Saturday, September 24, 2016

Score - Slump

This cassette has been churning in my head for weeks. Countless listens trying to discover words that will help describe these sounds. Not sure what listen i was on, but the realization of the difficulty i was having dawned upon my thoughts. The notes within are so subtle, like a drone lullaby that kept flicking my thoughts off and causing need for incredible resources in the thinking department to understand exactly what was happening.

Twelve tracks that modify themselves slowly like the moon crossing the sky at the zenith above your head. Slump is a lengthy en devour, around an hour long. Maybe my musical taste is becoming other worldly because Slump sounds refreshingly different. Score has found a unique sonic aura and exposed these drone like noises for everyone to encounter. This is really a special niche that most people will find unsettling. Sometimes the feeling gets tight and your thoughts tense up, to the point of almost being nightmarish. Then the following track allows you to unwind a bit. The process continues through the entire listen. The field of noise is so dense, textures exceedingly thick, causing drips of sound to fall to the surface, filling and bubbling over. There is no haven from the whirling world Score imparts.

This is released on Cruel Nature Records in an edition of forty. Slump is available for purchase and listen at the labels bandcamp page. This is my first write up for Cruel Nature Records. There are a lot of varied sounds at the label pushing the thresholds of music to new extremes. If you enjoy serenity fed to eardrums through directly connected wires, Score will be an excellent choice.
 






Links
Cruel Nature Records site - facebook -bandcamp

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Wounded Knife Records - Eight Cassettes

This is big double batch post for Wounded Knife Records. Jan and Paulina have always been so kind, i wanted to return their thoughtfulness by working on a batch post to a scale i have not done before. It did take some time, and unfortunately not every cassette is still available. I did my best to provide links where these tapes can still be purchased. Either way, some very diverse artists and venues. Well worth the time to read a little and listen. Hear where Wounded Knife Records has carved out such a special niche. Music and art delivered at the highest standards. Hope you enjoy.

Links




Links
Wounded Knife site - bandcamp - facebook

German Army - Diego Garcia

It is almost if you do not buy German Army tapes, they find you and recruit your mind. Every tape i have by this artist is the best one. This release on Wounded Knife titled Diego Garcia is the freaking best one plus one. A lengthy forty five minute barrage of warped electronics and wobbled beats that will not fall.

An anthem for every day. Tight drum lines blended articulately with sinuous synthesizer sound waves. Each track nudging the thought process along, because you will get stuck in the patterns. The haze almost impenetrable from the dub like aura only German Army channels. Flickering images of eighties dance floors, early new wave buds on an industrial landscape. These images fade, the music exists in some future time. Diego Garcia has a mass of collected sounds from sinking musical airwaves lingering in the atmosphere. Forty five minutes to get lost in. Take this car ride only on Sunday and just go to look.

This is the fortieth release for Wounded Knife. Packaged with a beautiful fold out book, lots of love going into this, just like every release from the label. Out in late June and sold out for sure. Can not find any where to get a copy. Add it to your discogs want list, and give it a listen then purchase the digital. Worth it all the way.








Links
Wounded Knife site - bandcamp - facebook
German Army site - facebookbandcamp

Nils Quak - einige sehr populäre songs

Nils Quak lands at the Wounded Knife label and together they release einige sehr populäre songs. Half an hour of eight different finespun offerings. All sparkling crystals that flicker through the ethereal world Nils broadcasts from. Emptiness changing as notes drizzle from the sky, softly the feverishly and then flipping the tape, back to nothing again.

einige sehr populäre songs seems to have counterpart sides. Four tracks exploring a drone landscape that absorbs and radiates heat in an atmosphere less world. The surface breathes and this hazy composition lives in harmony with it's lonesomeness. The remaining four tracks show more signs of some form of life. The sounds on this side are crafted in accordance to a world sustaining sentience. From the strange almost mechanical combustion of "singular events framing the day", Nils moves to sounds that have specific meaning. From processes being recorded or music being made, the desolate drone world exists only on the dark side of the cassette (This would be the sticker side). This is a really sweet batch of songs all the way through, showing evidence of high levels of thoughtfulness and understanding.

As it is for most Wounded Knife releases, this is sold old from the label. Released just a while back in in June as well. I am pretty much amazed by Wounded Knife and how they have found such a resonate groove. One really good find is these tapes are still available from Nils, at his bandcamp page. There are a few sellers on discogs who have these cassettes very fairy priced too.






Links
Wounded Knife site - bandcamp - facebook
Nils Quak - bandcamp - facebook

Rafał Flejter - Siunjata

Sometimes music has the ability to get an edge inside our minds, gently prying open closed receptors and filling them with uplifting notes. Rafał Flejter has composed this short EP that spins with energy like the sun, radiating the space around and at times causing pleasant disturbances in our thoughts. Dense bands of electronics pass overhead, soaking through then leaving an affable breeze to cool the air.

Siunjata is four completely unique tracks, entangling with each other in an ambient wash. The feeling being emitted is delicate and inspiring. This is contrasting to how thick the music is, virtually becoming opaque with the layers of sound. Rafał has placed much energy into crafting how his music unfolds. Casting just enough artfulness to keep the listener to be involved, never overloading the electronic currents. Crackling drones allow the consciousness room and the capacity to shed thoughts, while the adept notes float through the newly acquired peacefulness.

This is the debut for artist Rafał Flejter. Wounded Knife has done a splendid job in getting Siunjata released. Excellent artwork and cool transparent red cassette. I guess this resonated with Wounded Knife fans because this is sold out from the label. Don't know where to find a copy of Rafał's debut,
but do check out his facebook page for a possible future release.






Links
Wounded Knife site - bandcamp - facebook
Rafał Flejter - facebook - soundcloud

Cukier - Road to Recovery

With the infinite pallet of musical techniques and styles the world has created, Cukier's Road to Recovery seems to be a controlled approach to improvisational live music. The three artist involved Łukasz Kacperczyk, Michał Kasperek & Piotr Mełech push the sounds to the fringe and simultaneously exercise patience and restraint. Extremely foreign, like ritual music for metallic insects, Road to Recovery has a predisposition rooting itself with experience and talent.

The five tracks on this cassette do play in an exponential curve. The first batch of tracks, all titled "Attempt", covers the electronic spectrum. Synthesizer, clarinet and sparking energy swirl nonchalantly, creating unique environments on each track. Like a centrifuge pushing notes to the walls, all the while tethered to the core by Michal's percussion. Slowly building to the final track, "Rehab", the music crescendos in an electronic meltdown cymbal launch leaving the planetary atmosphere.

Wounded Knife released this cassette at the end of June in 2016. There are copies available from the labels bandcamp page. Another amazing live recording from Warsaw and Wounded Knife is there again to help more people hear whats a happening in northern Europe.






Links
Wounded Knife site - bandcamp - facebook

Charles Barabé + Roadside Picnic - National House Milk

Transported across stylistic approaches and eternal lengths of time, Charles Barabé + Roadside Picnic plays like a stylus digging a groove into Earth's atmosphere. Signals from radio and satellite transmissions being absorbed and relayed back to home grounds for these artists. With talent and a well of experience, these sounds are brought to perked ears and wondering minds.

A percussive barrage as the dial turns searching for hidden harmonies. Nine untitled tracks that slowly begin to find focus. The composition takes shape like a turbulent stream freezing in the cold winter. What once was chaotic motion now has form as the sound molecules cluster together on the surface. The flow of notes somewhere below, ear drums have been lulled by a hibernation period. Almost into a drone state but never quite really there. The thaw begins on somewhere on the flip side.
Rested and accustomed to a world where static pelts your mind, you have awakened in a new dimension. The seventh track and the longest, has rooted piano notes reminding me of Jerry Goldsmith's "Planet of the Apes" opening foray. Although Charles Barabé & Roadside Picnic's rendition, if you would even call it that, is much more extreme and wild. The cassette ends with an eruption of noise, so much as to overflow what your mind can process.

National House Milk  was released in May of 2016 and is sold out from the label Wounded Knife. There is a copy available currently on discogs if you do not have this already. Wounded Knife releases are gone before i can write about them. The best way to keep up with the label id to sign up for their news letter or follow them on facebook. This Charles Barabé + Roadside Picnic is for music scholars to ponder over in future years to come.







Links
Wounded Knife site - bandcamp - facebook
Charles Barabé - bandcamp - facebook
Justin Wiggan/Roadside Picnic site

Sébastien Branche, Miguel A. García, Wojtek Kurek, Mateusz Wysocki - Harigams

Harigams burns like a gun powder trail continuing through alternate dimensions. Like watching the largest domino toppling ever, the sounds keep going, always maintaining their form. At least there seems to be a structure to the approach. This is a grandiose accomplishment for four artist meeting and all recording together for the first time.

Surely some of the most difficult music to describe. The basics are two side long tracks, both around the twenty minute mark. Then the sounds within, absolutely perplexing. If you could record an echocardiogram of all humans on the earth, then go back in time and record one from five hundred years ago, then mash them together....
There exist moments in Harigams of frazzling nightmares, mixed with field recordings and samples from past times, being sliced out of history and pasted into this droned out noise collage. Futuristic mutations of all we have grown comfortable with. There is nothing within this composition that is secure. What your thoughts might latch onto is constantly being offered then pulled away. The sounds like ground with lava coursing beneath them. Always ready to bubble and scorch your mind.

Wounded Knife released this is May of 2016. There is one cassette left from the label and this is available from the labels bandcamp page. If you like sounds on the edge of where music and noise collide, Harigams is an ear capturing composition that will require many listens to really understand.





Links
Wounded Knife site - bandcamp - facebook 
Sébastien Branche site
Miguel A. García site
Wojtek Kurek - Paper Cuts bandcamp - Warten facebook
Mateusz Wysocki - facebook

Lake Mary & Nathan Wheeler - Also

Beautiful Lake Mary. Music pulling from the natural beauty around us. As we listen, the sounds tranquilize the hectic world, leaving consciousnesses free from the weights they always seem to be carrying. This allows focus to explore any details and is especially suited for thoughts to bend around light breezes and radiant skies. Amazing how a half hour can travel by so quickly.

The path of Lake Mary & Nathan Wheeler has been well worn by generations before them. Also & Flamingo Cup, the two side long tracks making this cassette, play like ragas. Lake Mary paralleling the sitar while Nathan Wheeler adds the droned out girth of the tanpura. Unlike traditional ragas the roles reverse from side to side on this tape. The gorgeous piano work of Lake Mary on the Also side takes the reigns while the synthesizer of Nathan provides the drifting stability. On Flamingo Cup, Nathan's harmonium leads the way while the bowed guitar of Lake Mary drones like insects in the night. Both tracks uniquely gorgeous.

Wounded Knife released this in May of 2016 and it is sold out. This makes no difference. The beauty of modern technology lets you preview this cassette for free, and add it to your collection for a small amount. If you are interested in the physical cassette, there is one on discogs now. This is the second release for Lake Mary on Wounded Knife. Add your email to the label's newsletter to be sure magic number three is known before it vanishes.






Links
Wounded Knife site - bandcamp - facebook
Lake Mary - bandcamp - facebook

Amulets - In Flux

The heavy weight drone prize fighter is back with a cassette titled In Flux on the Wounded Knife label out of Warsaw. If you missed this one be sad. Amulets has gained extensive ground over the pass few years, releasing mesmerizing compositions in artful mediums. In Flux is another timeless classic journey in the crags of consciousness.

A half hour of music divided into four tracks. Beginning like a steam roller on freshly poured asphalt, the first track "The Mechanics of Breathing", smooths out your thoughts and prepares your mind for the sounds to follow. Now you can glide effortlessly through the remainder of the composition. The vistas of feelings to follow show beauty. Dazzling noises radiate from this heat drenched horizon. New life and tired souls speckle themselves across the vastness. Each telling a story, capturing your energy, then pushing you away onto another moment in time. Randall Taylor, the artist propelling Amulets, balances so gracefully on the drone edge. Never rising to high becoming glorified relaxing music, and never falling as low dragging your thoughts into uneasiness.

This is an excellent pairing of artist and label. Many people think so because this tape is sold out from the label. There is one for sale on discogs at this time.  If you missed this don't worry, all of the Amulet's releases are sold out as well as most of the Wounded Knife catalog. Follow and keep a look out for both the label and the artist. Amulets will be sure to release more goodness and Wounded Knife is hunkering down for new sounds and art in the near future.







Links
Wounded Knife site - bandcamp - facebook
Amulets site - bandcamp - facebook