ocoeur - "Embers" inner (n5md)

The French composer's latest for the always-trusted label N5MD is a cerebral journey through a tonally shifting landscape that moves from surging drones and placid ambient tones to low-end shaking sub-bass that accumulates sound so gradually that it is hard to remember that this leaden heaviness wasn't always part of the songs superstructure. Highly recommended if you FW dark ambient, SURVIVE, Denovali records.

blair ellair "attn.:" dist. (self-released)

Gentle ripples of synths that have just enough warble and vibrato to sound as if they were coming from a Church organ from some Minneapolis inner-ring forgotten Methodist church. The pastor's kid finding god in Eno and Budd sits down and lets those sustained notes rattle off the formica countertops, waxed wooden pews and right past the Lord's impassive ears.

simon pianta "pinky pops" gradations (rejan records)

The last song on Pianta's exploratory solo alto saxophone record is an irresistible arrangement of looped passages and languid, soothing improvisations through a variety of guitar pedals. The Melbourne-based artist has crafted something of great beauty and an easy entry point to some of the greats to explore modulation, phrasing and layered lines.

unhappybirthday - "sou" schaum (tapate records)

It's been sometime since being smitten by the German trio's 2015 album that came out on Night People. Time has sanded the edges a bit, boosted the fidelity and filled out the band's nervous, jangly sensibilities to a much more polished and sophisticated exploration of urbane post-punk of the 80's - referencing touchstones such as The Blue Nile, Japan and Berlin. "Sou" comes replete with a narcotic hooks that create an atomosphere of wonder and unease.

Listen here.

dismal thinkings - "modesto" blanketfort (self-released)

Perennially bummed and overly caffeinated, this young Seattle trio has crafted a downcast minor-chord banger drawing cues from the linear focus and ear for melody of Duster - a band that I would love to see more invoked - and the maudlin atmospherics of another favorite Seattle band Red Star Theory. It's a promising start from some art school kids from Rat City. 

Monday, July 30th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)


On our latest dive into experimental music from around the world we move from the warbled and droney, to retro-futurist vamps of Ross Khmil and Forma, to Japanese psych-metal and scuzzed-out noise-rock from Baltimore. We end with a trio of cathartic pop songs and a final sweet send off into the night.

bitter fictions - "Morning bow Memorial" disagreements (shaking box music)

Devin Friesen's early morning devotional music eases us in with a simple and sturdy guitar riff that eventually bows to droning overtones and golden shafts of bent sound filtering in like morning sun through heavy curtains. 

Andreas Brandal - "Vanishing and Beginning Again" Andreas Brandal/Mike Nigro (Tandem Tapes)

On this split between the Norwegian sound artist Andreas Brandal and NYC artist and Oxtail Recordings owner and proprietor Mike Nigro, both immerse themselves in worlds where the organic and the synthesized are blended together until reality is a floating point carried away on the next sine wave.

tender crust - "ghost river 20th century (excerpt)" the earth's axis and hare (oxtail recordings)

Made up of Gretchen Korsmo, Carl Ritger and Andrew Weathers, Tender Crust is the supergroup we didn't know we needed. Close approximations and total hive-mind meltdowns are happening in spades here. Electronics, synthesizers, guitars and voice all are held in positive tension with one another, suspended in air like heavy water particles on humid days. 

Evan Miller - "290 (excerpt)" Two Places (Personal Archives)

Evan Miller, who is 1/2 of the Dayton percussion duo Neutrals, has created a lovely tape full of drawn-out and droning overtones, field recordings and non-traditional percussion that moves like a super-tanker through icey water. A conceptually rich and expertly crafted piece of music.

Ross Khmil - "Ultra Recall 1993" Suburban Lights (Hellscape)

Ross Khmil, the Kiev-based sound artist, is a retro-futurist electronic producer recreating sounds of a past he never lived through. Tron-cylces across a neon grid that is oozing and breaking down from within through a vicious malware infection. Detroit's Hellscape has captured the young musician in his element, pushing a vision of decay and pure light in a forever augmented world.

Forma - "Three-Two" Semblence (Kranky)

"It just feels...good" I'm going to side with my buddy TENTHisle here and recommend that you vibe with this. Their second for Kranky, the Brooklyn trio have created a tense, terse and laser-focused album full of pointilist beats, playful, light-dancing melodies that bob and weave through each track and sustained, droning overtones. Kranky has had an unbelievable year, this continues that winning streak. 

Qujaku - "ZyouK (exceprt)" Qujaku (So I Buried)

Take a deep breath in before appraoching this. Some of the heaviest Japanese psych/stoner metal/noise-rock I've heard in a really, really long time. Hands down one of the heaviest of the year. Take this in if you've ever fucked with Monster Magnet, Shellac, Burning Brides or Boris

Blood on the Mercy Seat - "I Love Jesus Like A Good Catholic Girl Does (excerpt)"  S/T (Sara Laughs)

Baltimore's Blood on the Mercy Seat is everything you love in a good noise band, ear splitting high end provided by some viciously out of tune strings, start and stop percussion that eventually run so many red lights that they become a whirr of metal and shards of glass a completely unhinged front person screaming empty threats into broken payphones outside of Walgreens at 3AM. Fucked and free. 

Denver May Williams - "Lost Out Here" Lost Out Here (Self-Released)

It's always great to hear new pop from premium droner braeyden jae. Everything is perfectly askew. A late-70's Nashville-burnout country strummer underneath the influence of some gorgeous tonal rock-slides, edge-riding distortion and pitter-patter electronic percussion. It's a quick, damaged masterpiece. 

Binary Marketing Show - "Daydream (I Cannot)" Short-Term Fix for a Long Term Death (Already Dead)

A crowning jewel in Already Dead's lo-fi bummer pop is Portland's Binary Marketing Show. That chorus, "I Cannot Begin to Understand" leaves me with an inexplicable lump in my throat every time. Looped vocals and electronic percussion make up the sturdy bones of this short but powerful statement of being overwhelmed, overanxious but ready to take on life with the determination of a powerlifter pulling a semi-truck by their teeth.  

Two Meters - "Left Behind" S/T EP (Very Jazzed/Frenchkiss)

Boca Raton musician Tyler Costolo in an ode to being left in the wake of a loved ones passing and trying to gather all of the unspooled effects of someone who was here and left everything but their body. It explodes in the middle of the track into a swelling burst that recontextualizes the central refrain's tiny melody into a mantra for remaining alive.

Soft Felt -"Easy" Still (Self-Released)

And we end on a nocturnal solo-piano piece by Soft Felt. It's a soft and fitting coda for this hour of music. Bye.

Friday, July 20th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

wolfelt - "loree lane" settling/unsettled

Creating fractured beatscapes out of samples recorded while moving houses/transitioning lives, Settling/Unsettled is a warm, organically pieced-together EP that lives and breathes in the dusty corners of empty rooms that contain the shadow of furniture that was never supposed to be moved, out of tune pianos in living rooms and creaking floorboards shifting under unsteady weight. The Baltimore native has created instrumental pastiches that recall Baths warm sound palate and is reminiscent of early 2000's .anticon/morr music.

anton kochergin - "home"

A gorgeous slice of minimalist piano work from this young Russian composer. An inherently nostalgic, reverbed-out piano line becomes more sparse and more profound as it hits and recedes as soon as the electronic percussion pushes the momentum of the track forward. A nice little dynamic shift that opens the entire track up making it a uniquely blissful listen. 

Tasmansea - "Lidded" 

Decaying synthesizers are transmitted from some underground bunker in a rapidly thawing tundra. the result, coming from this Canadian composer, is an elliptical, highly mutable track that runs through mountainous builds and deep crevasses of sound - never quite settling in one place for long.

Sreym Hctim - "Lint Roller"

Mitch Myers - formerly of Peace Arrow and Tome favorites Hear Hums - has embarked on a kaleidoscopic, noisy, highly lyrical and slightly terrifying solo project that turns erstwhile Brooklyn hypnagogic pop into a mutated, two-headed infant - gagging and lolling to a mathy time signature while coughing up glitter to the clinking, clanking auxiliary percussion. It's a trip you want to take. Sans airbags and rear view mirrors.

former lakes - "dream swamp" It's Fine

"Approximation rock" is what Former Lakes call their lo-fi, downcast songs. I would say that is a pretty accurate tag for 99% of all of the indie rock I am drawn to. Looking through my bandcamp collection, it strikes me that for first time we have a fossil record of all the mutations that almost gave us that evolutionary edge to adapt to our new surroundings. Those subtle changes that just about made the cut. These approximations, this cozying up to, but never fully embracing the forms of a genre are responsible for some of the most beautiful, sad and beautifully sad moments I've come across. "Dream Swamp's" lo-fi rattle, omnipresent distortion and buzz hold the feeling, but never the exact shape.

parrot dream - "light goes (in mines)"

Parrot Dream creates lush Dream Pop that hovers just below the red in everything but Christina Appel's full-throated delivery. Athletic synth and guitar lines lap each other in an ever-ascending builds towards bliss. Parrot Dream is very much in the canon of mid-2000's Dream Pop such as Beach House and Wild Nothing, and like those groups feel confident shading the gravitational pull to the ethereal with dark hues of crimson red.

talent show - "dead in the ground"

To rattle through your deepest existential fears and nameless angst armed with power chords and an ear for channeling all of that through the wailing power-pop whose sound references everything from the Small Faces to the Buzzcocks to...The Murder City Devils is a coping skill we should all aspire to. Hartlepool UK's James Leonard Hewiston takes us through a litany of fears and doubts with whiplash speed and whipcrack smarts. 

interpol - "the rover" marauder (matador)

16 years into a career requires some ritual cleansing. In this video directed by Gerardo Naranjo, Ebon Moss-Bachrach plays a burgeoning cult-leader who, newly imbued with cryptic powers, storms a press conference being live-streamed in Mexico City and has an encounter with Paul Banks that caught reporters unawares. Whatever happened there worked. A band that functions on equal parts exhaustion and wonder enters 2018 sounding re-energized and full of clarity of purpose. 

Friday, July 20th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Daniel O'Sullivan - "Retun The Heart" The Physic Garden (EMI)

Daniel O'Sullivan is most notably recognized for his work with uncomporomising experimental acts Guapo, Ulver and his work with Sunn O))). For his latest album, the beloved EMI tapped him to compose "pocket symphonies" - a call back to "library music" used as background music for television and film. For this first single from that project O'Sullivan pairs traditional folk arrangements with a driving arrangement and and a saxophone that wouldn't be out of character in a police procedural. It's a buoyant and compressed slice of elevated muzak.

no-ke - "departures"

A quiet cinematic journey by this Australian mult-instrumentalist. Tension filled strings keep a sustained cicada-hum beneath delicate piano lines that create deep craters in the emotional landscape of this track. This minimalism underscores the later intertwining of the piano and violin through an ascending, resonant passage.

Mōbe - "Première" Think About What You Love

The French ambient artist has created a warm upward draft of a song. A wind-at-the-back trajectory of pulsing bass lines, atmospheric synth-washes that cast the entire track in a soft blue light. Contemplative and early-morning tea soothing. 

byzantine - "husk" lobotomy

Byzantine's compositions always feel like they are going to burst apart at the seams, spilling thousands of good ideas like ribbons across the floor. It is the way the young producer jam-packs these songs with lines that take hairpin turns within a few breaths of the next idea that make Byzantine a name to look out for.

blank for.ms - "leans in technicolor" it's torso smears right as (not art)

Jenny Hval and Autre Ne Veut collaborator, Blank For.ms is another artist harnassing a seeming lifetime of good ideas, packing them within close proximity to each other and then composing a track that has movement and inexplicable flow. Blank For.ms is a shephard first and foremost, allowing beats, disembodied vocals and an idiosyncratic sense of timing explore their own sonic space while in service to the songs greater whole.

Tuvaband - "Wolfpack"

It's hard not to be immediately drawn in by Tuva Hellum Marschhauser's wounded but resilient, vibrato-rich voice. In a sparse track under-girded by guitar and droning strings, she still finds space to weave in and out of the song's atmospheric low-level cloud covering drawing favorable comparisons to Cocteau Twins Elizabeth Frazier. Cozy on up.

Sundaes - "Laundry Day" 

The spiritual progeny of Lambchop, Yo La Tengo and Tindersticks, the Nashville-based band gleans magic and meaning out of perfunctory domestic responsibilities. The track eventually builds from a fragile construction of voice and guitar into a roaring, cathartic chorus that elevates creative loafing into closely held mantras.


indigo de souza - "good heart" i love my mom (sub-fi)

Towards the last 3/4 of this song, where the percussion begins its galloping rhythm and De Souza begins enumerating the tiny anxieties that make us feel like major chasms between how we see ourselves and how we believe others see us - I felt that. It's a powerful, cathartic, linear build towards a sweet angst that doesn't subside when you turn 30. RIYL: Earth of Foxes, Corey Flood, Swearin'


bound - "weathering" no beyond (diehard skeleton)

Slowly wandering into shoegaze/post-rock solitude, the Washington D.C quartet create an unfurling, slowburn of a track that seems to exist and breathe in a perennial autumn evening walk home with heavy thoughts on the mind. The second half of this song is a crushing, brooding shoegaze anthem that refuses to loosen its grip.

Useless Cities - "A Little Too Obtuse"

Shoegaze/post-punk under the deepest shade of blue. Conjuring Funeral Party Records in the form of Soft Kill or Blessure Grave, the UK quartet creates a quiet storm of brooding bass lines, delicate piano lines and gorgeous male/female vocals. 

Friday, July 13th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

On this week's podcast we move from gorgeous looped vocals of Indira Valey and Ian William Craig, through some gorgeous neo-classical and weightless electronic music, straight into the dungeon of minimal techno, dark-ambient and emerge on the other side with an excerpt from a new Matmos tape. 

indira valey - "back i went back" no me tengas (Antiquated Future)

Indira Valey throws some 1,000 pt. spells for her latest on Antiquated Future. Valey's voice visits some otherworldly planes and returns with enough eloquence to dictate the shape and contours of some place more holy than this. 10/10 would go back. 

Ian William Craig -  "A Slight Grip, a gentle hold pt. ii" A Turn of Breath (Recital)

Following up one of the best albums of 2016, A Turn of Breath is a massive, 2xLP that centers around Ian William Craig's ability to push and loop his voice through the din of ancient voice recorders until they accrue layers of meaning at each turn. On "A Slight Grip, A Gentle Hold pt. II" this practice breaks wide open to reveal gorgeous, buzzing drones and strings set to cicada thrum. One of the year's brightest.

David Newlyn - "Ashes" Collected Fictions (Sound in Silence)

A relatively subdued and forlorn solo piano piece on a wildly eclectic (for this genre) album. The rest of the album moves from Odd Nosdam-style low key beats to proper ambient music, settling a bit in the middle with this field-recording sounding piece plunked out on some forgotten piano collecting dust in some pre-war home.

ben rath - "innate value" anything is possible (sound in silence)

The second record to be featured in Sound in Silence's wonderful batch of UK ambient artists. The multi-instrumentalist pulls in some beautifully sepia-tinged elongated lines that fade out a bit at the corners. All the saturation pooling in the middle of a gorgeous note bent across a noise floor of golden tones. 

Lori Scacco - "Strange Cities" Desire Loop (Mysteries of the Deep) 

A floating, almost effortless ease overlays these tracks by the NYC artist. They are at once, dense molecules of multi-layered sounds, gurgling arpeggios and fractal beats as well weightless vehicles - jet-streams that take you through the track, your day, with minimal friction and total pleasure-center hitting casino slot machine. 

Topdown Dialectic - "A4" Topdown Dialectic (Peak Oil)

Obscure, obtuse and non-existent outside of the self-contained universe of this record doesn't even begin to describe the mystery shrouded in this collection of grainy, groundwire minimal techno. For what it is, as an artifact outside of culture or scene, is a truly lovely and strange collection of uneasy beats and an uncanny ability to manufacture earworms that have no right existing in such an outre record.

DunJIN - "The Tragedy, "Man"" The Conquerer Worm (Self-Released)

Brooding and melodic dark-ambient by this Stockton on Tees, UK based artist. The atmosphere on here breathes heavy with tomb-dust and dank, dripping water. Above all this doom and gloom, however, is are sustaining melodies that appear as fleeting apparition in the bible-black gloom.

1/2H 1/2W - "The Night Quarry" Black Pelvic Fluids (Bezirk Tapes)

Holy moly this album gets super heavy. The Latvian group moves from subdued but menacing tracks like "The Night Quarry" to blistering noise-jazz to black metal rampages that make up the group's debut on Tristan Bath's label Bezirk tapes. A lovely mid-year find of a band pushing some extreme sonic boundaries but still remaining tuneful and subdued enough to land on this podcast. Can't recommend this album enough. 

Matmos - On the Radio at Southend-On-Sea (excerpt) (Timesuck)

"In 2015 we were invited to make music in an old manor house in a park in Southend-on-Sea in the English district of Essex. During our time in Chalkwell Hall a local radioteur came visiting and asked us to perform on his show, “Ship Full of Bombs” named after a local seamark. This recording is the result Some of the peacocks were recorded live, some were pre-recorded. They lived outside our studio window." Debut tape from our friends over at Timesuck. New Matmos material. Peacocks. It's a winning trifecta.

Monday, July 9th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Sonia Calico - "Desert Trance" 

Last year I was exposed to so much forward thinking music coming out of Asia via Lafidiki's tastemaking Chinabot album. The Taipei, Taiwan based Sonia Calico is on a similar trajectory of exposing the broader world to regional electronic scenes with curatorial distinction. Calico creates a fierce mash up of old-school trance, grime and trap that sounds incredibly future-oriented while studied in deep 90's electronica.

The Bodies Obtained - "Such and Such" Breakneck and Jubilee

While the oblique Joy Division reference of their band name may lead you to suspect a more brash post-punk affair, "Such and Such" from their new album Breakneck and Jubilee is downtempo shuffle through arpeggiated synth lines and shrapnel laden guitar riffs falling after each other in a syncopated, hypnotic rhythm. The Detroit duo have created a beautiful and mysterious palate of dark blues and purples.

picnics at his adamah! "lots of happiness will come to you" 

Picnics at his Adamah! is the project of a father and musician living in Hiroshima, Japan. The output is a lovingly crafted post-rock/emo-revival that fits somewhere between Bluebeard, The One AM Radio and Ides of Space. It's a surprisingly warm and beautiful slice of idiosyncratic lovelorness. 

El ten eleven - "you are enough" banker's hill (topshelf)

It's hard to mention the evolution of post-rock or math rock within the last 10 + years and not find yourself winding your way back to the LA duo. Comprised of drums, electronics and double necked guitar wizardry, El Ten Eleven have been playing hypnotic looped music that brings the genre up to the brink of explosive exuberance and then throttles back to reveal gorgeous textures and ambient passages replete throughout - all within the same song. "You Are Enough" certainly inhabits these peaks and valleys of late-era El Ten Eleven impressively. 


Polar Institute - "Vakna í Myrkri" Polar Institute 

Polar Institute stems from composer Rob Thorpe's response to traveling around South America and Antarctica by sea observing the ways in which humans destroy our world by trying to possess it. Inherently cinematic, these moving neo-classical songs were composed for a live soundtrack video series. "Vakna í Myrkri" is inspired by Icelandic composers which, after this album, seem very much his contemporaries.

Lou Rogai - "Implications in D Major, An Andagio for Chamber Strings"

If there was a piece that makes all the pleasure centers in my brain that light up it would be this stirring piece of music by Lou Rogai (Lewis & Clarke, Bats for Lashes collaborator). There are moments of sustained, weighted beauty when this quartet bows out mournful, yet wholly illuminated lines both in unison and interwoven around each players timbre rich perforance.  By far one of the most beautiful pieces I've heard this year. 

Sunday, July 1st, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

On this epside we explore the modular synth world of Ann Annie and Matthew Ryals, gorgeous neo-classical, heartbreaking new work by Midwife and Anders Broby, blistering free jazz and Kraut-influenced post-rock from Us, Today.

ann annie - "ocean breeze" cordillera (Self-Released)

It’s amazing that I am just finding out about this now. Modular synths tuned to a cloudless summer day watching sun refract off of incoming waves. Strong contender for album of the year from this Portland, OR “curator of landscapes”. Effortless beauty. AOTY?

matthew ryals - "smog song" machine memory (oxtail recordings)

It’s always great to hear new music from the Cleveland-based Matthew Ryals. Marrying Matthew’s pointillist beatscapes with an emotional center of wanting to be home when caught up in doing something supposedly fun, “The Smog Song” pushes through wearied vocals to ramp up into a 4x4 house banger by the end of the track.

silent vigils - "zwartewall" fieldem (home normal)

Silent Vigils is a collaboration between UK based James Murray and Belgium based Stijn Huwells on the fantastic Japanese label / distro Home Normal. Communications across the channel turn into meditations on mass violence that seemed to bookend the creation of this record. Perhaps shaped by events surrounding this recording, the album is a subdued, inward turning album that offers no answers but creates space to heal and reflect.

midwife - "rtd pt. iii" (self-released)

RTD (Ready to Die/Dance) was emblazoned on the wall at Denver’s D.I.Y venue/artist space Rhinoceropolis where Midwife’s Madeline Johnston lived before it was closed in a rash of politically motivated D.I.Y. space closings. “RTD” was a mantra on Midwife’s last record as she contemplated the full portent of that statement and a fitting reminder to embrace the transient now. Completing the trilogy is this stand-alone composition of aching and swelling drone that encapsulates the emotional core of facing down that choice.

stray theories - "all our tears" all that was lost (n5md)

A gorgeous, cinematic neo-classical tearjerker from the New Zealand based composer is startlingly assured in its build and release. Tensions ease with each gently plucked piano note. Small fires slowly dim and go out.

Glass House - "Collective Traumas" External Forces (Oxtail Recordings)

“Collective Traumas” is an ever building slow tidal wave of a track, origami-folding back on itself over the 7 minutes. The NYC/Philly duo push waves of distortion and compressed data through tiny earbud holes, this composition grows to until it breaches the seawall and takes everything with it.

Anders Brørby - "I Won't Be Around When You Really Need Me" Traumas (Forwind)

The Oslo Norway based composer has crafted a slowburn of a drone track that features windswept/tapefucked wordless vocals underneath a strong undercurrent of softened feedback that caresses as much as destroys. A perfect post-noise show comedown record perfect for driving through abandoned city streets.

space-saver "shoots and splatters" save yrslf (self-released)

A beautiful free-jazz, drum and sax duo palate-cleansing, reason-reducing blast-off into some impressive kinetic mind-meld. The Charlottesville, VA duo hold nothing back in this relatively short, but pummeling record that hits so hard in such short bursts.

us, today - "spellcaster (dr. spirit) computant (it.me)

The Cincinnati trio comprised of Kristen Agee (vibraphones, keys, electronics), Jeff Mellott (drums) and Joel Griggs (guitar) end the podcast with their dense, knotty cluster of kraut-sensibilities, brawny post-rock and avant-electronic shadings. The distortion on Agee’s vibes as the “Spellcaster” open are a portentous sign that classic rock arrangements are about to be turned on their head. A stellar release by a band on the brink of something big.

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

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. You can pre-order the album here

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)