This self-produced EP is the first work by Go Ask Alice: eight instrumental tracks, composed between 2012 and 2013, recorded and mixed by Matteo Spinazzé, in collaboration with Curzio Ferri playing drums and Andrea Oggiano with his acoustic guitar. Perfection is terrible is the first verse of Sylvia Plath's poem "The Munich Mannequins". "Perfection" here is completeness, closure, inability to evolve and reborn, perfection is death. Perfection is indeed terrible, can't have a child, just as Plath's Munich Mannequins, cold marble statues, beautiful and perfect, frozen with us in a never ending present, the immense futureless present of the "capitalist realism": the end of history.
Nathan Kairis is a composer and multi-instrumentalist based in Asheville, NC. He crafts pieces of music made to bounce off all the nearest peaks of the Appalachian Mountains, like shouting at those surrounding monoliths and listening to the evolution of your own echoes. Each of Nathan’s compositions are reflective, expansive, and imaginative in a different manner than the last. The excitement at the first tremble of thunder, the loneliness of a tundra stretching forever before you, the gentle joy of life with loved ones, and the dynamic interplay between all of these feelings. That is the music of Nathan Kairis.
Acherontia. The Death’s Head Hawkmoth. This album is about disconnection, reconnection, and fluttering between the two. The vibrations between these two emotions can be violent and visceral, or almost calming in their agitation. Here is where we find the shuffling trudge of “Solipsism”, straining pressure of “Surface Tension”, and the breakthrough of the title track. Acherontia is a sonic exploration of what happens in between, a transitory stage that most of us just want to get through.
Psychonavigation Records founder, Keith Downey returns with his latest musical offering, Buddha Bowl. Under the guise of No Mask Effect, the prolific Downey has just released his fifth project in under two years through Psychonavigation Records.
The album opens with “Be Good To Us”, a diverse mix of industrial complex beats, electronic and Afro-Caribbean inspired vocal snippets alongside an ear worm of a saxophone groove. On “Siren” the mood shifts with a lush sea of sound drifting from the speakers. A sinister yet tranquil string melody lurks beneath the audio waves, eventually emerging to create a beautiful piece of effortless ambient.
Meanwhile the mysterious bells, chimes and subtle, pulsing rhythm of “Hidden Surprises” takes Downey's long time love of Ambient music to new territory. With chattering electronic beeps and bleeps, celestial vocal samples and an ultrasound inspired bassline that is both intriguing and unexpected.
“Dark Emotion” however, reveals itself to be more enigmatic rather than pessimistic. An eight minute sensatory expedition of obscure samples both organic and electronic, nature sounds, glorious synths spiraling electronic loops are all included in the production. Music for headphones, this track's intricacies can only unfold with repeated listens.
With what is undoubtedly his most accomplished and eclectic collection to date, Buddha Bowl should satisfy long time No Mask Effect fans while exposing his unique sound to many new listeners.
Montreal experimental band AIM LOW is set to release Scratched Out on 12" format, a record that has been plagued with numerous issues from disappearing band members, lost recording stems, a messed up vinyl test pressing, artwork problems, and numerous other issues. Toss in a hospital visit (via ambulance, no less), and you can understand why the band is happy to finally release this three song collection of dense shoegaze-y drone density in the vein of early-Sonic Youth, Nadja, and Rhys Chatham. AIM LOW practically took everything into their own hands to get the lp out, right down to the spraypainting process of the lp jackets that can be seen here - https://youtu.be/bbZvcHV2HqQ
Lead off track "Tacit Approval" sets the sound for their forthcoming full length, currently being mixed by Jon Drew, bridging the more experimental nature of their now sold out CD-R Foulards and sold out cassette String Theory with a more structured sound based around the controlled chaos surrounding fuzzed out crackling spoken word vocals. The 12"'s centerpiece "Low Hanging Fruit" was recorded in a church in Montreal West to capture as much natural reverb possible to achieve a contextual Beach Boy sound, complete with "oooh" vocals that are heavily processed with the band's penchant for knob-twiddling effects pedals. And closing track "Phantom Cat" is a twelve minute highway ride of multiple layers and textures in the key of A with lung-straining chanting.
AIM LOW has previously played with the likes of Disappears, Weekend, Moon Duo, and Stephen O'Malley, and plan to support Scratched Out with more dates and a tour in the late Summer of 2017.
Orellana is a neo-classical/post-rock collective hailing from Bristol, UK. Their new album “52”, released in late December, brought in the new year with it’s explosive and intricate sound. The project’s music transcends genre definitions in order to focus on a broad, diverse concept that is more emotional than tangible. This particular release is full of rich and diverse arrangements, but it is also a powerful exercise in minimalism, one that showcases the strength of very few notes placed in the right spots. The simplicity of the arrangement is actually one of the strongest aspects of this entire release: there’s a palpable stillness created by the long, drone notes in the background, which almost makes you feel like the world is happening in slow motion. When the chords and notes change, it feels quite monumental due to the beautiful contrast between the stillness of the background textures and the expressive sound of the guitar-based melodies.
Davenport Rex is a music project based in Detroit, Michigan. Their sound is diverse and challenging, yet accessible and appealing. The band’s music stands out as a combination of tasteful progressive rock, with shades of various influences, ranging from alternative to symphonic hard rock, just to mention a few.