microphones in the trees: September 2016

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.