Tome to the Weather Machine Podcast 037

In this podcast we move from pastoral folk and drone, to music concrete, to experimental dives into metal, industrial and end on some beautiful Czech hip-hop. It's a trip.



Clara Engel – “My Whole Life Too” Eleven Passages (Polar Seas Recordings)

Clara Engel returns to Polar Seas Recordings with eleven works for solo guitar. These songs follow Loren Connor’s legacy of pulling in resonance from a relatively limited resources, seemingly gathering lush overtones and swirling drones from the heavy moisture of morning humidity. In fact, like Loren Connors this is a perfect morning record – lucid-dreamstate lingering, pre-coffee ritual for tired adults.

Curt Oren – “Of Course / I Will Protect You” For Sam, Forever Ago (Already Dead Records)

I don’t think I was quite prepared for the emotional impact this record would have on me. This record, and more explicitly, “I Will Protect You” was written for Curt’s companion Sam, his family’s dog that passed away two years ago. It’s within this premise, a totemizing of the pure and good companionship of a dog, that Oren is able to make sense of and process the violence of common existence and the uncommon ramping up of attacks on the unfulfilled promises of protected civil liberties. So, hug your pups if you have them.

Casino vs. Japan "Marching into the Blinding Sun" Suicide by Sun (Self-Released)

Erik Kowalski has been producing music under the name Casino vs. Japan for 20 years. In those 20 years CvsJ's output has mutated and shifted by release, but for his fans (this one included) his power lies in creating narcotic drifts of reverbed-out guitar tones ducking in and out of waves of soft drones like a gull hunting fish. These short songs aren't fragments, rather they are moments when ideas are struck, rec. goes red and these structures spill out of Kowalski's guitar and pedal arrangement.

Kenji Kihara – “Nagi” Scenes of Scapes (Inner Islands)

Based out of Horiuchi, Japan, Kenji Kihara’s compositions are built upon the relationship he has with the mountains and wooded landscapes surrounding Horiuchi. Moving from deep listening to the sounds that create this ambient noise floor to a conversation between them and Kihari’s affecting synthesizer work, “Nagi” is embedded with the sounds of a give-and-take, between human and non-human sounds. A perfect summer evening listen.

North Atlantic Drift – “Formations” Departures Vol 2 (Sound in Silence)

The second volume of the Toronto-based duo composed of Brad Deschamps and Mike Abercrombie critically acclaimed “Departure” series finds the revisiting familiar ground – weaving rhythmic drones through gradually shifting tonal structures to create sonic architecture that bends and sways with every current. A towering obelisk of song swaying against a greyed coast.

Sound Awakener "In the Garden" Monochrome (Elm Records)

Inspired by a series of black and white photographs, Sound Awakener aka Nhung Nguyen from Hanoi, Vietnam, transcribed each photos visual presence into 4 highly expressionistic pieces built from highly augmented and manipulated field recordings. Her droning sounds hang in the air like thick humidity right after a rainstorm. Omnipresent yet so full of life.  

Kee Avil "thinkstill" Kee Avil EP (Black Bough Records)

Kee Avil's experimentation with extended technique, elastic voice,  flurry of pedals and improvised guitar passages are put to the service of creating an incredibly exciting and challenging form of experimental pop that corral all of these ideas into a three song EP that covers a large amount of ground. It's pop if you squint your ears just enough. It's thoroughly experimental and one of the most original voices I've heard in quite some time. 

Charles Barabe "Mouvement IV" De la fragilite (Astral Spirits Records)

Representing a new leaf in Barabe's towering discography of cassette releases. These new "mouvements" are exciting compositions that flit and occupy, stand still and hit warp all within the same breath. Music Concrete, modern composition and electro-acoustic call-and-response are all at play here in what will be seen as an important move in Barabe's contributions to modern experimental music. 

Marcia Custer "Brad's Ghost" Stacey's Spacey (Unifactor Tapes)

"Presented as a flowing narrative that encompasses everything from bursts of throbbing industrial grit to a cheery, chipmunk-toned conversation with a personified keyboard named Barb La Croix, Stacey’s Spacey shines with Marcia Custer’s unquestionable magnetism as a vocalist, her sublime timing as a comedian, and her wild tonal sensibilities as a noise head."

obnox "Gotta keep fighting" templo del sonido (astral spirits)

What possessed Astral Spirits to approach Bim Thomas to do a "free-jazz" record must have been some courageous trickster spirit with a keen sense for subversion. Obnox's free-jazz contribution to Astral Spirts shining oeuvre is something to behold. References to Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp and Sightings are all appropriate touchstones here. It's a beautiful, confounding, accusatory but ultimately hopeful piece of work.

Mukqs "Ramel Cycle" Slug Net (Unifactor Tapes)

Maxwell Allison of Good Willsmith's "Ramel Cycle" is a work out of rock and metal instrumentation ran through a self-aware blender. The track, which belies any sense of rhythmic track, still moves through power-chords, riffs, fills with a movement guided by an internal GPS that may look like its twitching alone in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but instead is showing us a new portal to Atlantis. That's Mukqs.

Hate Colours "Know Nothing" Know Nothing (armellodie)

The Berlin-based industrial/noise group known as Hate Colours create a disquieting, stuttering blend of Throbbing Gristle, NIN and Aaron Dilloway. It's a completely disorienting trip through disturbing wrong turns into killing fields and possessed towns. If you are or were a fan of any of those groups this group should scratch an itch you didn't realize you had. 

Lashes "want/need" sub (Self-Released)

Comprised of Cincinnati artists Marisa Sermet (Lipstick Fiction) and Patrick Apfelbeck (Hissing Tiles, Butt) Lashes is an uncompromisingly heavy sludge-fest of super downtuned bass, rattling low-end, mic'd snare hits and uncontested rage. Lashes picks up on the promise of bands like Drose, The Melvins and Battle of Mice to create a menacing palate of true-gloom. Death to all false gloom. 

Lisaj "Roudno" Mezina (Genot Centre)

We end with some incredibly lush, lo-fi hip-hop from the Czech Republic. Lisaj's new tape on Prague's Genot Centre cements the label as one of the most well-curated and forward thinking labels in the game. Starting with aviary field samples, the slight groove becomes more deeply etched as it accumulates more and more sound. Ambient passages assemble on top of each other until Lisaj's understated flow cuts through. Perfectly crafted mood music. 

August 8th, 2018