Tome to the Weather Machine Podcast 044

With a focus on experimental folk music being stretched into new and exciting shapes, the 44th episode of the podcast explores the outer bounds of synth compositions, American Primitivist and prepared acoustic guitar work and expertly done ambient music. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did putting it together. As always, if you want to support the podcast, feel free to visit our Patreon page and get exclusive interviews, mixes and discounts on record labels. 

Shells - "Another Time (excerpt)" Another Time (Unifactor)

Shelly Salant's solo work under the moniker Shells has really coming into a beautiful place as of late. A member of several Detroit-based rawk bands (Tyvek, Saturday Looks Good to Me), Salant's solo guitar musings float in and out of hazy memories and lucid dreaming. With just enough reverb over top to keep all past notes in suspended animation, her inherently emotional work hits on raw nerves and unsuspecting left-turns.


This tape has been a constant companion to me. It sounds just off-the-cuff enough to sound like you are stumbling upon some private conversation between two friends and expertly played and recorded enough to display two musicians enjoying the rich transitory power of deep familiarity with their instruments. Rob Frye (CAVE, Bitchin Bajas) and Matt Schneider (Moon Bros) leap from deeply studied American Primitivist guitar to modular synth explorations to florid, improvisational back porch strummers.



It's hard to know what is peak Tashi Dorji, but his latest for Moone Records could be getting pretty close. It's a patient, twisting and turning journey into complex tonality and lyrical lines that composed non-linearly. The mood of contemplation, deep angst and resilient wonder hold a through line between Tashi's prepared tonal mutations and lines bent just enough to hold over the track like a tropical depression, weeping without end in sight. I left this one un-edited because it offers no mid entry point. It's meant to be taken in wholly, without interruption.

High Aura'd - "If i'm walking in the dark (excerpt)" If I'm Walking in the Dark, I'm Whispering (Unifactor)

John Kolodj's solo and collaborative work is of the utmost highest order. On his latest for Unifactor, the Ohioan folds glowing and throbbing drone through his highly expressionistic guitar work. Hitting some fantastic middle ground between American Primitivist and forlorn Midwest Blues, "If I'm Walking" builds and builds until a clean break is anticipated and delivered. Wading into the B-Side of the tape finds a continued exploration of heavy drone and unadorned piano venturing into the night.


Tanner Menard & Andrew Weathers - "Whole Face (excerpt)" Wanna Live in a world w/a whole face (Full Spectrum Records)

Although I had to trim Andrew Weather's beautiful drone intro and dropping us in shortly before Tanner Menard's gorgeous spoken word piece, we get a sense of how this collaboration feeds off a creative spark that seems to have caught fire by the end of this incredibly moving, utterly unique piece of work. It's almost unspeakable how good it gets towards the natural crescendo of voice and drone. Holy moly.

Saloli - "Reverie" The Deep End (Kranky)

The Deep End is an amazing debut from Portland-based synth artist Saloli. With no overdubs or post-production, "Reverie" could work as a solo piano composition but truly comes alive with Saloli's attention to tone. Inspired by 19th and 20th century avant-garde composers, "Reverie" responds with a sense of immediacy and bracing closeness. 

Andrew Tasselmyer - "Number 1" Tines (Flag Day Recordings)

Created by recording the inner workings of a gutted Fender Rhodes, Tines captures the  mechanical action of the piano as a percussive instrument. Everything from the high noise floor to the melodic drones Tasselmyer is able to coax out of blunted mallets on strings, feels incredibly close. Known for his solo work which melds field recordings with gorgeous drones as well as his work with Hotel Neon, Tasselmyer has an ear sounds that are pre-existing and waiting to be discovered.

J Butler - "Theme" Found (Self-Released)

So much great work has been created by slow moving guitars and oscillators when matched with careful attention to location and room tone. Pittsburgh-based J Butler falls into this tradition with his latest offering Found. Distorted guitar melodies hover in and out of  faintly oscillating volume swells to create a sense of tectonic motion.

Conrad Burnham - "Two Wicks" Granular Cinema (Tingo Tongo Tapes)

On the LA based artist's latest work, "Two Wicks" creates dizzying worlds-inside-worlds of crystalline synths creating simple patterns beneath a low cloud cover of drones that always seem to peaking. Always just a bit over-the-red keeping a great deal of grit in the audio field in what is a menagerie of glassine and otherworldly tones.

October 29th, 2018