Tuning In: About Tuning Into The Obscure + Contact info and Submissions

Hi!

You’ve found the front page of Tuning Into The Obscure! I know the date on this says May of 2011, but ignore that. Scroll down for new content.

And now, the obligatory front page bio stuff and contact info….

Over the past few years, I’ve been on a mission to find the best music on the planet, whether it be old, new, well known, obscure, underground or mainstream, or completely unknown previously. I started this project on an older, more personal blog but eventually figured it’d be easier to post all the music stuff here.

So here, you’ll find reviews on a variety of genres as well as interviews with artists and labels, spotlights on musical history, band previews and other various ramblings. Occasionally, I may even slip in some bits of my own music.

Submissions and Contact Info:

If you’re an artist/in a band or are a small label with some music you think the world should hear, contact me! Seriously, send me some tunes! Submissions are always welcome in all physical formats (please note that until further notice, digital downloads cannot be accepted due to tech issues). All genres are fair game.  Please note that if you already have my mailing address, it has changed as of May 2012.

Contact: lonelyfox_music@yahoo.com

Twitter: @Hound_of_Music

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Rock and Other Wild Sounds, Dec – March 2015

Mind Brains – Mind Brains – Orange Twin Records

This disc came to me sandwiched between two pieces of bread in a Ziploc bag. While that was certainly the most original press kit I’ve seen, the music was by far the most gripping thing in the box.  Described as a band with heavy psyche roots (many of the band members have been in psyche and pop rock bands) and a group that loves to break old electronic instruments and rebuild them to create something new, Mind Brains certainly stands as a group that lovers of psyche music should be listening to.  Even after just two tracks, I feel like they’re influenced by the likes of Conny Plank, early Kraftwerk, the Flaming Lips, Eno, the more psyche side of the Beatles, and the psyche side of Athens, GA.  Synth heavy grooves, vocal harmonies and off the wall arrangements of the two with a plethora of sounds, clips, texturing styles, and far out lyrics make this one hell of a ride.  It’s one of the most experimental nodern psyche albums I’ve heard from the US.  The world needs to take notice of this.  Awesome (4.9 out of 5)

Sea Rocket Jasmine – The Window – self-released

From the mind behind the jazz/electronic project TranceLucid comes this full album of pure jazzy goodness. Piano, bass, organ, percussion and the occasional flute create an engaging and lively The tracks themselves hop between toe tapping and slower paced grooves.  The album as a whole is both relaxing and engaging. Its fun and god knows it’s been a while since I’ve had a fun jazz album in my paws as something to review.  Fans of the genre and its subgenres will dig this release and for those of you not terribly familiar with jazz as a whole, this would make a good jumping off point.  Can’t wait for a second album!  (4.8 out of 5)

Troy Meadows – Vol III: Love Songs for Astronomers – self-released

Acoustic songwriting mixes it up with Boards of Canada-esque ambient music.  Now that’s a mixture for the ages!  Originally released in 2012, this album has a deep space feel while hitting close to home. There are hints of Mountain Goats, Tom Waits in here as well, perhaps with dashes of the Flaming Lips – it’s safe to say that there are lot of influences at work here, creating a unique sound over all.  And all in all, I find this really enjoyable, engaging and emotionally provoking.  Seeing as this has been out for three years now, one would argue that this has passed under the radar for too long.  So get your copy! (4.9 out of5)

Harpoon Forever – American Flag EP 7” – Sweaters and Pearls

A four track vinyl EP, this release avoids trends and dives more into an interesting blend of indie rock, math and punk pop.  And while that genre blending sounds good, the tempo changes alone on track one are enough to keep me engaged – I’m a geek about those.  The whole release is catchy, extremely well written and makes me hungry for anything else the band’s put together.  It’s hard for me to draw comparisons to other bands/artists; while I do identify some of genres that have influenced this, I can’t quite put my finger on anything more specific.  It’s quite original and is a clear standout in my stash of seven inches.  Rock on! (4.8 out of 5) – Check out S&P’s 7” review blog!

The Fireworks – Switch Me On – Shelflife Records

Another sweet record from Shelflife! The debut album for the Fireworks showcases some sweet punk-pop-indie fueled goodness that’s by far the freshest rock-ish-stuff I’ve heard out of the UK in a few months.  The tunes remind me a bit of the Vaselines (mainly the guy-girl back and forth vocals) yet this is rather unique, proving that they are a force in the rock world that will only get better with each release.  Fans of the aforementioned, September Girls, Dott, and Blur will enjoy this without a doubt.  Fans of the band’s first two singles will be happy and eager for more.  And I have to agree with the kit on this one… this isn’t just an album with one or two singles.  This is an album with 13 A-sides! Crank it! (5 out of 5)

 

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Rock ETC For January 2015

Crayon – Brick Factory – HHBTM

The reprint of the 1994 album (and the only album) by Crayon brings this obscure twee-punk gem back to the forefront of music.  At the height of the DIY-lo fi explosion in the 90s, where vinyl and rock fans flocked to the zine-driven lo fi 7” single “scene” of sorts, Crayon’s LP rose highly, erupting from the end of the grunge era and capturing the hearts of many.  And upon spinning this reissue, I can see why.  One would think that it’d be hard to balance punk with UK-esque twee, and yet, here it happens and it’s stunning. It’s no wonder that Lou Barlow (of Dinosaur Jr and Sebadoh) loved it upon its original release.   Fuzzy guitars, lo fi mixing and stylings, and the mixing of genres really draw me in.  If you order the vinyl reissue, you’ll get a digital bonus, featuring 21 tracks that originally appeared on 7” singles and an array of unreleased demos.  So grab this while you can! Who knows if it’ll get reissues again any time soon! (4.9 out of 5)

Clara Engel – Looking-Glass Fire – s/r

A mixture of folk, rock and whatever-kind-of music-Clara-wants-to-make, this mini album really stands apart from the rest.  Lyrically, things are fairly poetic but stay true to the point and dart between light and darkness effortlessly.  Her voice is strong and brilliant and she certainly knows how to arrange accompaniment.  While you only get a hand full of tracks on this release, they all pack their unique punch and are all beautiful.  To draw some comparisons, think of mixing the darkest sides of Kate Bush, Tori Amos and slow them down, adding dashes of Loreena McKennitt, and add a couple of tons of passion.  This is an astounding album. Check it out for yourself! (5 out of 5)

Naim Amor – Hear the Walls – Fort Lowell Records

Recorded mostly through one amp without any affects, Amor’s album captures some unique magic.  It’s a mixture of folk, pop and chanson, bringing back to the table some form of musical genius that in some ways had been lost a long, long time ago.  The vocals are soft and yet are full of meaning, hopping between English and French and darting between instrumental tracks.  This is a surprisingly brilliant album, where fans of Nick Drake, Kings of Convenience and Beck’s more mellow side will enjoy this one!  Pressed on blood red vinyl, limited edition of 500! Get your copy ASAP! (4.7 out of 5)

Joe Jack Talcum – Home Recordings 1993 – 1999 – HHBTM

One shouldn’t be surprised that the frontman for the Dead Milkmen has a sensitive side.  Volume two of his expansive home recordings collection really makes this apparent and therefore, I offer a massive thank you for the long awaited release of this LP. The writing of these tracks is nonetheless witty; make no mistake, this guy knows how to write a brilliant song.  Some tracks are darker than others but all of them are stellar gems and need to be heard.  Fans of his band’s material will love this, while folks whoa ren’t familiar with his solo work or the Dead Milkmen should definitely check this out.  If you’re into lo-fi folk/pop/noise, this should be the LP for you.  (5 out of 5)

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Planet µ Turns 20! My Favorite LPs and EPs/Singles

MU

There are a lot of record labels out there that I love, both large and small.  Some have a special place in my record collection.  Mike Paradinas’s label is unique as it seemed to me that even from the beginning, it was on the cutting edge of electronic based music, pushing it and its various subgenres into uncharted and unknown frontiers. Every release brings something magical and different to the table and trust me when I say that people are listening.  The impact this label is having on musicians and listeners alike is huge.  Here’s hoping for another twenty years of stunning tunes!

Here’s a list of my personal favorites from the label.

My Fav LPs

µ-ziq – Bilious Paths

Shitmat – Full English Breakfest

Bizzy B – Science EP iii-iv

(various) – 2OO

Venetian Snares – The Chocolate Wheelchair Album

Ambulance  – The Curse of Vale Do Lobo

Jega – Spectrum

Hieroglyphic Being And The Configurative Or Modular Me Trio – The Seer of Cosmic Visions

The Doubtful Guest – Acid Sauna

Meat Beat Manifesto – Autoimmune

My Fav Singles and EPs

Nicole Elmer – Beef Bullion / My Sweetheart

Distance – Fa;;en (Vex’d Remix) 12”

FFF – The Feeling

Venetian Snares – Horsie Noises

Kuedo – Dream Sequence EP (or the Starfox single)

Solar Bears – Inner Sunshine

µ-ziq – XTEP

DJ Clent – Hyper Feet

Frost Jockey – Burgundy Trax Vol 1

Starkey – Stars

Check out their webpage for new jams!

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Punk Fox Mini Eruption!

XOF

Les Chausettes – Kate / Volcanoes – 7” – XOF004

Vancouver’s own Les Chausettes bring two brilliant tracks to life on this limited edition lipstick pink 7inch.  The kit describes this band as a blend of 60s surf with lo-fi punky pop and upon spinning this record, I’m adding garage and a pinch of twee to the mix. The A-side is a slower jam, with a playful organ and delightfully sweet, bordering on lustful.  A B-side is a lot faster, leaning more on the punk side of thinks. My God, this is a fun single.  Fans of The Vaselines, September Girls, Veruca Salt and Dum Dum Girls will love this.  Nice tracks for a physical release debut!  (4.9 out of 5)

ist – Boyfriend – 7” – XOF003

Limited to just 320 copies, this shiny little 7inch is packed with a mean punch.  The A-side, while angry as hell / jealous, is relatable.  Ever had a crush on someone so bad that you kind of grow to despise the person they’re with? This song is for you.  The lyrics are so damn catchy here that I know I’m going to find myself singing this at work.  The B-side is an alternative take/mix of the title track and honestly, I love this song enough where I don’t ever see myself growing tired of it.  (4.8 out of 5)

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Pyschonavigation Records/Tranquillo/Eire Supply/Offshoot Showcase Fall – Winter, 2014

Here’s what’s been cooking on Psychonavigation and its sublabels over the last few months!

Off Land – Quinarian – via Psychonavigation

Off Land’s second release for the Paychonavigation label follows on the heels of his previous album, “Tidewater Pulse.”  This album finds us surfing on five tracks, reaching a newer level of synth-rich space ambience, pock marked with hidden gems like voice samples and softly fluttering sound clips.  The music is akin to Pete Namlook, Deeper Than Space, and certain Tangerine Dream albums.  The synth is quite melodic but gentle, working well for this style of ambient music and the theme of the album itself: the quinarian zoological classification of animals – I personally find it quite interesting that space ambience in this case actually works quite well for an album referencing animals.  All in all, Off Land delivers a flawless piece of work and fans of his older material will be very happy.  (4.9 out of 5)

Andrea Carri – Chronos

A time themed album from the Italian pianist that branches into the realm of ambience while staying quite true to modern classical styles, Carri’s “Chronos” is something special.  I’m quite picky about piano based music and own very little of it; it has to be just right.  Don’t ask me to explain what that really means; I just know it when I hear it.  This album is one of those albums that struck me right away and drew me in.  The composition is good, the emotions it gets from me are strong and I feel that the music here fits well with the theme of the album as a whole.  So, if modern classical with hints of ambient is your thing, this will make you happy.  It’s not overly produced or too strong, but rather, this is the perfect amount of honest piano works and imagination.  Brilliant.  (5 out of 5)

Perry Frank – Soundscapes Box 1 – via Tranqillo

This was a project created to go alongside a film made by the artist, showcasing the various abandoned homes and buildings that belonged to a once thriving mining area of Sardinia.  Some of these places are haunted, others not.  The album itself, having said that, deals a lot about memories of the past, abandonment, the passage of time and regrets.  So while that sets the tone for the music, the sounds themselves aren’t quite as sad or spooky as one might think.  There’s a lot of mixing of synth elements and acoustic strings, making the album feel more organic as well as atmospheric. In other words, it’s quite down to earth but it paints a clear picture by capturing your imagination.  Gentle post rock meets ambient and creates a vivid yet haunting world.  Very well done.  (4.8 out of 5)

Daniel McDermott – The Lullaby Wars – via Eire Supply

A brilliant master pianist and guitarist, McDermott creates a very mixed album.  I say that because I was quite surprised to find that this was a mega-mixture, fusing elements of  minimal, ambient, techno, electronica, house, and modern classical.  Not what I was expecting upon reading up on his background.  However, that does not make me disappointed. In actuality, the music here is rich and flows rather well considering how many different genres are being blended together.  It’s one of those things you kind of have to hear for yourself to believe.  Very impressive! (4.9 out of 5)

Kohshi Kamata – Seven Most – via Offshoot

Experimental electronica meets… well, electronica!  I’d not go so far to say that this is your typical dance oriented electronica but it does have a vibe to it that makes you tap your toes, even when there is no percussion being used in some of the tracks.  It’s experimental without any snobby artistry and there isn’t a shred of aesthetic lost in this recording.  The only way I can describe this is by taking XXYYXX’s most minimal and mellow track, strip it down a bit more, up the avant-garde and experimentalism, add a dash of footwork and FSOL, and you have something close to the sounds here.  This is a surprisingly engaging body of work.  Scope it out for yourself! (4.8 out of 5)

Sense – Still Life – via Psychonavigation

Sense returns after last year’s “The Dream” with another ambient gem.  Sense has a knack for creating stunning scapes and on this release, it’s fused with a very human element provided by numerous voice samples, ranging from interviews with broken families to the odd quotes from other documentaries.  It creates a very realistic, relatable and somewhat frightening world (especially the track “Claymore”).  It’s space ambient but this might be the most human the genre has gotten in quite a long time.  (4.8 out of 5)

Samora – Lontano – via Tranquillo

Steve Kilbey (The Church) makes appearances on this album, providing spoken word bits to accompany some of the ambient scapes while other tracks are haunting instrumental pieces.  My first impression after spinning this is one of intrigue.  It’s dark in spots, haunting and often surreal while in a few other places, things lighten up and the sun shines in.  Think of mixing some of FSOL’s more space oriented tracks with Namlook and Off Land and then send it whirling into a sea of dark clouds with sporadic and random breaks of light, foliage and dreams.  I’d say this is another one you should hear before the year is out.  Quite an interesting piece! (4.9 out of 5)

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The Life and Times of the Future Sound Of London, p. 34

Exploring FSOL’s “Environments” parts 2 through 5

FSOL 2

FSOL 3

FSOL 4

FSOL 5

It’s been well over a year since I last posted an episode in this ongoing series.  So here are four albums to make up for that fact.  After the release of the long awaited “Environments,” the band seemed to decide on making an ongoing series of it, at first using it to release archived material in a new and fresh way.  Where the first album featured a lot of sounds from “Lifeforms” and various live ISDN bits, the second volume seemed to move beyond the idea of just pushing out archived stuff.

Volume 2 showcased a lot more new material, or at the very least, it was quite new sounding to us.  The duo kept very much in the realm of ambient but incorporated a lot of elements of abstract, modern classical, IDM and hints of industrial. We’re in new territory; the duo has once again redefined everything without losing touch.  And even when I find the occasional reused sample from their previous work mixed in here, it honestly is presented in a refreshing way so I don’t find myself rolling my eyes.  The album as a whole is one coherent piece and keeps in line with the band’s style but charts us in a newer scape.  The darker bits and the hyper-reality based soundscapes mix well with the modern classical/ambient/IDm themes.  Nice work! (4.8 out of 5)

Environments 3 goes even further than the previous two installments.  By this point, I’ve grown to crave upcoming releases in this series as they present newer material and breathe new life into their growing discography.  Some fans had been growing discontent with the constant flow of “From the Archives” CDs, annoyed with the seemingly rehashed bits of older tracks that were used for live shows and background music with very few “newer” bits in between.  And even for those fans who loved those compilations, this new series was still a wave of joy.  This volume explores a somewhat darker place that none of us are afraid to dive into.  There are a few clips appearing from “Lifeforms” “Dead Cities,” and “ISDN” era recordings but again, much like in volume 2, they are reconstructed and used in such a way that I’m actually happy to hear them again.  As a whole, this album is quite engaging and moves us further into the future without losing too much of the past.  Very enjoyable.  (4.9 out of 5)

Environments 4 pushes us into more uncharted realms.  Things are still somewhat ambient but there are clear excursions into psyche, jazz, IDM, industrial, downtempo and abstract.  At times, the sound is fairly dark, dipping into “Dead Cities” levels of spookiness, even going so far as to sample small bits of material from that album.  The tracks here are far less “song structured” and are more free form in the sense that they kind of go where they want to, feature the sounds they want and jam in their own way.  It’s like the duo had improvised a little bit and had some fun.  In that sense this feels a bit like some of the longer ISDN sessions (not the final edits that wound up on the LP but rather the extended flows that aired on the radio).  And as a whole, I found this album to be more engaging than 2 or 3, and perhaps second only to volume 1.  (4.9 out of 5)

Environments 5 came to my curtesy of my brother and is currently my first piece of FSOL vinyl that I own.   This installment in the series features nothing but new material, a first.  It also features collaborations between other artists, something the duo haven’t done expect for their psyche projects and to some extent on “Lifeforms.”  Daniel Pemberton graces us with some stellar piano on three different tracks, Raven Bush treats us to some nice violin on track five, and Riz Masten (Neotropic) sings on track 4.  The sound here is quite different from the previous installments, let alone the duo’s regular album work.  There is a dip into light psyche elements at the start before things get experimental with ambient soundsscapes, piano works, some elements of Indian raga, modern classical and other bits.  The feel here is quite different and maybe the best way to describe it is to take the most ambient bits from their psyche projects and fuse them with their fuse modern classical and experimental moments.  The end result would be this LP.   The theme of this album is supposed to be the space/time/dimension at the point following death and I’d say overall, the seamlessly mixed tracks reflect that.  Excitement, exploration, isolation and recollection are what I’m picking up on.  This is a nice piece of work! (4.9 out of 5)

Volumes 2 through 5 were released between 2009 and 2014. They are available from FSOLdigital as CDs, MP3s/FLAC and vinyl LPs (all vinyl was issued in 2014).

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The Unscene Vol. 5 The No Seattle Compilation

SJR NS

With the last edition of The Unscene being posted in February of 2012 (featuring the only release from Calabros), I decided to get my tail in gear, especially after the arrival of a holiday gift from my brother.  In a little box came the double disc compilation “No Seattle: Forgotten Sounds of the North-West Grunge Era 1986 – 97.”  Normally, I’m wary about “grunge” compilations, especially those released after 1993 as they tend to layer in bands who had little or nothing to do with the sound, or, just feature the bands that everyone by now knows.  This is especially true when the compilation comes from a record label that in recent years has mostly pushed out compilations of everything from Cajun soul music, Disco, and German electronic music to various house projects.

Much to my surprise, when I looked at the track listing, I was stunned to find that out of the twenty-eight tracks, I had only heard of four bands and only had material from one of them.  So, understandably, my ears were pricked.  I popped in the first disc and went nose deep into the 36 page booklet it came with.  And much more to my growing surprise, it went in depth with each band, detailing t heir sound, their lineup, releases, where they came from and even interviewed members of the groups (briefly).  They even had a section where they described how many groups had ties with Nirvana, ranging from members shared, stages shared to who toured with the band, etc…

The sound on these discs ranges from grunge to alternative rock, experimental, garage, psyche and punk.  None of this stuff sounds dated, which is thrilling.  The complete band roster here features: Starfish, Vampire Lezbos, Nubbin, Saucer, Machine, Medelicious, Hitting Birth, Crunchbird, The Ones, Pod, Thrillhammer, Yellow Snow, Helltrout, Bundle of Hiss, Chemistry Set, My Name, Small Stars, Shug, Treehouse, Soylent Green, Kill Sybil, Calamity Jane, and Attica.  Of course now, I wish I had cash to dig around for original releases from some of these groups to get the full joy of their material but that will have to wait…

Should you get this collection?  I’d argue that you should.  If you’re a fan of the sound as a whole, any of the bands here or grew up in the time these folks jammed, this is for you.  Finally, we have something that reaches beyond the groups who “made it big” and can see who were the movers and shakers and sound creators who stayed small, released small and yet helped influence an entire generation of rockers. My only wish here was that a little bit of remastering was done.  In spots, the tracks are a little lo-fi, more because they sound pulled off the original vinyl.  It’s not a huge flaw by any means and it’s more of my own nitpick.  (4.9 out of 5)

This compilation comes to you via Soul Jazz Records, catalog number SJR CD286.  Vinyl versions are available but are released as volume one and two separately.

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Emotional Response Records Showcase

ResizedImage_14157268906711

New 7” EPs from EMOTIONAL RESPONSE!

Grab these while you can as they come with a digital download which gives you access to LOADS of bonus tracks! In fact, one of these shiny little records will score you TEN tracks! Score!  I should also point out that each of these bands featured below all share one common member, Stewart Anderson.

Hulaboy – Exes and Enemies

Combining Americana, twee and a bit of new wave, this three-song vinyl will suck you in and have you begging for more. It’s catchy and engaging.  If you’ve been following any of Hulaboy’s material or are a fan of UK’s twee genre, this will make you oh so very happy.  Their songwriting is still as fresh and wonderful as it was twenty years ago.  So sweet! (4.8 out of 5)

Boyracer – The Kind Of Man You Really Are

With Stewart at the vocals once again along with Jen, we are privileged to aggressive melodic pop and what might be the band’s final release… and who could really blame them for putting the project away after 800+ tracks released since their debut in 1991 – that’s quite a track record.  This vinyl features four tracks, each sporting a furiously fast tempo to the point where it reminds me of punk rock.  As with Hulaboy, the writing is top notch and is just as catchy.  And much like classic punk, the tracks are short and the bliss is over before you know and replays are highly encouraged.  And seeing as this is my first introduction to this project, it makes me curious to sniff out their back catalog and see what I’ve missed over the last twenty-three years.  Grab this while you can!  (4.9 out of 5)

The Safe Distance – Hey You!

Wild, noisy and powerful indie rock meets C86 elements and garage rock riffs. This stuff is powerful!  Stewart takes to the bass and organ here while Crayola takes on vocals and David Nichols takes drums.  Things slow down a little on the flip side but the intensity is not lost, especially as the pace launches itself back to breakneck speeds as the final track kicks off.  This is a sweet record from start to finish; never a dull moment.  Wow, just wow!  I want more!  Luckily, the digital download that accompanies this vinyl comes with seven bonus tracks.  Score!  (5 out of 5)

GO GET YOU COPIES NOW!

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New Rock for November 2014 part one

Georgio “the Dove’ Valentino – “Mille Plataux” – Self Released – 2×12” LP

Outrageously impressive artwork graces the covers and sleeves of this double vinyl. The music is astoundingly brilliant.  It comprises of a mixture of post punk, psyche, folk and experimental rock, all of which is so interwoven and ingeniously composed that it truly impresses as a work of art.  Some of the tracks are quite lengthy or are broken up into segments, much like suites in a symphony.  This is a fairly unique record.  In fact, its so unique that I can’t quite compare it to anything I’ve heard before.  It is sure not to disappoint those looking for something new, something on the cutting edge, something out of the norm and something entrancing.  (4.8 out of 5)

The Black Watch – Sugarplum Fairy Sugarplum Fairy – Pop Culture Press – CD

Coming out in January of 2015 is the newest LP by a rather prolific band. This LP is chuck full of indie pop jams that are insanely catchy and suck you in.  The instrumentation and lyricism show a true talent and I’m actually kind of surprised this stuff hasn’t hit the airwaves yet.  I certainly have no complaints here.  If you’re fans of The Smiths and early Radiohead will enjoy this. Good stuff!  Keep an eye out for this one! It should not pass under your radar! (4.7 out of 5)  And yes, the Beatles reference in the title was appreciated!

Eric Funn — No More Blue Tomorrows – Self-released– digital

Recorded in a day’s session, this DIY lo-fi recorded-straight-to-cassette album will become an instant classic. Completely acoustic and brutally honest and emotional, I can’t help but think of the Mountain Goats, some of Dylan’s work and perhaps a dash of Iron and Wine, if he was a bit more on edge. The tracks tend to be about breakups and being far apart from folks you love, or at least once loved.  Seriously, where was this tape when I went through some of my breakups?  Honest and raw.  Thanks!  (4.9 out of 5)

Ghost to Falco – Soft ShieldInfinite Front and Curly Cassettes. 

Released roughly a year ago, this LP mixes indie/shoegaze with elements of pop rock, folk rock and blues, creating something that sounds like a mix of Modest Mouse’s mellower side, early Mark Lanegan, and bits of the Black Keys. The lyricism here is excellent and the instrumentation is easy to get hypnotized to.  Seriously, this is really good.  It bums me out that this album got lost in my massive pile of submissions for so long after my computer glitched; to think I went so long without hearing this!  So I’d urge you to get your copy and not wait any longer than you have to!  Go get it! (4.8 out of5)

The Shivers – Charades – Keeled Scales

Reissued for the first time since its release ten years ago, this obscure album is finally seeing new life and some much needed attention. It’s quite an interesting one to say the least, especially since the opening track features reversed vocals and the rest of it rests in a misty folky valley with droplets of experimentalism, spoken word and electronic bits.  Pretty far out, man.  And here again are some brutally honest lyrics; there is nothing hidden here.  Hard to really draw comparisons here so scope out the audio for yourself!  (4.7 out of 5)

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New Electronic Reviews for Fall 2014 Part One

Paneye — Remote Summer Clouds – Self Released

A jaw dropping 22 track LP from Secret Station alumna Paneye. Ambient, IDM, and a dreamy mixture of prime, ethereal electronic bliss brings this album to life.  With such a wide range of styles presented here, one might think that this album is all over the place and might not work as a cohesive whole, however, despite how the genres and styles might changes from track to track, nothing feels out of place.  Its variance gives it a greater sense of whole, like a mosaic.  In some spots, I’m reminded of a little bit of IDM from the early 90s, with softer beats, simple yet lush melodies and gentle acid synth tones, while the mixing of organic and electronic ambient and darker acidic elements give it a very futuristic feel.  And honestly, this is a very enjoyable album from start to finish. Every track is superb!  This will be sure to make you happy!  (4.8 out 5)

Lunar Testing Lab – The Alvoid Expanse – Secret Station

So I’ve been waiting for this for a while. As soon as news comes out that LTL has new material of any sort on the way, I get excited. And I’m never disappointed. LTL heads into deeper and more spaced-out scapes, picking up where the last two albums have left off with tracks leaning a tiny bit more into drones but not so much so that things become monotone. There are melodies here and stunningly detailed textures, so don’t let my description there confuse you.  Things are very much “ambient” here, but there are some voices, strange distorted sounds, well composed synth, samples and other interesting bits of audio that make things pop out.  So I guess I should say that you get tracks ranging from space ambient to melodic ambient…. Anyway…  If you’re a fan of any of LTL’s previous work, or tunes by Namlook or some of the spaced out stuff coming off of Psychonavigation, you’ll dig this.  (4.9 out of 5)

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