"All aboard!?" El Tryptophan's absurdly deep meditations head sidelong on the rails of a single riff churned ad nauseam into a swirling pastiche of crystalline-clear guitar wisps, layers of synths, a clanging motorik percussive motion and epic guitar freak-outs/melt downs/rave-ups. The result is something that hits somewhere in the pan-mysticism of Popol Vuh and the High Desert inflected Andean psych of Follakzoid. El Tryptophan is a project of NYC-based Gryphon Rue and enlisted the assistance of Dean Wareham, Will Epstein and others to toil away at this towering monolith of sound. Brilliant. 

El Tryptophan - Insect Express from El Tryptophan on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 14th, 2016 | Add New Comment (0)

Combing through all the tapes I received this year and I stumbled upon this one that has been a pebble in my shoe since I received it. Sonically and experientially - it is a weird tape as you will see soon enough. Basement black-mass ritual gothic post-punk located in a universe where a 2008 experimental-pop song could soundtrack some student-made snuff film. Consumer-grade Casio effects complete the circle of getting super-hyped on handmade special fx that don't fool anyone but are celebrated because of what they signify. Stood Up has a homespun type of amicable charm to it although that seems incidental. This could be the missive from a very insular scene in Norfolk, VA or an intensely personal bedroom project. The eclecticism and electrical tape that holds the thing together suggests the first. The video for the titular "Stood Up" is a perfectly terrifying look into the degrading and dehumanizing world of fraternity hazing...the same sort of ritualized terror the same defense contractor bros would perpetrate in black site prisons across the Middle East (and Chicago). Another circle closes in an even more singular and sinister culture under a much more socially acceptable veneer. Got your back, bro.

WandCarver Bandcamp

Also included the video for "My Trick Bike" because the song is killer with one hell of a bass line hook.

Friday, December 4th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

16mm films of foliage bathed under an eerie purplish-green chemical bath is a perfect foil for The Oscillations' Demian Castellanos outwards-bound pushing guitar work. Overtop a sturdy Kraut groove, Castellanos takes kamikaze guitar dives into the heart of the sun only to emerge through the otherside on another plane...one slightly more purified and stranger than this one. We are thrilled to premiere their first video from their new album Beyond the Mirror (Rare and Unreleased Tracks) out on All Time Low which is a killer look back through their (almost) 10 year history as a band. Both the Oscillation and Demian Castellanos's solo records warrant obsessive amounts of listens. Dig below.

Pre-Order Beyond the Mirror Here.

THE OSCILLATION 'Kissing The Sun' from JULIAN HAND on Vimeo.

Monday, November 23rd, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

It's been awhile since I've done one of these, but this fully orchestrated and gorgeously paced ballad by Swedish songwriter Muxica77 had me all sorts of wistful for days of TTTWM past when Scandinavia seemed to be sending us their best and brightest on the daily. Highly choreographed winter conjuring from some Swedish witch miming kabuki vamping had my eyes glued to the screen. "Algestern Varwe" moves from black hole noise terror to sparse, slide-guitar led ballad, to ramping up to psych-lite excess. Alt-Country btw of Calexico filtered through Sweden's eternal winter rather than Tucson's scorched wasteland. A nice reprieve for the coming onslaught of tapes I've been digesting.

Purchase from This is Forte

Monday, November 16th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

Two videos spaced about 9 months apart from one of the most unique voices I have run across here at the Tome. Nate Henricks captivates me, not because he breaks all the rules when it comes to composition or does great violence to any sort of hyphenated genre dividers. Rather, Henricks plays the role of the sly trickster. A Chris Weisman character who uses genre conventions to create something deeply weird and truly moving. These two videos show the great versatility of both Henrick's songwriting and composition. On "DUMBFOUNDMENDTATION" Henricks moves from Z's minimalism and intensity to a slow fade out to...Quicksilver Messenger Service (that guitar solo tho). All the while Henrick's simulated dancers move in a way that approaches humanness but, like Henrick's compositions, get approximately close to genre-form but stop just short of full participation. Simulations to get at something much deeper. The same goes for "Evil Knieval at the Beach" which in some ways is as straightforward as they get - a heavily strummed acoustic ballad - but included in it are lyrical interplays that, like the Chris Weisman comparison, don't quite hit you until the second or third time you hear it. Exhibit A: the opening line, "I was living in a cartoon poster/of a different kind of cartoon". Manufactured realities within manufactured realities. Myths with their own mythology. Yep.

DUMBFOUNDMENDTATION from Nate henricks on Vimeo.

Evil Knievel Live At The Beach- Nate Henricks from Nate henricks on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

We love it when Room40 allows us to premiere videos from their shimmering catalog of world-class experimental acts. For this journey into rich, sustained tones of surging softened-noise, tectonic pulls of sound are paired with earthy reed beds offering up the stillness of an early morning expedition in stunning HD. Except, in each shot there is such movement: The way the tops of the reeds sway in slow-motion to an unseen, unfelt wind that seems to come in on the waves of sound produced by the Spanish noisemaker, or the way they blur from the foreground in the baby Moses-level tracking shot. Beautiful footage over an exciting release from one of our favorite labels.

Pre-order Radiolas here. 

Sustainer - Radiolas #1 from ROOM40 on Vimeo.

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

Dag Rosenqvist (otherwise known as Jasper, TX) represents a major milestone in my journey to musical discovery. For his latest on the expertly curated Eilean Rec., Rosenqvist strips away a lot of the long-form drone of his work under the moniker Jasper, TX and lays bare some of the most simple and heartbreaking compositions to date. Chords on pianos pressed down with the utmost sincerity. The weight of the world pressing down on on three piano keys left to ring into ominous, pregnant stormclouds full of static-charged electronics and wisps and whispers of augmented tones. This excerpt is a perfect indication of where Rosenqvist is heading. Compositional still-life that is highly choreographed, highly charged in the not-silence between ringing notes. In the blackness the image is still burned into our retinas. How long can a person tread water? How long can we hold our breath as we gi through tunnels burrowed beneath sound? Another chord is like coming up for air.

eilean rec. 37 : dag rosenqvist - the forest diaries (VI) (excerpt) (07.07.15) (video by jenny larsson) from M.V / EILEAN REC. on Vimeo.

Purchase The Forest Diaries on Eilean Rec.

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Pendel is Belgian guitarist Yadayn's second full-length. For those of you who remember, his debut Vloed was one of my favorite albums of last year. A completely suprising, gut-punch of virtuosity and emotion from a masterful acoustic guitarist who, refreshingly, seems to take as much from Eastern classical guitarwork as he does from any sort of American Primitive style. Pendel, his first for Eilean Rec., swings from abstract pieces of strange, percussive guitar explorations of ringing overtones and auxilliary soundmaking to the emotionally charged and ruminating work towards the latter half of the record. On Pendel (Dutch for pendelum) the pendel certainly does swing stylistically back-and-forth - thus allowing Gowaart to explore rich, sonourous landscapes between rigorous experimentation and the hypnotic, textural, folk-meets-Tortoise repetition on tracks like "Rust" or the mournful "Kerk". An exceptional follow-up to a startlingly mature, and out-of-nowhere debut that floored me. The video accompaniment, taken from Alexander Sokourov's 1997 film "Mother & Son" appear like moving photographs. Perfectly framed, removed and intiontally far off. A perfect foil for music that is so intimate that you can hear Gowaart's calloused fingers sliding against steel strings on their way to briefly find another chord.

eilean rec. 25 : yadayn - in (08.08.15) from M.V / EILEAN REC. on Vimeo.

Purchase Pedel on Eilean Rec.

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Lastly, Lake Mary. What would I do without Lake Mary's music? Look back through the archives and I don't think I've missed a release. Chaz Prymek's masterful guitarwork and newfound compositional confidence have found a logical, if only temporary, home on Eilean Rec. Prymek's latest work has opened up quite a bit, allowing long, billowing passages of exploratory roaming on acoustic guitar, banjo and a bevy of other stringed instruments (and musical partners) to settle in and just about get comfy before launching into one of Lake Mary's characteristic intense and technically proficient journeys up and down the fretboard. On And the Birds Sing in Chorus First Chaz begins with a cumulus gathering of stringed passages that assemble and gestate, rubbing against each other to create static electricity before Lake Mary's intense solo lines ring out - channeling American Primitivists' fascination with Near Eastern ragas and transcendental repetition punctuated by flurries of notes. Nothing in Lake Mary's latest offering sounds rushed or hurried, but rather unfolds in the way mountain afternoons often do: long spaces between moments of poignant beauty. For the video, more Sokourov footage of clouds and perfectly framed trees in both winter and spring give perfect visual counterpoint to the aural footage shot by Lake Mary's deep familiarity and conversations with mountain grandeur. Lake Mary has expanded in both compositional scope and in membership, but in doing so, communicates explicitly what it means to be and to feel very, very small.

eilean rec. 12 : lake mary - had I been born (08.08.15) from M.V / EILEAN REC. on Vimeo.

Purchase on Eilean Rec.

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)