Cartoon Forest II is the second full-length project from experimental trio Cartoon Forest – released on Crash Symbols in May, 2022.
Recorded live in 2018 – the tape basks in a raw beauty that is both refreshing and intriguing. Cartoon Forest II is a wonderful blend of experimental ambience and psychedelic drone with a touch of post-rock. It’s quite easy to become lost in the hazy, distorted soundscapes – laying back on the gritty foundation before letting luscious, morbid riffs wash over you.
I adore the sounds used in this project – often morphing between semi-acoustic to ethereally ambiguous. By track 4-5 you will start to peel back and realize the true experimental and progressive nature of the album. There’s no holding back from the trio as the dive deeply into incredibly unstable and emotional territories – embracing soft distortion and semi-dissonant waves amidst the already established landscape.
Cartoon Forest truly exemplifies the experimental group format – demonstrating the benefit of weaving together the threads of several avant-garde minds. This tape is a blissful journey dense with ideas and riffs that you don’t want to miss. I’ve only heard the digital version myself but I can already tell these tracks will benefit from being heard with the warm process of cassette ribbon passing through a tapedeck.
New experimental sounds from the Vivarium Recordings camp!
Limnociclo by Druida is a marvelous experience of sonic exploration – successfully weaving together threads of lofi chiptunes, long lost casio loops and an atmosphere of thick smoke.
I am always a big fan of electroacoustic experimentation, so Limnociclo ended up being a deeply satisfying experience for me. Druida masterfully layers very intimate pluckings and tappings with urgent bass and frothing pads of dissonance. The result is a surreal and soundtrack-esque experience.
Tracks like Forma really caught my attention, fusing together reggaeton and post-vaporwave into a downtempo groove. Or Nowhere FM – where the true experimentality of the project is given space to breathe and flourish.
I could go on about how the rhythmic shredding massages my brain, how the project is mixed so masterfully that you can almost taste the local climate, or how flawlessly the album glides between genres and tones. To put it simply, you need to hear it to understand, and I highly recommend this one.
World Carousel by Orvang Halmer is a collection of lovely and playful psychedelic noise tracks.
I found myself drifting deeply into a new world while listening to this one. I felt like perhaps I had become an NPC in some abandoned massively multiplayer realm, left to my own devices long after the player had wandered off. Tones, riffs, moods, energies and flavors all drift in and out of view as I stand firmly in my designated spot.
The sounds themselves are a healthy balance of humble nostalgia and brave experimentation. Synthesized melodies bend and warp around each other, briskly dissolving into the hazy atmosphere.
Lucky for us, the album is available on tape from the family at Ingrown Records! Order yourself a copy or stream the digital version now via Bandcamp.
Luscious lo-fi drones from Cyparissus – blood year is a 4 track album with a heavy, brooding atmosphere.
The style is hazy and rustic – dusty and crusty textures layered atop waves of melancholy synth pads. The melodies and progressions take a backseat to quite prominent “field recordings” and other textural oddities. From dribbling rain and distant rolling thunder to crunchy and compressed tape sounds, Cyparissus utilizes a vast array of audio cues to evoke some potent emotions.
When the calm pads do overtake the noisy drones, they are quite placid and comforting! This provides a beautiful base for the rest of the textural sounds to stretch their legs.
If you’re a fan of slightly-dark ambient, or you’d like some noisy drone music that isn’t too harsh, I highly recommend checking out both blood year and the rest of Cyparissus’ discography, which is available on Bandcamp.
This month we find ourselves unintentionally focused on the more experimental side of things.
When it comes to music, experimenting can take many forms. It becomes a very broad umbrella terms for sounds that are created with “less-than-commercial” intentions.
Experimental does not necessarily mean complex. Nor does it mean the sounds need to push the boundaries of creation. While these things commonly happen simply given the nature of experimenting, they are not necessary conclusions.
To experiment with music means to create without boundaries or limits. To create with self-satisfaction as the only goal in mind. Creating and manifesting sounds that provide pure pleasure to the creator, and sometimes the listener as well…
At least that’s the definition we follow here!
How do you feel about the experimental process in music and art? Do you find it makes the underground landscape less accessible, or perhaps more interesting? Let us know in the comments, we would love to hear from you…
Last month had some seriously wonderful drops, and the beat goes on!
The amount of music that is created, released and distributed nowadays can be as breathtaking as it is overwhelming. It’s a constant challenge to keep an open eye, ear and heart for new voices in sound.
Whenever I get overwhelmed, I always remind myself of the days when I was younger and it was much more difficult to discover new music. Scraping the various tags and underbellies of websites like myspace and purevolume – to find people pursuing their creative goals with a DIY spirit…
Fast forward! We really are in an amazing era with incredible tools to create, curate and share to a massive audience, which is inspiring in itself! It’s casual thoughts like this that propel me forward.
Anyway, I have rambled enough! Without further delay, enjoy this months FRESH BATCH!
April brought us a wealth of excellent new sounds.
Things tended to trend on the “Cozy” side this past month – whether grounded in ambience, bedroom pop or some other genre – producers and musicians found themselves harnessing the pleasant rather than the problematic.
Without further delay, enjoy this months FRESH BATCH!