The Capsule Garden Vol 2.26: July 26, 2023

Solo parent week rolls on as the heat in Tulsa gets worse and worse. At one point the thermometer on our porch read 112 today, so that’s great. There’s no let-up in sight, either, but hey that’s what we all have to look forward to, I guess. Woohoo! Look, I’m tired as all hell today, so I don’t have anything interesting to put up here really. Check out the Patreon for today’s episode of Foxy Digitalis Daily and subscribe to The Jewel Garden for a mountain of excellent tunes. How about that?

Eve Maret New Noise (Curious Music)

New Noise draws us in with its shiny, flickering neon future before launching us into internal reflections. Fresh directions emerge as futuristic pop elements combine with Maret’s mesmerizing synthesizer improvisations to create enigmatic, meditative sonic forms. Catchy melodies bleed with neon psychedelia, like a crystal bridge between known and unfamiliar worlds. Songs like “For Sappho” and “The Initiate” swim in catharsis, with Maret’s voice repurposed and soaring. The title track cascades through underwater caverns, while other moments like the beguiling “I Draw A Circle” transport us straight to a radiant dancefloor. New Noise is remarkable in its quick shifts in tone and atmosphere, creating an utterly delightful listening experience.

Daniel Carter, Leo Genovese, William Parker, Francisco Mela Shine Hear, Vol. 1 (577 Records

It’s always a dream when Carter and Parker play together, and here, joined by Mela and Genovese sparks certainly fly. With Genovese piecing together piano shrapnel into zigzagging, pointillist melodies and Mela scattering rhythms like he has six arms, Shine Hear, Vol. 1 is relentless and cathartic. The cadence unfolds with the purpose to find an eventual lift-off, but the snaking sonic paths to get there are beguiling. Carter and Parker soar in dueling solos on the last piece, a lightspeed choreography that never intersects. Moods darken before the haze clears, Mela unable to hold back any longer as he belts out invitations and exultations. Shine Hear, Vol. 1 is the best kind of trip.

Sote & Mazdak Forsaken Clouds (Zabte Sote)

A stunning collaboration bringing together the electronic and acoustic worlds of two Iranian composers. Forsaken Clouds searches for signs of redemption and remembrance. This music is eternal, burning through liminal spaces with pensive drones and elevating soundscapes. Sote and Mazdak are joined by several excellent collaborators, including soprano Alexa Sakellariou on “Unseen Minorities,” where her voice twists and turns with dissonant tones and evolving sonic darkness. Horizons blur as the tones blend into a dark reverie that tries to penetrate the lingering veil. Difficult memories saturate every stretch of Forsaken Clouds, but it’s eye-opening and forceful, leaving a lasting mark through its grievous melodies and intricate framework. An incredible piece of music I won’t soon forget.

Christina Giannone Reality Opposition (Room 40)

Washed-out fog walls envelop all of our senses on Reality Opposition. Christina Giannone creates a textural sonic world where the movements are massive, shifting like tides. There’s a sense of faded grandeur throughout these pieces, as though we’re coming into this world in its dying throes. Last gasps are etched into aural glass, and time stands still teetering on a serrated edge. Discordant tones shape shadows into an amorphous blur, clipping the barrier between what is seen and what is only felt. Waves fluctuate within the buried hiss, rising toward a distant call in hopes of finding light. 

New Pope There’s Water There (Shinkoyo)

Minimalist rhythms greet us in the opening moments of the fantastic There’s Water There. Drama builds in the swirling bass and sonic fog. Clare Latham’s voice is sharp yet effervescent, cutting through concrete without so much as a whisper. Synths zigzag through fried circuitry and relentless repetition as this music, somehow, rides a line between unyielding progression and completely falling apart. Bouncing ahead on simple, infectious beats, basslines dance in simple patterns, laying the groundwork for hypnotic vocal melodies and sharp-angled guitar crunch. Vaporous atmospheres spread outward like these sounds are beaming out of a smoke machine, searching for some kind of apex to smother before nodding off. I’m a little obsessed with this album.

Pauline Oliveros, IONE, Christopher Willes, Public Recordings and others Resonance Gathering (Art Metropole)

This one is quite special. On the A-Side, we were welcomed by a side-long piece of sound poetry from playwright and poet (and Oliveros’s spouse), IONE, “The Sound of Awakening.” Immediately we’re drawn into the space her voice occupies, enthralled and hanging on each word. It unfolds slowly with purpose, the relaxed cadence heightening each phrase’s impact. On the flipsides (this is a double LP, after all), a live performance of Oliveros’s orchestral piece, “To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of their Desperation,” performed live in Toronto City Hall, is equally captivating. Harsh, jarring sounds reverberate through enclosed structures, creating a mounting, all-encompassing resonance with each added layer. Angular arrangements breakdown and the swelling waves become immersive echoes. It’s utterly enthralling. Repeated listens reveal so much depth and detail. It’s so, so rewarding. Highest recommendation.

Los Siquicos Litoraleños Crisis de Hiperrealidad (Futurex)

The ramshackle feeling of Crisis de Hiperrealidad is intoxicating. Every slab of music on this EP is a party. Drowned cumbia slithers through neon debris, sprightly rhythms pulling the strings that keep every second of this music moving. Country-fried woozy guitars skip across hot coals with a face full of sloshing surrealistic melody. Nothing here quite makes sense, but I don’t want it to. Electronics fuse with a noisy holler and psych-soaked, futuristic folk weirdness, chasing the tail of roadhouse blues. It’s absolutely wild. Never let these good times end. What a fucking treat.

Golden Feelings Better Weather (Self-Released)

Better Weather is a sonic journey that takes listeners through vivid landscapes of sound. The album evolves through resonant expressions built on a matrix of loops, field recordings, and live instrument recordings. Spaces change shape and melt into the atmosphere, creating a sense of wonder and awe. The void is a glowing, welcoming expanse of light, hidden in plain view. This is music for all times, for any moment. Dreamy sequences are blurred into amorphous clouds that float through bright blue skies. Golden Feelings unlocks these dreamscapes through interesting techniques (highly recommend reading about the process behind the album on the Bandcamp page). There’s a world inside Better Weather that I never want to leave, as this music is just so pleasing on every level. 

Zoh Amba & Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt The Flower School (Palilalia)

This music is powerful. Sometimes it’s larger than life, as on the cathartic squall of opener “What Emptiness Do You Gaze Upon!” Corsano steers the ship straight into the wind, and Amba belts out emotive, energizing runs. A steady growl churns beneath from Orcutt, but the coalescence of sound is glorious. It hits hard. Yet, quiet reflections seep into the works, too. Amba moves to acoustic guitar on “Sweet Ones,” and everyone takes a quick breath before the sonic flood of “The Morning Light Has Flooded My Eyes.” Beneath a percussive hailstorm, Amba wails and Orcutt cuts diamonds. It’s invigorating and simply fucking incredible. This is the new dream team.

John Butcher / Dominic Lash / Emil Karlsen Here and How (Bead Records)

Restrained frenzy seems like an impossible thing, yet John Butcher, Dominic Lash, and Emil Karsen found the tools to unlock it. Bass, drums, and saxophone occupy their own spots while sending out aural tendrils that intersect with one another. There’s an intimacy to these recordings that’s lovely. Sputtering, breathy notes tiptoe rapidly across quickfire, pointillist rhythms metered out on both bass and drums. This music has space. Butcher’s quick, gliding runs weave in and out of the air around Lash and Karlsen, on “Spinel” in particular, tying loose knots between the margins. The technical skill on display is incredible, giving these wild, angular jaunts an undercurrent of precision that elevates them to new heights.

Fields We Found Paths (Facture)

Exploratory sonic fields unfold from each other on Paths, emerging from an opaque cloud of memories long forgotten. Melodic synthesis beckons, our footsteps moving slowly and with purpose toward a hazy horizon. Wistful patterns drift at different speeds, adding a sense of inner reflection and contemplation as pointed tones pierce the sullen veil. Every note has a purpose, every sonic string playing out like an entry in a journal. Paths wields a quiet power that draws us in, charmed by the moving textures and plaintive atmosphere, hoping to find answers in these emotive aural forms. There’s an intricacy and delicacy hidden beneath the harmonic blur, and each moment is an invitation to seek further.

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