mega digitalis september batch
so its not a billion degrees out anymore which means bombs away:
ltd#155: charlatan “holograms” c30 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
there are bombs and then there are bombs. the charlatan was revealed, not that there was a mask to begin with and then everything went to the fucken birds. so what’s the mirage this times? four to the floor and ready to move those muscles. electro inspiration pushes the nu-age gash to the side and buries it under the dancefloor. spiral-topped nods to certain boards and a massive dose of sci-fi nostalgia concocted with synths to spare blast off the launch-pad straight out of the gate.
look, progression and participation are the themes of 2010 and charlatan takes another step toward god only knows. this ain’t no mirage; it’s a fine line in there somewhere, but it all ends up under a mile of smoke anyway. edition of 80, chrome tapes.
ltd#157: beru “daughter of eve” c50 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
you know how suddenly there’s like a billion different shitty tv shows about ghost sightings and the like? yeah – total bullshit. after dozens of listens to beru’s “daughter of eve” i can say for certain: i know ghosts. jessica callerio has crafted one of the most heartbreaking pieces of music i’ve heard in ages. “daughter of eve” is a dark journey through a harrowing year. think too much wine mixed with bergman and you’re getting close.
calleiro’s voice is the star. hovering over fractured acoustic guitar melodies, sounding as if though it’ll crack and break into tiny pieces at any moment, you can’t help but be seduced. noise swashes, chiming percussion and various other parlor tricks create the perfect momentary distractions before calleiro brings you back down into the abyss. created as two 25 minute sides, “daughter of eve” is expertly assembled and exactly what you need to start the fall off right. edition of 75, chrome tapes.
ltd#161: christopher merritt “crown heights” c24 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
there’s no time like now to get carried away on a bubbling river of flowing electronics and christopher merritt is more than happy to oblige. “crown heights” is an absolute monument. these are pieces that are fresh-faced and earnest, sprawling toward the horizon. merritt’s process feels weirdly disjointed on the surface, like he’s throwing a whole host of ideas into the cauldron and seeing what kind of potion he can improvise. but that’s the real beauty of this stuff because once you get into the guts of it and really digest these tunes, you realize how oddly complex each layer is and how much effort he must take to get everything lined-up and synchronized. this is a well-oiled machine for sure.
what does me in everytime are all the varying textures singing together – acoustic guitars plucked & strum along with unrecognizable field recordings and percolating synths plus bowed strings with a million other things interconnected that i can’t figure out. this is one hell of a dizzying aural maze. it’s the kind of place you want to get lost in and buried. merritt has me in the palm of his hand. edition of 75, chrome tapes.
ltd#162: tassels “the rosicrucians” c28 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
tassels is one of those projects that i’m quite surprised isn’t on more people’s radars, but hopefully that’s about to change. “the rosicrucians” is a concept album of sorts, but mostly it’s just a killer tape. it is, however, inspired by the actual rosicrucians which is especially apparent through the use of totally awesome samples. sean orr (the brains behind tassels) is quite able when it comes to crafting beats and mixing together the electronica-heavy elements with washed-out brass drones and lilting strings.
it’s almost unsettling how the religious/cryptic samples and imagery play off the at-times-sunny and generally upbeat music. but that is a combination the orr uses wonderfully to keep you on edge. from the ghoulesque voices mixed with bright synth spikes on “the lifetone” to the dubstep-inspired bass with the ominous strings on the end of “the sermons of the refuter,” it is delightfully schizophrenic. by the time “the hours” drags you deep into the abyss, orr is simply preaching to the choir. edition of 75, chrome tapes.
ltd#163: nova scotian arms “sun flange” c30 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
we’ve heard from rachel evans aka motion sickness of time travel, so it’s time to brush the dust off her husband’s efforts as nova scotian arms. after a slew of self-released tapes and CDRs (on their co-run hooker vision label), “sun flange” finds evans in top form. washed-out guitar and synth dreams find themselves blanketed with fuzz creating an excellent tonal dichotomy. it’s pretty with some ugly thrown in for good measure.
the beginning strains of heavy doom are just a tease. underneath all the sinister grime is something far more engaging, though. sprawling drones rise from the mire, every so often sending a shoot skyward in the form of strained bent guitar notes. evans works in different pieces of crystal bliss while he pushes his limits. toward the end of the final monster track, the repetition hits its peak adding an unexpected vaguely electronic element to close out the set. there’s something quite special brewing out in georgia these days, don’t kid yourself. edition of 75, chrome tapes.
ltd#164: angels in america “allergic to latex” c33 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
angels in america, living on the streets. one of last year’s most unexpected surprises was this duo’s exquisite debut on ecstatic peace, “cunt tree grammar.” and yet, they’ve taken all that was great about its grimey, in-the-dirt sound and pushed it even further. this is what i imagine mazzy star would sound like after a year being homeless with a crushing heroin addiction while remaining totally chic and then recording an album in a mud pit.
don’t kid yourself, “allergic to latex” is one hell of a dark record. but what really sets this apart is the tongue-in-cheek delivery. spread those wings because this is getting tattooed straight on your back right before you fall over the edge. blitzed-out bass lines covered in a blanket of fuzz with minimalist acoustic guitar journeys scraping their way to the top. moppy pont’s voice, though, is what keeps you coming back for more every time. sure it might hurt but in the best possible way. allergic no more! edition of 80, chrome tapes.
ltd#165: lace bows “singe qui voit, singe qui fait” c27 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
it’s time for portugal to stand up and be recognized. “singe qui voit, singe qui fait” is the second offering from the enigmatic j. francisco after a tape on cubic pyramid. “singe” picks up where that one left off and pushes off into another realm leaving a spacewake in her dust. this is the kind of drug you get hooked on at first bite, but it’s the deeper experiences on repeated outings that really get you in deep.
revolving chord progression and repetitive sound waves pound themselves into the air. brass-infused flourishes and synthetic loops drip into parts unknown. it always give me this random feeling of being totally blitzed in some smoke-filled downtown jazz joint circa 1974. don’t ask, just go with it. heavy blasts are in store if you can pull yourself off the floor for the flip. early moments of chaos dissolve into blissful loops and jangles before devolving into something far more calm & collected in the manner of processed field recordings of birds. it’s quite the strong statement from an artist just finding her way. edition of 75, chrome tapes.
ltd#166: ashley paul “its the heat” c30 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
finally we make the providence connection. ashley paul has been on a tear for the past couple years whether its in her solo scrawl or in the duo aster with her fiancé eli keszler. she always seems to have an endless stream of ideas, throwing down recordings and ideas that are distinct in sound and unlike anything else going on. her main weapon of choice is her saxophone, but on “its the heat” she mixes that up with guitar skronk, whispered vocals and an array rattling percussion. it’s a fragile listen but unbelievably rewarding in the end.
from the opening squeal of paul’s sax it becomes obvious that you’re going somewhere new. strained notes and ramshackle melodies mix & mingle before dissolving completely into a tangled wall of guitar debris. it’s sort of like the eerie calm after a car wreck when you’re totally on edge and everything is creaking and quaking just waiting to give out entirely. its a minimalist orchestra of tiny destruction. paul uses her voice well, adding it in at just the right moments as a last thread of hope before the end. i remain lost and happy. edition of 100, chrome tapes.
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