I’ve been struggling a bit to write new music lately, but I have been listening to a bunch of new albums and wanted to post about a few here you might enjoy. This is only a handful of albums on rotation.
Voiski – 55 Days of Confinement
When France went into lockdown, Voiski decided to record a track for every day he was locked down. The result is a staggering collection of songs from Sega chip driven techno that he’s well known for to beautiful ambient explorations. I’d love to pick his brain sometime on his arpeggio techniques, I just get lost in them and this has been one of my favorite releases of the year. 55 songs! I’ve spent entire afternoons doing yard work, chilling in the garden, etc with this on playback.
Auscultation – III
Joel Shanahan’s Auscultation III fits nicely with Joel’s prior Auscultation releases and his other moniker Golden Donna. III both feels more focused than prior works but also more experimental or more room for experimentation.
The result is a heady mix of filtered drums, panning synths and hats, layers of reverb and delay and beautiful haunting FM synthesis. Poly rhythmic patterns drift in and out of focus, songs take their time telling their story, the mark of a producer who has been around the block a few times but isn’t afraid to still take chances sonically.
Amy Reid – Isolated Bliss
Amy Reid’s Isolated Bliss is a short 21 minute ambient respite that we could all use when almost 99% of everything else going on right now feels terrible.
My favorite thing about this isn’t just the short escape into meditation but also the treats the listener gets on deep listens such as the intricate use of filters, delays, rhythms, and other audio sprinkles. Amy is local (to me) Baltimore also no relation to me fyi, but the record is released on the always excellent local Atlantic Rhythms label.
Sonic Boom – All Things Being Equal
At some point Sonic Boom started following me on Instagram. I’d kind of lost touch with him over the years but we know each other cos my older band Screen Vinyl Image had both hung out with him on his tours as well as played a few gigs with him in DC and Baltimore too.
He was posting some vague stuff on IG about “All Things Being Equal” and I eventually figured out it was promoting a new album which I was excited about anyway. And what a record it is.
There’s walls of synths and samples, and blips and beats but what really got me was Pete’s lyrical content and how uplifting it was despite how awful everything else feels right now. My favorite song is The Way That You Live with a simple almost Buddhist mantra mixed with some pretty heady Velvet Underground vibes. In fact, the record really made me think a lot about Lou Reed’s solo work which led me to definitively feel like this is Pete Kember’s finest output to date which is saying something in itself. This will easily be a top 2020 album of the year if we make it to 2021, that’s TBD, at least we have some good music to chill to right?
Kim and I did a 7 inch on Fan Death Records and for the cover, we decided to rip (uh pay homage) to Spacemen 3 on it. I always dug the photo ever since I was a kid so I thought it would be fun for us to do a similar thing.
So months pass by of recording and then production delays and we get this Baltimore gig with Sonic Boom. Chris from Fan Death shows up with the 7 inches in hand and puts them down on the merch table. Pete and his wife walk up with their merch table next to ours and their album and ours are like almost side by side. And he’s looking at it then looks over at his table and then looks at us and just smiles.