furtively and bubble with excitement. Everything leads to the beautiful closer, "Wet Sand". Pensive, voluminous tones burst; their particles dissipating as they descend from the sky. Bleary synth ruminates while Teagle's voice hovers and sprays like a fine mist.        

Tranquility's first vinyl release is excellent. If you enjoyed the two tracks on the split with MSOTT, then I highly recommend securing a copy. Pressed on sturdy black vinyl, Caroline Teagle's artwork aligns nicely with the mood and feel of the album. Full of Grace may be purchased directly from Tranquility Tapes.

peace and love, friends :)