Secret Pyramid – A Descent (Students Of Decay)
Holy cow now this is a fucking record. Secret Pyramid, aka Amir Abbey, has brought us a stunning display of soft drone perfection, the stuff dreams are made of. This really is the embodiment of softness, no hard edges or jagged angles to be found, the stark sphere of a billiard ball obscured behind a gauzy veil, taking clips of melodies and stretching them out, looped on themselves and buried under a thick Basinskian blanket, piano notes floating out from the black green of an ocean cave, finding their way to the top and caught in the subtle surface shimmer, everything washed in a comforting melancholic static and hanging in the delicate balance between sleep & consciousness, a magically golden midnight haze that opens up half-forgotten memories both tender & somber. Super special stuff from a new-to-me dude courtesy of the ever-trustworthy Students Of Decay.
Aquarelle – Within / Without (Students Of Decay)
This is Aquarelle’s (aka Ryan Potts) first full length in two years, although he kept us tided over with that Alex Cobb split and a new track on my free 5 year anniversary comp You’re All The Fucking Best, so while there hasn’t been a total lack of His Majesty’s drones, there certainly hasn’t been anything like this. August Undone is pure brilliance. Take all your other lush records and melt ‘em away because this is the only one you’ll ever need, this is the most blissful fucking thing I’ve ever heard, a massively dense wall of heavenly sound that’s somehow still soft & weightless, an ever-shifting crystal fog that overwhelms you but gives you moments of transcendent clarity, a thousand layers of everything, guitars, banjos, reeds, pianos, all in their unadorned perfection and processed to the stars and back, bombastic muffled percussion, endless loops of dream pop rhythms, taking your breath away every second of its all-too-short life, with unexpected explosions that will send you reeling into a euphoric coma sounding like in Sunshine when he’s inside the sun as he reignites it with his Manhattan-sized bomb, absolute fucking beauty, a cacophonic symphony of your unconscious ideals realized, that feeling of blood rushing to your head in sheer exuberance, this is the sound of Potts making a perfect goddamn record. Vinyl comes out mid-July but digital is out right now in all the usual places, so go forth and make your life brighter.
En – The Sea Saw Swell (Students Of Decay)
Brand new one on the forever awesome Students Of Decay (who has now semi-joined forces with Experimedia), Already Gone being only the second release from the two En dudes (Maxwell August Croy & James Devane), making truly wonderful ambient drones. Lush and warm, slow swells in the midnight ocean glowing under the moonlight, golden wheat fields dancing as far as the eye can see, slow ether drift, floating in calm drones while every other sound is a million miles away, and a full side-long piece of exquisite beauty, the definition of a slow burner, relaxed electronics & strings effortlessly intertwined, a woven blanket of heavenly bliss, textured like a fine white sand at the edge of the sea, growing to a subtle, harmless, glorious wall of static. This is the real deal, true blue dreams. You want this on vinyl, obviously, and it’s limited, obviously, so hurry your ass up.
Aquarelle – A Strange Sweet Woe (Students Of Decay)
Absolutely incredible. Ryan Potts (the Rest & Noise dude) has made the most stunning drone album and it’s the first in Student Of Decay’s new subscription series. Overwhelmingly beautiful, waves of pure golden static perfection that don’t let up. Textured like a yellow tree caught glowing in the sunrise, or sand dunes being molded by the wind. Weeping joy, soothing sadness, painfully euphoric on every level. Piano & guitar acoustics woven in smooth contrast to the mostly digital canvas, giving way to some stretched out rhythmic loops. As warm and inviting as drone should be. The essential autumn record to last you through next spring. Another fuckin year end contender. No idea how to handle all this awesome.