The Capsule Garden Vol 2.7: March 1, 2023

I can’t believe it’s already March. That is absolutely wild to me. A quick reminder that Foxy Digitalis Daily is over on Patreon today, where the good times continue to roll. Sign up if you’re able! Also, a new EP from my long-running solo project, The North Sea, is out today on A Red Thread. All proceeds from this release will be donated to Cooperation Tulsa. It marks the beginning of phase III of the project, whatever that means. And now, let’s get on with the show.

Pat Thomas WAZIFAH Volume 1 (Scatter)

Pat Thomas caught me off guard with WAZIFAH Volume 1, and I’m all the better for it. Using IRCAM’s TimeStretch, he composes a series of soundworlds that cover a wide array of sonic spectra by twisting and bending recordings of various instruments into new, unrecognizable shapes. This music is investigatory at its core, searching for the keys to every imaginable frequency. Sharp, rhythmic frenzies spill into deeper swells. Unrecognizable tones blend with familiar percussive bursts and bit-crushed static. It’s a wild ride through each piece as our attention gets refracted and split into multiple aural dimensions. There’s a lot to dig into here.

Ayami Suzuki & Takashi Masubuchi Featherland (Union Pole)

A whimsical, minimalist journey for voice and guitar on the legendary Union Pole label leaves us waiting for one last sweet breath. We’re phantoms in the quiet echoes of this set of folktales from an imaginary place called Featherland. Ayami Suzuki continues her incredible run of remarkable albums, this time in a stripped-down environment where her vocal timbre resonates with an organic glow. There’s a thoughtful, emotional stream beaming from each of these songs, as though we’re stuck in time and watching the world pass us by. Masubuchi’s guitar arrangements are plaintive and hit so hard that we feel each plucked note in our bones. Wonderful.

Ng’at Maler & [MONRHEA] You Are The Creator (Self-Released)

On the first collaborative project between these two Kenyan artists, life blooms in rich colors and vivid detail through exploratory sonic scenes. Within these growing aural fields, basslines move with forward-looking precision, snaking beneath minimalist melodies and ambient shimmer. There’s a sense of drama and urgency flickering in the scattered sequences and patterns that bring waves of emotion and texture. Synths float, light as air, across a pummeling backdrop of frenetic beats, trying to reach escape velocity to escape the rhythmic tether’s grounding call. Excellent.

Caroline Kraabel and Khabat Abas 5 Communiqués (Self-Released)

Khabat Abas has quickly become a favorite here at FDHQ, and this excellent set with saxophonist Carolien Kraabel continues that. Improvisations that whisper in the shadows, well beyond the creeping darkness. Room noise hovers over every movement, the quiet clicks, and hollow scratches. Kraabel bends the last remnants of light into breathy, wispy notes that are as fleeting as Abas’s void-adjacent taps. I find myself questioning if this music even exists in certain moments. Still, it’s that transitory quality that keeps me coming back. I’m a big fan.

Brandon Lopez trio Matanzas (Relative Pitch)

From the opening squalls of Matanzas, I want to lift my fists into the air and holler. Lopez, along with Gerald Cleaver (first name on the call sheet) and Steve Baczkowski, stomps across concrete ruins into a new place in the sun. Bass lines run for days, inventing new modes of sonic transportation, skipping along Cleaver’s propulsive rhythms. Each groove finds a different pocket without looking backward. Lopez is, as always, inventive in his phrasings and approach, and Cleaver meets him at every turn. Baczkowski has space to let it rip, sending hot-tempered solos spinning into the woodchipper. On the flipside, the trio rides a fluctuating wave, investigating emotive spreads and quiet heartbeats before settling into a horizon-expanding, melodic blast. Once it ends, just hit play again. Essential listening.

glåsbird sirena (eRecords)

Landscapes rearrange themselves into the liminal fog in the orchestral expanses of glåsbird’s beguiling sirena. Crackling textures give the sweeping strings distance, like we’re holding our frayed emotions at arm’s length. Repetition builds mountains. Each note blooms into an icy kaleidoscope of wistful reflections. A ride along the edge of a blurred memory holds us in its doe-eyed grace, as though the elegies hidden in each chord progression, each cloudy aural passage is a reminder of a past life. Chimes are buried under snow, still finding a way to send echoes into the world. The tones hold a gentle resonance that propels us forward into a new dawn. Beautiful.

Pool of Light & Slow Clinic Descend (Chitra)

On this long-distance collaboration between Russia’s Pool of Light and the UK’s Slow Clinic, expansive melodies become vast, encompassing soundworlds. Textures split into harmonic tendrils running through the silvery sonic fields, taking a shapeless path beyond. Processed guitars are blurred into echoes, perched below gleaming arpeggios and rising vibrant tones. This music is pensive in stretches while finding the right moments for airiness and solace. With tactile warmth and a muted glow, Descend doesn’t try reinventing the wheel but focuses on finding meaningful expression within these reflective sonic spaces. It’s quite lovely.

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