Across the Blazer by Howard Stelzer

Howard Stelzer | Across the Blazer Marginal Frequency (CD/DL) ‘Tis the season for something new from Boston area cassette deck master Howard Stelzer, and Across the Blazer brings with it a whole new set of intriguing atmospheres. This is also my introduction to the fledgling imprint, Marginal Frequency from my old haunts of the Pacific Northwest  – my guess is we will be hearing a great deal of expertly curated work out of this joint. The rainy hiss and low grumbling drone on the quizically titled Selective Memory (You Never Know Absolutely Quite Where You Are) is head-expanding, and at a … Continue reading Across the Blazer by Howard Stelzer

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Inner Work by Brian James Griffith

Brian James Griffith | Inner Work Histamine Tapes (CS/DL) Los Angeles-based sound artist Brian James Griffith‘s new tape Inner Work hit me right in that bright spot that tranquilizes the expectations and tribulations of the everyday. It’s a morphing and moody ambient set of eight pieces that neutralizes the sappiness of new age and somehow manages to stay sedate. The synth is melodic, rounded, with a bit of abandon that drifts into the corners of your psyche. Griffith blends bass guitar, casiotone, piccolo and other transmissions to form this abundantly layered and stretched work, showcased in the secretive Warm Autumn … Continue reading Inner Work by Brian James Griffith

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Empty Gesture by Of Habit & Dane Law

Of Habit & Dane Law | Empty Gesture Opal Tapes (CS/DL) The very first tape from Of Habit & Dane Law (Gary Myles, Adam Parkinson) opens with the title track. It’s a gradually layered, immersive track that pairs synthetic frequencies with a whole host of chirpy, animated and granular effects. Sinewaves meet lock-grooves and it’s a micronoise overload. A voice (Parkinson) records the routine process on Supernatural Ability. The abstract beat loops over and around itself somewhat drunkenly, feeding right into For Memory where the speaker continues to lucidly recall looking down a mysterious cragged hole, caught up in a … Continue reading Empty Gesture by Of Habit & Dane Law

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Untitled by AS

AS | Untitled Whereiswave (CS/DL) New Italian research collective Whereiswave has released their second tape this year, and they are on to something with this Untitled singular piece by AS (Alessio Sangregorio). The coverart describes the work, but I’ll try an put in my two cents as this one seems to dither between a moshpit of highly manipulated noise, beats and field recordings. I can’t seem to dig up much on the man behind the sounds though my inclination is that he is quite young, and creatively furtive, unaffected by genre lines whatsoever. The tape (edition of 50) starts off … Continue reading Untitled by AS

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Drones by Midcentury Modular

Midcentury Modular | Drones self-released (CS/DL) Out of Raleigh NC, comes Drones the new tape from Midcentury Modular (John Mitchell) recorded between 2016-18. As a rather new artist to the scene this is his sophomore effort after Arps (earlier this year). A half-dozen new tracks that explore drone on his terms. Side one begins with sick day, and it’s exactly as advertised. A low-lying purring drone enters with slight modulation. It makes me pause a moment to consider our affinity for recreating white noise that can be found in various industries or the daily commute. Perhaps it’s the contemplative sound, one … Continue reading Drones by Midcentury Modular

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Tranquility Variations by Various Artists

Various Artists | Tranquility Variations Matter (CS/DL) Releasing tomorrow from independent Japanese imprint mAtter is an interesting collaborative work mixed by Yukitomo Hamasaki which fuses sixteen pieces into one. This marks the Tokyo-based label’s tenth anniversary, and their interests have always aligned with my own, art, sound + architecture. Aside from Hamasaki this recording includes work by: Edwin Lo, France Jobin, Go Koyashiki, Lars Lundehave Hansen, Luigi Turra, Masaya Kato and Miwa Okuno, Pe Lang, Richard Chartier, Stijn Hüwels and Tomas Philips. Most of these artists (composers, visual artists, filmmakers) have brought us smart, minimal compositions over the past few … Continue reading Tranquility Variations by Various Artists

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The Right Side of Mystery by Nathan Moody

Nathan Moody | The Right Side of Mystery Noisejockey (2xCS/DL) In what looks like a neat lil’ limited edition package (8 remain at presstime) Nathan Moody unveils his latest, a twenty-one track double tape set titled The Right Side of Mystery. Let’s jump into the first of four sides via The Namegiver. A dark strum greets us at the doors of this self-described “post-apocalyptic Appalachian doom.” Not having yet traveled to this part of the country, I’ll take his word for it as the folk jangle seems slightly territorial, into the ominous gong on Bring the Lantern Down. My ears are … Continue reading The Right Side of Mystery by Nathan Moody

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