Crown Larks - Blood Dancer (Spacelung / Landbreathing, Already Dead, 2015)

Crown Larks are a Chicago sextet that create some of the densest, tightest psych, free-jazz jams, that, when broke open, unspool into some the most glorious strains of forever-ascending squalor I've heard all year. Blood Dancer, at 7 tracks feels massive. It is a record that I've only been able to take in single settings a handful at times. Taken in small chunks it easy to appreciate the lumbering, meaty rhythm sections that weave in and out of deft Kraut-inspired bass lines that gradually take an exit off the autobahn into the grimiest of Chicago neighborhoods where all hell breaks loose under the weight of three brass instruments soloing above that locked-in bass line and some of the best out drumming that is able to trade flashiness for brass-tacks before selling it all in an eight-armed pummeling as the track looses its moorings and leaves the city, the planet and all known multiverses behind.  It is really inspiring to see a band deliver on the promise of some of the finest prog-influenced, noise-bred bands like $keletons, Clipd Beaks and ZS that gained traction in the late aughts and are now being delivered in massive ways by newcomers like Jobs and Crown Larks. Plus, I heard they might play at something, somewhere, that totally rules. But you didn't hear that from me....  

P.S. When I googled, then google imaged "what is a six-piece band called?" I came across this photo, which totally unrelated to the review, is absolutely incredible. Please view.


Andrew Tuttle - Slowcation (A Guide to Saints, 2015)

As part of Andrew Tuttle's slowcation through the States from his native Brisbane, Australia, he made a stop in Denver during 2014's Goldrush Music Festival. I was thrilled to make the acquaintence of someone whose work I've admired while he recorded under the moniker Anonymeye as well as his work with A Guide to Saints and Room 40. Tuttle was gregarious and seemed equally thrilled to be at Goldrush, sitting through every set, making acquaintances with individuals he has had equal admiration through musically and kindling IRL relationships that exist because of the internet.Tuttle's output on his latest solo output was written and recorded mostly during this trip and is written for Tuttle's native banjo and manipulation of electronics. Tuttle's banjo technique has been written on extensively. Wringing minimalist lines played at hyperspeed make the steel strings of leather gut sound percussive, much like the ramping up of trance-inducing tribal ceremonial drums. The electronic compositions on Slowcation, a different animal in themselves, focus in on soaring, droning overtones while pitched micro-melodies run riot just at the threshold of our brain's ability to pay attention to several sounds at once. The album's most illuminating track "Post-Meridiem Construction", a collaboration between Tuttle and Matmos's M.C. Schmidt, finds both artists in conversation between Schmidt's beautifully augmented synth lines and Tuttle's elegiac banjo. The result is a fascinating electro-acoustic narrative of two men fully in control of their craft. That follows the course for much of this album, deeply-felt, emotionally resonant synth and banjo passages held at perfect tension with Tuttle's highly experimental, intellectually curious synth explorations that produce something that fires on all synapses on the musical pleasure scale for much of our readers.


Hidden Persuaders - Elegies and Curses (A Giant Fern, 2015)

It is fitting that the Hidden Persuaders' name also shares the title of a book detailing how corporate psychologists play on our fears and desires to sell us stuff we don't really want/need. At the tail-end of late-era capitalism our fears and desires aren't ours anymore, rather, part of a collected subconscious no longer manipulated by symbology and totems that chart our developmental progress but manufactured by the book/movie representations to sell products that help us achieve/eliminate said desire/fear. I've felt a lot of things while listening to music. There have been very few that approach genuine fear. Elegies and Curses gets close. Glacially slow Black Metal played over and between excellent sound art/collage that has punctuated Hidden Persuaders' earlier releases. The space between plodding bass riffs and the next distortion-filled riff are filled to their breaking point with menacing drones, black syrup synths, stabs of contact mic static and the undeniable sound of a fist through glass...perfectly synchronized to fall on the downbeat. Elegies and Curses is a masterfully heavy, downright disorienting release that skirts the outer edges of metal and plays it back through a filter that is somehow even more scary and fucked up than the trumped up tropes that it has come to embody. Highly recommended.


Our Love Will Destroy the World - Carnivourous Rainbows (Ba Da Bing Records, 2015)

"NZ noise royalty" was the descriptor from Ba Da Bing for Campbell Kneale's latest release under the moniker Our Love Will Destroy the World. Honestly, nothing could be closer to the truth. To break that down, New Zealand has a storied history of releasing skewed versions of pop and noise to the world at large, a cursory glance at Flying Nun's back catalog or, you know, the Dead C reveal a crowded list of notable weirdos. Royalty, although having nothing to do with meritocracy (which the sole factor behind Kneale's repute), gestures towards being an ambassador to other countries, representing the best of your home. Kneale certainly has done that. On Carnivorous Rainbows, Kneale's glorious knob-twisting, guitar-mangling, tone-wrangling is on full, glorious display here. Not leaving a single space available for quiet reflection, songs on Carnivorous Rainbows are filled to the brim with the tail-end or mid-thought gestation of million great ideas. Building, tribal percussion on "FUZZ LEGION MAJESTY" is joined by upper-register tonal fluctuations that squawk like tropical birds spooked by an ancient tribal ritual. Bleeding-out guitar attacks smear across the sky like bloodthirsty, chemtrail rainbows given, not as a promise, but as a warning that we are held at the capricious whim of an old god who would rather wipe us all out than course correct. Percussion shows up a lot of this record, sometimes as the backbone on tracks - see "FUZZ LEGION MAJESTY" - or explored in auxiliary roles, flitting in and out of the polyrhythmic (but not tempo-less) "MINIATURE BAMBI SUPERLAND". On the epic closer "HADES IRON HORIZON", fully-developed guitar drones and - what sounds like a bagpipe played on a KORG MS020 - lap gently like a congealing, molten sea while lone piano notes succumb and eventually suffer and die with the rest of us, completely submerged and burning in a sea of endless bliss...Our Love will Destroy the World.


Ken Camden - Dream Memory (Kranky, 2015)

In an album that blurs the line between guitar, synthesizer and voice, Dream Memory pulls together sounds that have their origin wholly outside of this world, or, at least, explores their organic origin beyond all recognition. To start with voice, Dream Memory has quite a bit of it. However, once you get past the album opener "Adenosine" you begin to lose track of it. That is because that track -whose wholly unique vocal sampling Camden pulls from Angel Olsen and Emily Elhaj - stitches together samples of the human voice  transcribed to tonal variation and then plucked out, on what I imagine, is a synthesizer keyboard or a fretboard on a guitar interfacing with a synthsizer...this whole thing gets very confusing. But to track the subjective, lived experience of this record is pretty straight forward. The analog warmness of this track is stretched throughout the entire album, illuminating an album that, on its onset, shines with a cold metallic hue. This couldn't be any further from the truth. There is nothing robotic about this album although in its tonal range we find hints and remnants of sci-fi experiments in sound from old 50's classics played in black and white late into the evening. It pulls and coaxes voices from a variety of sources (human and otherwise) that hit a tonal sweet-spot that is above species consideration, or instrumental origin. It exists, somewhere in the haze between intellectual scrutiny and the subjective feeling of light and warmth that it brings. 

Ryan H.

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

Brass instruments sometimes incorporate segments of tubing to essentially alter the instrument’s pitch, sounds and key, which is technically referred to as a “crook”; in this case, however, Matthew Kruuk of Colombia, Missouri’s, Nevada Greene has skillfully fused the field recordings of collaborator J. Louis with accompanying synth at the hands of B. Chlapek, alongside Crook’s (spelling, as he’s credited here) own guitar playing, the latter of which is best showcased in the closing title track of this release.

The mood is one of crawling, synthesizer-pumped ambient soundscapes which give rise to wood-and-string folk instruments, peeking through purple galaxy bursts to peer at woodscapes built from a single organic grain, reaching and stretching beyond traditionally understood limitations to reach into space with the birds to converse with among the winds, only to scoop itself into babbling brooks only moments later.

“Freckled Hands,” the shortest song of the three-tune set at 5:40, slowly opens with the sound of a calm stream pleasantly and artificially engulfed in a repeating synth dream pattern of three tones, occasionally scarred with minor touches of faint distortion. Three minutes or so in, a melodic arpeggio rings like a pleasant cuckoo clock awakening oneself to the respectfully chortling stream as it re-imagines itself within the composition. The piece gradually closes alongside a series of whispered words, possibly a thicket-dwelling elf asking, "why did you turn over my log?"

The seven-minute “Yilla” wakes up to greet the morning with peaceful birds and slowly accumulates to a minor key-ridden - yet blissful - droning synth ambiance, never overtaking the woodland-esque field recordings which continue to appear as the sounds of children at play intermingle with birds, thus becoming one of the more naturally rooted works in this presentation.

Side B of the cassette is solely comprised of the nearly thirteen-minute title track “Kahani,” one which sees atmospheric compilations, bass string drones and echoing higher timbre melodies bring our woodland trek to its natural conclusion. The track opens with beautifully executed fingerstyle guitar cushioned by atmospheric shadows, with wonderfully executed hammer-on technique and repetitive lower notes lining up, while the upper strings reach higher and higher to climb back with the birds, man...all the way from that clear water creek. In this piece, Crook’s calming guitar work effectively utilizes essential and gorgeous repetition to build and work upon a pleasing progression accented by the occasional slight bend of the string.

With only three tracks to do so, M. Crook has herein presented a world both natural and synthetic, woodland and electric, traditional with a turned ear for the non-traditional. It’s a calming force that grows like a grand fungus upon the fallen tree, with the melodies of unaware, yet documented, creatures dancing from the cassette ribbon.

William Furbee

Friday, July 24th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)
Blage 3

Two years ago I reviewed Simon James Phillips excellent solo-piano record Chair on Room40. In it, while describing Phillip's gorgeously hyper-kinetic piano playing, full of melodies seemingly happening all at once, droning reverberations from crashing and collapsing soundwaves, I assumed that this sound was somehow produced using a manual delay pedal (or any pedal at all). Phillips kindly responded to me that, in fact, there was no outside manipulation of his instrument at all. That all the drones and huge, cavernous tones were in fact a natural interplay between the instrument, acoustics and strategic placement of microphones in the Grunewald Chapel in Berlin. All of the incidental sounds, the reverberations and twin/triple tones was part of the natural way sound reverberates and bounces off of stone settings. That blew me away.

Phillips returns, this time as part of a marathon-length double CD that takes the fruit of a five-hour long all-improv performance recorded in 2011 and compresses it into a 2 hour opus for piano, percussion, electronics (featuring BJ Nilsen!), guitar, double bass and trumpet. The result is a slow-building, ever ascending journey held down by Phillips' mandible dexterity and endurance. Phillips' piano playing sounds hard to maintain for 20 minutes, let-alone 5 hours. Phillips' plays busy, major chord cluster notes that fill up all available airspace with clashing and replicating tones that completely submerge the listener in an avalanche of sound. With a full band, Phillips guides each performer into delivering, or at least buying into this aesthetic. What starts with solo piano on Disc One and solo piano over and under the sustained tones of Nilsen's electronics on Disc Two, ends by breaking into a crescendo on each disc on max-power.

After graciously and gracefully constructing darting piano lines that continuously tumble after each other like waterfalls, Nilsen's electronics and William Dafeldecker's droning double bass, elegiac trumpet lines from Liz Albee, swoops of guitar drone and the frantic, pulverizing drums from Tony Buck come in with full-force when the track reaches its logical breaking point. After holding tension for close to 40 minutes on Disc 2, the restrained, everything-on cacophony is a welcome daybreak rainstorm that scratches every itch and fulfills every promise of this incredible ensemble. In between peaks and valleys we get to savor on the brilliant acoustic-electronic interplay that blurs the line between electronic manipulation and the piano's sonic capabilities.

This record is brilliant in every way. I, by my naturally Type-A, competitive personality am drawn to feats of endurance/strength. When I run for long distances I sometimes get a major dopamine dump to my central nervous system called a runner's high. That level of transcendence is I am sure what five hours of sitting through/actively listening to this performance would have produced. But for now, we have an artifact. A "Best Of" compilation that seamlessly tracks the trajectory of one of, in my opinion, best composers around today.  Do yourself a favor and be cornered by this, alone, for two hours. You can do it.

Ryan H.


Blage 3 (Excerpts) from Alexia Fernandes on Vimeo.

Monday, July 20th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

Rob Mazurek – Vortice of the Faun 

Rob Mazurek just made a cassette filled to max capacity with 80 minutes of screaming, whirring, squelching, swarming electronic sounds filtered through the mind and deft fingers of a legendary coronetist and collaborator with just about every notable musician who we care about here at the Tome. 2004, when the last (and Mazurek’s first) solo electronic album came out on Editions Megos, seems like ages ago for me, mostly because this type of shape-shifting, ambient texture-weaving in and out of hundreds of electro-acoustic samples wouldn’t have registered in my newly-out-of-high-school listening experience as worth noting or music at all. But now, more than 10 years later, practically hugging the speakers, I am sinking deep into the sounds of a radio slowly drowning, reading its last rites before succumbing to a watery, static grave. As a member of the Chicago Underground Duo, Exploding Star Orchestra and the Sao Paulo Underground, Mazurek has subversively utilized electronic music as frontier-pushing element to further the experimental and improvisational nature of jazz and free music. Untethered from any live acoustic instrumentation, it is fascinating to hear how Mazurek channels and decides where sounds and textures go on a highly composed tape that sounds like it could shatter into a million pieces of improvised squalor at any moment. Instead, Vortice of the Faun spends equal time in harsh chaos as much as softened droning passages that are easy on the ears and psyche. It is a tape worth wasting an entire afternoon in.


Mike Majkowski – Neighbouring Objects

Not since Simon James Phillip’s brilliant 2014 record Chair, have I heard someone use natural resonance to create stunningly huge, harmonious tones out of an acoustic instrument just by the power of mechanical motion. Pulling tension-filled passages with fluid motions across the thick, taught strings of a double bass, Majkowski creates ghostly auditory doubles that sound as if they are coming through the walls or from the bottom of an abandoned pool. Notes hang in the air, drone and hum layers deep in the dark recesses that live in both sides of the tape that make themselves known only in their absence, in the rare moments when Majkowski's steady hand isn't culling and coaxing sonorous lines from deep within the wooden body of the instrument, natural resonance carry it out and acoustics from the room absorb and release the collected sounds into tiny fractals beneath the ruddy, bowed lines. Deliberately plucked piano, some accordion and percussion find their way into these recordings creating and sustaining a needed dynamic and resolve for an album constantly building tension to ever-moving breaking point. Fantastic record.


SSBT - 247 Main

247 Main is a totally out, 3 saxophone, electro-acoustic attack on the senses. SSBT, hailing from Austin Texas, have roots in experimental music that run deeeeeep. Parham Daghighi, Chris Cogburn and Steve Jansen all come from disparate traditions (Jansen played in a touring version of Sissy Spacek and is in a sick band called War Boner) but each find communicate in a crystal-clear channel of ESP. Totally improvised, Side A of 247 Main focuses on the more outre elements of free jazz, each member finding ample room for each player to find a middle and gravitate towards it. Saxophones co-mingle with electric guitars tuned to a tape machine in the middle of a seance to percussion ricocheting like bullets from a henchman with lousy aim in some sort of steel refining factory. Side B explores deeply felt electro-acoustic explorations into noise and ambient textures scraping and pulling themselves through fields of jagged teeth. Nothing gets too harsh for sake of listenability and the pacing of Side B is astounding. Long pulls and breakdowns into sustained tones sound meticulously curated and planned with reams of paper, rather than a single glance and a collective feeling it is time to turn down. Fans of Sult and out-rock duo Rivener should take note.

Thursday, July 16th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

For this podcast I sit down post-show and talk to Stephen Molyneux and Frank Baugh (Sparkling Wide Pressure) about Frank's Wild (Goth) Years, being big in France and the joys of meeting people IRL you've cultivated relationships with online.

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

Honey Owens has lived many lives in music, darting in and out of Cascadian stalwarts like Jackie-O Motherfucker, but for the back half of last decade, Valet was her primary outlet. On Nature, her third LP for Kranky and first since 2008, gone is the Low via Suicide starkness of her debut, Blood is Clean, and the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink electronic aesthetic of Naked Acid. Valet is now a trio, rounded out by her partner Rafael Fauria and multi-instrumentalist Mark Burden. Nature is doused in shimmering guitars, understated synthesizers, and reverb-obscured vocals that sit back and play their part in the mix. The result is a hazy-day dream pop gem which, if stripped of its 2015 copyright, would be of indeterminate time and place, inhabiting many worlds at once.

“Sunday” opens with guitar chords treated with wet analog delay and Owens’s nebulous voice, but a machine gun snare launches the song into its full majesty, carried for the final two minutes not by her voice, but a triumphant climbing guitar line. Layer after layer piles on; the liberal application of effects makes this feel like a very dense record, and the new details peek out upon repeat listen. The title track plods along placidly, but violence bubbles underneath, with references to “hands in the air” and “upside down police cars.” This streaks into “Signs,” the strongest piece on the album: “So we walked home after the fire/Everything broken.” The whole vibe is unsettling, and spectral backing vocals loom out of the dark beneath the song’s needly synth line.

Nature’s third act is almost entirely instrumental, and manages to jump off the deep end into Screamadelica psychedelia on the bubbly “Clouds.” Psychocandy is the the reference point on “Transformation,” with Owens returning to the foreground, but never quite in focus. The drumming on this record particularly pops out as you spend more time with Nature, always perfectly suited to the moment without ever taking center stage. Several different guitar tendrils snake around on the tranquil closer “Child,” interacting but rarely intersecting, putting feelers up to the light. Owens’s vocals are never as far from us as they are here, as if we’ve been moving farther away from her this whole time and we’re hearing the end of her day’s work reverberating down abandoned subway platforms late at night. At its close, Nature slips quietly out of sight, bleary-eyed and just beyond reach. It’s a soft, beautiful record which starts with a bang and ends with a whisper, hopefully beckoning us on to whatever Valet has in store next.

Nat Tracey-Miller

Purchase from Kranky

Monday, July 13th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

Before 2015, saying, "I'm a big fan of Marcus Rubio" outside of Florida would not nearly garner the number of head-turns and inquisitive looks (with a hint of disgust) when the listener confused your affinity for the San Antonio/Austin avant-pop provocoteur for your endorsement of 2016 presidential hopeful Marco Rubio. Well, thanks a lot Marco, now everyone with similar monikers who don't want to be associated with the G.O.P. now have to change their names.  more eaze has done this to create an even more cryptic phonetic anagram of Maurice (real name no gimmicks), hence "More Eaze"...Get it? more eaze is a bit of a misnomer (frail), while containing compositions that bend and shift to encompass a broad range of musical proclivities corralled by one singular musical vision, is considerably more "difficult" than last year's best-of topper Land of Disenfranchisement in a few important ways.

Taken in its entirety, (frail) is a sweeping statement that encompasses the fragility of modern life - the fact that our internal lives are total messes held together by a veneer of conditioned responses with flashes of deep brilliance - by expanding and contracting from flattened noise to full, fleshed out compositions replete wtih entire string sections that coalesce and then break apart into a thousand pieces. Rubio's command of his craft is on full display here, acting as much as a bandleader than a channeler, these aching violins, woodwinds, sturdy rock instrumentation and Rubio's own augmented voice sung in an emotionally resonant croon are not treated as simply parts of a composition, but rather they flow through Rubio. Destruction and unraveling are given just as much marquee space as the building, cathartic melodies and structured ramp-ups to meet Rubio's narrative arc.

Content wise Rubio's imagery pulls indelible images like Polaroid snapshots in time that include humorous (but totally spot-on) notes-to-self that clean cars at least signal towards non-out-of-control lives. A 1993 Taurus Station Wagon filled to critical mass with old newspapers, unused cleaning products and bags of clothes that were supposed to go to Goodwill years ago is not indicative of fantastic mental health. Both are here on full-display. Rubio's ability to corral and compose multiple layers of instrumentation played by a small ensemble are weighted with the same aesthetic importance of hyper-personalized dips into noise and drone that often serve as a prelude or coda to those moments when things in life are going great. Like we have got this life thing figured out only to be blindsided by destruction or stasis - both of which act as gestation periods in which we form our character or plan our next big move.

I've covered here how Rubio is absolutely on top of his game on this record. From tightly composed instrumentation, to subversive dips into noise and drone, to his appropriation of his voice - auto-tuned and augmented - as another component serving the greater whole of the piece, there are lines on this album that are absolutely beautiful. Imagery of "newly born smog" burning off to create the vivid colors of the sunset made even more brilliant through the burning fossil fuels.This is an album that hits on a compositional, experimental and songwriting standpoint. Viva more eaze.

Ryan H.

Purchase from Already Dead Tapes

Thursday, July 9th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

In a lot of ways we attribute landscape and setting to the formation of musical styles. Scandanivia's bleak winters and lack of sunlight force young men into bitter depressions and cold basements where bitter and transcendent black metal is made. Germany's endless ribbon of highway require a soundtrack of sorts. Insert decaying Midwestern city to describe many of punk's mutations supposedly inspired by Rust Belt economic bleakness and existential angst of being left behind. I assume air-conditioning has something to do with the creation of this strain of excellent Texas synth-pop/cold wave that Holodeck Records has been unleashing as of late. A retreat from the blazing Texas sun into the loving embrace of a dark studio with central air lends itself to burrowing into internal nocturnal states of darkness when it is bright and miserable outside.

Texas is a big state. Big enough to hold within it's expansive borders a burgeoning collective of synth-pop/cold wave artists that can trace a line of influences back to German and British industrial as much as to the Hispanic culture of many of its practitioners. BOAN - a collaboration between Jose Cota of Ssleeperhold and Mariana Saldana (formerly of //TENSE//) is an intense, highly stylized descent into formalized, pulsating synth-and-bass tracks that are bathed in analog machinery warmness that perfectly balances the synth-pop's built in austerity with the all too human sensuality of Saldana's mostly Spanish vocals. MENTIRAS holds a large amount of tension in its shoulders. That place where the rudimentary ball of robotic, un-swinging bass and synth lines pulse with surging, unstoppable intent over half-step drum machine patterns fits into the open plate of warm, lush analog bliss and Saldana's reminders that human beings still exist outside of the blinking lights of endless racks of sequencers. There is tension but never dislocation. These two forces utilize this tension to create unrelenting beats and melodies of dance music for humans.

For as ice-cold as some of Cota's beats and melodies are it would seem tempting for Saldano's vocal delivery to be given in an android's deadpan - denying the flesh that  shows up all over this record. Instead, in the vocal intonations and often too turnt delivery on tracks like "Freak Snake" and "BOAN ACID", we catch a glimpse of what I assume is even more pronounced in a live setting. Mugging for effect, forceful shouts on the downbeat and being totally unafraid of writing hooks that are uniformly catchy to every living thing. There is a giddy thrill I get hearing Saldana's turning of a "B" into a hard consonant in the line "Beats! - I am your master" on "BOAN ACID" or her cadence mimicking a whip-snap "FREAK SNAKE". I imagine this duo kill live.

With the promise of live performance as being a complete sensory overload, MENTIRAS as a recorded document provides hours of nooks and crannies to sink into or to take as one white-knuckled ride into the liminal space between objective reality and superhighways into the subconscious being pounded out in an air-conditioned studio somewhere in Texas.

Ryan H.

Purchase from Holodeck's Bandcamp here

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

Kill West - Smoke Beach (Dismal Niche)

Day-uuummmmnnnn. Argentinaian psych-rockers have the dense, pulse-light emitting drug haze of a summer record on lock. Buried under a pall of reverb so thick you need a gas mask to get through Side A, Smoke Beach is one of those petal stuck on motorik groove, windows down, black leather tassles flowing #projectbadass tapes that get stuck in your tape player because outside of native climate - stopped at red lights, hands drumming on the steering wheel to each fill - it will whither and then evaporate into the thick steam it has been emitting from your console for the past 30 minutes because each track is a burner. A small sample of some of the amazing music coming out of South America as of late that has found a good home on one of our favorite labels, Dismal Niche.


The Funs/Sad Horse - Weirdos (Manic Static)

Picked this tape up from The Funs / Sad Horse show (complete with beer koozie) with Ampline in Cincinnati. Looking at the size of pedal boards of each respective duo tells you a little bit of what to expect from each side of the split. The Funs Jesse Rose Crane's pedal board was a neat, pristine box of blinking potential which she uses to cloak wistful pop songs under a pall of soft-water noise that is corralled from all-lights on to a melodic lead guitar line or is used to seriously fuck shit up as all out war against your defenseless inner ear. Sad Horse's rig is austere and essentialist as their spiky, flailing art-punk on their side. I think EV used a fuzz pedal...once. Likewise their songs on this split are stripped down to the brass-tacks. Emotion and dynamic are dictated by speed, tempo and how long a drive it was to (blank) city. Crucial art-punk jams from Chicago and Portland, respectively.


Dustin Lovelis - Dimensions (Yellow K / Porch Party Records)

Time-warp harmonies that draw from equal parts late 60's tempered psych and brittle satisfaction of Flying Nun New Zealand pop. Dimensions finds the multi-instrumentalist behind an array of crunchy, reverb heavy guitars, lock-step drums and swirling synthesizers that play in harmony with Lovelis's sweet, sun-baked harmonies. It's hard not to listen to these songs without cracking a smile. Summer will end, time will gnaw you into a Doom-influence-Drone stretch soon enough, but while we have the light and the heat and tape players in our parents' cars lets roll the windows down and let the confused, bittersweet young man petition the gods of an almost-Aquarius age with an offering of their psych-pop put through a mortal lens, like fire was our attempt to steal lightning. 

Friday, July 3rd, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

Heligator Records is a non-profit record net-label created by Ryan H. to help continously fund the Malindza Refugee Camp Library  in Swaziland, Africa. This is our 21st release.

This piece of living, breathing drone and voice comes to us from Kiev, Ukraine based Creation VI. A longform piece that moves from lush sustained tones to augmented woodwinds, harmonica, field recordings from the Black Sea and those haunting, exploratory vocals that search endlessly for transcendence between pitches of operatic highs and monastic lows. Taken from a live set Creation VI performed in Moscow, this track is an ideal opportunity to blissfully explore some inner-space before hectic workdays or post-weekend recovery. All proceeds from the sale of this track will go to help sustaining the Malindza Camp Library, which, I am happy to report is on the up-and-up. Just got a proposal to put in lights so students can study after dark. Your proceeds make this happen.

Thanks for listening. Donate if you can. Enjoy the positive vibes even if you can't.


Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)