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quickly, quickly - Easy Listening (CS)quickly, quickly - Easy Listening (CS)
quickly, quickly - Easy Listening (CS)Ghostly International
The new quickly, quickly EP finds Portland, Oregon’s Graham Jonson back in his home studio, engrossed in ‘60s psychedelic soul music, imagining some bygone era where it was all about the drum sounds and tape decay. He calls it Easy Listening; the songs are short and inviting, modest yet loaded with ideas. Each started with the drum part, a loose grid for Jonson to paint his idiosyncratic psych-pop across, again playing nearly every instrument. The set follows his 2021 LP, The Long And The Short of It, the 22-year-old musician’s debut on Ghostly International, a coming-of-age jump from the chill beats-oriented corners of the internet to a full-fledged songwriting project with hi-fi sophistication. The moment culminated with Pitchfork’s Rising profile, “quickly, quickly’s Technicolor Pop Bursts Beyond the Algorithm,” and kickstarted the formation of his 6-piece live band for a run of exploratory shows along the west coast. But as the tangible demands for his music pulled him outward and some growing pains in his personal life ensued, Jonson focused his energy back inside; to the comforts of home recording, filling his space with more gear and sessions with friends. Maybe a bit of a droll title for a hard time, Easy Listening briefly pauses for air, offering five of his breeziest basement jams for public enjoyment. That basement is home to racks of synthesizers and an array of drum machines, guitars, bongos, xylophones, and the like. One notable addition to the Easy Listening setup was the Teac reel-to-reel tape machine he found on eBay and hooked up to Ableton. “I used it frequently to add color/texture to the project by running individual instruments through and warping the tape with my finger. After I had finished all the songs, I ran the full mix of every song in a row through the tape to add one more layer of low-fidelity weirdness.” “Colors” opens the portal to Jonson’s retro-tinged dream world; a symphonic section pulls the curtain back to reveal a drum kit spattering rapid fills as the bassline grooves deeply between organ shimmers and hazy hums. The din of what sounds like a ‘60s church service appears here and throughout the collection; the words are blurred by decades of tape mold, adding to an overall hypnotic, disorienting feel. “Satellite,” one of Jonson’s funkiest and catchiest tracks to date, is either a love letter to technology or a tongue-in-cheek song about surveillance. The jazzy percussion taps from the get-go as he peppers clever lines to his subject in the sky, at one point losing his wallet (evoking the comedic tone of Thundercat’s “Captain Stupido”), before riding out on a squealing synth solo. The campy, softly psychedelic “Falling Apart Without You” is in the vein of Stereolab. It started out as a fictional breakup song but ultimately became a self-fulfilling prophecy. The only cut from the EP that Jonson and his band have played live so far, it’s easy to picture it translating on stage; the lovesick singer flanked by a tight ensemble on keys, bass, and drums. Next, he slows it down for “Photobook,” the first half is an organ-led ballad for self-improvement — “I think I can, think I can…” Jonson trails off into a rhythmic reverie. We end on the wistful, soulful “Natural Form,” featuring The Long And The Short of It collaborator Elliot Cleverdon on strings. “I can’t say goodbye,” are Jonson’s parting words; it’s a sweet outro, some healing for him, and for us as fans, it’s a lovely place to leave quickly, quickly for now.

Bobby Harden & The Soulful Saints - Bridge of Love (Hazy Black Vinyl LP)
Bobby Harden & The Soulful Saints - Bridge of Love (Hazy Black Vinyl LP)Dala Records
Bobby Harden & The Soulful Saints are proud to announce their debut album, Bridge of Love. The album’s ten original compositions are presented in sparklingly-clear stereo sound and run the soul gamut, from grits-n-bricks R&B (‘Played a Fool by You’) to throw-back psychedelia (‘One Tribe’), svelte seventies pop (‘One Night of the Week’) and some seriously sophisticated ballads (‘Wounded Hearts’, ‘Bridge of Love’). Together they document Bobby’s life journey in song. Through youthful self-doubt in the opening track ‘It’s My Time’, to confirmation on the exuberant finale ‘Raise Your Mind’, Bobby proves that faith and hard work can pay dividends. “Life is a joy when you free your soul.” Throughout the album, Harden’s voice is tailored to perfection by the almost impossibly dexterous Soulful Saints, and further dressed to the nines by an accoutrement of Latin percussion, full-on horns, high-flying backing singers and even a string quartet. This comes as no surprise as The Soulful Saints have performed live and recorded together with acts such as Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Lee Fields & The Expressions, The Budos Band, Mark Ronson, Antibalas, The Impressions, & The Wu-Tang Clan. The album is produced by Dala Records founder Billy Aukstik, and recorded at Hive Mind Recording in Brooklyn, New York. Kurtis Powers of BQE Records Co-Executive Produced the album along with Aukstik.
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Salvator Dragatto - Shadows (Clear Vinyl 7")Salvator Dragatto - Shadows (Clear Vinyl 7")
Salvator Dragatto - Shadows (Clear Vinyl 7")Cosa Records
$6 $12
In this latest installment Dragatto taps into a much darker mood, a space that can only be described as noir. "Shadows" is the theme one hears while walking through the streets late at night as their mind projects images and figures on the pavement below. Are they really there? An ominous vibraphone melody introduces the track only to give way to a neck breaking drum fill, pushing the listener into a startled state of awareness. From here on the senses are treated to dreamy harp lines, Axelrod-esque guitar and bass, and sweeping horn passages.
Humazapas by Sara Mama (LP)Humazapas by Sara Mama (LP)
Humazapas by Sara Mama (LP)AYA Records
AYA Records presents: Humazapas’ debut with 'Sara Mama', homage to the land and Kichwa tradition. The concept of “getting back to your roots” rarely has such a literal meaning, or at the same time such an ancestral meaning, as in the case of the Ecuadorian group Humazapas. Usually in the music industry this concept is used when an artist returns to a past sound, going back to that moment of newness, exploration and ingenuity, perhaps. But not Humazapas. These natives of the Kichwa communities of the Ecuadorian Andes, who have been working on this project for a decade, see “getting back to your roots” as a profound connection with their cultures, language, dance, the rituals that connect them to their deities and, of course, music. Humazapas was formed in 2010, when twelve teenagers from the Kichwa communities of Turuku, San Pedro, Jatun Topo and Anrabí decided to salvage the sounds and ritual dances of the Kichwa communes at the foot of the Tayta Imbabura and Mama Cutakachi volcanoes. The group explores an ancestral exercise translated into the fusion of native musics and contemporary structures, proposing the continuity of the art of the ancestral peoples and nationalities of Ecuador in future generations. Like a sound document, it also ties in dance and the audiovisual arts to translate an experience through the journey of a seed that is born from the earth, sprouts from it and whose fruit has fed, and will continue to feed, generations for centuries. After over a decade of research and interest in returning to ancestral knowledge, the group made up of eight musicians and four dancers, weaving in their discourse the cosmovision of community life with people, nature and the world of the deities, finally release their debut record 'Sara Mama', which translates as “Mother Corn” in English. Corn is one of the sacred grains that conceals knowledge in its crop and the magic of the rituals of raising, nurturing and celebrating life, from preparing the earth to harvesting the dry grains. The record has twelve songs about the relationship between humanity, nature and the world of deities. It varies between traditional rhythms like the churay, which prevails in songs like “Tamiajun”, “Pugyu”, “Adiós Mamita”, “Romero Llullu Sisa”, “Pacho” and “Sara Tipi”, and the saruy in such compositions as “Rosa Kitumba” and “Warmi Razu Chakigupi.” Also present are the bambuco, the danzante, the yumbo, the capishka, all rhythms featuring bass drums, the Kichwa harp, guitars, mandolin, violin, cununo, djembe and high, festive voices to match these celebratory rhythms. The lyrics are in Kichwa, to preserve this language. They speak about the rains that herald the corn growing cycle and the preparation of the earth, such as in album opener “Jatun Mama Pacha,” and also in “Pugyu,” about the water that falls to the heart of the land, from which springs emerge, sacred places that keep life alive during times of drought. Other lyrics are more connected with mysticism, such as “Chichu Burru,” whose ritual sound is used to awaken the gods and spirits represented as mountains, volcanoes and lakes in the province of Imbabura. Their permission is needed to begin the corn growing cycle. This debut record is ultimately a thematic work, whose narrative takes in the cycle of life like those roots that grow to form shoots, leaves and fruits, but also the cycle of death as that space in which life springs forth again, thanks to those beings who have departed and who surrender their energies for the community. Sara Mama was composed, produced, arranged and recorded by Jesús Bonilla at ANTA Records in the Kichwa community of Tutuku. It was mixed by Paul Cotacachi and Esteban Farinango (MalaFama), with collaborations by renowned Ecuadorian artists such as Danilo Arroyo and Matías Alvear. The album was mastered by the celebrated Ecuadorian DJ and producer Nicola Cruz.
Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe (2CD)
Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe (2CD)Unseen Worlds
The Expanding Universe is the 1980 debut album by composer and computer music pioneer Laurie Spiegel. The original album is reissued here as a massively expanded 3LP or 2CD set, containing all four original album tracks plus an additional 15 tracks from the same period, nearly all previously unreleased and many making their first appearance on vinyl in this brand new 2018 edition. Since this album's first reissue in 2012, it has gone on to be widely established as a classic of electronic, ambient, and 20th century classical music. Some of the well-loved works included in this set are "Patchwork", the "Appalachian Grove" series, "East River Dawn" and "Kepler's Harmony of the Worlds", which was included on the Golden Record launched on board the Voyager spacecraft. The pieces comprising The Expanding Universe combine slowly evolving textures with the emotional richness of intricate counterpoint, harmony, and complex rhythms (John Fahey and J. S. Bach are both cited as major influences in the original cover's notes), all built of electronic sounds using the GROOVE system at Bell Laboratories during the 1970s. The 3LP vinyl edition was cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates and Mastering, Berlin.
Big Black - Songs About Fucking (Remastered) (LP)
Big Black - Songs About Fucking (Remastered) (LP)Touch and Go Records
Big Black was started by Steve Albini in 1982 while he was attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Lungs, the first Big Black release was recorded by Steve on a borrowed 4-track. He played everything on the EP himself - except the sax bleating courtesy of pal John Bohnen and the drums courtesy of Roland. Soon after, Steve recruited Jeff Pezzati (Naked Raygun) on bass, and Santiago Durango (also Naked Raygun) joined them on guitar. In 1983, together with live drummer Pat Byrne, they recorded the Bulldozer EP. By 1984, the band had done some touring and recorded the Racer X EP and the start of the Il Duce 7". After that, Jeff returned to Naked Raygun and was replaced by Dave Riley. In 1985, Big Black recorded their first full-length, Atomizer, as well as finishing the Il Duce 7". Atomizer was released in 1986 along with the release of the Hammer Party compilation CD. In 1987, the Headache EP and Heartbeat 7" were released. That same year, the band recorded and released the 7" of The Model/He's A Whore as well as their second full-length album, Songs About Fucking. They toured extensively (for Big Black). And they broke up.
Numün - Book of Beyond (Cerulean Blue Vinyl LP)Numün - Book of Beyond (Cerulean Blue Vinyl LP)
Numün - Book of Beyond (Cerulean Blue Vinyl LP)Shimmy Disc
numün, the NYC psychedelic instrumental trio pitchfork dubbed as ‘savvy navigators of paths less traveled’, is releasing its second album Book of Beyond on Shimmy-Disc. With this record, the band (Joel Mellin and Christopher Romero of Gamelan Dharma Swara, and ambient country pioneer Bob Holmes of SUSS) continues to stretch their exploration of the inner and outer astral worlds of their first release Voyage au Soleil – voted one of the Best Ambient Releases of 2020. Dave Segal of Pitchfork called that album a “blending of the opiated psychedelia of Brightback Morning Light with a loose-limbed minimalism that privileges subtle effects and incremental chord changes” and Chris Ingalis from PopMatters called it “a trippy, ambient ride and ambitious debut that pulls off the neat trick of creating music that evokes space travel while also sounding refreshingly grounded to Earth's atmosphere.” The new album, mastered by Kramer (Galaxie 500, Butthole Surfers, Low, Bill Frisell, etc.) features a unique mixture of Eastern and Western musical stylings and instrumentation including balinese gamelan, gender wayang, and cumbuz (a 12-string fretless banjo) alongside the classic Americana instrumentation of slide guitar, baritone, mandolin and violin. The instrumental music charts new territories as it explores themes that are sometimes deeply personal, spiritual and otherworldly, including new fatherhood, sleep deprivation, loss and rebirth with titles that include Steps, Vespers, Eyes Open & Lullaby. Guests on the album include Trina Basu (Brooklyn Raga Massive), Tori Lo Mellin (Dharma Swara), and Willa Roberts (Black Sea Hotel). With their new album, Book of Beyond, numün creates music that provides a star map to help us all navigate the inner constellations of our daily lives.
Karate - In Place Of Real Insight (Indigo Vinyl LP)Karate - In Place Of Real Insight (Indigo Vinyl LP)
Karate - In Place Of Real Insight (Indigo Vinyl LP)Numero Group
With creative and powerful song structures and excellent vocals, this Massachusetts band is definitely one that should not be overlooked. With indie rock grooves containing flavors of emo and jazz, Karate explores beautiful new territory with a passion and energy that flows like a river. From dark and energetic breakdowns like "It's 98, Stop" to passionate stop/start wailers like "New New," In Place of Real Insight shows quite a bit of maturity from their first, self-titled LP. Karate definitely runs through all sorts of emotions in a way unlike most. ~ Blake Butler Mastering specifications at d Studios.
Sam Gendel - Pass If Music (LP)Sam Gendel - Pass If Music (LP)
Sam Gendel - Pass If Music (LP)Leaving Records
It’s hard to tell on first listen, but the L.A.-based Gendel made every sound on his new album using his alto saxophone. “Pass If Music” is hardly a solo jazz album, though. Rather, the musician harnesses his horn in service of ambient tones and experimental works that reside outside genre distinctions. “East L.A. Haze Dream” floats like an amorphous cloud of vapor as Gendel layers gently blown notes with the occasional brief sax run. “Trudge” is a darkened mantra featuring lower-register hums and a minimal rhythm that marches with determination. In notes, the artist writes that it and the other eight pieces were inspired by the motion picture “The Labyrinth & the Long Road,” [directed by Daniel Oh] for which Gendel contributed the score, and that makes sense. It’s an atmospheric work that evokes its own brand of drama.” –Randall Roberts for the Los Angeles Times
Tujiko Noriko & Paul Davies - Surge OST (CD)Tujiko Noriko & Paul Davies - Surge OST (CD)
Tujiko Noriko & Paul Davies - Surge OST (CD)Constructive
Constructive are proud to announce the release of the original soundtrack for the British film 'Surge' by Tujiko Noriko and Paul Davies. Directed by Aneil Karia and starring Ben Whishaw, the film is set in London over twenty-four hours and is a stripped back thriller about Joseph. A man who goes on a bold and reckless journey of self-liberation.The album consists of sixteen tracks and presents the soundtrack in a non-conventional form. Sound design and composition are presented side by side as equal components in the score. The album consists of sixteen tracks and presents the soundtrack in a non-conventional form. Sound design and composition are presented side by side as equal components in the score. The album starts with Davies’ piece ‘TV Dinner’ where shifting plates of aqueous white noise finally give way to a hint of tonality. Tujiko on ‘Broken Glass’ develops the tonality further adding bells, sliding tones and slithers of brass. This alternating of sound design and composition and the blurring of its source material continues throughout the album. Except for the three tracks where they both collaborate on the writing, as on the delicate ‘Empty Rooms’. The music conveys polar extremes at the same time. Ethereal and urban, delicate yet powerful, juxtaposing the internal landscapes of the film's protagonist against the environmental sounds of a city. Highlights include the unconventional beauty of ‘Children’, the deconstructed jazz of ‘And then to Home’ by Tujiko and the powerful Deathprod-like tectonic plates of sound by Davies on ‘In Street after First Robbery’. An album of music and sound that works alone away from the film and rewards with repeated attention and deep listening.
Lady Aicha & Pisko Crane's Original Fulu Miziki of Kinshasa - N'Djila Wa Mudujimu (LP)
Lady Aicha & Pisko Crane's Original Fulu Miziki of Kinshasa - N'Djila Wa Mudujimu (LP)Nyege Nyege Tapes
In 2003, Pisco Crane assembled a six-piece band from motivated and talented like minds in the Kinshasa slums where he grew up. Pisco had been involved with a handful of local rap acts when he was younger, but after meeting legendary instrument builder Bebson De La Rue, he was inspired to follow a new path. He set about building instruments from the discarded trash that surrounded his city: bits of old computers or oil cans were fashioned into bass guitars and drums, and keyboards were bashed together using springs, metal pipes, and offcuts of tubing.If there was a core philosophy that guided Pisco at this stage in his journey, it was that everyone should have access to instruments, no matter where they come from or what their budget might be. And following in the footsteps of Bebson, Pisco locked into a Congolese tradition that touches on the eccentric genius of globally lauded artists like Konono Nº1 and Staff Benda Bilili. Over the years, Fulu Miziki's notoriety grew in the Kinshasa underground – their utopian vision of the future was infectious. Eventually, they were joined by performance artist, sculptor and fashion designer Lady Aisha, who offered the band unique colour and a soulful central focus.Influenced by Kinshasa's street performance scene, Aisha helped the band devise vivid masks and costumes that were as electric and singular as the instruments they played, and the scene was set. In 2020, as the world was plunged into lockdown, footage of Fulu Mziki went viral and their star began to grow exponentially, with a video of the band preforming the track ‘Tikanga’ racking up millions of views on Facebook. The band used this opportunity to work on documenting their sound, and shored up at the Nyege Nyege studios in Kampala for a year to assemble a definitive album. Recorded by HHY & The Macumbas' Jonathan Saldanha, this record captures the band's furiously innovative mixture of industrial sonics, spiritual jazz, punk, and Congolese soukous pressure.At their best, Fulu Mziki sound almost completely out of time, curving pounding rhythms around microtonal clanks, rousing chants and spiky sonics. On 'Mutangila', there's a hint of disco in the 4/4 stomp, but it's been shifted into a post-punk ritual, adorned with complex bell percussion and overlapping vocals. 'Congo' is even harder to define; electrified buzzes form a bassline, but it's the mindboggling rhythms that shuttle the track into psychedelic realms, led confidently by Lady Aisha's limber rhymes. Fulu positively slither on the sultry, industrial-influenced 'Sebe', while 'Tikanga' reminds of Congo's rumba-derived soukous traditions, materializing the sounds into the future with tight, pounding percussion and head-melting fx.The story of Fulu Miziki is sprawling and complex and constantly evolving, with various offshoots and band iterations. Two members left the band in 2016 to form KOKOKO! with French producer Débruit. Not long after they recorded this magnum opus album, several other original members left to form a similarly named outfit currently based in Europe. This other incarnation recently released an EP of electronic productions without the band founder Pisko Crane and lead vocalist Lady Aicha, on the UK based Moshi Moshi records. Pisco and Lady Aicha currently lead a different outfit in Kinshasa made up of completely new musicians. This full-length is the remaining proof of Fulu Mziki at their most vital and most complete – it won't be repeated – and can never be recreated. It's an essential portrait of one of the Democratic Republic of Congo's most innovative contemporary outfits, and some of the most surprising hybrid music you're likely to hear.
Scratchclart & Menzi - Beyond Gqom & Grime (12")
Scratchclart & Menzi - Beyond Gqom & Grime (12")Hakuna Kulala
As a Londoner, Scratchclart has always embraced the city's melting pot of influences that seep into the city from around the globe. And just as Detroit techno and Chicago house fused with Jamaican dancehall to splinter rave into a spectrum of microgenres in the 1980s and '90s, African sounds - from Afrobeats to gqom - are currently reprogramming the DNA of British dance music, whether it's drill, grime or breakbeat. This conversation is evident on Scratchclart's visionary "DRMTRK" series of EPs, and solidified more readily on last year's "Afrotek", where he collaborated with South African producer Mxshi Mo and Baltimore beatmaker :3LON. On "Scratchclart & Menzi", he progresses further, linking with one of Durban's most celebrated, and most outward looking dance music pioneers - Menzi Shabane. Cutting his teeth as part of early gqom duo Infamous Boiz, Menzi has produced for some of South Africa's most prominent stars, including Babes Wodumo, Moonchild Sanelly, Mahotella Queens, Zolani Mahola and Zakes Bantwini. His sound has always been hard to pinpoint, simmering between kinetic taxi techno and expertly engineered cinematic club music without pausing for breath. "Scratchclart & Menzi" is a fluid back-and-forth between these two musical vanguards that excavates commonalities in their approaches and exploits sonic loopholes, reworking their respective sounds into an energetic fusion of android diasporic bass pressure. First, Scratchclart strips Menzi's 'Shandis' down to its bare bones, channeling the spirit of RnG into a syrupy and soulful cybergqom shiver of elegiac pads and rattling Durban toms. Menzi's deconstruction of "DRMTRK EP III" banger 'Drm Walk' is equally as mindbending, swinging Scratchclart's rhythm and submerging it in rainfall and siren blares, slowly reassembling it into a downtempo sub-heavy groan. The duo's head-to-head 'Q' is even more impressive, opening in a fanfare of cinematic strings before dissolving into a tweaky froth of clicking drums, square wave synths, vocal cuts and woozy atmospheres; it's pure tension, never offering us the conclusion it threatens, but keeping us on our toes. Menzi's delirious remix of 'IC3' (the "DRMTRK EP VII" track that evolved into Lady Lykez' anthemic 'Muhammad Ali') might be the EP's most upfront floor-filler, repositioning the original's pneumatic bump on a warehouse floor of chants, cybernetic squelches and echoing fx. But the most unexpected turn is a fresh version of Scratchclart's grimey 'Nasty Nasty Nasty', that interrupts the cheeky bassline with amapiano-influenced machine-gun toms, and rocked-powered zero-g sound design. "Scratchclart & Menzi" is futuristic music from beginning to end that rips through established genre logic, emerging with concepts that lodge themselves not in South Africa or London, but somewhere beyond the solar system. We're not worthy.
quickly, quickly - The Long and Short of It (Forest Green Vinyl LP)quickly, quickly - The Long and Short of It (Forest Green Vinyl LP)
quickly, quickly - The Long and Short of It (Forest Green Vinyl LP)Ghostly International
ortland, Oregon-based musician Graham Jonson started early: playing piano as a toddler, finding the music of J Dilla in fifth grade, and self-releasing singles by age 16. First appearing under the name quickly, quickly in 2017, his project’s profile has since grown fervently with fans in the beats-oriented corners of SoundCloud, YouTube, and Reddit. Some of his early tracks tally north of 10 million plays on Spotify. The figure isn’t meant to flex as much as it is to point out that Jonson’s work has resonated without the traditional industry levers; he is a wunderkind DIY internet success story, but, by his own assessment at the present age of 20, he’s only now getting serious. With The Long And Short Of It, his Ghostly International debut, Jonson reinvents his project as a full-fledged songwriter, vocalist, and arranger, playing nearly everything from drums to keys and guitar. The resulting sound straddles jazz, hip hop, R&B, and psych-pop while suggesting a wholly genre-less path forward. Recorded during and after a short-lived move to Los Angeles, songs find Jonson cool and comfortable, navigating the planes between anxiety and apathy, distance and desire with lyrical vulnerability and introspection. A student of the Stones Throw catalog (his favorite is Madlib’s Quasimoto), Jonson remains rhythm-driven at heart, trusting his instincts in this new palette of organic instrumentation and verse-chorus structure. Tracks glide and bump with tasteful care to tempo as his scene-building and storytelling knack comes into focus. Jonson’s past material often suited passive listenership, the kind of bedroom-produced beat music that offers secondary utility and function as a companion to primary activities. The Long and Short of It showcases an evolutionary step into a style that uses chops cultivated in that niche that demand a more active listenership. That attention is rewarded with earworms, dazzling production flare, and earnest, genre-spanning songwriting. Opener “Phases” launches on the radical wisdom of the album’s sole vocal feature, courtesy of renowned poet and activist, Sharrif Simmons, who contributes a psychedelic poem spanning cosmic existentialism — something he wrote off the cuff during a session. As the fiery spoken word unfolds, a frenzy of drum grooves from Micah Hummel and strings from Elliot Cleverdon rise higher into the mix, all setting the stage for Jonson’s debut at the mic and keys. The back half of “Phases” shifts into a hypnotic instrumental, the drums interlocking on guitar lines, pausing for a spacious break before reassembling twice as potent, riding into a blissful, cathartic saxophone solo by Haily Naiswanger. The next track, “Come Visit Me,” was penned for Jonson’s girlfriend, a simple, sweet homesick plea for her company in Los Angeles, where he was secretly struggling to adjust. Ultimately he would move back to Portland after 11 months and scrap much of the music he wrote in LA, unhappy with the material’s reliance on sampled drum breaks and synths. He held onto a few bits though, including this tender dispatch, building it out into a bass-grooving slow jam, adding a verse from his perspective two years later. “Shee” was written on his girlfriend’s guitar and every line glows with uncomplicated adoration. He is captivated in this daydream, which drifts off into a haze of strums and hums. We wake to the looping drums of “Leave It.” Above the pattern, layering piano and guitar, Jonson pokes holes in himself — his “cognitive dissonance,” being “too jaded” to see what’s right in front of him – the notions blurring back into that haze on an outro of sublime ambient psych-jazz. Jonson returns to the piano for “I Am Close To The River,” the place he goes to break a creative rut, as he was the morning this bittersweet melody entered his mind. He says the song is loosely based on a psychonautic experience he had along the Willamette River. Once home, he put the song to paper, over time arranging a bucolic mix of shimmering chimes, saturated percussion, and orchestral strings from Elliot Cleverdon. A highlight on the record’s b-side, “Everything is Different (To Me)” features all the traits of the new quickly, quickly in one ambitious suite: a catchy guitar loop, a classic hip-hop drum break, a swell of strings, and sly chord progression changes, all in clever contrast to Jonson’s lyrics detailing bouts with lethargy. The album ends on a series of questions in the poignant “Wy,” a delightful resignation. Jonson, lonely in LA, spins the hypochondriac wheel and checks off concerns that seem to plague internet dwellers; his neck hurts, his hands are shaky, his stomach feels off. He dismisses his need to self-diagnose and opts to lean into the moment through music. A billowing outro builds on airy synths, his contemplative guitar strums, and a soothing water droplet sound. The comedown is “Otto’s Dance,” a brief instrumental reverie nodding to one of his favorite Brazilian albums, Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges’ Clube Da Esquina. That’s The Long And Short Of It, a summary of transition, self-validation, and a great leap forward in a young artist’s life.
Greenflow - I Got'Cha b/w No Other Life Without You (Green Vinyl 7")
Greenflow - I Got'Cha b/w No Other Life Without You (Green Vinyl 7")Numero Group
Languid yacht-soul from the mind of LA native AJ Greene and his Greenflow collective. Originally issued as a QCA-custom job in 1977, the group’s lone album appeared after years of performing their brand of Sausalito-friendly, seafood AOR up and down the West Coast. The LP’s standout track is ‘I Got’Cha’, with Greene’s sister Eleanor providing innocent “doodoo-doo-doo-doo”s around funky keys, muted trombone, and come-hither whispers.
Steve Bates - All The Things That Happen (LP+DL)Steve Bates - All The Things That Happen (LP+DL)
Steve Bates - All The Things That Happen (LP+DL)Constellation
Musician and sound/video installation artist Steve Bates presents a striking solo ambient/noise album of melodic smear, radiostatic blur, panoramic noise clouds and dissolving tones. Made primarily with the self-imposed limitation of a Casio SK-1, All The Things That Happen showcases the more deliberate, intensive, maximalist side of Bates' wide-ranging sonic aesthetic and practice. An isolation record (like so many), it combines an ineffable melancholy with claustrophobic tension and simmering political rage. Constructed from layers of glistening distortion-drenched melody, pulsing and droning oscillation, bursts of blown-out chords, sweeps of static and sheets of crackling hiss, Bates has made a dynamic, ardent, iridescent noise album of impressive depth and underlying devastation. "This was supposed to be an ambient record; quiet, minimal and sad. These tracks all started off that way but I kept reaching for more texture and noise. Somehow the noisier the record got, the less sad it was also. I was listening to, and loving, a lot of music by Andrew Chalk and I had finished a year-long run of listening to Eno’s Ambient 1 and 4. I prefer On Land to Music for Airports although I love both. On Land just has a darkness and uncertainty that appeals to me. Adding more noise also got me excited about ways this material could be played live even though it also felt like that could never happen again. In 2022, I opened for Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Saskatoon to give it a try and was pleasantly pleased to hear it all live and loud." A fixture of Winnipeg's burgeoning anarcho-punk and social justice community in the 80s-90s, Bates played in hardcore and indie rock bands (XOXO, Bulletproof Nothing) while contemporaneously continuing to fiddle obsessively with the shortwave radio his father bought him as a child — sensibilities that continue to meld and inform his sound work to this day. Bates founded the Send + Receive Festival in 1998, a crucial development in putting Winnipeg on the map for avant music and experimental sound art, which he helmed for seven years. Moving to Tiohti:áke/Montréal in 2005 he took on the Sound Coordinator position at Hexagram (Concordia University), released solo and duo work on ORAL_records and two albums with his Black Seas Ensemble on The Dim Coast, while pursuing myriad other ongoing audio research, installation and collaborative projects. His exhibition and site-specific works have been presented throughout North America and Europe, Chile and Senegal. Bates relocated to Treaty 6/Saskatoon in the fall of 2019, a return to the Canadian Prairies just before pandemic that also profoundly shaped the solitary, immersive, assiduous practice that yielded All The Things That Happen: his most purposive, powerful, purely ‘recorded’ work. Thanks for listening.
Ela Minus & DJ Python - Heart (Ricardo Villalobos Remixes) (12")Ela Minus & DJ Python - Heart (Ricardo Villalobos Remixes) (12")
Ela Minus & DJ Python - Heart (Ricardo Villalobos Remixes) (12")Smugglers Way
Ela Minus and DJ Python share two remixes by electronic music producer and DJ Ricardo Villalobos of tracks from their collaborative 2022 ♡ EP.
Dewa Alit & Gamelan Salukat - Chasing the Phantom (LP)
Dewa Alit & Gamelan Salukat - Chasing the Phantom (LP)Black Truffle
Dewa Alit, Bali’s master of contemporary Gamelan composition, returns to Black Truffle with Chasing the Phantom, presenting two recent works played by the composer’s Gamelan Salukat, a large ensemble that performs on instruments specially built to his designs, using a unique tuning system that combines notes from two traditional Balinese Gamelan scales. Alit explains that the ensemble’s name suggests “a place to fuse creative ideas to generate new, innovative works” and both compositions demonstrate the composer’s ability to wring stunning new possibilities from variations on the traditional Gamelan ensemble. While using familiar elements of Balinese Gamelan music, such as unison scalar melodies and stop-start dynamics, Alit’s music is overflowing with harmonic, rhythmic, and timbral inventions, the latter often facilitated by unorthodox playing techniques. “Ngejuk Memedi”, an English translation of which gives the LP its title, results from Alit’s reflection on the complex relationship between tradition and modernity in Balinese culture, particularly in the way that belief in the phantoms or spirits known as ‘memedi’ are shared through social media using digital technologies. Embodying this uncanny co-existence, the opening passages of the piece are at once immediately recognisable in their use of the metallophones of the Gamelan ensemble and strikingly reminiscent of electronics in their timbre and movement. At points, what we hear seems to have been fragmented with digital tools, or even to originate in some incessantly glitching DX7. Short melodic figures loop irregularly, with the ensemble splintering into polyrhythmic shards before unexpectedly recombining for intricate unison passages. After several minutes of this manically tinkling metallic sound world, the metallophones are joined by drums for a meditative passage of lower dynamics, as the uniformly high pitch range explored in the opening sections gradually opens up to include resonant low gong hits. Recovering some of the manic energy of the opening, but now enhanced with the full range of percussion, the piece weaves through a series of tempo changes to a stunning passage of rapid-fire melodies and ringing chords that sweep across the metallophones, their unorthodox tuning creating complex clouds of wavering harmonies. “Likad”, written during Covid-19 lockdowns, channels anxiety and uncertainty into musical form, resulting in a piece that, even by Alit’s standards, is stunning in its complexity and the virtuosity it demands of Gamelan Salukat. Its opening section is perhaps most remarkable for its mastery of texture, with rapid transitions between dry, muted strikes and metallic shimmers calling to mind the use of filters in electronic music. At points, the complex irregular repetitions of short melodic patterns, where the music seems to get stuck or be suddenly interrupted by a skip, recall the mad sampler works of Alvin Curran or the skittering surface of prime period Oval more than anything familiar from acoustic percussion music. Moving through a dizzying series of twists and turns, the piece ends with a majestic sequence of chords possessing an almost hieratic power. A major statement from a radical contemporary composer, one cannot help but agree with Alit when he sees Chasing the Phantom as an answer to the “question of the future of Gamelan music”.
Perila - On The Corner Of The Day (CS)Perila - On The Corner Of The Day (CS)
Perila - On The Corner Of The Day (CS)Shelter Press
Espen Jensen / Kjetil D Brandsdal - Org (LP)
Espen Jensen / Kjetil D Brandsdal - Org (LP)Smalltown Supersound
First ever reissue of an influential and much sought-after norsk drone masterpiece originally self-released in 1996 in an edition of just 108 copies, tipped by all the people you ought to be taking tips from, most notably Jim O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi. Deeper than deep, it's a durational masterwork that connects ley lines between Ramleh, Stephen O'Malley, My Bloody Valentine, Deathprod, When and Antena, taking unexpected turns and sounding better than ever on this new edition, mastered by Lasse Marhaug and finally available for wider public consumption. Selected by Jim O’Rourke for his Tone Glow list of 25 albums that “never got their due”, Org was founded in the early 90’s by Espen Jensen and Kjetil D Brandsdal who would later go on to variously record as Elektrodiesel, Noxagt and Ultralyd in the swirl of the highly active Norwegian underground. “Org" was the only album the pair recorded as a duo, pressed in a meagre edition of just over 100 copies which disappeared almost as soon as they were made, lodged in the memory of the select few who have managed to hear it in the years since. Made up of three long tracks, the near 20-minute ‘001’ opens the album with an extended organ zone-out matched with scraping factory machinery saturated into a dense cloud of harmonic fuzz. There's something transcendental about the sound that intersects with microtonal Alice Coltrane (particularly the unfairly maligned organ-only edition of "Turiya Sings"), as well as Pauline Oliveros and Ramleh. It’s music that pulls you in subconsciously; before you know it, you're fixating on the uncomfortable grind of metal on metal, buried mechanical rhythms and liturgical organ vamps that wind between industrial cacophony and sacred ritual music. For its last few seconds, we go into a full death metal tearout that fades out before it takes full flight, a glorious wtf. ‘002’ connects between minimalist drone styles and shoegaze, distorting fuzzed organ into pliable, dreamlike warbles that end up sounding like Kevin Shields' ‘Loveless’-era glides, or even Sunn O))) at their most devotional. Never losing the numbing overdriven mettle, its a piece that sounds spiritually entwined with Matthew Bower's Skullflower - a minimalist re-reading of high-contrast guitar music that takes all the psychoacoustic power and none of the annoying posturing. For ‘003’, subaqueous organ is joined by synth and drum machine, sounding like the inspirational spark for Religious Knives' screwed 'n chopped cosmic psychedelia. The choice of sounds links it to Antena's foundational electro samba recordings too, but the overwhelming drone - a constant on all three compositions - connects the music to minimalist spirituals that have simmered beneath the DIY/avant garde for decades. ‘Org’ sits heavy on the nerves with overproof levels of mulched amp worship and ungodly, palms-down organ chords and wheezing, bezonked lines of melodic thought. 25 years out of sight and marinading in the archives, with the benefit of hindsight we can better understand the role these sounds played in the development of music in the contemporary sphere. It’s an important piece of the puzzle, one that makes valuable connections that, over time, have looked progressively more faint.
X Or Size - Aether Ore (LP)
X Or Size - Aether Ore (LP)Good Morning Tapes
Good Morning Tapes back at the deep end on this new album from Josiah Wolfson’s X Or Size project, all washed out and reverberating dub in a mode you’ll want to sink into if you’re into Actress, NWAQ, Huerco S, Ulla. X Or Size throw just the right amount of darkened ambiguity into proceedings to render the sound at its most compelling, borrowing from the classic dub techno playbook with wave after wave of luxurious, eroded dub chords and fractured percussion somewhere between vintage Chain Reaction and the more contemporary wave of late night zoners as best exemplified by Actress’ ghost-in-the-machine productions, Huerco S’s comedown vapors and Ulla’s dreamtime logic. On DÆZI the ominous spirit of Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas enters the fray, albeit with more optimistic shading, while Whirled Why is pure rhythm & sound, like some alternate version of ‘Roll Off’ with a creeping bass drum added for the pure, slow skank. The title track closes the set with the album’s most club sharpened moment, taking the trace echos of Chicago House and wrapping it in so much delay and reverb that you no longer know where the hook begins and where it ends - like some malfunctioning looper finding its own fuzzy logic. The strongest release on GMT in a while - tipped to the deepest heads.
Romance - Fade Into You (LP)
Romance - Fade Into You (LP)Ecstatic
Romance's debut album proper 'Fade Into You' is a mesmerising journey through the emotions of love and heartbreak, with a masterful blend of symphonic textures and collaged samples into ethereal studies in sound. Loosely inspired by Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s acidic 1975 melodrama ’The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant’ an unforgiving dissection of the toxic relationship between a haughty fashion designer and a beautiful but icy ingenue, it’s a story where elegant surfaces hide tooth-and-claw instincts. 'Fade Into You' is a deeply textured and beguiling album that transports the listener to that world of faded glamour, desperate longing and narcissistic fantasy. The swelling orchestral arrangements, cathartic cadences and bejewelled sound collages create a sense of nostalgia cut with glazed neurosis, providing a lush and cinematic backdrop that soundtracks the wrenching intimacy and mysteries of love. Following on the promise of 2022's iconic Celine Dion sampling 'Once Upon A Time’ and a brace of thrilling collabs with Lynch protege Dean Hurley and the mythological Old Testament ambient 'Eyes Of fade' collab album with Not Waving, 'Fade Into You’ provides a definitive and essential statement on the Romance sound.
GODSPEED 音 - ضوء القمر EP (CS)GODSPEED 音 - ضوء القمر EP (CS)
A 2022 masterpiece by GODSPEED Sound, an up-and-coming artist of "Barber Beats", a subgenre of vaporwave represented by Haircuts for Men and Macroblank, and under the influence of trip-hop, downtempo, and instrumental hip-hop. The EP "ضوء القمر" is a must-see work by the up-and-coming artist who has been working under this name since 2022 and has sent out countless works since!
Astrophysics - Apathy (CD-R)Astrophysics - Apathy (CD-R)
Astrophysics - Apathy (CD-R)MAD BREAKS
Stock up on the limited edition CD-R reissue of "Apathy," the 20-year-old project of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil-based artist André Luiz, a leader of the current Synthwave/Breakgaze movement. A masterpiece of synthwave/coldwave sound with a unique majesty and yearning that sets it apart from the recent sounds after Depressive Breakcore and Atomospheric Drum'n'bass.
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DJ Kuroneko - Neko Garage 2 (CD-R)DJ Kuroneko - Neko Garage 2 (CD-R)
DJ Kuroneko - Neko Garage 2 (CD-R)MAD BREAKS
$9 $17
Mad Breaks, the successor label to Mexican internet label Stupid Decisions and a mecca for current breakcore/internet rave music, has released an item to be on the lookout for. The label is stocking a limited edition CD-R reissue of Neko Garage 2, the masterpiece album released in 2022 by Ireland-based DJ Kuroneko, a pivotal act in the current atmospheric drum'n'bass/future garage scene! Future Garage/dubstep excellence with futuristic sound design incorporating elements of ambient, 2-step, basslines and more! Limited edition of 200 copies.

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