microphones in the trees: 2016

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

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

saåad ~ verdaillon



When it comes to drone music one may think "there is nothing special about it - just lonely guys making sounds with their laptops" and usually this is true. Of course, there are many bands using guitars or synths for this and it makes music a bit more interesting. But how about church organ? I don't know many drone albums with such source of sound - Razen, Anna Von Hausswolff, Charlemagne Palestine of course... But still not much. French duo Saåad is well-know to any drone maniac for their powerful, raw sound and this time it takes new turn on the spiral of their evolution. Using the organ of Church of Notre-Dame de la Dalbade along with the field recording made at the same place, they managed to recreate haunting ambiance of the times, when music was truly spiritual and served not just for entertainment. This approach makes sense in the modern world, full of music created almost for no reason - if only for fun, but just out of boredom, especially when it comes to ambient & drone... This album is not just excursion, it has ability to transport your mind into the places & states of transformation, of better feeling yourself and world around you. I'd say it has meditative qualities, but there is nothing new-agey about it. Just pure power of sound, energy of life, captured it the short moments of aural bliss.
  

Saturday, June 18, 2016

dugout canoe ~ over unity



«A 54 minute tapestry of transcendental motifs caterwauling fizzy manifestations hurled forth from the Unified Field. Professionally dubbed and duplicated blue-green glitter tape with printed art and full color J-card in a soft poly case». dugout canoe

Imagine Terry Riley playing some old video game and realizing that instead of actually playing it, he can play music with it. So he starts pushing all those buttons in a manner he does with electronic organ and the game becomes more and more chaotic, yet doesn't want to end anyway. At some point game gains awareness and transcends its own code, achieving digital enlightenment and disappearing from the physical plan... Now you get an idea how this tapes sounds, with the only difference that instead of Terry there is Jacob Isaacs behind the wheel and you may heard his tunes already in Bridgetown Records catalogue. Speed is really high, so all your attempts to analyse this music are doomed to vanish in abundance of 8-bit tunes, voice samples and rumbling drones somewhere deep beneath all of this. It may seem pretty hard-core, but actually this music has certain New Age and bright futuristic feeling about it, sounding like dynamic Osho meditation for cybernetic mind or minimal techno party for androids on the loose. Take Kara-Lis Coverdale and Giant Claw, let them dance, smoke few joints and flirt (only musically speaking, of course) and you'll get "Over Unity" in result. 

listen ~ buy tape 

PS: By the way, one of this album's perks is the fact that you can listen to it from any point, it works perfectly from any tape position and at any player / volume / speakers / headphones, etc. Just amazing! 

sister grotto ~ song for an unborn sun


sister grotto ~ song for an unborn sun (self-released, 2016)

I love when things happen right as they should. One may ask who knows how do I know the way they actually should happen, but I can't explain that, it's just a feeling. Something you realize just in the right moment. You know then that this is exact space-time point where you belong right know. Opening bandcamp page with new Sister Grotto album tonight was something usual for me, I just pressed play, made speakers louder and had some tea. And somewhere in the halfway it hit me right into the hearth. Looking at the distant trains passing by, watching red lights at the smokestacks... Peaceful air of white night, smell of trees after the rain, slow clouds above all of it and the moon sleeping on them. It seemed that music goes from everywhere, being just a part of all of this wonder, simply existing as the air itself. People sleeping in all those huge buildings and stars hiding behind this grey sky – they have so much in common. Sound of Madeline's guitar unfolds like fog, bringing peace and kind of protection. Her voice washes my thoughts away from shores of my mind. Peaceful melancholia of these melodies flies somewhere between my window and horizon bringing echoes of the day which ended so quietly. There will be noise and rumble again on these streets tomorrow, but while sun is unborn, I'll enjoy that feeling. Every single part of it, even if it brings tears to my eyes. 

listen ~ buy tape

Friday, June 17, 2016

rest easy, volume 1 by australian newborn label hi tide




Volume 1 of our 'Rest Easy' compilation series showcases eight relaxing tracks made by musicians living across the continent of Australia. Digital timbres are blended with field recordings and analogue tones, structured by circadian rhythms and fluid compositional trails to create a soothing, contemplative journey suited to long walks, kayaking and other easygoing activities; enjoy in loungerooms, libraries, hotsprings, bathhouses and anyplace easily softened by the sounds of the Ambient. hi tide

What do you need when the summer sun hides beneath the clouds? What do you want, when you sit by your window, watching rivers of the sky falling on the ground, making trees hum and asphalt wet? Yes, that's right, it's music! Something calm and warm, something so relaxing, that you will go up to the sky with the air, reaching the highest clouds to see the sun over them. Same sun that shine right now somewhere over the places you've never been, over the oceans you never touched, over the mountains you never climbed... Maybe right now it shines over Australia, where dozens of people read same blogs you enjoy, drink same kind of tea, seeing same dreams when sun goes down. There are many things which are universal, and probably music is the most universal (if I may say so) of them. Sharing their visions of life and their dreams, a group of highly talented artists joined for this compilation, which gives a very nice perspective on the present ambient music scene in Australia. Of course, we live in the global world now, we meet each other here, in the web – but there is always something special about such selections. I'd call it "a taste" of a place (and time!), which can be translated only by such lucid medium as music. Something you won't see in the tourist brochure or read in Wikipedia. I'm sure, Australians know things about relaxing but there is definitely something more about this compilation than just global laziness we all share. If I'll try explaining it further, magic will be gone. So just press the link already! And relax ~_~
 
listen ~ download ~ support

ps: Any money given for this album will be donated directly to Bush Heritage Australia, a conservation organisation protecting millions of hectares of ecologically important land and working in close partnership with traditional landowners.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

pandelindio & bird people



~ native american flute, mapuche ~


Federico Fossati _ Bamboo Clarinet, Phytagorean Harp, Bansuri, Native American Flute.
Corina Inveninato _ Bamboo Clarinet, Citarina, Tanpura
Alfredo Vidal drum and Chaska Voice on "La fuerza de la palabra"


Roy Culbertson III _ banjo, sruti box
Uli Rois _ banjo, sruti boxRéka Kutas _ cello
Tom Gaskell _ sitar
Ben Kingsbury _ electric guitar
Noamie Randall _ acoustic guitar
 

Sunday, June 05, 2016

rafi bookstaber




“We’d like to welcome back our old friend Rafi Bookstaber. It’s all good... the immediate thing I felt when I jammed his Late Summer for the first time was wanting to hug life, cosmic love in the underground. 

“This is a diff kind of human digitata, it’s sweet analog. You dig spring reverb, then maybe flesh it with sum Ra-fi. Pure jam. Extended solos and explorations go from downtown woodland discord and eternal reverie to Relatively Clean Rivers and beat earth poetics. Pretty darlin’ indeed...

“What a vapor trail of music; very groovy to see folks finally catching up to this head. Dawn of a new vibration out of his occult pedigree in so many spaced out earth objects (Death Chants / Aswara / Von Himmel / Mendocino). Bookstaber also logged golden hours with Time-Lag and that deep scene. The beginning of an ear and golden spirit juice. Mined private press vision with his own Azriel and Humito imprints, shucked handmades~there’s also his groove and howl with the wolfpack in the MV / EE axis. Oxide, preserves and records…Rafi hummed the music of maidens. Iron Maiden this is not, shipbuilding it sails, four sail and many years ago I was there, so was Rafi’s fi. You dig, apache? Find some wampum, blow a journey, be here now for Late Summer eternal...” Matt “MV” Valentine

Thursday, May 26, 2016

creation VI ~ everywhereness / omnipresence




«Listen to the spring!». pantheon

Quiet album of field recordings and bright impressions collected on different locations in Yaroslavl, Kyiv and Crimea. Small birds and crickets in the steppe, nightingales near Volga shore, soft rain over countryside field, summer bees in the flower garden and warm drones obtained from electric guitar, flutes and voices. Three tracks which would definitely please lovers of slow quiet drones – Celer, Hakobune, Chihei Hatakeyama, etc. Also suits very well for Chinese tea ceremony :) 

 

«...the river is everywhere at once, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the rapids, in the sea, in the mountains, everywhere at once, and that there is only the present time for it, not the shadow of the past, not the shadow of the future» ~ Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Two tracks of hindustani raga inspired improvisational drone music performed with Chinese flute hulusi and Indian shruti-box (surpeti) along with some other instruments, effects and voices. Raga for midday sun in the greenwood, music of spring currents of the mighty Volga, song of birches, rushing sweet juice in its branches...


ps: both releases are available as one bundle with additional booklet, wrapped in handmade envelope and including download code for previous Creation VI release "Reminiscence" 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

apenino & árbore


«Pilar se fue el 16 de noviembre de 2015, se fue tras 14 años juntos. medir la pegada emocional que eso supone es imposible. sólo el que tenga peludos y los ame como a un humano puede entenderlo. si ya no comes animales, como en mi caso, la cercanía emocional es intangible. desde el día uno he tenido miedo al adiós de Pilar, ese miedo ha sobrevolado como una nube cada uno de los días que compartimos vida». apenino & árbore

There is no such thing as happiness, when you lost someone. There can be a lot of things as emptiness, despair, anxiety, but happiness turns into abstract concept. Society will tell you a lot about death and how to deal with it, we have formulas and catchwords for every imaginable situation. But under the surface of dealing with pain it remains untouched – fear, uncomfortable feeling of change, that cannot be reversed... And it doesn't really matter who's missing in your life now. Animal can be the closest family member and if you ever lost one, you know what I'm talking about here. Maybe it's too sentimental but knowing that your animal will definitely live shorter life than you never helps to deal with their passing. And how beautiful when this feeling of loss transforms into art, into vivid memory, that will never disappear as easily, as human memory can do. Music is a very flexible material and anything can be projected onto it. As a water surface, it reflects things, but at the same time has its own deepness. And at some point it doesn't even matter what artist wanted from this tunes for himself – music always gives you more. In case of this wonderful 17-min track sound creates a beautiful picture of the sunny day, spent in happy laziness, just watching the game of light and shadows in you room. Wind gently touches curtains, bringing flower aromas with it. And beneath all of this you hear slow evolving drone, so similar to cat's purr...



p.d.: por primera vez no ponemos gratis la descarga, hemos pensado que el dinero que se recaude, tenga como destino ayudar a los gatos de la calle a través de la asociación Gatos en los Árboles.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

paa annandalii ~ cavernous fruits



I always had deep respect to Robert's work, first of all because of Mohave Triangles – it was so huge and intense and dazed and trippy... No words to describe its magic, just pure joy for any drone-maniac! After long hiatus Paa Annandalii appeared, continuing synth-driven drone journey even deeper, through caverns of human mind – searching for pineal treasures, subconscious revelations and simply relaxing the listener to the state of all-pervading radiance. Which we all are, as a matter of fact! No new age philosophy needed to explain that, just look at everything from the quantum physics point of view. And don't forget that the act of observation itself has an impact on observed. So there is no "reality" behind music actually, and that's why we can't live without it. Music reminds us our nature, especially if it is truly continuous music, reduced to basic formula of intertwined frequencies, breathing inside one cluster of tones. Going that way we may feel disembodied, omnipresent energy, that fills everything without any border. Have you ever felt that? It's refreshing and inspiring, no matter how often you do it! I suppose this is the point from where this music radiates, waving its way to unknown... And you always welcome to join that ship.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

hybrid palms



Sounds of the Dawn, ese lugar mágico donde encontrar tesoros redescubiertos de la época dorada de la new age music, es ahora además un sello musical dedicado a dar luz a nuevas gemas actuales que vibran en frecuencias afines. Esta primera cinta que publican es una delicia de principio a fin, un lienzo de pinceladas azules, verdes, luminosas, una experiencia sonora que transmite sensaciones de paz y relajación entretejidas de olor a mar y visiones de reflejos del sol en el agua. Es difícil escoger una canción porque cada una de ellas refleja la totalidad de ese mundo cálido y azul. Un mundo tal vez entrevisto en fotografías vintage de un mar de otro tiempo impregnado de vibraciones de calma y placidez.

En general me es difícil hablar de la música que me gusta en términos que no parezcan una carta de amor. Últimamente mucho más, me cuesta hablar de música, y desde luego me es imposible juzgarla con objetividad, si es que existe tal cosa. De todos modos, ¿para qué? Lo que aquí suena es belleza y ya lo único que encuentro energía para hacer en este ámbito es invitar a escuchar y gozar de la experiencia concreta sugiriendo las buenas sensaciones que me despierta. Puedo decir que "Ocean Plaza" es enorme y que sus últimos minutos me evocan algo muy bonito que no sé definir, y que está presente en las más mágicas grabaciones de esta tendencia artística maravillosa que experimenta en los territorios vibratorios de la intención luminosa. Pero la magia no decae en ningún momento, como decía cada pista es una imagen de exquisita profundidad en la que perderse. Esas melodías sutiles de sintetizadores y sonidos percusivos que apenas destacan entre un fondo de grabaciones de la naturaleza, que invitan a abandonarse entre el entramado brumoso de su sonoridad. Los cantos de los pájaros, el crepitar, el agua y la música, todo conforma un todo indistinguible, ese entramado, esos arpegiadores al servicio de la sensación de maravilla y placer, y ese suave sonido melódico tipo viento que asoma de vez en cuando para acariciar con su melodía indefinida imbuida de serenidad, en "Ocean Plaza" y en "Turquoise Lagoon".

Para mí, esta cinta de Hybrid Palms es una de las más bonitas de lo que llevamos de año. Un año que musicalmente está siendo increíblemente rico, muchos proyectos están dando frutos maduros y otros más nuevos, como este, tienen la gran capacidad de sorprender y maravillar en una escena tan prolífica. Es además un inicio de lujo para Sounds of the Dawn, a quien hay que agradecer la constancia y el esfuerzo para traernos estos sonidos de paz y magia, belleza evocadora que los pobres humanos siempre necesitamos y hoy más que nunca.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

deep magic & mohave triangles


"final release for Mohave Triangles & probably the last release of Deep Magic as well. this one was in the works for quite some time; so long that it has become a portal into the past, even better though a chance to once again come full circle. 


Diatom Bath has been slowly churning the waters for some time and with this release brings the end of these projects up to the surface & really pulls into question the idea of progression. most importantly pushing forth the feeling to linger a little longer. to bath in this now. sit in the meadow and watch this sun set today on these grasses and these flowers & these companions." tomentosa



Monday, April 11, 2016

grykë pyje



After nice tape released at Ginjoha almost four years ago, Jani Hirvonen (well know as Uton) and Johannes Schebler (same, as Baldruin) made a glorious return with exquisitely decorated vinyl, which looks like illustration from famous "Kunstformen der Natur" book. And same can be said about music – huge universe of tiny sounds dancing around the head in constant changing, meticulous mix of bright sparkles and huge atmospheric phenomena. All you now about Baldruin goes here in weird manner of Uton's world and from the very first moments of this album you are somewhere deep in thickets, surrounded by mossy giants. Trail is lost, but that is completely okay... Whole planet's life can be found in the scale of tiny drop water, evolution repeats its pattern at each and every step of magnification. Would it be whole galaxy or just your backyard, something is going on there all the time. This album reflects this ever-unfolding ornament of life with soulful naturalism and not without humour. Some may call it "noise", but it's too subtle. Maybe ambient? Nope, too cacophonous. Folk? Missed again! There are strong feeling of something archaic about it, which makes "Fragments of High Sensitivity" definitely pre-something, proto-music of some kind. Like those radiolaria in the "Kunstformen" – tiny and fragile inhabitants of the oceans for the last 500 million years, creatures of amazing symmetry. What they heard when there were no people on this planet? Symphony of life, unfolding in every direction. It's easy to imagine during this stunningly beautiful cacophony, which reveals new secrets every time you listen to it.



Friday, April 01, 2016

mathias grassow & closing the eternity



«Inspired by the astonishing nature of Ural region and folk stories from "The Malachite Box" cycle by Pavel Bazhov, this collaboration between German drone maestro Mathias Grassow and prominent Russian project Closing The Eternity reveals thoroughly crafted aural world, where deep chthonic drones interact with huge ambiences and multiple percussion sounds. Constantly breathing, organic, always changing and yet truly monolithic sound, which tells stories about hidden secrets
of the earth».
pantheon

In the deepness of the earth, among the mountain roots, between the sleeping ore deposits, colourful minerals and clear crystals slowly growing... There are empty corridors, dimly illuminated with green light; luxurious halls, decorated with rare gems and mineral patterns, strange stone trees, changing their colours... Who lives there, who owns these treasures of the deep? No one knows the entrance, but at the vernal equinox, in certain hour of night, it opens for a while. Mountain moans under huge starry sky, humming and roaring, startling sleeping birds in the nearby woods, making pine crowns bow to the wind. Ancient spirit emerges among the mossy rocks, crawling its way down, where the village dogs are looking anxiously at the forest edge. Filling with rustles of leaves and chimes of unseen bells, night disguises the mystery and no one knows what exactly happens at this time. Strange lights are wandering between the cliffs, green lizard eyes might sparkle in the dark... Only rays of morning reveal strange trail of gold pebbles and shining gems on the slopes, as if giant snake made a track by its stone scales, scattering the treasures of the underworld.

Limited edition of 77 chrome tapes in handmade packaging
with several inserts.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

meta mora



La música de Meta Mora es misteriosamente descriptiva. Es como pintura paisajística plasmando escenas que su autor hubiera visto en ese estado de asombro que a uno le asalta a veces cuando descubre ante sí una belleza que le deja sin palabras. Los trazos de sonidos analógicos, cálidos y densos con que pinta sus visiones me transmiten precisamente esa impresión de asombro ante imágenes idílicas. A veces de una forma casi espiritual, como en las dos partes de la maravillosa "Eye of the Eagle" de su disco Prismatic. El año pasado sacó dos cintas imponentes, Temperate Worlds en Rainbow Pyramid y Moon Hymns en Twin Springs, que reservo en un espacio íntimo y lunar del micromundo de maravillas musicales que estamos viviendo. Ocean Terminal me suena más luminoso, precisamente como la portada, azul claro transparente, acuático y tropical, y no sólo por los field recordings; esos sintetizadores están totalmente alineados con el olor a playa, el agua fresca, la sensación de relajación y placer al flotar o bucear. Todo dice agua en esta cinta, y eso es una nueva muestra de la destreza para traducir paisajes a música que tiene este artista, y nosotros nos quedamos con ganas de más.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

channelers / softest / braeyden jae



«Essex is the 2nd album by Channelers (Ashan, gkfoes vjgoaf, etc). Expansive minimalism. Bridging the synthetic and organic. The repetitive fissle of a stream, the fluidity of its motion, and the clarity of its composition. The collection utilizes a diverse palette, devoting a unique ensemble to each piece. As a whole, it promotes a neutral space in favor of nurturing one’s physicality. Channelers is Sean Conrad, based in Oakland, California». inner islands

When it comes to Inner Islands, I never have doubts about the quality of music presented. Well-established provider of lovely ambient tunes and blissful new age meditations, Sean Conrad – is the man behind the Islands and also behind the Channelers alias. Being a huge fan of everything Sean does I fell in love with "Essex" from the very first minutes. Opening with 11-minute "Rest" composition, it immediately sets the mood to relaxed, so it's not really possible to do something else than nap while it unfolds with beautifully crafted loops. Gentle instrumentations reminds Ashan a lot (another Conrad's project), but stays wordless and beatless most of the time. I always wondered how he manages to create these endless, so nicely selected loops, because they aren't annoying even after very long period of time, they just give you space – to dream, to feel, to stay in peace with yourself and the environment. I'd call it meditation, but this music is not just a tool for certain purpose, there is always something more, about the life itself, about every single day and simple activities like cooking, drinking tea or maybe just looking out the window... When you wake up and see bright sunny morning outside after few weeks of cloudy greyness, this tape will be a perfect start to the day!



«six wishes is the 2nd full-length release from softest (braeyden jae, WYLD WYZRDZ, etc). The sounds from this project are invariably in sympathy with the name of their maker. Gentle rain on a dark green landscape. A warmth to gather yourself around. The pieces, instrumentally, are comprised of guitar, synths, keyboards, discreet sampling, and field recordings. softest is Braden McKenna, based in Salt Lake City, Utah.”». inner islands

It was a bit surprising to see Braden returning to his softest alias after immense number of releases as Braeyden Jae, but listening to the tape you'll immediately understand the decision. Softest side of Braden's guitar rumble brings here same kind of magic heard on "Essex" tape – slowly unfolding spirals of guitar bliss mixed with pleasant synth pads and field recordings, and once again Inner Islands release makes this world little happier. Usually Braden's ability to hypnotise comes from the same source as Sean's – nicely selected loops and almost invisible change of their flow during the composition. But this time something else comes into play – carefully picked echo intertwined with thorough layering creates another level of perception. And at certain moment it gains more effect in the mix with field recording natural noises. Beauty of the melodic lines drowns in reverberation and tape hiss – just to be born again, to change its state but to remain itself, like rain over the landscape, exactly. Isn't it what we all want?



«On Fog Mirror, SLC based musician Braden McKenna, has crafted a weighted, textural album of architectural drone punctuated with stirring washes of crackling static and arcing tones that gather like visible precipitation on an early morning windshield. Fog Mirror is braeyden jae's most deliberately paced, emotionally resonant record to date; the aural equivalent of watching a thick gray blanket envelop some distant, cliffed coastline». whited sepulchre

You may know Ryan Hall, who started Whited Sepulchre as founder of the fellow blog Tome to the Weather Machine, charity netlabel Heligator Records and co-founder of Denver-based Goldrush Music Festival. First two releases at his new label Whited Sepulchre are Fog Mirror vinyl and Braden's cassette split with Ant'lrd. Fog Mirror starts at the territory where softest ends – lush of pink noise covers every melody and every riff produced by Braden's guitar and melts all magic loops into thawing crunch of late spring snow. Overall composition here acts like variable high-level wind, changing directions and power, but always staying way too high to notice any small detail. Everything drowns in everything. Forests, lakes, mountains... Reverb takes part in it too, gaining subtle melodies to the level of this wind, giving them almost astronomical scale, wrapping whole planet into cocoon of dense magnetic fields, cosmic rays, gliding at the atmosphere, meteor showers... At the same time someone standing at the bus stop far away from city, hears thunder, sees lightning and thinks of the endlessness of time, of connection between people, of home... Breathing clean air charged with electricity. Someone small in the endless corridor of the two mirrors facing each other: mirrors of perception and thoughts about it, surfaces of feelings and contemplation on them. Music permeates these surfaces, but can we do the same? Or it will another reflection, or reflection of the reflection, finally faded in the fog? Infinite is not something big, it's here, right now – in every gaze, in every touch, in every tiny drop of fog... Music knows it.


Tuesday, March 08, 2016

chihei hatakeyama / thousand foot whale claw / havenaire


«Hatakeyama's music is characteristically very slow, composed by repeatedly processing guitars, pianos, and vibraphones on a laptop. The result is a mix of droning chords and sparse single instruments rising above the mix. His music may be classified as either post-ambient experimental music or new-age music». ctatsu

What is definitely true from that press-release is the fact that Chihei's compositions are very slow. Yes, there are few quite experimental albums in his portfolio which may be called "post-ambient", but what Mr. Hatakeyama released in recent years is one hundred percent drone ambient, pure, innocent and absolutely blissful. His recent collaboration with Dirk Serries made me faint in admiration and now this tape – maybe a bit simpler and minimalistic, but at the same time reaching total stillness and serenity in its vibe. Someone may call such music emotionless or even aloof, but it's only a surface look. Unfocused, expectation-free listening to it may reveal huge dimension which are not that really hidden. It's like paying attention to your own breathing – can be useless in a daily routine, but definitely worth trying if you want to feel yourself (and the world around) much deeper and interconnected... Music created by Chihei Hatakeyama is just a glimpse on that topic, yet so captivating and so fleeting that you would be obliged to press repeat button. 



«Thousand Foot Whale Claw, an Austin 4 piece, have masterfully wrangled their mountain of synths and guitars on stage for a couple of years now. With a lineup including members of Pure X and Troller, TFWC have cut their own path, playing diverse sets of delicate minimalism to krauty trance to full-spectrum drone. They have recently released a cassette, Lost in Those Dunes, on their own Holodeck Records imprint. Upcoming release Cosmic Winds on Constellation Tatsu takes space rock to the next level». ctatsu

Have you ever felt that cassette drone scene suffered sensible damage when Emeralds went off the stage? Okay, there are Bitchin Bajas, High Wolf, Cliffsides, Mind Over Mirrors and guys like Enumclaw, but still... Thousand Foot Whale Claw's album for Constellation Tatsu is something so exciting that it's hard to put in words all pleasure I had listening to it. Here you can find everything one might expect from strong psychedelic drone stuff: huge walls of synth sound, layered guitars and bass and overwhelming spirals of composition. I wonder how it all may sound on the stage! At the beginning of '90s such music might easily fit into freshly invented "post-rock" category, because what they do is much more timbre and texture oriented than melodic/riff attitude of psychedelic or space rock. But today, when everything is blended with something (completely) different, such music may remain in underground for a long time without having recognition as something really special. And maybe that's even better, because I can't imagine stadium crowd tripping in those vibes. Good, I can, but this will cause such huge amount of "matrix disconnections" that FBI would eventually take over the whole city... Then friendly UFO's are coming to rescue ones enlightened by music and here space journey begins, taking place among colourful nebulae and galaxies full of glowing stardust. At the end of this story we see another planet with huge stadiums built for Thousand Foot Whale Claw gigs filled with billions of aliens tripping in the kilowatts of sound... Okay, think you got the idea!



«Tremolo is the debut release from Havenaire, the Stockholm based musician John Roger Olsson. With his new alias, he is working with slow moving atmospheric melodies and shoegazing sonics. The most vital component to the layered sound of Tremolo is the classic vintage synth Roland Juno-106 which is also the primary source of sound. Mixed with Moog SubPhatty, effect drenched upright piano and white noise». ctatsu

After few very successful albums of noisy ambient like Tim Hecker's "Harmony in Ultraviolet" many artists started to experiment with distortion. Sure, there were examples of such formula before, but at the end of '00s there were so many distorted synth projects that I even had separate folder for them. But with the course of time it became so common to include such element even in quite traditional ambient structures that moment of unexpectedness was lost. Such albums, like "Wilderness of Mirrors" by Lawrence English is a great example, when you quickly adapt to the harshness of sound and start floating in it as freely as you may do it with any traditional ambient work. Same goes to Havenaire debut, which is quite strong and very well composed, filled with noise as much as with music in its conditional meaning. At certain point it reminds some tape from Sundrips huge discography, but then shifts from pure drone to more composed stuff and you can actually feel a lot of emotional movement behind the scenes, which is constantly decayed, dissociated and deconstructed. My suggestion is that this music have such good therapeutic effect on its author that it may be transferred further – to the listener, because you never know the source of those emotions, there are no story told behind, just pure essence of the feelings. It's quite powerful and universal, which makes this tape worthwhile of attentive listening at huge volume more than just few times.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

a.shark / you c + foresteppe



«This album was born to show main direction of O Minor's musical mood, to demonstrate what are spiritual music for us» o minor

Today's post is about two new born Russian labels, which music I'd like to share with Microphones community. They both share similar aesthetics in sound – using tape loops, acoustic instruments, synths and field recording to achieve peaceful aural landscape where one can travel endlessly. First one is A.Shark (Alexander Akulenko) with 90 minutes of warm summer field recordings combined with subtle instrumentations, which brings to mind many childhood memories, reminiscences of happy moments we all have during the lifetime. Music floats between simple impressionism and playful naivety, but always brings a bit of psychedelic atmosphere in its flow – fast bicycle ride through the park, heady dances of the sunlight between the leaves and branches, kaleidoscope of emotions experienced without reflection, just as they are, pure and innocent. Regarding this I must say that listening to such kind of music always takes much more than just entertainment, it definitely has certain therapeutic effect, like being transcended through your memory, experiencing "then" and "now" in one single moment, a superposition of everything that happened and will happen... Inspiring and simply beautiful music which brings sunlight even to cloudy winter days.


you c + foresteppe ~ seven sleepers (шалаш, 2016)

«Inspired by a story about a group of Christian youths who hid inside a cave outside the city of Ephesus around 250 AD, to escape persecution. There they fell into a miraculous sleep for almost two hundred years» шалаш

Bela Uncle Cat (you c) and Egor Klochikhin (Foresteppe) had many releases and art projects before and you may already know well-praised Foresteppe album Diafilms as well as Bela's animations and collages she made to complete her own music creations. Now it's time for collaboration which combines love to collage music and visual art with tape looping approach and folk instrumentation. Being a first release of new born Egor's label ШАЛАШ, this album is presented in cassette tape and reel-to-reel editions, both housed in lovely handmade packaging. Once again we hear a blissful lullaby of floating sounds, starting from accordion and ukulele and ending its spectrum in subtle field recordings and recycled tape hiss. Music unfolds very slowly, gently pulling one thread after another, keeping things down and sleepy all the time. Many artists started to explore "sleep music" genre recently and usually it is some kinds of drone/ambient sounds, but this tape brings different view. Why should we record 8-hour long album if we can do just one very good 23-minute loop? And "seven sleepers" does it very well. Side B repeats the side A and if you push repeat button on your deck this tape would play forever. Or, at least, for two hundred years. I warned!