Steve Hauschildt Where All Is Fled (Kranky, 2015)

Steve Hauschildt's sixth record - and third for Kranky - is an emotionally riveting and wholly substantial record in a genre often yielding lightweight explorations into synth-based mood music. Where All is Fled, however, is a record that is dynamic and consistent, one that starts with fluid, sand-shifting tone washes and builds to suspenseful and lovely climaxes of stirring arpeggios and komische-inspired synthscapes. Hauschildt, of course, needs no introduction. As one third of Emeralds - a band that "broke" a culminating mass of young musicians forging new connections between 70's Kraut and New Age music to a wider audience - Hauschildt always felt like that group's unassuming ace in the hole. Since Emeralds' disbanding Hauschildt's output has been a winnowing work, a further edification of layered arpeggios, delicate, unadorned piano lines and rythemless propulsion that builds into a cascading torrent of perpetual motion. Where All is Fled has been a constant and versatile companion, and as I've waited this long to write the review, has been with me for much of 2015. It has accompanied me through paperwork sessions between clients and, most recently, perfectly paced runs through the woods near my house. Much of the bubbling, ebullient lines that make a track like "A Reflecting Pool" sound as if they are starting far away and bubbling up through some viscous liquid before dissipating. Where All is Fled is a precarious record, as the mark that Emeralds made is slowly fading, Hauschildt continues to make sturdy, relevant records that counts as some of the best music of the past few years.

Purchase from Kranky


Ruhe Patriarchs (Eilean Rec, 2015)

I am constantly amazed at the level of craftsmanship that Eilean Rec is able to bring to the table on each release. While I have loved everything that this label has put out this year, the Pacific Northwest composer Ruhe's work on Patriarchs is the one I have responded the most viscerally to. Simple, descending and ascending piano notes hang suspended in mid-air while their resonance settles and decays like dust through slanted sunlight. While most of the record follows this formula of minimalist piano lines unadorned with little else but highly emotive playing - a heavy heart's worth of weight pressing on those keys - tracks like "Shelter" feature several strands of tape manipulation and distant melodies waxing and waning across the composition with disembodied vocals humming stolen melodies. The eponymous "Patriarchs" features vocals from Ruhe, that in their explorations of our venerated (yet very human and anti-heroic), give a devastatingly accurate critique of our tendency for hero worship of very human and largely unheroic patriarchs...which makes this next sentence seem pretty absurd. RIYL Brian Eno, M. Ostermeier, Simon James Phillips.

Purchase from Bandcamp


Gordon Ashworth The One You Love & Cannot Trust (Latrogenesis, 2015)

Gordon Ashworth's follow up EP to one of 2014's truly important contributions to the world of experimental music, the full-length S.T.L.A continues that records' exploration of the intersection between sound art, field recordings, eloquent drones and notations of Ashworth's earlier work under the moniker Concern - which often focused on expertly played stringed instruments paired with various manipulations of the instrument or recording process. Guitars and other stringed instruments are all over this record, as is Ashworth's unique fingerpicking style. Ashworth's technique is difficult to classify within anything akin to American Primitivism or European folk music for that matter. It consists of Ringing open notes and quick clusters of deftly picked notes that run over Ashworth's field recordings collected through his travels and through his job moonlighting as a taxi driver in Portland. Sometimes, like on "New Moon" these lines are otherworldly powerful, the lines themselves are easy to pick out - but there is just so much sound happening around those discernible notes that a blissful sort of aural claustrophobia sets in. The nocturnal that permeates Ashworth's releases is strong on this one as is Ashworth's powerful ability to pull drones of crackling tension from adjacent electrical outlet and dread from a conversation happening in the next bando over from your newly gentrified street.

Purchase from Bandcamp


Nigredo Lunas Negras (Small Scale Music, 2015)

The group of Montreal composers, vocalists and stringed instrument players known as Nigredo have banded together on Lunas Negras to interpret and record a collection of poems by Frederico Garcia Lorca. In this unedited, live recording Geraldine Celerier Eguiluz's equally beautiful and terrifying vocals and classical Spanish influenced guitar are joined with a small troupe of stringed instruments and auxiliary percussion to create a performance that is tightly composed and highly emotional. These emotions range from mournful dirges to ecstatic, pointillist runs through an impressively high upper range. Eguiliuz's voice leads the strings through a diving, lilting, squawking traverse across Lorca's evocative poetry as if each player is sight-reading the poem as it is exiting Eguiliuz's mouth in a breathy exhale and horror-filled scream. There is an impetus: a clarion call and then a tumbling of clunky chord progressions reacting to and coaxing some of the most indelible and unforgettable sounds out of Eguiliz's reedy vocal chords. The tape, like all performances like this, is best enjoyed in its entirety, allowing the full spectrum to sink in and pass through you. Kudos to the newly-minted Small Scale Music for bringing this to light.

Purchase via Bandcamp


Anthéne Repose (Polar Seas Recordings, 2015)

Sometimes, all you need is a slab of white, granular drone to soothe a troubled psyche or focus your thoughts on a task. The soothing, stretched tones of Anthéne's Repose can do that like little else. Released on Toronto's Polar Seas Recordings this record is full of gentle pulls of spectral light from the dead cold. Bradley Deschamps is one half of North Atlantic Drift who share a similar tonal palate of placid, smoothed over tones that are emotive without being overbearing. Touchstones of Fennesz and Eluvium come immediately to mind. With the serene overtones and textures, this is a record that seeps deep into your subconscious if, perhaps, your attention has slipped away from active listening - you may wonder why you feel in tune with the gradual glacial shift from liquid to solid on a global scale. You need this in your life.

Purchase from Bandcamp.


The Balustrade Ensemble Renewed Brilliance (Serein, 2015)

There are moments on Renewed Brilliance that hearken to a musical strain that is not present in much of the ilk in this tightly composed, yet spacious ambient music, a courtly medieval chamber orchestra dragged beneath guitar distortion and underwater atmospherics. When it comes up for air loose strands of mellotron, orchestron, dulcitron (having google imaged each before writing this) share top billing with familiar washes of distortion-filled guitars, fluttering harps and vigorous bowing of stringed instruments. I guess there was a time when post-classical was a legit genre, The Balustrade Ensemble actually feel like a group studied and trained enough to wear those pants. Just listen to the way all auxiliary sounds filter out towards the end of "Show Us to the Sky" - a muting of all harpists, oscillators, processed guitars until the sturdy backbone of the track emerges - gentle pulls across a violin's vibrato rich strings. There is a lot in here. I remember buying a CD at a thrift shop of glass armonica music; the ethereality, ringing tones and capturing of stately objectification of mankind's endless tinkering is something I greatly prize about that private press CD, this is that CD times x1,000 paired with incredibly beautiful, expertly crafted washes of ambiance and frighteningly astute multi-instrumentalism, yet led by a sturdy guitar set through multiple stages of tape and digital manipulation. One of the finest and rewarding records of the year.


From the Mouth of the Sun Into The Well (Fluid Audio, 2015)

At this point From the Mouth of the Sun should need no introduction. Comprised of multi-instrumentalists Dag Rosenqvist (Jasper, TX) and Aaron Martin, From the Mouth of the Sun is an impossibly beautiful pairing of Rosenqvist's late moves towards quiet, stately and sparse piano compositions and Martin's looped and processed cello and bowed banjo. These two fit together in seamless, mutual affection - a bond forged through uploading and unzipping files of gorgeous song stems traveling instantaneously from Gothenburg, Sweden and Topeka, KS. Songs that build like cumulus clouds of incandescent tones reverberating and quivering into each other, building until the break in some beautiful storm cloud of bowed or rung instruments that cut through the gently building haze like a shot through the heart. Huge orchestral swells that sound so clarion clear that it sounds impossible this is a recording. Mournful, elegiac...ennui has a name. God, this album is so fucking good.

Purchase the insanely beautiful and intricately packaged CD from Fluid Audio.

Thursday, November 12th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

Nature Was Here - a shapeshifting musical project by Cincinnati artist Joshua Kruer - presented here in two very different amalgamations of a constant presence. That presence is a spectre that haunts these tracks. An affinity for massive minor key washes of distorted guitars, languid pacing that peaks into a terrifyingly massive flock of birds lifted high on an upstream draft across an October sky, a constant tug-of-war between American Primitivist picking and restrained song-cycle freakouts. A constant channeling of Jack Rose and Aidan Baker.

"Zero" is a perfect coda to the intensity of "Plants are Drugs". An atmospheric exploration across the fretboard of the acoustic guitar with an omnipresent drone ringing underneath the composition.

A perfect autumnal piece of music released right before (after) Halloween.

All proceeds from this digital 7" go to help keeping a library at the Malindza Refugee Camp in Swaziland, Africa alive while providing incredibly important resources - access to education and learning.

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

Hey! It's Ryan from the Tome. The site you are reading right now. I am a busy guy. Aside from my 9-5 I run this site, a charity net-label called Heligator Records, and now a full-fledged vinyl label called Whited Sepulchre Records. I started Whited Sepulchre because I fully believe that the music I am putting out needs to be heard on the standard for audiophiles - vinyl records. For my first two records I am putting out Fog Mirror by braeyden jae and Sleep Drive by ant'lrd. Whited Sepulchre will focus on small-runs of carefully curated records with high level of attention paid to aesthetics and layout. To do this, however, I need your help. I have started a crowdfunding campaign through Gotta Groove Records to help me get this off the ground. Please visit to learn more about the label and the rad perks associated with it.

If you have enjoyed the content of this site, or have had me support your art in any way, please consider contributing monetarily, or if you can't throw down, at least help spread the word through social media. I firmly believe that in this small world of experimental music we navigate that we have the ability to support each other in making amazing, endearing pieces of art. Please help me realize the vision of two of my favorite artists making music right now.

Here is a "teaser" of both the braeyden jae and ant'lrd records out soon on Whited Sepulchre.



Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

Selaroda - viaje a traves de sonidos transportive (Inner Islands, 2015)

transportive journey through sound is the latest tape from ambient stunner Michael Henning and, as far as I know, Selaroda is a totally unique word that Henning coined to christen his musical project. The name itself, invoking some kind of Southwestern flowering desert plant, is as sonorous as the music itself. viaje a traves de sonidos... follows on the heels of the excellent polytexturalism out on Sanity Muffin and Henning's excellent collaboration with Philip Ringler on Golden Cloud Tapes. For viaje a traves..., Henning pulls deep vocal and guitar drones across the stereo-field as expansive and deep as an endless desert sunset. Viaje... is often explicitly rhythmic for an ambient record of this ilk, including excellent free-jazz of "mgeni ngoma safari mduara chama" or the clanging gamelan-sounding stringed instruments on the beginning of "santur solo...", the true gem of the record, however, is in the impossibly fragile and elegant closer "ondas de reflexao interior" which washes of pregnant synthesizers with stray piano lines running throughout. A fitting closing to a transportive album.


Mike Nigro - Mental Thaw (A Giant Fern, 2015)

Mental Thaw is a single, quivering mass of a record. Long-form synthesizer drones that creep and unspool until they reach the end of their short, magnetic life. Oscillating tones and soft pawing of contact mics across a digital abyss. Mental Thaw is impressive in its composure and absolute timing. Nothing feels rushed or outside of linear paths set for it by some loving, knob-turning god. The path is a golden one, one going from long-held drones to bubbling, ever-ascending arpeggios on Side A "Cyprus" and full-on tone-stasis to slow-motion glacial shifting on Side B, "Reverse Telecine". The feeling of pushing through massive amounts of amber with tiny insect arms. 


Tyler Powell - Outgoing Messages (Dismal Niche, 2015)

Somewhere, towards the beginning of Tyler Powell's decomposing compositions on a mass of magnetic are the inputs to Outgoing Messages. They aren't too hard to find: clanging church bells, oscillating tones and distant pianos sitting underneath a mountain of reverb. They exist as objects in real life until they, through decomposition of the medium itself, begin to collapse in on themselves, a bright star-death of entropy and elegy. Recorded on thinning answering machine tape, these compositions do not hold a vast spectrum of sound, but what is compressed on them are more than mere echoes of their former-selves. Through careful winnowing down of tone, these sparse passages leap out in rhythmic, looped brightness. A last gasp before the eternal night complete deterioration. A much, much more poetic death than the scratched CD surface.


Hallowed Bells - Violet Hands (Edible Onion, 2015)

It's been a minute since we've heard from Philadelphia's Edible Onion. Well, they are back with Hallowed Bells, the Philly duo of modular synthesizer explorers whose twisting, turning, compositions split time between the ultra-serious aesthetic peek into what sounds can be unleashed from an instrument that boasts endless modification and innovation to a whimsical pushing of melody into extreme frequencies while keeping at its core a playfulness of the Zombies or the late-great Broadcast synth lines. There is a late night vibe that I get from these tracks, something akin to spending the night in the graveyard or the soundtrack that would accompany a television show about a group of kids who spent the night in a graveyard. Beautiful washes of ambient textures float across heavily pawed melodies with great flourish and gravitas, the true standout of this record, is when these melodies are run through a bevy of modulated filters until they emerge on the other side a mere ghost or altered beast.


Ant'lrd - Clouding Indefinitely (Inner Islands, 2015)

A heavy-hitter in the dronescape, people are definitely talking ant'lrd up around the water cooler these days. Clouding Indefinitely makes an easy case for the versatility and pragmatic attention to overall tonal superstructure and nuanced shifts that make this tape one of the better drone-based releases to come out this year. Far from being a monolithic wall-of-softened-noise, ant'lrd compositions ebb and flow with a lunar consistency and knack for creating not only hidden and playful melodies out of them but also a rhythmic consistency that create an ark-like backbone - a spine in which all tendrils and ever-branching nerve endings emanate from. When it becomes necessary, however, the cocoon of warbled, sun-baked synth lines and the verdant green of the ever present maw are ready and waiting companions to take you under their golden wing of all-encompassing sound. Join us.

Saturday, October 24th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

Memory Chain (Patient Sounds Intl., 2015)

A large component as to why I wanted to take on such a large oeuvre of work by one single artist echoes my relationship to music in total. I am in a large karmic debt to music for providing moments of transcendence in an otherwise head/body existence. For braeyden jae the debt is specified and localized in a certain tone that braeyden is able to produce through his bass guitar and a variety of shadowed and treated inputs. That tone is a softened wash of noise that retains an edge of harshness but is intentionally tempered to smooth out the rough edges until all that is left are strands of muted ebbing and flowing. These strands are often sustained by many others like it creating a cavern of sounds fully present in their textural landscape painting (landscape painting as a verb, not as a static noun). On Memory Chain this golden sound of meditative solemness is often strummed out in "power-ambient" chords or in massive overtones and lead lines that knocks the dust off the rafters, or it is joined by shimmering guitar lines and chords of our most abstract of shoegaze ancestors. The most surprising and lovely track on the album, however, is the album's closer "fades fading". A looped, reversed piano-and-vocal composition that laps gently against itself, forever regenerating. Musical perpetual motion.


Botched Communion (A Giant Fern, 2015)

I feel like the term "botched communion" aims at what braeyden jae has been trying to communicate this entire time: an intimate sharing of quiet fears and discovery carried by a imperfect and imprecise medium that reflect conversation at its truest form. On his latest for A Giant Fern, braeyden is speaking in a context that is familiar and moving to me personally. Both "Closed Vision" and "Cannot Reach" have, at their roots, the ethereal and transporting church organ of my youth - botched by some truly arcing, bracing and all-consuming bass improvisations in that rich, static-laden tone (discussed above) that pushes the dial on braeyden jae noise meter to a hare past the harshest on anything else put out this year. But therein, bleeding and soaring overhead the pre-communion (in another sense) prelude music, are moments of transcendent grace. Moments when braeyden gets into the upper-register, pushing his instrument to the brink of  sounds it is able to produce. For those of us who would like to keep well enough alone this accoutrement of an already beautiful passage of music would seem unwelcome, but for most people reading this, true communion comes when all pretenses are laid bare and the harshest tones blend in choir with the most sonorous elements.


Born to Lose/Born to Leave (Antiquated Future, 2015)

This collaboration with Denver's Sister Grotto (The Minotaur remains one of my favorite tapes of all time) is listening to some deep communion between two individuals exploring a shared sonic space of rich tones and massively rewarding lines. "Born to Lose" finds the two trading distant, spacious, reverb-heavy, but otherwise clean guitar lines with a circling, repeating violin line that etches deep grooves into the soft wax of your brain. A musical movement that gathers meaning in each passing. A healing balm of fractured psyches. Side B's, "Born to Leave" follows a similar pattern of delicate framing by a distant guitar held in repose against the backdrop of a quiet storm of gathering static and feedback. The experience is to be unmoored in an ever recycling sea of sound, held, not against your will, in its embrace as passings of clean and obscured inputs lap over and beneath you until a lighthouse clear guitar line rips a hole open in the sky in the last 2 minutes before a slow fade out. A no-duh collaboration that pays off in the most rewarding of ways.


Held and Holding (Bridgetown, 2015)

And finally, to be held. Held in stasis as an overwhelming amount of sound passes through you. Held and Holding is not an album to be listened to with your brain. But rather, straight through your solar plexus, the inevitability of the human body as an ear (a concept Lawrence English talks a lot about). But in a record with few discernible input points or hard edges the best form of communion is to absorb it straight through your chest. The low-end rumble shaking free phlegm years of plaque on the soul. At the right amplitude the softened drones, faint strumming and each additive phrase becomes a disorienting, palate-cleansing rite of passage for each day. Transcendence in being a conduit through which all sound passes through. I think this may be key to all braeyden jae releases. A surrender that does not involve submission, but rather trust and private conversations running parallel to each other that, at times, meet in the nexus of dissonance, sonority and volume.

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

The purpose of this post is to bring to our reader's attention the existence of the newly-minted, brilliantly-curated and surprisingly diverse output by Angelo Harmsworth's Lime Lodge imprint. It is not too often that a vinyl label emerges with three albums, defined visual aesthetic and a wildly diverse - but majorily important - output. This post will look at the toality of the releases with attention paid to each one individually. Suffice it to say, Lime Lodge is a boutique record collector's dream label. Small-run pressings on all white sleeves and vinyl with minimalist inserts with stunning photography by Aaron Mcelroy and Justin Clifford Rhody on the Harmsworth and Torturing Nurse relases that feature prominently the effects of a bright flash against an even brighter backlit white wall. The results are hyper-realistic images that defy the muted points of contact on both of those records (albeit in different contexts).

For Angelo Harmsworth's release, Cerrillos Disco, cresting and crashing washes of drone are set adrift on a sea of modulated frequencies that, on each pass, float farther and farther from the coastline until all we can see is blue - and we sink into a sea of softened static as our ears fill with noise and our lungs fill with water. For a record created in the middle of the Southwestern desert, Cerrillos Disco has an internal and mystic connection to the ocean that once covered the American Southwest and is finely tuned to the ocean inside.


A picture of what looks like a child's pageant naval-suit backlit against a forlorn shop's wall, covered in plastic to prevent dust from years of non-use containing a pure-white vinyl record is hardly the image and aesthetic we've come to associate with harsh noise records of this ilk. Stripped from its typically misanthropic/violent visual references is refreshing, if not even more disturbing. Collapse/Ikiru, much like the noise contained within, is a blank void to hurl the bitter trash of a broken psyche into.The Shanghai, China noise legend Junky (Cao Junjun) creates machine gun propulsive frequencies that, although devoid of rhythm in the strictest sense, still bang and pop with stereoscopic ferocity. Deep below, and surfacing occasionally in fissures through the harsh tones, are Junky's perma-fucked shouts and transmitter radio frequencies bouncing off of the capriciously high noise ceiling on this record while stabs of rusty contact mics push through the morass. Brilliant.


Serving to continue the visual and audio anachronisms of Lime Lodge's aesthetic is Christian Michael Filardo's release Justice. A highly obscured image, taken by Filardo, of filtered lights against a texturally obscure background serves as a counterpoint to the highly pointillistic, nothing-but-clean-tones-but-still-impossibly-abstract music contained within.  Modulated notes that strike with pin-point accuracy occur in intervals that seem, on the onset, to be highly chaotic but, through the fourth or fifth listens, seem to move at rhythm and internal logic all its own, erasing any sense of chance that one would assign to ostensibly (however false) aleatoric music. Justice is highly produced. A tightly wound, highly conceptualized piece of work plugged more into the brain of its composer and creator than the means used to create it. Highly recommended.

If you find yourself with $15 (or $45 for the whole bundle) burning a hole in your pocket and you want to invest in the furthering the reach of important experimenal music, may I suggest you take your hard-earned cash over to Lime Lodge. You will be glad you did.

Lime Lodge Website

Monday, October 12th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

This world is a small place.

Back in 2006 I witnessed a show around an all too typical Kilby Court bonfire where I saw a kid do unspeakably beautiful things with an acoustic guitar. Flourishes and finger-picking clusters of notes that existed outside of gusto or showmanship. That was before I had heard of Robbie Basho, Peter Walker or the Imaginational Anthem series. I asked him if I could do a series of videos for him. Those are still sitting somewhere on my hard drive.

Years, drives, talks later that same precocious kid, now a wanderlusting full-time adult is hitting me up via the internet asking if I could release a single.

Flash forward, 2013 (?) in a rare instance I open an unsolicited e-mail from a band called Nevada Greene from Columbia, MO. Inside are travelogues tracked through the push and pull of guitars, woodwinds and synthesizers. I'm immediately transfixed.

Two years later I have - in a completed lifecycle only reserved for rapid cycling species - two tracks of conversation, cartography etched in calloused fingers, tendrils of guitar lines circling each other like smoke from two campfires are available through Heligator Records that celebrate the triangulation of three separate searchlights in the dark.

All proceeds go to another small world. A library in a refugee camp that condenses culture, language, religion into a small couple-acre space in the forgotten Eastern corridor of Swaziland. Experimental music ftw.

Thursday, October 8th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

Ki Oni - Eliphas (Inner Islands, 2015)

Verdant and lush, the looping upper-register synths, buried vocal samples and sharp, birch-twig dry beats on Eliphas exists somewhere in the nexus of nostalgia and I-can-take-on-the-world exuberance. While beat tapes often can take their cues from dense, grimy passageways of urban centers, Ki Oni's samples and loops trade decaying brick for the thick, sunlight-filtering canopy of the forest. Beautifully delayed and reverbed-out guitars echo back over uncannily organic sounding beats and keyed-up choirs replacing the omnipresent hum and drone of tree-dwelling insects. Completely engrossing and transfixing, a beat tape for walks through deep woods in the (real) world or through the unfolding valleys of the mind.


Blondes - Persuasion (RVNG Intl., 2015)

Slow-building jams until everything-not-yet-sound becomes sound. All body is an ear and Persuasion is something you feel as much as hear. Pulsing, bubbling synths roil adjacent to each other until the 4-4 beat of techno of yore slams right through your solar plexus and the fuck-all of early dancefloor hedonism is resurrected in both club and mind. Blondes are a New York City duo whose laser-guided melodies are a vex and a foil to maniuplative electronic music. Persuasion exists outside of intentional music. Rather, it is a river flowing alongside examined living, inviting listeners to casually dip a toe in, and, if it feels right, to jump in and be completely submerged in the current of focused, sweaty early-House beats and clanging auxilliary percussion, cicada synths and calling, yearning siren-like vocal samples for 25 minutes until it spits you out back into your life - a bit wiser and a little tired. I've never started this EP and not finished it.


Flatliner - Black Medicine (Holodeck, 2015)

"Composed like a horror soundtrack yet produced like a compilation of pop anthems". Flatliner's debut EP makes a case for the two not having to be mutually exclusive. Flatliner can make classic tropes that we have come to associate with the classic 80's synth scores of John Carpenter or Giorgio Moroder come alive and crackle with 2015 high-frequency sheen and dancefloor readiness. Flatliner, and most of the Holodeck stable, is known for creating music that appeals both to obsessive gearhounds by creating music on rare, vintage instruments and for the masses who respond to forward-thinking electronic music filtered through a figurative approach to synthesizers-as-nostalgia. Flatliner's approach takes on this bifcurcation by creating uptempo, shapeshifting drum machine programming with minor-key synth arpeggios that are underscored by a sub-bass that hits with the force of a subwoofer blowing out the windows of Honda Acura of that kid who spent waaaaay too much money on his system. Black Medicine is what it would sound like if the producers of Drive scored Mad Max, or Spy Hunter was made into a dystopian movie directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. Blasted Highway to infinity.


UTA Trax/Burnin' - UTA Trax & Burnin' (Hel Audio, 2015)

A split between two incredibly talented SLC-based producers, this tape gives a peek into the world of a Utah scene creating music that is as insular as it is dancefloor ready. UTA Trax is the alter-ego of Hel Audio founder and visionary behind OK Ikumi, Karl Jørgensen. The Trax side was created out of Jørgensen's deep study of 80' Acid House and is full of modulating basslines and propulsive rhythm pushed to the front of the mix. Compared to the Burnin' side side of this compilation, UTA Trax sounds downright confrontational. Burnin's contributions are lush, understated passages full of looped synthesizer lines and resonant bass lines that mirror each other like fighter jets held in a deeply poetic dance of human reaction and technical wizardry. While not as locked-in as UTA Trax, Burnin's side finds a groove that, when it finds itself, never lets go, no matter how mutated it gets. Fantastic beat tape out of SLC. 


Bollywood Life - Manya (Shoeboxx, 2015)

Seeing Bollywood Life at this year's Goldrush Music Festival was a bit of a revelation. Using a effects pad and a throwing his entire body into the stuttering groove created thereby, Anton Krueger creates sweaty, heady dancefloor anthems that are chopped, screwed and seem to run against a sense of intiutive rhythm. Working with, rather than against that feature, Krueger is able to coax wonderfully mutating and modulating synth patterns and keyed-up samples before a fat, resounding keyboard lines pierce the veil of Krueger's compositions to wash the entire thing a powerful golden hue of sine wave perfection. Perfect, short introduction to a budding Denver talent.


Savant - Artificial Dance (RVNG. Intl, 2015)

Sounding completely contemporary in the world of outré experimental dance music, Savant’s Artificial Dance is a commanding follow-up to RVNG Intl.’s a-star-is-reborn retrospective of avant-garde dance music producer Kerry Leimer. Leimer’s Artificial Dance (under the moniker Savant) is born out of sessions with several Seattle-based post-punk musicians who Leimer assembled for the sole purpose of creating intentionally awkward, exploratory music by asking each member to play an instrument outside of their expertise. In these takes, usually only given loose musical guidelines, small miracles emerged. Chance, aleatoric pairings and the joy of discovery that comes from the beginner’s mind began shaping these compositions that sound, even today, incredibly prescient. This record comes to strike a chord somewhere between the NYC dance-rock revival of LCD Soundsystem, !!!, and the late-great Out Hud, with Cage-ian and Reich-ian principles of chance and minimalism. Thrown in there are crawling, near-ambient soundscapes with adjacent, rolling percussion, off-kilter electro-funk basslines with wonky electronic percussion and synthesizers that weave and wind their path through the track’s ever-unfolding rhythmic shape-shifting. Early reviews of this record have compared it favorably to David Byrne & Brian Eno’s sampler’s-paradise of a record, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Here, vocal samples are given minimal treatment, folded discreetly into the record and nearly absent in most tracks. Songs like “The Neo-Realist” and “Knowledge and Action” utilize bizarre spoken word passages that find immense returns from being both completely unscripted as well as heavily scripted. Compare: the ramblings of a schizophrenic man to the reading of a missive about the Apartheid-era political alliances from a foreign policy journal. But herein lies the beauty of this record. Something so scripted can sound wildly experimental while off-the-cuff ramblings fit right at home in the album’s hard core. Minus the dated references to the ANC being a guerrilla government in exile, this record stands outside of time or place. Timeless, but notated.

Monday, September 28th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

goldrush music festival announces full line-up....pictureplane, amulets, braeyden jae, decollage added

Tome contributors Ryan and Crawf are thrilled to announce the full line-up of the Goldrush Music Festival a five-year running music festival in Denver, CO curated and organized by Tome contributors along with some help by some great sponsors (including Tiny Mix Tapes and Impose). The event will take place September 18th-19th in Denver, CO at the Savoy @ Curtis Park. Hope to see you out there!

These fine folks will be joining:

Yoni Wolf, Guardian Alien, Tara Jane O'Neil, Lawrence English, John Chantler, Landing, Benoit Pioulard, Make-Overs, Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk, Crown Larks, The Space Lady, More Eaze, Nevada Greene, Lisa Prank, Married in Berdichev, Bollywood Life, Dugout Canoe, American Culture and Bang Play

Tickets are on sale now:

Plus we are having an amazing Record and Tape Fair. Come purchase physical media from: Field Hymns, Fire Talk, RVNG Intl., GALTTA, Golden Cloud Tapes, Northern Spy, Geographic North, Inner Islands, Hel Audio, Horror Fiction, Kill Shaman, Oma333, NNA, Spring Break Tapes, Shatter Your Leaves, Dismal Niche, Phinery, Constellation Tatsu, Obsolete Future, Debacle, Blue Tapes and X-Ray Records, A Giant Fern.

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

Jacob Koestler, co-founder of My Idea of Fun, visual artist and musician recording under the name Rural Carrier on D.I.Y community building in post-industrial America and being the ultimate "Sheetz-run" band in a thriving punk scene.

Monday, August 31st, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)