Premiere: Steve Roden Room40 Reissues

I am always surprised by the deeply affecting nature of Steve Roden’s work. There’s a depth of clarity in his creations that always sneak up on me, like uncorking a suppressed memory or hidden trauma. Part of that comes in the minute details that give such life to his work; it’s never music to fade into the background, but in its stillness and quietude a … Continue reading Premiere: Steve Roden Room40 Reissues

Premiere: Saint Abdullah “Inshallahlaland”

Saint Abdullah’s track record is impeccable. Every release is memorable in its own way, combining disparate sounds and ideas into new forms of expression, sweeping listeners off course like it’s nothing. Last year’s In God’s Image remains a touchstone, an epic achievement of caustic, contemplative rage. Following up the recent To Live A La West double dose on Important and Cassauna, the duo offer new … Continue reading Premiere: Saint Abdullah “Inshallahlaland”

Robert Takahashi Crouch “Jubilee”

In the cold light of a winter morning, sharp air flowing like a stream of microscopic daggers against the skin, Robert Takahashi Crouch’s Jubilee sits in the shadows. Crouch asks in the notes about the album, “What can be communicated in my chosen medium, how can I do this, and where (or what) is the porous boundary between my authorship and the listeners’ agency?” The last question … Continue reading Robert Takahashi Crouch “Jubilee”

Foxy Digitalis Radio #3: Nasturtium

For the third episode of Foxy Digitalis Radio on Radio Coyote, I spoke with Erin Dawson and Geneva Skeen aka Nasturtium. I adore their debut album, Please Us, which came out earlier this year on Room 40 so this seemed like a perfect opportunity to chat with them. We talked about a lot of different things including the first-ever, weirdo drone meetcute,” collaborating by file swapping even though they … Continue reading Foxy Digitalis Radio #3: Nasturtium

Video Premiere: Mike Cooper “Tirta Gangga”

Mike Cooper’s new book and album, Oceans of Milk and Treacle, is a soundtrack for an otherwise silent film. “Tirta Gangga” finds Cooper’s moving guitar treatise situated above the canopy, singing a languid melody with the hypnotic insect chorus. Lamentations for something long lost permeate the slow-moving notes, Cooper guiding each shifting chord down the river like a ferryman who’s seen it all. The stillness from … Continue reading Video Premiere: Mike Cooper “Tirta Gangga”

HEXA “Material Interstices”

Claustrophobic cocoons emerge from dark grey landscapes as HEXA’s Material Interstices fixes its gaze toward the burning horizon. The duo of Jamie Stewart and Lawrence English is built from shaded contours and broken pieces, honed with intention into a desolate, solid mass. Material Interstices moves slow, as of dragging the weight of a thousand dead suns, making each scarred element ever more potent. Levity has no place here; everything … Continue reading HEXA “Material Interstices”

Foxy Digitalis Mix #25: Jamie Stewart

For Jamie Stewart’s HEXA mixtape, Exhibition Copy, he digs deep. Like the new HEXA album, his collaboration with Lawrence English, there’s a surprising thread that runs through the whole of this mix. Of course, the HEXA album, Material Interstices, is a heady subterranean drifter and while there’s some deep bass and snarling electronics peppered throughout Exhibition Copy, it’s the care and detail in how the … Continue reading Foxy Digitalis Mix #25: Jamie Stewart

Video Premiere: Olivia Block “Axiolite”

Pieces of the world are falling into the abyss and finding freedom in the process. The darkness is a veil, beyond is a rising sun tickled by flames from the last scraps of a dying landscape. Olivia Block’s new album for Room 40, Innocent Passage in the Territorial Sea, digs through the desolate wreckage of the past 18 months and dreams up deep bass pathways … Continue reading Video Premiere: Olivia Block “Axiolite”

Video Premiere: Ian Wellman “The Toll On Our Daily Lives”

There’s a claustrophobic feeling imperiled in Ian Wellman’s incredible “The Toll On Our Daily Lives.” In the video by Trevor Baker, that claustrophobia is distilled in the way vivid colors fade to a darkened brown, black, and grey palette. Repeating loops rise and fall like the slowing breath of a dying patient where the anxiety grows with each successive cycle. Desolation from the past year … Continue reading Video Premiere: Ian Wellman “The Toll On Our Daily Lives”

Nasturtium “Please Us”

Nasturtium is an edible flower, but my first time seeing the word (which was when I got an email about this album) made me think it was a black metal band. That dichotomy is an excellent metaphor for the compositional qualities of Please Us. In this case, Nasturtium is the duo of Erin Dawson and Geneva Skeen, two artists with disparate approaches that combine to create … Continue reading Nasturtium “Please Us”