Bows of Summer - Lace Bows
Brilliant album of warped noise and soul caressing synths from Portugal’s mysterious Lace Bows. Released on Exo Tapes, it demands to be heard on tape - only one remains at time of writing! Music has a wavering quality like heat undulating upon a hardtop, reflected in song titles such as Night Swim
/ Christmas Sun
. Looping songs like Beach Bows
create a blissful hypnotic effect as wavering synths weave their way through hard edged layers of sound. Distorted voices at times emerge, samples interject as if transmitted through a melted car radio, sounds are liquified, redefined, reimagined. Elsewhere we are underwater, conversing with porpoises and floating to nowhere (40 Summers Left
). A most unusual - and very beautiful - summer album.
Earthbound - Cuddle Formation / The Spookfish
Split between two fascinating artists on Patient Sounds
. Begins with the striking Dreamhaus
by Cuddle Formation, an evocation of a slumbering soul to the waking world. Noah Klein has a superb way of weaving layers of arresting vocals into glorious soundscapes. Besides the opener, Duckfangs Tickle My Ankles
is the other standout with it’s trancelike rhythms. The Spookfish side is largely distorted primitive American, Daniel Goldberg creating lovely guitar pieces of yearning beauty that are sometimes with lyrics, sometimes without. Exception is the warm organ sounds of Moon Day (spring)
that builds a glowing atmosphere before gently deteriorating into a droning outro. Grateful that Patient paired these two artists together to create this album of great understated beauty, filled with many softly life affirming moments.
Touch the Ground to Bear Witness - Sparkling Wide Pressure
Could have really chosen any of the releases Sparkling Wide Pressure releases of 2013 but this is the one I’ve been listening to the most of late. Guitar seems to feature more heavily on this release, Frank Baugh conversing with the instrument in his inimitable way while drones bleed into the edges. Many subtle sonic elements in these compositions yet they retain a minimal, sparse dynamic. A highlight is Welcome to Golden Market
, transiting from piercing noise beginnings through to insistent krautrock groove and oscillating drones, while Inside a Trashcan
has acoustic beginnings give way to static incantations departing on a helicopter. Metaphors Dissolve
the most apt of song titles for the sounds of this album, for this remarkable artist. Sparkling Wide Pressure : master dissolver, deconstructer, disassembler of sound.
Final Fare - Angel Eyes
In a fine year for music that evoked the night and all it holds, Final Fare
was one of the best. Released in the early stages of ‘13 on Bedroom Sucks
, Andrew Cowie created a transfixing album in the slow burning electronic compositions of Final Fare. Draws on 80s synth pop and Carpenter-esque elements to create a cinematic sound that describes languid dream sequences of a slightly nightmarish tone. More recent references may be the films of Nicolas Winding Refn in the contrast of neon glow synths with a quiet, lurking terror (The Sighing Hours
especially sinister) . A Light Distraction
may be the most beautiful song, an anesthetizing descent into distorted, disorientating depths. A gripping set of nocturnes for the modern sonic adventurer.
LITTLE APPEAL - LOWER SPECTRUM
Superbly realised album arresting soundscapes from former Melbourne-now-Perth resident Ned Beckley, inspired by around the world adventure. Beckley expertly melds modern classical with electronic elements and field recordings from travels, creating a distinctly nocturnal world to become immersed in. Powerfully atmospheric, Little Appeal should be experienced from beginning to end to absorb the subtleties of sound. Sparse moments (the gentle throb of Sanctity
) are contrasted with heavier bass and beats, it’s an album that has been assembled with great care. Erasing Form
evoke a smoky underworld club while Hollow
has a distinct middle eastern flavour, conjuring brilliant sunshine and bustling marketplaces. So many rich sonic moments, though the double of Heedless
and Field of Glass
contain perhaps my favourite passages. An album inspired by this world that reaches for something greater, something beyond the surface of this planet.
You should also check out…
Global Guts - Treasure Hunt
Sacred Flowers - Apollo Vermouth
I Was Flying - The National Park Service
Trabajo & Madrugapha: Split Tape