We’ve all heard the mantra ‘never judge a book by its cover,’ and yet the same rule of thumb could hardly be said to apply to the world of vinyl, where off-kilter, intriguing artwork oftentimes speaks directly about the music contained within. Case in point – Cool Maritime’s glorious 2022 LP ‘Big Earth Energy,’ which I picked up the other day solely because of the wonderful Lisa Frank-esque neon tree frog gracing the front cover, as well as the promotional sticker which promised an experience inspired by ‘Myst and Studio Ghibli.’
The music almost lives up to this high bar, with seven tracks of instrumental electronic goodness that will bring to mind the cushy, muzak-adjacent environments of pre-2000 personal computer game soundtracks like SimCity or, indeed, Myst. Pleasing sin waves, pitched to replicate electronic tom drums, bounce and squiggle around synth pads and buoyant synthesizer melodies. Drum machines are notably absent, and the resulting music works equally well as background tones to do yoga to, or as an active listening experience. It will most certainly pair well with your next session of whatever intense simulation or strategy video game you’re currently obsessed with. Excellent find.
Thomas Jacob Jr is a Producer, Composer, Singer-Songwriter, Music Educator and Digital Artist currently based in Arizona – Bringing us rare and interesting selections from his extensive Vinyl collection! For more content follow his vinyl-dedicated Instagram account
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.
Shamane back y’all! A proclamation stated on the releases bandcamp page – ultra extra is the latest full length project from prolific techno-weirdo Pop Culture Shamane! Lush with psychedelic electronic exploration and noodling, it is easy to get lost in this project. Dense textures wash over innocent melodies, all being propelled forward by deconstructed club grooves. It’s truly a satisfying listen from start-to-finish. The album has just been released via Ingrown Records, if you download via bandcamp you will receive a 27-page booklet of shamane rhymes “i can eat my slang” which is equally as twisted-brilliant. If you aren’t familiar with the work of Shamane NOW IS THE TIME!!
Equal parts chiptune madness and funky footwork, Battle in Nagoya is a new cassette tape released through Field Hymns Records by Lips and Ribs. Featuring some truly dense and determined tracks, 16 to be exact, this album drags the listener on a strange and mystical journey. Think – soundtrack to an acid soaked JRPG, with tracks often featuring massively oversaturated percussion and in-your-face synthesizers which are often as cheesy as they are amazing.
The album isn’t for the faint of heart, each track has a unique sense of urgency, resulting in quite a hectic listen. I encourage you to dive right in though, once you succumb to the vibe of the project it really is an amazing project to enjoy from start to finish.
Imaginations is an EP of ambient synthesizer music by french producer Alexandre Navarro. 5 tracks packed full of beautiful textures, blipping and buzzing synths combined with tasteful percussion. There is an attention to detail in each sound and tone that only becomes more apparent on repeat listens.
With this album, Chemical Tapes introduces a new series of releases, the Solid Hex series, focusing on beat-heavy music and grooves. Still commanding the signature melodic softness I come to expect from Chemical Tapes, this is an exciting development to see them offering a more broad selection of great music. I am very excited to see what is next for this label.
Favorite Track: 3. Seeds
First in the Solid Hex series of more beat focused releases. Boliden’s debut album entitled Meta. 10 tracks exploring hypnotic lo-fi techno aesthetics.