Random Orbitings – April 20, 2020

Hello there fellow humans, we’re deep into this pandemic now and things have really slowed down. This has given some artists and musicians more time to compose and record, even if the topic is just the quarantine itself. I’m starting to see quite a few tantalizing releases on the horizon, including a big release for any fans of the old Detroit Space Rock scene (more on that to come). For now, check out these new treats, take care of yourself, and help out those you can.

Listening Center

Listening Center - Diaphanous StructuresFans of Kosmiche-era eletronics will rejoice in the release of Diaphanous Structures, the latest from Listening Center. On this outing, the arpeggios are a little darker and more skeletal – “Hovering Haze” is the sound of a factory devoid of humans, continuing to do their jobs day in and day out. This feeling continues on songs like “A Torn Hedge” and “Sapling One”, which continuously morphs into new sequences of synth sounds. A few tracks, “Concentric Circles” and “Glass Phantoms”, elicit a comparison to the glassy tones of mid-70’s Cluster, while the around-one-minute interstitial material is reminiscent of fellow retrofuturists Broadcast. This is impressive company to be in.

Plone

In a similar electronic vein, yet decidedly more fun and funky, is the new album Puzzlewood from Plone – their first in like 20 years, this one on Ghost Box. If you’re prone to the sheer pleasure of dancing by yourself to retro futuristic beats a la the lighter side of Stereolab or the High Llamas, then by all means throw this on and have a time. From the label: “This is unironically joyful and melodic electronica; informed by library music, music for children’s TV and a deep passion for the history of music technology.”

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Random Orbitings – Feb 11, 2020

Between the coronavirus, political tensions and climate anxiety, there’s no shortage of crazy stuff going on in the world at the moment. So if you’re looking for a sonic diversion you’ve come to the right place –  new music from Canada, England, Estonia, Australia, and the US to enlighten your day.

The Asteroid #4 conjured up their 60s influences to deliver “Under My Umbrella”, the chorus of which could easily have been pulled from the Magical Mystery Tour. At the request of the record label’s owner, Stu Pope, “the A4 jumped back into the heyday of Psychedelic music’s first wave”. The flip-side, “The Seventh Moon”, starts out with a motorik feel, but changes halfway through into a more mystical vibe with a flute that glides over the song.

Flyying Colours are possibly one of my favorite bands of the last decade, though we haven’t heard much from them since 2016’s Mindfullness (Club AC30 recently did a pink vinyl re-press). Well they are back with a new track, “Big Mess” (video below), spiking the intro with synth arpeggios leading into a heart-racing guitar-driven experience that challenges you to sit still.

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Sonixcursions:004

sonixcursions 004Take a road trip down memory lane as I throw in a virtual mixtape of sun baked tracks pulled from the archives.

This episode is inspired by those late summer jaunts we would take around Labor Day weekend, grabbing at the last straws of summer, trying to enjoy a little bit of warm freedom before fall and winter hit in Michigan. Usually we would drive east towards New York, New Jersey, Boston, just to get away and there would always be lots and lots of music because there was lots and lots of time. We would dub some mixtapes before we would go so we’d have things to listen to in the car.

Included in this episode: Transient Waves, Magic Castles, Perplexa, The Lightshines, The Asteroid #4, SIANSpheric, Mazarin and Clear Horizon – a joint effort from Jessica Bailiff and David Pearce of Flying Saucer Attack, dating back to 2003.

For more information on the podcast and the bands included, please subscribe to the email newsletter. Thanks for listening!

My Favorites of 2018

As we make another trip around the wheel of life, let me take a moment to look back at some of the releases that made the year a little more bearable. Drumroll please (rimshot where necessary)…

  1. LandingBells In New Towns
    This band continues to amaze with each release, progressively fine tuning their own unique soundscapes. Well done.
  2. Ulrika SpacekSuggestive Listening EP
    Probably my favorite new band of the moment – hoping for another full-length in the near future
  3. My Autumn EmpireOh, Leaking Universe
  4. The Asteroid #4Collide
  5. SpiritualizedAnd Nothing Hurt
  6. Adrien75The Deep State
    Although Mr. 75 has released several albums last year, this is my fave of the bunch
  7. The Advisory CircleWays Of Seeing
  8. Chatham RiseMeadowsweet
  9. Lazy SalonBoot Magna
  10. A Year In The Country – The Quietened Mechanisms (Various)
  11. LowtideSouthern Mind
  12. I Am Robot And ProudLucky Static
  13. Swartz EtA Living Thing

You’ll hear some of these artists on the next Sonixcursions podcast episode – on its way shortly. Subscribe to the Podcast or the Email Newsletter to get updates when new episodes are published.

Sonixcursions:001

photo © 2018 Yiu Wah

Welcome to the inaugural episode of Sonixcursions – for our first trip, I’ve selected a number of bands who have been consistently producing stellar outersounds for over 20 years. Many of the bands on this episode can be traced back to the very early issues of the Masstransfer zine – starting with the opener Adrien75 (who Is Still Alive) and the lunar/tropical vibe of “Hawaiian Ring Drum Rum”; plus a throwback track from the band Seely; the dreamy electronics of Lazy Salon (Sean Byrne of Lenola/Twin Atlas); and the California-via-Philly psycountry rockers The Asteroid #4.

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