It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. The latter half of the summer and the fall ended up being so busy, I fell pretty far behind on my listening and posting. To remedy that, here’s a quick roundup of some of the other albums that people sent me recently that I quite enjoyed. I’ll likely have a second volume of this up within the next few weeks, too, so keep an eye out for that.
Let’s start with some on the fine titles I received from Feeding Tube Records.
Eugene Chadbourne – Mourning Of The Praying Mantis / Worms With Strings
Eugene Chadbourne, a truly legendary figure in the world of avant-garde and free music, presents a diverse range of abstract string-based improvisations on this insect-centric release.
From the dreamy to the utterly chaotic, the tracks here feature scuttling banjos and balilikas alongside chirping marimbas and saxophones, clattering percussion and burping tubas (among many other strange and unusual sounds). On both sides of this LP, Chadbourne and his many collaborators (including Warren Smith) translate the ticking, squeaking and slithery micro-sonic world of praying mantises and worms with great detail.
If you like music that is unpredictable and wholly alien to you, this is an album to definitely pick up. Click here to get your copy.
Margarida Garcia – Good Night
Margarida Garcia is an experimental bassist from Portugal with an extensive back catalogue and resume, which includes credits on records by Charalambides, Loren Connors and Chris Corsano, among others. On this new solo album, she uses an amplified upright bass to create groaning, glacial soundscapes that could have crept out of some sort of hidden shadow realm.
The record is split into three sprawling tracks that get under your skin with shuddering, deep frequencies that sound less like a bowed bass, and more like tectonic plates shifting. More intimidating and foreboding than most horror scores, Good Night will unnerve and chill you to the bone.
Click here to get this wholly unique bass record on CD today.
Jean-Baptiste Favory – CIELS
Jean-Baptiste Favory is an experimental French composer who studied with the great Jean-Claude Risset, and is a member of the Mexican free-rock group Los Lichis. On this CD, he launches deep into the cosmos via an array of vintage 70s and 80s synthesizers.
Each track on this album is a retro futurism soundscape, tailor made for vintage sci-fi movies. Subtle mechanical pulses form meditative beats while Favory fires off an arsenal of twinkling notes and laser beam drones that blast and spiral off into various directions. This is the kind of music you can totally immerse yourself into and get absolutely lost in time and space with.
If the 70s synth heroes like Tangerine Dream, Cluster and Suzanne Ciani are high up on your favorites list, then you need to give this album a try. Click here to get your copy.
Lloyd Thayer – Twenty20
If you ever wanted to hear what it would be like if the acoustic Elkhorn lineup decided to drift into Space > Seastones territories, then Lloyd Thayer’s double-necked Weissenborn guitar abstractions are for you.
Released over the summer, this album finds the solo guitarist exploring alien elemental zones with manipulated slide and fingerpicking overdubs. You can detect hints of everything from folk blues to Middle Eastern modes and modernist classical music across this stoic yet haunting record.
Thayer seems to answer the need for more experimental and dreamlike zones in solo guitar music, and man, does he ever deliver. This is certainly a must-hear for anyone who’s been enjoying the recent sound collages of Daniel Bachman and the fuzzed-out electric attacks you can find on some of Matt Rolin’s solo albums.
There are still copies available on Feeding Tube’s website, and I strongly advise that you pick one up before they’re gone.
Old Million Eye – The Air’s Chrysalis Chime
Brian Lucas’ Old Million Eye project always brings the most peaceful aspects of kosmische musik, spiritual jazz and ambient folk, but he does that here in spades.
With the assistance of Steven R. Smith, Gayle Brogan (Pefkin/Burd Ellen) and fellow Dire Wolves alumnus Sheila Bosco, Lucas takes you simultaneously into the wilds of enchanted forests and the furthest reaches of the cosmos. Across both sides of a 12″, you’re treated to throbbing waves of astral guitar that ripple over chilled synthesizer pools and vocals that reverberate endlessly into space. If this album doesn’t put you into a zen state of mind, nothing will.
Click here to order your copy on vinyl.
On that note, let’s check out another recent album by OME…
Old Million Eye – Lone Receiver
Lone Receiver, a glass-mastered limited edition CD release, is a much more solo affair for Lucas.
The album is heavy with space ritual vibes, complete with spiritual synth soundscapes and almost chant-like vocals that are processed with many layers of transcendent effects. It often feels as though Lucas is communing with the stars themselves, as he surfs through minimalist space rock that both Popol Vuh and Alice Coltrane could get behind.
Despite being far more subtle than his work with Dire Wolves, you can still feel how the two projects are deeply connected here. If you love the releases of that band, then you absolutely need to get this and the other OME records.
Spiral Wave Nomads – Magnetic Sky
Co-released by Feeding Tube and Twin Lakes Records, the latest album by space rock jammers, Spiral Wave Nomads, features moody fuzz guitar solos smoldering slowly over a bed of hypnotic beats.
The CT/NY duo take the kinetic drum and solo guitar post rock/avant-jazz hybrid vibe you might expect from a Bill Orcutt and Chris Corsano album, and blasts it through a hallucinogenic celestial lens. So what you get is a collection of highly textural yet deeply spaced-out improvisations that flow as freely as autumn leaves caught in a rising updraft.
This is the sort of album you can travel into while meditating with your eyes close. The calming tides of distortion and trance-inducing drumming carry you far away from all troubles and all worries. Click here to give this a try for yourself today (or here, too!).
Let’s check into what’s been happening at Idée Fixe records recently…
Zacht Automaat- P is for Progress
The major strength of Zacht Automaat’s P is for Progress is its seamless meshing of genres into something that is both familiar and wholly unrecognizable.
This Canadian duo have indeed fused enough disparate styles and sounds together to give birth to something totally new. At any moment, you might hear Soft Machine-like fuzz organs and outré jazz time signatures colliding with weird synth-pop melodies and 70s African soul rhythms.
Regardless of whatever influence you might hear emerge through the album’s warm analog 4-track hiss, your ear will surely be caught by the band’s tasty hooks and addictive grooves.
Fans of everything from the Flying Nun label to WITCH and National Health should order two copies of this LP in case they wear one of them out from overplaying.
Carl Didur – Maybe Next Time
Carl Didur, a member of Zacht Automaat, keeps things both wistful and amiable on his instrumental Maybe Next Time LP.
Full of melancholic piano, wobbly tape loops and quaalude-induced slow motion surf guitar, this album coasts somewhere between the worlds of lo-fi psychedelic rock, post-rock and spiritual jazz (especially with the gorgeous “The River Meets The Sea”).
This is a perfect album to put on while you’re driving down rolling empty highways alone. Its meditative and reflective moods are great for watching grand landscapes and clouds crawl past your car while you’re lost deep in thought.
Cinematic and yet minimalist, somber and yet content, this is a record that contains multitudes. Seek it out here.
ATOP & City of Dawn – Starwind
For your ambient needs, ATOP and City of Dawn have you covered.
Damien Duque (City of Dawn) and M Cody McPhail (ATOP) teamed up to produce this jaw-dropping display of dreamlike synthscapes. The pair created beautiful vistas of sympathetic electronic drones and hazes of blue aural mist. There’s a cinematic scope to the music on this album, which helps it feel like the soundtrack to a documentary about space, with images much like the one you see on the cover.
Fans of the sort of ambient music that soaks and overtakes the listener like a tidal wave would adore this record. Click here for yours today.
SOMA – SHIVA / SHAKTI
SOMA is perhaps one of the most unique bands currently operating within New Jersey right now.
Combining elements of kirtan bhajan (call and response devotional songs) and psychedelic rock, the band here creates deeply mesmerizing spiritual music. With both rock and traditional Indian instrumentation, SOMA created a record that feels both sacred and mind-blowing at the same time. Seeing these folks live must be such a soulful experience.
If the more ritualistic side of groups like Six Organs, Pocahaunted and Hala Strana jump out at you, then this is a record you should keep an eye out for.