microphones in the trees: November 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

x.y.r / sunmoonstar / water bureau

«The mood of Mental Journey To B.C. is pre-human: obscure landscapes hissing in the heat, shimmering in the dark, uninhabited, unreal. Humid loops of Formanta Mini and smoke-ring keys float over hushed jungle metronomes and moonlit field recordings». not not fun

Once again we are invited to a journey with russian project X.Y.R., which name can be decrypted as "temple of solitary contemplation". Name of the album says about time of our destination, but it's certainly not some ancient civilization spot, at least there are no people in the picture. All we hear is same "tropical new age" music which is always crafted so beautifully by Vladimir with simple set of soviet synths and some guitar pedals. This music have to do with feelings much more than usual ambient music does, because it creates not just landscape or some script to fill it - it also stimulates listeners imagination and creativity, so you can make your own journey basically from just few hints. Shorts melodies, simple drum pads and lo-fi noise of old soviet gear... But this simplicity is full of magic, secret of which, I believe, should remain unsolved. Simply enjoy the possibilities it gives us!

«Composed with a sequencer and synthesizer, "Gymnasium Flower" is a ode to math, movement, and physicality. With her signature sculptural inklings, dot matrix's of soft light shift through each other to expose fantastic new patterns». squiggle dot

Newly composed set of aural impressions by australian charmer Natasha Home aka Sunmoonstar comes as a digital release and sounds respectively – on the edge of old-school ambient classics and modern internet lo-fi punk, varying from simple childish cartoon tunes to cyberpunkish opuses, tropical vaporwave and even some techno beats. It may sound crazy, but believe me - each time I listened to this album it sounded different somehow. I even thought that maybe someone just put new tracks there every day after release. Should admit, I expected same meditative lush that was on previous Sunmoontar's tape, but this album surprised me with new facets of Sunmoonstar talent - inventive, explorational sounds put together without being too serious about it. Not a geek music, but geeks will like it very much. I do!

«In some truly cosmic turn of events, Water Bureau finds Norm Chambers (Panabrite, Jürgen Müller, Spiral Index) and Daryl Groetsch (Pulse Emitter, Space Habitat) teaming up for a series of celestial meanderings that speak to the merits of both Pac-NW synth-heroes». sacred phrases

After having impressive box of "unshared properties" by Kyle Landstra and warm guitar lullaby by prolific Hakobune, one of the leading labels of the tape universe releases collaboration of another two super bright stars of this scene. I'm pretty sure that Norm and Daryl both are future (and even present) gurus of electronic music in the whole world and what they do is organic inheritance of what happened to music since the invention of synthesizers. Despite being a bit retro-oriented, their music rushes to new horizons and this collaboration is a good reason to explore the boundaries that were set before. Some critics say that everything in modern music is retro and everything new is the result of hybridization of old ideas, but I think that music in our age shouldn't be analyzed only by form and message behind it. At some point music became less attached to external qualities like styles or sound sources and what deserves attention nowadays is the complex picture of music inside our hypertextual world. What you may call a clishe taken from Michael Stearns album is actually a hyperlink to the huge amount of impressions and meanings embedded in this certain type sound or effect. And you choose to follow it - or not to. Thinking that way, music presented on Water Bureau debut tape may be experienced as a complex and quite interesting essay about the electronic music in US where musicians playing not only with synths, midi & effects, but with meanings and impressions, which already exist in collective mind of humanity, at least the part which listens to electronic music, of course. In the same time, this is just beautiful and refreshing piece of music, and it's already a good reason to have it in your collection!