As all gerund ending verbs, the "ing" indicates continuous happening. In print: eternal life. An ever present now. An infinite process. Landing, a part of our aural landscape for more than 15 years (releasing albums on K Records, Ba Da Bing! and Geographic North), are ever present in that flux. In this latest track, you hear a band who have been in a sonic relationship that outlast most marriages, yet still surveying new ground while staying rooted in the same krauty, spacey, expansive palate that brought them together as college students in the most un-college towns of college towns: Provo, UT (now all grown up and living in Connecticut).

You may notice a few things about this track. Live drums are back in a major way. That muscular bass line punching holes through the swirling reverb drywall with sewing machine precision. The way Aaron Snow's guitar just tears into the fabric of the track after the first verse with equal parts noise and shimmer.

Landing recorded this track exclusively for Heligator. Aside from being an incredible musical statement, Snow's lyrics get at the heart of what Heligator strives to do. "Why can't you see me/I'm not invisible" is really what the refugees at the Malindza Refugee Camp are trying to say.

Forced to leave their homes because of war, political instability, xenophobia (or all of the above) these refugees want people to know they exist. Not only that they exist, but they are surviving and, against all odds, thriving. They are building libraries, teaching each other and learning/connecting to the world that they feel has largely ignored them.

Your purchase of this track goes directly to the Malindza Refugee Camp library and librarians. Funds go to keeping the lights on, repairs and providing a small stipend for the refugee volunteer librarians. Rarely do you get so rewarded for your generosity. But...here we are.

Buy/Download here:

Please check out the Malindza Refugee Camp Blog for updates on happenings at the library: www.malindzarefugeecamplibrary.blogspot.com

Monday, September 29th, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)
Rituals

As a major part of my religious upbringing and as something I'm trying to cling to as life begins to loose (or lose) it's moorings and I find myself drifting more than sailing, rituals are an important part of my life. There is some serious inner work that is being done when outer work is performed with intention. A million neurons and channels aligning themselves or realigning themselves as we quiet the body and mind. David Shea, US Born, John Zorn affiliated, Melbourne, Australia working musician gets this. In Rituals, Shea's experience and interest in folding ritualistic music from a variety of traditions, namely Buddhist and Taoist chanting, droning and revelry-making, into his sprawling tracks never duplicate themselves or grow stale. Album opener, "Ritual 32" pairs placid keyboard before compressed Buddhist chanting, throat-singing drone and operatic vocals, before launching into the busy, deconstructed chamber music of "Emerald Garden". The album continues making surprising turns on each track, "Fragments of Hafiz" is a meditation on Middle Eastern Ragas and the closing track "Green Dragon Inn" seems to cram in a centuries worth of western musique concrete, deconstructed classical, experimental electronic music into a massive 15 minute track until it explodes into a fit of out drumming paired, diving and swooping guitars, paired with  sampled monastic vocal drones and Buddhist chanting. The result a cathartic caterwaul that ranks as one of the most thrilling moments in music in 2014. A ritualized, aural bathing in set-free vibrations that do some serious inner work even if you aren't cognizant of doing the outer.

Cop it at Room40.

Friday, September 26th, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)
MF064

You know the old adage about seeing the sausage being made? I've sat through enough drone shows in my twenties that I've almost trained my ear to take in sound without reservation and apart and distinct from what is happening on stage or on the ground in front of me. Being an inherently visual learner I find my listening experience enhanced by my surroundings and/or what I choose to focus on visually. Walks and runs are the way I digest most of my music. That is why it is so difficult for me to truly enjoy drone shows. All the gadgets and gizmos are interesting, but often I feel like I am watching a set designer build the fake village rather than watching a production of Brigadoon. Seeing the craft never quite lives up to the very alive aural experience I have listening. That's why you'll find me with my eyes closed during most shows.

Enter S U R V I V E. I've toured that sausage factory. Couldn't turn my eyes away. Four dudes playing synthesizers in a Kraftwerk arrangement, fog machine, sound-triggered light machine. This was well past midnight and I had school the next morning. I literally did not want it to end.

Granted this is a much different set up than your typical solo-drone dude, but MF064 starts with a pretty much perfect synth-based, 10-minute ambient track that pans, builds and dithers, riding the sine wave of sustained tones for the entirety of the song. It's a perfect one to take on the road. But if your driving the autobahn...get ready for two Krauty, synth bangers of modulated gear heaven. I love the way "Parousia" rides those heavy handed melodies while programmed drum patterns skitter and pan like some dirty south hip-hop. "Short Hour" keeps a steady 4-4 beat and employs some serious sub-bass. Introverted club-kid rejoice. This short perusal into Austin, TX's synth-world has been a welcome trip. Adam from S U R V I V E runs Holodeck, which aside from putting out some of the coolest synth-based stuff this year also put out that mammoth This Will Destroy You album a few posts back. Get on this Holodeck stuff if you haven't already. 

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)
Constants

Like pulling the sun through a keyhole of light, Chris Herbert's compositions sound impossibly huge, yet are processed for micro-consumption. Immense sounds surging and roiling beneath a tranquil facade of minimal ambience. In Herbert's compositions there is a gradual drift and sway towards decomposition. Even in the most sonorous drone, Herbert keeps the noise floor pretty high up in the mix until it eventually boils up and over, creating tiny shards of digitally compressed obsidian that scrape and scrawl over even the prettiest tracks. Herbert treats the long-form ambient album as a live piece, blending sounds together that stretch and connect tracks together with no interruption. Occasionally Herbert shows his hand and you are able to pick up the source material. A bell here, a cymbal there, quite a nice organ drone in "Zona", but Herbert keeps most of his world hidden from us, instead leaving us to swim in a warm sea of tones that could be wholly uncreated and channeled, totally untouched by a lowlier plane. There are constants here, at an atomic level, vibrations of something infinite, but other than that, we are left on our own, ears grasping at whatever sunlight filters through.

Purchase Constants from Room40

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)

Dan'l Boone has a membership pedigree that would make this project seem like a terrifying aural assault by just reading the liner notes. Dan'l Boone is: Alexander Moskos (Drainolith/AIDS WOLF), Nate Young (Wolf Eyes) and Neil Hagerty (Howling Hex/Ex-Royal Trux) playing a placid, druggy, deconstructed rock music filtered through inner sea swelling dub rhythms (plastered with tons of diving board reverb), tape manipulations, creeping bass lines and crystal organ lines. 2014 was one hell of a year for supergroups (we will hopefully be saying a year from now) as we are waiting on the Nels Cline/Greg Saunier/Nick Reinhart/Mike Watt collaboration to come out later this year. Until then, get your mindface melted by this lovable troupe of rapscallions.

Fun fact: Both Neil Hagerty and Nate Young played this years Goldrush. Both sets were totally incredible for different reasons. Also, check Dan'l Boone at this year's Cropped Out fest in Louisville, KY on 10/26.

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)
Another Language

This Will Destroy You came back to me in a major way when TWDY guitarist Christopher Royal King AKA Symbol dropped one of the best synth records of 2014 on Holodeck Records. Suddenly it all came back to me. This Will Destroy You. A band that could level you when you thought you had heard every single build-and-crescendo during that year where you listened to nothing but post-rock and could feel everything all at once. Those days are gone and the emotional acuity has been blunted. But This Will Destroy You has put out a post-rock record in 2014 that absolutely slays me, destroys me, pins me to the floor (or ceiling) and refuses to let up while exploring the impermanence of tape and creating some of the most thoughtful and interesting sounds of this year.

Eschewing much of the crescendo-core emotional slight of hands which treated the space between martial drumming and tremolo-picked guitar as a means to an end, much of Another Language is placid and shimmering, relying on droning synthesizers, guitars and echoing, dubby percussion to fill out ambient space full of decaying tape manipulation and glacial time signatures. TWDY somehow found a way to fold in the emotional heft of William Basinski's experimentation with tape decay and extreme patience into unfolding post-rock songs that swiftly (in Basinskian time) move from pole to pole.

When Another Language peaks, which it often does, it still raises the hairs on the back of my neck. If I'm listening to this on headphones and the drums kick in and the My Bloody Valentine shoegaze guitars are strummed with an unhuman level of violence after three or four minutes of wading in a sea of mournful sounds, there is this split second before the bedlam where I feel like I am floating, as if I have levitated just a few inches off the ground before being pinned between the shoulder blades with an incredible weight. I forget that I am a few months shy of 30 and my life is pretty good and I am tossed back into that time when wonder and sadness came in rapid cycles and refused to let me go until they could wring every last drop from me. Payments came in full journals with tiny, pressured handwriting and a film degree I have no idea what I am going to do with.

That is the beauty about something like Another Language. It is so transparent and bombastic yet maintains a near album's worth of restrained, patient tones, carving out space for it to really burrow into the tonality of a bell-like synth, a string arrangement, the half-closed crash symbol of the jazzy "Mother Opiate" without the pressure of rushing headlong into an intense crescendo. But when it comes they sell all and it is glorious and sad and beautiful and you feel like crying and running a mile in your work slacks because you just got off the bus that takes you to your first real adult job. God, this album is good.

"In an unsubtitled dream I saw the destruction and rebirth of a thousand worlds. I looked away when I realized I was responsible for it all."- something I probably wrote in a journal full of tiny, pressured handwriting.

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)

Jerry Paper has officially parted the veil into how music/video production/everything works. There is nothing left to see or hear, ever. Now you know how it's done. Green screen. Teleprompter. CGI. Guitar. Drums. Bass. Synths. There is no mystery left anymore. Only the great vastness of whatever is beyond death. But don't go there yet. Chameleon World awaits. A place you can live forever through a gnostic reality of consciously constructed immortality and capability on the web. The stinkin' internet. Everything's on there, man. Big Pop for Chameleon World is out with our friends Orange Milk Records over there in Brooklyn, NYC. On the internet and in the lousy physical world.

Big Pop for Chameleon World Bandcamp

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)

Keiki - Living/Breathing (Live God, 2014)

Keiki's latest noise tape via Cincinnati's best outsider artist collective is a document of semi-improvised, brain-to-tape harsh noise that lives and breathes in a sort of stuck, liminal space made up of sweltering afternoons paralyzed inside, outside-looking-in observations of normal interactions that seem insane to you and those times when you want nothing more to bury yourself in a cloak of thick blackened noise. Living/Breathing provides the soundtrack for all your special moments. As a noise tape, one that is full of serrated metal-on-metal scrapings, these sounds of a computer vomiting up a full hard drive and the sound a building makes right before it collapses, Living/Breathing works very, very well. Beneath the surface there is a quivering, beating heart and a forlorn voice making its way out of the catacombs making Living/Breathing completely listenable. There is nothing assaultive on this tape, any ill-will is directed inwards and does not bash your face in. For example, tracks like "Always Wrong", which takes a strange 50's girl group meets Shankar Jaikishan bass-percussion line and marries it with melodic pulls of noise that corral and condense all of this harshness into a weirdly melodic line. This thick miasma of keys, contact mics and bass guitar is the kind of stuff that is crucial to sink into when you are at your worst. There is enough of a shimmering, golden edge that it offers an echo and a reminder that fall is around the corner and the god-awful humidity will subside for a season. Until then, sink in and live with it.

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Public Housing - Public Housing (Torn Light, 2014)

As a Case Manager I spend a good deal of my time in Cincinnati's public housing or public housing adjacent areas. From my experience and conjecture, if public housing (the physical structures) had sentient souls and phalanges and were given guitars, drums, oscillators and a feral saxophone, their album, also called Public Housing, would sound note-for-note like this. Or Rich Homie Quan (whom I love). OMG. "Type of Way Public Housing remix". Get on it. Public Housing echoes a lot of the bleakness and despair, while none of the vibrancy and community, that our most benignly named prisons for the economically depressed seethe with. Dragging its staggeringly slow BPM through a thick slew of ravaged guitar solos and intentionally sick sounding wheeze of drilling, buzzing and whining electronics, Public Housing is a supremely weird take on an almost Doo-Wop approach to slow and crashing percussion with distinct penchant for the vulnerability and verse-chorus arrangements of a severely fucked version of the blues. This is gut-wrenching stuff. Sheer Hellish Masala of harsh noise, sludge and no-wave skronk filtered through busted equipment and malicious intent. It is terrifying and monolithic, towering and ever-buzzing, a place not be around when the sun goes down, just like, you guessed it, a college dorm. Public Housing forever.

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Sloths - Twenty Years (The Ghost is Clear/Don't Live Like Me/Illuminasty, 2014)

I became acquinted with the Portland three-piece Sloths via Kyle Bates shoegaze-drone project Drowse. I've gained immensely from blazing through their back catalog on an especially long run. Their latest EP, Twenty Years is their most assured and clarified statement of purpose to date. A lot of bands who do this really intense mathy hardcore with moments of major-chord brilliance, black metal and post-rock bridges have the dynamics all wrong. Instead of stopping the song dead in its tracks to get all twinkly and sappy in the name of dynamics (or dramatics) before gaining steam before an "epic" breakdown, Sloths are pretty consistent in keeping their songs focused and linear, utilizing tremolo-picked guitars to augment some particularly blistering chorus or some Isis-like bridge to give just enough breathing space by leaping into another jerky, mathy and HEAVY breakdown. Centered around the themes of loss and suicide, the EP comes to a final and ultimately hopeful note amongst beautifully crushing guitars, blast beats and guttural screams of acceptance of leaving the dead buried and living just to live. Included on the EP is a killer cover of Slint's "Breadcrumb Trail" that is a faithful recreation if I've ever heard one if those Louisville dudes listened to a ton of Neurosis.

Friday, September 5th, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)

We here at the Tome have been big-time fans of Canadian video artist Rob Feulner for a long time. In fact, the whole Videodrone thing was started largely to feature video artists like Rob and his ilk who use the format of "music video" as a venture into collaborative art-making that bleeds together the boundaries of video art, montage and installation pieces into something startling and indelible. Feulner has put together an "advertisement" of sorts for the Goldrush Music Festival (which we at the Tome are busy organizing) featuring performing festival artist Eric Copeland's (of Black Dice) recent single "Masterbater" (DFA, 2013) paired with Feulner's incredible trove of cable-access TV shows, direct to VHS movies and visual ephemera picked up at yard sales and unclaimed storage containers. Feulner is a master and innovator in this field. Pairing the absurd with the pedestrian, Feulner uses scanning lines like brush strokes. Plus, this video is INFORMATIVE. Watch and the complete line-up with dates will appear. All will be revealed. Remember, Goldrush Music Festival 2014. September 13-14th - Larimer Lounge/Meadowlark. Denver, CO. Be there.

Goldrush Website

Goldrush Music Festival 2014 from Rob Feulner on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)

Grizzly Spectre - All of Them Witches (Self-Released, 2014)

What a difference a few years makes. Last time we checked in on Grizzly Prospector (now operating under Grizzly Spectre for this project) we heard an artist reveling in the tense and inflection of a bygone era: short depression-era folk songs that rarely ran beyond the two minute mark. 2014, the SLC-based Parker Yeats has stripped the entire apparatus down to brass tacks (literally down to sheer mechanical action of the downstroke on a guitar) and then stretched and slowed the entire composition to a fraction of its original speed. The result is a droning, ghostly masterpiece of guitar, voice and synths. All of them buried. All of them sunk. And a what a voice it is. Yeats voice floats up through the floorboards, reverberates through empty apartments and high ceilings/sealings. Echoes of Yeats' bellow creating spectre-ish doubles of each other. The synth work here donated by Michael Biggs sound impossibly organic, like a bowed cello under a thick blanket of reverb. Grizzly Spectre works well as a moniker for what Parker is doing these days. The album spectre-like in that ephemeral, barely-there connection between two planes of existence, but is also very much tied to the West. A sense of unhedged expansion and discovery, a landscape seldom seen. Grizzly Spectre: a lone pioneer crossing the plane.

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Hakobune / Oliwa / Former Selves / Panabrite  - Oceanic Triangulation (Inner Islands, 2014)

This is the maw-fuckin' dream team right here. Three continents, four artists, two tapes, one hour of completely zoned relaxation. Enough on here get through a particularly dense and mind-numbingly boring textbook chapter on the "History of Supervision in Social Work". Can't make this stuff up. Srsly tho, look at this line up. The Japanese sound-sculptor Hakobune, whose tape Seamless and Here on Patient Sounds (Intl). is the most pleasant and beautiful piece of guitar music produced this year, starts the tape(s) off with a confident statement of purpose. An introduction glistening in golden reverb and far-away drones. Buenos Aires-based Oliwa, another contender for most transcendentally peaceful album of the year, follows up with a slow-burn, wandering synth track. A meander under a lush, thick canopy of thick, humid drone and meditative synthesizer played in some celestial key. Former Selves, who released a genius split with Original Flowering Earth on Crawf's Planted Tapes a while back has crafted a placid, tranquil pool of undisturbed beauty. There is an unspoken sense of tension floating somewhere below this track. Like the dams and lagoons in Swaziland guarded by a seven-headed snake that controls the weather (once again. Can't make this stuff up) this is something to be approached with respect and caution. Throw your coins to appease whatever ancient God lives below and bow out. Lastly, Panabrite (Goldrush 2012 alum represent!) is on to the most terrestrial of all artists. Starting out with the damp drip of a cave dwelling before launching into some truly virtuoso Bach-style fugue synthesizer shit before exploring more tranquil space before roaring (in the way these ambient-drone dudes do) into a crescendo of sorts with soaring guitar lines and textured synths ruminating below before fading out into field recordings of an open field. Incredible stuff on these tapes. 

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Zach Zinn - The Spiral Organ (Live God Collective, 2014)

Continuing with the more meditative, New Age-y vibe of the first half of this Tape Haul (it is about to get real noisy real fast on the next edition) the furthest flung member of the impressive Cincinnati-based Live God artist collective, Zach Zinn (Olympia, WA) has created a beautiful collection of drone-based compositions that feature some lovely looped woodwind and thumping tribal percussion. On the heels of the excellent Time and the Diamond, Zinn joins artists like Les Halles in exploring how woodwind instruments (I think that is a processed flute...) can add a layer of density, texture and Mayan-like zen (although I doubt the Mayan was a very zen-like culture) to already dense and muggy loop-based music. The space Zinn finds is pretty miraculous. Never one to overcrowd his compositions, Zinn incorporates rhythmic looping of instrumental passages if minimal percussion (infrequent tribal beats or tape loops) are not already present. This gives the entire tape a hypnotic, slightly sea-sick lurch forward. Woodwinds ride the crest as a top-bar melodies or are folded into the frothy, roiling surf of other auxilliary instrumentation such as harpsichord, harmonica and guitar. The Spiral Organ is a confident next step for Zinn, one that I find myself returning to on a frequent basis.

Monday, September 1st, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)