Thursday, January 30, 2014

Knit Prism - Pace (ST17)

Jane Doe gets her kicks from Knit Prism. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Pace, from Knit Prism, is the result of a marriage made in experimental music heaven. The artwork - attributed to Scissor Tail Records head honcho, Dylan Aycock (Talk West) - immediately brings to mind something from the vaults of Worn Habit. While the art of Talk West and Knit Prism manifests differently, the place from which it blossoms is similar. At the cross section, both create music that embraces and magnifies the moment - opaque, hazy recordings with a gentle aura that illuminates the soul. More so, each artist is adept at using space in their recordings - The Hired Hand reissue on Scissor Tail is another touchstone. For those not familiar, Knit Prism is the long running project of Michael Pouw, thee man at Worn Habit and House of Sun. Pace was recorded at the same time as the Avant Archive release, Growing.

Over two sides of tape, dusty processed ambient sounds loop, modulate, pulsate, and contort to the point of establishing a radiant haven for the listener. It is very easy to lose oneself in this music. Lumbering, resonant tones touch down on fields of hazy ambient noise, its energy diffuses over the denizens. An amalgamation of airy tones swirl torpidly in the distance. Tendrils of gentle sound grasp the listener, spiraling around its body. Electronic droplets permeate eerie passages. Through a welter of clouds, one can hear faint whistles, tones with soft edges and conspicuous crackle and hiss. Splintered sounds wrestle next to metallic noise, progressively becoming more intense. Meanwhile the latter part of the flipside contains some of the most menacing noise heard yet from this project. It certainly is a departure from the languid, dreamy state established heretofore. As the flip commences gentle currents, drone and tranquil guitar wrap one in a gauzy filament. Bleary sounds rise and fall with the breath. Concomitantly halcyon vibes and drone abut the trembling soul. Listening to these sounds is the best i've felt the entire day. Later on side B, one can barely perceive anything, save for the benevolent ambient sound that lifts one from their malaise. Even when the listener senses the sound as being distant, Knit Prism could never be more proximate. Toward the end, ominous noise temporarily dislocates the listener until they float back to earth in the slipstream. Admirers of Hototogisu; the Evans' Courtly Illusion Limited and Coyote-related projects; and Josh Mason should not spare a minute in procuring a copy directly.  

Pace has that top shelf vibe which makes Jane's trichomes sparkle like splintered sunlight. Released in a limited edition of 25 cassettes with a letterhead insert, only a few remain. Pace may be purchased directly from Scissor Tail

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Trabajo / Madrugapha - Split (NK49)

press play for the purps. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Next to trusty Sherlock resides a stack of what I refer to as High Times and Heavy Action - tapes! However, it's not just any random stack of tapes. Within in it, you will find analog vibes of the times: tapes that provide a seamless conduit to the soul during a specified period. It is familiar territory for one of my favorite cassette labels, No Kings. I really dig the manner in which the label operates. Rather than release 5 or 6 tapes per batch, No Kings puts out a tape or two every few months. Another facet which makes it discernible is the eclectic roster within the experimental genre. No Kings boasts everything from Motion Sickness of Time Travel to German Army to Wether to Talk West. Those do not necessarily represent bookends in the No Kings universe. Rather, they are cited to provide an estimate of its vast range. As plumes of indica billow through the environment, Trabajo and Madrugapha radically redefine the space in between. From the first smoke-shrouded emanations on side A, both projects travel a trichome-dotted path to the brilliant light. Trabajo, from New York, consists of TJ Richards and Yuchen Lin. The music on their side unfolds dreamily. It has been referred to as folk and world music. Along with those tags, these devotionals are something I refer to as music for the soul. It adroitly couples sampled Indonesian Gamelan recordings with synth, percussion and effects. The languorous vibrations move in the manner of calm molecules, congregating above and inculcating the environment with a sense of serenity. Supreme reverberations and waves of synth wash over the listener in the heady opener, "Five Signs of Decay of a Celestial Being." Lookout though, because the dankest vibes follow in, "Mad at Lovely." The fourth track on side A, "Pi Pa Lu" possesses airy and bubbly synth. Life-affirming rhythms seep into the soul as embryonic waves of tranquil electronics move proximate to the listener as side A comes to an end - music aligned with breath. The flipside presents a mix of lofi experimental/psych music using fuzz guitar, vocals, loops, delayed mbira and keyboards.  A veritable spectrum is emitted from the speakers with Madrugapha at the controls. "Purple Swamp" takes a few pokes at the third eye. Delayed mbira cascades over peaceful loops, haunting vocals and keyboards; think of Keith Jarrett partying with Dolphins into the Future and Tuluum Shimmering to get an idea of this awesome sound. "Rotovolquismo" adds a bit of psychedelic disquiet to the mix. However, I like my landings light and fluffy, and Madrugapha brings us down with the hazy, ethereal and introspective beauty of "El Planeta Nubaru."

Another reason to follow No Kings: the artwork. This split is released in an edition of 100 pro-dubbed, imprinted tapes with risograph art on assorted paper. According to No Kings, the artwork is inspired by bejeweled saints buried in the catacombs of Europe. Sold out at the source, find your ticket to bliss at Tomentosa.        

peace and love, friends :)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Daniel Klag - Inner Earth (PURR029)

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

A breath that triggers the benevolent state of awareness is a blessing. Inner Earth travels at a dreamy pace through the nostrils, shimmering energy personified by peaceful drones aligned with the human spirit. Daniel Klag exhibits perspicacity in transmitting these inner states into the sonic realm. Track after track produces layers of tranquil light, each distinct in texture. A resonant whir of energy coalesces excellently with incipient awareness. As cool molecules ascend to zenith, suddenly the flowering warmth of the soul manifests. Cascading brilliant particles exit the nostrils. Introspective vibrations are apparent in the second track, "Litany." Warm, soporific drones that occasionally echo throughout the soul contrasted with poignant energy. Subtly a sheen whirls, the heart flutters. Repeatedly, suffering abates to unyielding light of awareness. I feel so alive right now. The side A closer is a cathartic release. Reverberating energy moves proximate. Parts of the sonic spectrum glow dreamily in the distance - elegant strings are a lovely touch. 

With each succession of the breath, despair and suffering submit to the awesome energy contained in "Awakener". Light bells resonate in the heart and mind, the distance in between becoming more minuscule as we embrace the core. A deluge of tears removes the remaining impediments; Being touched by the light, the inner essence contained within the crystalline synth that makes one levitate. Pulsating red light traces the peripheral contour of the soul. With the lightness of feather, waves vacillate and cluster around compassionate brilliance.  

Inner Earth produces myriad intimate moments - myopia cast aside with each breath, subsumed by the omnipotent vastness that is awareness. Senses flourish and cognitions become more acute in this climate. Ultimately, this is a tape for everybody. Those who enjoy travelling to radiant inner zones will admire the progression from front to back. Most of all, Daniel Klag's music strikes the sparks which make one realize intrinsic luminosity, the inner flame that extends to all who you touch. Inner Earth may be purchased directly from Constellation Tatsu - a label on my top shelf.

peace and love, friends :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Gora Sou - Troposphere Themes (sicsic 068)

its a sicsic sativa world that evolves with each batch. these lovely waves of sound are dedicated to all of the beautiful people at Humboldt Relief. their unflinching resolve during this trying time is an example to me and something from which I regularly draw strength. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :) 

Sicsic struck sativa gold with this tape. Troposphere Themes, from Gora Sou, is thee tape of another wonderful batch, with Köhn's dazzling cassette following closely. Light, gentle hues emit a sheen; resplendent waves engulf one; evanescent shades of dark reside in a state of equilibrium with its brethren for the entire ride - spacey and introspective. As gentle and comforting as some of my favorite new age. However, the listener should be aware as menacing fangs come out at the end - astral, placid, and ominous executed nicely!

Surprisingly, this is only the second release from Gora Sou, the moniker of Marc Übel from Heidelberg, Germany. Further Records released the first zoner of this project, Music For Girls. A good friend tipped me off one this one. It's always nice to share inspiring and joyous musical moments with friends.

As the ethereal journey commences with the aptly titled "Lifetime Supply", there seems something mysteriously beautiful coming from the speakers. Each wave is more intense and crackling than that which it precedes. Brilliant tones amplify to light up the sky. Lovely tropical percussive sounds sit in the back of the mix. A noteworthy characteristic of each track, Gora Sou subtly adds intriguing sonic elements. Tracks evolve wondrously to the ear, each refinement illuminating barren space. With the pace rapidly spinning out of control and awestruck, over a cluster of clouds the listener perceives a throbbing welter of color and sound waves. Penetrating and hazy synthesizer, not unlike something one may hear on an Emeralds release, loops in the beginning of "Isolation Rhythm". Beams of effervescent sound jut up from the enveloping haze. Electronic apparitions shriek excitedly, accelerating through the labyrinth and leaving clouds of vapor in their wake. Much like its predecessor, everything comes together to great effect. Gentle - slightly poignant, too - synth tugs at the heart strings wistfully. In the last track on side A, "Lucid Dream", austere rhythms mutate next to peaceful notes. Coiling reverberations spiral out of earshot. Warm manifestations and lightly quivering electronics become apparent. The combustible energy is visceral. Sonic shrapnel pierces the skin. Lovely new age vibes abound as the track travels in a vacuum - its aura still keenly felt light years away. Another new addition to the top shelf, and we still have yet to experience the flip!

Whimsical ascent sees the listener climb a vine of gossamer, flowery sonics in the beginning of "Pro Skin." Buoyant waves of tranquility combine with fluttering tones. This section is juxtaposed to an affecting drone, resembling the slipstream. Ominous reverberations wrap one in an effulgent blanket. Eerie percussion ripples throughout the vastness, splintering towards the end. While being the shortest track on the tape, it may be perhaps the most beautiful. The next track starts off in foreboding manner - palpable haunting vibrations. Ghastly emanations and swirling hues of blue precede another notable section of the tape. The electronic beast writhes portentously in this cosmic jungle. Menacing in effect, its unlike anything on the tape. Poignant and voluminous layers of synth are present during the embryonic period of daybreak. Translucent tones exist on the periphery of chugging noise and rapidly stuttering energy in the final track. Spinning out of control, everything is subsumed leaving no trace.            

  Here's another reason to search for a copy of this out of print tape: David Toro of Rotifer creates vivid artwork that matches the sonics. Shining in all of its home-dubbed beauty, Troposphere Themes appears in an edition of 100 tapes. It's only a matter of time this gem appears at Tomentosa, Unit Structure, or S.O.L.

peace and love, friends :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Andy Loebs - Hibernation Sickness (TST 004)

cannabis sativa mitigates sickness. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :) 

I hope the seat belt in your spacecraft is made of something strong and durable, like hemp. The peripatetic traveler should prepare for astral analog synth trips in which invention and tone shimmer. Hibernation Sickness from Andy Loebs is a compelling tape that efficaciously couples music and emotion. This tape from early 2013 on Twin Springs Tapes finds Andy working out on the Roland Juno 60. Over two sides of tape, this sonic exploration is concurrently serene, introspective and wistful. Some of these tracks are evocative to the point of producing tears, such as the visceral closer on side B. Yet, this music also precipitates a sense of wonder that is prevalent throughout- especially in the second track on side A.

 Upon commencing the tape, solemn analog waves possess a heaviness. Shortly, pensive patterns combine with the aforementioned and drift languorously. The cosmos are illuminated by sparkling arpeggios and ethereal synth in the second track. Buoyant energy manifests, progressively moving more proximate from the periphery. With all the elements in motion, the listener is swept away in a celestial vortex. As the tape comes to a close, briskly moving arpeggios blur, leaving a vapor trail of luminous ellipses. Before long, Andy adroitly introduces a section of opaque and doleful synth, which coalesces nicely. The manner in which these tracks progress reflects on the acuity of the artist.

Twin Springs bring a lot of love to cassettes - it's audible and conspicuous. Prior to selling all 25 copies, Hibernation Sickness was home-dubbed to order in real time by Twin Springs - a lovely touch. More so, the hand-painted shells by Andy are beautiful. While I do not regularly write about out of print releases, this release is quite affecting. The digital tracks are still available from Twin Springs. Hopefully a reissue will occur.

peace and love, friends :)

Thank you, Ryan, for the good vibe

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Calico Field Recordings - Untitled (NL007)

 Grant and Rachel emit all the colors of the rainbow. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Last year was prolific - individually and as a duo - for the dream team of Rachel and Grant Evans. Rachel's stellar recording on Sicsic and Grant's House of Sun tape were favorites of last year. As Quiet Evenings, they released an lp of their dreamy output on Aguirre. Yet, some of their most intriguing and beautiful recordings were released under the monikers Coyote Image Medicinals and Courtly Illusion Limited. On this release for the stellar Noumenal Loom, they continue to blaze down the trichome-covered path as Calico Field Recordings. Calico Field Recordings channel solemn, elegiac moments before showering the listener with radiant streams of tranquility on the flip. On side A, gauzy synth squirms fervently obscuring crackling feedback and benevolent rippling rhodes. The flip is a different story. For me, it's the slow burn equivalent of glazing an indica stick with hash oil. Tender and encompassing, one revels in the moment prior to letting go. I love the qualities of the rhodes here. Sometimes its gentle and delicate nature glistens lucidly in the front of the head. At other times, the notes ascend out of reach, promulgating nebulous shapes that burrow into heavenly clouds. The sonic alchemy towards the end mirrors the magical qualities of Grant's early solo work.   

Calico Field Recordings is situated so high on the top shelf that even in the austerity and bleakness of early winter it's hazy aura warms the listener from above. Aidan Koch  is responsible for the beautiful artwork on all tapes in the Winter Solstice batch. Only one copy left from the source. However, copies appear to be available from the artists. Also, Noumenal Loom releases may be purchased from Unit Structure Sound - they have all tapes from the Winter Solstice batch. It's a good bet that Tomentosa will have copies.

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Flamingo Creatures - Nacht Fressen (CW15)

A tasty nug from one of my faves: Cosmic Winnetou! peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Whenever one enters the realm of Cosmic Winnetou, the vibrations induce levitation. Seekers and explorers reside in this sphere. Nacht Fressen, from Flamingo Creatures on Cosmic Winnetou, utilizes copious electronic and acoustic instruments to create compositions of great detail. Varying hues of ambient sound beget tender, yet portentous moments; In any one moment the listener could be at the cross section of new age and dark ambient music. Nacht Fressen is a truly unique addition to Cosmic Winnetou discography. The unexpected, and sonically appealing, twists and turns are performed adroitly; such moments occur in the second half of the first track on side A, "Schrätteli". In the beginning, the drone consumes the listener, aided by affecting piano and blurred rays of synth. Blotches of noise and increasingly active rhythms leave their mark on the listener. Suddenly, a dubious wind blows through the environment. I wonder: what will happen next? The heart beats more quickly as disquiet begins to accrue. Vacillating strings and shrieks of unknown origin reinforce the palpable disquiet. That's when I remark, "how interesting to be here after the first 8 to 10 minutes. i didn't even expect this bend in the road." In a short period of time, Flamingo Creatures have transported the listener from a resonant new age milieu to a more dark environment - maybe aligned with some of the dark ambient music on Type and Miasmah.  "Schrätteli" characterizes the breathing, morphing and evolving worlds of sound that Flamingo Creatures inhabit. After such a wild journey, the ceremonial "Sattes Anthrazit" is a track in which one takes refuge - the beginning presents one of my favorite parts of the tape. The breath flows evenly upon hearing visceral reverberations of meditative bells and solemn, wistful currents. These elements are buttressed by a dense wall of noise. Dark and dank, the minimal beauty of "Wider Die Schwerkraft" commences the flip in heady style. Softly shrieking violin manifests in an atmosphere of psychedelic percussion and electronics - ominous for sure. Suddenly, it does not seem that my feet are on the ground. Were they ever? A prodigious beat is the force which lifts us to an area in which lovely chants combine with languorous notes and field recordings. The reverberations have a dreamy quality. The last track,"Silberfisch", is notable for the proficient juxtaposition of serene, ambient and strident sources. The beginning left an indelible mark: embryonic waves comprised of benevolent light glisten in the front of the mind. 
With Cosmic Winnetou, one always knows the score. The recent batch is one of Günter's best. Pulse Emitter just continues to spin heads, while Raising Holy Sparks provides one of my favorite tapes of 2013. In the next few weeks, this site will juxtapose the recent Raising Holy Sparks releases on Feathered Coyote Records and Cosmic Winnetou. Nacht Fressen has all the hallmarks of Cosmic Winnetou release: Chrome tapes home-dubbed in real-time. The artwork is attributed to Jens Fleischer. Sold out at the source, last copies are available from Tomentosa and Meudiademorte.
peace and love, friends :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Djin Aquarian, Plastic Crimewave & The Everafter - Live at the Hemlock 10/08/11 (KSE #254)

Friday vibrations and Jane Doe. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

At Honest Bag, Friday is dedicated to all the beautiful heads out there! Kendra Steiner Editions, the label of Bill Shute, provides the fuel for this rocket trip to cosmos. For approximately 40 minutes guitar masters Djin Aquarian, Plastic Crimewave, and their band, engage in some crystal-covered psychedelic/space rock. One can only imagine the energy circulating at the Hemlock on that early October evening in 2011. For all the heady guitar pyrotechnics that permeate the track -"The Holy Breath of Fire" - the dynamics are just as noteworthy. The track moves through several stages. Some are cathartic, led by fervent guitars, bass and percussion. Other's dither in the haze of dawn, emitting palpable, resonant energy. Sometimes the proceedings meander in a valley until precipitously ascending to the zenith with the fleetness and vigor of a cheetah. For all the plaudits due to the illustrious guitars, the bass and drums provide a solid foundation on which the track flourishes. The lovely Janina Angel Bath's radiant voice can be heard intermittently throughout the recording. 

These top shelf vibrations come highly recommend. Plastic Crimewave is credited with the art, while the colors are attributed to Hands of Hydra. Last copies of this stellar nug are available directly from KSE.

peace and love, friends :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Original Flowering Earth - Hosshin ((Cave - 22))

plunged into the stash and experienced nirvana. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

The mindful warrior's universe expands infinitely and that level of awareness is present in Hosshin from the Original Flowering Earth - Kyle Wade of Goldtimers - on ((Cave)) Recordings. Kyle delivers us to the promised land with a tape that adeptly combines field recordings, electronic and acoustic sources. After two sparkling splits on Goldtimers and Planted Tapes, Kyle's first solo recording - comprised of outdoor recording sessions in various yards and gardens in Chicago and Colorado - is notable for the manner in which it sonically precipitates the experience of ephemeral, solemn moments; elation; discovery; and contemplation. Bright, hopeful hues shine through opaque noise to warm the heart. Periodic bursts of noise are circumscribed by a placid drone. Soon, playful and gentle sounds caress the listener as we walk into the light of day - my favorite section on the tape! Later, buoyant strings graduate into celestial synth joined by fervent tones. Moments of serenity glow in subdued noise from field recordings. Fluctuating, tranquil waves merge and grace one's head with a fine mist. The three part suite on the flipside is lovely. Meditative synth shimmers over a layer of resonant energy. Ethereal and lustrous sounds bend and contort.

      When I consider achingly beautiful music that caresses the listener, the Original Flowering Earth and Former Selves are at the top of my list; it's not a coincidence that they share a split on Planted TapesHosshin has a way of minimizing the distance between the speakers and the listener. The soul instantly coalesces with earnest and peaceful vibrations. Overall, Hosshin speaks to life. In any single moment, one may experience joy, sorrow, compassion, wonder, wistfulness, numbness or a range of feelings. Yet, the good, bad and in between occur in the same moment. And, that sensation permeates Kyle's music. Hosshin is produced in an edition of 50 cassettes and may be purchased directly from ((Cave Recordings)).

peace and love, friends :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Headboggle - Buchla à la Mode (Greedmink, ltd. 24)

icky sticky Buchla à la Mode. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

As one presses play, they peer over the precipice into a brilliant, variegated and churning ocean. On Buchla à la Mode intrepid explorer and composer, Derek Gedalecia (Headboggle), works out on the famed Buchla Box/100 prototype - Morton Subotnick created the epic Silver Apples of the Moon using the Buchla 100 series - at Mills College Center for Contemporary Music. Traversing a dense entanglement of tones, textures and hallucinogenic iterations, Headboggle brings order to chaos. Derek's dynamic, flowing soundscapes enlighten the head with a welter of discombobulated energy; razed structures; scrambled signals; rumbling oscillations; blips; buzzes; and vacillations. Buchla à la Mode is composed of outtakes and demos, with other keyboards and electronics recorded elsewhere. Right away I'm overtaken by the smooth, dank rhythms as the tape commences. I begin to imagine Jeffrey Osborne rising from the writhing, squirming mass. Lively, cascading notes drift into the ether. Shortly, persistent beeps and pulses transport one to their heyday. Flares and flashes of luminous light abound in this animated climate. Morphing signals and rumbling oscillations go into overdrive. Over all the Headboggle tapes to which I've listened, one thing is as clear as day to me: under the mesmerizing, lustrous amalgamation of electronic energy and ideas resides a peaceful, beautiful voice capable of making moving music. The flip gets spacey from the outset and hits a fine groove early. Tangential keys sporadically appear. Subsequently playful tones not dissimilar from that which an organ produces are juxtaposed to decomposing emanations. Before long, Derek has me up out of the chair dancing! Ascending and descending tones abut warped notes. I've always been a proponent of experiencing Headboggle's music by diving in head first. A good, proper active listening session with Headboggle usually leaves my mouth agape.       

Highly recommended like the prized greens that adorn this page, Derek, along with Christopher Merritt, are two artists making some of the best synthesizer music around. Buchla à la Mode is truly sound in which to lose oneself. Released in an edition of 100 tapes, Buchla à la Mode features artwork on heavy blue stock with gold ink by Carrie Sullivan and cassette lettering by Madalyn Merkey. Copies may be purchased directly or through Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)