Mid-Summer Record Rotation

SPUN ‘ROUND LIKE A RECORD: While things are are changing in the environment, and this is likely going to be one of the hottest years on record, we pause to take in the sounds of Summer. So, yes, even though we have abandoned social media altogether – we are glad you joined us here, our own gathering spot for the latest sounds from all around. These records piqued our interest, for various reasons, and we hope yours in turn. Here’s a whole smattering of interesting spins recently on the shelves…

Wil Bolton | Surface Reflections
sound in silence (CDR/DL)

The title of this record is so apt, as it glistens with warm tones and subtle field recordings, pedals and processing. The way he melds field recordings of background voices (people and birds), open air mics and gentle melody is inspired. An ambient record that at times sits-in-wait, patiently, not for anything specific, but for certain sounds to bloom organically. Parts are repetitive, but in so being, are mesmerizingly so. Water seems at the core here, breaking surfaces, and making sense of how this snapshot of our most valuable natural resource can be more emergent than drowing. Bolton offers a benign reminder of our sensitivity (and reliance) on the more subliminal nature of H2O.

Alx Broken | Measured Fragments
Nowaki Music (DL)

At about thirty minutes in length this teeters between EP and LP, though it caught my attention with its serrated beats, and ping-pong pauses. French electronic sound sculptor Alx Broken has a way with breaking stream of consciousness with mood music and post-techno that’s uniquely primitive and savvy. His thumps are lumpy and banal, instead he bends beats with a certain sophistication that recalls some of the best of Vladislav Delay – only on a more human scale. The sound is electric, saturated in flickering effects that are indulge-worthy and a little bit funky around the edges, hence titles like Organic Waste and Convoluted Logic. The standout here is the on/off again abstraction on Poly_Morph. It’s a sleeper, a teaser, and as cryptic as they come.

James Wyness | they don’t even sound the same
self-released (CDR/DL)

In his latest limited release Scottish sound artist James Wyness offers an hour long work that brings about a lengthy pulsation that shapeshifts in unique ways over its sixty-one minutes. Handmade music of found objects and variant gesturing make for a world of sonic drone. He really has a way of developing an almost numbing/brainwashing effect, permeated by friction and sense of space. It’s meditative yet its gyrations are quite industrial, yet not at all off-putting. Plus, how can you negate a title that is so contrary that’s in my territory for sure. I’ll likely be guessing who “they” are for the rest of my life, as it’s posed so often, but never 100% clear. The luxurious extensions here really make you feel as though you are going deeper and deeper into some wily vortex.

René Aquarius | Woodland Sigil
Unfathomless (CD/DL)

A most perfect rainy day record, literally. It was music to my ears as here in Texas a drought has been in effect, earth has been parched, and funny enough, the skies finally opened today after a few scorching dry days. Recorded around Sweden, Aquarius captured the pleasantries of tranquil yet inclement weather. The drone of the widescreen outdoors, in surround, is miraculous, especially on the low end. His crafted patterns are textured, layered slowly. The core of this seems to dilate in shallow measures, birds and branches heard with the most minimally manipulated methods. A sensation of remote-ness is pervasive, while the subdued roar into the unknown is a catalyst for the imagination. A definitive collection of the elements, and the creatures inhabiting their realm.

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