Souls of the Disconnect of the Souls, by Darren j Holloway

Delicious improvisational post-rock from Darren j HollowaySouls of the disconnect of the soulS is a mini-album of dark atmospheric drones that are expansive and satisfying.

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Encounter Vast, by Bro Biden

I was very excited to find a new release from Vivarium Recordings in my feed – I recognized the name Bro Biden instantly and hopped over to the band camp page. When I arrived, before I could click play, I discovered another blurb had already been written – while not exactly high praise, the final words of the author read “good luck“. I read this and immediately took it as a challenge. What could be inside that is so gnarly that it would warrant such a warning? Intrigued, I dove in, and what I discovered was a nearly bottomless pool of beautiful creativity.

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Órfãs, by A/C Repair School

Somewhere between lofi sound experiments and dreamy bedroom punk lies A/C Repair School – a collaborative project by vocalist Carolina Simionato (soft verges) and multi-instrumentalist Rafael de Toledo Pedroso. Teaming up for this debut album – Órfãs, presented by the amazing Grimalkin Records.

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Super Glue, by Eternity Hotline

Warped and destroyed acid electronica sounds from Eternity Hotline, brought to us by Sacramento’s Outer Grid Records.

I personally dove into this one not knowing what to expect. I am not familiar with Outer Grid Records, but I can say for sure that I am a fan now! Same goes for Eternity Hotline (not to be biased, but we love all things Eternity here…) – a producer I was not aware of at all, but I am deeply impressed and energized by this release, Super Glue.

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Boi Borzoi – Self Titled

Beautiful experimental electronics from Finnish producer Boi Borzoi. Utilizing a unique multi-genre approach, Boi Borzoi manages to fuse together concepts from Modern Classical, Jazz and Post-Rock into something that is both familiar yet entirely fresh.

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Opera Mauve, by Tektra

Opera Mauve by Tektra Album Artwork

Somber atmospheric lo-fi from Tektra, brought to us by No Agreements as part of their Digital Series.

The tracks are tasteful and unique – claiming to have been produced entirely in one weekend, there is a cohesive energy that flows throughout the project. Despite touching all over the electronic music spectrum, Tektra manages to keep grip on the reins, taming the sounds to suit their needs.

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Wave Variations, by 36

The ever-intoxicating sounds of 36 are coming back to us on fresh waves – this time in the form of a so-called “mini-album” Wave Variations.

A collection of short flowing compositions – Wave Variations features 12 tracks (2 of which are exclusive to the vinyl release) presented as Sequences One to Twelve. Now that would typically seem like a full-length album, but I understand what the producer is going for when they dub it a mini-album. Each track floats around 3 minutes in length, which is a definite oddity in the world of ambient music. 36 explains…

‘I feel like a lot of ambient music (including my own) is often unnecessarily long and these small vignettes work as a nice counter to that. Don’t expect long build-ups or over-extended crescendos”

It may seem like a negative and/or blanketed statement, but it’s quite spot on. And in the case of this album, the brevity definitely plays to its advantage. I actually think this is a fantastic introduction of sorts to 36 in general, with each track highlighting different aspects of their signature sound – melodic and melancholy, expressive yet relaxing.

Wave Variations takes cues from it’s own name, with each track having pulsing hypnotic qualities. Tracks like “Eighth Sequence” masterfully coaxing the listener into a pensive state, floating in time for a brief reflective moment. The tempo and pacing of the noodling synthesizers and humming pads translate across the project, whether taking a more playful approach or sinking back into a numbing melancholy.

The album was originally released back in July by Past Inside The Present – and although the physical editions are currently sold out, we are lucky to have access to this digital edition. Support the artist directly via Bandcamp.

Sedative EP, by Heavenchord

Brand new from Russian label project Secret Domain is a lovely EP from ambient-dub producer Heavenchord. I have become a big fan of Heavenchord this past year, I must say the alias truly suits the music, lush and heavenly tones and beautiful chordal arrangements are integral to the producers atmospheric and relaxing style. Leaning towards the ambient side of dub-techno, the featured players here are definitely the round pulsing synths and bubbly expansive pads. When percussion does enter the scene, it is far from overwhelming, imitating the rhythm of the current under a calm stream.

These 5 long-form tracks might as well be considered a full length album instead of an EP given the playing time. Regardless, the tracks are expansive and curious, full of places to explore. Healthy use of textural flourishes to accompany the ebb and flow of the synthesizers is a common theme, utilizing field recordings in quite a satisfying way.

Much as the title of the EP suggests, you may find yourself sedated by these tracks – track 2 I found especially hypnotic, turning my casual listening sessions to an introspective self-guided breathing meditation. Ultimately this is a great relaxing record, it embodies some of my favorite aspects of this kind of music – mellow enough to throw on in the background, but very rewarding when you take a closer more considerate listen.

If you hear something you like, be sure to check out Secret Domain – they have been curating a wonderful platform of atmospheric dub-techno music, with plenty more Heavenchord tunes to satisfy your craving for more…

cry5tal 1it3 by shamane

Fresh from the mind of the Shamane is this brand new long player that’s gonna make you thirsty for more, as you should! Cry5sal 1it3 is glimmering brilliant madness, pickled and distilled in the roasting 2020 sun – allow yourself to rest back and soak it in…

The Popular Culture Shamane, for those unfamiliar, is an abstract multimedia artist who has manifested a vibrant world around themself. Pushing artistic limits of electronic music, glitch art and even poetry – Shamane is the quintessential digital age renaissance figure. A brief cruise of the website reveals a universe of exploration, allowing the Shamane to assault each and every one of your senses.

Now that we’re caught up, back to cry5sal 1it3! This latest full-length album finds the Shamane exploring into the stratospheres of sound. Weaving together the ever-unique vocals with synthscapes that are as melodic as they are dissonant. The free-form of the compositions are satisfying and natural, with the tracks finding footing in addicting riffs, proceeding to exploit and explore the surrounding area. At 23 tracks, it’s a healthy stack and a substantial sonic journey.

There is of course an element of humor to the Shamane’s work, showing its head in silly song titles that really speak to the artists poetic nature. You don’t need to read the included 30-page rhyme book to tell, but it certainly helps with the immersion! It’s actually this emotional element to the Shamane’s work that draws me so close, there is both a humor and a sadness to be found. When listening and paying closer attention, you begin to reveal layers of nihilism and melancholy, the stressed and depressed energy of the digital age. Then, on a dime, a flourish of hope and ecstasy – perhaps a smile or a laugh, right around the corner.

Cry5tal 1it3 offers some very subtle and thoughtful pieces. Some personal highlights such as “every allegory needs a bear” and “i’ll cook an 8 course dinner for a horse” open up brilliantly after repeat listens. Headphones encouraged for this puppy. Also if you have a puppy on your lap it couldn’t hurt!

Anyway, you either get it or ya don’t, people! It’s an acquired taste but boy howdy is it delicious. I really encourage you all to cleanse the palette and dive in – give a listen, a watch, a read – however you want to consume – and perhaps the world will grab you like it did me…

Cry5tal 1it3 is available now both Digitally and on Cassette Tape via Virtual Dream Plaza

Straight to Tape by Pan Amsterdam

I don’t know who this Pan Amsterdam fella is but golly gee his music is brilliant. Maybe not the Daniel Johnston of hip hop but most certainly the Jad Fair. He’s going “Straight to Tape” and straight to the top of the charts and our hearts. His latest EP is another look inside the mind of a bonafide weirdo philosopher. His music is avant-garde in the least pretentious way. If Busdriver makes you think you should read more, then Pan Amsterdam makes you think you should’ve rented more movies at Blockbuster when you had the chance. His comedic timing is nothing short of golden. “You’re the wolf of Walmart, sell me this pen.” Pan (can I call him Pan?) is a savant of bogus poetry. A beautiful genius at that. “More kosher than gefilte fish.” Picking up where Das Racist left off, Pan Amsterdam has filled the void for stream of consciousness free jazz rap. “Straight to Tape” has been playing on repeat and I’m just now seeing that it’s only 12 minutes. Re-playability is hard to do in the land of drive thru’s and infinite possibilities. Pan Amsterdam creates a world you can get lost in. Not some fantasy planet either, this world’s like yours just slightly different. Instead of 2001: A Space Odyssey, you’re really into Mars Attacks. You listen to Beck’s anti folk albums instead of Radiohead demos. Whatever mad scientist laboratory accidentally birthed this album should win the Oscar.

Listen/download over on Pan Amsterdam’s Bandcamp:

http://panamsterdam.bandcamp.com/album/straight-to-tape