Spires That in the Sunset Rise, "Psychic Oscillations"

When you walk outside, in the light, and the sparks in your head define your map of the world, your relation to time and thoughts that lead and follow, full of light, discharging constantly. When you talk to others, an exchange of pleasantries, the flow of humanity, breath through a flute, bow on string, colors, sounds. How you never feel it all at once, the best you can do is hop on a wave and ride it.

Our age has us filled to bursting with anxiety, recriminations, separations and segregations, categories, colonies, tribute, miniscule compensation, tokenism, lip service, creeds, dogmas, easy answers, false hopes, compromise, disappointment, emperor's new clothes, and wolves in sheep's clothing.

Spires That in the Sunset Rise have wandered these woods for nearly twenty years. Psychic Oscillations is an active meditation, an album that probes how time works and reworks itself through cyclical structures, loose improvisation, and wordless vocal play, plaints and praises. While at times celebratory, there is also a palpable urgency underlying the entire record. In the wordless vocalizations of sound and breath it is unabashedly body and at the same time entirely transcendent.

Spires That in the Sunset Rise come together with this crisis point in the now and offer this vessel, filled with psychic energy made physical in time. Psychic Oscillations was written over a span of time which included a condensed period of focus during an artist residency at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, summer of 2018. The instrumentation on this record hones in on cello, alto saxophone, flute, synthesizers, and voice. It is the Spires' twelfth album. Here and now.

More information can be found here.

2094 Hits

Severed Heads, "Clifford 2000"

While the 1980s output of Australia's oft misunderstood Severed Heads is well known, the 2000s were also an intensely creative period for the group.  Along with a periodical magazine/album called Op, Severed Heads released limited hand-cut discs, two computer games and a handful of ultra-rare artworks. Medical Records is proud to present a new museum entitled Clifford 2000: a 180gm double album holding 18 years of music over four sides of continuous montage personally segued by Mr. Ellard himself.

Out December 8, 2020 on Medical Records.

2519 Hits

"A Little Night Music: Aural Apparitions from the Geographic North"

A Little Night Music: Aural Apparitions from the Geographic North main photo

The midnight hour crept unto thee with hasty caution, revealing A Little Night Music: Aural Apparitions from the Geographic North, our third putrid prowl into Halloween-inspired sounds to torment and tantalize throughout the season. For this bout of distinguished dementia, we culled 31 brand new tracks of haunted hysteria conjured by some of the most alluring ambientists and outer auteurs from around the world.

Spanning over two hours across two cassettes, A Little Night Music… unfurls itself in a literary horror structure, appearing and disappearing through a stirring Prologue and Epilogue by London-based cellist Oliver Coates, with each side of the cassettes introducing its Chapter with a chilling dirge courtesy of the inscrutable Geographic North House Band.

What fills the ensuing pages is a mirthful tale concocted by an assembly exploring a realm all at once mournful and fatalist at its core. Entries from Clarice Jensen, Malibu, and the collaboration of Like a Villain and Christina Vantzou bring about endless glacial landscapes accented by pitch-grey skies. Conversely, transmissions from Michael Valentine West, M. Sage, Gregg Kowalsky, and Austrian ambient stalwart Fennesz explore richly textured mines of foreboding glee.

Suspicion is the word when considering Zelienople's eerie horse-carriage clip-clop, Nick Malkin's neon-lit noir-jazz, or Carmen Villain's gripping dub excursion. Elsewhere Ki Oni, Takagi Masakatsu, and Mary Lattimore (joined here by Paul Sukeena) provide glimmers of warmth amidst a tortured chill.

Notable is the resurrection of Lotus Plaza and his solemnly hopeful piano composition, while barren hallucinations courtesy of Alex Zhang Hungtai, Ilyas Ahmed, and Danny Paul Grody set the stage for a third act confrontation from Atlantans Fit of Body and Algiers, providing a one-two serving of sensual unrest and cautionary homily.

With hope and resolve shimmering through the final moments of our journey, know that all proceeds from the digital and cassette editions go directly toward Feminist Women's Health Center, an Atlanta-based nonprofit providing safe, accessible, and compassionate abortion and gynecological care to all those who need it without judgement.

More information can be found here.

2358 Hits

Prana Crafter, "MorphoMystic"

Prana Crafter is William Sol, a musical mystic who blends the raw energies of nature with guitars, synthesizers, singing bowls, and a dose of flow-consciousness. The resulting sonic nectar flows out from the amplifier, cascading in the mind of the listener, splashing mantras against the listener’s third ear. Some music is meant to entertain, to be consumed like flashing patterns on a TV screen. Not so with the music of Prana Crafter. This music is a sonic-tapestry of energies that are meant to envelop the listener and deliver a message that, as Sol puts it, cannot be known through symbol or through sign.

Likened to artists across the psychedelic and folk spectrums—Popul Vuh, Agitation Free, Six Organs/Ben Chasny, —Sol's self-professed mentors-in-spirit Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, and Manuel Göttsching are present as well in familiar and surprising ways. In reviews it has been said that Prana Crafter’s music is "an example of psych-folk at its finest" (Raven Sings the Blues), "like a long-lost pressing from the early '70s, it's a mist-shrouded mysterious meditation" (Shindig Magazine), and even that, "few other musicians are making music as ambitious and genuine as Prana Crafter" (The Active Listener).

Will has said he thinks of himself as a conduit when recording and with MorphoMystic, Prana Crafter are creating truly Cosmic Music, a synthesized mediation – think if you will of Terry Reilly and Sandy Bull blending their hypnotic energy flow together. MorphoMystic is a 35 minute kosmische-inspired acid opus that lets your mind venture in the slipstream, between the viaducts of your dream before gently floating you back down to earth.

More information can be found here and here.

2120 Hits

Stephen Mallinder, "Pow Wow" reissue

A new sub-label of the longstanding Canadian electro imprint Suction Records, Ice Machine — focusing on old-school wave/post-punk sounds — is thrilled to present a new, deluxe reissue of Pow Wow, the debut 1982 solo LP from Cabaret Voltaire's Stephen Mallinder.  Now expanded to a double-LP, and also released on CD/digital, it's a definitive reissue which now includes Mallinder's early solo discography in its entirety. This collection of mutant dub/funk/postpunk sounds just as fresh and contemporary in 2020 as it did in 1982 (note Autechre's inclusion of standout cut "Del Sol" in a mix earlier this year), and highlights Mallinder's crucial contributions to Cabaret Voltaire.

Some words from Mr. Mallinder on the scene and era from which Pow Wow was born: "It was an interesting, and inspiring, time. The primal caterwaul of punk was dying and lots of really significant things were emerging from the fires. Much looser vibes were in the air and there was a much more exploratory feel. Punk had championed a visceral, anti-intellectual approach but in truth the real characters brought so much more to the table, and what began to happen - from people like The Pop Group to Throbbing Gristle, and emerging scenes from No New York to Factory Records - is we began to embrace the art of it all. There was acknowledgement of the importance of books, films, graphic art, and experimentation with all those mediums. We were just as interested in turning over rocks to see what lay beneath, as throwing them. There was a sense of new magik emerging."

Pow Wow
was commissioned by the Fetish Records label, and recorded at the Cabs' Western Works studio, where Mallinder would spend his days recording with Cabaret Voltaire, and continue on alone into night recording his debut solo material. "I slept very little in those days," he adds, continuing: "It was done on 8 track and very multi-tracked, so lots of recording, then bouncing, and overdubbing, to get the integrated feel of the tracks. I became very adept at pressing record then jumping onto equipment to play it - it was actually a very 'live' record in that sense. I've always seen rhythm at the core of what I do so I loved the layering of counter rhythms. The sequence/arpeggiator parts were all drum machine triggers that were played live. It was about creating a distinct groove so arrangements came from weaving in and out of those linear grooves. It was fun to play everything from drums, guitars, keys, trumpet, percussion, tapes… and record and produce it all. Prince got it from me!"

More information can be found here.

2101 Hits

Sarah Davachi, "Figures in Open Air"

A supplement to Cantus, Descant, Figures In Open Air offers almost three hours of live recordings and variations. Featuring performances for pipe organ and solo electronics while on tour at Roter Salon in Berlin, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel in Chicago, the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles, Église du Gesù in Montreal, and the Lab in San Francisco, from 2018 - 19. Two-disc set.

All tracks composed and performed (organ, synthesizers) by Sarah Davachi.

Out November 6, 2020 on Davachi's own Late Music.  More information can be found here.

1995 Hits

Carl Stone, "Stolen Car"

Over the past several years, the recorded output of Carl Stone has been turned on its head. In previous decades, Stone perennially toured new work but kept a harboring gulf of time between the live performances and their recorded release. This not only reflected the careful consideration of the pieces and technical innovations that went into the music but also the largely academic-minded audience that was themselves invested in the history and context of the work. The time span of Stone's recorded output in both sheer musical duration and year range was generously expansive. Following multiple historical overviews of Stone's work on Unseen Worlds and a re-connection with a wider audience, the time between Stone's new work in concert and on record has grown shorter and shorter until there is now almost no distance at all. Stone's work has often at its core explored new potential within popular cultural musics, simultaneously unspooling and satisfying a pop craving. On Stolen Car, the forms of Carl Stone's pieces have also become more compact, making for a progressive new stage in Stone's career where he is not only creating out of pop forms but challenging them.

Stolen Car is the gleeful, heart-racing sound of hijack, hotwire, and escape. Stone carries the easy smirk and confidence of a car thief just out of the can, a magician in a new town setting up a game of balls and cups. With each track he reaches under the steering wheel and yanks a fistful of wires. Boom, the engine roars to life, the car speeds off into the sunset, the cups are tipped over, the balls, like the car, are gone.

"These tracks were all made in late 2019 and 2020, much of when I was in pandemic isolation about 5000 miles from my home base of Tokyo. All are made using my favorite programming language MAX. However distinct these two groupings might be they share some common and long-held musical concerns. I seek to explore the inner workings of the music we listen to using techniques of magnification, dissection, granulation,, anagramization, and others. I like to hijack the surface values of commercial music and re-purpose them offer a newer, different meaning, via irony and subversion."

- Carl Stone, Los Angeles, September 2020

Out now on Unseen Worlds.

2251 Hits

Big Blood, "Dark Country Magic" reissue

Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube Records are delighted to be able to  bring to you the much anticipated vinyl pressing of Dark Country Magic from this wonderful Maine trio (Quinnisa making her first intentional effort with "Moo Hoo" on this release).

Caleb Mukerin and Colleen Kinsella have been key personages of the Portland sonic underground as members of the cosmically-shifting Cerberus Shoals and the folkily psychedelic Fire on Fire before forming the more personal and hermetic Big Blood back in 2006. The band's multi-phasic discography has thus far reminded people of everything from the Comus to Portishead to Julee Cruise at different moments, yet none of these thumbnails comes close to capturing the intimacy and directness of their recordings where they take things to a higher plane of personal expression.

In Dark Country Magic haunting effects and experimental sounds combine with wailing fuzzed-up garage folk anthems and twisted poetic freak-folk as lyrical layers peel away endlessly, tiny amps weep in pain, crude percussion booms thunderous, and ragged, beautiful hooks unfurl straight out of the void. On "Coming Home Pt.3" Kinsella’s quivering bewitching vocals ask you to succumb to the hauntingly melancholic drift while acoustics strum quietly up front before Dark Country Magic's playful closer "Moo-Hoo," where Quinnisa performs a children’s story. The combination is head spinning and gloriously original, but will be immediately identifiable as Big Blood by anyone who knows the band's music.

More information can be found here.

2011 Hits

William Basinski, "Lamentations"

William Basinski's reputation as the foremost producer of profound meditations on death and decay has long been established, but on his new album, Lamentations, he transforms operatic tragedy into abyssal beauty. More than any other work since The Disintegration Loops, there is an ominous grief throughout the album, and that sense of loss lingers like an emotional vapor.

Captured and constructed from tape loops and studies from Basinski's archives – dating back to 1979 – Lamentations is over forty years of mournful sighs meticulously crafted into songs. They are shaped by the inevitable passage of time and the indisputable collapsing of space – and their collective resonance is infinite and eternal.

Out November 13th on Temporary Residence.

2250 Hits

The Dead C, "Unknowns"

Some bands struggle to transcend their initial mythos, those stories that introduce them to the public eye. But The Dead C is a notable exception. They appeared in 1986 under a cloud of mystery, their unconventional location (South Island, New Zealand) helping to fuel their erratic sound. Name-dropped through the nineties by groups like Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo, they gained influence and acclaim but never strayed from their original mainlined performing technique, which can sound like chaos to the casual listener.

What kind of a world greets them and their new album Unknowns in 2020? New Zealand culture is better known throughout the world, not to mention a low-virus paradise. Yes, isolated as in the past, but this time for being a nation of efficacy in tackling a public health crisis. But what about the rest of us? The music of Mssrs. Robbie Yates, Bruce Russell and Michael Morley endures, partially because their errant sounds, once so alienating, now feel like they've been made flesh in a large part of the modern day world.

Continuing to delve inwards for inspiration with tin ears towards trends, styles and technique, The Dead C forge onward. Unpolished, dusty and gritty, these three have again taken two guitars and drums, a combo which has less to say than ever, and leave us stunned. Unknowns has Morley slurring over spiraling dissemblance, with tracks ricocheting from intense to assaultive to drained, yet consistently magnificent.

As reliable as ever, The Dead C are firmly grounded as an unassailable Truth.

Out October 16th on Ba Da Bing.

2250 Hits

Black to Comm, "Oocyte Oil & Stolen Androgens"

534 1600

Shapeshifting producer Marc Richter offers up another powerfully psychedelic collection of hypnagogic sound collages and electronic meditations.

Oocyte Oil & Stolen Androgens compiles new evolutions of pieces originally created as art installations alongside original pieces, demonstrating the sheer breadth of Black To Comm's sound world and distilling an incredible amount of sonic detail into, surprisingly, some of Richter's most instantly arresting and concise works to date. A deeply immersive listen that recalls The Caretaker's deep dives into the subconscious or Felicia Atkinson's synaesthetic compositions.

More information can be found here.

2572 Hits

The Microphones, "Microphones in 2020"

A new Microphones album consisting of one long song.

Here is a poem about it:

The old smell of air
coming faintly through the spring
crack in the snow above a hibernating bear’s winter den,
the smell of long self-absorption,
burrowing into one’s own chest, re-breathing the exhales of one’s own breath,
the smell of squinting in the dark
ruminating in dreams
beneath layering years, the snow still falling.

In the dark smoldering
slowly burning through all the old clothes, sifting through the ash,
wiping old shedded fur from the eyes
nosing out into the light.

In that brief moment when the airs of the past and present meet,
at the mouth of the open bed,
egoic solidity burns away in the spring wind, self becomes fuel,
there is only now
and the past is a dream burning off.
Fragments arranged along the trail, crumbs consumed, dust blown,
no route back.

More information can be found here.

2344 Hits

Kassel Jaeger, "Swamps / Things"

"As a child, almost every Sunday, I was wandering in the countryside, and usually, I was finding myself in my favorite spot: a swamp. Air was different. Trees were dead, but not really dead. Soil was swaying of clear water, and an everlasting mist was suspended all over the place. No one was there and nothing could happen even if some animal tracks were here to prove me I was wrong.

Much later, one of my masters made always this joke about my music. He said I was composing swamps, I guess because of the lack of demonstrative musical shapes and articulations. At the same time, he was acknowledging that I was building a “climate."
It took me then almost 30 years to understand why I was so fond of swamps. It's because a swamp is an intermediary space of the organic becoming and the blurry space suspending the cycle of the utilities, which is the cycle of history.

Swamps / Things has been conceived as an opera. An opera without characters, without text, but not without story. The story, here, is only an arc. Because what is an opera, if not an arc? And the arc, here, is the simplest. It's walking through the swamp.

Approaching it, leaching into it, becoming it. The Swamp is us. Our own disappearance, populated by all the beasts we have turned into, by the places we have haunted, and by the time we have consumed. We are traces in an always intermediate state. Animals tracks in the sodden earth of the Swamp."

— Francois Bonnet (Kassel Jaeger).

More information can be found here.

2471 Hits

Nurse With Wound & Blind Cave Salamander, "Cabbalism III & IV"

Cabbalism III (Leuven) was originally released as a limited edition. NWW always felt that this recording was the best of the 3 "Cabbalism" shows & over the years many people have complained of its unavailabilty, so here it is, with the addition of an extra track - "Cabbalism IV." This was made by Colin Potter using sources from all three "Cabbalism" recordings, mixed and mastered at IC Studio, London 2020.

Steven Stapleton - Guitar & effects pedals
Colin Potter - Electronics, mix
Paul Beauchamp - Electronics, musical saw
Julia Kent - Cello
Fabrizio Modenese Palumbo - Guitar, electric viola

More information can be found here.

2761 Hits

ESP Summer, "Here" (His Name is Alive/Pale Saints)

"Ian Masters and Warren Defever working together as ESP Summer.  More coming soon."

More information can be found here.

2638 Hits

Midwife & Amulets / M. Trecka & Susan Alcorn, "In / Heaven" split

Midwife has released a split cassette with M. Trecka.

Side A. "In Ellipsis Landscapes" Mark Trecka in collaboration Susan Alcorn  17:20
Side B. "Heaven" - Midwife in collaboration with Amulets  16:46

"I recorded it before I wrote anything for Forever; it acts as a kind of prologue to the record in my mind." -Madeline Johnston

More information can be found here.

2993 Hits

Richard Skelton, "These Charms May Be Sung Over a Wound"

Seminal British experimental musician Richard Skelton joins Phantom Limb for the release of stunning new album These Charms May Be Sung Over A Wound, his first for the label, first on vinyl in over a decade, and a standout record in his own catalogue.

Over the past sixteen years, Richard Skelton has developed a signature sound, often comprised of strings, piano and other acoustic instrumentation. Since 2013 he has increasingly buried these organic sources in layers of detritus and static. The process, as he articulates it, is to use signal-degradation as a means of reflecting the processes of decay and transformation in the natural world. His music has been placed alongside giants of experimental music, such as Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Stars Of The Lid, William Basinski.

With new album These Charms May Be Sung Over A Wound, however, Skelton has abandoned acoustic instrumentation altogether to map out a new territory of buzzing sine tones and square waves, immersed in shimmering clouds of distortion and suspended over landscapes of thrumming bass. The result is a new and transcendental experience: while the key themes of Skelton's music remain - stark and lonely geographies, ancient myths buried deep within the land, slow-moving glacial evolution - we are transported to a darker and more mechanical place. The intensity and sound design here are more akin to quasi-industrial, abandoned-factory sonics than to earthy, organic tones of earlier Richard Skelton albums. Abul Mogard and Alessandro Cortini could be considered peers now, just as much as Eno and Basinski had been before.

Out September 25, 2020.  More information can be found here.

2863 Hits

Mary Lattimore, "Silver Ladders"

Los Angeles-based harpist Mary Lattimore returns with Silver Ladders, the full-length follow-up to acclaimed album Hundreds of Days. Since 2018, Lattimore has toured internationally, released collaborative albums with artists such as Meg Baird and Mac McCaughan, and shared a friends-based remix album featuring artists such as Jónsi and Julianna Barwick. At one of her festival appearances, Lattimore met Slowdive's Neil Halstead: "A friend introduced us because she knew how big of a fan I was and Neil and I had a little chat... The next day, I just thought maybe he'd be into producing my next record.” He was. Lattimore traditionally records her albums holed up by herself, so the addition of Halstead's touches as a producer and collaborator leaves a profound trace. "I flew on a little plane to Newquay in Cornwall where he lives with his lovely partner Ingrid and their baby. I didn't know what his studio was like, he'd never recorded a harp, but somehow it really worked."

Recorded over nine days at Halstead's studio stationed on an old airfield, Silver Ladders finds Lattimore exercising command and restraint. Her signature style is refined, the sprawling layers of harp reigned in and accented by flourishes of low-end synth and Halstead's guitar. The music can feel ominous but not by compromising vivid wonder, like oceanic overtones that shift with the tides. This material is colored by specific memories for Lattimore; "Neil has this poster of a surfer in his studio and I'd look at it each day, looking at the sunlight glinting on the dark wave. In these songs I like the contrast between the dark lows and the glittering highs. The gloom and the glimmer, the opposites, a lively surfing town in the winter turned kinda rainy and empty and quiet."

Lattimore and Halstead reformed three existing demos and improvised the remaining four songs. Among the batch she brought with her, the title track recalls a trip she took to Stari Grad, Croatia on the island of Hvar. "I spent some days there just swimming in the bay, silver ladders right into the sea." The image stuck with her when she found herself performing at a cliffside wedding overlooking the Pacific. "Before anyone showed up, I had time to set up and play and this song came to me, "Silver Ladders (to the sea)," so I made a little recording on my phone to remember it." This sketch expanded; a delicately glittering harp melody comes over the horizon, swelling and rolling towards the shore on ebbs of synth and refractory delay.

Inspired by a story that Halstead shared with Lattimore, "Don't Look" is the score to a beach-side tragedy. "It was a stunning beach with big waves," Lattimore says, “and (Neil) told me that recently, some teenagers had been out there with these surfboards that were way too light and had found themselves in trouble. The four adults that went in to save them died but the teenagers survived." The power of undertow pulls the melody, which begins in a minimalist and elegiac mode, deeper and deeper. Heavy strikes on low harp strings summon up Neptune's wrath, dashing heroism against the roar of the sea, permitting those naive enough to enter that dangerous water to exit, now less naive.

Lattimore's song titles often evoke fragments of things heard or misheard. In an anecdote from Lattimore, "I chose "Chop on the Climbout" as a title because a pilot once said, 'Folks, there's going to be some light chop on the climb out’ and I thought the language had an insider mystery that was compelling. The song reminds me of plane traveling." Listeners can feel the drama of aeronautics; the thrust of liftoff, the rumble of overhead luggage as the craft ascends into the belly of cloud cover. Passengers yearning to traverse wide distances in brief moments. The hum steadies into a mesmerizing drone, a synth on top of which Lattimore and Halstead take turns exchanging chiming leads smeared with static-laden air pressure.

These songs are clearly tales, and yet Silver Ladders is open to interpretation. Her memories — "the Cornish landscape, the hotel from the movie The Witches, the cream tea, winning the pub quiz, the Sunday Roast, the ghosts of all of the surfers who had died in the wild waves, the night walks to the top of the hill to see the moon shining on the water…" — shine through these works without defining them. In a way, much like the sea, or the sky, they belong to everyone. Such is the beauty of her craft, which stands here in unprecedented company and clarity, the confidence of an artist in full.

Out October 9th on Ghostly International.

3135 Hits

Seabuckthorn, "Other Other"

Over the space of this album, a slow and patient unfolding occurs. Strings are able to breathe, finding the space they need to move, although their movements are lurching, clunky, and convulsive. Seabuckthorn illuminates the distance – a family, a time spent together, and a beautiful summer. It has the feel of old European adventures and trips to glorious cities, markets, churchyards, and yawning fields, with a population yet to face the music of climate change or even a World War.

Years erode the features, and a scattering of distortion eats away at the music. The year in question has faded away, and time has gone way beyond evening or dusk, but Seabuckthorn brings it back and makes it relevant once again. The music is late and so is the hour, but even as the light dims, a beautiful, rusty afterglow is left behind, a dull gleam coming from a King's crown.

More information can be found here.

2485 Hits

Black to Comm, "Der Weiße Elefant"

Soundtrack for the Jan van Hasselt film Der Weiße Elefant, recorded 2015/2016.

More information can be found here.

2227 Hits