Week in Review #35

Posted by on September 6, 2014

Week 35

Midway this week astronomers revised their estimates of Earth and the Milk Way’s stellar neighborhood, replacing our home Virgo Supercluster with the even bigger Laniakea, 160 million parsecs / 520 million light-years across. They speculate Laniakea (Hawaiian for “immeasurable heaven”) may form part of an even larger structure along with the Shapley Supercluster, with the current research essentially focused on modeling their fluid dynamic and uncovering gravitational relationships. So, welcome to your new home y’all.

#1 – 8/30/2014 – Portland, OR’s ambient techno extraordinaire Tim Grey (whose Ethernet alter ego has produced some of the most pristine minimal electronic vibes around) released the debut of his latest guise, Tanuki House. Issued via Occult ResearchBiblioteca Pleyades strikes closer to the heady, manic IDM celebrated by the Reflex imprint and its concept of braindance than the vaporous propulsion produced by Gas. It’s a fascinating new side of Grey that I, for one, will be following quite closely from here on out. The alien movements are available digitally or as a limited cassette directly via OR’s Bandcamp– BP

#2 – 9/2/2014 – UK based Jimmy Billingham, aka HOLOVR, shared a new mix via Self-Titled Magazine, taking the opportunity to also announce the launch of his new Indole Records imprint. The mix is embedded just below a teaser for the label’s first three releases, with Pearl River Sound, DIVAN, and Italian experimentalist Morkebla (following on his debut tape for Where To Now? earlier this year). Psyched to hear more from this crew. -DP

#3 – 9/2/2014 – Danish tape imprint Phinery announced a 50% off sale to run through the next week or two while they prepare their Autumn releases, so hit up their Bandcamp for some incredible $3 tapes while they’re still in stock. Included in the deal is their latest release, Lindsay Dobbin’s tremendous Arrival cassette, a pair of lengthy ambient meditations on the musician’s experience of (fortunately for everyone in this scenario, temporary) hearing loss. No discount codes involved, so just head over to the Phinery Bandcamp to take advantage. -DP

#4 – 9/2/2014 – In a turn of news that’s equally “WTF” as it is “Makes sense,” Mute announced New Order as its latest signed act. The long-running U.K. label, whose roots nearly overlap with New Order’s, is set to issue the band’s 10th studio album, which is yet to have a title, tracklist, or release date. – BP

#5 – 9/2/2014 – Spring Break Tapes, one of our favorite cassette labels, dropped a new set of hip hop instrumentals by Bugseed. Entitled Some Foods, the album continues the Japanese beat-tician’s M.O. of chilled, heady grooves that stand apart from the dull, uninspired beats slapped together by your average bedroom producer. Pick up a cassette copy before they run out directly via SBT’s online shop– BP

#6 – 9/2/2014 – Ernest Gibson issued his follow-up to the alluringly minimal tribalism and dark, seductive exoticism of last year’s Island Songs (best heard here) with Pastorial IV, an extended set of nuanced sketches and subtly expansive atmosphere. Released by the always-fascinating Crash Symbols label, the album is a moody drift from one melancholic vignette to the next, simultaneously beautiful and tragic. Head over to Crash Symbol’s Bandcamp to nab a copy for yourself. – BP

#7 – 9/3/2014 – Flagpole, longtime standard-bearer for Athens, GA local culture, reported that a group of galleries and venues in the area would be helping to organize a season of Elephant Six related events, art exhibitions, and performances with the goal of celebrating the groups prodigious cultural influence and significance as a community builder in the area; all particularly exciting developments in light of the label’s spiritual successor, Cloud Recordings, returning to more frequent operations. Check out Flagpole for more information on the series. -DP


#8 – 9/3/2014 – Huntington, WV born composer Nate May was featured on NPR for his “two-person music-drama,” Dust in the Bottomland, with Nate playing piano while collaborator Andrew Munn sings bass; yea, this is contemporary opera, with a spin on rural Americana: “The main character is returning home after 10 years because his sister has overdosed on pain pills. During his return home, the protagonist also visits the site of his family’s home and sees the changes that mining has done to that landscape.” Having very little context on the state of new, modern opera, I have very little to say about it on that account, but I’m excited as a West Virginian to see more local artists expanding the region’s reportoire and pioneering “modern” influences for the new generation…. for anyone who feels connected to the state through something other than their experience of folk and bluegrass, as much as those are positive experiences in our history. Check that out on Bandcamp-DP

#9 – 9/3/2014 – Fire Talk announced the release of a new Woodsman EP, titled Teleseparation, which serves as a companion piece to their self-titled LP released earlier this year. The EP is a “long form stream of consciousness” broken into four parts; the last track on the album was excerpted from these recordings. It serves as a peep into one aspect of Woodsman’s recording process and is available on limited edition cassette here. -LP

#10 – 9/4/2014 – Resident Advisor’s Exchange series ran a new podcast feature on techno label Stroboscopic Artefacts with proprietor Sicily-born and Berlin based producer Lucy, now that the imprint is approaching its fifth anniversary. Listen in at Resident Advisor-DP

#11 – 9/4/2014 – Napolian’s Software-issued LP Incursio has already led to charismatic and mesmerizing video content (see last year’s ennui-celebrating video for “Reminisce“), the album was sourced yet again with a video for “Therm. G.” Directed by Dro Carey, who also guests on the track itself, the video is a captivating and hallucinatory barrage of intensely anxious imagery that splices “splices footage of cybernetics and crypto-warfare.” Scope the video below and head over to Software to pick up a copy of the still-fantastic LP. – BP

#12 – 9/4/2014 – In case you missed it, a track from Aphex Twin’s Syro was made available. – BP

#13 – 9/5/2014 – UK based producer/composer Craig Leon is still manning the press junket, with a great new interview up over at the L.A. Record; focused more on his background and history in the business than our interview earlier this summer, it’s exciting to pick out that Leon seems to have some specific new compositions taking shape. Read the full text over at the L.A. Record-DP

#14 – 9/6/2014 – It’s closing day in San Francisco for the Beautification Machine, a novel multimedia collaboration from SF-based Andy Diaz Hope and Decoder columnist Jon Bernson that the two recently exhibited at the Catherine Clark Gallery. The Beautification Machine is ” a device used to neutralize the bile and fear spewed forth daily over the networks and transform polarizing media sources into vehicles of contemplation and peace. The Machine combines functions of sculpture, projection, audio processing, and sheer chance to manipulate real-time video feeds from FOX, MSNBC (or any news source) and then strip them of all rhetoric and partisanship. The miracle of theMachine’s process is the meditative environment that naturally occurs once this divisiveness is removed. In many instances, the fear created by such sources can be completely reversed, and in the absence of this fear, natural states of empathy, mutual understanding, and calm will remain.” Read the entire press release and check out a clip at the gallery’s website (there’s also some brief coverage at the San Francisco Arts Quarterly and SFWeekly)… but suffice to say, we’re hoping Bernson and Diaz Hope decide to take this one on tour… or just let us house it at some hypothetical Decoder office. -DP

Beautification Machine