It’s been a busy, exhausting week here at FDHQ to the point that I’ve only managed to get through about half of the pile of music I was hoping to investigate. Granted, a lot of time was spent in the studio (again), so sound has been (as ever) the main focus around here, but, unfortunately for Foxy Digitalis, it’s mostly been my own music in my ears. Sorry, everyone! That said, there are still plenty of stellar tunes to write about, so grab a coffee and dig in. (And, of course, as ever, if you’re reading this and are actually interested in my tunes, The Jewel Garden says hello)
Nicole Mitchell & Fabio Paolizzo Medusae (Don Giovanni)
Nicole Mitchell is one of my favorite artists on the planet, and this surprising album of electroacoustic improvisation with computer scientist Fabio Paolizzo is a wonder. Medusae is unexpected yet brilliant. Mitchell and Paolizzo engage in a sonic conversation that digs into human and machine creativity, utilizing Paolizzo’s Video Interactive VST Orchestra (VIVO – Paolizzo has written about it HERE) as a conduit. Disparate histories merge into new chapters as Mitchell’s flute explorations and vocal exorcisms are reshaped into new, expressive forms like some kind of futurist jazz-infused improvisations filtered through the world of GRM. The musicality forms the foundation of Medusae, but Mitchell and Paolizzo’s worlds intersect in such surprising ways that each piece is an entirely new landscape. It’s wonderful and wild. Highest recommendation possible.
Jon Porras Arroyo (Thrill Jockey)
Jon Porras has been on a winding, exploratory journey for nearly two decades, and right now, it finds him in a fleeting stillness. Arroyo is weightless and impermeable. Soft drones hover like stuck light, suspended in time and unconcerned with finding a destination. In the calm stretches of pensive piano arrangements, spectral guitar shapes, and transient sonic vistas, Porras opens a portal. If all movement is slowed down and considered, each moment stretches into blurred, pendulous repetitions where we’re unsure if we’re moving forward or backward or if it matters at all. Our focus concentrates on the space these sounds occupy, as each emotive chord progression suggests the next step in our inquisitive voyage. Arroyo is a quiet, compelling moment, even if it only stays for a short time before disappearing back into the soil.
Meadow Argus The Green Light (Self-Released)
Tynan Krakoff just keeps the pot simmering with his Meadow Argus project. The Green Light is my favorite yet (though The Palace isn’t far behind). Mountains of static permeate the veil between worlds. That hiss becomes a living, breathing entity draped across The Green Light, simultaneously a warning and invitation. Guitars churn out hopeful crackles like sonar searching the mist for surviving enclaves, but the spirits here are restless. A disembodied voice beckons from another dimension, promising hope and more. But these tones are constantly shifting, amorphous and weightless even while they carry secret messages through the long night.
Roxane Métayer Visage Zygène (wabi sabi tapes)
Roxane Métayer’s latest release is another slice of poignant expression. Visage Zygène pushes her work further into mystical realms, combining synthetic sounds and organic motifs into a melting pot of magic aural apparitions. Repeating patterns lay the groundwork for a dance of supernatural sounds. Landscapes emerge filled with alien lifeforms, and Métayer’s work guides us through the alluring entanglements. This music is unfamiliar and comforting, and it pushes our perceptions outward into surrealistic utopias, enchanting the emotive tonal shapes with wonder and beauty. (I also highly recommend reading the liner notes on wabi sabi’s page for the release!)
joni void + n nao simulateur de rêve lucide (never content)
Whimsy becomes another shade of night on the beguiling washed-out world of simulateur de rêve lucide. Lilting vocal melodies deconstruct the magnetic poles with surgical accuracy even though the shifting aural sands in the background are a hypnotic distraction. Inside decaying loops, pieces fall into place. A larger picture is formed from the moving concrète forms and spectral figures hidden within sonic frames. Ghosts turn themselves into liminal echoes, shapeless and ephemeral. Even after being buried under piles of granular debris, simulateur de rêve lucide is luminous.
André Gonçalves & Casper Clausen Aether (Holuzam)
The shine in the distance is blinding. Autotuned vocals and spatial, expressive pads melt into multidimensional aural seas. Aether is otherworldly in every way, transporting listeners into spaces where the surfaces may be crystalline, but a burning weariness hides just beneath. Surreal tonal shapes move together, not quite in perfect harmony, but in ways that create new spectral visions and sonic reflections. The frequencies harness a wide lens to grow outward, expansive and ebullient, always hoping the next corner reveals a new astral plane. Fantastic.
SIKSA Szmery w sercu (Antena Krzyku)
When the gates open and flames spill out, I expect SIKSA to stand triumphantly after the smoke clears. The Polish artist’s songs ride a visceral edge, ready to fall off into the chaotic miasma churning at their foundation. Grating, distorted guitar lines tread wearily across ramshackle percussion and drowned basslines in a blackened cauldron. SIKSA’s voice is the focal point, though. Always. Even though waves of synthetic arpeggiations and caustic sonic debris bubbling up from the tarpits below, she spits acid, moving at lightspeed through stinging runs and urgent anthems. If she’s leading the charge, I’m heading straight into the void.