Author Archive


"Kids Will Be Kids"


Praything‘s music has evolved drastically over the years. The project began with Ju Young Lee humbly rocking a Casio keyboard and delay pedal, but the release of 2012′s Her Skin Caught the Glow EP revealed the true grandeur of Lee’s vision for project. It’s pensive melodies paired with soaring hooks left listeners spellbound and eager for more.

I was fortunate enough to catch Praything at last year’s FMLY Fest Brooklyn. I expected a set dominated by keyboards and samplers, but instead I was met with huge guitars and thunderous drums. Lee has clearly decided to channel that energy on his upcoming EP, Heavun. His trademark falsetto is still central in the mix, but I’m eager to hear what surprises Lee has in store for us with his upcoming release.

Greg Fox

"Its OK"


Greg Fox‘s explosive drumming is defined by unrelenting propulsion and dexterity. Fox has been receiving a lot of attention for the monolithic psych freak-outs with his project Guardian Alien, but he has drummed for an extremely diverse range of acts including: Teeth MountainDan DeaconLiturgy, and Zs.

“Its OK” is featured on Fox’s latest album Mitral Transmission. The release pulls from a biofeedback session that Greg did with acclaimed free-jazz drummer and holistic healer, Milford Graves. Graves has spent years developing a generative music technology that creates scores and rhythms based upon the participant’s heart beat. Incredibly, the spirit and finesse of Fox’s playing is undeniably present in these works.

If you dig this track, you can plant the whole album from Data Garden. The label sends customers biodegradable art cards that will grow into flowers when planted in the soil!

Holy Wave

"Star Stamp"


Austin’s Holy Wave have restored my faith in psych. The buzzy organs and groovy bass line that color “Star Stamp” could definitely trigger a flower child’s flash back, but Holy Wave manage never to succumb to the kitsch of false revivalism. Instead the group delivers an entirely new euphoria made just for the 21st century. Their new album, Relax, is available on Reverb Appreciation Society, and be sure to watch for them at this year’s upcoming Austin Psych Fest.

Stag Hare



Stag Hare is the the recording alias of Salt Lake City’s Garrick Briggs. Stag Hare’s latest release, Angel Tech, witnesses Briggs’ celestial drone work being bolstered by hip-hop rhythms and timbres. This new approach lends effervescence to the hypnotic nature of Briggs’ music, and makes a great starting point in Stag Hare’s catalog.

On “Shining” a gentle boom-bap beat pushes the song forward as slowly oscillating synthesizers coat listeners headphones with blissed-out tones. Briggs’ tranquil guitar lines and dreamy mantra-like vocals add welcome melodic sensibilities without threatening to interfere with listeners’ introspection.

Unfortunately, physical copies of Angel Tech have already sold out from Space Slave, but fans can still grab lots of his music from his web store. Don’t sleep on his last LP, Sprit Canoes, from Inner Islands or the incredible White Rainbow collaboration appropriately titled White Stag from Marriage Records.




MJ MJ records are about to release their first cassette of 2014 with Vats’ Iridescent Intent. Vats is the solo-project of Ronnie Lee, who is noted for being an avid pedal collector and one of the more active musicians in the midwest. Lee’s stompbox obsession proves well curated as “Homebody” soaks listeners in fuzzed out bliss. Underneath the squalls of delay and reverb lies a compellingly scrappy pop song that begs for repeated listens.

You can check out all of Vats’ hypnotic fuzz burners by pre-ordering a tape via MJ MJ.

Jane Jane

"Dream Throat"


“Dream Throat” is a woozy ballad from Jane Jane. The track comes from their first release since moving from Florida to New Orleans. The group’s signature blend of haunted rhythm and blues is in full form on “Dream Throat.” The song is defined by lush harmonies and buzzy organ riffs that float upon a sputtering drum machine that gently pushes the track to its driving conclusion.

Jane Jane just completed a tour with the rock and puppetry juggernaut that is Quintron & Miss Pussycat. If you weren’t fortunate enough to catch them live, you can check out Jane Jane’s latest album in its entirety via their label Flea Ridden Kitten.


Cian Nugent & The Cosmos - "Grass Above My Head"


Cian Nugent is an exceptionally gifted guitarist from Dublin, Ireland. Nugent’s stark, yet achingly beautiful playing pays clear homage to fingerpicking luminaries like John Fahey and Robbie Basho. While Nugent’s music may not be reinventing the wheel, it certainly conjures the sublimity at the heart of the American Primitive style that Fahey championed through Takoma Records.

“Grass Above My Head” comes from the artist’s upcoming album, Born With the Caul, which will be available November 13th via No Quarter.


"I Am Ocean"


Laraaji is far from a household name, but his hypnotic use of modified and effected auto-harps has left a indelible mark on ambient and new age music. All Saints Records just put out an incredible compilation of his finest work called Celestial Music 1978-2011. The collection compiles Laraaji’s early home-recordings, collaborations with Brian Eno, and highlights his latest collaboration with Blues Control via RVNG‘s incredible FRKWYS series.

You can learn more about Laraaji’s work and mystic studies in this awesome mini-doc:

Noveller – “Completing the Cube Ambient”


Noveller is the one-person drone orchestra conducted by Sarah Lipstate. Her music is defined by layers of sonorous guitar loops that envelop listeners in expansive atmospheres. Side A of the Goldrush Music Festival mix begins with Noveller’s track, “Completing the Cube Ambient.” The song is concise—clocking in at just two minutes and twenty seconds—but Lipstate’s use of brooding swells and hypnotic arpeggios serves as a fitting prelude to a dynamic mix of Goldrush artists.

Noveller is just one of the experimental luminaries who will be playing at this year’s Goldrush Music Festival on September 27th and 28th in Denver, Colorado. The largely DIY festival highlights artists who challenge contemporary trends and serves as a welcome refuge for music fans tired of the monotony of commodified music. You can check out the full lineup here, but Portals readers will be pleased to see that some of our favorites including M. Sage, Lee Noble, Rene Hell, and MV&EE are on the bill.

If you are within earshot of Denver, be sure to pre-order your festival pass so that you can grab a complimentary cassette from Planted Tapes featuring both of the Goldrush Festival’s mixes.