microphones in the trees: April 2018

Friday, April 27, 2018

les halles ~ zephyr




 «Zephyr takes its name from a light westerly wind, which aptly evokes the warm, weightless, whispering spirit of these beguiling electro-acoustic designs». not not fun

Baptiste Martin always been good at making pastoral landscapes with just few touches of flute loops and transparent veils of delay, but this time he surpassed himself. This record sounds way too good! It feels exactly like a gentle wind which envelops you softly from the very first seconds of playback. Nature is always like this – there's no such thing as imperfect wind or nonideal wave in the sea. Our mind tends to evaluate everything (like I just did few lines earlier) and we always seek for some abstract perfection, comparing things – and that's completely normal, that's the way mind works. Also, it would be weird to state that evaluation is bad, right? 

But my point here is that things are always have some place relatively to each other and when we say something about them, this relation is the starting point of our judgement. What I'm trying to say is that some things feel perfect as they are because then don't change given configuration. They just give you a possibility to see from another viewpoint. Thing becomes a portal to new vision. That's why this music is so perfect, its ability to realign simply amazes! Few minutes in and you're completely in a different world. Everything around remains the same, you are the same – but your perception is different. World definitely needs more music like this. Not really emotional. Not simply relaxing. Just making you more attentive to things. Not escaping reality, but accepting it. Sharpening the perception. Just like the wind reminds you to breathe deeply, just like the sun emerging from behind the clouds reminds you to look around... 

Gentleness and calmness of Zephyr may feel contrasting with our world, but carefully realigning your vision Les Halles' music gives you same feeling which wind itself probably has. Endless motion. Unstoppable flow. Of course, there are moments of stillness and moments of storming rage. But after all it's just a motion, state of being. The more steady it is, the more you see. Correlations, interconnections, cause and effect... If music is a state of air, then life is a state of mind. 



Friday, April 13, 2018

CYBEREALITYライフ ~ v i r t u a l r e s o r t ™



Of of the genre's pillars in vaporwave, "virtual resort™"  by CYBEREALITYライフ finally gets cassette reissue the newly formed TheINFINITYpool label, which already put out some no less iconic releases by Amun Dragoon, MindSpring Memories and Fujita Scale. Perhaps this album may not sound as unique as it used to be because of the clichee abundance happening with the genre these days, but CYBEREALITYライフ was one of those who introduced them in wide use. Virtual vacations to the cyber-space resorts already were in 90s, in Roger Zelazny's epic book "Donnerjack" and this album may be a really nice companion for such fantasies – advertisement breaks, weather channel's music, lounge jazz, 80s to 90s, subtly ironic atmosphere of new age and futuristic chill-out... Cheerful atmosphere of consumption, the rhythm of the buyer, briskly moving from one store to another in the brightly lit endless corridor of a shopping mall... A virtual paradise for ideal consumers only!

listen / support (sold out)


Tuesday, April 03, 2018

marta smilga ~ lunar maria, vol. 1



«'Lunar Maria' was created in Marta SmiLga's home studio on a barge in Riga across many cold autumn nights, when the sky was clear, full of shimmering stars and bright, embracing moonlight». ~ crash symbols

When I saw this tape for a moment my thought was "oh, new Lunar Miasma album!", probably because this is something that is not going to happen anymore and I was a huge fan of those psych drone analogue synth space excursions from Panos Alexiadis. But it's from Latvia this time, and Marta SmiLga is surely are well-experienced synth explorer – so when I listened to this album, it seemed like I'm there again, on this nostalgic road towards stars... Guide has changed, but the space is the same. The pace is slow, not much of psychedelia is going on, we are experiencing more thorough and scientific approach. Yet, it's as breathtaking as it was when I was five and saw an astronomy textbook for the first time... Yellowed pages with galaxies, planets, comets, asteroids and of course – lunar map. Gasping admiration. I remember telling my mom that there are seas on the Moon (and even one ocean!), but those are not real seas and that Lunokhod went there and people went there, and... And she was saying okay, okay, good... Ten years later I was out every clear night, sitting with my self-made telescope, sketching lunar surface in my observations journal, all those craters, mountains and seas – watching how shadow slowly changes the picture on the edge of light and dark... 

Yes, music can provoke a lot of nostalgia! And that's the beauty of it, the miracle of memory and perception. Listening to slowly changing delicate compositions on this tape brings this subtle feeling of childish excitement mixed with awe and admiration, which was probably best captured in Kubrick's Space Odyssey. Gazing into a deepness of the Universe and realizing equal profoundness of your own mind. It's perfectly reflected by ringing resonance of Marta SmiLga's drones and tiny detailed veils of microsounds around them. Thin surface of events around barely perceived vastness makes all the sense. No matter how cold or dark space is, our mind finds it strangely attractive because it mirrors something inside us, because we are same thing... And same thing happens with music here. Isn't it wonderful?