Tahsis Haunted House

On October 31, 2012, in Mix, by James

Tahsis Haunted House 2012 Front CoverBehold, a mix by the author of this blog.

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Tracklist:

Pray For A Black Word
OMEI – Black Prayer III, Pierre Henry – Impressions Sismiques, Tommy Four Seven – Verge, Tomas Koner – From Teimo

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Below Your Nuclear Prejudices

Jay Bee – bLOW, Monolake – Nucleus, Demdike Stare – Filtered Through Prejudice

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Immaterial Chihuahuas, Frozen Downstairs

Mika Vainio – Koituva, Biosphere – Freeze Frames, Sublamp – Understairs, Chris Watson – Chihuahua, Dans Les Arbres – L’Immateriel, Demdike Stare – Floor Stairwell

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From The Light, Dark Despair

The Haxan Cloak – Burning Torches Of Despair, Mike Parker – Light & Dark Part 4 (The Labrynth Edit)

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Paloma Plants & Shapes Asleep

Sublamp – We Sleep in a Room Shaped Hole, Robert Henke – Studies For Thunder, Mircof – Paloma III, Demdike Stare – Kommunion (Alternate Version)

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Rise! Study!
Strangeloop – Plants Inside, Purl – Sargyll, Aphex Twin – Raising The Titanic (Big Drum Mix), Demdike Stare – Conjoined

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Tremble From Terror Over Time!

Pierre Henry – Histoire Naturelle Ou Les Roues De La Terre: Un Effet De Serre, Pleq – Once Upon A Time, Ducerey Ada Nexino – Soup Pt2.99, Invercauld – Ball-Chritch (Trembling With Terror)

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Swell With The Darkening Tide!

Stars Of The Lid – The Swellsong, Deaf Center – New Beginning Tidal Darkness

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Leptonic Matter, June 4101

Demdike Stare, Ekca Liena

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The Brook, Here, Red With Trout

Surgeon – We Are All Already Here, Lull & Origami Arktika – Brook Trout, Machinefabreik – Red, Chris Watson – Cassarina, Purl – Inapo

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Structured Ghosts,

Mortiz Von Oswald Trio – Structure 5, Sublamp – Corner Ghost, Ptarkh – Немного Героической Музыки, Slam – This is

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Crows In The Sleeping Forests

Brian Eno – Crows, Pierre Henry – Dans Une Foret, Lucio Capece & Mika Vainio – Siglio

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Converge While You Sleep

Plastikman – Converge, Stormloop – Losing Sleep

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Treeless, The Death Of The Oceans

Lull – Treeless Grounds, Purl – Oceanima, Kozo Inada – Mort Aux Vaches

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Sublamp – In Our Hiding Voice

On March 30, 2012, in review, by James

The sound of Sublamp stalks, naturally creepy. There is an industrial heaviness that weighs down on the environments conjured by Ryan Connor throughout the project. Serene soundscapes are marked by the drones of machinery that drill right through whatever waves that cross their paths.  The drones, though not exceptionally dynamic, are deeply textured — there is a lot to explore In Our Hiding Voice.

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Some sounds billow deep & wide waves while others grind out harmonics that echo throughout the dark chambers. Most of the tracks, like the sample of Dear Carpetfoot above, may seem scary at first, though as is anything unfamiliar. A close listen reveals that the space is well controlled, and through the ease-laden mix of massive walls of energy, one might easily turn any initial unease into a tranquil trip, observing what images Sublamp conjures within.

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Though the album is not without tension. Girl, Calling to an Empty House, is a moving section, particularly when meditated on in reflection of its title. Though drone music as such is generally approached as experimental and abstract, one ought bear in mind that these abstractions are necessarily built upon something… . When passages like this one are constructed with a clear & present notion of what the abstract art is an abstraction of, then such art, like In Our Hiding Voice, hits its mark.

 

ASC – The Light That Burns Twice As Bright

On March 26, 2012, in review, by James

ASC, born James Clements, is a compelling & prolific artist whose passion for composition is clear. Over the years, his numerous releases have evolved from Drum & Bass and explore the boundaries of numerous styles. In an interview for Organic Beats in 2010, James said: “The lines between electronic music genres have become blurred in the last few years”, continuing, “I think my approach is definitely something that I’d consider uncategorised. I don’t try to fit in with any particular sound or style.” This album, The Light That Burns Twice As Bright released on Silent Season, is a shimmering, droning ambient crystal that anyone hearing it when looking for Drum & Bass would likely stumble and almost certainly pause to take in its stunning soundscapes.

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The Silver Rain On Venus may be acidic, though ASC’s interpretation floats freely under the clouds. Deeply hidden in the pads and the occasional poke of a chord, it sounds as though there’s a chorus of creatures thriving through the heat. The hazy space is just brimming with sounds across the spectrum.

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Though monotone, drone music, it’s hardly monotonous — the brilliant colours of songs like Low Clouds and I Need Rewiring bubble and blip through the atmospheres, which leaves the listener an incredibly rich array of sounds to stir the imagination. Each track is true to its title; the tranquil sounds are transports to their respective destinations. This is about as surreal as sound can get.

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Beautiful, only occasionally weighty. ASC has formulated an excellent release in The Light That Burns Twice As Bright. Few ambient artists live up to this standard; it’s a sure sign of the worth of artists stepping outside their comfort zones to explore relatively novel areas. There are few drones as colourful as this, therefore this album is a must-listen.

 

Seph – Alquimima

On March 19, 2012, in review, by James

Seph is one of those strange, sharp creatures whose magic spells tend to slip through some of the tightest blocks. Alquimia, the science of natural tricksters, bent with intent; the delusion is dangerously provocative.  Seph has taken the lead of Dumb-Unit (an excellent purveyor of ominous techno), and morphed their generally gritty industrial path into a forest, still gloomy, but with marks glittering gold. Only a fool would miss its shine.  Shine as it might, even a mighty album like this here hasn’t come close to hitting “gold” status (to be fair, the author is assuming here). Either, then, there are plenty of fools, or Seph is the biggest fool of all for putting in so much effort into a work of art that is so refined, and yet so unnatural that it would take no small amount of magic for people to lend their ears.

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Sounds are shrouded with an ethereal force; bells mark passages replete with the gurgling, murmuring, and buzzing of beings small and large. They wake the creatures at the outset of the album. The kind of toll tuned for humans and trolls alike.

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What a wondrous environment these sounds would make at a dance, particularly the kinds set in forests paralysed by pools of radioactive waste & powered by force of will alone. It would take no less than a wizard to create the scene at hand, particularly out of the actual monuments that our civilizations are leaving behind.

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Technology short-circuits and fails; failure is the memory that lasts as its destruction marks the last moment of its existence as such. The near mystical path of Alquimima observes this downfall, then awakens the spirits of the dead. The dead are collected and recreated into a harmonic abomination of technology and magic.  This is a charming & chiming release, an excellent gift for all those hobby pseudo-scientists who fill their long days tending to their flocks…

 

Buckethead – Electric Sea

On January 20, 2012, in review, by James

Ronald L. Witherspoon is Buckethead, an awkward farm boy who picked up a guitar and would play along to drive-in movies he’d watch from afar. Buckethead is weird, though he shreds some good music there alright. Yup. Electric Sea is Buckethead’s 35th studio album. Not bad for a man who plays with a bucket on his head. Not bad at all.

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Though the chords in his songs are simple, the textures he sets out are heavy with detail and emotion. The precision of his handiwork is clear; the sound is refined, really fluffy, and fun. Buckethead plucks and strums his electric strings with grace and ceaseless ingenuity. Technology is artfully employed, subtle effects like reverb and wah-wah shape the sound, adding depth and character, keeping things fresh and alive.

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On its own, Electric Sea offers a good glimpse of life in Bucketheadland. It’s rife with trusting, simple drama. Though it’s easy listening, it’s heavy in its spirit. Great listening for a quiet winter’s morning resting by a warm fire down on the modern farm — a momentary escape from the chicken slaughter.

 

Jay Haze – Love = Evolution

On January 17, 2012, in review, by James

Shortly after releasing Love = Evolution on his label Contexterrior in 2011, Jay Haze shut it down.

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Over the past few years, Jay Haze has been popularly reported as an especially outspoken figure. Coming off the relative smash success of his Soul In A Bottle EP in 2006, an interview Resident Advisor conducted with him and published on the 22nd of February, 2007, titled The Dark Side Of Jay Haze painted a difficult picture. He garnered much attention for blatantly insulting not a few artists and claiming no small amount of responsibility for the rise of minimal. Though probably the most notable point he makes comes at the end of pt. 1 of that interview: “You can focus on whatever comment you want to come up with whatever conclusion….” This is in reflection of how people are inclined to remember parts rather than the whole. And so it came that his 2008, 3-disc release Love & Beyond was a flop in retrospect of his massive self-hype; the album was panned more for its length than its content. This is followed up in a 2011 interview on Resident Advisor titled Jay Haze Music 2.0, he said:

“My albums have been my greatest pieces of art ever, that I can make. Every single time I have made one, it has been the best that I can do. My last album Love and Beyond for instance. It was three years since I made that, I really put a lot into it. I realized when it was announced to the public, it was just too cacophonic. The people didn’t want to think, ‘Oh, OK, three parts because there’s three elements of his personality that he’s trying to express and there’s underlying messages and connections.’ People didn’t want to put that together. The public, that the music profiteers have created, in the moment, tend to be a bit more dumb.

They want things obvious and this is only because this is what the profiteers are putting in front of their face. I truly believe in humans, I believe in humans more than you can imagine. And I believe in the potential for every single human being to get above this world of profit in every regard. Music and profit should not be in the same sentence. Music is a cultural expression, it is cultural information and it contains emotions that generations have spent for each other. It’s only within the last 80 years, let’s not forget, that money has even come into the question and now we’ve seen that it’s done nothing but ruin it. So if you ask me, do I put my own albums in that category? The obvious answer is no, I have never had an interest in being part of the music money machine. My albums come from a place of contemplation, deep thought and deep emotion.” (Lynch, Will. Jay Haze: Music 2.0. Resident Advisor. Jan 11, 2011http://www.residentadvisor.net/feature.aspx?1293)

Jay Haze had too much to say all at once for any of it to really catch; in throwing it all out there at once, parts stand to be thrown back in his face for being too confrontational in moments such as that above when he accuses the public of being dumb. Following by arguing that his music, unlike that which is promoted by profiteers, comes from a more genuine place… though some might react sympathetically, more of his contemporaries are likely to react defensively with a knee jerk slamming into Haze’s heart. Questionable motivations are quick to burn out of control, at both ends.

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And so we’re left with Love = Evolution as Jay Haze settles into a more simple life in Peru, a place where he argues he can better help people by building roofs than by playing the self-serving political games around the global club scene. The album is best served alongside such anecdotes, though it’s not hard to imagine the intent of the music on a stand-alone basis. Through out Love = Evolution, there are constant reminders about humanity. Whereas some music serves to distance listeners from themselves through bombastic, otherworldly screams, the cries in this album all have to do with desire for being & connection with others. It’s a very playful and open album, focusing on sensations that build rather than bomb. Evolution through love.

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It’s easy to take inspiration from someone as outspoken & daring as Jay Haze. Though he has failed to capture the attention of the masses, his new place in Peru is far more respectable than his battle for respect in music scenes. This album is worth a listen through and through in respect of the journey the artist has taken to reach this point. It might also serve as a monument to those disgruntled who refuse to have their love crushed by the machine. When the soul is more important than profit…