Whistles have a strange place in music more often than not. In most songs, they sound inherently happy-go-lucky, but Isagen avoids this mood at all costs. The result is a seemingly endless ambient escape into his world. The drums fill in the back as the cycling keys surround an off note, and other minimal noises work together to deepen the feeling even further.
I owe Fogpak a lot for my introduction to the numerous otherworldly producers I’ve come across through their compilations. Their latest compilation Fogpak #9, co-curated with Svnset Waves, is arguably their best and most cohesive collection of tracks yet.
Off of the compilation, In the blue shirt has become another one of my recent obsessions. His track “Seven Bridge” might seem hectic in its first thirty seconds, but its chopped vocals weave in and out and create a sense of endlessness along the way. Yet this level of mixing isn’t out of the ordinary for the producer, who has showcased his flair on a previous Fogpak compilation.
The awe-inspiring nature of Alex G‘s openness as a musician has always further characterized his growing development as a singer-songwriter, to the point that leads his Bandcamp page to feel more so like a personal journal than a collection of albums and releases.
The Philadelphia musician’s charm returns once more in the form of ballad titled “Kara” that comes from a compilation from Seagreen Records. The soft hums of the track’s strings play off a coy backdrop to the lyrics’ gentle sentiment. But be warned, there is a deep empty feeling after Alex G sings, “Blue is the color of Kara’s flame and this one burns for you,” before the song closes out.
This past weekend, Gainesville’s Hear Hums surprised everyone by uploading their latest album, Malaise. The collection is the first album from the duo since 2012′s Opens. Since then, they released an EP, and member Mitch Meyers further explored experimental elements as Peace Arrow. With so much activity, there hadn’t been a whole lot of information about the future of Hear Hums as a project.
Yet this new album fittingly picks up right where the duo left off amidst their previous eclectic interpretations of drone and strings. The album opens with a precursive organic sound ritual and leads into “Cremation of Care,” casting just the right amount of dread and anxiety throughout its nine-minute-plus timeframe. Its feelings connect with rest of the album and parallels many of Malaise‘s dark-casted themes. This song is as good as any for an introduction to Hear Hums, save for their consistently immersive live set.
Among the serene and ambient tunes comes the high energy and ever shifting song “Harusaki” by Tomggg, whose energy is on level with the type of production I’ve come to know from bo en. So far the producer has shown a knack for transcending pitched vocal samples across every level of his compositions. This new track is the perfect example of that sort of spontaneous and high octane impulse.
This year has seen a number of small labels reach new heights. Earlier this year, Cascine released the beloved Yumi Zouma EP, and soon after Double Double Whammy put out Frankie Cosmos‘ Zentropy record, both of which have exceeded their expected praise up to this point. Maybe the stage has always been set for small labels to discover these incredible pockets of potential, but there’s still something truly unique with the consistency of every Orchid Tapes release.
2014 might just be the flagship year for the Brooklyn via Toronto label, especially considering that their debut 12″ record, Ricky Eat Acid’s Three Love Songs, sold out in a single night, prompting a reissue several days later. Given the label’s name, Orchid Tapes’ passion for cassette releases won’t fade away any time soon, but their growing ambition for vinyl has become clear this year. The label’s next record is digitally out today and features a number of different projects who haven’t had the privilege of ever being a part of a vinyl release. Boring Ecstasy: The Bedroom Pop of Orchid Tapes is the label’s heartwarming welcome to a community full of endless sincerity. Stream the entire compilation below.
The 12″ record for Boring Ecstasy is currently up for pre-order and is expected to ship sometime in mid-April.
Norway producer Tape Transport is currently taking submissions for an upcoming compilation titled Trying To Find Love In A Parallel Universe. The deadline to submit is April 1st, and so far the compilation has at least seven cuts from various producers scattered around SoundCloud.
Anders Obel of Tape Transport was kind enough to share one of the tracks off the mix. The new song comes from the producer Yandere who often finds a way to feed an unrecognizable vocal sample within his production as a cycling and recurring element without leaving behind a feeling of over-saturation. His song from last year, “What We Got,” is so similar in its production that it’s almost like they belong paired together.
Some mornings are almost unbearable without the lo-fi hums of certain tunes filling the void between one’s thoughts and misplaced apathy. Brooklyn project dead boy gives me just that with his two available songs (so far). On “im yr dog,” the calming tape aesthetic lingers comfortably, and the production becomes an unquestioned testimony to each element as Richie Woods sings through the perspective of a dog: “I can’t help if I bark, I can’t help with your art / I’m your dog to the end.”
Hundred Waters is a band that surely needs no introduction within our community. Last year, many saw the band during their multiple tours, but toward the end, their Florida roots led them to Miami for the winter to finish recording their sophomore album.
“Down From the Rafters” is said album’s first taste, and my initial impression is that the new track’s sentiments are similar to the softer side of their self-titled debut. The composition explores negative space in sound, and Hundred Waters add a few new elements including an accompanying string arrangement that opens up the song. The rest of the album may be a shroud of mystery, but fortunately, “Down From the Rafters” gives us some sense of what’s to come.