Archive for November, 2011

Mixes

Coma Bliss Mix


Coma Bliss

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My father in law is in a coma. He fell and broke his neck. So what I normally do in times such as these is make a mix (dual purpose: for myself, for AGB). He’s hardly responsive at all, but there is a little glimmer every now and then, opening an eye, moving a foot, etc. I thought about what it must be like to be in a coma and hoped it sounded like this mix. Complete and utter bliss. The most beautiful music I can think of. I hope this is what it’s like for him right now.

I don’t know if I’ll be too pre-occupied to blog for a little bit or if I’ll be writing up a storm to keep my mind off things, but either way I don’t imagine any posts until at least after Thanksgiving. I hope this 82 minute mix will keep you company until I return.

UPDATE: he’s conscious!

Download Coma Bliss
1. Eluvium – New Animals From The Air
2. Kyle Bobby Dunn – Canyon Meadows (Long)
3. Rafael Anton Irisarri – A Great Northern Sigh
4. Aquarelle – A Strange Sweet Woe
5. Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – Where I End & You Begin
6. Polmo Polpo – Romeo Heart
7. Jannick Schou – Act Of Shimmering
8. Mountains – Telescope
9. Lawrence English – Soft Fuse
10. The Golden Sores – Ondine
11. Belong – A Sunny Place For Shady People
12. Windy & Carl – Sunrise

Album Review

Patrick Emm – Trash Playback Forms (YDLMIER, 2011)


Patrick EmmSleep Eater (YDLMIER)

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More Boston on Boston love with this one. Emm is somewhat of a newcomer, although he’s still shown his awesomeness on his debut Mythics. This tape is a whole other beast, though. It’s dark as hell and full of sci-fi horror electronics, brittle contact mic static, clattery field recordings, and warped tape fuckery. These are the dark sounds that emanate from the recesses of your dirty basement. Sounds of paranoia & terror, swampy bubbling & eery chirps, didgeridoo electronic waves, muffled percussive field recordings, woozy synths, shrieking high end whines, haunted echoes from the shadows, heaving drones rumbling below everything. This tape is 100% cool and totally recommended. Perfect for all y’all scuzzy folks.

Album Review

Sky Burial – Threnody For Collapsing Suns (Small Doses / Phage Tapes, 2011)


Sky BurialThe Cadence Of Collapse (Small Doses / Phage Tapes)

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This is one book you shouldn’t judge by its cover because this one is fucking AWESOME (and that album art just ain’t my style). Michael Page, the dude from Fire In The Head, goes cosmic, with Threnody For Collapsing Suns comprising the middle of a loose trilogy (in between Kiehtan and the brand new Aaegri Somnia). This one is a huge slab of deep space. Black wind howling through wastelands, haunted humming power lines, an exploded galaxy’s worth of space dust dirtying up the place, synths ranging from demonic heartbeat pulses to zen drift euphoria, soothing shimmer next to brain stopping blasts and bleak industrial tension. It’s both dark & light, the sun in all its glory and the resulting black hole, with beauty scattered throughout. Only three tracks, clocking in at 50+ minutes, absolutely huge, sprawling to infinity. Black bliss kosmische for the next century.

Album Review

Nicholas Szczepanik – Ante Algo Azul (self released, 2011)


Nicholas SzczepanikBlue (self released)

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I wrote about Ante Algo Azul back when I received the first in the series. Now that it’s come to a close, I thought it deserved a little retrospective. To recap, AAA was Szczepanik’s 12 piece subscription series in which each month, he would send a 3″ CD-R with a single 15-20 minute track of his gorgeous new minimalism, each with handmade individual packaging, and usually accompanied by an insert of something like a small photograph or a piece of prose. Each item is so beautiful & intricate, it could have its own photo shoot, so I opted for a group shot to keep things simple, and then direct you to this site where he documented the process with lots of photos.

The music contained in the 3.5 hours of AAA is a dream come true. It might be an easy mistake to write these off purely as exercises or experiments due to the format, but they’re so much more than that. These songs are as deep and fleshed out as his single track full length, Please Stop Loving Me. For such a minimal sound, Szczepanik really has an amazing range. There’s mournful Basinski textures, sci-fi tractor beams, static harmonies, Eliane Radigue homages, all wrapped in Szczepanik’s own meditative perspective.

I’d like to say something like “Nicholas Szczepanik is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists” but it’s too late. He’s already there, sitting at the top of my list. It’s not just the prolific part, (ok, it’s totally the prolific part) but it’s also that he’s crafting THEE BEST sounds to be coming out of music today. It’s honestly the most perfect blend of minimal & maximal, crystal clear smooth long form tones & textured emotional high volume drones. Literally, perfect. And this is me talking about him as an artist, not just Ante Algo Azul. But when you have someone like that who puts out a slice of brilliance every month for 12 months, and then has the gall to release in the same year what’s likely the year’s best drone full length? This dude is fucking unstoppable.

It’s a damn shame if you missed out on this series. It’s too late to buy in, but you can still stream (almost) all of the songs and even buy some of ‘em too. Who knows, maybe they’ll show up on his rarities box set in 50 years.

Haiku Review

Dolores – To Die No More (Fern & Moss, 2011)


DoloresCollapse Earth Into Light (Fern & Moss)

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Download To Die No More

/black grey harmony/
/in bleak, subtle drone, find peace/
/dreadful bliss, skyward/

Album Review

Avgrunden – Den Fördömda Jorden (Ominous, 2011)


AvgrundenDen Fördömda Jorden (Ominous)

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Please tell me you remember Avgrunden’s last album, Gremorian Chants, because it was just fucking AWESOME (and now it’s up for free downloading). Well, the previous solo efforts of Victor have rounded out to a full four piece band, and this new album is slowed down, shifted from a doom drone to a more doom psych sound now. This time around it’s a concept album (title translated to “The Cursed Earth” I think) about “the great Nordic emigration to America in the 1800s.” Think Earth covering the Dead Man soundtrack, that’s what this is like. Absolutely enormous. Wide open, expanding to infinity, hulking, dusty, dark, and evil. Midnight in the desert, coyotes & Native American chiefs howling at the moon, resonant guitars making the walls of the Grand Canyon crumble, thundering drums splitting the earth in two. Gets in a serious groove sometimes and turns fucking heavy, beautifully doomed, delicate when it needs to be, but totally fucking epic the whole time. It’s about 75 minutes long and is non-stop amazing. It was released on tape by Ominous, which is now sold out, but I know a CD & digital version are on their way as well, perhaps also put out by Ominous? Who knows. I just know this shit is essential.

Album Review

Super Minerals – Contacteer (Stunned, 2011)


Super MineralsEarth Acropolis Welcomes Panacea Home: Man The Rod, Woman The Measure, And Metabolising All Their Poisons With Ease (Stunned)

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The coolest jumbled mess of a tape. Two side long pieces of weirdness meandering through a hundred different electronic sounds, all murky as fuck and screaming bogs ‘n’ caves. Dank clicks & pops, swamp gas lighting up the thick fog, every little drip echoing for miles, depths unknown, deformed tweaked out monsters lurching in the dark, droozy cycles forming half-hearted beats, sustained drones created out of resonant walls, moaning chants, bicycle bells & distant guitars, chirps clattering, pulsing, weaving twisted melody dreams. A fucked ‘n’ drugged journey through the abstract. Awesome as hell, as expected from Stunned and this duo that’s still too way under the radar.

Album Review

Aquarelle – Sung In Broken Symmetry (Students Of Decay, 2011)


AquarelleA Strange Sweet Woe (Students Of Decay)

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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.

Album Review

Ernst Karel – Swiss Mountain Transport Systems (Gruenrekorder, 2011)


Ernst KarelScuol-Motta Naluns (Gruenrekorder)

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Absolutely one of a kind. Karel has made field recordings of gondolas, chairlifts, funiculars, and various aerial cable cars in Switzerland, without any self righteous tweaking or altering. These sounds are coming straight from the cars. Mostly a calm, serene, and hushed album, with lots of motorik rhythms and mechanical percussion breaking through. The man-made sounds are the focal point, gears grinding, bang clanking, crunching, howling, etc. This is one that demands your full attention though, as it’s easy to think there’s nothing going on if you’re not 100% intent on hearing it. Despite the spiked mechanics, it’s a record of profound & solitary quiet. But it’s not empty by any stretch of the imagination. Just the opposite. It’s full of life. Every little detail is captured, the wind carrying through the mountains, distant animals, hushed hums, Swiss voices, it’s celebrates the minutiae and tells me to live in the moment and enjoy what I hear around me. Pay attention, hear it, live it. Truly fantastic. Swiss Mountain Transport Systems could be my new life mantra.

Album Review

Benoît Honoré Pioulard – Plays Thelma (Desire Path, 2011)


Benoît Honoré PioulardMalick (Desire Path)

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Pioulard taking a step away from the lo-fi dreamy popness on those amazing Kranky records. Still 100% sun soaked beauty but now losing its shape a little, turning into a more abstract field of waving drones, harmonium & guitar humming sweet, gliding effortlessly through harmonies, wrapping everything in dappled gold. Warmth abound, everything soft, slow, & absolutely perfect, something that resonates with me way more than anything he’s done before. Another contender for droner of the year for sure. Totally fucking gorgeous. Would truly love it he continued in this direction, as Plays Thelma only clocks in at a criminal 23 minutes. And only 300 copies pressed. Pick one up while he tours with A Winged Victory For The Sullen who for some stupid fucking reason are SKIPPING BOSTON SRSLY WTF.