microphones in the trees: September 2019

Friday, September 27, 2019

inner travels ~ пурпурный дядя ~ 地球 ~ s oliwa

Birds, creeks, thunder – nature sounds have always been important among Steve Targo’s Inner Travels releases. Targo often uses synthesizers to replicate wildlife songs in his music, framed with his own field recordings. On Nature Spirit, the tenth Inner Travels full-length, he pays more attention to the world outside his window and less to the electronics ~ inner islands

Getting an announcement from Inner Islands always means receiving a true gift, some best serenity-inducing tunes possible and having such treasures in our world sometimes seems miraculous. maybe it's weird to say such things on this blogs of all places but let's just admit ~ listening to nature sounds and calm, slow-paced synthesizer music recorded on cassette tape is not something people really do in 2019. Yet, we still believe they should. Not because of the notions that any underground music style should become mainstream someday, not because people's life can't be complete without such music... It can and kinda is, yet something is always missing. Some feeling or understanding, or simply a connection which will make things easier. Aren't we all here for that? Same way as our planet is always looking for balance, even experiencing climate changes or cosmic cataclysms. Same way stars align their orbits even giving that the Universe is infinite. In all these searches, it's good to have Inner Travels leading us to the places of where this infinite interconnectedness and complexity of the universal laws meet the simplicity of joy of being in the middle of it all. Simply being, as the grass grows and water streams. Aren't they are great teachers? 

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Recorded in Thailand ~ takoe

As short as it should be, the album description tells us that this is a field recording tape. And it really is, and it's really good. Truly documental and musical at the same time, full of street and natural noise but also the serenity of soundscapes from the temples and simply some non-tourist streets. Cicadas and motorcycles, flutes and voices floating in the air like a mirage, creating a collaging atmosphere of the real-life magic. Nothing happens on this tape but also everything... Usually known for his tape noises and collage improvs, пурпурный дядя (purple uncle in russian) unveils her a little but important secret ~ world is full of noise already, and it's beautiful.

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Earth is our mother. The city is noisy. Because the soul is lost. I didn't want pain anymore ~ hiraeth records

After well-received collab with t e l e p a t h the label's boss Jornt Elzinga continued the optimistic and utopian theme reissuing an old work of his. Being called a naturewave in vaporwave community, this is basically a purest and calmest ambient new age music you can imagine, just framed into some fleeting moment of a menacing drone time from time. As if this music being some kind of virtual simulation of what our world can be or will be in the future. While this simulation is run on the edge of environmental collapse to check some models or algorithms of what should and can be done... Wait, it really is ~ despite being "just music" and "someone's fantasy" it works that way perfectly, drawing a picturesque and at the same time not so idyllic picture of the world, where birds and brooks and rains are dominating over the landscape, calmly erasing, little by little, any trace of humanity. And if Building A Better World was an optimistic album about the future of humanity, this albums is no less optimistic about future after all ~ just from the Mother Nature's point of view. 

listen ~ support 

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s oliwa ~ botanica onirica vol I (self-released, 2019)

Botanica Onirica Vol I is a compendium of my own favourite pieces, plus three new tracks which complete the album and give it its own identity ~ sebastián oliwa

Being our long-term resident here, Oliwa stays true to its sound as well. Collecting some of the warmest offerings of lo-fi goodness on this album, he presents us a chance to take a journey through the primal jungle and forests, deserts and mountains, basically creating a documentary to watch with eyes closed. A movie without a single word being said and pictures drawn. Tape hiss will be your narrator and the sporadic tribal rhythms will lead you across the ridges, inside lost temples hidden behind the dense clouds of elusive synthesizer melodies... There's no need to solve some mysteries or fight any battles to gain a universal truth found on those mountain peaks ~ all the keys are on hands and they are simply the fact that nature always is open fo balancing things, so why shouldn't we do the same?  

listen ~ support 

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

grykë pyje

The missed seed of cryptobotany music. Jani Hirvonen (Uton) and Johannes Schebler (Baldruin) reconstruct the mesmerizing world of the Grykë Pyje swamp tribe. Vinyl in your hands is a ceremonial sonification of the sacred herbarium, painted myths of the animal kingdom and voices behind the thicket. mappa

As it usually goes without saying with these two wild magicians from the woods, right from the starts we are here to experience maximum weirdness, off-charts musicality, undercover psychonautics and extraterrestrial invocations. All those voices and bloops and blips and warped geometries of cryptobotany music are definitely meant not for everyone, at least if you approach music from the consumer's perspective. For relaxing, background chill, for sleeping, or just for fun ~ it always says something about what we are expecting from music but not about what we can give to it ourselves. Of course, there's an established ritual of exchanging impressions received from sound to a certain amount of paper with certain pictures and symbols on it given to the persons who made those sounds. Which is even weirder, if you look at this ritual from the perspective of some alien visitor, knowing not much about our planet. It's logical, yes ~ but the fact that those weird and often not really beautiful pictures will later be exchanged again, and again, and again, our visiting Jacques-Ive of interplanetary travels will probably lose the track of it ~ right the way I just did while pursuing the analogy to the point of tripping out of it because of some sudden change in music. So nevermind, let's just say everything is weird if you're an outsider to the process, and everything makes perfect sense if you're an attentive insider. Same as Voynich Manuscript, this music leads you to some guesses and hints are everywhere but without a master key to unlock the meaning of it all.

Let's just decide if we are outsiders or insiders here because there's a choir calling to a mystic inside myself while some gnome voice persuades that I should rather have some ale and give my body a rest in this glorious moss bed... Of course, I'd love to do both but that analogy thing from the first part keeps flying around like a truly annoying bee. So yes, let's say that despite any weirdness, what really matters to alien observation is the fact of interaction itself and whether he's a botanist of mathematician or astrophysicist, he'll see that the process of interaction creates all those symbols, images, sounds. And that weirdness, which surrounds them is only a fog of an unknown semantics. Every symbol exists to meaning, while mosses and ferns are simply are. Or pretend to? Okay, here we need some highly experienced insider to infiltrate the fern kingdom and mosses universe to find out. Care to volunteer?