Chaz Prymek, who records under the name Lake Mary, has a new record coming out 06.29 called River Ceremony on Keeled Scales. For River Ceremony, Chaz was joined by The Ranch Family Band. In this very personal interview, Chaz talks about where he is at currently in a life full of flux, his soulmate named Favorite, music's inherent political nature and what makes this album a family affair.

Tome: Chaz, I came to the realization that I’ve been listening to these songs, in various deconstructions and versions for almost 10 years. You would send me snippets and unfinished versions of what would eventually become “River Ceremony” as part of a failed attempt (on my end) to create a visual album as a collaboration between us. Can you tell me a bit about where you were 10 years ago and what was going on in your life when some of bedrock of these songs were being formed?

Chaz: It's true, we never finished that record, maybe one day. I started this piece a long time ago, maybe more than a decade ago. If I remember correctly, I was living in an Anarcho Collective (editors note: R.I.P Boing! Collective), spending a lot of time hitchhiking to and from Salt Lake to San Diego. Skating. Trying to fit in with everyone from the music scene at that time. The music scene in SLC was golden then.

Looking back, I can see me doing a lot of searching for meaning, for experience, trying to form myself, but lacking much guidance. This song started as most my songs still do, trying to process things, some relatively heavy shit had gone down in my young life and so I spent a lot of time playing music, trying to make sense of it. I could feel the world was both full of joy and grief coexisting, but I didn't really understand why, or what that meant.

Tome: As long as I’ve known you, you’ve lived a nomadic existence. Falling deeply in love with places and people. So deeply, where it seems like the only way to extricate yourself is to physically move to another place where you repeat the same pattern. With all of that traveling, deep loves and losses. What have been constants for you?

Chaz: In reflection, I have lived a fairly nomadic life. I don't feel like a nomad, just seems to be the way it's going. I moved around a lot as a kid, we didn't have much - if any - money so we were always moving, or being watched by a different aunt or uncle for a few weeks here and there, mostly living with my grandparents when there wasn't anywhere else for us to be. My grandparents are incredible people. I think about them everyday. That lifestyle of staying in motion seems to have stuck, but has shared with me some incredible experiences. But what stays with me most are the connections I've made. I've met my best friends this way, met my sweetheart this way, go to know myself this way.

Tome: Heraclitus famously said, “you can’t step in the same river twice”. Has the concept of the river’s “flow” – to paraphrase Heraclitus again, “everything flows, nothing abides” - been meaningful to you both in the context of your life pattern and the way in which River Ceremony picks up bits and pieces of musical phrases that have been circling in your mind?

Chaz: I don't know who Hercalitus is, but the sentiment is true, we are forever changed by every circumstance. As far as that pertains to music, I haven't thought of anyone's philosophy on it. But the flow and rivers are huge sources of inspiration for me. When I sit down to play live, rarely does a song come out the way I intended it to, it is guided by the vibes in the room, or where I am at emotionally that moment. Rarely, at least in solo sets, have I played a song the same way twice There have been times while playing shows, that I am not in the room anymore. I've gone back to the rivers edge that I know well and run that river alongside the music.

Tome: Zeroing in on one phase in your life, this record was written and recorded with the Ranch Family Band. Who is the Ranch Family Band and how did they contribute to this record?

Chaz: The Ranch Family Band is made up of some of my closest friends, and by chance, some of the best musicians and minds I've ever met. I will never be able to speak well enough about the love I have for them. They are the most special batch of folks.

Jordan Knecht is first and foremost, one of thee most incredible person in all of the cosmos, an great cook, and real good at finding swimming holes. An interdisciplinary conceptual artist in the US, one of the most amazing songwriters, He is a huge inspiration to me to strive to be the best version of myself I can be. I look up to him a lot. His art and music mean so much to me. Check out his band Muscle Brain.

Paul DeHaven is another one of the most special people I hope you all get to meet. Comfortable in his own skin, grounded and wild, also another great swimmer. Makes beautiful art, and is one of the most incredible musicians I've ever met. He plays in bands Paul DeHaven, Eye & The Arrow, Saskatoon, Heavy Diamond Ring, as well as sits in or sessions with so many more.

Jess DeHaven is one the most sincere, big hearted, and creative people I know, she is a well of plant knowledge and ideas on bringing artists together, and creating more interactive and adventurous worlds. Always seeking creative ways to exist and to be fully alive, a wonderful mom and friend. Her observations of the world are unique and thoughtful. She is also a killer swimmer. She plays in the band Saskatoon. 

Taylor Ross is one of the best minds of our time. She runs her own path, and we are all bettered by that. I admire Taylor a lot, in her skillsets, her ideology, her musicality, most of her being. She is also ridiculous and so much fun. She is only made whole by her dog friend Bean Dog. She also is an incredible artist, a spinner, a story teller, a maker (but in the sense of someone who makes, not for capitol) and putting out some of my favorite albums under the moniker GEODES.

Nathan Wheeler is above all things, an incredible friend. What a special dude. Creative genius musically, artistically, in his body and in his mind. An inspiration to always be challenging our comfort levels. His resume is wild, infact we have a game called NateFacts, much like two lies and a truth, but about Nate, they are mostly wild truths. He composes gorgeous works for dance and computer among many many many other things he does. He may just be a lemurian.

Paul – electric guitars Jordan – pump organ / acoustic guitarists Jess – cello Nate – Harmonium Taylor – Banjo

Tome: What were the political contexts in which River Ceremony was written?

Chaz: Grief and hope. 

Tome: In what way is creating art is inherently political, even when it doesn’t wear its agenda on its sleeve?

Chaz: Art is political, what you say and don't say, how you approach making art, where you play or hang or screen your art. All of it is a statement of how you approach life, and in turn politics.

Tome: You are now living in Columbia, MO. Can you tell me a bit about your life there? What brought you there? What is your present occupation and living arrangement?

Chaz: I do live in Columbia, MO for now, I live out here with my pup and partner, working on a goat farm, a produce farm, a restorative land project and at a cafe in town. I like it here. The time to change things up had come. I was at a Jennifer Simone & Laraaji show in town and was pummeled by whatever spirits were conjured up that night that I needed to be in this place for now, it was so intense I couldn't not question everything. And they lead me to where I am now.

Tome: Tell me a bit about Columbia’s musical/creative community. Why should people stop and play there on their way out West/East?

Chaz: The scene is really cool here, everyone supports each other. You'll see the droners and punks out at hip hop shows, and vice versa, most the artists out here, that I know at least, take care to lift each other up and make room for each other to be heard, and hold each other accountable. Also, we have an amazing music festival in town now called The Columbia Experimental Music Festival, formerly the Dismal Niche Fest. It has brought so many life changing artists to town, Laraaji, Mary Lattimore, Jennifer Simone, Bob Bucko Jr.

Tome: Can I assume that you are somewhat settled in Columbia, MO? How does this concept of “flow” that I’ve always come to associate with you, manifest itself in a non-nomadic / partially domesticated life?

Chaz: Good question, I think I am as settled here as I have been anywhere. The ideas of homesteading and the ideas of living on the road are both always at the front of my mind. Is that duality? My rising Gemini? My upbringing? Values? I am not sure yet, maybe it's all of those things. But I think of it lately, as pooling myself to swim around in me and in these places for a time being until the ground begins to give and a new river starts to flow.

Tome: Your releases as of late have veered into more ambient/drone landscapes, where “River Ceremony” distinctly situates some of your musical modes that include things like harmonics and nimble fingerwork on the acoustic guitar. What influenced the decision to tap into some of your earlier musical touchstones – Basho, Tompkins Square artists – for the creation of this record?

Chaz: In my world, my more ambient records and my more folk leaning records are all of the same waters. Some stories we have are held in vibes, and others in melody. Some we can only share in words, weavings, painting, but they are of the same waters. My last record on Eilean Rec was all acoustic as well, still a drone record in my eyes, but just on acoustic guitar. For this record, this was a song I needed to complete, and it only felt complete with the band altogether in this way. The second piece "Deluge", is a reflection of this time, the nostalgia and gratitude for where I've been and where I am now.

Tome: Tell me about your dog Favorite – who has graced so many of your record covers. Has Favorite been a constant in your changing life?

Chaz: Favorite is my shepherd. She came into my life over a decade ago now, and has been my best friend through everything. I can't imagine life without her. She carries my heart in her. Our story is a long and winding river, she is the love of my life, and the best friend to share a taco with. “what a long strange trip it's been...”

Monday, June 25th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Yuki Ame - Bristol, UK based IDM / experimental electronic artist has created a blistering, tripping composition of linear madness. Transposed against some imposing topography, the song and the video image-map themselves on the contour of the brain. Finding tiny crevasses and canyons to burrow into causing synapses to fire in time with the BPM causing involuntary twitching that some people may call dancing. Mainlined into the brain it is difficult to extricate oneself from the internal world created. 

Friday, June 22nd, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Devon Welsh - "Vampires"

Former Majical Cloudz frontperson and Montreal resident Devon Welsh has crafted a beautiful ode to fading into a faded love. Plaintive and stark narratives of afternoons that seemed to last forever while stoned and in love. Delicate guitar, organ and even more gossamer production punctuate this gorgeous afterthought. 

Lychnis - "I Love Ashes" 

"I love Ashes" from the album Heaven's Night, is a sedated, slowcrawl through dream pop nocturnal, drugworn that place a languid bass line and voice as the tour guides through the back alleys of some surreal town seized upon by forces beyond our control. 

Fires Were Shot - "A Quiet and a Roaring"

The sound of roaring guitar lines crackling, dying and then decaying into embers of loose-input feedback. Sounds are memories of calloused index fingers scraping across nickel-wound strings. Fires Were Shot are a guitar duo from Austin, TX and their entwining guitar lines exist somewhere between desert prairie expanse and humid post-rain fog.

Mending - "the new house"

Channeling both Eluvium, Hem and Rainer Maria, the Chicago duo create a stirring piece for synth, piano and vocals that meditate on the nostalgia and hope in moving houses as a child. Drifting drones emerge from below the composition and settle into the rafters floating above Kate Adams' golden vocals. 

 

Nick Garcia - "Division Sequence"

"Divsion Sequence" is a gracious dip into a infinitely refracting world of arpeggiated synths and lunar-ascending, granular lines that cast an aural glow similar to the soft-warm light of a cock ready for takeoff. the D.C. producer has crafted something with restraint and real feeling. 

Byungkyu Lee - "Zero Gravity Tiger"

Stereo-panning, electro-acoustic sound-art piece corners and pins you against the floor. The South Korean sound-sculptor has created a highly tactile and Hi-def experiment in re-contextualizing natural sounds by highly abstracted and augmented precision sound creation. 

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Matte Sexwave - "Say No More" the sext4pe

The Cinci-based hyper-prolific songsmith creates swirling sex-positive smooth jams that culminate in a disorienting haze of auto-tune and synthesizers. Shades of pastels and purples create a gauzy filter over 21st century baby-making music. It's hard not to be impressed by Matte Sexwave's singular dedication to a vision and the ultimate distillation of an idea. 

Atlas//Anon - "Xtro" - Demos to Make Sad Love Too Alone

The UK producer’s title of their latest EP is “Demos to Make Sad Love Too Alone”. Parsing out the syntax of that title gets pretty wild, but the sentiment remains the same. Slinky, skittering nocturnal beats made up of drum machines and the augmented human voice create the track’s percussive center, but the emotional undertow assures that this is a nocturnal affair. A sense of unmitigated longing and powerlessness creeping in from the periphery. The reverse imaging of Matte Sexwave’s virility.

Hellas – "Dances" 

Mnemonic minimalism from Danish artists Peter Sabroe and Jeppe Hoi Justesen move from structured, kaleidoscopic composition to an unhinged takeoff towards the last ¾ of the song where percussion takes the lead and propels the track through the last few remaining layers of the atmosphere. It moves from Philip Glass to Popol Vuh in the blink of an eye.

Hanging Valleys – "The Weight" Forteleza

“The Weight”, off the UK duo’s EP Forteleza, is an arresting combination of shimmering guitars and falsetto harmonies. Fighting the tendency to drift off into shoegaze outer space / pure bliss, guitars here retain some dirt-under-the-nails distortion and resonance with their twinned, reverb-drenched melodies undergirding the track.

falsetto boy - "the old road"

Jim Fitzpatrick, who records stirring ambient music under the name Cup Collector, creates sturdy, plaintive folk music as Falsetto Boy. His songs walk well-trod paths to the emotional core of sensitive acoustic-led music in this vein. "The Old Road" does a better job than most in taking our hand and guiding us there. This sweet melancholia is a place we should all visit on a consistent basis. A chance to crack the door open on our sepia-toned memories just make sure they are still there and doing ok. Plus, the ambient guitar sounds were produced and recorded by Madeline Johnston (Midwife).

The Ophelias – “General Electric” Almost (Joyful Noise)

The Cincinnati-based quartet have created an incredibly strong opening salvo from their debut on Joyful Noise in July. Bright piano, staccato vocal lines and Grace Weir’s taught bass line hold back the tension of lyrics that sound like they should be spat through clenched teeth. Spencer Peppet’s cool-headed narration of a relationship defined by the whims of a socially dysfunctional partner seem to signify the position that many women find themselves in as holding the bulk of the emotional labor while still appearing bright, chipper and being what “you fantasize”.  "General Electric" being a source of seemingly endless power. “Almost” is out in July and is poised to be one the year’s strongest indie rock releases.

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

On this latest episode of the Tome we dip into ambient music that is both beautiful and tension-filled, free/freak jazz btw of Thollem/Clouser/Chase trio, sedated bedroom experimentalism and then straight into the noise-blasts of Lana Del Rabies before closing out the episode back where we started from. 

David newlyn - "church fires (excerpt)" church fires (polar seas)

When churches catch fire do the plumes of smoke rise like incense? Or can we assume that god let his guard down in protecting private property from communal damage? Either way, David Newlyn's work for his second on Polar Seas is all alight and ascension. Breaking through rafters and snapping wooden beams in its attempt to find release. Subtle shifts in sound like holy ghosts shivering in the fire.  

Hotel Neon - "Unseen Landscapes" Means of Knowing (Archives)

The ambient trio consisting of the Brothers’ Tasselmyer (other coverage includes Gray Acres and Andrew Tasselmyer’s solo output) have released a near perfect ambient record – placid and glacial enough to garner all sorts of SOTL or Kyle Bobby Dunn comparisons while additional instrumental accoutrements  press in from the edges. Distortion-bending tones, human voices, gently plunked piano keys make fleeting, but distinct, appearances until they are pulled back into the creeping fog of drone.

Tapes and Topographies - "Shivers" Opiates (Simulacra)

On the Dallas, TX ambient artist's latest CD aptly titled "Opiates", acoustic instrumentation is pushed well below a thick aural haze only to resurface in strange half-lights of themselves. The very edge of audible contours of the source is heard. Pianos become mechanical clunks, or scrapes of fabric against a contact mic. It's a medicated fuzz that feels like interacting with everything using oven mitts. 

Thollem / Clouser / Chase - "It's a Drab" Dub Narcotic Session II (Personal Archives)

For this followup to their session at Calvin Johnson's Dub Narcotic studio, the trio are back to covering an insane amount of ground within a relatively short period of time. The trio consists of Thollem - permatour pianist and frequent collaborator of well-known out artists - Todd Clouser - lauded guitarist and total gut-check of technique and tonal mastery - and Brian Chase - drummer, collaborator and member of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. The trio move from spacious, careful treading to pure hive-and-swarm attacks on melody and resonance. I'm so happy that something like this exists. 

Sparkling Wide Pressure - "Staying Awake" In the Stream (Quiet Bedrooms)

Frank Baugh's Sparkling Wide Pressure has been releasing understated bedroom experimentation between hushed, shuffling folk and wildly, self-actualized abstract compositions for the past 10 years. On his latest for the Toronto-based Quiet Bedrooms - Baugh holds both of these aspects of his music in hard tension. Creating soft melodies and allowing his lo-fi experiments of tone, noise and controlled chaos make their incisions into the fabric of the song leading a path towards clear-minded synthesis.

ikjoyce - "pavor nocturnus" selene (naviar records)

The UK based sound-artist and drone-wrangler has created something inherently born and living in the deepest shadows of a moonless night. Not that this crosses any line into "dark ambient" but certainly "Pavor Nocturnus" rides that edge of ambient tones fading into the black instead of an upward celestial pull. It's tension-holding music for sure, a place right between your shoulder blades is where you hold it. 

lana del rabies - "devour" shadow world (deathbomb arc)

There is a viscousness to Lana Del Rabies noise-pop songs. Not so much a vindictiveness but a righteous anc clear-eyed anger that burns through the hole-searing distortion that announces "Devour". North of Cincinnati there is a mall that is 98 % abandoned save a dollar movie theater and arcade and holdout Chinese food restaurant. I was there one night when, unexpectedly, a group of men began to play the shofar in unison. This is the second most dread-inducing introduction I've heard. Lana Del Rabies may be one of the most vital artists working right now. 

Robert Farrugia & Roman Willi - "Chimes" Melting Snow (Mensch)

And to end on a forgiving note we turn to the Malta based ambient artist Robert Farrugia and Switzerland-based Roman Willi. The collaborative album hits right in that sweet spot golden-ratio drone that settles into the air like moisture collects on your skin after a heavy summer rain. We've made it out of abandoned malls and are just starting to head north where the houses are further apart and the trees become thicker.

Monday, June 11th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Berlin-based performance/dance/electronic duo HYENAZ have created a jarring and visceral collaboration between performance and recording with their video for "Proximity". The naked body's contorted movements cut off and segmented from the illusion of fluidity that visual recording gives us. Each movement is captured and displayed independent of one another, our eyes missing crucial information between each glitchy jump cut. Our brain make up for that lost information in what we assume to be a linear fashion until something else disrupts that narrative and we are flung back to a state of pre-processing - where sound and image swim before our senses devoid of context. All that flesh circling but never quite touching each other. Coming into close proximity before being dashed apart by even more flesh, mirrors the way our brains come close to constructing a through-line narrative while unaware of the movement taking place beyond our immediate gaze. An analogy for existing with other people? There's a lot to take in during this glitch banger.

NSFW..Shaking asses.

Friday, June 8th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Every once and awhile we get submissions that don't necessarily make sense to share as part of our podcast but deserve to be heard. So, here are snippets of some artists doing some great things on the periphery of shoegaze, indie rock and neo-classical music. Let's open up this pit.

sam valdez - "Further Away" 

It's difficult to write about this without mentioning two predecessors whose heavy influence on this track appear like guiding lights above a black desert night sky. Mazzy Star and Angel Olsen guide the young Sam Valdez's smoky, lilting croon into swooning, lush shoegaze country. it's a bright and billowing surge of shimmering guitars rooted in place by Valdez's earthbound arrangement and voice. Lovely stuff.

are you having fun yet - "turbo" 

The Norwegian band sprinkles some beautiful hazy textural guitar work and surging synths between their brawny post-punk bass lines. It punches well above its weight, wandering into some oddball pop moments that hit on all the right pressure points. Ever ascending choruses are reminiscent of Mew's fuck-all bravery, while huge tonal shifts recall Beach House at their most animated.  It's a bittersweet question, one that presupposes that we weren't having fun at some point. How much fun are you allowed to have in your 30's? 

approachable members of your local community - "velcro"

Look at these boooooys! Australia's Approachable Members of Your Local Community are both the short and long answer to the question, what happened to Architecture in Helsinki? I'm not sure how AMOFLC would feel about the comparison, but in the fuzzy echo chamber of memory, these things seem to coexist. Playful melodies taking the piss out of the seriousness of indie rock with out being gimmicky, lite-funk bass lines, white boy falsetto, infectious synth lines - all of these conspire together to create ear-worms straight to the throbbing pleasure center of your brain. 

maintain vertical speed - "i can see you from the soyuz"

I accidently had two windows open at once while I played this. It was dizzying and overwhelming in all the right ways. Without this doubling experiment, Maintain Vertical Speed's linear flight into pure minimal bliss where repetition cancels everything else out and all that has ever existed is the arpeggios falling over each other, picking up speed as they tumble through time and space. Open tabs on all possible universes. 

jamison isaak - "us"

Jamison Isaak, under his imprint Teen Daze, has created some damnably fine balearic pop music that I find irresistible and frequent more often than I consciously realize. For his second EP under his given name, Isaak turns to solo piano run through a series of effects to create tonal clusters rooted in House music but exploded into a building, expanding, emotionally-centered work that feels propulsive without rushing towards an end. It could exist as a 2 minute pop song or extend into eternity and still feel like it's just right. 

meg blumberg - "happenstance"

A stunning piece of neo-classical piano work that breaks wide open into a lushly orchestrated song that incorporates string arrangements and melodies that stick with you long after the track is finished. It's gossamer thread with the tensile strength of cable. Melody-rich but still very much cognizant of tonal quality and technical flourishes. A gorgeous intro. 

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Thrilled as always to bring to you new tracks by artists from all over the world. We move from bucolic ambient, to modular synth work, to solo piano, to noise, to surging electronic music, to knotty indie rock, to experimental folk and back to bucolic ambient. It's a trip. 

daisuke miyatani - "summer child" diario (schole records)

As the summer is arriving and we getting accustomed to new sounds of life returning - birds chirping, the hum of insects in the evening, Daisuke Miyatani's 2018 reissue of Diario helps gently coax us into learning to be present when every part of our bodies are reacting to the heat and humidity. Lovely placid acoustic guitar and drone with field recordings imbuing it with summer evening glow. 

H. Takahashi - "Despair" Elegy (Muzan Editions)

The first in Muzan Editions excellent new batch of tapes. H. Takahashi's excellent follow up to Raum where the composer (and architect) created music on his I-phone while walking the streets of Tokyo. On these soft, minimal tracks composed of gently overlapping piano lines, H. Takahashi creates a world no less immediate than its predecessor but with a bit more distance between object and reflection. It's an inviting, reflective piece that deserves to be listened to with headphones. 

Günter Schlienz - "Bonus Malaise" Liederbuch (Muzan Editions)

On Günter Schlienz's latest, he pushes his excellent modular synth arpeggios through various open portal doors, sending each one to merge with its parallel universe cousin before calling them back. These doubled tones are then sped back through our dimension. Those elongated droning passages are the sound of these twinned tones speeding back down to earth. 

Jesse Woolston - "This Way Comes" µstructure (Studio Woolston)

Jesse Woolston, New Zealand based composer, begins "This Way Comes" with a cascade of piano notes, not quite revealing what is in store as this track begins accumulating heavy double bass strikes, streaking drones, pulsing strings and heavily augmented electronics that gather and quake to reach a quiet climax - a full resolution of building tension and release. 

Nay Shalom - "Nostalgia" (Self-Released)

The London based composer has created an evocative and nostalgic piece of solo piano magic that blooms into a fully orchestrated composition. Embodying a place that feels real but we can never return to, Nay Shalom digs deep into the recesses of unfiltered emotion to bring something vital and breathing to the surface. 

april larson - "D16-38-em7 (dried blood)" there are no endings (muzan editions)

The hyper-prolific musician has created a deeply unsettling, rattling yet unequally beautiful record for her first for Muzan Editions. "(Dried Blood)" pairs unendingly beautiful drones over the skronk and bleat of modular synthesizers becoming self-aware and turning on their masters. It's beautiful, terrifying and cathartic piece of work.

witxes - "Interventions" Orients (Consouling)

"Interventions" gets heavy. Like Ben Frost waiting on that drop heavy. All dramatic tension and release, the French artist creates something that could never be classified as ambient music. It moves through space with a crushing weight, consuming sound like a prescient black hole. "Orients" explores plenty of sonic space, from the beautiful to the terrifying, on "Interventions" we check in with Maxime Vavasseur at his most heavy. 

BELORUSIA - "TOSKA" (SELF-RELEASED)

Coming down into a much more sedated and contemplative mode, the Scottish-based Belorusia take us on a night-drive through deserted backroads. A propulsive and hypnotic track that keeps time with a steady and unrelenting focus. It's a nocturnal and deeply affecting work.

Frog Eyes - "Idea Man" Violent Psalms (Paper Bag)

Violent Psalms is Frog Eyes final album. Frog Eyes has long been one of my favorite "Indie Rock" bands. Carey Mercer' s impassioned vocals, knotty compositions and ability to wring every emotion out of hyper-literate, confessional, obtuse and, often, hilarious lines that don't seethe with the kind of winking self-importance that comes with buzzy bands with intense songs that react to everything from military revolutions, renaissance literature and the passing of his father. Goodbye Frog Eyes.

Seabuckthorn - "Submerged Past" A House With Too Much Fire (Bookmaker / La cordillere)

It's always a great pleasure to get something new from the UK based guitarist Seabuckthorn. Spanning worlds between traditional folk music and weighty neo-classical music, Seabuckthorn's passages are heavy with emotional resonance that jump and spark from a highly expressive style of playing that is traditionally rooted and highly experimental and free-thinking. 

wayne robert thomas - "voyevoda" kbd/wrt (whited sepulchre records)

We end with the Indiana-based Wayne Robert Thomas's gorgeous B-Side his split with Canadian drone legend Kyle Bobby Dunn on Whited Sepulchre Records.  "Voyevoda" utilizes processed electric guitar to fill all available space with lofty and spacious tones that lose nothing of their clarity as the float up to the rafters before settling back down to the nave. A stirring counterpoint Dunn's composition, "Voyevoda" keenly examines one's fidelity to unconquerable nostalgia.

Monday, June 4th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Dumb flesh. Feeling along constricted pathways to burrow into something warm. Leaving slime like breadcrumb trails to mark our paths. Danielle Dahl, the Norwegian artist living in Copenhagen, creates a series of highly visceral, psycho-sexual imagery in her latest video off her album Loosening Orion's Belt. As a member of free-jazz/noise group Tigers Mind, Dahl's saxophone does heavy bodily damage, under her own name, her extended technique creates a steady flatline of drone and voice, equally as disturbing and entrancing as when paired with this imagery.

Friday, June 1st, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

In this week's podcast we move from ambient/field recordings, into structured experimental/noise then straight into out noise-rock and then back into some more contemplative zones with two solo guitar artists. It's a lot to take in. But it's a three day weekend so, enjoy.

andrew tasselmyer - "The frozen valley in oregon ridge park" places real and imagined (polar seas recordings)

It's 91 degrees here in Cincinnati and this field recording of a frozen valley in Oregon Ridge Park is GIVING ME LIFE! It's hard to imagine, when it's this hot and humid for day after unrelenting day, that there are places that bristle and crack under frigid temperature. Tasselmyer - who is part of Hotel Neon and 1/2 of Grey Acres - plays extended icy drones that weave in and out of field recordings of a frozen valley. This mix of drone and field recordings work well when the the two sources become indistinguishable from one another. The object and the reaction becoming intwined in something bigger than itself.

halftribe - "swimming off that sombre shore" for the summer, or forever (dronarivm)

Halftribe - the UK based sound artist and ambient acolyte - has put out an album almost diametrically opposed to Andrew's recollections of winter. Instead, this is an album of immediate responses to summer nights after sweltering days that seem to last forever, where moisture particles seem suspended in midair and lakes are warm enough to swim in at night. Halftribe's surging, sweltering drones overlaid by hovering piano notes are testaments to those moments of summer that make unbearable days worth it. Out now on the excellent Russian label Dronarivm

celer - "was it okay for myself" something cathartic (polar seas recordings)

The through-line of Will Long's prolific output under Celer is perfectly embodied in the reflective, understated beauty of his latest collection of airy and spacious drones for Polar Seas. Warm, saturated tones filter in like thermal waves, bending and ascending as they enter new atmospheres. Being pushed by an ebullient breeze and patient coaxing.

absinthe father - "skin" good enough (self-released)

Absinthe Father is the solo project of Haley Butters of Columbus, OH. Good Enough is a sedated and serious collection of songs that, while aurally swimming in the same pool of lo-fi gauziness of early Grouper, Atariame and Drowse, bears down on similar subject matter of the latter with a sense of grace and detachment so as to blur the line between narrator and subject. In all that grey, sharp-witted and achingly sweet refrains cut through and leave marks. It's requisite headphone music.

Grant Evans - "Vessel (Arc)" Vessel (Null Zone Tapes)

Last time we checked in with Grant Evans it was with his excellent collaborative album with Frank Baugh (Sparkling Wide Pressure). Looking back, Crawf did an interview with Grant and Rachel (Motion Sickness of Time Travel) as part of their collaborative project Quiet Evenings where they blessed us with a "Smoker's Choice" mix of deep cut Three 6 Mafia, Goodie Mob, Eighball and M.J.G songs. For Grant's latest collection on Null Zone, he cuts a path through radio fog, sick radiators, knife-sharpening drones and computer speaker distortion to find the surprisingly sweet center to this track. A Basinski-ish drone imbuing and running its course through this track. 

NHUNG NGUYEN - "OBLIVION" OBLIVION (PAN Y ROSAS)

The Hanoi, Vietnam experimental musician has an impressive back catalog that I am quite excited to pour through. On her latest for Pan y Rosas, Nguyen weaves in and out of processed electronics, contact mic manipulations, radio fluctuations, found sounds of forgotten and unnoticed places to create a world sound inhabited by ghosts and traces of past lives. It's unsettling, but also extremely peaceful and beautifully realized. Strong contender for sound-art piece of the year.  

MANAS - "II" live at (Null zone tapes)

It's always wondeful to hear Tashi Dorji captured in his element, especially when joined by such ace drummers such as Thom Nguyen. Recorded live in Macon, GA the B-side to this tape is Nguyen and Dorji really starting to ramp up their collaborative performance. Tashi detuning, modifying his guitar before jumping into full assault mode on the fretboard met by Thom's pummeling and expressive percussion work. 

stella - "firing squad" career suicide (scream culture)

With nods to classic No Wave, early 00's Skingraft subversion and Louisville post-punk, this Cincinnati trio has remerged with an enhanced and refocused electronics/keyboards noise section via Tony Squeri. Kevin Hall's acerbic guitar lines and vocals find richer communication with drummer Lauri Reponen, who's job seems to be holding the entire thing together before signaling a planned collapse into discordia and squalor. It's a military grade nail gun of an album, embodying Scream Culture's fuck-all economy.

GREENING LAMBOURNE - "PET FREE HOME" THOUGHT PARTNER (SELF-RELEASED)

The UK based Greening Lambourne and the Spain based Iyari are two artists cut from similar cloths. Both working with solo guitar record with a single loop pedal, both create canopies of soaring, eliding guitar lines with rich, loam-filled noise floors of percussive bass lines. What impresses me about both are their rich middles, full wispy fragments and transitory beauty. Highly recommend both tapes. 

Iyari - "Temps" Ostara (El Malmut Tracut)

Friday, May 25th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)