Features

Evolve In That Setting: An Interview with Colin Blanton, Ant’lrd

September 21, 2017

Evolve In That Setting: An Interview with Colin Blanton, Ant’lrd As Ant’lrd, Colin Blanton records dreamy experimental music that’s surprisingly hard to pin down. Blurring the boundaries between otherworldly ambient, minimalistic drone, wide-eyed sound collages, and just about everything in between, each new work issued by Blanton uncovers yet another facet of... 

The Whimsical and Grotesque Tape Manipulations of Cal Fish

July 25, 2017

The Whimsical and Grotesque Tape Manipulations of Cal Fish Over the last decade or so, the affordability of cassettes has made them into more and more widely appealing medium for a slew of independent labels and artists. Producing cassettes remains an extremely cheap alternative to vinyl, though CD-R imprints often take the cake for craftiness and inexpensive... 

Songwriting Like a 9–5: Erin Osmon on Jason Molina

July 20, 2017

Songwriting Like a 9–5: Erin Osmon on Jason Molina In 2008, just after completing the final studio album he would ever record, Jason Molina wrote a long message on his Blackberry to a friend asking for songwriting advice. His first piece of guidance began: “Wake up one hour earlier than usual. Don’t fuck around with this hour. Have a glass of water... 

Suzanne Ciani: The Emotion of Sound

July 6, 2017

Suzanne Ciani: The Emotion of Sound Suzanne Ciani has been on the electronic music frontlines since the seventies. A prominent figure on the West Coast, Ciani worked with Don Buchla as he developed his legendary Buchla modular music systems. Instantly enamored with its sonic possibilities, she became an expert in designing modular patches,... 

Side-by-Side: Frank Hurricane, The Cradle, & Sweet Baby Jesus on HEC TWO

June 27, 2017

Side-by-Side: Frank Hurricane, The Cradle, & Sweet Baby Jesus on HEC TWO Massachusetts label HEC (“Collective audio diary. Purveyor of cassette.”) has grown up fast since launching late in 2016, with their lucky thirteenth release arriving May 18th from Brooklyn five-piece Sweet Baby Jesus’s Lyres of Ur. Sweet Baby round out a Brooklyn-centric trio of recent... 

Listen to the Hearing Voice: A Conversation with Emmanuel Mieville

June 1, 2017

Listen to the Hearing Voice: A Conversation with Emmanuel Mieville Slowly but surely, with zero fanfare and nary a peep to the press, Paris-born composer Emmanuel Mieville has worked his way into contention as being one of the most essential artists currently working in field recording. My interview with him, conducted over several evenings this spring, represents,... 

Conscious and Unconscious: Michael Krassner’s Boxhead Ensemble

April 14, 2017

Conscious and Unconscious: Michael Krassner’s Boxhead Ensemble For anyone in thrall to the avalanche of experimental rock bands that upended American music around the turn of the millennium, Michael Krassner’s Boxhead Ensemble is a hidden grail. Here’s a partial list of the musicians who have played in the Ensemble over its 25 years of existence: Will Oldham... 

Fragile Nature of The Cherry Blossoms

February 28, 2017

Fragile Nature of The Cherry Blossoms To know the music of The Cherry Blossoms can offer a much deeper understanding of Nashville and its wider music culture. Self-described as “Middle Tennessee’s finest anarchic post neo-skiffle collective,” with a specialty for “kazoo-exotica,” The Cherry Blossoms were born... 

No UFO’s: An Interview with Konrad Jandavs

February 10, 2017

No UFO’s: An Interview with Konrad Jandavs While Konrad Jandavs isn’t entirely a household name, you might still be familiar with his work. The Vancouver-based musician first broke out in 2010 with Soft Coast, a vibrant dose of modern kosmische musik that put other cosmic synth dabblers to shame. Initially issued on his own Nice Up International... 

Slip’s February 2017 Batch

February 9, 2017

Slip’s February 2017 Batch The London/Berlin-based Slip imprint is getting 2017 off to a strong start with two deeply intimate, thrillingly adventurous releases set to land on CD, cassette, and download. Julia Reidy’s Dawning On is comprised of three solo 12 string guitar meditations. Lazy points of reference for Reidy’s... 

Losing Control: Jae Matthews and Gus Muller of Boy Harsher

January 19, 2017

Losing Control: Jae Matthews and Gus Muller of Boy Harsher Boy Harsher is Jae Matthews and Gus Muller, originally formed in Savannah, Georgia and currently living in Massachusetts. Their first full-length, Yr Body is Nothing, was a runaway success on DKA Records last year, following up a well-received EP in 2014, Lesser Man — which saw several of... 

Escape to Atlanta with 10th Letter

January 17, 2017

Escape to Atlanta with 10th Letter 10th Letter is South Carolina-born and now Atlanta-based Jeremi Johnson, a longtime producer/multi-instrumentalist with a brilliant flair for idiosyncratic beats and atmospheres. As I wrote last year, I first encountered 10th Letter thanks to the defunct Wigflip imprint out of Baltimore — a pioneer... 

It’s Hitting Hard: Ed Balloon on Life as a Young Black Artist at the Dawn of the Trump Age

January 5, 2017

It’s Hitting Hard: Ed Balloon on Life as a Young Black Artist at the Dawn of the Trump Age As submissions go, Ed Balloon’s email regarding his Yellow 20-Somethings mixtape stood out. For the music it contained, certainly, because Balloon knows his way around a tune, but also for the way, in a single short paragraph, the Boston native encapsulated the fear and uncertainty that America... 

Decoder Podcast #05: Czaszka, Graham Dunning, German Army, & Strategic Tape Reserve

December 15, 2016

Decoder Podcast #05: Czaszka, Graham Dunning, German Army, & Strategic Tape Reserve When I recorded the introduction for this episode of the Decoder podcast, it seemed very very much like the American election results would be the worst and weirdest event that I would have to register. As of my writing, multipurpose and studio spaces across the country are being targeted in an energetic... 

Tristan Perich: Working Inside the Insane Limitations of 1-Bit

December 8, 2016

Tristan Perich: Working Inside the Insane Limitations of 1-Bit Personal computers stand as one of the most substantial inventions of the 20th century, to some great extent because of how they’ve reframed our very identities. Our laptops, tablets and phones intersect with many branches of our lives, especially the methods by which we entertain ourselves. In... 

Sharing the Same Air: Raven Chacon in Concert

November 30, 2016

Sharing the Same Air: Raven Chacon in Concert Among all the invective, babble, and rage of this American election year, even someone with a deep concern for environmental politics could forget that 2016 is the centennial of the National Park Service. Maybe that sounds less important than the approach of a disastrously bigoted president-elect, yet... 

Side-by-Side: Tombed Visions Bring Fire Music For the Trump Era

November 17, 2016

Side-by-Side: Tombed Visions Bring Fire Music For the Trump Era I’m writing this on Thursday 9th November, the day we in Europe woke up to the results of the US election. (SPOILER WARNING! STOP READING NOW IF YOU’VE YET TO SEE THE FINAL EPISODE). I’ve spent the day lurching from wry sarcasm, to confused rage, to hopeful optimism. Walking along... 

Zeena Parkins: Modernizing the Harp and Jolting the Ear

November 8, 2016

Zeena Parkins: Modernizing the Harp and Jolting the Ear Outside a small church in Brooklyn, a crowd lingers in the September air, delaying facing the pine-scented humidity inside. A modest drum kit and a small harp wait in front of the pulpit. The triangular harp catches the eye, a sleek, minimalist update of its bulky orchestral ancestor. Two musicians... 

I Explored My Love of Céline Dion: A Conversation with True Neutral Crew’s Brian Kinsman

September 29, 2016

I Explored My Love of Céline Dion: A Conversation with True Neutral Crew’s Brian Kinsman The canny inclusion of early mixtape selections and hard-to-find one-offs with True Neutral Crew’s debut album soft rules was a boon to long-time listeners and the previously uninitiated alike. Not only do songs like “Modern Art” and “New Shit” — both from 2014’s... 

Rhythmic Composure: An Interview with Will Long

September 9, 2016

Rhythmic Composure: An Interview with Will Long Will Long is no stranger to reinvention. While the Japan-based, America-bred producer is probably best known as Celer, his long-running and eternally melancholic ambient project with modern classics issued on Sequel, Digitalis Limited, Blackest Rainbow, Experimedia, Spekk, and many more; Long has also... 
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