[ Constellation Tatsu, 2016 ]
It’s been quite a while since I last checked the Californian dream-gazing label Constellation Tatsu. And when I check its latest batch, I was mezmerized, as usual when I check out releases on this imprint. And Fantastic Garden, the newest cassette by the Japanese ambientalist Rhucle is no exception to the “mezmerized” part. Deeply soothing drone tones laced with nature and exotic bird recordings create a space for deep meditation and relaxation, somewhere between Ariel Kalma and early OPN (think A Pact Between Strangers). Perfect music for focusing or just dozing off after a hard day at work. Recommended!
[ Company Record Label, 2016 ]
The Salt Lake City/Los Angeles band Vinyl Williams is one of those bands I’ve discovered back when they were but a curio among the vast archives of Bandcamp’s psychedelic excess. And I admit, I’ve lost track of them since the release of their debut 2011 album Lemniscate. Flash forward to 2016 and they’re back with their third release, Brunei. It’s just as lush and trip-poppy as the previous releases, but now their sound is more refined than ever, combining retrofuturistic funk with multilayered psychedelic ambience and a penchant for making killer earworms that you keep humming long after the mind-altering substances have worn off. And “L’Quasar” is truly a standout on the album, a total dream-banger. Highly recommended!!!
[ Polish Juke, 2016 ]
Daaamn indeed! Polish electronic wizard Jakub Lemiszewski has done some evolution since HERMES and Diana and decided to go ballistic, strapping his music to a rocket and firing it all the way to Chicago to return with a hyperactive take on footwork, turning the juke level all the way up to 11. Man, this goes hard! The album is total slave to the rhythm, be it the irregular, jagged juke pinball machine insanity or the hard-to-penetrate techno full of meticulously cut-up and arranged samples and microsounds, making an incredibly energetic, busy and detailed music, while never falling into any footwork cliches (oversimplificiation, too many annoying sample repetitions). DAAAMN maanges to stay over the top and perfectly controlled at the same time in a genre where there’s a very thin line between sounding fresh and being a mere copy. This hits hard!! Highly recommended!!
[ BLCR Laboratories, 2016 ]
While the beginnings of the British “genrequeer” musician Ross Baker aka International Debris reach the vaporwave fog with a ravey edge, his newest release Opaline seems to be taking cues from early 90’s British IDM scene. The opening 20-minute hypno-zone “Bone Breaker’s Mountain” sound like a perfect Articificial Intelligence beat stretched to half-infinity, like early Autechre trying to put themselves in a trance via sheer repetition. Next up is the acidic techno of “The Old Man of the Woods”, playing New Agey synth pads between against an oldschool 4/4 beat, where the shimmering drones gradually decay and degrade into bleep bloopery fuckery. The closing “Fountainkeeper” brushes tape drone sequencer against early OPN ambient aesthetics, making you think of all those home labels in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s. Great, psychedelic IDM trip. Recommended!
[ Blackest Rainbow, 2016 ]
Once in a while, This Temple of Weed needs some serious ass kicking to move things to a little more dynamic level. In this case, the ass kicking is done by the Glasgow based psych-kraut unit The Cosmic Dead, ripping through time and space with their 2016 release Rainbowhead. As you might expect from a band named like this, you should expect something spacey and fucking crazy. And sure you do – some heavy, hard rock inspired riffs, reminding you od a desert and some roughed up muscle cars, racing through a salty plane of a dried-up saline lake. Fast-paced, highly energetic psychedelic rock to make you hit the road and just drive. Highly recommended!
[ Hausu Mountain, 2016 ]
The duo of Roberto Carlos Lange and Matt Crum, also known as ROM loves their arrangements rhythmical, atmospheric and nearly mathematical, quoting Brian Eno, Jim O’Rourke or Robert Fripp as inspirations. In the times of global tumult, Possible Mountain is the perfect escape – really light-hearted post-rock with a krautrock rhythm regime and a penchant for delicate piano/synth arrangements that flourish and grow out of simple, skeletal rhythms not unlike early Tortoise LP’s. This music will make about as happy as the fuzzy purple creature on the cover (by the way, Hausu Mountain makes some of the most colorful, happiest cassette artworks in the whole underground!). Enjoy! Recommended!