last 2010 tape batch + other digi news
it’s been a whirlwind month already here at digitalis HQ and we’re not even halfway through. holy shit! so, we’ve got this one final tape batch for 2010… samples and pre-order info have been up for a while (as i’m sure most of you are well aware of) and as such, three of the tapes are no longer available directly from us (xela, geoff mullen, ata ebtekar & mazdak khamda). we still have a batch deal available for the other 7, though, and be rest assured that the other three will be well stocked at all the usual distro haunts – so no worries! here’s the others, though… a pretty handsome set i must say:
ltd#123: hex breaker quintet “knightcourt” c39 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
for the uninitiated, hex breaker quintet is essentially telecult powers and grasshopper (both NYC stalwarts) mashed into one. so that means you’ve got an awesome mix of homemade synth exploits and horn blowing to coddle your ears and make you feel right at home. these tortured hallucinations are happening on a grand scale. the electronic drones move slow and certain, changing shape just enough to keep everything off-balance and on-point and allow the horns to float like vultures on the horizon. everything here feels huge – like a giant, metal monument to chaos. it’s begging to be ripped apart and i’m pretty sure that these five rippers are happy to oblige on their way to the fucken cosmos. edition of 80, chrome tapes.
ltd#167: KPLR “psykosis induktor” c43 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
KPLR simply don’t care what you want or what you think. they’re just happy to keep blasting out these messes of electronic stew that are like firecrackers launched directly at your cerebrum. i can’t tell if this is sensory deprivation or sensory overload, but i’m happy to keep listening and figure it out. “psykosis induktor” goes off on a new tanget for the duo, finding random, sonic rhythms in the chaos of tonal debris they always leave in their wake. it’s minimal techno but totally, unapologetically bonkers that ends up blinding you in the end. right on. edition of 75, chrome tapes.
ltd#168: loud & sad “whale fall vol. 1″ c41 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
loud & sad is the duo of nathan mclaughlin (the person behind those great “echolocation” tapes) and joe houpert. “whale fall vol. 1” is heavy. not sludge/doom heavy, but in the sense that this music bears out a lot of emotion. subdued, minimal guitar drones that want to break to pieces under their own weight languish away while various electronics spit fire. it’s like swimming in black water unable to see anything around you but knowing that danger lurks at every turn. these are the kind of tonal memories i want to keep. edition of 75, chrome tapes.
ltd#169: ata ebtekar & mazdak khamda “sonic within” c31 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
and now for something else entirely. i’ve been a big fan of ata ebtekar for years through his fantastic releases on sub rosa, so when he got in touch with this release i was damn excited. and it did not disappoint. “sonic within” is a collaboration with mazdak khamda for piano, cello and synthesizer. khamda’s piano works are processed via various electronics by ebtekar with some heartbreaking cello work by betty wu. there’s an elegance to this music that is directly at odds with ebtekar’s cold, sterile sound design and it’s that dichotomy that makes these recordings so interesting. it’s unsettling but gloriously so. this is what i imagine chamber music sounds like on neptune and that’s one ride i want to keep on taking. edition of 100, chrome tapes.
ltd#171: polymer slug “simple displays of control” c50 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
i fell in love with polymer slug aka adam tramposh from the opening nights of his overland shark debut, “warm forms.” with that album, he showed his immeasurable talent in composing an one of the year’s best albums entirely on casio mt-65. it’s stunning. well, that wasn’t enough for tramposh so he’s gone to another level entirely with “simple displays of control,” this time utilizing only a juno 60. what is so fucking great about “simple displays of control” is that even though it seems like everyone & their dog is pulling their juno out of the attic and cranking out some tunes (hey i’m not complaining), tramposh has made something that sounds new and entirely his own. take it from the shark himself – this is music that sounds alive, like the sound of bacteria multiplying. polymer slug is a force. now if you’ll excuse me, i’m going to listen to it again for the 100th time. edition of 75, chrome tapes.
ltd#172: logan seguin “ss-vntrx 34000 – original film soundtrack” c31 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
it’s albums like this that make me think goddamn i’m one lucky fucker. this just fell in my lap and listening to it again, for the 30th time or so, i still can’t believe it. amazingly, logan seguin generally plies his trade making folk-based tunes but somehow managed to make this fictional soundtrack on an old yamaha keyboard that rivals most of the electronic explorations i’ve heard in the past few years. anyway, equal parts john carpenter, the legend of zelda and disjointed sonic mayhem “ss-vntrx 34000” is a journey all on its own. seguin does an incredible job of making music that is wholly cinematic – i can totally imagine what this imaginary film is about, what it looks like, etc. darkened sci-fi synths and blasted outerspace beats collide in delicious harmony, creating a soundworld that is rich in texture, both aural and visual. take this ride. edition of 75, chrome tapes.
ltd#173: obsidian pond “symvols” c39 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
obsidian pond is the brainchild of the uk’s alesandre jong and he must feel like i do after i’ve only slept 3 hours and have to slog through an entire workday half-conscious. “symvols” is filled with molasses-thick beats slowed to a crawl and colored in with endlessly-sleepy guitars and codeine synth notes. there’s something really unsettling about jong’s compositions. they’re like twisted fairy tales that hypnotize you until you end up face down in the mud. it’s a total bummer but with killer beats. edition of 75, chrome tapes.
ltd#174: quiet evenings “easy listening circles” c30 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
grant and rachel evans are two people who had a massive impact on me in 2010, so it seems fitting to close out the year with the highlight (so far) of their recording ouevre as quiet evenings. effervescent guitar and synth explorations burst into a cold flame acting as a beacon piercing through the aural fog. the juxtaposition of layered atmospheric tones (there are oftentimes where it sounds like they’re incorporating field recordings as well) and minimal, barely-there leads is lovely. there are equal parts motion sickness, nova scotia and something else entirely revolving around one another, finding the right passage to the sun. beautiful stuff. edition of 75, chrome tapes.
now sold-out, but soon available from various distributors:
ltd#149: xela “the sublime” c44 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
oh xela, what have you done now? finishing up his trilogy of cassettes that began with “the illuminated,” john twells has left the best for last. we’re in the death throes now, being pulled majestically toward the light while our skin melts away. in the past few years, xela has become the master of making deliciously sinister music that on the surface actually sounds quite lovely, but as soon as you get some dirt under your nails you realize you’re in a field full of corpses and the clouds are turning black. this is how you use a synthesizer… an instant masterpiece. edition of 150, chrome tapes. pics & audio: http://www.digitalisindustries.com/ltd149.html
ltd#170: geoff mullen “a dust futures” c30 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
it’s been a banner year for geoff mullen, all culminating with the type edition of his essential “bongo closet.” if that was the high point, this is the perfect send-off. “a dust futures” is the perfect mix of yamaha cs-50 and tape loops, concocted and assembled into a gloriously disheveled mess. well, mess isn’t accurate – everything here sounds like its in the right place, but whatever that place is constantly shifts keeping you uncertain and constantly engaged. leave your crystals at home because mullen is taking us to outer space. welcome to the future. edition of 150, chrome tapes. pics & audio: http://www.digitalisindustries.com/ltd170.html
ltd#169: ata ebtekar & mazdak khamda “sonic within” c31 $7 US / $8 CAN/MEX / $9 INTL
and now for something else entirely. i’ve been a big fan of ata ebtekar for years through his fantastic releases on sub rosa, so when he got in touch with this release i was damn excited. and it did not disappoint. “sonic within” is a collaboration with mazdak khamda for piano, cello and synthesizer. khamda’s piano works are processed via various electronics by ebtekar with some heartbreaking cello work by betty wu. there’s an elegance to this music that is directly at odds with ebtekar’s cold, sterile sound design and it’s that dichotomy that makes these recordings so interesting. it’s unsettling but gloriously so. this is what i imagine chamber music sounds like on neptune and that’s one ride i want to keep on taking. edition of 100, chrome tapes. pics & audio: http://www.digitalisindustries.com/ltd169.html
last bit of news… the vinyl edition of concern’s “truth & distance” is back from the plant and on its way over the ocean into our hands as we speak (boomkat has it available now if you’re overseas!). we will have a few copies available for $15 in the US and $18 in canada, so get in touch if you want to order one. we expect they’ll ship next weekend or so.
IMAGINARY SOFTWOODS ARRIVAL
FINALLY – we got our copies of imaginary softwoods in and they will be shipping out along with this new tape batch this weekend/early next week. they look and sound insanely good – the wait will be worth it! apologies that its taken longer than we expected to get them shipped… it’s the first time we’ve had issues with customs in 7 years. UGH.