Matthew Sage’s vision of ambient is stained with errors and imperfections of glitch music, constantly staggering and tripping over digital distortion and delay, forming a sort of adventurous, jagged sonic tapestry that seems to be going in no exact direction and having no sense of time and space. Data in the Details, released on Geographic North is a waving, pulsing mass of sound that doesn’t really want to adjust to any genre pigeonholings, instead it just wants to seep through the cracks in reality, bathing the listener in dubby/glitchy bliss what appears to be lasting forever. If the North was as warm as this release is, I’d want to move there forever. Liquidy, often confusing, yet recommended!
If you look close enough at the diamond on the cover, designed by Joanna John, you will see a small photo of World Trade Center standing massive and proud long before 9/11. If you can read Polish, you can read in the liner notes an excerpt from Stanisław Lem’s wonderfully delirious Memoirs found in the bathtub about a mysterious deity known as “Kap-Eh-Thaal” (the capital) personified under the form of “Thoo-Llar” (the dollar) which was worshipped in the area of “Ammer-Ku” (America). This clash of cliche symbols of capitalism and archeology of modern-day phenomena in the deep future is the basis for the cosmic, pulsing psychedelia of Polish duo Kapital, whose newest release Chaos to Chaos indicates the cyclic nature of the world. What is worth billions today, will turn into ashes tomorrow. The music of Kapital is similarly ethereal, fleeing, shimmering and impossible to catch and pin down, always shapeshifting and evolving in a series of primal electronic rhythms and walls of distorted guitar that dissolves into thin air and re-materializes itself through magic. A truly magical record and an eclectic, intense journey. Highly recommended!
Grey is one of the most underrated and underappreciated colors on this planet. Despite its seeming dullness, it’s a greatly relaxing color that can really soothe, especially when combined with sunlight or the blue sky. Maybe that’s why brutalism was so widespread in the 1960’s and 70’s – so it could stand out agaisnt the the soot-stained evening gradients of endless urban sprawl. The abstract grey organic architecture also adorns the cover of Montreal native Nick Maturo’s newest album, Life Strategies, released under the Event Cloak moniker. While bearing a somewhat vaporwavey name, this Event Cloak release goes far beyond the trappings of the genre, instead becoming a series of crystalline, updated prog electronic new age dream somewhere between R Plus Seven and Epitaph. Recommended!
What do you get when you combine five acclaimed musicians, love for science fiction classics and a lot of time and energy for composition and improvisation? An instant classic, that’s what. Alameda 5 is yet another incarnation of the Alameda collective, which started out as Alameda 3 with their stellar Późne królestwo and are coming back again with a brand new release, entitled Duch tornada (“Spirit of the tornado”), which goes less into the straight-up rock oriented territory (as Późne królestwo did) and more into the freestyle psych informed open structured post-rock territory much closer to the last year’s II by Innercity Ensemble than the previous version of Alameda. It’s incredibly dense, open to a new interpretation with every single listen and multi-layered, like a psychedelic labyrinth which appears different at every moment and unveils new hidden meanings with each successive listen. A truly exceptional album and a great follow up to the 2013’s Późne królestwo. Highly recommended!
In a vast world of cassette labels, the Chicago based Hausu Mountain is one of the few which can really call itself “one a kind” – both on a visual and musical level. With their intensely colorful and “busy” album covers, cramming glossy computer graphics and vintage video games imagery into one hellish psychedelic mix and the music on the releases, jumping between noise on some to glitchy art pop on others, Hausu Moutanin have found themselves a cool niche. The Metalepsis album by Eeartheater certainly falls into the latter category. Don’t let the sludgy name make you think this is some dirty amplifier worship, this is as clean and gentle as it can get. Lush female vocals and guitar strumming clash against warped electronics and looping sounds, allowing for all sorts of cross-genre pollinations and distortions, escaping pigeonholing. Strange, but certainly enjoyable.
Since the release of their debut self-titled album in 2009, the Lisbon based duo Gala Drop have expanded their psychedelic dub sound into a heady, catchy and eclectic mix of shimmering electronics, lovely chillwave, krautrock and many other influences, replacing the dubby, yet somewhat monotonous sound of the debut album, which sounded a bit like a drug trip in the jungle with a fresh and genuinely exciting sound which feels more like a diary from a journey to the tropics. Somewhere between King Tubby, Peaking Lights and Toro y Moi. Recommended!
Polish guitarist Artur Maćkowiak has got quite a reputation in the Polish underground scene, starting with his membership of Something Like Elvis, one of the hidden gems of the country’s indie rock and continuing his career in many exciting shapes and forms, both solo and with other musicians. His newest solo album, released by Wet Music Records serves as one of the most comprenehsive and eclectic showcases of his latests solo work, oscillating between echoing psychedelic impressions and slowly unfolding indie interpretations. Like Manuel Göttsching, but equipped with all the negativity of the modern times while still retaining the talent for creating a trippy atmosphere. Recommended!