The Capsule Garden Vol 2.16: May 3, 2023

Bandcamp Friday preparation continues during this hectic week at FDHQ. There will be a couple new offerings from the Jewel Garden (one of which you will hear now if you subscribe!), but details remain a moving target. There’s also these killer Jewel Garden logo tees to check out. As ever, all proceeds support Foxy Digitalis and keep the site humming along.

Otherwise, it’s been an odd week. An emotional rollercoaster. Monday was pretty rough, though playing Mario Kart with the kid at the end of the day perked things up considerably. I do pretty well with keeping the void at bay and not letting the seeming lack of reaction or engagement with stuff I’m putting out there get to me, but Monday was not one of those days. It’s rough out there sometimes (most of the time). 

But hey, upward and all that. Thanks for being here. Thanks for reading. Foxy Digitalis Daily is over on Patreon today with a fantastic album from Heavy Cloud and a few questions for readers, but until then, dig into some of these lovely slices of sonic delight.

DJ Finale Mille Morceau (Nyege Nyege Tapes)

Bright lights and bright nights diffuse through the joyous and frenetic rhythmic brilliance of Mille Morceau. Kinshasa’s DJ Finale fuses so many approaches, taking cadences and rhythms from rumba and trap, among others, shoving them through a blender of industrial electronics, neon-tinged morning music, soukous, and loads more. Stark atmospheres give way to feverish soundscapes fueled by levitating dancefloors and futurist visions. The energy on Mille Morceau is palpable as we’re swept away by jubilant guitar lines bouncing along snaking, hypnotic bass patterns. It’s an intoxicating blend of hybrid sonic mayhem lined with an ecstatic glow and ultraviolet enthusiasm. An amazing album.

Hydromedusae s/t (Trome)

Longtime friends Jessica Bailiff and Annelies Monseré become collaborators as Hydromedusae. Triumphant sentiments raise the curtain on a series of haunting, soulful whispers. Guitar lines progress through maze-like silhouettes, buoyed by fragmented cello drones and minimal rhythms. All of the instrumentation creates an inviting sonic bed for enchanting vocal melodies to push into an ethereal plane. Monseré gives voice to all the lost ghosts and memories stuck in place and unsure where to go, entranced by Bailiff’s delightful phrasings and lyrical incantations. Beckoned by distant shores aloft on unearthly piano arrangements and introspective murmurs, Hydromedusae coalesce into worlds beyond.

Eventless Plot Distance Between Us (Dinzu Artefacts)

Sometimes we just have to sit in uncomfortable silences or intense spaces. Distance Between Us finds an Eventless plot joined by clarinetists Margarita Kapagiannidou and Chris Cundy. Within an alluring maze of piano, tapes, modular synth, and electronic textures, the woodwinds navigate obstacles in search of uneasy revelations. Timbral spectrums intersect to build an uneasy truce, as if dissonance and conflict hide at every turn. Each musician gingerly moves forward, pushing out note after note in search of connection. Those bridges are built in short bursts – a hiss-laden melody embracing a soft clarinet swell or an oscillating saw wave electrifying quiet organic drones – but fragility ultimately wins out. Each second of Distance Between Us is captivating and filled with aural drama. I lose myself in the minute details every time I listen, ready to let the tension wash over me. Excellent.

Luurel Varas Riddles For a Machine (Crash Symbols)

Once the sun goes on and night sets in, the smooth channels of Riddles For a Machine open. Clean rhythmic lines sit in the pocket and build outward. Layers of synthetic melodies and glassine atmospherics combine with intriguing pageantry, as though we’ve been whisked away to an oceanic world of dreams. There’s a captivating aqueous quality throughout the purposeful, forward thrum, where mechanical architecture is polished with a warming glow. If this is music for machines, they’ve been taken over by glossy sonics and organic networks. Eyes closed, Luurel Varas helps us drift away.

Delphine Dora R​​​ê​​​ver l’imperceptible (Fort Evil Fruit)

Parsing messages from cryptic frequencies becomes a pathway through the fringes on R​​​ê​​​ver imperceptible. Delphine Dora explores the resonances and vibrations in nature by piecing together disparate elements and finding surprising aural connections. Strings scrape and rattle in opposition to her ghostly vocals, all the while blithe creatures sing in the crisp air. Within soft drones built from piercing electronics and her voice, cocoon-like structures form, and tiny, magical moments spark to life. This is music where the details hold secrets. Esoteric whispers guide us forward, a beacon within the fractured darkness. By breaking things down into elemental specters, Dora finds new meanings and understanding in the world at large. A captivating listening experience.

Wil Bolton Like Floating Leaves (laaps)

Like Floating Leaves is such a perfect title for Wil Bolton’s latest on leaps. Across nine tracks, a fragile framework emerges for listeners to explore and drift across. Everything here feels delicate, as though any single melody or looping expression could disintegrate before our eyes. Bolton balances this with emotional threads stitching each passage to the next, all of it aloft and wandering in whimsical, asymmetric patterns like leaves in the wind. Resonant swells encase textural field recordings and pointillist sonic arrangements, the sonic corridors opening and closing without warning. It’s not until we’re neck deep in these lovely, emotive soundscapes that we begin to feel the tension; even then, it’s subtle. Chimes glisten up close and in the distance. Invitations for insects and deep inhalations scatter away on wistful synth forms, leaving us lost and rudderless with a feeling of appreciation that we can simply float away.

Marina Džukljev / Noid Continents (Inexhaustible Editions)

A fantastic duo of church organ and cello that steers into vaporous arrangements to formulate engaging, dissonant drone masses. The contrast and intersection of the two instruments’ timbres are revelatory, enhancing every sonic movement and expression. Džukljev and Noid explore discordant shards with precision. Quiet aural screams generate tension and unpredictability through frequency interference. A hardened edge emerges in the auditory periphery, trying to throw up boundaries to keep our focus from falling into the funereal abyss. In the closing stretches, hollow bass tones grow around the heightened cello textures, searing a lasting mark in the final notes. 

Adrianne Munden-Dixon / Vines “Lung” (Gold Bolus)

I still haven’t written or talked about Adrianne Munden-Dixon’s phenomenal album Lung (I will fix that because I adore it), but this version of “Lung” from Vines (Cassie Wieland) is spellbinding in its own right. Wieland adds a timeless air to the transportive arrangements, pushing the emotional weight off a cliff and bringing us down. Even in all its atmospheric glory, with swirling violins and elegiac drones, Wieland’s gentle vocal patterns hit with an affecting force. Where Munden-Dixon’s rendition feels baked in the sun, parched and fragile, Wieland sends us soaring across midnight skies, searching for an end to a story we’ve been writing all our lives. It’s a stunning piece of music.

opt out Methanotroph (Moonside Tapes)

Take a melody and drown it until it morphs into some kind of aqueous subatomic being capable of self-expression, and a picture of the beguiling Methanotroph begins to form. Glassine tones shift in reflective waters to reveal secret messages written in graphic notation. The images are blurry, synthetic marvels in cool hues that hold back an ocean of sonic dreams. Cadences solidify into statuesque mirrors peering back through a harmonic latticework of pointillist rhythms and minimal soundscapes. This music is familiar on the surface, but underneath, magic lurks. 

Valiska Wolf Moon (Self-Released)

Looking inward, Wolf Moon casts darkness out. Through a series of vocal-focused experimentations, Valiska finds new fertile ground. Angular structures melt into rotating prismatic resonant folds where shadows move in disunion with fluid figures. At its heart, Wolf Moon is an embrace. Emotive, melodic sequences feed into themselves, growing in confidence as a reassuring gesture that clearer vistas await if we continue moving forward. Pockmarked synth patterns accentuate the ambient atmosphere, making this music all the more enveloping and inviting. This is a beautiful sonic world.

mapped out in lights longform one (Somnimage)

Creeping along a decaying pavement pathway, mapped out in lights, stitching together gaseous electricity fragments. The duo of Mykel Boyd (post-doom romance, The Anti Group) and Dan Burke (Illusion of Safety) stretch vacant expanses across an endless charred landscape. Empty space flows through static. Hissing smog drips with caustic oscillations. There’s a feeling of being stuck simmering beneath the surface here, a growing resentment at glowing surfaces humming in the distance. But we’re not moving, creatures tethered to a fixed point, desperate to explore but only able to experience the marginal movements within our reach. longform, one is thick with desperation, constantly trying to pull us forward. 

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