The warm sensations of Wanderings, Alix Hyde's debut album from Elestial Sound seem to crawl to the far reaches of the mind, creating a diverse dialog between sound, and silence. The artist crafts a particularly heart-churning composition on “Myriad Tears"—enveloping your soul, pulling you into a soothing realm. Hyde's sparse, sparkling piano melody drifts as though it were floating through space, colliding within the rhythms of a meteor shower. The video for “Myriad Tears”, made in collaboration with Tristan Whitehill of Euglossine, accentuates a mirroring of inner and outer space in the body, and mind. The phenomena of mental and physical dualities become a counterpart to the vast complexities of the human brain, and the universe. Bubbling pulsations are carried in a cosmic echo, visual, and sound begin to intertwine. The calming spaciousness of Hyde's music melds together the vividly palpable sensation surrounding the human form, and its relation to the atoms that are shifting around it weaving throughout space and time. Finding its home in a space where the difference between the two is uncertain.
Andrew Pekler returns with his newest album, Tristes Tropiques, on Jan Jelinek's Faitiche imprint. Pekler's captivating oeuvre of otherworldly soundscapes has seen releases on labels such as Senufo Editions, Dekorder, and Kranky. Andrew Pekler's palate possesses an ability to transport the listener into obscure realms. Tristes Tropiques is a fully conceived sonic environment, elaborate drones hum in the background as a spectral presence emerges from beneath the textured layers. In the video for “Bororo,” Pekler harmoniously melds visual with aural. Close-up imagery of plants, a layered patchwork of vascular fibers weaving in and out of each other. Distorted and colorized in a way that makes them seem almost alien. This thread of shifting perception is a continual theme in Pekler's work, evolving instinctively while still maintaining a cognitive imbalance.
Peering deeply into the depths of the music of Listening Woman, you will find a balance of harmoniously uplifting ballads and ferociously chaotic breakdowns. Dismantling any preconceived notion of songwriting, Listening Woman builds ingeniously maniacal compositions only to slip further into their own deconstruction. Getting Mystic, their new release on OSR Tapes, is a fascinating journey into another world, and as the album title suggests a truly mystical experience. Listening Woman stretch beyond the roles of musicians and transform into conjurers of transcendental experience. The playfully demented music video for “Room Divider” directed by Ariana Ratner perfectly mirrors the bizarre nature of their music. Filled with strange decorations, warped visuals, and odd interactions with objects, “Room Divider” is a fantastical trip into the melted minds of Listening Woman.
IXVLF returns to Unknown Precept with Involuntary Movement, the follow up to their stellar debut Language Of. Overflowing with gurgling synthesizers and erratic percussion, Involuntary Movement is a contorted melding of cacophonies. Connor Clasen shapes a uniquely rich palette of dance music, ripe with diverse tonal elements while its fierce repetitions bludgeon your nervous system. IXVLF creates a tangled web of rhythmic pulses on "Arcopora". Waves of synthesizer flow beneath hardened drum machine beats as haunting vocals faintly whisper almost subliminally. Involuntary Movement is a savage odyssey into a profoundly kaleidoscopic realm where diffused tones melt together causing bodily convulsions.
Housecraft label head Jeffry Astin has been releasing music for over a decade under various monikers including his Xiphiidae and Digital Natives projects which have releases on esteemed labels such as NNA Tapes and Beer on the Rug. Jeffry Astin's Bhsaaveagi, the latest release off of the Gainesville, Florida art collective and label Elestial Sound, is a resurrection of music thought to be lost forever. Thought to be lost in a hard drive crash, Astin was able to miraculously recover the album. Bhsaaveaegi is an aural voyage that transcends into many listening realms, floating effortlessly in the clouds, or being dragged deep under the dirt. These soundscapes peel away at your sense of space and time, as you peer deeper into them. “Hair Spun Gold," the first track on side B of Bhsaaveaegi is a collaboration between Astin and Jonathan Coward. Eerie, drones slowly weave into a visceral cacophony. Rich melancholy textures unfold slowly beneath the shrill staccato of bowed stringed instruments. Similar to the rise and fall of ocean tides, the billowing harmonies from the drones move in complex variation with an almost fierce uncertainty.
A project formed in the mid-'80s by Tori Kudo and Reiko Kudo in Japan, Maher Shalal Hash Baz has evolved and gone through a number of transformations with a consistently rotating cast of band members. Hello, New York, the group's first release since 2009, was created while the band was visiting New York City for a 30th anniversary performance in September 2014: OSR label founder Zach Phillips brought members of the band and an assortment of other musicians together to record during their stay. Hello, New Yorkis a wild melding of musical energy. Short interludes stitch together songs and blissfully passionate jam sessions. The ecstatic nature of playing music bleeds through these recordings; they exist as a document and also a carrier of feeling—a richly layered sonic experience.
Noah Anthony's long-running project Profligate returns with the self-released Abbreviated Regime. The new album cultivates richly euphonious songs that are both deeply transformative and spiritually moving. Billowing aural entanglements blossom into slowly burning ballads full of haunting harmonies; hovering synthesizers coalesce to form an ecstatically immersive sonic mass. On album highlight "Enlist," sharply fragmenting arpeggios ripple beneath the pulse of a transfixing vocal loop. Throughout, Anthony's tender crooning is woven amongst the trickles of noise radiating between floating tones; the words are subtle and pensive, while evoking a turmoil that is slowly absorbed by a restless void.
Amsterdam's Boris Post crafts spastic electronic music under the moniker Eindkrak. Post's debut album on Unknown Precept, Divine Bovine is a work of jarring complexity. Its slithering synthesizers move in tandem, spawning a supersaturated sonic solution. "The Slow Milk Dance" slowly cools the searing magma that obtrudes from the depths of Divine Bovine. "Ontvreemd" howls with manic ferocity, its muffled vocals bleed through a network of whirling synthesizers and battered beats. The album's title track, "Divine Bovine" crawls as a haunted warble, slowly accelerating into aural equilibrium. The hissing purr of Eindkrak's lofty tones are met with propulsive rhythms from another star cluster. Even through the entangled bones of its aberrant skeleton, it is possible to peer within its preposterous protoplasm.
Rick Weaver returns with an immaculate full length, Blue Sky—a rigorously far-out pop album floating in a space of its own. Weaver crafts contorted song structures that get stuck in your head while simultaneously causing a vestigial reflex. Blue Sky is a children's story set in a mythological wild west that was introduced on Weaver's album Tomb of Comb a few years ago. Mesmerizing harmonic textures surge erratically, while Weaver's poetic lyrics conjure visions of a demented world cursed by violence and injustice. Continuing as a prequel to his last video, "KOs Obit", the video for "KOs Mask" is bizarre and profoundly mystifying. Weaver's visual language is deeply cryptic and inconspicuous. A painted face with a subtly shifting expression stares into the camera. The creeping transitions that occur in the video are a departure from Weaver's manic approach to songwriting. Hanging in a state of anticipation, the video creates an unnerving sensation of confusion and an unrequited resolution.
PHORK has been deconstructing dance music for quite some time, with an extensive catalog of enigmatic releases on labels such as NNA Tapes, Opal Tapes, Noumenal Loom, and Orange Milk Records. PHORK's latest release Disappear in Raveland, out on Time No Place is a brilliantly conceived world, cultivating an atmosphere of floating dissections that mutate beyond pre-established understandings of music. "We All Make Out (A Living)" is a perpetually shifting physical training session. Shedding layers like exoskeletons, everything tapers in and out of focus like a distant memory, slowly inching its way back into your consciousness. Oscillations dart in all directions, colliding into harmoniously skewed rhythms. PHORK builds a disorienting wall of absurdity that feels strangely familiar.