As I mentioned on yesterday’s Foxy Digitalis Daily, the vibe has felt off from the beginning of the week. So far, a couple people agreed, and a couple people responding to anything these days feels like a consensus, so we’ll go with that. The vibe is off. That said, there’s a pile of great music here to dig through that will hopefully change all of our fates. Or perhaps something less grandiose.
This a reminder that Foxy Digitalis Daily is over on Patreon today (the longest episode ever!), and it would be amazing if you signed up, supported the cause, and joined the fun. Hopefully, I’ll see y’all over there. In the meantime, dig into this…
Pablo Gīw & Mariel Roberts Kryo (Self-Released)
Sputtering sonics gloss over serrated edges and scratched-glass pathways, plunging our focus immediately into the frozen depths. Pablo Gīw’s trumpet sounds like it’s being ripped apart, spewing out the last gasps of life while Marie Roberts conjures a boiling sea of cello spillage. Rhythms try to form but are constantly pulled back into the electroacoustic wreckage to find another route into the light. Minimalist visages grow into angular shapes, bouncing atop a quiet pulse while being smothered in crackling textures. In moments, it’s unsettling, but emotive trumpet reflections pull us back from the void. Eerie dissonance hums against a darkening backdrop as the echoing clatter snaps reality entirely out of view. Each expansive piece on Kryo is a trip.
Amanda Irarrázabal “En el Paladar”
The air on “En el Paladar” is noxious, the atmosphere cryptic. Amanda Irarrázabal gets so much mileage from small sounds and stretches herself to the edge. Contrabass rattles, and scratches dig a visceral foundation, lurching forward while tethered to concrete blocks. There’s so much tension here that it’s tangible. Angular synth patterns paint random patterns in the background, the bass notes continually straining toward an unseen point. But it’s Irarrázabal’s voice that ratchets the intensity to uncomfortable levels. High-frequency warbles and drone-like hymnals move in the shadows swirling in all directions before breaking off into operatic maneuvers. There’s an animalistic feeling to so many of these vocal exercises, and the quickness with which she shifts approaches is dizzying. I don’t know what this soundworld is, and it feels strange and anxious, but I don’t want to leave. An impressive performance.
Goblin Daycare Q: EP? A: EP! (Syf)
The description of Q: EP? A: EP! As egg punk disco both makes no sense and perfect sense. On this six-track/eight-minute EP, Turkish punks Goblin Daycare (which is the best band name) never pull back on the accelerator, throwing distorted blasts at concrete. Even at 100 mph, these tracks are angular and catchy, the hooks buried under cataclysmic fuzz and sharp, spitfire rhythms. Don’t blink, or this spectral guitar scuzz will be gone. Fun, wild, and there’s a song called “Landlordicide.” Can’t ask for more than that.
Booker Stardrum & Chris Williams Relay (cached.media)
On this dream collaboration, something is trying to escape, or at least send a final message before skittering off into nothingness. Stardrum and Williams ride their lanes with shaded resonance and sonic meanderings, veering off course with precise cuts and movements. Percussive waves float and flicker like flocks of starlings fit with sonorous rattles dropping fluctuating sonic rivers from above. Williams guides the mirage beyond the cosmos with soulful trumpet peregrinations fueled by tender reverence. The hollows come calling, metallic whispers scuttling beneath the trees, drawing notation in the decaying leaves. Meditative spaces appear when the gentle frenzy coalesces toward a conclusion, and the quiet draws closer and open. Uneasiness still lingers, but Stardum and Williams bend darkly whimsical electronics and a chamber-like atmosphere toward somewhere life is still, and our memories move across dimensions. Highly recommended.
Siren and the Sea Gravity Wave (Bathysphere)
Birdsong and glittering arpeggiations welcome us into the ephemeral cocoon. Flowing synthscapes glow beneath sunkissed skies, moving like an aurora’s gentle ripples. Siren and the Sea is the work of Cristina Cano, and Gravity Wave is a shining sonic beacon. The spaces inside these sonic expanses are illuminating. Warmth spills from shapeless harmonies, spiraling skyward in an affecting dance. Cano’s music is bathed in rich textures, giving it a tactile feel. Lead melodies grow in strength, their sinewy spirit climbing a ladder to the stars. Gravity Wave swirls around and flows through us, pulling us forward into brighter moments and distant promises. Beautiful.
George Rayner-Law System 100 (Hard Return)
I can’t help but enjoy following sounds that go nowhere. System 100 is a dead zone of textural ecstasy. Small wobbles ripple through the repeating dyads, tricking our brains into stasis and eulogizing the primitive nature of these hypnotic oscillations. Rayner-Law leans into the intricacies of these sounds, letting subtle shifts become focal points as System 100 bludgeons any desire for progression or resolution. I am infatuated by the tactile nature of these pieces and how Rayner-Law lets this instrument breathe, even if it’s claustrophobic at moments. Don’t be followed by the simple structures because these two pieces are technicolor.
Natalia Beylis Library of Sticks (Artsy)
It might seem weird that an album called Library of Sticks feels like being a castaway on an old wooden ship, but here we are. Woozy rhythms and slowed voices bounce against guttural creaks and groans. Before everything breaks apart and we lose our dinner over the rail, the sun comes out, and we’re adrift on crystal-clear waves. Throughout Library of Sticks, an aqueous atmosphere lurks, aiding the rise-and-fall nature of these odd and enticing compositions. Beylis fuses sound sources in surprising ways, using Willie Stewart’s Drum Tracks for Further Use cassette as a compass propelling these pieces forward on a zigzag, ocean-faring course. These memorable collages elicit a surprisingly visceral reaction from me, which makes me appreciate them more.
Notorious Secret Secrets of The Night (Underwater Computing)
Is everything just a dream? Vaporous rhythms slathered in spellcast reverb that always feel just out of reach. Fantasies are reborn as nostalgic ribbons cutting through the darkness, cast in neon mist and timeless melodies. Everything is in its proper place on Secrets of The Night. Its immediacy makes us lean in while rising synth arpeggios glide through streets lit only by glowing halogen lamps overhead. Saxophone invitations whisk hearts and minds through the fog, out of the cage, and into another LCD dawn. Sometimes the familiar moments are the ones we crave the most.