microphones in the trees: 2019

Saturday, January 12, 2019

polonius ~ anaxia short movie ost





“Welcome to the world of Oskexis, an ancient land of dark magic, an underworld frontier to the continent of Trocia above. Oskexis’ soil is rich, unidentified metals, gems, ores, and fuel – which brings countless crusades and bloodshed. The few remaining oasis’ are controlled by feudal warlords who engage in unending mining/military campaigns. Demons, bandits, and gangs run unchecked. It is a hostile place.  
Anaxia is an archaic and rare type of magic, originally developed by ancient Trocian mystic-engineers. Anaxian Magic grants the user abilities of psycho-navigation and psycho-puppetry others’ minds – an ability alike cloning one’s mind.” ~ weston razooli


Nope, you're wrong, that's not a trailer of some sophisticated erotic hippie movie from the 70s. It is a 2018 short filmed on tape and imbibed by something tightly embedded into the subcortex of world's cinema – spaghetti-westerns, fantasy, mafia... The simplicity and at the same time bright dynamics of the script creates a dream-like journey as if recorded by someone (without permission, of course) for sale on the magic crystals black market. Unexpected special effects continually break the retromaniac mood of the video sequence, but it immediately draws you back into its warm embrace. If Conan the Barbarian was filmed by feminists group who had the idea of it on the lysergic withdrawal while watching some western movie from a randomly selected nameless VHS tape.

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Yet, in reality, costumes, video, plot, the whole thing was the work of the director Weston Razooli hailing from sunny LA. While bizarre soundtrack and awesome sound effects were created by Seif Gaber (aka Polonius) from even sunnier Egypt. And all this sums up to the wonderful experience with just one flaw – it's criminally short! The music here seems to be caught on a cassette with the help of some magic spell or reanimated from some dusty archives of weird field recordings recorded over some old game soundtrack. And its meanderings are so convincing, that there will be no surprise if some impertinent fairy will enter your room next moment, angrily saying something like: "Hey, are you still chilling? Did you learn ten spells for tomorrow's class? Oh, you've finished my marshmallows again!" and will dissolve in the air, leaving the smell of dusty cacti behind...

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By the way, the soundtrack in full duration of 24 minutes will be released on cassettes next week on the Artetetra – Italian stronghold of the "occult psychedelia" and other wonderful things, so I probably should take back my words about this thing being criminally short. Yet, that would be super nice to watch a full-length movie like this some day. Meanwhile, you can chill with marshmallows and cocoa listening to amazing tunes Polonius had on Goaty Tapes and his double tape as Rorschac at Corum's Nonlocal Research, and then head to Discogs to find out much much more about Gaber's gorgeously bizarre soundworld. 


Friday, January 11, 2019

geology records winter batch




Sitting in the dead of Winter, I'm really excited about this collection of songs because it is just dripping with Spring. If you are familiar with Black Eagle Child, this collection fits very nicely on the continuum of his work. Gorgeous, sometimes folky, looping guitars, found sound and field recordings. A lathe-cut 12" version is also available from the artist's Bandcamp page. Cassette packaging includes a slipcase and full-color j-card with art by Black Eagle Child.

Yes, we are familiar with Black Eagle Child and when it comes to guitar goodness infused with tape hiss and light-radiating psychedelic repetition, one can hardly find something better than this. Since 2009 and thanks to such imprints as Digitalis, Stunned, Housecraft records signature tunes by Michael Jantz found their place in my subconscious and roll out of it in moments when they are most needed – like now, 1,5 months (and counting) without the sunlight in the middle of Russian winter... When these melodies are here, I can almost feel the breeze of warmth and imagine as snowdrifts outside suddenly started to melt... And the greyness were removed from the sky, and birds started to sing their spring songs. Okay, they will eventually, so no tragedy here. Actually, I love winter pretty much and with music like this, I do even more.


~~~



Adam is a prolific experimental artist in Milwaukee, having played in or guested on piles of the best albums to come out of the scene over the past 15+ years. These are more song-based than his normal terrain, but still with a nod to his drone/minimal work. Adam and I have a similar music coming of age background, I think, and so a lot of this hits my musical lizard brain in a really satisfying way. Wholly original, but sounds like home. Packaging includes a fold-out booklet and Autumn leaves from near my home in Milwaukee (unique to each tape).

Pretty much warming as the Black Eagle Child, yet a bit diverse and with carefully overdriven guitars and rudimentary percussion, this is another example of chord repetition which can be as meditative as pretty dynamic. Sliding from mantra-like folk ballads towards droning sound overlays and humming and back to songs rendered in krauty mood. Changing moods from lazy contemplations to melancholic philosophizing (on the dead bird). At any given moment this tape captures something sincere and emotional despite the seemingly cynical and indolent approach. It all resolves in Trees Listed Alphabetically with exalted awe and marching rhythm which takes you up above treetops... Cozy heartwarming music, what else we need to spend January evenings?