microphones in the trees

Thursday, February 16, 2017

eva geist ~ äquator system



«Dedicated to dreams, lost paradises, and new horizons of human belonging, Äquator System transcends a musical journey from a hidden center to an endless distance, reminding us that we are made of galaxies.» ~ eva geist

Exploring the vastness of modern retromania, I often ask myself one question – what if there is actually no such thing as "past" in music and maybe even no such thing as "music development"? Evolution of music usually means the technical side of its creation, hence almost all changes are simply consequences of new gear's features or simple invention of new terms for already existing things - as it was with Brian Eno "inventing" the ambient music. Of course, music history had some major shifts, but talking about them we can't avoid discussion of the gear (and by gear I mean any instrument) and methods to work with it, be it physical or digital, composition or performance, etc. Such things say more about form of music, but much less about it's essence. Maybe nostalgia always was a big part of this "essence", tuning the aural visions through personal experience. Some kind of universal feeling that connects our minds to the idea of some "golden era" in time and space coordinates. This can be expressed in many ways, but the very idea of creation of some sound continuum, which comforts its creator (and likely the audience) remains fundamental for music evolution.

Reading the liner notes for Elestial Sound tape release of this album brings the same perspective on the so-called "retro-ambient" scene. As Steve Roach recently said in the interview for Bandcamp, it never was about styles or fashion, it's all about space which music creates for the listener and the author himself, as reflection of his personal story line. I don't really know was the "Äquator System" taken from childhood memories about educational films and TV show soundtracks or not – what really matters is the timeline it contains inside itself. It's a story, enigmatic one. It brings so many colorful pictures, visions and narratives not necessarily associated with past, though it sounds really "retro". Actually, all differences between modern styles of music are based on the timbre, on the particular sound, and each timbre, especially when it comes to electronics, is already has its place on styles map. But the essence is avoided, it seems that we forget to look inside the sounds, to see beyond the surface. Because when we do it, whole universe unfolds before our inner gaze and it may be hard to navigate inside it, since we need to lose yourself to some degree, to step out of  our customary coordinate system. Anchors of style definitions or even mere labeling are good when (and where) they needed, but don't forget about sails! "Äquator System" is a playfully created soundworld, full of mesmerizing beauty, fun moments and dramatic shifts – so let yourself explore, it will be a great adventure.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

rod hamilton and tiffany seal ~ versatile ambience



Rod Hamilton and Tiffany Seal are an electronic music duo from Baltimore, MD. Their instrumental album, Versatile Ambience, was performed live to cassette. eshe records

When I enjoy something very much it seems hard to write about it just because I have some kind of fear – so many things to express, such intense feelings... Sometimes it feels like trying to embrace the sea waves. Thinking about this tape I tried to avoid comparisons, but it's impossible not to mention Tuluum Shimmering or Dream Safari or Black Joker or early High Wolf to describe the feeling this recording gives me. Being a huge fan of 2009-11 psych drone tape music, when everything was so lo-fi, psychedelic and sweet, I can't avoid nostalgia while listening to something like this. Blissful vibes of xylophone sound, calm ambiences, tape-hiss-infused loops and weird new-agey feeling of relaxation on the edge with psychedelic revelation... So deeply warm and embracing sound, that it's almost impossible to break the listening into parts – only pressing repeat button feels like right choice. Your trip will feature tropical islands, jungle & mighty rivers, warm deserts and calm oases, therapeutic relaxation sessions, third eye opening, flying with the bees over unearthly beautiful flowers... Okay, think you already get what to expect here! So don't hesitate and grab your piece of this charming exotic beauty. Absolutely recommended and highly gratifying sounds for your inner self.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

end of the year list



Hola friends! This year Microphones were not as active as usual due to many reasons, but we still listen a lot of music and always eager to share is with other souls through this world. Here is the list of albums we love and enjoy, music that gives inspiration and peaceful feeling of the life flow. No particular order, no ranks, just good vibes delivered by amazing artist all around the globe. Enjoy!

Braeyden Jae — Fog Mirror (Whited Sepulchre)
Ant'lrd — Sleep Drive (Whited Sepulchre)
Josephine Foster — No More Lamps in the Morning (Fire America)
Deep Magic & Mohave Triangles — Split (Diatom Bath)
Matthewdavid's Mindflight — Trust the Guide and Glide (Leaving Records)
Thousand Foot Whale Claw — Cosmic Winds (Constellation Tatsu)
Gamardah Fungus — Herbs And Potions (Flaming Pines)
Cloudsound — Static Sense & Wonder Stasis (ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ)
Saåad — Verdaillon (In Paradisum)
Pandelindio & Bird People — Sporal Dispersal (Frente Al Fuego)
Les Halles — Transient + Sentient (Not Not Fun)
alineko — summer of love (ПANΘEON)
David Colohan — Hill of the Moon (Was Ist Das?)
Sarah Davachi — Dominions (Jaz Records)
David Parsons — Puja (Gterma)
Grykë Pyje — Fragments of High Sensitivity (Ikuisuus / Hyster Tapes)
Bear Bones, Lay Low — Hacia La Luz (Self-released)
Alone in the Hollow Garden — Receiving the 17 Daggers of Light (Self-released)
SONM — embody (Pearly Snowdrift)
Mathias Grassow & Closing The Eternity — Untitled tape (ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ)
Directorsound — Sun Suites For a Rising Moon (ШАΛАШ)
Useless — HEXA (Terminal Dream)
TVVIN_PINEZ_M4LL — 植物波 - p l a n t w a v e (Adhesive Sounds)
Hong Kong Express — Hong Kong Express (TKX)
Hybrid Palms — Pacific Image (Sounds of the Dawn)
Lunaria — All is Dream (Sounds of the Dawn)
Julia Bloop — Bllop (Rotifer Cassettes)
Guenter Schlienz — Augenblicke (Sacred Phrases)
Guenter Schlienz ‎ Book of Dreams (Cosmic Winnetou)
Mårble — Looking for Marine Iguana (Echotourist)
Rod Hamilton and Tiffany Seal — Versatile Ambience (Ehse Records)
555 — Thee Omega Seed (MJMJ Records)
Kyle Landstra — Variables of Resolve (Moog Music)
Sunmoonstar & Inner Travels — Split tape (Scenic Rhythms)
Inner Travels — Clear Seeing (Inner Islands)
More Future Suffering — Self-titled (Winter Sea Label)
You C + Foresteppe — Seven Sleepers (ШАΛАШ)
A.Shark — 45 (Ominor Records)
Stag Hare — Velvet & Bone (Inner Islands)
Channelers — Space Makes Clearing (Inner Islands)
Ashan — Death is the New Life (Heavy Mess)
Sister Grotto — Blindside (Heavy Mess)
Eva Geist — Äquator System (Elestial Sound)
Tuluum Shimmering — Where the Turquoise Spring Sings Among Pebbles (Self-released)
Sun Cycles — It Cuts the Plow Reins (Psychic Troubles Tapes)
Paa Annandalii — Cavernous Fruits (Rotifer) 
Bird People — Down of the Hamsa (Eiderdown)
Чайник Болотных Богов Гранатовый Сон (GV Sound)
Matthew Barlow — Sound Meditations (Sounds of the Dawn)
Jöns — Music For Euronews (Strategic Tape Reserve)

Support the artists and the labels, share music with friends, play your favourite tapes to Christmas tree!
Have a great year ahead! We wish you love & good vibes!

~ sincerely yours, microphones in the the trees team ~ 

Saturday, December 03, 2016

matthew barlow




"A word on my process and overall concept when I was doing these “sound meditations”: Each one generally only had one track, and everything was improvised live and recorded in one take with no overdubs. Once the track was exported and posted online, the original master was deleted. This method was a practice of “calm abiding” with sound in the present moment, allowing what would arise to come and go. It wasn’t about creating a piece of music but rather about practicing a particular state of mind. It was one of my most freeing and rewarding experiences in making music, and I’m honored that it has been enjoyed by so many. This one is dedicated to the present moment and to the peace that can be found there provided we just listen. Very special thanks to Sounds of the Dawn, Steve Targo, and Kyle Landstra – without your inspiration, this music would not be possible." matthew barlow

“The heart surrenders everything to the present moment. The mind judges and holds back.” – Ram Dass


Sound Meditations by Matthew Barlow invites you to immerse yourself in the gentle flow of synth improvisations and field recordings. To still your mind and to open your heart to the present moment. Slowly the soothing sounds pass by in a fluent and organic way, going to a place where words lose their meaning and the music speaks for itself. It´s the feeling of apparent effortlessness and obvious natural beauty that makes this album an instant classic. More music by Matthew can be found here.




Thursday, October 20, 2016

channelers ~ video & album premiere



Each time I see the news from Inner Islands my days turns into a little celebration. The music this label releases resonates so deeply with my perception of the world, that it feels almost impossible. Of course there are always some space for interpretations and subjectiveness but some things don't need an explanation. They just emerge somewhere between the sounds, between the flips of the tape, in the soft humming of endless water streams shown in this amazing video which label's boss Sean Conrad shot in American deserts and over expanses of Iceland... When the beauty arises, it touches hearts directly, without need in words. That's why we love music so much - it can be pure beauty, without strict material form, just flow of vibrations from one soul to another. It needs just few instruments or voice to appear and an open ear to be heard.


 «Reverence for the cycles of life, for the ever-changing sky, for the yearning that drives one forward, for the acceptance
that keeps one still».
inner islands

On the different paths life makes through the space and time there are always cycles, seasons, changes which unfold like an endless spiral. With every new turn we may feel something like deja vu, considering the ability of our minds to forget everything quickly, to think in one dimension. To regain the experience of past cycles in the present, to make them significant and changing, we create rituals - may kinds of them. Starting from morning tea and social interactions and up to religions and annual celebrations. And once again our minds are failing, forgetting the meaning, flattening the experience... So the only way here is awareness, which unavoidably leads to self-invented ceremonies, practices, to the clear feeling of your own unique path. While listening to the music created by any of Sean Conrad's projects this feeling on the uniqueness appears with every album, showing the perception of the world, which may be shared, but at the same time remains thw whole in itself. Like any river is created by the thousands of streams, the Inner Islands is a bright torrent of personal world perceptions, created by many artists and Sean's ability to maintain that stream is amazing. There is a place for many forms and crossroad for many path, but still this unique universe of sound keeps its doors open for any resonating soul. And its essence is always changing, moving with the sun and moon, growing, unfolding... Archipelago of the tiny whirls of creative energy, forming something bigger and powerful than its part taken separately. Each album of Ashan or Channelers seems like a private ceremony, which concentrates the overall aura of Inner Islands. Gathering of winds and waters, celebration of new cycle, which begins with every new batch of sounds released to the world... It may seem unimportant, but this is the thing of such intimate creations - it becomes bigger, when you inside of it. Like gazing at the drop of water, which reflects the whole sky. Each song here is a drop. And each tiny moment of silence between them is the passage from the inner to the outer. It's simply fascinating.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

lunaria / tvvin_pinez_m4all



Second tape release at Sounds of The Dawn brings to the world a new masterpiece in the new age genre - an it's only a debut album, recorded by Daniel - a member of our blog's team. Listening to this tape is an immersion into the state of heightened sensitivity, when everything becomes brighter and clearer. It may sound as a cliche when it comes to ambient new age music, but I'm too assured in the fact that actually any music can do that if it has sincerity. There are nothing supernatural about the impact which music can do on our minds and we don't need scientific proofs for that - just an open-minded listening, which leaves analysis and criticism beyond the perception. Blissful tones of this music is a soft contradiction to the modern pop-music with its aggressive production. One may call it escapism, but then one should ask himself - where are you escaping when listening to radio hits? What is real? Which reality is true and everlasting, and which is just temporary construct of humanity's greed? Nature is all around us, but we mostly ignore it, building our own realities, first concrete and metal, then virtual... But when I go with this though further, while bathing in the crystal clear melodies and chimes of Lunaria, I realise that answer is already here - literally. On the tape cover. It says "all is dream" and duality of the meaning of the word "dream" makes the answer even clearer. There is no escapism. Global civilization, the Humankind, even Cyberspace - everything is Nature, part of our planet's evolutionary process. And this whole process is just a part of universal dream. Who dreams it? We all do, and by doing that we can make all kinds of things... And we do them, many different things, not always pleasant - saying "what the difference?". But when someone makes music like this, when someone listens to it and it makes one's dream a bit brighter and lucid - I can be only happy. And it makes a difference.

 


Colorful, growing plants are the key to livening up any interior décor. 

During the course of last year or two vaporwave has become much more structured genre, than it was at the beginning. To tell the truth, it was more like a joke, than a "real music" and some people still think that way. But even superficial acquaintance with everything vapowave-themed on Bandcamp brings so many sub-genres and variations, that no joke can have. Being 100% product of postmodernism, this music recycles long-forgotten tunes, giving them another perspective in the massive retromania, which overfilled music market nowadays. And by doing that, vaporwave shifts the perception towards images and situations that actually never existed. If you old enough to remember early 90s, you can feel the similarity in atmosphere and aesthetics, but there are still too many differences, which makes vaporwave-induced nostalgia no more than a postmodernist trick. And it tells a lot about the way we remember, think and perceive. Take this tape - typical, I'd even say classical vapowave album full of slowed disco tunes, ambient passages and late 80s new age reminiscences - but still none of these things in sum. It reminds me making collages of old magazines - you can put together some random parts from your mom's old knitting magazine, modern National Geographic and some last year's newspaper. Of course, you get some new picture, but what is more important - this picture transcends time, it brings everything in present moment, making it joyful. So what's the difference between music for plants, recorded by 80's new age artists and this tape? Only time - which is just an instrument for the artist, a way to make perspective, to give us a hint on our own head interior. Do you have any living plants there? I bet they'll love this tape, because it sounds damn chill and relaxing.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

matthew barlow / ashan


matthew barlow ~ hatha (inner islands, 2016)

«Just being, without striving. A place of stillness». inner islands

Focusing on sound healing practices, Matt Barlow took a vacation with his renowned Twin Springs Tapes label and started recording more and more music, which takes new turn in unfolding American New Age music. His latest tape for Inner Islands gives you not only the opportunity to relax and get nice background music for 30 minutes but also the possibility of deepest meditation on the nature of music. Combining simple drones with electronic melodies and contemplative flute playing, this tape reflects the idea, which I run through my haed so many times, while listening to some good ambient records - you don't need to be focused, to perceive everything in this flow of aural sensations, but at the same time, staying out any activity in mind and environment you actually start feeling everything so clearly! I think this state cannot be achieved by means of intentional focusing, so this state feels much more natural and I'm always so childishly happy when it happens. Of course, not only music can bring it, nature can too - bird songs, streaming water, whisper of the leaves... And you can actually hear and feel same energies in these two compositions. There is nothing supernatural about it, but still I have no other word than magic.

listen ~ buy tape
 

ashan ~ death is new life (heavy mess, 2016)

 «Sean Conrad (Channelers, Orra, Inner Islands) returns as Ashan with a collection of new songs exploring where the physical meets the spiritual and how the two influence and dialogue each other». heavy mess

For the new label run by Braeyden Jae (former boss of Inner Islands label), Sean Conrad (current Inner Islands mastermind) put an exclusive recording which brings to light new facet of his Ashan alias. Usually taking place somewhere far from city hum and electricity circuits, Ashan (almost) always was about instrumental psych-new-age jams, self-invented mantra singing and celebration of simple joys of life – this time Sean takes electric guitar, some distortion and drums, blending the rock music benefits with Ashan's usual sound. You already curious how it sounds? Okay, just hit play on Bandcamp and read further. And I'll continue playing this on repeat, each time wondering how same energy can take so many forms. This is obviously same Ashan I used to and behind all those walls of sounds, electronic drones, krautrock beats and psychedelic solos I hear same magic, that once entered this complicate world with "To Return To" album. Folk music can take many forms and I suppose that there is nothing hard for experienced artist as Mr. Conrad to transform his music into powerful rock outfit without losing primary inspiration. Actually this is fun synchronism between to friends putting softest side of Braeyden Jae's music at Inner Islands and heavier side of Ashan on Heavy Mess. Consider this as "anti-unplugged" album and simply enjoy it!

listen ~ buy tape