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.


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.


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)

This video is how I imagine the mind of a ritalin-prescribed, medication non-compliant, edgy teen in 2015 functions. A never-ending cascade of emoticons, fucked-up Reddit rabbit hole images and free-associating 90's cultural references without the privilege of growing up in the 90's. We have reason to fear the youth...I know you didn't ask for this video. For me, it is very early here, and I just consumed, within an hour of being awake, about all the visual/cultural information my great-great-great-great grandparents did in their entire lives. And so what do I do with it? I share it, of course. This is the way the virus replicates. When you have such wealth only a scumbag keeps it to himself. Banging, forever-ascending arpeggios from the Paris/Phnom Penh duo Dorcelsius perfectly scores the infectious, seizure-inducing bad-trip by roving, maniac Moscow-based Huckleberry Friend. None of us are the 99 %. Everything is the internet. Internet is everything. 

Komodo Commodore - Dorcelsius from Huckleberry Friend on Vimeo.

Friday, June 26th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

The "Beasts in the Garden"'s video, with its sharp alto-sax stabs and fluttering flute, serve as an effective visualization of the rich, Eden-like soil that Ka Baird and Taralie Peterson tilll on their eponymous latest album. Returning to instruments that have been gathering dust in parents' closets next to old yearbooks and many-times-raided piggy banks, Baird and Peterson dig out the flute and alto sax respectively to create lush, minimalist-influenced passages that meld Riley-esque cycles into heavily processed acoustic instrumentation and electronics buoyed and narrated by Baird's fearless operatic vocals that explore and mine richness and timbre out of any pitch. 

The accompanying video, a lush, many-filtered, tight-aperture affair that explodes into kaleidoscopic visuals of richness and depth only captured on film, is perpetually critter-view. A type of POV walk-through of front yards and city-lots as experienced by weasel or mink. In a way that serves as a nice visual bookmark for Baird's voice on this track. Slinking through pitch and hue until it explodes into kaleidoscopic bars that showcase Baird's ability to ring emotion out of the tiniest of pitch changes.

Centered squarely in the Chicago improv/jazz community, this album sounds like it was inspired by countless jam sessions with some of Chicago's most fearless. "Portabittaclog" is a mid-album punch in the face. Full of faint tribal rhythms, heavily plucked string instruments , with Peterson's Ayler-influenced skronks and wails and Baird's flute scratching the ceiling of the upper register and her voice dipping into a ragged baritone. Beasts in the Garden is an affecting, color-filled document that sounds way better than it sounds on paper: Two friends play instruments they haven't touched since high school play free-jazz influenced, minimalist compositions. In fact, it sounds way, way better. This, hands-down, is my favorite and STITSR to date. 

Purchase here

Beasts in the Garden by Spires that in the Sunset Rise (film by Lori Felker) from Lori Felker on Vimeo.

Monday, June 15th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

Try to place this stringed instrument on Colleen's stunning, minimalist single off the upcoming Captain of None. Too guttural for the guitar. Too full-bodied for a baritone ukelele. Ok. Time's up. It's the Viol de Gamba. But you already knew that because this kind of music - both understated and incredibly intense - warrants frenzied google searches into WhoTF this is, and WhatTF this is. Given Colleen's longetivity (first US tour in 8 years folks), these kind of astoundly simple sounding, but acoustically complex compositions have inspired frantic internet searches for awhile...or since its Thrill Jockey, frantic searches of catalog inserts in LPs/CDs to find moar, moar moar. Accompanying this song we get a closed off, hidden world of minerals and plant life shot in sharp HD that ties us to the natural world, of the fluid that pulses at a cellular level through all forms of life and the iron in our blood magnetized and slowly turning to the moon whenever it pulls away from us. Truly astounding work.

Videodrone brought to you by Ryan H.

Thursday, June 11th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

An absolutely riveting, haunted piece of work from Eilean Records and Lee Chapman. Deep visual dives into bodily possession and economic/societal dispossession. A beautiful contrast of where souls go when they leave their homes. "Let Me In" is off of Chapman's gorgeous and equally haunted record The Common Silence on Eilean Rec. Chapman's use of almost-human sounding drones, ghost-moved clatter and heart-stopping build ups and drop outs are replete through the album. This video gives a perfect visual compendium for what is going on well below the substrate on this record. Stop everything you are doing and watch this. 

Purchase The Common Silence here

eilean rec. 22 : lee chapman - let me in (05.05.15) from M.V / EILEAN REC. on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

This video for Goat Lightning's latest work on Light that Blinds tips his hat that Goat Lightning is, like, really into space now. Previous work has explored the earthy ritualistic magic of crystal-gazing and terrestrial based science/folk-magic. However, Light that Blinds has wholly flown this coop and set its controls for the heart of the sun. This video, digital and analog feedback stuck between stations of space exploration aspiration (a greatest hits sort of compilation) and an ode - or justification - for leaving Earth behind, exude a sense of childlike wonder and adult heaviness. Goat Lightning's blissed out synths showering radioactive trailings as they streak through the sky on their way out of this plane.  

Purchase on Desert Home Recordings

CD on Ingrown

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)

The ghostly double-exposure of Paul Clipson's city footage for Ilyas Ahmed's ephemeral ballad lays out, in exquisite visual relief, the way that Ahmed's music - guitar and voice - settles upon you without any announcement of its arrival, much like the condensation of fog obscures images through car windows without the pitter-patter of falling rain. Some things sound like they've always been there. There is a certain sheen across Ahmed's musical output that casts everything in a soft focus silvery ghostlight. It is difficult to pin-point its source. It is in Ahmed's voice, an understated croon that frays at the edges slightly when it nudges up to the limits of its register, or Ahmed's masterful guitar work that weaves in and out of itself in open, circuitous conversation, it is also in the way the microphone picks up room tone, the fragmentary notes decaying softly in the silence between sounds. Ahmed's album I Am All Your Own, which "Come On" is taken from, sounds like it could have been recorded in any era, and like the video that accompanies it, feels ageless - like city sidewalks that were built long before the invention of chewing gum and cigarette filters. Highly recommended listen.

Purchase on Immune Recordings

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 | Add New Comment (0)