Like a slow ritual in a darkened parking garage, Odonata gleams with gritty, ambient grind, characterized by driving pulses of rhythm, minimal synth, and sinister layers of electronic sound. In the opening track, Waterhouse, a distant voice chants, as the flames dance higher, and the crooked shadows of the worshipers make the corroded cement walls come to life.
Alter in der Fülle is a new release from self-described “demi-crossdressing Christian goth synthpop artist,” William Lyon of Rosycross - and the album description alone is worth the visit to the page for the release. IN summary, William describes a musical work recorded over a long period of time under the duress of being an absolutely pathetic individual. After the over-the-top self deprecation from this artist, you may be suprised to learn that this release is an absolute banger. An essential listen from an unlikely place.
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.
Yves Malone - "The Most Of What You Need Is All You'll Ever Have"
(Third Kind Records)
Prolific synthwave/darkwave/anywave artist Yves Malone transmits yet another tasty morsel of electro-tastic note bounce in this Third Kind Records release, The Most of What You Need is All You'll Ever Have. That title is certainly a mouthful, and, just like the fancy toy horses on the cover, this release is raring to go, right out of the gate.
This album, coming to us straight out of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yves Malone's home planet, kicks off with the ear-grabbing track Too Dark to Feel, a nearly eight-minute burner that pumps clear, unadulterated synth right into your brain space. Expertly mixed and mastered computer tones surge through this release without all the trippy distractions that lesser artists are tempted to gimmick us with. Don't mistake - this jam is trippy all right - but everything in here is a clean, pure note. I cannot imagine how Yves Malone even does this. I take that back - I can imagine Yves Malone doing this - what I cannot imagine is how Yves Malone does anything else. If I made a piece of music this intricate and pleasing, I would emerge from the glowing, whirring room filled with blinky computer lights with red eyes and skin ailments, forming a tin foil hat for myself and then falling face-first into the neighbor's swimming pool.
Yves knows how to keep this ripper going with massive tension and release, such as in the rockin' 80s vibed track Savings and Bone - (get it?) I don't really even understand what that little play on words means? Banks will kill you? I believe it! My favorite track on here is Crimson Rain Swept it Away - which has this great tempo change about halfway through. What a ride! If you dig synth of the highest order, washing over you in fast-paced, labyrinthine melodies and punchy polyrhythms - you need to quit reading this review and get over to Third Kind Records right now!
Before you do anything else, click the Bandcamp link at the bottom, take a deep breath, and let the music wash over you as you read this.
You are now entering a drony dreamscape, an unreal realm.
Swelling synths, elven choirs and natural sounds inhabit this sonic space and with each intricate layer entice you deeper and deeper into this bewildering but strangely familiar world.
The creator of this world, Sangam, guides you gently through his digital dominion and reveals in small glimpses all that goes on in his kingdom.
Sailing Heart casts ominous foreshadowings with its lush string pads, arpeggiating synths and the hints of a melody that never seems to resolve itself.
The heavenly title track shines the blessed light of transcendence with its angelic choir and washes away all impurity with its cleansing rain.
The enchanted forest of Cogent (Feat. Rhucle) will absolutely spellbind you as the rain falls once again in the stillness of sylvan solitude.
You probably want this experience to continue, right? Well, the digital download is name your price, so you really don’t have an excuse, do you?
However, a digital deity with the awesome power of Sangam deserves a much better offering than such a pathetic pittance.
We will PERISH without his nurturing rain to once again replenish our barren musical landscape!
Therefore, we must honor him with a sacrifice that befits his musical majesty or risk displeasing him.
No, no no. No blood sacrifice is necessary.
A cassette or vinyl purchase will do nicely.
Andrew Weathers/ Qualchan Split
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 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.