BAST - "Nanoångström"

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Bast - "Nanoångström"

UK trio Bast slaughters ears and conjures fears with Nanoångström, a concept-driven, megolithic ode to brooding metal forged in the cores of distant planets long since darkened from the view of our own galaxy. A smoky slow burning intro, Distant Suns, leads into an array of five lengthy movements made of adrenaline and fire. While each successive track has its own unique sound, their dynamic structure and scope are always complimentary to the broader picture, and thus move as one.

The power of narrative composition is what sets Nanoångström apart from other metal records. There is a degree of patience and control here, amid the crispy doom metal guitars and pounding rhythms. Long passages of music go by without any vocal commentary. Patterns ebb and flow, grow and change. Amid the dramatically-timed voice work are the aggressive growls and snarls we crave, but also there are surprising moments of harmonized singing that produce some nice chills.

Exploring themes of loneliness, rage, and anguish against a backdrop of science fiction fantasy, Bast elevates the art of metalmaking with longform compositions that blend raw energy with ancient, galactic lore and legend. Overall, the churning rock apocalypse of Nanoångström is outstripped by its own artistry of arrangement, making it an easy repeat listen for the thinking metalhead, with just as many sorrowful asides as chunky doom metal riffs. 

Gray Lee

https://bastmusic.bandcamp.com/album/nano-ngstr-m

ARROWOUNDS - "Book of Endangered Species"

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Arrowounds - “Book of Endangered Species”

(Histamine Tapes)

With a captivating sound that right away becomes dimensional, Book of Endangered Species presents itself as an audio riddle to be solved by the listener through repeat plays. The opening chapters of this 'book' are embellished with layers of murky, convoluted ambient sound, like a wet layer of forest leaves that must be dug away at to reveal what they are hiding. Turning these earthen pages uncovers muddy drones that move in and out of the listeners space, filling the aural atmosphere with tangible light, and vague tendency to purpose.

While some tracks, such as Glass Cemeteries, tend to drone more directly - there always seem to be shifting levels of texture within the output that continues the interest and thought pattern. Instead of lulling the listener into another consciousness, these sounds invite the listener to explore the current one. Other parts of this story like, the track Rainier, are more cinematic in nature and begin to cycle in light orchestration, and undulate more dynamically than the opening pieces. Throughout the work, varied audio experiences and complex networks of field recording provide a tactile and detailed look at each aspect of the story being told.

The final chapter of the Book of Endangered Species is a lengthy sidelong exploration of a vast, cave-like space. This selection is called Blue Rivers Through Black Earth and is a more traditional droner and is certainly transportive in nature. Overall, this work is a contemplative and multi-faceted exploration of narrative that bears closer inspection and reflection.

Gray Lee

https://histaminetapes.bandcamp.com/album/book-of-endangered-species-ht015

THE MOUND BUILDERS - "The Mound Builders"

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The Mound Builders - “The Mound Builders”

(Failure Records & Tapes)

Growing straight out of the Indiana soil, The Mound Builders, release their self titled full length of psychedelic rock infused metal. The album opens with Torchbearer, an epic seven minute riff-worship dug from the very foundations of crunchy, heavy doom-and-gloom metal. Just as the listener expects to hear a nasal vocal about witches and generals, frontman Jim Voelz steps in and begins hurling his trademark howl into the wind. His whiskey burned growl sears the track like a dirt-encrusted, acid-rusted bucket full of red hot coals.

With the introductions out of the way, The Mound Builders climb into other, more fast paced numbers, such as Hair of the Dogma that piles up a cathartic thrash, giving Jim an opportunity to showcase a blistering screech straight from the muddy pits of Hell. The aptly titled track Acid Sludge leads in with a smoldering dirge built from plenty of dirty low end buzz and demonic screams, and a solid, repeating riff that builds in geological layers before kicking into a faster, and more violent earthquake anthem.

The closing of this release, Vanished, is a durable rock journey that shovels together the many elements The Mound Builders draw from to forge their unique sound. Throughout the release, guitarist Brian Boszor, drummer Jason "Dinger" Brookhart, and bassist Ryan Strawsma exert precise control over varied style and rhythm shifts, while consistently delivering a viciously chaotic feel, creating a dynamic listening experience for metal devotees. The Mound Builders plan to unload this new release on Jan 18th.

Gray Lee

Preorder the LP: 

 https://failurerecordstapes.bigcartel.com/product/the-mound-builders-s-t-lp

 

DERE MOANS - "Inglorious Deathsounds Mixtape"

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Dere Moans - “Inglorious Deathsounds Mixtape”

(Bad Cake Records)

Dere Moans returns with two sidelong slabs of sonic spaghetti woven together in that special way that only Dere moans can. Inglorious Deathsounds Mixtape is a swirling vortex of plunderphonic scuzz, a deluge of orphaned orchestrations, sliced samples, and deconstructed dialogues, masterfully merged into a tightly controlled audio output that achieves a strange serenity inside the blinding cloud of blended sound.

It is not the chaos itself that draws the attention, but the delicate balance of between that tangled stream of consciousness, and the shaping of the relentless tide. Feel the organic contours that remain after this crashing wave of signals and noises is swept up and bound by invisible powers and contorted into glowing sculptures of wordless wonder.

Prepare yourself for 60 minutes of warp zone refreshment crafted from tumult, honed with cinematic interludes of reflection, and ending in a fading coalescence of what was, leaving a jagged imprint on the auditory psyche.

Gray Lee

https://deremoans.bandcamp.com/album/inglorious-deathsounds-mixtape

[Album of the Month] URSULA'S CARTRIDGES / KIZUNAUT - "07​:​15​:​14​:​05 OFFLINE"

 


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Ursula's Cartridges / Kizunaut - "07:15:14:05 OFFLINE"

(Asura Revolver)

Though this split release is described as a nod to industrial electronic music from the late 80s and early 90s, the music found within is by no means recycled. This one is an absolute banger, all the way through.

Unlike most split releases Kizunaut and Ursula's Cartridges are not relegated to their respective sides of the tape, but instead alternately queue their tracks in a call and response that plays out like a futuristic duel. Kizunaut's weapons are powerful rhythms and hooks, while Ursula's Cartridges relies on compositional subterfuge and cleverly chosen ancient earth samples.

The back and forth play between these two varied electronic artists creates an excellent sense of depth, while their collaboration keeps the release on a steady path. A path of grinding, buzzing, dark synthwave future jam that is going to rock you. 

Gray Lee

 https://asurarevolver.bandcamp.com/album/07-15-14-05-offline

QOHELETH - Ape Dog Wars Chide the Stem Toil

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QOHELETH - “Ape Dog Wars Chide the Stem Toil”

(Philip K. Discs)

Experimental noise-rockers QOHELETH teamed up with composer/multi-instrumentalist Whettman Chelmets for a complete makeover of their debut album God is the Warmest Place to Hide.

The musical mashup spawned the sonic abomination of Ape Dog Wars Chide the Stem Toil-a bleak amalgamation of industrial sprawl that warps the original source material into bold and demented new forms.

The idea for the musical collaboration came about through social media. On Twitter, Whettman saw Jeremy Hunt-one of the members of QOHELETH-expressing the desire to do a noise rock remix album.

“Jeremy said something in a tweet...regarding all these different styles and sounds he wanted to do with the band but he didn't have the technological wherewithal. I told him I'd be interested,” Whettman recalled.

QOHELETH and Whettman tested the water with a single track, and they were so pleased with the results that they decided to go ahead and remix the entire album.

“It started with just one of the tracks, to see if he would have fun with it and then it just expanded from there,” said Hunt.

“I figured I'd just do a remix or two but ended up doing every song and a couple of other ideas too,” said Whettman.

The band was so pleased with Whettman’s work that they wanted him to take complete artistic license with no inhibitions.

“He would send ideas back to get our feedback, but basically we wanted him to feel the freedom to go crazy with it,” Hunt said.

“They gave me free reign to do whatever…” agreed Whettman.

The ethos of unbounded sonic experimentation shows off in spades. While enjoyable as a standalone, the work can only fully be appreciated as a companion piece to the original.

You then take on the role of an audio archaeologist, uncovering artifacts that point back to the original source material.

On Bombardier, the fuzzed-out and distorted bass loop will point you to Tombs of White.

The melody on Sikorsky will allow you to uncover Heaviness of Presence as the source track.

To give any more clues would totally ruin the listening experience, so go ahead and pick up both albums to revel in the noise and sonic anarchy.

Theron Willis

https://qohelethnoise.bandcamp.com/album/ape-dog-wars-chide-the-stem-toil-a-deconstruction-by-whettman-chelmets

https://qohelethnoise.bandcamp.com/album/god-is-the-warmest-place-to-hide

Note: To see our reviews of Whettman Chelmetts’ previous work, click here, here and here.

FROG - "Whatever, We Probably Already Had It"

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Frog - “Whatever, We Probably Already Had It”

(Audio Antihero)

Solid rock and roll with pop inflection, melodic infection, and sing-along perfection greets us in this stellar release from Queens, New York duo, Frog. Whatever… is a precision delivery of high-energy alternative garage rock with sweeping, anthemic choruses, and snarky intimate lyrics full of sarcasm and promise.

After the fun intro track, Frog dons a thick southern accent for the track entitled American, which takes a raucous jab at the stereotypical USA creature. Something to HIde begins as a sardonic breakup song with a soaring chorus with a killer climb, while God Once Loved a Woman is an artistic ballad that slowly builds an enormous power underneath its tender surface.

The immediate driving jam of Journey to the Restroom makes a great contrast for a campfire song, Bones which gives us that great chorus that begins with:

Do you know that you are/

The guardian of a part of my life/

That I had forgotten?

Don’t Tell Me Where You’re Going hits hard with a strong rhythm and a harmonized chorus and closes out the album nicely.

A word that gets overused in the music industry and in music reviewing is “essential”, but in this case, the word applies. Whatever, We Probably Already Had it is a short, but detailed look at life with all the joy, sorrow, and wry humor that comes with it. Each track has its own way of being both familiar and memorable, and the release overall feels like something you should have known about before.

Gray Lee

https://heyitsfrog.bandcamp.com/album/whatever-we-probably-already-had-it

TAXXESS - "Resistance Fatigue"

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Taxxess - “Resistance Fatigue”

San Antonio experimental dark idm artist Taxxess releases Resistance Fatigue, a dark and twisted journey into an avant-garde electronic world of driving rhythm, disembodied voices, and piles of computer pasta. 

The opening track Intrusive Thoughts, sets the tone for the album by delivering dark, smoky ambient chambers filled with downtempo brooding and distorted speech. This leads the way into Anxiety, a tense and grinding throb of idm beats, furious bleeps and bloops, and screechy, terrifying vocalizations. Resistance Fatigue continues into other audio zones including The Fuss, which is an intricate mess of woven robotic sound, Scatter, a mechanical string trimmer jam with a swarm of chewed up, buzzing machine sounds, and also an absolute burner of a track called Ideation, a minimal offering with atmospheric pottery pounding and malevolent dronings, and a shadowy and deep conclusion.

Taxxess closes out the proceedings with Nublood, which is a slower piece, filled with slowly aggressive rhythms and buzzing drones of cruelty. Overall, Resistance Fatigue is a cathartic mix of determination and sorrow, willfully constructed with technological artistry.  

Gray Lee

https://taxxess.bandcamp.com/album/resistance-fatigue

RHUCLE - "More Beautiful Than Silence"

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Rhucle - “More Beautiful Than Silence”

(Constellation Tatsu)

Rhucle returns with another starry sky full of wide-open promise and heartfelt wonder made from ambient vibes dripping with echo-laden odes to beautiful autumn nights walking in cool crisp air and dreaming. Soft soundscapes full of moonlight and rain, drizzled with gentle synth beds and lightly imbued with distant and vaguely human field recordings help to create a sound that is solitary, but not lonely.

This release opens with a calming track entitled With the Natural Noise - a soothing blend of transcendent beauty and skygazing. Each selection on the album delivers a powerful dose of deep breath, slow heartbeat, and open thoughts focused on good memories and hopes for the future - perfect for your afternoon wanderings, or evening reflections.

For those of you familiar with Rhucle’s work, this release is a perfect companion for last year’s Fantastic Garden - the two releases offer different perspectives of the same serene ideal - offering precious moments of escape from the pressures of modern living.

Gray Lee  

https://ctatsu.bandcamp.com/album/more-beautiful-than-silence

SZARA RENETA - "Dawne Cmentarze Żydowskie 2 / Old Jewish Cemeteries 2"

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SZARA RENETA - "Dawne Cmentarze Żydowskie 2 / Old Jewish Cemeteries 2"

(Szara Reneta)

Szara Reneta presents a volume of contemplative field recordings made in the Jewish cemeteries of three villages in southern Poland, Czarny Dunajec and Podwilk. These recordings are peaceful, natural documents of the places in which they were created. Foliage is gently moved by the breeze, birds share their song. In the distance, beyond the borders of these burial grounds, daily life goes on. We often ignore quiet places of reverence that exist in the corners of our hectic lives. We pass by the solemn places of reflection that remind us of our humanity. It is a wonderous thing to close the eyes, and rest in the moment.

Before accepting that moment and chalking this release up as a simple recording of collected sound, take a ride with the far out final track of the release, which is a noisy, intrusive remix of the first track. Droning sounds and digital distortions twist the now familiar sounds in wrenching way that defies understanding. Perhaps this is a statement about human life; how we take things that are peaceful and abandon them to ruin, allowing them to corrupt, dissolve, and become lost to the ages.

Gray Lee

https://szarareneta.bandcamp.com/album/dawne-cmentarze-ydowskie-2-old-jewish-cemeteries-2

C. MOODY CREWS - "T Zero"

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C. Moody Crews - "T Zero"

San Diego based artist C. Moody Crews' T Zero is a powerful dose of carefully constructed ambient drones, with just the right amount of natural, gradual movement to balance the effect.  The hypnosis is pleasant, but hard to describe, as many of the thoughts and ideas that come to the surface will be those of the listener, and it's hard to find something to hold onto.

T Zero feels cinematic in many of its movements, creating dense clouds of mood that drift across the listener's mind-space, ideal for calm, unfocused imagination sessions or intense concentration.  Broken up into seven separate tracks instead of more lengthy pieces, this release is able to bring more variety and interest to the project without interruption of the unifying concept. 

If you're looking to alter your mental state, I highly recommend you add T Zero to your collection. It's steady enough to depend upon, diaphonous enough to remain mysterious, and textured enough to carry interest through repeat listens.  

Gray Lee

 https://cmoodycrews.bandcamp.com/album/t-zero

 

KALEEM X WILL - "Light of Heaven"

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Kaleem X Will - "Light of Heaven"

(Immersion Complete) 

Sail across a crystal expanse into a brightly lit, swiftly moving metropolis where the future is happening in Light of Heaven. This release begins with From Water to Land,a dreamy, gliding synth pattern that slowly transitions from the peaceful, oceanic peacefulness to a more down-to-earth sound that is cattied forward in the second track Sinking Castle. This feels like the true arrival on a new terrain, surveying all of the overwhelming beauty - and also the dark, deep injustices and evil that simmer beneath the surface.

There is a serenity and peace in Kaleem X Will's work that is tempered with sorrow and longing, and examinations of the mechanical inner workings of life. Opposing musical ideas are readily played against each other in lengthy crossfades that create chaotic interplays between notes and rhythms.

The audio concepts of Light of Heaven are arranged in poetic couplets that appear to call and respond to each other. Moon's Intimidation pairs with Suns Strength, Abyss with Ocean Rebirth. It is this type of artful ideation that keeps this release in motion, always en route to the next chapter. 

Gray Lee

https://immersioncomplete.bandcamp.com/album/light-of-heaven

DIRE WOLVES JUST EXACTLY PERFECT SISTERS BAND - "One For The Heads"

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Dire Wolves Just Exactly Perfect Sisters Band - “One For The Heads”

(Baked Tapes)

How ‘Just Exactly Perfect’ is this new release from slow rocking, psychedelic spell-casting Dire Wolves Just Exactly Perfect Sisters Band? Well, friend, that depends on what you want. Do you want two sidelong tracks of narcotic rock goodness, flavored with all the hippie violins and cult commune jams you can handle? Then One For The Heads is just exactly perfect for you.

Side A, a twenty-four minute toke entitled Music is the Healing Force of the Universe, is a CIA-grade dose of psychotropic goodness, straight from the gardens of the gods - complete with picked out guitar essence and ghostly voices echoing around a clandestine bonfire. It’s a smoky, lusty heave of lazily thumping percussion, curling fiddle scrollwork, and spiraling, droning ease that will have you abandoning your suit and tie for a life contemplating the universe.

Side B, Living On Tulpa Time / Cleanhead Boogie / Venusian Red Cross, is a jam session like no other. If the first half of this album took you there, this half will keep you there, man. This side of the release may or may not be divided into three distinct parts as the title suggests. Review is unclear. Check back with me later.

With the perfect balance of ethereal excursions into metaphysical planes of ultimate freedom, and down and dirty rock and roll jam band sleaze, One For The Heads is a trip worth taking. Grab this one up and enjoy it. Cooked up for you by the good folks at Baked Tapes.

Gray Lee

https://bakedtapes.bandcamp.com/album/one-for-the-heads

SONE INSTITUTE - "Where Moth and Rust Consume"

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Sone Institute - “Where Moth and Rust Consume”

(Front & Follow Records)

If Where Moth and Rust Consume were a film, the TV Guide description for the film would read:

A British misanthrope gatecrashes a poetry convention with a Casio keyboard and trolls/amazes the audience with tales of wildy vivid apathy and disturbing beauty.

The latest release from UK experimental electronic pop artist, Sone Institute, Where Moth and Rust Consume constantly walks the line between carefully crafted lyric, artistic composition, and devious “wouldn’t it be funny if” type experimentation, all of which comes together to create an album that I am enthralled by.

The opening track, I only exist, comes off as a pseudo-philosophical exploration of being. The speaker in the song repeats a refrain of:

“I only exist because you love me/

You will die the day I say goodbye/

I only exist because you love me/

Even though its a lie”

Is the speaker here Sone himself, or are we hearing an intangible concept personified, like love or God? Between the existential wonderings, disturbing imagery and unusual perspectives weave their way around the narrative.

Most other tracks on Moth and Rust are devoid of such probing queries, and instead offer contemplative electronic music tinted with variety and depth. Tracks such as Summer Lightning, The Devil Works in ASDA, and A Gilded Cage are filled with this brand of driving, buzzing electronica, laden with catchy, electro-pop beats and buzzing with synth detail. There is a delicate balance of pain and pleasure in these works that is hard to identify. One must undergo it in order to understand. The track What’s Bred in the Bone stands out as a worship of the preset rhythms and chord structures from those keyboards we all had as kids, while Winter is Dead is a looping found sound that slowly drowns in ambient waves.

Throughout the release, Sone Institute continues to shift and grow the sound of each selection, so that every experience is a new one - creating a complete, but varied experience, in what feels like just a taste of something much larger that has been going on for quite a long time without our knowledge. Overall, Where Moth and Rust Consume is a lot of things, and also none of those things. It’s a shouted statement in an empty room, and a platitude in the shadow of a deep loss. It’s a mercy kill, a long kiss goodnight, and joyful euthanasia. The release closes with a simple and short track entitled God Bless You, that features a vocal sample that repeats just that until the record ends. It never really ends, though.

Gray Lee

https://fandf.bandcamp.com/album/where-moth-and-rust-consume

ELIZABETH JOAN KELLY - "Music for the DMV"

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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

 https://elizabethjoankelly.bandcamp.com/album/music-for-the-dmv

BRANE - "Brane"

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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.

https://enterbrane.bandcamp.com/releases

RICARDO DIAS GOMES - "Aa"

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

https://killshamanrecords.bandcamp.com/album/ricardo-dias-gomes-aa-lp

 

MATHBLASTER - "CLIP.AUDIO"

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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!

https://powerlunch.bandcamp.com/album/clip-audio

VALYRI - "Expanses"

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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. 

https://asurarevolver.bandcamp.com/album/expanses

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

https://valyri.bandcamp.com/subscribe

Gray Lee

 

WIZARD APPRENTICE - "I Am Invisible"

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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

https://ratskinrecords.bandcamp.com/album/i-am-invisible