Lowe, Robert A. A. & Lazar, Rose – “Eclipses” – [Thrill Jockey Records]

Lady Labyrinth   4/2/2014   12-inch, A Library

Soundslike: Gentle Star-child Synth Drone – Fugue states from Outer Space

Repetitious melodic lines circle and wander over swirling synth drones in this 2010 Thrill Jockey release. You may be more familiar with Chicago artist Lowe’s ambient solo work as “Lichens”, which will clue you in to the general delicate and thoughtful ambient feel of this LP.

Comprised completely of semi-modular and polyphonic analogue synth sounds, the music has a gentle, alien sci-fi feel. Avoiding mechanical “back beats”, Lowe relays mainly on repeating fugue-like keyboard lines to move the pieces along structurally.

This album is an extension of a visual/musical collaboration between the husband and wife pair called “Gyromancy” defined as: fortune telling by walking in a circle until dizzy; the fortune is determined by where the person falls.

The accompanying artwork has the same delicate analogue geometric feel as the music. Loop along the wobbly circular astral path to planet rock candy dreamland… LL.


Koudede – “Guitars From Agadez Vol 7” – [Sublime Frequencies]

Lady Labyrinth   3/19/2014   12-inch, International

“Switched On” Down Home African Blues
Koudede plays fuzzy electric blues guitar, accompanied by bass, drum kit, and rhythm guitar, Koudede sings the lead lines with backup vocals helping out occasionally in a call and response. Vocals have this great shout sing holler quality to them. Just rough enough production to make you feel like you’re in the room with them.

Hailing from the traditionally nomadic Tuareg peoples of Mali and Niger, Koudede grew up near a Uranium mine and was rumored to have “built his first guitar from a tin can”. His music is inspired from his life in the camps and caravans of the Tuareg and their political struggles and disfranchisement.
The sound is very American Early Blues and Folk roots style coupled with complex, polyrhythmic African trance elements and a modal style of song arrangement.

Play at 45 rpm – LadyLabyrinth

Soft Focus – “Soft Focus” – [Sahko Recordings]

Lady Labyrinth   1/29/2014   12-inch, A Library

Do Satyrs Dream of Electric Sheep?
Instrumental Sci-Fi Impressionism. Dissonant Liminal Chillscapes. Instrumentation with a capital I.

With tracks like Emergence delirium it feels like the hypnotist’s voice has just faded out into a clock melting surrealist landscape or you wandered into some kind of groovy yet suspenseful melting dreamscape of your grandparent’s psyche. Regenerative Apnea was very “Eastern Sounds” feeling, Peacocks in opium hazes smoked with Oscar Wilde. This one made me thirsty for Lemonade and extended pink sunsets in Xanadu. And Panique Onirique is an cloudy whole tone landscaping ‘romping with the satyrs on planet X. Some electro vibes float in on this one, like the music playing during a Captain Kirk picnic with a Space Babe just when the plot starts to thicken but she’s still got that glamour lens on her and everything’s cool for the next 90 seconds at least.

Album proudly states the record was made totally “using completely analogic signal chain” for the tastefully discerning Luddite pendants out there to whom analog is their one true mistress. They coulda mixed in a little more clanky abstract noise and I wouldn’t have minded one bit. Restrained but relaxed.

Erase Errata/numbers [coll] – [Troubleman Unlimited]

Lady Labyrinth   1/22/2014   7-inch, A Library

No Wave Art Rock

Bay Area No Wave tag team action from Numbers and art rock darlings Erase Errata. This is the perfect 7 inch to play on a non-stop loop all day every day in the cramped closet you call a bedroom after you and your 7 other housemates have received an eviction notice after your landlord decided to cash in. The Numbers bring the spazzy contorted rhythms with stripped down vocals and guitar. The Erase Errata tracks hang together in almost a danceable rhythm section with the bass boarding on proggy bounce. Their seconc track starts off with an extended grating guitar intro that would sound lovely through paper thin apartment walls. Some Cowbell!

Marked with a big 45, but sounds more correct at 33 to me???. oh art rock???. Lady Labyrinth

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