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Cam Deas, "Mechanosphere"

"Mechanosphere is Cam Deas' abstract yet poignant second album exploring ideas of rhythmic dissonance and head-spinning proprioceptions for The Death of Rave. Following directly from his cultishly-acclaimed mini-LP Time Exercises, which was surprisingly deployed in Richie Hawtin's recent "CLOSE COMBINED - LIVE" mix and hailed as "Holy F#ck-What is This?!?" by Brainwashed, his new album applies rich polychromatic colour to his signature rhythmic constructions with a greatly heightened emotive traction and broader appeal while only going deeper on his radical ideas about the fundamentals of sound and composition. Big recommendation if you're into Autechre, Xenakis, Ligeti, Rashad Becker.

Using a computer-controlled modular synth, Cam takes the simple idea of layering pitches in multiple tempi to Nth degrees, resulting in a sensational and warped sense of temporality and gravity-defying physics. Effectively placing pitch on a scale in a similar way to Conlon Nancarrow's player-piano programming or even Ligeti's famous metronome experiment, Cam explores solutions to the problem of grid-locked linearity, or at least perceptions of it, by effectively ripping the rug from under electronic music convention to make his music appear as though in perpetual freefall, or a process of omnidirectional contraction/expansion that never quite resolves - always the same, ever different.

In Mechanosphere listeners effectively navigate through the music by a loose means of pattern recognition, picking out accentuated kicks and hits that pierce thru Cam's incredibly dense swells of endless metallic tone. But where his Time Exercises LP was unreservedly abstract and emotive in an alien sense, his follow-up practically sounds as though aliens have developed a form of 3D midi folk-jazz or court music for bacchanals and spiritual reasons.

From the vertiginous scale of "Ascension," thru the the jaw-dropping hyper stepper "Slip," to the controlled chaos of "Reflect, Deflect," and ultimately the deeply solemn yet discordantly lush finale of shearing metallic pitches in "Solitude," Cam offers an often shocking and ever fascinating grasp of electronic music’s potential to relate hard-to-communicate but intuitively felt ideas to the body and emotions.  It's a sober but incredibly wondrous sound, and only confirms that Cam's seismic stylistic transition this decade from preeminent, post-Takoma 12-string guitar player to visionary synthesist was certainly worthwhile."

-via Boomkat

Out now on The Death of Rave.

4365 Hits

Andy Stott, "It Should be Us"

It Should Be Us by Andy Stott

"Andy Stott's first release since 2016 and first EP since 2011, It Should Be Us is a double EP of slow and raw productions for the club, recorded this year and following on from a series of EPs that started with Passed Me By and We Stay Together early this decade.

Recorded fast and loose over the summer, these 9 tracks (8 on the vinyl) harness a pure and bare-boned energy, melodies subsumed by drum machines and synths; slow, rugged abandon. It is all about rhythmic heat and disorientation, pure dance and DJ specials rendered at an unsteady pace, from percolated house and percussive rituals to moody tripped-out burners.

There will be a new Andy Stott album in 2020, but in the meantime... this one’s for dancing."

-via Boomkat

Out now on Modern Love.

4516 Hits

Vulpiano Records Presents "Ten-Year Anniversary" (Natural Snow Buildings)

Netlabel Vulpiano Records is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a cassette tape compilation as a benefit for nonprofit digital library Internet Archive (archive.org).  Limited to 100 copies and featuring exclusive and favorite tracks from the label's international roster of artists from Australia, England, France, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Russia, Spain, and the USA.  Each cassette is hand-numbered and comes with either a holographic tarot card (78 copies) or an Artist Trading Card collage on a playing card (22 copies), selected randomly.  The genre-spanning release celebrates the musically diverse and collaborative spirit of the long-running label with selections in drone, folk, electronic, and more.

For a label founded on a Creative Commons ethos, Internet Archive has long been an indispensable host for Vulpiano: a place for our artists' work to be free to download, share, copy and redistribute.

The tape features drone / folk duo Natural Snow Buildings' first track since the 2016 release of Aldebaran: "Charles Thomas Tester". (Cassette exclusive)

Vulpiano Records logo art by Solange Gularte of Natural Snow Buildings.

Album layout and logo edit by Marilyn Roxie.

Playing card collages by Dan Shea and Marilyn Roxie.

More information can be found here.

4360 Hits

Ohio, "Upward, Broken, Always" (Taylor Deupree/Corey Fuller)

As you lay on your back in the deep grass on a shadowy late-summer afternoon…tracing the outlines of patterns on the inside of your eyelids illuminated in translucense beneath the sun….ruminating, drifting in and out of sleep. Your dreams flirt with the irrational fears of the dark, of being left alone, of infinity…of being lost in corn fields reaching taller than the sky, of the comfort of feet dangling in a cold lake and splinters from running on a sun-dried summer dock. The world once felt new and alive…now through a haze, lost from the opacity of time.

Ohio is a new project from of 12k founder Taylor Deupree and long-time label-mate and collaborator Corey Fuller. The genesis of Ohio, besides the desire to work on a full album together, was them realizing they were both born in the US state of Ohio, not far from each other, and spent their earlier years crafting young memories there before moving away. This ended up being a simple, but interesting point of departure for the project because these early, hazy memories provided compelling conceptual roadmaps for the album as well as become inspiration for the song titles.

With no lack of irony the project started with a playful cover of singer/songwriter Damien Jurado's "Ohio." Deeply loved by both Deupree and Fuller, covering this song liberated them from working in their traditional "ambient" comfort-zone, challenging them with new structures and new directions. Their version of "Ohio" slowed the song down and explored acoustic and electric guitars, vocals, harmonies, pop-centric song structure, field recordings and a plethora of subtle studio fun (the looped clicking motor of a Roland RE-201 Space Echo being used as a "hi-hat" of sorts) and layers.

The project expanded from there and moved gradually as they very much felt working in the same physical space was important to its core. Writing, overdubbing, mixing and editing continued as the two found time to make the journeys between Tokyo and New York to share a studio. Each visit the songs would become more refined and be pushed into new and unexpected directions. A cathartic intensity found its way into the music echoing the intensity of life but at the same time remaining grounded.

The four years spent creating Upward, Broken, Always resulted in an album that engages the dichotomy between ambience and intensity. The hazy reworking of Jurado's "Ohio," or the duet for acoustic guitars recorded in the woods outside of Deupree's studio contrasts with the surprising, beautifully intense swells of overdriven guitar. Faraway drums and Fuller's ghostly vocals further expand the sonic image.

During one of their final editing sessions, with the accidental muting of musical tracks, the interludes at the end of each LP side were born. Fragments of preceding songs, stripped to a ghostly minimum like those distant Ohio memories.

Upward, Broken, Always is released in online formats and as a limited edition of 125 double 12” LPs. The LP art features an aerial photograph of the state of Ohio as well as the barn from Deupree's childhood home inside the gatefold jacket. There are 3 sides of audio on the release with Side D of the 2nd record being a full-side graphical etching of a topographical map.

More information can be found here.

4071 Hits

"On Corrosion" Boxed Set (Helen Scarsdale Agency)

A 10-cassette anthology housed in a handcrafted wooden box and featuring:

Kleistwahr
Neutral
Pinkcourtesyphone
Alice Kemp
She Spread Sorrow
G*Park
Relay For Death
Francisco Meirino
Fossil Aerosol Mining Project
Himukalt

The collection stands as the 50th release for The Helen Scarsdale Agency, plunging through the depths of post-industrial research, recombinant noise, surrealist demolition, and existential vacancy.

Curation and fabrication by Jim Haynes
Audio mastering by James Plotkin
Liner notes by Drew Daniel, Emily Pothast, Jim Haynes, and Donna Stonecipher

Release date: November 22, 2019

More information can be found here.

4220 Hits

Arthur Russell, "Iowa Dream"

Over the past decade, the visionary musician Arthur Russell has entered something close to the mainstream.

Sampled and referenced by contemporary musicians, his papers now open to visitors at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center in New York, and his name synonymous with a certain strain of tenderness, Russell is as widely known as he's ever been. Thanks to Russell's partner Tom Lee and to Steve Knutson of Audika Records, who have forged several records from Russell's vast archive of unfinished and unreleased work, the world now hears many versions of Arthur Russell.  There's the Iowa boy, the disco mystic, the singer-songwriter and composer, and the fierce perfectionist deep in a world of echo. While all of these elements of Russell are individually true, none alone define him.

Now, after ten years of work inside the Russell library, Lee and Knutson bring us Iowa Dream, yet another bright star in Russell's dazzling constellation.  Blazing with trademark feeling, these nineteen songs are a staggering collection of Russell's utterly distinct songwriting. And although Russell could be inscrutably single-minded, he was never totally solitary. Collaborating here is a stacked roster of downtown New York musicians, including Ernie Brooks, Rhys Chatham, Henry Flynt, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon, Steven Hall, Jackson Mac Low, Larry Saltzman, and David Van Tieghem.  Musician Peter Broderick makes a contemporary addition to this list: more than forty years after Russell recorded several nearly finished songs, Broderick worked diligently with Audika to complete them, and performed audio restoration and additional mixing.

Several tracks on Iowa Dream were originally recorded as demos, in two early examples of Russell's repeated brushes with potential popular success—first in 1974, with Paul Nelson of Mercury Records, and then in 1975, with the legendary John Hammond of Columbia Records.  For different reasons, neither session amounted to a record deal.  Russell kept working nearly up until his death in 1992 from complications of HIV-AIDS.

At once kaleidoscopic and intimate, Iowa Dream bears some of Russell's most personal work, including several recently discovered folk songs he wrote during his time in Northern California in the early 1970s.  For Russell, Iowa was never very far away. "I see, I see it all," sings Russell on the title track: red houses, fields, the town mayor (his father) streaming by as he dream-bicycles through his hometown.  Russell's childhood home and family echo, too, through "Just Regular People," "I Wish I Had a Brother," "Wonder Boy," "The Dogs Outside are Barking," "Sharper Eyes," and "I Felt."  Meanwhile, songs like "I Kissed the Girl From Outer Space," "I Still Love You," "List of Boys," and "Barefoot in New York" fizz with pop and dance grooves, gesturing at Russell's devotion to New York's avant-garde and disco scenes.  Finally, the long-awaited "You Did it Yourself," until now heard only in a brief heart-stopping black-and-white clip in Matt Wolf's documentary Wild Combination, awards us a new take with a driving funk rhythm and Russell's extraordinary voice soaring at the height of its powers.  On Iowa Dream, you can hear a country kid meeting the rest of the world—and with this record, the world continues to meet a totally singular artist.

More information can be found here.

4571 Hits

Circaea, "The Bridge of Dreams" (new Andrew Chalk project)

CIRCAEA THE BRIDGE OF DREAMS

"Circaea, the latest collaborative project involving prolific British musician Andrew Chalk (Ora, Mirror, Isolde...) debuts with The Bridge of Dreams.  Alongside Chalk in this new adventure, we find young cellist Ecka Rose Mordecai and classically trained guitarist Tom James Scott, also founder of the Skire label.  The twelve delicate miniatures that make up this album find protection in the caring arms of Faraway Press - Chalk's own label - and are a work of pure beauty."

-via SoundOhm

More information can be found here.

4567 Hits

Marsfield, "The innocents" (Andrew Chalk/Vikki Jackman)

MARSFIELD THE INNOCENTS

"Marsfield is a collaborative project that involves British musicians Andrew Chalk (Ora, Mirror, Isolde...), Robin Barnes and Vikki Jackman along with Australian ambient practitioner Brendan Walls.  Following Three Sunsets Over Marsfield and The Towering Sky - both released on Faraway Press in 2010, The Innocents is the group's third full-length release and includes two long mesmerizing compositions."

-via SoundOhm

More information can be found here.

3816 Hits

Minor Pieces, "The Heavy Steps of Dreaming" (Ian William Craig)

The Heavy Steps Of Dreaming by Minor Pieces

The Heavy Steps Of Dreaming is the brilliant debut album from Vancouver-based Minor Pieces, a new songwriting partnership comprising acclaimed singer/composer Ian William Craig and newcomer Missy Donaldson, a singer and multi-instrumentalist. Retaining some of the textural play and experimentation of Ian's solo material whilst channeling it squarely within the domain of tangible songwriting, the pair utilize guitar, modified tape decks, bass and synths to fashion deeply-felt songs with their beautifully matched male/ female vocals standing resolutely center stage.  Taking influence and inspiration from the likes of Low, Grouper, Mazzy Star, Portishead, My Bloody Valentine, Talk Talk and Cat Power, The Heavy Steps Of Dreaming sounds at once familiar whilst forging something new, unique and beyond the sum of its influences.

More information can be found here.

3549 Hits

Pita, "Get On"

Get On by Pita

With over two decades of formal exploration and exhilarating abstraction Get On is, somewhat surprisingly, only the fourth solo Pita full length. Peter Rehberg has always been vouched for pushing the very limits of the technology du jour, be it software or in recent years a complex modular set.  Rehberg's motives are one of unbridled exploration often resulting in extreme and exhilarating audio works.

Having spearheaded the contemporary electronic sound with his uncompromising explorations of noise, rhythm and extreme computer music, he has also worked with numerous experimental musicians in collaboration.  Rehberg stands in the wake of a sonic revolution, once fringe, which transformed over time into the sound of a generation of experimental geeks and club freaks worldwide.

Get On follows on from the 2016 release Get In. As with other titles in his "Get" series, we have an unwieldy blend of noise, abstraction, gnarled rhythm and blurred melody.  Both analogue and digital tools are deployed as a means of expressing something outside of everyday electronics. "AMFM" launches proceedings with some delightfully disorientating ricocheting electronics setting off a subversive sonic spectrum. "Frozen Jumper" presents some ugly skittering electronics which rotate into exquisitely mangled forms before launching into an unsettling euphoria.  The last piece "Motivation" is a towering sensitive work, simultaneously haunted and emotionally moving.  Get On marks another monumental work in the ongoing evolution from one of the ground zero pioneers of contemporary radical electronic music.  As uncompromising as ever this is Pita in his prime. Emotion rung from the most twisted of frames.

More information can be found here.

3425 Hits

Old Castle (Robin Storey/Rapoon)

Old Castle are a trio consisting of Robin Storey (Rapoon, Zoviet France), Robert Pepper (Pas Musique), and Shaun Sandor (Promute).  The three met in 2011 when they performed in Brooklyn at Cafe Orwell.  They have been collaborators ever since. They have released several albums comprised of duos (Ultramail Productions, Alrealon Musique, Zoharum) but this is the first time they conspired as a trio to make 13 tracks of industrial, experimental, electronic, mind-bending compositions.

More information can be found here.

3552 Hits

Andreas Trobollowitsch, "Ventorgano"

Subtly changing overtone layers and fragil polyrhythms based on the Ventorgano, a self-developed electroacoustic synthesizer.

The Ventorgano consists of guitar strings, wooden resonating bodies and converted fans which use cello-bow hair instead of propellers to set the strings into oscillation.  Rotating speed, string tension and attack can be adjusted progressively, allowing the player to control micro-rhythmical elements and subtle changes in the overtone spectrum.

As in Trobollowitsch's previous works, the production process of the Ventorgano is based on improvisations to be used as basic materials. The two pieces, as heard in the album, were developed by a later processor selecting, combining and cutting these basic materials, always by maintaining the nature of the instrument and focusing on the gradations in-between rhythm and drone.

More information can be found here.

3314 Hits

Gareth Davis & Duane Pitre, "Nótt"

Nótt is a 34-minute long collaboration album, consisting of one epic slowly evolving drone, named after the personification of the night, the grandmother of Thor, taken from the Norse mythology.

Nótt is a beautiful gathering of two musicians. On the one hand you have the electronic drones of Duane Pitre and on the other hand you have the bass clarinet soundscapes of Gareth Davis. The musicians managed to record something very minimal but also very powerful.

More information can be found here.

3394 Hits

A Winged Victory for the Sullen, "The Undivided Five"

Purveyors of contemporary ambient and electronic inspired music, A Winged Victory for the Sullen make a bold return on new album “The Undivided Five”. The pair, made up of Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie, have created iconic film scores and forward-thinking ambient groups, releasing a series of game-changing records for Erased Tapes and Kranky. On The Undivided Five they rekindle their unique partnership for only their second piece of original music outside of film, TV and stage commissions, creating an album that channels ritual, higher powers and unspoken creative energies. Their fifth release (following their debut album, two scores and an EP), they embraced the serendipitous role of the number five, inspired by artist Hilma af Klint and the recurrence of the perfect fifth chord.

This album sees them create bold new work built on their foundations in ambient and neoclassical. Since their 2011 self-titled debut, the duo have emerged as part of a much-lauded scene alongside peers like Max Richter, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Tim Hecker and Fennesz.

This album sees them pay greater heed to the small details in their sound than previously, something they say has been encouraged by the move to a new label. It’s been their first opportunity since their debut to create something that’s solely guided by their ideas, and it represented an opportunity to call back to that first outing while also building on the various ways in which they’ve grown. "We understand that times have changed," they say. "We have evolved, but we also didn't want to forget the beginning."

They channel influences such as Debussy, nodded to in the opening track, whose big chords and complicated arrangements inform a lot of their approach – parts that sound simple but require great skill to execute. Likewise, the artist Hilma af Klint – one of the first abstract Western artists – informed their ideas about drawing on spiritual influences to shape their work. "It's like an invisible hand guiding things," they say.

The start of recording sessions for the album were marred by the death of one of their closest friends. Within weeks after the funeral O'Halloran found out that he would be expecting his first child, and it was soon after that a visit to see the art of af Klint brought home a profound realization of life, death, the afterlife, and the spaces in between. She belonged to a group called "The Five," a circle of five women with a shared belief in the importance of trying to make contact with spirits, often by way of séances. This chimed with the duo's unspoken approach to collaboration, and nudged them to return to their writing process centered around the harmonic perfect fifth; the five senses, the divine interval – The Undivided Five.

The album was also shaped by the breadth of locations in which it was created, helping to shape its nuanced sonics. In addition to O'Halloran and Wiltzie's respective Berlin and Brussels studios, the record took shape across six different sites. They recorded orchestral samples in Budapest's Magyar Rádió Studio 22, re-recorded album parts in Brussels' Eglise Du Beguinage's unique, reverb-heavy surrounds (where Wiltzie has performed with Stars of the Lid and, in 2018, organized a tribute concert for Jóhann Jóhannsson), experimented with overdubs in Ben Frost's Reykjavik studio, and recorded grand piano parts in a remote woodland studio in northern Italy. The duo pay close attention to the micro-level of sound, and each of these places was chosen for the qualities which could enrich the finished product. And its in Francesco Donadello's studio in Berlin, where all of the previous AWVFTS material has been mixed, that the album was run through the studio's analog board, binding the record's different parts together.

It was their connection to Jóhannsson which partly shaped the direction of their new album. They were asked to create a remix for him, which he heard before his death in 2018, where they unlocked a new process in terms of how they work. They recomposed the strings, using modular synthesis, old synths and string and piano arrangements, a method they applied to album opener "Our Lord Debussy." "It's about going into the DNA of music and taking different strands," they say.
The album is their debut for Ninja Tune, and comes as change is underway for O'Halloran, moving from Berlin – hence the title of "Keep It Dark, Deutschland" – after a decade in the German capital. He's headed to Iceland, the country where the pair shot their latest press photos and which is an important locale for both of them. The wide-spanning connections which have shaped the record are testament to their deep roots as artists. This album's powerful energy is driven by the deep-rooted bond between them.

More information can be found here.

3450 Hits

Big Blood, "The Daughter's Union" reissue

Recorded a bit before the last Big Blood slab we released — Operate Spaceship Earth Properly (FTR 385) — The Daughter's Union represents the true introduction of Caleb and Colleen's daughter, Quinnisa as a full member of Big Blood. The Maine-based duo had been using Quinnisa as their secret hard rock weapon for quite a while, so it is gratifying as heck to see her finally get her due!

In their new fully-fledged trio guise, Big Blood puff themselves up like a most splendid glam rock peacock, fairly bursting with readymade-riffs and inspirational high-kicking energy bursts.  Initially, this can seem a bit odd, given Big Blood's historical appreciation of bizarre folk-derived textural-psych.  But heard in the context of their musical evolution, this move appears as just another roost along a trail that involves a whole lot of mountains and woods, with the occasional meadow-based rock festival stirred into the mix.

By covering tunes by The Troggs and Silver Apples, Big Blood make it abundantly clear their interests are as far from catholic as their influences.  Although it also seems that they are able to successfully transmute even the most thumpy-ass high-heel pumping into a move that is draped in moss and mystery.

I can hardly wait to hear their track-by-track cover of Led Zeppelin II.  I always thought those songs would sound better sung by an actual woman.  Know what I mean? – Byron Coley, 2019

More information can be found here and here.

3233 Hits

Deathprod, "Occulting Disk"

Occulting Disk is an anti-fascist ritual. Recorded in Oslo, Reykjavik, Cologne, Berlin and Los Angeles between 2012 and 2019. It is the first Deathprod album to be released since the 2004 album Morals and Dogma.  Liner notes by Will Oldham.  LP cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, Berlin.  Artwork by Kim Hiorthøy and Helge Sten.

"I remember driving over a mountain with my mother, she was in the passenger seat and we were being mauled and cuddled and battered and fried by sound; together. We were together experiencing something previously unimaginable, and we were facing the same direction, and we were moving through space and time knowing that a geographic destination some way ahead would bring an end. And the sound surrounded us, and for once our mutual silence was loaded with good. Because we were in the presence of each other, and we knew so much about how we had failed each other (it wasn’t a mystery any more), and we knew how we had maimed others when we worried too much about ourselves, how we had contributed to the faults of others simply by focusing in instead of out. Our mutual silences were laden with what that could only be called love. I used to hear love in music until I learned to hear love in sound."  (Will Oldham)

More information can be found here.

2980 Hits

ZONAL, "Wrecked" (Justin Broadrick & Kevin Martin)

ZONAL, the brainchild of Justin Broadrick (Godflesh/Jesu/JK Flesh) and Kevin Martin (The Bug/King Midas Sound) present their monumental Relapse Records debut, Wrecked.  ZONAL continues where their previous collaboration Techno Animal left off, and combines a brutal ongoing obsession with beats, bass, dub, drone, noise and riff.

Under their new guise, the enigmatic duo push the parameters and atmospheres that have earned them critical acclaim further and deeper; ZONAL's sound has become ever more corrupted, corroded, slower and lower; with the theme of exploring inner/outer space acts as the gelling agent for this shockingly monolithic sound. Anyone who witnessed their sonic destruction and lyrical detonation c/o MOOR MOTHER at both ROADBURN and UNSOUND festivals will not be disappointed by the slo-mo meltdown.

Releases October 25, 2019 on Relapse.

3211 Hits

Boduf Songs, "Abyss Versions"

Boduf Songs' seventh album and first on Orindal Records marks the Ohio-via-Southampton home recording project's most detailed production yet, voyaging into deeper recesses than ever before. Abyss Versions will see the light of day on October 4, 2019.

Mat Sweet, the solitary figure behind Boduf Songs, has spent the better part of fifteen years cultivating an idiosyncratic strain of quiet menace, augmenting library-hushed vocals and brooding guitars with psychedelic flourishes from processed loops, field recordings, and distant, subliminal atmospheres.

Subtly acknowledging Boduf Songs' beginnings, Abyss Versions echoes motifs from the first Boduf Songs album (2005's Boduf Songs on Kranky Records), forming its own secret, circular path, encapsulating the journey from there to here. Sweet's background in doom metal still seeps into the quiet, pensive world of Boduf Songs via mood and tone, balanced by shades of the fingerpicking mysticism of his first four albums. As always, the music of Boduf Songs is steeped in a palpable sense of darkness and dread, offset by a gorgeous and discreet sonic beauty. There is much prettiness here, albeit within an inescapably unsettling frame.

Throughout the album, sonorous melodies mix with the grind of drum machines, esoteric bleeps and bloops, and reversed tape experiments, all in counterpoint to the morphine-addled guitar and grimdark velvet vocals. There are haunting, dreamlike elements, the aching time/no-time uncanny sad-charms of some far off Gene Vincent/Chet Baker number never recorded from an alternate Lynchian universe. Sounds emerge into the light then fade back into the darkness as repetition and hypnotic drone play against the movement. Forward and upward, we move without moving.

Abyss Versions is full of love, and the expanse of things outside of us, the slow, elegiac stir of echoes, the mixed blessing of memory, the sensation of rot and longing. A letting go. A refusal to let go. The static that carries you off, the swell of feeling that is delicately tuned away, the whisper of consciousness, snuffed gently out. An opium dream, curling smoke spiraling into the blackness of a dimmed room's ceiling, meditations on mortality and the void for those who travel by night.

Releases October 4, 2019 on Orindal Records.

3006 Hits

Clarice Jensen, "Drone Studies"

Drone Studies main photo

Clarice Jensen is a composer and cellist based in Brooklyn, NYC. As a versatile collaborator, Jensen has recorded and performed with Jóhann Jóhannsson, Stars of the Lid, Owen Pallett, Max Richter and numerous others. As the artistic director of ACME (the American Contemporary Music Ensemble), brought to life some of the most cherished works of modern classical music, including pieces by Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Gavin Bryars, Dustin O’Halloran, and more.

Jensen now follows her debut album For This From That Will Be Filled with Drone Studies, highlighting Jensen’s improvisational prowess, venturing even deeper into the meditative mire but with more organic, naturally expressive air.

"The Organ that Made You Bleed" presents a succinctly striking suite that opens in medias res, awakening in a howling chorus of disembodied tones. This tragic ocean of estranged sound ebbs and flows, almost unnoticeable growing in a swell of hymnal hysteria. The calmly chaotic frenzy soon gives way into a layered composite of deep drones and tidal textures. Hopeful harmonies clash with eerie dissonance, suggesting the deeply human balance between darkness and lightness. It’s a magnum opus told in a sequence sketches, and each new turn is a cavern of radiant resonance.

"One Bee" perfectly foils the A-side with an insomniatic interplay of pure tones and richly repetitive cello phrases. The piece begins as a blank canvas, simultaneously empty and brimming with potential. One by one, solitary tones reveal themselves in the foreground until forming a small choir of complementary combinations. This beautifully odd ritual plays out in slow motion as Jensen’s cello performs a tight loop of emotionally expressive notes.

Taken as a whole, Drone Studies a harrowing set of deep listening that uncovers new gifts with each repeated listen.

More information can be found here.

3074 Hits

Theodore Cale Schafer, "Patience"

Patience main photo

Patience is the debut full-length album by Sante Fe-based artist Theodore Cale Schafer.  Alternately murky and narcoleptic and bristling with grit and light, this collection of eight pieces is a delicate play of contrasts.  Impressionistic settings unfurl with an unhurried gait, opening with the dreamlike disorientation of "Gold Chain" in which a degraded location recording gives way to a soft web of treated piano motifs.  Schafer's compositions are sumptuous yet unfussy, recalling perhaps the concise, vignette-oriented tape works of Andrew Chalk, which seem to prioritize spontaneity and ephemerality over preciousness and decorum. This approach yields substantive results, as on "It's Late", which marries a dolorous, clanging guitar sketch to the sound of change jostling in the pocket of a walker and the laughter of friends or passersby.  This is diaristic music - rough-hewn, confessional, and teeming with possibility.

More information can be found here.

3269 Hits