Aural Canyon Roundup (II)

It’s been too long since we last covered anything from our favorite ambient label, Aural Canyon, so here’s a rundown of some of their recent and upcoming releases that caught our ear.

Joshua W. Bruner – Viewings

On Viewings, Joshua W. Bruner creates dreamy soundscapes with the help of a Muse EEG Headset, which senses and measures brainwaves.

The three tracks that build up this tape are saturated with synth-like drones that slowly coast from one speaker to another. Occasionally, minimalist percussion comes into play to provide a little extra structure and tempo, but mostly, these songs are spacey pools of calmly pulsating sound.

The resulting recording is so relaxing and peaceful, it’s easy to forget that much of the cosmic waves that float throughout the background are ‘played’ by the artist’s mind. When you focus on that aspect, the album becomes even more impressive. You also realize that you’re literally listening to the sounds within Bruner’s brain. This is nothing but an amazing concept. It makes you wonder what sounds could be created if say, someone like Merzbow or Boris strapped on the Muse EEG.

You can get your copy of Viewings today. Just click here.

Rhucle – Cycle

This one is perhaps the most relaxing record I’ve heard yet this year. Tokyo based artist Rhucle mixes hushed synthesizer tones with the calming sounds of nature to create the most soothing soundtrack for meditation that you could imagine.

Within each track, Rhucle takes field recordings that he captured with apps on his phone, and supports them with glassy, almost vibraphone-like drones and glacially paced melodies. The blending of sounds is so perfect, even the synthetic instrumentation appears natural.

In the liner notes, Rhucle states that he created this album specifically with the intention to relax to it. Between the heavenly chorus of synths and the tranquil samples of softly flowing water and bird song, he has made a soundscape that even the most rattled among us could be calmed by.

You can grab this tape right here today.

Primary Mystical Experience – Splash Around Mixtape

Primary Mystical Experience is back with a dizzying kaleidoscopic mix of busted-up beats and garbled electronics that’ll thrill your ears and keep you bouncing nonstop.

Aided by keyboardist Warm Jacuzzi and saxophone extraordinaire, Zac Evans, PME serves up 80s light jazz-funk sounds and manipulates them into lo-fi hip-hop instrumentals, which at times veer into pure vaporwave territory.

Despite how trippy and otherworldly the album can sometimes get, Splash Around is a deeply chill listen that fans of everyone from Flying Lotus to Daft Punk and even 2nd Exit could dig.

Get your copy here right now.

Future Museums – Transitional Spirit Mirror

Lastly, we have Future Museum’s upcoming Transitional Spirit Mirror album, which comes out on the 22nd.

Leaning deeper into post rock zones than the previous Aural Canyon releases, Transitional Spirit Mirror features meditative guitar, tense drumming and rousing keyboards that could easily belong on an Explosions in The Sky release. Just check out the jaw-dropping opening track or the mystifying “Shelving The Mist” for a taste of that vibe.

However, this is not to say that this is entirely a post rock album. “Resin Cast” and “Mimicking Print” feature many of the hallmarks of classic 80’s ambient and new wave music, and the closing track, “Shallows,” is sort of a blend of all of these diverse styles.

For a mellow and diverse listen, just click here and get your copy of Future Museum’s new tape on the 22nd.


If you like what you’re reading, please help keep RCU thriving. You can show your support by becoming a Patron at our Patreon account or you can make a donation to our PayPal account below.

As always, please also consider donating to any of these sites to help fight racial injustice.


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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: