What a fucked up week. I got nothing. Listen to some tunes. Do something good.
Eric Mingus & Catherine Sikora The Zuzax Protocol (Self-Released)
A fantastic set of guitar and saxophone duets from these longtime collaborators, The Zuzak Protocol has flames shooting out from all sides. Mingus has such a recognizable, grimy guitar tone and guttural playing style that Sikora becomes the magic dust peppering holes in the concrete to let the light shine in. Even in quieter moments, the sonic spells teem with visceral intensity waiting for the next moment to break free. Huge recommendation.
Choi Taehyun Microscript (Helicopter)
Wobbly synth loops and stuttering rhythms give the feeling of being on a boat in a gale. Obscured tones try to flicker to life, but the wind gusts become an inner ear hum that mutes everything and adds a dull sheen. Microscript is satisfying if not disconcerting, Taehyun stretching each repeating pattern into new trips down the whirlpool. Skeletal rhythms claw their way back to the surface before another wash of synths drowns it all again.
Lori Goldston & Stefan Christoff Punk Equniox (Dasa Tapes)
Dasa Tapes continues its trek as one of the most interesting labels around with this fantastic collaboration from cellist Lori Goldston and Stefan Christoff on Hammond organ. Emotive glances spread languidly across the fading shadows cast against marble visages while Goldston plucks searchingly. Gem-colored hues pour in as morning birds hold court for longing cello laments and the piercing glow of the organ’s drone. There’s such a sense of space across Punk Equinox (what an amazing album title). Two artists gazing, sending out sonic tendrils to make new, intertwining connections before retracing steps and retreating. It’s lonely here, but I think it’s going to be okay.
Wet Tuna sweet chump change b/w goin up the country > rural mines (Self-Released)
A little taste from Wet Tuna’s forthcoming 3lobed opus, Warping All By Yourself, and a cosmic centurion on the flip. “sweet chump change” is a lowkey groover with sizzling guitar solos pointed straight at all our chakras simultaneously. With the b-side, “goin up the country > rural mines” we are rainbow butterflies floating lackadaisically over major chord smoke and celebratory whimsy. A noble flute leads us down the golden pathway straight into the mines to baptize ourselves in the underground diamond lake. The visions here are stunning.
Arif Mirbaghi Methuselah Palm (Qame Feraq)
I’m late to the game on Qame Feraq, but this digital single from Arif Mirbaghi is a stellar intro. Recorded last autumn in Tehran, this bass-heavy jam stings. The keys repeat three notes into oblivion, thorns catching and holding on tight while smoke-lined guitar notes flutter by and everything bursts into life, soloing forever and getting trumpet blasts head-on. It’s so good. Elsewhere I feel like the center of the afterparty with speculative synth leads and serious grooves shaking the foundation to the core. This is an absolute gem and I can’t wait to dig deep into this label.
Tomutonttu Seikkailun Tuoksu (Artsy)
Jan Anderzén’s latest is another run through the kaleidoscope at high speeds. Intervals grow and contract with no thought for the spirits dancing on the top floors where the ground moves like an elongated jump rope. Colorful sonic bubbles search for outer space only to freeze and crack releasing a miniature electronic tidal wave into the upper atmosphere. Little pellets drop back to earth singing in glitched alien voices that welcome another pirouette before splattering into the neon sea.
Zach Rowden Like A Mirror Does (Unifactor Tapes)
Destroyed music that is resurrected from a rotting pit. Zach Rowden slices zombie fragments and haunted tape loops into charred scriptures fished out of a sludge river. Worms burrow their way into blackened tonal slop; metal fingers scratch the coffin lid from underneath. Everything happening here is ugly, but it’s impossible to look away. The funhouse mirror is there in the corner, melting every reflection that looks its way.
Charbonneau/Amato Synth Works Vol. 2 (Backward Music)
Well-composed vignettes that have a bouncy lightness where I imagine glass spheres floating in space with little faces drawn on each in silver marker. Simple rhythms help the synths slide along effortlessly, multiple melodies spinning outward at once. Charbonneau and Amato have tangible chemistry, giving these lovely blips a new lease on life. Hop on that silver wave.
Pacho Dávila, Israel Flores Bravo and Rieko Okuda 24 Stunden in Berlin (Ramble)
24 Student in Berlin is some serious free-moving jazz that never feels weighed down by the expansive, intricate energy flowing throughout. Okuda’s piano playing is like being washed down a swiftly flowing river and loving every second of it, even with the skull cracks along the way. In the quieter spots, the light touch is effervescent and gives Dávila a real platform to howl away on sax. Bravo keeps the foundation strong throughout, too. There’s a lot to like here.
Pie Are Squared Souvenir Store Gimbri (Fallen Moon)
Souvenir Store Gimbri is sound collage of the highest order. City streets hum in the background as Mohammed Ashraf sketches out lilting sequences on the gimbri in the title. Electronics percolate down to the granular level, fizzing across wires where drones become shards of light. The gimbri bobs and weaves in different directions to imbue the space with warmth.
Influx & SYNE PULSE 01 (Past Inside the Present)
Past Inside the Present ventures into new realms, diving headfirst into the dub techno slipstream. The best outer space views come into alignment across this split between Influx (aka James Bernard) and SYNE (aka Dennis Huddleston). Crisp beats hold court for melodic shadows to echo across a utopian landscape on Influx’s side. SYNE gets the hyperspeed chase kicked into gear with soaring pads and skittering hi-hats. PULSE 01 is the ticket for interstellar meditation.
Sullow / The Silver Field Betwixt & Between 8 (Betwixt & Between Tapes)
Bonfires spark to life, illuminating the midnight skies and saturating the surrounding fields in smoke on this excellent split. Sullow is a new improvising trio featuring Jacken Elswyth, Daniel S. Evans, and Joshua Barfoot. Their side is energetic, banjo and acoustic guitar spilling steel innards out into the soil while rattling percussive strands tie it all up in a sweet little bow. It’s frenetic and enticing. The Silver Field winds through psychedelic alleyways where earth tones become a way of life and the sky bleeds into the sea. Enticing vocals are backed by loose instrumentation fueling late-night soliloquys for all the ghosts who will listen.