electronic

JANUSZEWSKI and SZLAZAK - "Split"

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Januszewski and Szlazak - "Split"

(Czaszka Records)

This release is an unusual split because the artists are not restricted to respective sides of the tape. Thus the music plays out like an elaborate call and response between the two artists, making this more of a collaboration than a split. 

Januszewski and Szlazak (credited as Nick Edwards & Stuart Chalmers) create an electronic world full of vibrant life, death, and spiritual existences. Each zone shift brings the listener to a new part of the story. For me, the story took the form of an android working in a factory. At first happy with its work, it slowly becomes full of despair and looks longingly out the window at the world outside, wanting to experience life more fully. Suddenly, a malfunction in the equipment causes a horrific accident that damages the android beyond repair. As its life blinks out of being, the android awakens in an altered state, drifting on the spectral plane. Now free to experience the universe, the android spirit wanders through infinity, taking in all that it sees.

There is a great deal of skillful electronically manipulated music here, with segments of electro-rhythmic pulses, and periods of noise-heavy grinding. Always there is a push/pull between techniques and moods, creating a highly textured listening experience. There are no titles or notes to guide the listener, so you will have to create your own words for the story Januszewski and Szlazak are telling through song.

Gray Lee

https://czaszka.bandcamp.com/album/split

MELFI - "Four Concerns"

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Melfi - "Four Concerns"

(Czaszka Records)

Built from two sidelong tracks, Four Concerns is an artistic assemblage of field recordings and artfully crafted synth-sound pieces that ebb and flow from one aural zone into another, creating an audio experience that gains familiarity on repeat listens, but always retains some mystery.

There are a lot of crevices and shadowed areas in this densely packed sculpture of sound that will take some time for your ears to navigate around. From synthesized planes of existence to noise-driven crescendos, all backed with field-recorded ambience and methodical placement of elements, puncuated with improvisational flourishes of astonishing power, Melfi defines a convoluted boundary, then immediately pushes past it. All of this comes together to form a complex piece that challenges the mind while providing an evocative sensory experience.

Gray Lee

https://czaszka.bandcamp.com/album/four-concerns

ZAUMNE - "Emo Dub"

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Zaumne - "Emo Dub"

(Czaszka Records)

Zaumne adds this selection to the latest Czaszka Records batch with this oddly satisfying, yet inexplicably unsettling release, Emo Dub

The music itself is chill and downtempo, and would normally be very relaxing, but there is a disturbing undercurrent in this piece that comes from the sampled voices that accompany the music. Floating atop cool synth vibes and pleasing structures are voices that are almost like intimate whispers in the listener's ear. The repeated spoken phrases, (Such as the sample from the track, "Special," which is handwritten as the cover art of this release,) are cut up and pitch/speed shifted at various intervals that are not quite human. The juxtaposition of intimate human feeling with robotic repetition and affectation begins to take a life of its own. 

As we progress through the release, the music turns ever-so-slightly to a darker vibe as the voices continue to ebb, flow and change form. The transitions from zone to zone are powerfully smooth, and each vocal sample seems to have been painstakingly chosen to represent different feelings, while adhering to the strict aesthetic of the project. Though each track has a slightly different resonance, all are produced with a laser precision, creating an overall effect for the listener of intense emotions being projected on a moving surface. It is as if Emo Dub is a collection of stray feelings from passing strangers that become trapped within the context of this 44 minute piece and then move along on the surface of it, reflecting back into the world.

Gray Lee

https://czaszka.bandcamp.com/album/emo-dub

ANDREW WEATHERS/ QUALCHAN Split

Andrew Weathers/ Qualchan Split

(Aescape Sounds)

Andrew Weathers

The Andrew Weathers side of this split tape is desolate and a little unhinged. It transmits an image of sunset over a midwestern town plagued by some dark mystery, that can only be solved when a gritty down-on-his-luck detective finally faces his own personal demons. After that, it's easy to solve the crime. 

There is a rusted lonliness to this sidelong presentation that is drenched in a meloncholy atmosphere you can taste. Hazy synths weave in and out of ambient setpieces, like footprints in the fog.

Qualchan

Qualchan takes the stage before the smoke and mystery from Weathers has time to clear away, but his side of this story has to do with the characters who inhabit this uncanny municipality. Channeling vintage Badalamenti vibes, Qualchan's ambience has a touch of misty subltey that finds an odd beauty in all the madness and murder. Making use of his varied bag of tricks, you can expect to experience walls of ambient feelings painted with undulations of synth that seem to answer questions with more questions. 

Next time you're out on a long stretch of highway, searching the horizion for solutions to unsolved cases, or for answers to age-old questions, reach for the Andrew Weathers/ Qualchan split tape - the soundtrack for seekers. 

https://aescapesounds.bandcamp.com/album/andrew-weathers-qualchan

WHETTMAN CHELMETS- “Miniforms 1: Movements” and “Miniforms 2: Ten Pin Alley” [FREE CODES!]

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Whettman Chelmets- “Miniforms 1: Movements” and “Miniforms 2: Ten Pin Alley”

(Self-released)

Like many of us in the independent/DIY music world, Matt Clement is a busy adult with a full-time job and a multitudinous host of other obligations and responsibilities.  Nevertheless, after the kids are put to bed and the dishes washed and put away, Matt Clement becomes Whettman Chelmets-a multi-instrumentalist maestro and active netizen of the underground music community.

His latest two EP releases are two selections of carefully curated and lovingly remastered tracks from his 2014 Forms, and each EP displays a different aspect of his multi-faceted musical mind: 

Miniforms 1: Movements displays his compositional chops and programming prowess. Tracks such as Fugue in C Major and Fall of Frigia demonstrate his advanced knowledge of such sophisticated musical concepts as contrapuntal melody and 12 tone theory.

Miniforms 2: Ten Pin Alley does an about-face in style moving from classical composition to pop. However, “pop” is a term that just doesn’t do justice to this tight and punchy release.

Songs such as I Just Wanna Play and That Man Just Stole That Old Lady’s Purse! again demonstrate a profound eclecticism in style ranging from autotune electropop to gypsy jazz.

So with these two EPs, we see a fun and creative exploration of the many different forms that the world of music has to offer.

Chelmets sums it up succinctly by saying, “I love form.”

In addition to his love of musical forms, Whettman Chelmets has a big place in his heart for you the listener, and as a demonstration of his love and generosity, he has given away free download codes as a special Houdini Mansions exclusive!

So what are you waiting for? Grab the codes and click the links below to enjoy some great tunes!

Theron Willis

Miniforms 1: Movements

https://whettmanchelmets.bandcamp.com/album/miniforms-i-movements

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Miniforms 2: Ten Pin Alley

https://whettmanchelmets.bandcamp.com/album/miniforms-ii-ten-pin-alley

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