September Roundup – Volume 2

In spite of COVID, the continued effects of the pandemic and the unearthly firescapes that are currently decimating the west coast, this fall is proving to be an abundantly fruitful season for excellent new releases. So this month absolutely called for a second volume of our roundup. Check out some of the killer new albums and singles that’ve been in constant rotation here at RCU below.

Numün – Voyage au Soleil

Numün is a New York trio that sculpts deeply expressive soundscapes that evoke atmospheres of bygone eras and obscure corners of the cosmos.

Made up of Bob Holmes, Joel Mellin and Chris Romero, Numün has combined here swaths of synthesizer drones with an eclectic array of unlikely electric and acoustic instrumentation (from harpsichords to gongs, mellotron and even the Turkish cümbüş). The resulting brew of sounds pulls you into a sonic world that feels at once familiar and unusual.

On songs like “Tranquility Base,” samples of astronaut chatter from the moon landing mingle with electronic pulses and dreamy guitar lines, bringing to mind the mood and ambience of the year 1969 (which serves as the main inspiration of this record), while soft rays of violin and twinkling xylophones lift you to a place of astral bliss. It’s like you are hearing the sounds of a pleasant memory distorted and clouded by time and age.

An utterly beautiful and ethereal listening experience that communicates on a molecular scale, Voyage au Solei is an album that has just as much heart as it does genius eclecticism.

Fans of Eno, Tim Hecker and Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Musique De Film Imaginé need this record in their lives. Get it here today.

Brett Naucke – EMS Hallucinations

Lovers of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Ned Lagin are going to flock to Brett Naucke’s otherworldly academic synth record, EMS Hallucinations.

Recorded during a residency at the legendary EMS Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm, Sweden, this album is performed entirely on the rare and historic Buchla 200 and Serge Modular Systems, some of the earliest and most coveted synths of the ’70s.

Across the album’s two side-long suites, Naucke makes these ancient machines gurgle, pop and groan with life. It almost sounds like the electronics are attempting to interpret and recreate the sounds of the city life that bustles around them in the streets of Stockholm.

Perhaps surprisingly, there’s often an addictive, pulsing rhythm that emerges from these tracks, which wasn’t an incredibly common quality of the work of the pioneering modular synth wizards of the past. These sounds of old seem to be at times viewed through the lens of modern electronic music, which is of course created largely for dancing at clubs. Yet it’s this appreciation and incorporation of contemporary synthesized music that gives the record a vivid energy, making it far from a boring listen.

Delia Derbyshire, Daphne Oram and Doug McKechnie aficionados need this record on their shelf more than anything right now. Get your copy today right here.

Supergombo – “Alien Felines from Beyond the Galaxy”

Speaking of synths and dance rhythms…Supergombo’s new single, “Alien Felines from Beyond the Galaxy,” is one of the most exciting pairings of synths and Afropop this side of William Onyeabor.

Hailing from Lyon, France, Supergombo is equipped with a vivacious horn section, thunderous percussionists and the aforementioned cosmic synthesizers. It’s hard to not feel the urge to get off your ass and dance the moment you hear the band’s fiery mix of space rock and psych-infused Afrofunk. Just check out the trippy video for this new single below, and you’ll know what I mean:

Afro-futurism at its finest, right? You can get yourself a copy of this single here today, but be sure to also preorder Supergombo’s upcoming album ahead of its 9/25 release. You can click here for that one.

The Pull of Autumn – “Holiday”

The Pull of Autumn is a psych-tinted supergroup out of Newport, Rhode Island, and if the strength of their lo-fi acid pop cover of The Bee Gee’s classic “Holiday,” is anything to go by, their upcoming LP is not to be missed.

With warm waves of sunny keyboards, walls of crisp acoustic strumming and chilly vocals slathered with disorienting echoes, the New England group gives this once twee nugget new life as a heady loner folk anthem.

The ghosts of Fairfield Parlour can easily be felt within this rendition, while ’90s independent psychedelic groups like The Lazily Spun, The Green Pajamas and even The Olivia Tremor Control could also likely be reference points for the band. Just check out the song’s video below and see for yourself:

If you dig this track, be sure to preorder the album, Small Colors, before its release next week. Click here to secure your copy today.

Carlos Ferreira – …And Then We Became Ashes

On the 22nd, Aural Canyon Records will be releasing the calming beauty of …And Then We Became Ashes by Carlos Ferreira.

Armed with just an electric guitar and a looper, Ferreira improvised both of the album’s side-length tracks with the idea in mind that sound is “not as something that is projected in time, but as something that has its own, particular and not replicable time.”

This concept indeed comes across quite well throughout the two methodically-paced pieces, which glide with the grace and momentum of passing clouds caught in a rising wind.

Yet what is most surprising about this album, is the fact that every sound you hear is entirely sourced from Ferreira’s guitar. With the layers of deeply resonating sympathetic tones that course throughout each piece, you’d swear he was backed by a team of shadowy synth operators.

Entirely moving and ethereal to an unprecedented level, this is an album that will always lull you into a place of peace, without fail.

Preorder this cassette today right here.

John Jeffrey – “Leaving Franklin”

Moon Duo’s drummer, John Jeffrey, is creating astonishing waves with his latest solo single, “Leaving Franklin.”

On this track, Jeffrey takes the hypnotic minimalism of kosmische musik’s motorik heart, and implants it into the cosmic world of spiritual jazz. Restrained guitars ebb and flow with icy keyboard drones and cool vibraphone trills, which all float around a looping funk groove.

If Neu! ever jammed with John Ambercrombie or Yoshiaki Ochi, this might be what they’d come up with.

If you’re anything like me, this track is only making you hunger for the full LP it’s sourced from (Passage), which will see its release on October 30th. You can get this single and preorder the album here.


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Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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