Huge backlog of tapes to write about, going to keep things brief...
Really happy to have stumbled across Alex Twomey's(Mirror to Mirror) Jugular Forest label. These tapes are a nice companion to Matt Sullivan's Ekhein label -- a lot of the same artists being represented and overall a similar vibe, that being the current wave of shimmering, sometimes loop-based drones and synthesizer music.
Harpoon Pole Vault - Outside This Area - Jugular Forest
Harpoon Pole Vault is the solo work of Jason Anderson(Brother Raven, Gift Tapes, Draft Tapes). As the past releases of his own work and by his labels can attest, the man has high standards, so while not as fully realized as your typical Brother Raven outing, this Harpoon Pole Vault tape is nothing to gloss over. Perhaps it's the strange creature staring up from the tape's cover, but all in all there's more menace and mystery here than the cosmic sounds you might be expecting. The synthesizers are are dialed into sturdy, substantial tones that ground the sound nicely. $7
Earn - In A Year - Jugular Forest
A collection of shorter and more sonically diverse pieces than I was expecting(early work, perhaps?) from Ekhein main-man and former Privvy Seal Matt Sullivan. Still of a piece with his recent discreet music, the work here from time to time breaks from the usual serene calm -- sometimes insistent, sometimes brooding. $7
Mirror To Mirror - The Door With A Lock - Jugular Forest
Hazy, shimmering drone work from Alex Twomey. This is the first Mirror To Mirror release to come my way -- it's all shifting layers and buried melancholy. I haven't really kept up with the Kompakt label but this reminds of their early "Pop Ambient" comps. $7
Cloaked Light - Drapery - Jugular Forest
Stoic, monolithic work compared to the relatively spacious and upfront sounds of Cloaked Light(Pete Friel, of young tapes, I believe. JK tapes, too? I can't remember) Arbor tape of last year. More straight ahead drone work, dark in sound, focusing on the lower end of the sonic spectrum. $7
Pale Blue Sky - Souvenir - Jugular Forest
Pale Blue Sky is Mike Pollard who runs Arbor(I'm just realizing that is seems like everybody on Jugular Forest runs a label...). Souvenir is a tape of light-hearted disco pop with lyrics on the general theme of the loneliness of the dance floor. Er. Souvenir is a tape of placid, tune-out drones for lying on the couch with the lights off and drifting away to. The gentle murmur of overtones sometimes suggests ur-melody, and on the whole the tape is executed with the deliberateness and posture of Minimalism. You've heard this kind of drone music before, it's not going to blow you mind, but it's always nice when something of this quality comes your way and fills your room with its calm for a half hour. $7