Earthen Sea – “Ghost Poems” – [Kranky]

cinder   3/24/2023   A Library, CD

Solo project of New York-based musician Jacob Long (Black Eyes, Mi Ami). It’s dreamy lo-fi ambient excursions along the ghostly empty sea. Drifting and wading through soft melodies. Instrumental electronics, oozing haze & reverbed drips of echoed waters. Swelling synths and wandering tones. Chilled, mellow downtempo vibes. 

Rubber O Cement – “Glass Fangs Ringing During Sack Mass” – [Self-release]

cinder   3/24/2023   A Library, CD

Wacky crazy noise project from bay area nutter, Grux. His live performances are not to be missed. It’s a full on visual show, with cardboard tanks, puppets, spinning parts, and of course giant puffy costumes. You can fiind him tethering together the greats at The Lab in SF. Also from excellent projects such as Commode Minstrels in Bullface, Caroliner, Speculum Fight, Faxed Head. His packaging of his media is always unique as well, we have one of a dirty painted shoe at home… Anyway, this release is actually a little different from what I’m used to hearing/seeing. It’s 2 tracks – both are super dark and creepily crittery messings of random objects most likely found around the room. Itches, scratches, skitters, scrapes, shakes. Strings, some electronics, it’s pretty random. Live improvs, as there’s clapping at the end. 

Usputuspud – “Live In The Shit” – [Nafs, The]

cinder   3/24/2023   A Library, Cassette

Digging around I found out that this is a solo project from MJR (Michael J Rogers), who also has something called Wildlife. This is 2 “side longs” of 10 and 15 minutes each. Lo-fi hazy droned ambient noise waving and wafting. Quivering reverbs and rhythmical essences. A pounding beat and zip zappy muffled electronics give track 2 more attitude, while track 1 is more floating ambient.

Junk DNA – “Kopk Kopa” – [Helen Scarsdale Agency]

cinder   2/23/2023   A Library, CD

A new project of Brian Pyle (Ensemble Economique, The Starving Weirdos, and RV Paintings). Kopk Kopa translates from Lithuanian as a directive to “climb the dune”… which one can vision as Pyle radiates a ‘dark hypnosis of eerie tones that rasp, buzz, and shimmer within vertiginous orbits and arching crescendos’. It’s gloomy and doomy, murky fog laden damp corridors of ambient electronics, creeping around the corner tones, making your bumps goose with each sudden stab of sound. Or traveling back to the sand dunes of the desert, this might be what one hears as the sun beats through their eyes, frying & melting their sweat vapored skin.

Golem, The [coll] – [Reboot]

cinder   2/23/2023   12-inch, Soundtrack

A new re-score of the 1921 silent horror film, ‘The Golem’ – the Jewish Frankenstein that inspired the Boris Karloff original. Featuring original music by Scott Amendola, Steven Drozd (The Flaming Lips), and Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, The Flesh Eaters) / Threshing Floor (Alan Licht, Gretchen Gonzales Davidson, Rebecca Odes, John Olson, Nate Young) / Meg Baird, Charlie Saufley and Jeremiah Lockwood / Universal Eyes (members of Slumber Party and Wolf Eyes) / Michael Morley (The Dead C) / Sharon Gal / Marika Hughes and Shahzad Ismaily / ∈Y∋ (Boredoms). It’s a masterfully done experiment in modern silent film. Whispering horns, pulsing pedals, scratchy strings, a doomy underbelly growling below the surface. There’s tracks for the minimal deconstructed experimental fans, and tracks for the psych peeps. Nice longer tracks.

Forbidden Overture – “Turned On!” – [Dark Entries]

cinder   2/23/2023   12-inch, A Library

Two side long tracks from soundtrack to the film Turned On!—a gay bathhouse fantasy from 1982. This is pretty magical. Unless you already know it’s from a porn flick, you’d have no idea. You could possibly mistake this for an old Cluster release. It’s tasteful, no moans, groans or dirty birdy words. Just pure outer space, psychedelic krauty synths, floating through the cosmos, ready to blow their loads off in fantasy orbits… sorry, had to. It’s lovely and pretty.

Flaccid Mojo – “Flaccid Mojo” – [Castle Face Records]

cinder   12/27/2022   12-inch, A Library

Duo of Black Dice members Aaron Warren and Bjorn Copeland, sticking it out in Los Angeles. They definitely channel out some of the quirky, choppy, dirty robot beats and electronics that Black Dice brought, but also incorporate sound clips, muffled words and random samples in a semi-Negativland type way – but more broken and skewed. Greatly sizzled and fried with deep looped rhythms.   

Georis, Nico – “A Rainbow In Curved Air” – [Spiritual Pajamas]

cinder   12/27/2022   12-inch, A Library

Glorious, beautiful, stunning synth sounds from Nico Georis. His interpretation of Terry Riley’s Rainbow In Curved Air is lovely – trickling rainbow icicles floating on candy clouds. The other 3 tracks are originals – Vapor is a “plant music duet” that features Nico playing along with the plaintive washes of sound produced by a cannabis plant connected to a Plant Wave device. Turns out cannabis is floating high in musical talents as well. He had spontaneously played it over his Big Sur based pirate channel, Milky Way Radio. The final 2 tracks are based off slot machine samples. Twinkling electronics and magical game bubbles to the max. This might have been channeled directly from my brain that one time I was on Ecstasy in Vegas…

Gobeil, Gilles – “Les Lointains” – [Empreintes Digitales]

cinder   12/2/2022   A Library, CD

Uncomfortable listening from Québecian Gilles Gobeil. A cacophony of field recordings and found sounds. You’re a fly on the wall in someone’s home, a factory, car warehouse… bursts of intricate sounds tickle your inner ear, while you wildly imagine what the hell is going on. Layered foggy synths and sounds accompany, but the game of figuring out what you’re hearing is key. A fine musique concrète experience.

Pinkcourtesyphone – “Shouting At Nuance” – [Helen Scarsdale Agency]

cinder   12/2/2022   12-inch, A Library

Los Angeles based minimalist, Richard Chartier. Slow, murking lurky droned out passages that raise your neck hairs as if a ghost is whispering dear nothings in your ear. ‘Hauntological compositions’ as he describes. Low tones and dream like states. Washes of ambience. What your mind might start to hear as you drift in a self deprivation chamber. It’s not scary or menacing, but reflective and gloomy. Lost in space. 

Jenkins, Cassandra – “Ramble (Morning & Night, 2021), The” – [Ba Da Bing!]

cinder   11/17/2022   12-inch, A Library

Cassandra expands on a track from her release ‘An Overview On Phenomenal Nature’ and creates two side-long ambient pieces, full of wonder and magic. She’s a sax player, so there’s gentleness that flows in and out from the brass. Twittering birds, that when wearing headphones really makes you feel like they’re right next to you, goosebumps! Trickling piano. Field recordings from Central Park (nyc) and the woods in upstate NY. Side B is more tranquility, this time in the comfort of crickets.

Tutti, Cosey Fanni – “Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and The Legendary Tapes” – [Conspiracy International]

cinder   11/17/2022   12-inch, A Library

Delia Derbyshire: The Myths & The Legendary Tapes is a ‘conceptual and atmospheric journey into the legacy and character of electronic music composer/sound pioneer Delia Derbyshire’. The film was written and directed by Caroline Catz, who also stars in the film. Soundtrack from the great Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey). Music is performed by Cosey, as well as Delia’s own creations which were constructed from samples chosen from Delia’s posthumously discovered “Attic Tapes”. It’s pure science fiction bliss. Synths and tape manipulations and knobs and twiddles. She was the composer of the excellent Dr. Who theme, and did extensive work with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and those intergalactic sounds follow through on this. More exploratory than song in nature, you might accidentally dial an alien spaceship while playing this on the airwaves.

Javelosa, David “Microwave” – “Atomic Odyssey” – [Hyperspace Communications]

cinder   11/10/2022   12-inch, A Library

Wow, this is the ultimate space age bachelor pad fantasy music! Magical, intergalactic synth fueled lounge electronica from the year 3032 (ok, 1998…) All instrumental & groovy as hell. Definitely turn on that lava lamp, and throw down some shag rugs. Mitch Lemay might have a spare leisure suit or 2? Perfect little tracks to add a little sparkly sunshine to your playlist. Bartender, cosmo please!      

Javelosa apparently also has publications and teachings on topics such as production for Video and Computer Games, Game Industry Analysis & Producing Music for Interactive games.

Thick Air – “Pillars of Creation” – [Not Not Fun]

cinder   11/10/2022   A Library, Cassette

Long form improvisations on a Yamaha PSS-270, slowly thrusting you into the cosmos. Pillars Of Creation takes its name from the iconic 1995 Hubble Space Telescope photo, definitely look that up to create the mindset for these sounds. Otherworldly synths float on top of large gas bubbles of bass. Meditative and serene. Drifting along the astral planes of sparkly space crystals. Solo project of Matt LaJoie who ‘cites intuition and accident as foundational to the Thick Air genesis, trusting the freefall process of creation and decay, motion and miasma.’ 

Dodge Jones Rage – “West Coast Power Outage II” – [Charnel Music]

cinder   11/10/2022   12-inch, A Library

Pandemic-driven experimental-noise-audio collaboration started in 2021 from the trio of Chris Dodge (Spazz), Mason Jones (Subarachnoid Space, Collision Stories, Numinous Eye) & William Rage (Blue Sabbath Black Cheer, At Jennie Richie, New Blockaders, irr.app.(ext.) – last names make the project. It’s power electronics pushed to the max. Turn ’em all on at once, slowly turn the knobs, scream a distorted moan and blast your fucking ears off. Not a complete white wall wash, there’s hidden undertones of sanity. Sizzled & churned, burnt to a crisp. Delicious. 

Lattimore, Mary & Growing – “Gainer” – [Silver Current]

cinder   9/23/2022   12-inch, A Library

Mary’s a harpist who resides in Los Angeles, while Growing is an ambient drone band that’s been around for years, originally from Olympia, now in Brooklyn. Unsure how this collaboration came about, but it’s fantastic. Floating in the heavenly golden trimmed clouds, with lush waves of undertones and glorious droned harmonies. Side A wafts in such a comforting way, it sounds like the track itself is breathing. Goosebumps and butterflies. Side B showcases Mary’s harp playing beautifully.

Surreal & The Sound Providers – “True Indeed” – [Abb Records]

cinder   9/7/2022   12-inch, Hip Hop

Jazzy hip hop raps from some crate diggin’ dudes. The Soul Providers are a duo (Jason Skills & Soulo) that hailed from San Diego, citing Gang Starr and the Native Tongue Posse as influences, although I get major De La Soul vibes as well. They collaborated with emcee Surreal for this release, back in 2006. Great storytelling lyrics that seem uplifting and happy, almost wholesome but not like, dorky. He’s not getting gansta….in one song he’s talking about his life and it seems he found God, but it’s not an overwhelming theme throughout. The beats are jazzzzy and sick! Fun rekkid! 

Watkins / Peacock – “Acid Escape Vol. 3” – [Freaks]

cinder   9/7/2022   12-inch, A Library

Jolly-ful playful rhythms layered over a locked beat. Synth kittens on the keys and head knodding knob twiddling squirrels. Psychedelic electronica trips. Flickering MIDI sequencers. An improv duo, usually recorded all live in studio, no dubs. Zachary James Watkins (Black Spirituals) & Ross Peacock, who met in Oakland and started recording together. Excellent!

Montgomerie, Jo – “From Industry Home” – [Helen Scarsdale Agency]

cinder   8/19/2022   A Library, Cassette

Deliciously decayed sounds from Jo Montgomerie, of Manchester. She originally planned on being a concert pianist, but ended up falling into the world of sound design, foley work, and post-production. Utilizing objects around her home as well as connecting contact mics to her own body, she creates snaps, cracks, sizzles and delectable drones that waft through open steel warehouses and cold dark places. Industrial ambience, forlorn fevers. 

Stelzer / Murray – “Commit” – [Helen Scarsdale Agency]

cinder   7/27/2022   12-inch, A Library

Duo project from Howard Stelzer & Brendan Murray. Fogged out, icy drones created by their subconscious. Murky, ominous, haunting and mysterious. Track 2 has a bit of The Black Lodge feel, with whipping shadows and ghostly words. Effected sounds, drenched in pedal delights. Hypnotizing dream states.

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