Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Something//Something - Winter Pattern

Artist: Something//Something
Title: Winter Pattern
Label / Year:  MTR 2015

New Hampshire has never been known as a hotbed of indie rock or cassette culture, but that must be changing with projects like The Journals Kept going strong. When hunting for New Hampshire based music I was pleasantly surprised to find Winter Patterns by Something//Something via Bandcamp. This cassette opens and closes with bird song, and moves from one strong song into another, with gorgeous shoegaze instrumentals, nods to purveyors of the ‘90s yet wholly original. Even the track After Midnight (Drunk Tongue) grew on me as what felt like a claustrophobic song builds to a guitar crescendo. Highly recommended.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Abandoned Houses - Untitled Spirals

Artist: Abandoned Houses
Title: Untitled Spirals
Label / Year:  Rok Lok 2013

I love how simple yet artistic the presentation of this cassette EP is: kraft paper box, homemade insert, rubber stamp. Mike Ciaravino is Abandoned Houses, and these songs were recorded on lo-fi equipment in 2012 and 2013. There’s mostly paired down acoustic guitar, it isn’t until the fourth piece “Count To Zero” (which sounds like it features a Magnus electric chord organ like the one I played as a child) that there might be some overdubbing involved. Straight-up folk for the second decade of what is shaping up to be a rough century. Mike says "Obsessed and inspired by places that are desolate, abandoned, falling apart and being reclaimed by nature. I travel around wherever I am and write and record music in the places I find, capturing a collective essence in recordings and photographs. They are all unique and contribute in different ways to the music and sounds I create." Untitled Spirals is a perfect slice of homemade indie folk. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Jonathan Rager - Distance of Light

Artist: Jonathan Rager
Title: Distance of Light
Label / Year:  Self Released 2017

Beauteous gold cassette limited to 25 copies! And I am fortunate to have one! The eleven instrumentals on Distance of Light all blend perfectly into an organic whole. Guitar shadings with echoes of music that might have been released on Independent Project Records back in the day. Glorious shoegaze, drifty solos, wonderful for a sunny drive to your next destination.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Loner Deluxe - Songs I Taped Off The Radio

Artist: Loner Deluxe
Title: Songs I Taped Off The Radio
Label / Year:  Rusted Rail 2017

Set the controls for the heart of the moon. Keith Wallace is the creative presence behind Loner Deluxe, and has produced a generous tape that weaves through the museum of synth-pop like it’s 1989. Immersing in this cassette is like listening to shortwave radio signals drifting from an alternate universe through an open window at midnight. Songs I Taped Off The Radio is a musical journey complete with hazy guitars, heavenly voices era female vocals and ethereal sound samples, all winding toward an unexpected climatic sunny folk freakout. Inventive, and genius. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A Magic Whistle: Vision Magic Voyage

Artist: A Magic Whistle
Title: Vision Magic Voyage
Label / Year:  Weird Ear 2013

Andy Puls lives in an imaginative universe. I imagine him tinkering with home-built instruments, emerging every fortnight from a hobbit dwelling to sing to the moon. Vision Magic Voyage plays like a lo-fi Tubular Bells, in fact there are many tubular bells chiming throughout this wonderful opus. There’s plenty of wonderful whistling, too. Quirky doesn’t even begin to describe the melodious journey through these two extended pieces. Is it folk music? New age? Psychedelic? Who knows. Music as unique as this can not be labelled. Immerse and enjoy.