microphones in the trees: ~ tropical bliss ~

Thursday, March 05, 2020

~ tropical bliss ~




The music of Grenoble gardener Denis Morin aka Vague Imaginaires cross-pollinates modal synthetics, equatorial ambience, and drum circle minimalism into ecological fantasias of “natural forces and enchanted worlds,” seven of which comprise his spacious debut, L'Île D'or. ~ not not fun

Not Not Fun just did it again ~ another chilled excursion to the imaginary lands full of joyful warmth and psychedelic bliss-out was found under the Vague Imaginaries alias and added to the legendary (yup, with no exaggeration) catalog of the label. Based on the dub-techno-ish pace of rich percussion, albums takes you on a journey with raga-like melodies and shimmering atmospheres built from field recordings ~ there's nothing much to explain in fact, you could clearly imagine what to expect here if you know the label's taste to such sound. Yet, it feels a bit different, another kind of fresh air ~ being rather clean sounding, especially on the contrast with super-hazy lo-fi jams of, say, Dreamers Cloth or Terlu. Yet I'm pretty sure both fans of good sound production and cassette lo-fi-ness are going to be satisfied here ~ with a perfect balance of his compositions, Mgr. Morin manages to drift in between liminal states, keeping his work both upbeat and relaxed at the same time. Some perfect trance-inducing tunes for any lover of lush otherworldly landscapes painted by the light glares through the closed eyelids. That's basically everything you need to do with that tape ~ simply close your eyes and it will do its magic.


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Cosmic Chicago modal organ grinder Jimmy Lacy developed the dexterous dialect of SiP some years back while helming a happy hour residency at a Logan Square cocktail lounge that required he vamp rambling three-hour sets nightly. With such a wide window to fill, he free-flowed serpentine mandala keyboard motifs across 15-minute expanses, soaking in every spiral, stasis, and sliding scale. These hypno-motion strategies were rehearsed and refined across stellar radio performances (notably for Planet Catieo, WLPN 105.5FM) and studio sessions, finally culminating in the sidewinder séances of his dazzling debut: Leos Naturals. ~ not not fun

From its very beginning this marvelous debut by SiP takes us to even more upbeat territories yet staying beatless in the usual meaning. It's bouncy, playful and full of great percussive moves but it all stays in the pulsating realm of hypnotizing movements meant to dazzle your perception with major melodic bliss rather than aiming to make your body dance. Still, both is possible and it all depends on how you approach music in general ~ letting it go thought your mind first and then allowing it to control your limbs ~ or vice versa. Such ambivalence is what draws a big portion of attention here, with mind dancing and body perfectly chilling (in my case) while perception spirals out of this world to the fractal ornaments of beautifully crafted melodies. There's definitely an eastern touch, some jazzy Terry Riley for sure, but most of all ~ just plain enjoyment from the artist himself. When one does something one truly enjoys, it pays off clearly, I'd even say it radiates intensively, making this music shine like a summer pool on midday. After listening to this tape you may realize how fleeting it is despite being honest 40 minutes long and fully packed with all kinds of cool synth progressions, groovy vibes and acoustic meanderings (I swear, that bass clarinet on track 4 is just stellar). And also why it was okay for SiP to play three-hous long live sets ~ personally I'd be happy to listen to such jams 24/7 if all the other music in the world got forbidden or something. Could be much better to hear such tunes on every corner, maybe world would become a better place then!


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A prime divination document by elusive Floridian entity Wave Temples finally receives full presentation rites: Tales From The Cymatic Abyss. Tracked in fragments from 2013 through 2015, this collection captures the essence of the project’s illusory allure, cross-fading vignettes of coastal drift, thatched hut percussion, and aquamarine dreams into a seamless séance of the inner Keys. ~ not not fun

There are three things you can listen to forever: ocean waves, marimbas and tape hiss. And for that we got Wave Temples, already a classic of tropical drone and neo new age genres whose output has been quite consistent in bringing serenity of desolate shores to our world of ever-growing pace. In these inner journeys you may feel refreshing breeze and simply put your mind at ease but also if often feels inspiring enough not to just seek solace in those tunes but to proceed with the retrieved mindset way further into the daily motions. Sometimes it's surprisingly easy to carry that warmth through all the sharpness and it results in alluring interest to everything you may experience from the perspective of ~ how I love to call it ~ alien observer. The only trick here is probably to successfully soak in all the hiss and breeze in order to find that Inner Key which will open a bigger picture in every experienced situation, be it dance party, morning traffic or your neighbors ranting. When every thing forms a certain pattern, same as the sand does when a wave touches it. When you see it all as meaningful as the sequence of the leaves on a palm tree and as inconsequential as the mosquito buzz at the same time. It all just goes in waves, endlessly unfolding and going back to the ocean. When this tape goes into silence on a joyful tribal vibe, you suddenly realize how cool could it be to go back to the ocean, like right now, becoming some sort of human-amphibian and asking yourself why we left that paradise in the first place... Probably for a reason, but it still greets us back, even if through such a weird manner as recreating itself on cassette tape. Yet, why not, considering that it's a part of the whole anyway =)


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