O’Sullivan, Daniel – “Electric Maya: Dream Flotsam and Astral Hinterlands”; – [VHF]

cinder   1/29/2021   12-inch, A Library

First in a series of 3 LPs of Library Music from composer and multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan (Æthenor, Ulver, This is Not This Heat, etc). It’s not the cheesy, lounge-y type of music you’d think when you hear the term Library Music (although that stuff is super fun!), these are newer sounds… lush, pretty, dreamy and sort of cinematic in feel. Synths, piano, softness. 18 tracks, specifically made in shorter lengths (longest is about 3:30 long). Drifty, optimistic, thoughtful and sublime.  

Ka-Spel / Stapleton / Potter / Rollet – “Man Who Floated Away / The Closer You Are to The Center, The” – [Bisou]

cinder   1/28/2021   A Library, CD

From 2018. Surprisingly, this is the first ever collaboration between Edward Ka-Spel (The Legendary Pink Dots and Tear Garden) and Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound). They’ve been wanting to collab for years, and Bisou, the record label this is out on, gave them that chance. The second track features Colin Potter and French sax player Quentin Rollet (The Red Krayola, Mendelson, Nurse With Wound, Prohibition, David Grubbs, Thierry Müller, Ilitch). As you can imagine with these heavy names, it’s full of experimental sounds and mind trips that take you on lofty dreamy voyages. Creepy tendrils of sounds interweave your brain by Stapleton, while Ka-Spel whispers a haunting tale on track 1. The second track has cray cray sax, skittering percussion, a distracted piano, distorted words, sizzling wires and other intriguing sounds and echoes. Both excellent! 

Lee, Tim “Love” – “Confessions of a Selector”; – [Three Sixty Records]

cinder   1/27/2021   A Library, CD

Funky and sexy downtempo grooves from English producer, Tim “Love” Lee. I believe this is his first release, back from 1997. The perfect era for this type of electronic sound in my opinion. Full of samples, cut-ups and lots of sick, velvet, polyester & shag influenced dance vibes. A few cocktails and a smoking jacket are required for full listening pleasure. Last few tracks include poor Billy and his disciplining pervert parents.

Tangent 2002: Disco Nouveau [coll] – [Ghostly International]

cinder   12/21/2020   A Library, CD

A fantastic compilation from the early ’00s, around the time that electroclash became a huge thing. Robot dance type beats, minimal vox if any at all, and techno disko rhythms that would have Giorgio Moroder drooling like a kitten high on fresh catnip. I remember when this was in our listening station at work way back when… it’s a great introduction to a lot of these artists! A definite take on modern disco, on the minimal electronics edge.

Cleveland, Barry – “Stones of Precious Water” – [Morning Trip]

cinder   12/21/2020   12-inch, A Library

An album from the early to mid ’80s. Barry recorded these tracks mostly between ’81 & ’83, mostly by improvisation. It’s lovely, light and airy guitar passages, wafting close to new age territory, but then he’ll shift into dark haunting forests on the next track. Six of the ten tracks contain contributions from Kay Epple and her late husband Bob Stohl (Emerald Web), adding flute, synthesizers, and bells. Don’t be scared, it’s way more intriguing and meditatively KFJC than other cheesy artists you think of when you hear the scary word, new age. Ambient and drone filled.

Cyclist, The – “Weather Underground” – [100% Silk]

cinder   12/21/2020   A Library, Cassette

Fresh sounds from Andrew Morrison, known as The Cyclist. Rhythmic electronic beats rotate and churn like LED-lit wheel spokes. It’s a chill house sound with throbs of “industrial hypnosis, basement dub, and soul lament within his signature saturated “tape throb” palette”. A refreshing spin!

Negativland – “World Will Decide, The” – [Seeland]

cinder   12/17/2020   A Library, CD

Another fantastic quirky sound collage cut-up from the Neggies. This time around the main theme is about computer data mining, content, Alexa, and the whole idea that we’re definitely being consumed by the faux glamorous life of the world wide web. This album ‘depicts a world where the technologies we use to live our lives have become difficult to tell apart from those things we recognize as being alive.’ An idea too familiar in Silicon Valley, as we see self driving robot buggies delivering meals to your house as you sit on your blubber, building pretend islands in the abyss. (not knocking any one who does, I’m a victim of Candy Crush myself)… just remember to get some fresh air once in awhile, put the phone away and watch the clouds. Great vox from Weatherman, as well as many others, and bizarre experimental sounds!

X.Y.R. – “Pilgrimage” – [Not Not Fun Records]

cinder   12/16/2020   12-inch, A Library

Solo synth designs from Soviet, Vladimir Karpov. Two 20 minute long explorations into dense, desolate, dystopian forests. Dreamy, lush and relaxing as hell. The A-side sets you right in the middle of a crystal marsh, complete with ghostly cooing birds and a soft fog that tickles your inner ears. Side B gives more of a mythical desert scene (despite side A having dunes in the title), with synth that resemble wind instruments, and gurgly critters. Drift… 

Nace, Bill – “Both” – [Drag City]

cinder   12/4/2020   12-inch, A Library

Bill has been a concrete sound collaborator to many including Steve Baczkowski, Chris Corsano, Paul Flaherty, Greg Kelly, James Twig Harper, Samara Lubelski and Thurston Moore… but this release, besides a few cassettes back in the day, is being considered his first solo full length. Full of choatic guitar explorations, from harsh pedal effects, to twinkling and shimmering electric fried strings, darkness in rumbles, reverb echoes in hallowed caves, icy metallic and sharp. So good.

Cyrnai – “To Subtle-Drive” – [Dark Entries]

cinder   12/3/2020   12-inch, A Library

A reissue of her 4th release, from around 1990. Crynai is a rearranging of Carolyn Fok, her real name, and she hails from the bay area! By the time she was 16, she was influenced by Cabaret Voltaire, and Crass… and played in a few local bands. Always interested in her dad’s musical equipment, by 1988, she had used cassette 4-tracks, 8-track reel-to-reel 1/2 inch, a TASCAM 388 to DAT and floppy disk sampling to create her experimental sounds. In 1989 Carolyn discovered the first Digidesign digital recording software and changed the project to have more ethnic sounds and samples stemming from tapes collected during a trip to Egypt. So this reissue is the original 1988/90 album, with bonus tracks that were recorded around the same time period. There’s some rhythmic beats, some sound collages, lo-fi sounding excursions. Some vocals on a few, more in between murky layers. Sort of a hallucinatory dreamscape.  

Optic Sink – “Optic Sink” – [Goner Records]

cinder   12/2/2020   A Library, CD

Duo of Natalie and Ben out of Memphis Tennessee. A minimal electro post punk synth cold wave sound. Has an Adult. vibe with the sounds and deadpan female vox, but it’s more slow synth punk than synth electro. Repeated words over a drum machine and effects backdrop.

Molenga, Seke & Kawongolo, Kalo – “Seke Molenga & Kalo Kawongolo” – [Antarctica Starts Here]

cinder   12/2/2020   12-inch, Reggae

Two young Africans, Molenga Mosukola (Seke) and Kawongolo Kimwanga (Kalo), were musicians from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, then (1970s) known as the Republic of Zaire, were brought to Jamaica by a Frenchwoman named Nadette Duget, an executive at CBS France. Both men were vocalists, played guitar, and percussion. Duget had intended for the recording of this album to take place at Byron Lee’s Dynamic Sounds studio, but it ended up at Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s Black Ark. Perry of course loved them, and later said ‘I know they were sent from Africa, because Africa wanted to make that heart connection in the Ark Studio. So African have to appear in the Ark Of The Covenant to manifest the African drum.’ This 6 songs release is full of fantastic, upbeat reggae, dub and African music. It really gives you that warm sunshine summer vibe. Killer! 

Dilloway, Aaron / Turman, Robert / Wiese, John – "Electronic Extension" – [Helicopter]

cinder   11/18/2020   A Library, CD

A cacophony of electronic destruction, manipulated and tortured over 2 lengthy tracks. High hisses, low ghostly echoes, thrashing clashes, ear aches, migraine fuckery. They’ve all partaken in many acts of the noise realm… Wiese has dabbled in Bastard Noise, Smegma, Sissy Spacek, etc… Dilloway is a founding member of Wolf Eyes…. Turman has relations with NON and Boyd Rice. These 2 tracks are intriguing and quickly take sharp turns down a mysterious maze, it’s not just one loud blast of unintelligible frequency.

Mosses & Lichens – "Piss On The World" – [Not Not Fun Records]

cinder   11/8/2020   A Library, Cassette

Album was made in two days on New Year’s Eve 2018, using battered synthesizers, drum machines, and a 4-track. It’s got that rough nostalgic feel to it. The tape sounds have a fuzzed, hazed and gritty graze to them. Synths from a dystopian future, time capsuled in an apocalyptic nightmare. Random spoken words twist into the mix, giving a glimpse that there was once human life. Cold minimal wave electronics.

V. Kristoff – "Sydra" – [Not Not Fun Records]

cinder   11/7/2020   A Library, Cassette

Solo project of Jared Carrigan. Crystallized tones trinkle and mist overhead as you drift slowly down the aquamarine, star filled river of imagination. Recorded in California and Catalonia, while some tracks were crafted using only an iPhone and FX plug-ins while sleeping in cars along Costa Brava last spring. Synth dreamscapes and whimsical optimism. Quite relaxing and chill.

KMRU – "Opaquer" – [Dagoretti Records]

cinder   11/5/2020   12-inch, A Library

First release from Kenyan sound artist and producer KMRU (Joseph Kamaru). Beautiful sound collages of skittering textures, warm ambient washes, gentle tones, found sounds and field recordings. KMRU is at the forefront of an exciting scene of African electronic music pioneers. Drift off into a comfortable dreamland with this. 

Low Jack – "Breizh" – [Hospital Productions]

cinder   11/4/2020   A Library, CD

A lovely riddim tornado of dancehall beats fused with electric industrial rhythms. Sizzling underbellies, mega bass red levels, gritty and heavy. Originally produced digitally for the Hospital Productions CDMX earthquake benefit showcase in Mexico City in 2018. Rough n tough!

Vague Imaginaires – "L'ile D'or" – [Not Not Fun]

cinder   10/21/2020   A Library, Cassette

Solo project of Frenchie, Denis Morin. Lush, dreamy, whimsical, chillout grooves from this release entitled L’ile D’or (Golden Island). That name perfectly encapsulates the sounds that drip like freshly warmed morning dew into my ears. Soothing and meditative, in a futuristic fantasy island way. Track titles like Floating Mountains, Sunken Volcanoes, and Up There On The Dune… you can almost envision the candy colored swans with crystal diamond eyes, floating in their pastel lagoons. This is an instant relaxer! Float with us.

Isabella, Jasper and Simon Fisher Turner – "Savage Songs of Brutality and Food. By The Extreme Angels of" – [Soleilmoon Recordings]

cinder   10/21/2020   A Library, CD

“A child’s imagination is the finest open canvas ever. No rules rule.”
London sound artist Simon, recorded his 2 kids talking, singing, playing, putting on plays, etc and compiled them into an experimental kids album. It’s mostly from their childhood up until they hit pre-teen. The sounds behind are the typical haunting and beautiful explorations you get from Soleilmoon Recordings, so lovely. Having a British accent makes the little children voices so much more enjoyable and cute, too.

Three Point Circle – "Layered Contingencies" – [Palace of Lights]

cinder   10/21/2020   A Library, CD

A collaboration between K. Leimer, Marc Barreca, and Steve Peters. Lovely, meditative soft sounds and drones. Ambient is the defining word. Wafting tendrils and slow movement. Ghostly tones fill the abandoned, fog filled streets at night. Definitely something you could use to sedate your senses and fall into a calm dream state. 

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