The Capsule Garden Vol 2.20: June 14, 2023

Foxy Digitalis Daily is over on Patreon today (join the fun – support the cause!), and there’s been a lot of pretty great stuff there the past few weeks, including a brand new, 30-minute Country Wifi jam that’s sure to melt some brains. Or at least encourage raiding the tomato plants. What? Anyway, a hefty dose of great music this week. I’ve been in solo parent mode since Sunday, and for some reason, it’s made me voraciously seek out and explore as much new music as possible the last few days. There’s always a mountain to climb, but I aim for the peak in weeks like this. Get listening.

Meredith Bates Tesseract (phonometrograph)

Tesseract is immense. Across two CDs, Meredith Bates creates sound worlds from violin, voice, objects, and effects, then buries them in cacophonous fog and grating resonances. Textural structures underline each movement, giving way to digital processing that flits between gleaming glassine orbs and fractured sonic landscapes. String waves bloom into night fissures where darkening horizons hide the jagged framework growing underneath. Bates builds levitating geometric structures from looping violin plucks, moving like lost ghosts before being drawn out by melancholic melodies. Noise swashes give way to string ensembles at dawn; tension fades into warming lucidity. Tesseract is magnificent and magical, offering so many spaces to explore. Incredible.

Robbie Wing Snake on the Road (Peyote Tapes)

Distorted missives wash away decaying bone and ash to let vestiges of sunlight creep through the banjo trails. The backwoods live forever in feather-light jamborees, lilting through breaks in the treeline where wistful melodies flicker through midnight like fireflies giving the world one last show. Robbie Wing’s sense of melody comes in layered waves, from the looping piano progressions and field recordings to the parched landscapes of “High Lonesome.” Fizzing electronics dance behind a droning scrawl where resonance leads skyward, and the water laps the shore in intricate patterns. Snake on the Road holds a still, soft surface while its blazing core explodes just beneath. 

Gerald Cleaver 22 / 23 (Positive Elevation)

Gerald Cleaver’s innate sense of rhythm and timing blooms into a different bouquet when he turns his head toward his electronic works. Shifting cadences blend into layered polyrhythms with bass melodies, pointillistic leads, and minimal beats moving in interesting, conjunctive ways. 22 / 23 navigates neon house-adjacent corridors that sit next to saxophone-infused futuristic jazz. There’s a narrative to find throughout this record – never obvious, but always there – with sprawling electroacoustic investigations creating angular, sky-searching sonic fabrics that hold up interjacent cyclic movements. Cleaver is generous on 22 / 23. It’s sequenced well, never hinting at its two-hour runtime, heightening the immersive experience of being lost within this shapeshifting soundworld. Excellent.

Samuel Organ Guided By Horses (Supernature)

There’s a clearing hidden deep in the forest where time is impervious to itself, and everything stands still. Samuel Organ taps into that feeling across seven beautiful missives, pressing us to stare solemnly into a well-worn mirror. Plucked guitars rise through string-laden melodies obscuring a dewy voice that leaves us spellbound and smitten. Organ tenders gentle reminders of moments lost to the eternal fire, moments we may have never known at all, but within the wistful fanfare and fragmented piano loops, they become familiar. Synth arpeggios dance for a lost future left to rust before Laucan joins “Footsteps” on vocals bending our focus inward. Quiet string arrangements that are placid and sweetly melancholy add a glow behind distant figures, making us feel closer to each other. Guided By Horses brings secret shadows to life. Absolutely stunning. 

Sachi Kobayashi Melodies in the Garden (Stereoscenic Records)

Sachi Kobayashi never disappoints, and Melodies in the Garden is a quiet, intimate reflection on small moments in the natural world. This music is born in the outside air, adrift with winged insects in the sunkissed sky. Clear, bell-like timbres are sprinkled throughout, evoking a sense of fantasy and whimsy. Field recordings widen the sonic palette and expand the spaces where our mind wanders, whether we find melodies saturated with aqueous sounds or pensive sequences blanketed with cracking textures. Kobayashi’s music is so expressive. We can’t help but feel drawn to it, to immerse ourselves within its luminous aural expanse and alluring glow. Some days, we don’t want to push too far within ourselves; we just want to float in something beautiful. Melodies in the Garden offers us that chance.

KMRU Wind Bags​/​Lune (Byrd Out)

What could be better than two impressionistic slices of affecting sonic experimentation from KMRU? An additional remix from Nyokabi Kariuki. “Wind Bags” swims in poignant tonal progressions, always searching for the sun’s position in the sky as it loops with shades of whimsy. Sonorous shards gleam with crystalline electronics before fading into the basslines below. On “Lune,” KMRU turns tension into reflective resonant forms. An organic timbre winds through the lustrous aural spread, where metallic vibrations bounce against the brightest stars in the sky. Kariuki lends her voice to her rework of “Wind Bags,” bringing out the underlying melancholy and fusing it with effervescent atmospherics. Vocals pull away before returning stronger, always in view, haunted by those we never want to forget. Everything about this is lovely.

Jack Cooper Arrival (Astral Spirits)

Perseverance comes in many shapes, and on Arrival, it takes the form of patience and restraint. Jack Cooper’s Arrival unfolds gradually, taking its time as the three instruments (cello, piano, and clarinet) form a common language through interconnected phrasings, resonant timbres, and surprising melodies. Anton Lukoszevieze (cello), Alexander Hawkins (piano), and Heather Roche (clarinet) create an unforgettable performance, each note progression and movement accentuated by breaths and room noises, heightening our inward visceral response. Every moment feels interconnected as if one piece of the ensemble was removed, Arrival would disintegrate. It brings a certain tension that’s surprisingly enjoyable and buoys the link between artist and listener. A remarkable piece of music.

Pefkin Observations on Land and Sea (Sonido Polifonico)

Another haunting missive from the mythic woodlands Pefkin’s Gayle Brogan draws into the sonic realm. Observations on Land and Sea are shrouded in an ethereal mist. Brogan channels through timeless vocal incantations and phantom drones. Memories emerge from darkening pathways as guideposts into an immaterial abyss. These songs are otherwordly with spindly harmonic fragments gleaning any bits of light from beyond and sending it back through time through stirring violin motifs and gossamer atmospheres. Brogan wields the aural gravity like a stone sled, these four songs tracing an unforgettable path between two impermanent horizons. Long after the last notes blend into the midnight wind, Observations on Land and Sea echoes into the distant morning.

asher tuil fugue (Self-Released)

Stretching beyond an imaginary viewpoint, fugue runs through an emotional gauntlet. Electronics simmer beneath electric clouds, the tension lightly brushing against skin but leaving a ringing trail through emotive drones and melodic swells. Sometimes, tuil pulls all the air out of the room and transfers it through lush sonic pathways into new expanses, pushing us to follow. So much of fugue focuses on the rise and fall of specific moments and uses their gravitational pull to etch these sounds, and those memories, permanently into our minds. 

Baskot Baskot Lel Baltageyya (Akuphone)

Phantasmagoric funhouses are turned into neon musical fantasies throughout the surreal Baskot Lel Baltageyya. The Cairo-based project swims beneath winding psychedelic streets into a hidden place where chaos is an art form, and nuance is fed to invisible creatures. Baskot fuses acrobatic funk elements with spiraling electronics and repurposed traditional rhythmic structures. Poet and vocalist Anwar Dabbour twists his voice into infinite shapes, bathing in absurd timbres and deconstructing melodies into grotesque and whimsical figures as though his life depends on it. With an inventive delivery and hypnotic cadence, his twisted voice weaves between the enigmatic and unforgettable bouncing soundscapes. There’s a relentlessness to this music that becomes infectious. We want to run headfirst into these mythical, futurist sounds without any notion of anything other than feeling it deep in our bones.

ludmila nunes tyrian tapestry (flat plastic home media)

Disparate textures melt into ramshackle rhythmic escapades, generating derelict sonic twists that become a hallucinogenic fantasy. Percussion spills like frozen Kool-aid, all its jagged glory bleeding into skipping keys and eerie melodies. Across its abbreviated runtime, tyrian tapestry crawls deeper down the rabbit hole. Joyous bounces give way to desolate electronics and obscured incantations, leaving us questioning if this was the right path to follow. Once the volume begins to scorch, we get a respite in the disconcerting pop-dismantling spread of “beu beu.” I’m intrigued and a little terrified. Nunes sharpens the aural knives on death beats and trip wires when the bottom falls out. Tyrian tapestry is puzzling but stellar. 

EA & Θ Sense Less (Adventurous Music)

Synths flop through maze-like structures, formless and ephemeral but fused with a forward focus. Brothers Euripides and Themis Altintzoglou deconstruct melodic patterns with loosening precision. Basslines anchor the piece to a cybernetic framework while higher pointillist frequencies gain traction. Sense Less floats the line between spectral drones and something more academic, finding some lost purpose. The more I listen to this, the more spaced out I feel. 

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