Monday, March 15, 2010


Justin Meyers - The Amplitude of Neighbors - Arbor
Justin Meyers - The Amplitude of Neighbors
Simple and beautiful work on the A side -- some of my favorite stuff to reach my stereo of late. A recording of Meyers' neighbors setting off fireworks is paired with subtle, shifting sine-wave tones. Super restrained, totally perfect. Side B is purely tones, moving in and out of phase like ghosts. $6

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Bloodstream Sermons - Arbor
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Bloodstream Sermons
Deep, enveloping tone-work of weight and substance. The honey-like richness of Roland's beloved Juno 60 synthesizer tone is augmented with a sine-wave generator and electronics for a very appealing fullness of sound. I was surprised by how keyed-in my body became to the shifting sound-plane of Side A before remembering the title of the tape and understanding that this is indeed music for the bloodstream. Side B begins in a similar position to the flip but forgoes its low swells and visceral rumbling in favor of exploring the upper frequency territory of the drone-scape. Near-frequency beating feels more apparent and a few delicate treble squiggles adorn the sound. Incredibly focused and well-executed stuff. $6

Cloaked Light - Plain Curtain - Arbor
Cloaked Light - Plain Curtain
Strange and intriguing piece on the A side that very carefully and simply creates a sonic space unlike anything I've come across. An AM radio sermon is folded onto itself several times so that while one voice is distinct, the others create a low murmur, reverberating and moving in a vast, imagined space. What's striking is the sense of nothingness beyond the activity of these several voices -- reminds me a lot of Beckett's The Lost Ones. Very mysterious. Side B is regrettably indistinct, some undulating tone-work, but I recommend this tape highly nonetheless. $6

Gregg Kowalsky - Tape Chants: Early Experiments - Arbor
Gregg Kowalsky - Tape Chants: Early Experiments
Varied and visceral sound pieces that all share the emphasized, tactile mid-range of rough tape recordings. What's best about this stuff is its sense of mystery -- never quite knowing where or when the recordings were made, or what was being recorded. My favorite part is on side B when a high, organ-like tone is paired with a strange buzzing that sounds almost like a fly. $6

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