I couldn’t just do a Halloween special on AGB Radio (tonight from 7-9 EST on BFF.fm!), I had to make a creep filled mix especially for you guys. However you party, this will be the perfect score for your Halloween.
Dark Cloud Rising
1. Mississippi Fred McDowell – Dark Cloud Rising
2. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
3. Wilt – She Walks The Night
4. The Sensational Whirlwinds – (Make Old) Satan Leave Me Alone
5. Have A Nice Life – The Parhelic Circle
6. Wreck & Reference – Abhorrence
7. Angelo Badalamenti & David Lynch – Owl Cave
8. Florida-Alabama Progressive Seven-Shape-Note Singing Convention – God’s Gonna Set The World On Fire
9. Bohren & Der Club Of Gore – Maximum Black
10. The Angelic Process – Welcome To Oblivion
11. John Carpenter – The Fog
12. Lonnie Johnson – Lonesome Ghost Blues
13. Jasper TX – Black Sleep Part IV
14. Robert Johnson – Hellhound On My Trail
15. Avgrunden – The Gate Of A Hundred Sorrows
16. Rev. I. B. Ware – I Wouldn’t Mind Dying
17. Empire Auriga – Waiting For The Fall
18. The Pod – Collecting Dust
I first heard about Argentina’s finest Federico Durand through his superb collaboration with Nicholas Szczepanik under the guise of Every Hidden Color. This
debut LP of Durand’s (translated to The Language Of The Fireflies) takes that pristine sound from Luz and amplifies it to a level of pure magic. This is a record of subtle complex sounds, finding wonder in the smallest audio spaces and turning a regular peaceful morning into a world of bright white bliss. Intimate field recordings of wildlife chatter and drifting chimes are in perfect company amidst minimal tonal shimmer, delicate softness, humble piano twinkling, and emotional dreams. This is a damn near perfect drone record, kicking introverted euphoria into uncharted territory. As is all things with Desire Path, El Idioma is limited, so don’t sleep on this.
Incredible new somber piano out of Norway from Benjamin Finger, this is a truly special record, carving a nook in the solo piano realm with field recordings of half forgotten memories, a familiar stranger who walked by, birds chirping outside your window last spring while you fluttered around the house, the voices of childhood friends, smothered fireworks acting as vinyl crackle, all hidden in the background of Finger’s eulogistic meditative piano, twinkling a bright & eerie melody, looped into your consciousness, finding a perfect balance between serene & melancholic, not straying too far into euphoric or depressive but still evoking both, this is a beautifully intimate record that will score your noir past and your peaceful tea time, this dude couldn’t have made a better record, and you have the option of copping the ultra deluxe version of this which comes with a skeletal bird mobile made from antique piano parts that lives in a huge collaged chocolate box adorned with more piano parts and contains even more piano pieces inside. So fucking over the top, so fucking cool. Only 70 of those are available, so if that’s your thing, ya best get on it.
Erik K. Skodvin’s Svarte Greiner project gets creepier & creepier, this new LP on his own Miasmah label is some harrowing shit, two side long pieces of dark string drone perfect for tuxedoed occult rituals, comatose bass string plucks on top of haunted smears, hushed unintelligible clatter behind the scenes adding to the mystery, black bliss, slowmo static fog rolling through valleys of bleak & bittersweet depression, murky & crystal clear, floating in the deep sea ink, a minimal motionless nightmare that you never wake from, perfectly exquisite in every way, only 500 each of LPs & CDs, so don’t snooze.
Unbelievably amazing debut collaboration between these two drone gurus, the lushest heavy-hearted bliss I’ve heard all year, an ocean of sound growing larger every moment, lazer peepers floating in the glowing dusk like some extended post contact scene in The X-Files, wondering if what just happened really happened and relishing in the bewildering peace, subtle crackle from half memories, unmistakably gorgeous dreams of the Netherworld where emotions burrowed deep in your psyche are coaxed out by the bittersweet beauty, swirling & overwhelming, euphoric & cathartic, like being bathed in golden black rivers of transcendence, this is a perfect goddamn record that somehow tops both of the artists’ prior work, and painfully limited to 250 vinyl and 500 CDs, so do what you do best and add this masterpiece to your collection.
One Kevin Scott Davis making an astounding debut with Betacicadae. A wholly unique record, taking every instrument he’s got, a bunch of guitars, a wood flute, vibraphone, harp, violin, drums, synths, and runs some of it through some effects pedals, does some post-processing, and mixes it all up with field recordings from farms, rainforests, and cities, making the most incredible electro-acoustic ambient record that is its own separate planet of sound, there’s nothing else quite like this, it’s a microcosm of personality but the breadth is endless, breathing warmth into electronics and twisting organics beyond their limits, life is everywhere & at every moment, this covers the entire range of emotion with calm oddities, frightened fauna, chaos & control, washed out & dazzlingly brilliant, the dark night of the unknown & the slow morning peace, and the opening track “Pahoa” is the most beautiful fucking thing I’ve ever heard, it’s a masterpiece of wonder, a place of perfection, and I just want to live inside it forever. This is as good as debuts get, my friends. The best on every level. The whole thing is streaming and there’s only 100 copies each of vinyl and CD, so don’t do anything dumb like not pick one of these up immediately.
Another incredible album from my favoritest fucking guy. What Happens When We Stop is a cross country album, started in North Carolina with Weathers’ buds, elaborated on the road headed out west, and finished up with his pals in California. This one’s just as wonderful as the last, Guilford County Songs, but still not quite as masterful as the debut, We’re Not Cautious. There’s a notable lack of prominent banjo, and I fucking love the banjo, but a big focus on the guitar, more so than before, which is awesome because the guitar work just gets better with each release. Everything is just as warm and incomparably serene as ever, old American folk perfectly melded with contemporary drone & neo-classical, subtle electronics peaking through the twinkling piano, harmoniums humming beneath hypnotic acoustic strumming, but Weathers’ voice has changed a bit, a lower tone and letting his drawl shine through, a little disorienting at first, but it still works beautifully, and honestly, the guitar, just so fucking sweet with those drones, I could listen to Weathers pick away all day with the strings & brass & reeds & everything else droning in the backseat, it’s the most heavenly sound you can get. This dude is unstoppably awesome and I will devour everything he throws at us. You should probably join me in my devouring and pick this up, it comes with a sexy photo book with the work of Aaron Canipe, so you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
An exquisite debut from Mary Lattimore, working a wonderful magic on her harp, doing for the harp what Fahey & Basho did for the guitar, offering one of the most serene & lovely records, for drinking tea and watching the sun rise in your green room, subtly layered & picking so soft it’s barely audible, whispers silenced in the breeze, matched perfectly with exotic electronics conjuring peepers & nightowls, so peaceable that the necessary Bell Jar breakdown in the middle of the A side almost undoes everything that precedes it, but it recovers, restores a beautiful order, and nearly forgotten in sweet bliss by the end of the whole thing, drowned in a minimally lush majesty. Desire Path keeping their flawless batting average up with this one, such a stellar record, and all the more exciting since it’s her solo debut. Available on April 1 and only 300 pressed, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Josh Mason isn’t quite new to the game, but still fresh enough to perk your ears. As far as I can tell, this is Mason’s first full length vinyl, and it’s a fucking winner. Some of the humblest drone I’ve ever heard, electroacoustic meditations on life, anxiety, and death, bringing an incredible depth to what could have been a very flat sound, tape hiss clear as day with the distant warbles & clicks sounding as if they’re inside your head, immaculate dreams filled with soft n glitchy guitars and airplane cabin static, intimate & calming on so many levels, the silence is anything but, embedding the slightest shred of serenity into every moment, and going full on lush euphoria in the most delicate & restrained way, a heaven I never knew existed and never want to leave, this is masterful in its beauty, a perfect goddamn record. Crazy limited, only 100 copies pressed, clear vinyl, and guaranteed to not last much longer. Don’t be a fool.
Solo project of K. Arthur Miller, making some somber tunes out of drone, folk, and doom. Exceptional stuff, using all weapons at his disposal, quietly screaming Godspeed guitars, layered, processed, & rewound, delicate picking inside on a rainy day, lush washes of bliss, hushed echoes in haunted halls, a few moments of doomed & distorted crunch, all wrapped up in a dark, melancholic shroud, bright enough not to push you over the edge but gloomy in all the right ways, a melodramatic dance through fog with Death waiting for you on the other side, beautiful & depressing, the best kind of drone. Free if you want it to be so there’s no reason to pass over this, and seeing as this is his first proper full length, you might want to keep an eye on him.
A true winner right here. Templeton’s newest solo venture is the stuff dreams are made of, taking the murky majestic melancholy of Leyland Kirby and tying it in dynamic loops, reminding me a bit of Nicholas Szczepanik’s We Make Life Sad but with loops that grow, a half-forgotten memory of a seaside jazz lounge playing swamp horns, drugged drums, and meandering pianos, all smeared into an intimate haze of organic harmonies, ancient gritty tape loops warped by your brain under the load of more recent experiences, found object clattering in the back room, an impossibly perfect balance of everything, retaining a beautiful clarity in the fog of drone, the analog warmth amidst the glitchy processing, the dark dank depression intertwined with bright bittersweet hope, nothing sounding more right at this moment. Only 300 copies pressed, available in March, preorder now and save yourself the heartache of missing out on this masterpiece.
Unbelievably awesome new record from Ross Gentry, taking what I love from Andrew Weathers’ folk drone and spinning his own tale with it. Super organic, lush, and insanely fucking gorgeous, weaving banjos & organs with digital minimalism, spots of rhythmic bells and resonant pianos come and go while everything is bathed in a soft glow, too clean & clear to feel nostalgic but still brings to mind my summer family camping trips as a kid, slow & meandering with a purpose, not lazy, just not rushed, all the time in the world to conjure intimate stories and doing it with ease. A stellar fucking drone record from one of this year’s more exceptional labels. Limited to 312, hand numbered, and totally worth every penny.
The dude can’t stop. The drones compel him. In Miserum Stercus is Dunn’s second record this year, after the double disc Bring Me The Head Of…, but this is a whole new beast, as you might be able to tell from the title (roughly translated as The Wretched Refuse). This is some dark depressive shit, going places we haven’t yet heard from KBD. I’m not talking black ambient or anything, the soft subtleties & elegant dances are still the core, but instead of charming or uplifting, we’re given somber & melancholic, tones dipping into ethereal, haunted dreams, sometimes with a bit more bite & atonality to them, even bordering on a sickly wobble, although even more delicate than ever, cautiously boasting its minimalism, brilliant in blending the warm & cold. But it’s not all gloom, it ends on a much brighter note than it begins and you can almost trick yourself into thinking you weren’t just sunk into a pit of despair. Obviously, this deserves all sorts of high praise as it’s now competing for my favorite Dunn record next to Ways Of Meaning. Lovingly delivered to you in its waxen glory by Komino. Don’t miss out.