Elizabeth Joan Kelly - “Music for the DMV”


Before you take a number, get your headphones ready and cue up this music. New Orleans classical ambient artist, Elizabeth Joan Kelly presents an album of multi-layered electronic compositions collected under the somewhat humorous title of Music for the DMV, noting in her album description that, much in the same way that Brian Eno made Music for Airports, she herself has made setting-specific music for a far less thrilling location - the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Prior to listening to this work, I was imagining slow, plodding dirges to accompany the interminable lines and gloomy atmosphere of the DMV, and was surprised by the myriad of styles and sounds that awaited me. Instead of the low, mournful drones I was picturing, I was greeted by  Industrial Ambient Prelude, a MIDI piano track of Chopin's Prelude in E Minor (Opus 24, no. 4) re-imagined by Elizabeth Joan Kelly with modern beats and ghostly augmentations. Much of Kelly’s work here is comprised of famous classical compositions adapted to a shadowy futuristic style that is altogether refreshing. For instance, the trilogy of songs that are tracks three, four, and five - (Ambient Industrial Gymnopedie, Electropop Swimming Pool Gymnopedie, and Mysterious Grooving Gymnopedie,) are highly creative EJK reworks of the Gymnopédies by French composer Erik Satie. Each selection is adapted in a differing syle, as noted by their descriptive titles.

The end result of this digital collage of classical pieces with unique audio treatments is an artistic and detailed sonic work that one need not visit the DMV to enjoy. For those of you who are unfortunate enough to have business to conduct at the DMV, you might want to bring this album with you. The calming and intriguingly arranged music contained therin just might make your stay a little less unpleasant.

Gray Lee


BRANE - "Brane"


BRANE - “Brane”

Rock heads, join me in jamming this self-titled release from Seattle-based band, Brane. Combining shadowy moods with aggressively sweeping vocal passages, Brane balances tension build and release to create durable hard rock tracks that invoke the ancient gods of metal without treading on their memories.

Brane’s debut EP opens with a track titled Research Vessel that forms from a moody guitar line that is joined by dynamically shifting metal guitar and drums that lend to the brooding atmosphere. The second track Oyster Knife, introduces a faster tempo, some entertaining harmonics and gravely reverb-heavy vocals that display Brane’s ability to rotate their music-making methods for powerful shifts in variety and texture. Each selection seems to center on a different riff or rhythm that the band has collected from their years of rock and roll fandom. Indeed, it could be said that the voice of this music springs forth from they who have first listened to many other voices.

Throughout these five tracks, Brane delivers riff-laden chunks of thoroughly entertaining rock that leaves the listener looking for more. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on them in the near future to see what they come up with.



Ricardo Dias Gomes - “Aa“

(Kill Shaman Records)

Brazil-based experimental artist Ricardo Dias Gomes explores assemblages of fragmented field audio, powerful rhythms, and spoken word to create a compelling release in Aa.

Oozing out of fuzzing speakers with grimy electronic beats and echoed bits of recorded audio, Ricardo summons unnatural energies that flake from the walls of dangerous alleyways onto swiftly moving vehicles in the night. Gravitational forces bend streetlights, causing them to cast unfamiliar shadows. The opening track, Precipio pounds with a dark purpose and a grinding, frayed bass. Near-mic vocals are non-rhythmic and hypnotically conversational. Ambient shards of noise are tossed about, creating misshapen spaces.  The deep heartbeat continues in Tela Parada, as objects scrape on pavement, and the voice intensifies. When an additional beat drops in at the apex of the song, kinetic elements bounce across the audio, leaving pieces behind to spin as the track fades.

Fogo Chama breaks the forward momentum to detail some creative synth composition with brilliantly performed lyrical style. Aa progressively becomes more threatening and aggressive with the heavy drone and obsessive whispers of Partimos Daqui part 1, The crunchy, driving bass line of punk-infused Paranormal, and the thoughtful reflection of Partimos Daqui part 2, and the Cohen-invoking patience and balance of Nenens. Album closer Pre-Revolutionary State offers atmospheric night sounds and a gentle conclusion.

Variety and depth characterize this audio work, and require repeat visits to fully absorb. Ricardo Dias Gomes’ ability to blend action with detail paints a large mural of music here with many brush strokes of experimental sound. Aa is available on LP from Kill Shaman Records.

Gray Lee





mathblaster - “CLIP.AUDIO”

(Power_Lunch Corporation)

CLIP.AUDIO is an explosion of plunderphonic madness. Crunched up sounds tumble in your ears like a pair of Nikes in a dryer, bouncing, banging and melting inside your sound canals. Visit zones of aural cubism such as the high school music room, in the opening track Band Practice, a trippy Saturday morning in front of a dismantled television full of ghosts in Achromatic, or in a dark cement tunnel reading the thoughts of sentient marionettes in Drazen.

The cassette edition of this bizarre rubix cube of musical abstraction offers a full resolution presentation of CLIP.AUDIO, with a crunched, floppy-ized version on the reverse side. The super-compressed version of the album, in its entirety is also available on floppy disk, for discerning fans. If you’re looking for something new and crunchy to puzzle on, or you are a devotee of the plunderphonic variety, don’t miss CLIP.AUDIO!


VALYRI - "Expanses"


valyri - “Expanses”

(Asura Revolver)

Longform electronic explorations of untold universes that exist beyond our feeble perceptions find a home in this patient and vast recording, Expanses. Comprised of six extended tracks that carry the mind of the listener away from earthly patterns and lift toward the myriad of heavens above, this latest release from dark ambient/ experimental drone artist valyri is nothing short of a metaphysical journey to endless non-corporeal realms of astronomical grandeur. 

Expanses begins with Pseudologue sequv.6, formed from a rapidly cycling synth pattern, imbued with a brightness and wide open freedom that envelopes the listener in spiraling tunnels of light, firing across the kaleidoscope of space at immeasurable speeds. The next movement in this space symphony is Brokensun recognition (phase silhouette,) a heady arrival in a timeless zone of eternity, transported slowly by drifting ambient clouds of glowing energy. Different depths of mood pass across the starry vastness, from euphoric jubilation, to shadowy ruminations, but all energies lead to the central energized core of this epic - a dissolving of place and time.

It is the removal of where-ness that truly characterizes this release. From the sweeping and grandiose opening overtures to the detailed sorrows of a thousand drifting, lonely souls in Disappointment Theme, to the haunted piano soliloquy that melts into a buzzing mechanical afterlife in the closing track Music for Dysgnosia, valyri steers the voyage as a skilled traveler, guiding the listener from one existence to another.

Stephen Hawking once said, “To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit,” and Expanses illustrates the endless possibilities that await the spirit no longer tethered to the base concerns of earthly life. 


To expand your reach beyond valyri’s latest production, she invites you to explore a greater universe with a subscription to her full calalogue:


Gray Lee




Wizard Apprentice - “I Am Invisible”

(Ratskin Records)

Imagine a tender, intimate musical performance in the corner of a small, dimly lit venue. The singer, under a gentle spotlight, artfully lays bare poetic expressions of honesty. You may be picturing someone strumming a guitar. Imagine, instead of a guitar, the singer has an array of electronic instruments.

I am Invisible is a recording that is free from the anesthetized, mechanical styling of today’s popular music, and, despite the synthesized background, the lyrics and vocals that Wizard Apprentice presents are surprisingly candid.

I hurt someone so badly/

and now that I have I'm reminded of the people who have hurt me/

at the times that they did it was impossible to forgive/

it wasn't time for forgiveness/

but now it is.

In the track, A Debt, the free-form thoughts are spread out in an organic way, as if Wizard is speaking to us in a dream. Ambient swells spill emotion into the darkness behind the voice, circling upward until the song dissolves into silence. This music is poetry for the future, expression for a post-existence world.

In the end, I Am Invisible is a half-hour of burgeoning energy that vibrates with emotion and depth that balances basement-cafe-nakedness with engrossing digital composition that serves as a worthwhile introduction to the artist.

Gray Lee


YUTO OHASHI - "Juvenile - insubstantial, re​-​present"


YUTO OHASHI - "Juvenile - insubstantial, re-present"

(Cudighi Records)

Singular piano notes and softly digitized vocals float above a gently rolling lake of hypnotic ambient drones on die Leere (世界がもし透明だったら,) the opening track of this strangely comforting assemblage from Tokyo-based sound artist, Yuto Ohashi. The unusual sensations continue in the second track, Holma - backed by a synth that ping-pongs between two notes, layered with softly bubbling vocals and flowing pan effects that curl in the air.

This is Juvenile - insubstantial, re-present, a presentation of audio poetry that blends sound textures with airy, meditative synth lines, and digitally-altered spoken word pieces to form intriguing aural works that challenge the listeners perception of time and space in a pleasant, extraterrestrial way. Each track is a microcosm of wandering energies and displaced voices, melded with “real-world” sounds that twist and turn around the curving avenues of the music.

While certainly a trippy head journey - Yuto Ohashi is able to create a contiguous experience that doesn’t rely on the usual audio tropes to accomplish the goal. Each selection is crafted with balance, and carefully folded precision that gently pushes the listener to form a unified vision of the artistic whole. Excellent for quiet evenings writing thoughtful notes, organizing a small shelf of house plants, or zoning out of daily life with eyes closed and mind open, Juvenile - insubstantial, re-present rushes in to expertly fill a vacuum in the tapestry of all recorded sound.

Gray Lee 




The Tuesday Night Machines - “Hawaiian Yurt Music”

(Strategic Tape Reserve)

THe softly undulating rise and fall of ocean waves backs this relaxing and immersive audio experience that you could certainly listen to any night of the week, (not just on Tuesday nights.) This fine selection of music, which - get this - was recorded in a Hawaiian yurt, just like the title so subtly suggests, is imbued with a centered tropical power, warm rhythms, and smooth, cool melodies - with just enough unusual synth weirdness to make it fit perfectly on an oddball tape label like STR.

The opening track, Honolulu Touchdown, sets the tone for the rest of the release, blending those deeply satisfying low end beats with flowery synth explorations that instantly begin to massage the listener’s tensions. The palpable vibe continues on through the next couple of selections. The track Weather Patterns introduces some gentle rain, and echoing patterns of harp-like sounds that eventually give way to a beautiful electro-calypso beat, a pleasing bass loop, and some quirky electric jazz solos.  Later in the album, low tide and a sunset mean quiet introspection beside the fire as tree frogs serenade the beach-goers. Drums, bass and a whole lot of electric mess make themselves known with buzzing mixtures of modern and ancient sensibilities.

When the life you are living becomes thoroughly un-Hawaiian, head for this virtual yurt, (would this be YURTual reality?,) where electropical melodies weave in and out of transcendent compositions that could easily make themselves part of your music collection, if you let them.

Gray Lee


WHETTMAN CHELMETS - "Alas... The Sun is Shining and You are Still Alive"


Whettman Chelmets - “Alas… The Sun is Shining and You are Still Alive”

(Submarine Broadcasting Company)

The eclectic and electrifying Whettman Chelmets worms his way back into your auditory canal by dropping a shortish EP with a longish title and shoe-gazerish feel.

Alas… The Sun is Shining and You are Still Alive canters out of the gate with the The Sun is Shining -a merry little dream-pop ditty with a toe-tapping bass and drum section driving the melodic interplay between sparkling guitars and arpeggiating synthesizers.

The interlacing layers of guitar and synth take a pensive and darker tone on the second track Alas -an organic ebb and flow of sound and emotion with the dynamics dictated by a throbbing low end.

Not to leave any part of the album title unused as a track name, the EP ends with You are Still Alive -an ambient dronescape where reverb and delay-saturated guitars clash notes with a celestial drone that rises to a cacophonous yet transcendent crescendo before echoing off into infinity.

Whettman Chelmets never disappoints and his latest release upholds his reputation as a fun but serious composer who can pack a wallop in 20 minutes or less.

Theron Willis

Check out the link below to add this gem to your collection.


P.S. Check out our reviews of some of Whettman Chelmets’ other work by clicking here and here




(Hausu Mountain Records)

The Hausulords, Doug and Max, present a collection of their live offerings to the dissonant gods of the internet underworld. This is what the inside of your devices sound like, a jumbled landscape of broken, orphaned sounds that crystalize into living, organic audio beings, composed of thousands of sounds and samples repeated and reformed as the creatures roll about in their oversensory baths of human consciousness.

E.D.M is an overwhelming pile of sound, as if the bulk of all audio available has been sliced, diced, and spliced into these bite sized chunks of digital ear candy and then dumped into your brain cavities all at once for your tired little wood chipper to grind on for a while, until either understanding, abandon, or oblivion take over. This is the un-skip-able Knights of the Round summon animation that becomes part of your consciousness after the one hundredth time it is cast. This is what overload feels like when it is overloaded with other overloads that spilled out of overloads.

My favorite tracks:

  • Pepperoni Stick is Bout 2 Breakup

  • Pokécenter Plankton Disorder

  • Our Marriage is a Product of Mermaid Law

This sick recording arrived in the form of a silver cassette with black ink printing on both sides, with beautiful drawings - and the great Hausu Mountain cover art that we have grown to know and love, nay - demand. If you are a fan of Good Willsmith, or MUQKS, Mr. DougDoug, or just the general mess that Hausu Mountain stands for - you probably already have this. If you don’t have it already, you need it. If you don’t need it, don’t get it - but you don’t get it.

Gray Lee



Just as we were about to upload this review, Tabs Out Cassette Podcast posted this fun interview with Doug and Max where they expound on the creation of this recording. Do not miss:


 I supposed this tape would be a worthy addition to my collection, and I was not wrong.

I supposed this tape would be a worthy addition to my collection, and I was not wrong.

QUIMPER - "Perdide"


Quimper - “Perdide”

A soft-edged, quckly moving keyboard introduces this quirky, inward-looking ousider release Perdide from UK band Quimper. The release takes no time to move into experimental zones, with the track Lovely Bees, which buzzes in the ear with heated looped synth lines and almost whispered vocals.  Warm Carpenter follows with a driving beat, weaving synth augmentations, and choir-like vocals reverberating in the background.

This collection of strange music, which the band self-describes as “wonky pop,” is a glimpse into another world that is quite different from the one we inhabit. It is one of those weird planets where many ordinary-looking things are very dangerous, and everything is a vastly different shade and color than one expects it to be. The title track, Perdide, presents a looping buzzing bass line that is visited by unearthly voices. The sparse vocals that occasionally drift through these wobbling synth meanderings are hauntingly echoed, and delicately faint. The meaning derived is wordless and obscure.

The sum of all the parts is an otherworldly audio experience that transports the listener in a pensive way, enabling one to travel to another world, where strange wonky-pop illustrates a colorfully odd existence. Though electronics play a large role in the production, Quimper has cultivated a powerfully organic sound with an aural artistry that plays on the senses to create a light tension and wonder.

Gray Lee


DIAMONDSTEIN & SANGAM - "The Ocean Between Us"


Diamondstein & Sangam - “The Ocean Between Us”

(Doom Trip Records)

Thus arrives the much anticipated second team-up between Diamondstein and Sangam - a jazzy, rain-soaked night drive in an imagined 80’s film. The Ocean Between Us is a high-dollar injection of absolute mood. Mood drenches every inch of this record, from the swirling synths of the opening track, April 1987, to the hazy patch of fog that briefly wafts by in the closing track, Here is Where I Sit, this release delivers everything which it promises, neatly topping the duo’s previous Doom Trip release, Lullabies for Broken Spirits.

For reference on what to expect in this release - see the track Finding Peace Where There Isn’t. Built from an ambient backer, with a driving synth loop, and a electronic drum sounds that merge together to evoke distant stretches of lonesome highway and long, thoughtful gazing at the starry horizon as desert, city, and mountain pass by the windows of an ever-moving automobile, traveling from one emotion to another, always maintaining that elevated sense of tone, imbued with draught of heightened feeling.

Feeling is the main instrument used in this work, an instrument that both artists wield with proficiency and tightly focused intent. If you’re looking to go on a journey without leaving, or you are leaving on a journey and need a true accompaniment, this one is for you. The Ocean Between Us, a stylish record deserving of presentation in LP format, (a first for the label,) is now available.

Gray Lee


CROSBY MORGAN - "Rain Games for the Natural Born Pariah"


Crosby Morgan - “Rain Games for the Natural Born Pariah”

Los Angeles singer songwriter Crosby Morgan brings her adept arrangements and powerful voice together in this exceptional experimental folk EP. Rain Games for the Natural Born Pariah blends folksy acoustic guitar textures, soaring vocals and artistically woven ambient components to create hauntingly beautiful audio works that defy time and space.

In No Pain, a simple, picked-out guitar and carefully placed aural elements provide an earthly background which Crosby Morgan paints her smooth vocals across. She then records repetitions and harmonies that call, respond, and reflect with each other. In Rain, reversed guitar and looped vocals pull the listener into the track, which opens up into a grand, reverberated verse. Teacher is a guitar waltz with a soulful, harmonized vocal. On each selection of the album she exerts a control over every note, intonation, and echo - creating a stunning sound that invites leaning forward to absorb it fully.

Though short, Rain Games for the Natural Born Pariah takes the beautiful work Crosby Morgan did in her previous release Patrons of Silence, and pushes her music to another artistic level, leaving us with a startlingly beautiful musical experience.

Gray Lee


KUROKUMA - "Dope Rider"


Kurokuma - "Dope Rider"

(Doom Stew) 

In the 1970s, artist Paul Kirchner created a brilliantly illustrated, psychedelic comic strip called Dope Rider, which featured a skeleton cowboy known as the Lone Stoner who traveled through and had experiences in bizarre and outlandish landscapes. The comic strip's decade long appearances in the iconic marijuana magazine High Times brought Kirchner's work to a broader audience, and inextricably tied the imagery and content of Dope Rider with drug culture.

In 2018, Kirchner gave permission to sludge metal band Kurokuma to create a brief concept album based on the legendary comic. The band was inspired by the original and unique approach of Kirchner's art and writing, and wanted to create a sound experience that could capture that essence. The result is Dope Rider, the album.

Dope rider is thirteen minutes of white-knuckle, head pounding, stoner glory, full of crunchy, distorted guitar riffs, thunderous percussion, and wild vocalizations. While many metal acts focus and channel aggression and anger in their style, Kurokuma devote themselves to a ritualistic worship of volume. Everything in this recording is loud, over the top, and out of control - while maintaining a driving, trance-like sludge sound.

The result is a release that, while very short, is a surprisingly cathartic and varied journey, much like the intriguing art which inspired it. The album, which was previously released on cassette and compact disc, is now available on vinyl with some exclusive comic art.  

Gray Lee

To hear the music:


To see Paul Kirchner’s art:


To order the vinyl edition of Dope Rider:



WHITE CLAUDIA - "Deadly .Iris Zero"


White Claudia - "Deadly .Iris Zero" 

(Hairs a Blazin') 

Just in time for the most haunted season of the year, White Claudia has released this eerie selection of ghostly tracks, inspired by horror video game soundtracks. 

Deadly .Iris Zero, which is arranged as a soundtrack, pays homage to the Silent Hill series with sounds of ambient horror inspired by the original music of Akira Yamaoka, painting a picture of an abandoned hospital full of creeping terrors and disfigured monsters. Malevolent atmospheric drones and disturbing noises drench each track with psychological torture and rusted nightmares.

While certainly taking its cues from Silent Hill, Deadly .Iris Zero tells its own unique story, creating a twisted tale of fright from the gloomy opening track, Title Screen, to the heart-pounding boss battle of Dr Aleister [Final Form], to the end credits feel of Scorched Iris [End Theme.] By the completion of the album, the listener has been on a harrowing journey through the formidable Iris Memorial Hospital. The only thing left to do is to restart this release on a higher difficulty level - and play it again. 

Gray Lee



ANDREA BORGHI - "Superelief"


Andrea Borghi - "Superelief"


Superelief is a collection of gratifyingly tactile audio art pieces that sound like a balance between carefully constructed vignettes of crafted detail, and well-curated edits of natural recordings.  

Using a "prepared turntable," and other gear, Andrea Borghi creates an immediate, organic auditory experience that focuses on a slowly rotating mechanism which objects are dragged across the surface of, or perhaps roll around in a container. The closeness, or even intimacy, of these kinetic impressions strongly command the listener's attention in a meditative way - perhaps not unlike watching a potter at the wheel, shaping clay or a textile worker at the loom. These recordings capture rhythmically ordinary movements that feel familiar, even if we cannot immediately identify the movements themselves.

Ultimately, this powerful piece of minimalist sound art is a good work to return to when the noise of life has become too chaotic, but silence is too still.  

Gray Lee





somesuprises - “Alt”

(Doom Trip Records)

Alt is a three-song EP that feels like an album, due to the dreamy, endless feel and tight musical prowess of Seattle band, somesurprises.

The opening track Low on Sleep morphs from a lighter than air pop hit with smooth harmonies, gauzy guitar, and a driving fuzzed-out bass line into a wide-open hypnotic jam that transports the listener to a destination unknown. There, they are greeted with the second track, Paolo and Francesca, which delivers echoy guitars in a psychedelic island setting, replete with organ accents, and a trancelike vibe.

The title track closes the EP. Alt is a nine minute jammer, with charging bass and drums, and plucked out 90s guitar which soars wide across the track in crashing waves of thick reverb. A soaring guitar solo sails on the wind high above the mix, eventually dissolving into the swirling rhythms below. 

Once the spell breaks, the listener awakens from the dream - realizing that ony a few minutes have passed. That is the power of Alt.


VVV - "Canson Months"


VVV - “Canson Months”

(Hellscape Records)

Dark, echoy, and enjoyably off-kilter recordings characterise this release from VVV - a careening night groove filled with cautious footsteps and whispered questions. While ambient showers of cool, shadowy presence color the lens through which this ghostly cinema is projected, powerful rhythms keep the ear attenuated and the body tempted to move.

The eerie opening track, Greyhound, is a lighthearted, yet macabre amusement park ride in the dark, which sets the tone of this release right away. Other tracks, such as Tangled Highwire and Lithia, add to the mystique by blending pop, EBM, and gothic sounds to create cemetery dance music for broken-hearted spooky kids. The title track, Canson Months is built on a driving beat and icy cool moods delivered by smooth synth and distant chanting voices. Flash Flood introduces a world music feel that expands the reach of the album without betraying the prevalent atmosphere.

Canson Months is a release that always seems to be resting comfortably between juxtaposing of disparate styles and sounds, pulling together ambient chill vibes with looped pop choruses and compelling beats, all while making it sound like a moonlit night outside a haunted factory. 

Gray Lee


åmßêrVVåvê§ - "Organics"


 åmßêrVVåvê§ - "Organics"

(Power_Lunch Corporation) 

 Lush beats, natural sounds, and smooth synths swirl together in a refreshing concoction of electronic bliss. Enter a world where vibrant landscapes are lit with gentle sunsets, and twilight brings an incandescent energy powered by earth magic.

Born in clear, focused vaporwave, Organics is a lo-fi burner that delivers a surprisingly meditative energy - through peaceful audio imagery from another realm. In the track, Secret Garden, a soft synth pad backed by bird calls forms the foundation on which a repeating melody plays, on Photosynthetic, a simple, looping rhythm and a pair of reverb-enriched triplets repeat a call and response, and Tranquility brings us a nightscape with crickets and gently undulating sounds that evoke cool forests and placid waters.

Organics neatly fits in a much needed role as a soothing balm of electronic serenity that listeners will find themselves returning to for repeat plays.

Gray Lee


BUNNY & THE INVALID SINGERS - "Fear of the Horizon"


Bunny & The Invalid Singers - "Fear of the Horizon"

(Bearsuit Records) 

Dense compositions and off-center eccentricities characterize this electro sleeper-pop from UK weirdo group Bunny, listed here as Bunny & The Invalid Singers. 

This record hits hard and fast right away with a thick atmosphere of oddity, blending recorded and synthesized instruments that play off of each other in strange ways. Imagine an independent film about the cannibals next door. These cannibals would have intense philosophical discussions while cooking their human foods. And delightfully weird tracks like The Positive Approach of Talkative Ron would add just the right amount of grizzly, unpredictable circus waltz, infused with synth accents.

There are vocalizations in here every now and then, but not much lyrics. Largely instrumental, moody pieces that evoke various sensations of lonliness, abandon, or madness. And while certainly telling the story with a whimsical, wry smile, the story still has plenty of solid moments of real expression and artistry. 

This is one that I really had to dig into and listen to several times to get a read on, but there was no time wasted. There is a genuine power in the complex musical textures presented in each of these tracks.  Take yourself on an odball ear journey today with Fear of the Horizon

Gray Lee