watching tons of winter olympics (curling obsession) and having a folding/assembling olympics of our own. good times. so here we go, first batch of 2010, gold, silver, bronze, etc:
ltd#58: blue sabbath black fiji "wankers" c40 $7 US / $8 CANMEX / $9 INTL
and here the insanity begins. french transplanted duo blue sabbath black fiji have no limits. they don't know when to dial it back, they don't know when to turn it down and because of that, we're all getting fried whether we like it or not. "wankers" has been stewing for a while but finally is getting let out from its cage to wreak havoc on unsuspecting listeners. mindbender baby, let's floor it.
squealing feedback with cut-to-bits beats and trashcan percussion go into some futuristic tribal bounce. on the back end you're left wondering how in the fuck did i get here? unexpected guitar hooks skronk into the foreground, jumping the tracks laid down by minimal electronic beats. sometimes this shit even gets pretty, which really throws you for a loop. it's one fucked-up dream sequence that never wants to end. always searching for the loudest path, blue sabbah black fiji are unlike anyone else and thank your lucky stars for that. edition of 80.
ltd#84: sacred basil "tuvan annex" c30 $7 US / $8 CANMEX / $9 INTL
i've long been a fan of collaborations, tape trading style or otherwise. sacred basil is the trio of nicholas barker (tempera), matt lajoie (cursillistas) and jordan spencer (gorman) and their collective talents are lighting up the skies. "tuvan annex" starts of shimmering and peaceful but it's a total ruse. guitar lines get washed into an oscillating oblivion and everything gets bathed in a heavy dose of noise swash. it's like being stuck in a tornado, desperately searching for a way out. the shimmer returns but with full-on density and triumph. each shift feels in the zone. blissed guitars and electronics join together, siamese twins moving in perfect harmony. contemplative, sparsely used notes flicker like a lightbulb about to give up hoping to make one final impression before crossing the great divide. there's something almost heartbreaking about it all.
but those aren't the only paths being crossed - not at all. rickety, looping acoustic guitars thrum their way forward with barely-audible background beats and electronic backwash. it's like being lost when nobody wants to admit their mistake. it's unsettling but worthwhile as it finally comes together and everything gets sucked to the bottom in a massive, exquisite whirlpool of sound. love those collaborations. edition of 90.
ltd#122: celer "rags of contentment" c75 $7 US / $8 CANMEX / $9 INTL
another subtle masterpiece, another broken heart. celer delivers over and over again until you can barely stand it. there's so much happening underneath the surface of those sprawling pieces that it's impossible to take it all in, impossible not to get totally, utterly lost. with each rise and fall, your breathing will slow to a crawl. "rags of contement" will soothe you, almost to the point of losing consciousness. sit back, close yourself and drift as far away as you can. this is stunning, beautifully composed music stretching to infinity. edition of 150. SOLD OUT
ltd#125: ALTAR EAGLE "vintage cats" c26 $7 US / $8 CANMEX / $9 INTL
chapter two is finally written, leading into the homefront. four new songs, blissed hooks, bigger beats, singing like there's no tomorrow. all the bases covered, there's layers of noise and drone hints as well. with nods to bond and gaga, it's all coming together. time to dance.
killer art by phil french. edition of 150 chrome tapes.
ltd#127: s.r. hess "demise" c21 $7 US / $8 CANMEX / $9 INTL
steven r. hess has been around for ages, most notably operating as part of the incredible duo, on, with sylvain chauveau (type records) as well as work in haptic, dropp ensemble and others. hess is a chicago mainstay. thick, dusty drones highlight the bulk of "demise." subtle crackling feels like these are radio transmissions from a distange age. it all breaks down, though, and the almost-pure sine tones echo and weave their way between your muscles, finding a way into the deep tissue. this is a dense, sonic massage. hess is a heavyweight, providing one hell of a soundtrack to your favorite metal ghosts. edition of 85 copies.
ltd#128: pine smoke lodge "twelve faces of the smoke mask" c36 $7 US / $8 CANMEX / $9 INTL
the woods up near portland, maine are getting baked in the sun and resulting in piles of reflective, organic sonics. pine smoke lodge have been hitting it hard lately with killers on stunned, blackest rainbow and their own existential cloth label. it's been one hell of a ride. junkyard tribal percussion bombs out the basement so the wailing drones can sleep in comfort. metallic shards ring out while wind instruments scream at the sun. this all leads into emanations as thick as the winter snow pack. this is heavy. really fucking heavy. they turn things back on themselves on the flipside, pitching their voices through reverb-laden caves and drowning everything under the ice.
pine smoke lodge are finding their groove right now and the places they're going to take it? who the fuck knows. but latch on for the ride because it's a beautiful place to be. drink it down. edition of 70 copies. SOLD OUT
ltd#129: dylan ettinger "interstellar pleasures" c27 $7 US / $8 CANMEX / $9 INTL
ettinger's winding things up to start off 2010. first he's dropped some incredible jammers on his on el tule label and then there's this, his ode to klaus schulze and all things kosmische (and these babies will lead directly into his opus, "cutters"). but hot damn these puppies ARE interstellar. liquid keyboard excursions borne from sun spots soar and drift through neon-tinged skies. hypnotic anthems bobbing and weaving through static drones. each shift in modus takes ettinger through sunken tunnels and into a boiling aural river. this music flows. it never feels mechanical or totally synthetic. at times it reminds of julian lynch's blissed-out live sets, just free and delightful.
if the first two months of 2010 are any indication, dylan ettinger is going to be one of the main players this year. dude is going astral. edition of 85. SOLD OUT
ltd#134: holy family "anoint" c25 $7 US / $8 CANMEX / $9 INTL
this one is for the gold, all the way and all the time. holy family is the modular synth duo of lawrence english and john chantler (room40 extraordinaires). and you know what's coming. it opens onto a putrid, rotting corpse hanging from the bedchamber. chantler & english aren't fuckign around. their synths sound like they're dying, every note stretched to the point of breaking oscillating into the ground. this is not child's play.
before you know it your blood stops flowing, turned into a molasses. faint echoes try to scratch their way to the surface, totally buried alive. every so often you think you hear a melody whirring from behind, but everything gets swallowed back down into this deep, dark pit. intense. incredible. edition of 125.
good times ahead: acre "sacrifice" CD and j. hanson's "boolean blues" CD will be out in a 7-10 days. both are killer mind-melters. modular synthesis and heavy drones. dylan ettinger's "cutters" LP is close as well, co-released with ruralfaune this will likely only be available from distros/mailorders. we'll let you know. scott tuma's "dandelion" LP will be released march 15th (CD later). we'll have copies of the vinyl available, but overseas customers should grab it from boomkat to save a bundle. i also have VERY LIMITED numbers (like 4) of the "dandelion" art edition available. it comes with an individual print from artist chris koelle (who designed the cover) among other goodies. they're $50 - get in touch if you're interested. onward in 2010 - so many good things happening! now back to the olympics... USA woooo!