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Howard Stelzer, "Dawn Songs", "Normal Bias"

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cover imageHaving sat on these tapes for far too long, I felt that it was a good time to revisit them in light of Stelzer's newest works (reviewed here) to more fully recognize this legendary artist’s work.  Dawn Songs is a pleasantly succinct piece of music that covers a nice gamut of sounds while Normal Bias is a sprawling, magnificent set of six tapes that feels like an "everything plus the kitchen sink" type release where everything just happens to be golden and indispensable.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 May 2018 10:16

Howard Stelzer/Brendan Murray, "Connector", "A Strange Object Covered in Fur Which Breaks Your Heart"

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cover imageIn his two most recent works, Howard Stelzer branches out to less aggressive, more subdued sounds, while still heavily staying faithful to his core roots as a noisy manipulator of all things cassette.  His work with long-time friend and long-time collaborator Brendan Murray shows a wide variety of approaches and styles, while A Strange Object is largely him at his most focused and meditative.  The two tapes may seem vastly different at times, but make for excellent complements to one another.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 May 2018 10:17

Sarah Davachi, "Let Night Come On Bells End The Day"

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cover imageSarah Davachi's first album for Sean McCann's Recital Program imprint marks yet another intriguing stage in the evolution of her expanding vision, beautifully blurring the lines between drone, psychedelia, and neo-classical composition.  Composed primarily for mellotron and electric organ, Let Night Come On often resembles a time-stretched and hallucinatory re-envisioning of a timeless mass or requiem.  There are certainly some nods to Davachi's earlier drone-centered work as well, yet the most stunning pieces feel like achingly gorgeous classical works that wandered into an enchanted mist where time loses all meaning and all notes dissolve into a gently lysergic and lingering haze after being struck.

Last Updated on Monday, 14 May 2018 08:49

Held There, Beside the Signified

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cover imageFollowing the Idle Chatter's label curated tape set Transparens by Wren Turco, the label has released another, similar project, this time by Drekka's Mkl Anderson.  Again consisting of three artists, each contributing their own tape (Drekka, Pillars and Tongues, and Skrei), there are a multitude of different experimental sounds and approaches here, blending traditional with electronic instrumentation on this trinity of albums.  Like the label’s previous collection, each artist’s work differs greatly from one another others, but the big picture is a series of works that complement one another splendidly.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 May 2018 10:17

Grouper, "Grid of Points"

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cover imageLiz Harris's Grouper project has taken on quite an unusual and fascinating trajectory over the last several years, transforming into something that feels like a slowly unfolding series of poetic postcards from a ghost.  Grid of Points, the most recent window into Harris's soul, continues to further distill the stark and tender fragility of 2014's Ruins, unfolding as a 22-minute suite of gorgeously ephemeral piano sketches that blur together to weave a hypnotic spell.  I suppose the word "sketches" conveys a somewhat unfinished aesthetic, which is not far from the mark, as these sessions were unexpectedly curtailed by a bout with high fever.  In a deeper sense, however, that fever was providential, as these pieces are perfect in their spectral elusiveness, evoking (as Harris herself puts it) "the space left after matter has departed, a stage after the characters have gone."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 May 2018 12:09

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