A quick reminder that Foxy Digitalis Daily is over on Patreon today – give it a look and consider signing up! Tomorrow, a new show debuts on the feed called The Seltzer Salon – concise conversations with artists, writers, etc., about interesting projects and ideas. Something like that. Anyway, keeping this intro short and sweet as I’m writing it on my birthday, and rather than get long-winded, I would rather go play Tears of the Kingdom. So I’m going to do that and y’all should check out all this great music.
Andy Klingensmith & Andrew Weathers Numb Buzzing (Dasa Tapes)
A quick mention for the new Dasa Tapes batch – it’s absolutely stellar. Of the four, Numb Buzzing dug in its claws and whisked me off to cavernous aquifers and textural, subterranean zones. Weathers and Klingensmith let the world do most of the talking, sculpting with care and allowing the constant wash to pull us further downstream. Harmonics radiate incandescence, a halo aloft only to take note, never guide. Scratches and scrapes sniff out the margins and fill them with metallic debris, shifting it outward where we can focus on it or leave it behind. Our choice. Embers cool in the fading sunlight, welcoming darkened passages with passive encouragement. Voices sit in obfuscated steam, hiding from the encroaching rattles and anxious hum.
Cate Brooks Tapeworks (Café Kaput)
Immediately, Tapeworks transports us. Beyond liminal shores and faded fantasies, the heart of this tender music blossoms into kaleidoscopic memory banks. Snippets of moments are jump-off points for hiss-laden synthesis, vocal enchantment, and a general feeling of plaintive recollection. Brooks ties melodies in knots, building depth into the fabric of Tapeworks from the start. Everything moves at just the right speed; it’s never hurried or too relaxed but shimmering in the gloss of contentment where diamonds have lost their luster and midnight lasts a bit longer. We are surrounded by darkness throughout these six pieces, but the gilded reveries encapsulate us with warmth. A stunner.
VisFX To Oblivion (Blorpus Editions)
Serrated atmospheres swirl in grayscale, obliterating daylight into midnight cotton candy. To Oblivion is ephemeral and fleeting, as though we’re stuck between two worlds, neither of which we want to be part. Underlying drones dream of being broken into pieces. Emotions scatter into winded plains, pushed forward on swishing, percussive soundscapes, and dilated tonal frequencies. Synths get swallowed into a fading heartbeat. The abyss sighs with angular, melodic harmonies levitating above oscillating sonic broth. Time’s up. Get blorped.
The Growth Eternal (w/ Joy Harjo) “Holocyne Pyre” (Leaving)
Time stands and bends inward on “Holocene Pyre,” melodies connecting transitional phases and eternal energy into a propulsive, expressive force. Basslines melt into the soil as they look for new ways to bloom life into an intransigent spirit. There’s a feeling throughout the piece that things are slipping away, veering toward a spectral cliff, and it imbues “Holocene Pyre” with a determination to push ahead through a burning valley of countless textural elements. Joy Harjo’s recitation of her poem, “Let There Be No Regrets,” sharpens the focus of “Holocene Pyre” to a point. This music searches for paths forever.
Marcus Fischer Dodecalogues (vol.1) (Self-Released)
A collection of 12 12-minute pieces focusing on single instruments (in this case, mostly an Akai MPC 1000, though there’s a guitar here too). I adore this release. Slow, intentional movements and purposeful sonic introspection collide with an exploratory spirit that allows small moments to bloom into expansive work. Of note, Fischer played the MPC 1000 by hand, giving Dodecalogues (vol. 1) a more organic feel. Without precise refinement, quiet spaces grow into glowing beacons; notes are held in place longer than expected, allowing our thoughts to drift into unexpected realms. The gentleness of this music heightens its surprising power, and we’re left with endless unanswered questions to ponder in the soft, spiraling passages. Beautiful.
Luis Fernando Amaya Cortahojas (Self-Released)
Cortahojas is a wildly good collection of textural compositions and immersive sound works. Mexican composer Luis Fernando Amaya blends subtle aural shifts with pointillist, careening spectacles into music that veers between meditative and dramatic. Strings purr, resonating against blurred piano shards that don’t know whether to coalesce or break apart. Grating violin timbres crawl through bassoon spheres while submerged, minimalist soundscapes search for a final breath. Cortahojas is revelatory, showing Amaya’s incredible range and talent. I can’t wait to hear more.
Ayami Suzuki Passages (rohs!)
Floating, textural sounds scrub our minds clean. Passages stings through an emotional current threaded through ambient corridors and elegiac tonal patterns. Ayami Suzuki shapes her voice into an entire universe, sparse and expanding beyond the margins undeterred. Each vocal drift winds around another, creating layers upon layers of transient sonic energy. Imbued with a faint glow, aural clouds become formless, immersive atmospheres where time moves backward. Even with its wistful undercurrent, Passages is edifying at every turn. Another stunner from one of my favorite artists of the last year.
Panicsville Take Root (Nihilist)
This ain’t the Panicsville I remember, but even if the mode is altered, the guts are still intact. Cryptically melodic electronics bloom into floral shapes and sonic reverie, but the nervous system is teeming with apprehension. These plant-themed tributes to Mort Gerson capture the spirit of Plantasia while heightening the shadows. Everything here is too bubblegum, too harmonically sweet. We’re caught off guard and led into a state of confusion through arpeggiating vocaloid parses and blackened whimsy. The world will gobble us up as we drift closer to the gaping synthetic maw. The physical edition is packaged with seeds and instructions on how to grow, which I love so much as a concept.
hakim george i look to the future (Self-Released)
In the face of darkness, Chile’s hakim George travels into imagined worlds in search of somewhere, or some time, brighter. Drifting aerial vistas gleam as aural diamonds in a neon sky. Faded patterns spell out tonal legacies connecting disparate spaces, leaving cosmic traces across repeating surfaces. This music has an exploratory luminosity, as though George is gleaning a spirited resonance from the sonic brightness. Globular landscapes bathed in sound heighten the alien feeling of i look to the future, pressing us to travel deep into the echoes.
mHz Proof Of Identity (Cassauna)
There’s a relentlessness to the crisp, looping patterns of Proof Of Identity. Bold repetitions build upward through granular fragments repurposed into intertwining aural shapes. mHz uses samples from a traditional Iranian music piece – one he “never found particularly inspiring or interesting” – and obliterates its connective fabric before redefining the sonic architecture through his own entrancing techniques. There’s such a modern bend to Proof Of Identity that it’s near-impossible to find the roots, but that’s an important point on its own. Rhythmic echoes cascade into every corner, increasing in depth the further it expands. This music is delightful and introspective, casting meditative phantoms at surprising angles to create a shadow world worth exploring. Really nice.
Jussi Alaraasakka feat. Lölä Vlasenko “Surfacing” (Mare Nostrum)
Spheres float underwater, dancing slowly through countless steps of an effervescent choreography. Background resonance moves at a crawl, the crystalline synth drops falling down in beautiful, intricate patterns. “Surfacing” is filled with gossamer structures and feather-light sonic architecture. Each note is another ripple, bending the smallest doses of gravity inward as these inviting passages search for solace beneath the waves. Chord progressions flood through gaps in the sparkle-like light beams filtering through with a prismatic sheen. We are wistful yet content in these lovely, loping arrangements.