High Tides – High Tides


High Tides – s/e – Rad Cult

The Red Falcons (Warren Kroll and Steve Lutes) switch gears a bit, branching off their acidic ambience and moving more in the direction of downtempo, vaporwave, dub and psyche.  And seeing as this LP was released on Black Moth Super Rainbow’s/Tobacco’s label and even features remixes of Tobacco tracks, you know you’re in for one hell of a hazy, gentle high.

Having just started exploring in the vaporwave genre myself, I found this album to be quite the trip. It leans quite a bit on retro styled synths, early 90s acid-ambient, 80s era soundscapes, much in the way that Loose Link, NMESH and others in the vaporwave genre hold dear. However, with the addition of dub and some light psyche, it creates a hazier ride, dipping into a very chilled atmosphere whilst staying warm and solid… if that makes sense.

Take everything you love about the Red Falcon Projects, Tobacco, vaporwave itself and ambient and blend until smooth and you’ll have this album.  Surfing high on the dies!

(4.8 out of 5)

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Two New Compilations from The Coherent ENCoherence

its not real

I uploaded two compilations of older recordings onto the Raw Frog bandcamp page today. They both came from one tape – one from each side. It seemed like each side of the tape was meant to be a different album or project, going off in its own direction.

The first was an untilted piece of work simply labeled “Tape A2T2” and featured a large listing of tunes. I selected seven to release as many of the rejects were cut ups of piano, bagpipe and flute songs and just sounded awful. Keith created album art and retitled the compilation “Warm Life.”

The second piece was just titled “This Side Up” but that was merely a working title. This pile of tracks felt like it had more of a purpose and even featured an intro piece that would have served as the opening for the “new” album… which might have been the third, fourth…or whatever… in a series of albums that just never happened. This compilation took tracks from older tapes and older recording sessions, making the whole thing feel like we had pulled “the best of the best.” And yet, I still cut over ¾ of the material out. There were I think 19 tracks to start with and six made the cut on the bandcamp page. Many of the rejects were awful bagpipe and piano manipulations while some of the others were just noisy and more like demos.

This of course lead me to find a second tape with “final edits” of some of the tracks that I had just posted. Most of which were exactly the same while others had some minor differences. There were a few tracks that will get posted eventually, as I think they were meant to get on the lost “I Broke IT” EP we were supposed to release in 2005.

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An Interview with Loose Link!


The following is an email interview with the musical maven Loose Link. Enjoy!

For those who might not know much about you, describe yourself.

My name is Craig, I go under the name Loose Link for my musical trips. I’m a partly sample based electronic artist that explores ambient, hip-hop, trip-hop, collage, hypnagogic, tribal and more. I’ve been going at it since 2007. I’m also an animator that explores video DJ’ing mostly as Zoo92, and I’m also responsible for creating Terminal Radio in 2012, which is still going to this day.

What are your inspirations behind Loose Link?

I basically wanted to be like DJ Shadow right from the get go!  I’ve taken in alot of inspiration since, from FSOL, to 90’s Drum ‘n’ Bass, to heavy metal and 2d animation. Every Loose Link effort should be different to the last.

Do you find yourself pouring these influences and inspirations into your work in other collaborations?

They are definitely a base for me to build on yeah.

How do you feel your newest album differs from your previous releases?

Neo Tropico has a proper narrative and structure compared to what I’ve done before. That ended up being a bit of an achievement for me because the album pulled from 4 different projects I had going around the time, and I thought combining the best of all into one would make a fuller and more interesting journey, and it certainly did! It has more character and more space to it too.

What was the driving force behind Neo Tropico?

Neo Tropico started off as a concept album called “World Building”. It’s proven to be a bit ambitious for me for now, but I will certainly give it another try someday. Basically it was to be a concept album made entirely out of samples. All the samples were related to the subject of the album. Though that proved a bit too much of a task for me for now (too many samples to collect and keep track of for too long). I decided to change the title to better reflect it, and gave the previous title track away to an environmental compilation on the internet.

The album reflects my travels I had to the UK and Australia between 2012 to 2014. It features some sound captured from both places, collaborations with people I’ve met and befriended, including a poet from London who appears on a couple of tracks. Its also my first dive into Vaporwave and its subgenres that I recently got into. So it’s a bit of a road-trip along a soundscape. An aural location called Neo Tropico.

Were there any creative challenges during the recording process?

Well, the album took me five years to make! Ever since the last one, I struggled to come up with material that compared to what I previously done. There were a lot of on and off sessions that resulted in alot of music in various stages, yet they ultimately weren’t satisfying to me. It was only until Terminal Radio got going that I felt the spark to continue, and I ended up with 4 different projects and ideas that I was working on at the same time! One project was the follow up to my last album. The second one was a collaboration album between me and alot of the Terminal regulars and other friends I made. The third was a special spoken word/ambient effort between me and a poet I met in London who called himself “The Alternative Sapien”. The fourth project was to be my first Vaporwave album, which explored that genre that I then recently got into. I knew having these four going would just pre-long the process even further, so I picked the best of the bunch.

You used a lot of samples in the construction of the album. Do you have a set method for sample hunting or does inspiration sort of strike while you just might be happening to be listening to something?

It starts off either with me messing around with a few samples or a few original notes that start sounding great together then I go from there, or I’ll have a theme that I want to tackle and I’ll collect samples and create sounds around it, writing down notes and watching videos related to the idea. Usually it isn’t done in a day as I want to approach it when my head is in different states, when it sounds great from these different perspectives I keep going. I would like to try. There has been a couple of occasions of completing something very quickly when I was really in the mood though.

What are your plans for the future as Loose Link?

There will be a couple of new compilation tracks in September, then later in the year there will be Hyperbird, which is a collaboration between myself and Off Land. Its built off the same track off of Neo Tropico, but the idea surprisingly grew and now there will be a near album’s worth of new interpretations coming! It’s sounding really great so far.

Beyond that, I don’t have any firm plans or inspirations for another album yet. That of course could change at any time, so I think I’ll just let that happen this time instead of having some great big plan dictating it. I do want to explore these new genres that I’m currently into, so I’m pretty sure my next effort will at least be a decent dive into that!

I will also be getting into VJing alot more, keep an eye here and follow along if you’re interested:



What got you started in animation and drawing?

I’ve been drawing since I was young. I was one of those many kids who filled their schoolbooks with sketches and cartoons. I grew up with alot of animation growing up. I lived on the edge of the Australian outback in a mining town for most of my early life. It was hours away from the nearest city, so it did get boring. I developed abit of an imagination to keep me from getting bored, and animation helped that alot. There was a little video deli in the town that had all the Manga Entertainment VHS tapes that first came out in the early-mid 90’s, and I was right into those! Akira, Dominion, Street Fighter etc. I drew comics for fun and started developing stories that meant alot to me. I only just got into animation in the past few years when I got my Cintiq. I never really tried to animate before but now its mostly my only form of work!

Might we see a Loose Link track set to an animation in the future?

There was one that’s meant to be coming soon. It’s an audio/visual collaboration with Illuminated Paths. I’ve done my part and now just waiting on him. Not too sure where it’s at for now as I haven’t heard from him for a long time. But if it does come out, its going to be quite crazy! I might do my own in the future. I wouldn’t mind doing a collaborative project with alot of other animators on such a video, we’ll see!

Tell us a bit about Terminal Radio, especially regarding your involvement with it.

I was the original creator of Terminal Radio. I came up with the idea in 2012 as a radio show companion to Terminal Window, a compilation series started by Ross Baker. By the time of Terminal Window 2 in early 2012 we became a very creative and talented crew. This showed its face twice with the Terminal Windows. There was a space of a year between releases, including the third volume. I felt that in this day and age you need to be much more active and constantly showing your work to get and keep people’s attention. So Terminal Radio gave people a portion of air time to show their stuff among other mixers, some of them big time and been doing it since the 80’s. I figured this would bring the fans and their heroes closer together so they felt a boost in confidence in their own work. Definitely in its first year it worked for most of us! The show is monthly and has had over 50 different musicians contributing. Ross Baker handles the show nowadays, and a few others have had a hand in curating an episode.

If you could unveil a mascot to best represent your work under this project, what would it be and why?

I guess a cybernetic-chameleon? Or a surfing skeleton? (I have drawn one and use it as an avatar!)


A huge thanks to Loose Link for the interview! Be sure to check out the Loose Link Bandcamp and the Terminal Radio Mixcloud!  Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/loose-link  Facebook! : https://www.facebook.com/LooseLink?fref=ts

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Two Summertime Singles from Jigsaw Records

Jigsaw records

Now out on Jigsaw records……!

Lunchbox – Smash Hits EP

This 7” packs in six tracks! Riding on the heels of their previous LP, this jangle-ish pop EP mixes it up with punk elements and makes a rather potent and sweet piece of work. The tempo is surprisingly speedy – very fast despite gently paced lyrics. In a sense, this sort of creates a dreamy state upon listening which is something I really liked about the last LP and I’m glad to still feel that upon spinning this EP. But don’t blink! You’ll miss it! The b-sides hit just as hard as the a-sides, the pace still running wildly but the lyrics flowing smoothly. It’s a solid release from start to finish, not a dull moment anywhere. Fans of their previously released material will surely love this EP. (4.8 out of9)

Moon Types – “Know the Reason”

Swedish band Moon Types blossom on this brilliant 7” that was just released on August 7th. It’s a prime bit of indie pop with elements of jangle. The sound winds up being somewhere between Air’s more acoustic side and early R.E.M. Three tracks make up this debut release, each one of them is gentle but engaging and rather accessible. I feel like this is a strong debut, despite how mellow this recording is and I’m eager for a follow up single, EP or album. (4.8 out of 5)

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Two Singles from Punk Fox Records (Summer ’15)


Daddy Issues – “So Hard / Sex on the Beach”

These girls are indeed having fun, so says the press kit and the proof is in the music. Wild surf pop meets crazy sexual desire in all the right ways. Seriously, just listen to the opening track and you’ll see what I’m talking about. I mean, the kit hints at it but you really get the blunt humor upon first listen. The b-side primes up some superb harmonies while still keeping up with the theme. This one follows a bit more of a narrative which makes me love it all the more. Hot damn, this is a a fun single! This lovely vinyl comes pressed on glass bottle and it really shines! Grab your copy ASAP! (5 out of 5)

Nervous Twitch – “Jonny’s Got a Gun / And We Did / This Modern World”

Surf/psyche influences meet up with 70s/modern styled pop/punk. Think The Raincoats, The Ramones and The Vaselines but faster, darker in spots and unrelenting. The music is flawless, showcasing the talent of this four-piece band and the killer vocals. Confidence, attitude and prime punk perfect make this shiny blue vinyl stand out. There are some elements of new wave lurking quietly here and some minor bits of indie but this is punk through and through. Fans of the aforementioned bands will adore this. I know I did! (4.9 out of 5)

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Why the Video for “Paul” by Girl Band Tells a Bit of My Life’s Story

So a while back, NPR ran a short story about Girl Band’s track, “Paul” and the video that accompanied it. My girlfriend sent it to me and I sat and watched it after a rather hectic day at work.

Aside from my job at a bakery, I’ve been a mascot for fourteen years (so far), starting way back in 2001. My idea was that eventually, I’d get an office job at a sports team, doing PR/marketing/promotions work aside from costuming. And while that’s kind of what I’ve been doing for the last ten years, I never got the office job due to budget cuts and life lately has been a financial nightmare. The hunt for better employment has been brutal, despite a college degree, years of experience and blah blah blah, you’ve heard all that crap before.

Anyway, my life for the past fourteen years has been spent in the stifling heat of various animal costumes working for teams, filling random suits for organizations, commercials and whatnot. The limited vision, limited ventilation, the stink of sweat and unwashed outfits and the agony of injuries, unrelenting stress and frantic leaping for anything that pays have been the norm for a very long time. And while most of the time I enjoy what I do (I certainly don’t hate mascoting, otherwise I’d not have continued doing it), it gets difficult sometimes when I know despite how many jobs I’m juggling and how many costumed gigs I’ve got lined up, it won’t pay enough for rent.

The video deals with the claustrophobic view of life and the crushing disapproval of family and coworkers until Paul finally snaps while clad in his pig costume (whilst on the set of a kids TV show, no less) and beats up the rooster (the star), and only then does the rooster give him a shred of approval.

I relate. Not that I am looking for family approval. But I often feel like I’m just a hawk/dog/fox/armadillo looking for something more, something better to finally put an end to the stress, desperation and dread of not being able to drum up enough cash or pushing myself too hard to make ends meet.

The video is also wonderfully ironic. Behind the permanently smiling face of the dancing pig is someone who isn’t smiling and is going through a deep personal crisis. While my world isn’t exactly crumbling apart over here, there are some days where the last things I want to do is entertain people while I’m clad in a stinky costume. I guess the same could be said by anyone having a job where they’re smack in the public’s eye, having to be friendly, polite and chipper despite perhaps having the worst day ever, feeling miserable or being berated by an irate customer (like my job at the bakery because it’s the literal end of the world if someone can’t get their bread sliced).

Foe me, my “Paul” is me trying to do as much as I can to earn cash for rent, food bills, gas, car repairs and falling short every time while I mascot everywhere and haul early shifts at the bakery and I’m constantly hunting for something that will get me better pay and hoping that perhaps, just maybe, one of the teams I work for will make room for that job I was promised before the budget got slashed.

The music itself fits the tone of this video incredibly well. This sort of noise infused pop track is jarring and engaging, like perhaps what might occur if you blended Nurse With Wound and the Arctic Monkeys together… this sort of harsh, intense, noisy poppy monstrosity that is so damn brilliant all the way through. I eagerly await the release of the 12”single (you can preorder it here).

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The Unscene Vol. 6 – Treepeople “Guilt Regret Embarrassment”

treepeople LP

Treepeople – Guilt Regret Embarrassment – K

Treepeople were a band formed in Idaho. They shared members with State of Confusion and The Halo Benders and released material between 1989 and 1994. Upon their split, some of the members went on to form Built To Spill, amongst a large pile of other bands, including but not limited to Christ on a Crutch. Heavypink, and Violent Green.

Their debut LP, “Guilt Regret Embarrassment,” was originally released in 1991 on the Toxic Shock label, and saw reissues on the K Records label. I have the vinyl K Records edition.

So let’s get the obvious out of the way. I’m not part of the enlightened group who experienced Built to Spill. And I call myself a music reviewer? Shocking, I know. Yes, I’ve heard a few tracks here and there but nothing frequent enough to rope me in (yet). Thus, after reading up on Treepeople and the literal mountain of admiration for Doug Martsch, my curiosity has been peaked and I am sniffing out tracks. So worry not, I’ll figure out why I missed the boat soon enough.

Now, onto the actual review.

As aforementioned, this is the band’s debut LP, following on the heels of a few singles. Before I held the album in my paws, I did a lot of reading on the group. A lot of folks had said that this is the band’s “Bleach” in the sense that this was just a wild sign of things to come, much like how “Bleach” was the tip of the iceberg for Nirvana. And when I finally was spinning this LP for the first time almost ten years later, I can see what they meant.

Treepeople’s sound on this album is a fiery mixture of indie rock, punk, alternative rock, grunge and psyche. The lyrics are stunningly poetic and captivating, the guitar arrangements are brilliant and awesome, the compositions are just mind blowing and even the production is top notch. Heck, there are even tempo changes on some tracks. Honestly, that was a surprise for me and clued me in on the brilliance here. And by far, they have one of the best David Bowie covers I’ve heard in ages on this LP.

I think what will elave a lasting impression on me after my first listen is just how timeless this album feels. Had I not already known this was released back in ’91, I don’t think I would have guessed. It feels and sounds rather current despite being released over twenty years ago; not one note or line sounds dated. Dare I say that it almost feels progressive? Seriously, this is just stellar and stunning. How the hell did I not get this album years ago? Oh, right, coz no one I knew had heard of them (except for you, Megan Berryoung… you knew) and none of the shops carried any of their material when I was growing up.

So, should you get this album? Hell yes! This is the best indie rock from the early 90s, hands down, that still sounds like it could have come out today. And if this is a sign of things to come, then I’m in for some killer stuff (so someone send me their 2nd LP!). And, if it wasn’t for Treepeople, I don’t think I would have ever really tuned into Built To Spill nor would I have ever made the connection that both bands shared the same musical guru.

(solid 5 out of 5) —- Big Thanks to K Records for sending this one my way!

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Psychonavigation – Tranquillo – Offshoot Records Jams Summer 2015

Psychonavigation, Tranquillo, Offshoot summer 2015

New Composers & Brian Eno – Smart

It’s about time these two collaborated. Not surprisingly, things are quite stunning. Piano tracks, ambient gems, soundscapes and some hints of jazz and classical compositions all get a mixing here to create the album I am sure a lot of you have been waiting for. It gets pretty retro in spots, with a few tracks leaning, believe it or not, on 50s rock, and others on 60s jazz. It’s an odd style choice and yet, here, it works. In fact, it may only have ever worked on this release. Some folks may find the blending of these genres on an electronic album as a bit jarring or too mismatched but honestly, it’s not as far fetched of a concept than it sounds. It’s playfully bold, engaging and well composed. In summary, it was a surprisingly varied album but nonetheless a good one. (4.6 out of 5)

Fallen – Secrets of the Moon

Ambient, modern classical, space ambient and melodic drones come together on this album, building a dreamscape of sorts, leaning on the influences of Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Temple and others. And the end results come of fairly close to those inspirations. It takes the best of the older, more adventurous sounds that made those bands great and takes it into a bold, dreamy and somewhat dark direction without losing any excitement for the journey to continue. It’s rather captivating. Obviously, fans of the aforementioned acts will dig this. I kind of wish this was on vinyl. (4.7 out of 5)

Lorenzo Montana – Vari Chromo

For an ambient album, this is quite rich in accompaniment and composition. Things have clearly evolved here, but let’s start at the beginning. At this album’s foundation is elements of ambient music, in particular, stylings that resemble ambient music’s first big peak in 1994. In fact, it almost borders on IDM a bit, referencing a bit of FSOL and Plaid. Building on to that, we have classical elements, glitches, soundscapes, hints of acid and darker electronica, so perhaps leaning a tiny bit on Aphex Twin, µ-ziq, Redeye, and perhaps Autechre. And then go a bit darker. Add a few dashes of dark ambient and some darker yet playful electronica and some leanings on analog and things really get cooking. This is a nive retrofuturistic jam; completely sweet from start to finish. (4.8 out of 5)

Nymphalida – Loghi

Containing just five tracks, this album has a lot to convey. Perhaps the darkest of the set of music I’ve reviewed thus far, this pieces together drones (some melodic, others more like distant whispers or other sounds), synth whispers, classical elements of string and piano and heavy bits of ambient. The notes say it describes humanity’s relationship to place, and that can easily be seen here as each piece draws upon a landscape built on sound and how you react as the listener. This is a rich piece of work despite being fairly minimal in spots. This is my first introduction to this artist and I am curious to hear more! The closing track for me is the highlight but every track on this was superb. Very well done! (4.8 out of 5)

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Electronic Midsummer Jams 2015

Ujjaya – De retou – Spheredelic

A remastering of the original 1998 cassette album, Malagasy artist Ujjaya creates something stunningly magical here. A mixture of ethno-ambient, traditional elements of world music (namely Malagasy, a little bit of raga, etc…), field recordings and ambient’s more organic side, it is easy to see why folks have likened this to the music of Tuu. And yet, at times, things take on a somewhat space-ambient feel, going pretty far out and deep. It really blows my mind that this came out back at the end of the 90s and yet, didn’t pop up on anyone’s radar. I guess that’s one good thing about the net these days. Download this album while you can (it’s free!) and turn on, tune in, and drift away. Thanks for bringing this gem back to the surface! (4.8 out of 5)

Analog Dreams – Out of the Sky EP – Terminal

Dimitris Avramidis (Five Minutes Alone, Middlemarch) teams up with Craig Gillman (Loose Link, Sturmazdale, Clockwork Keyboard) and create an EP that’s a wildly insane mixture of ambient, illbient, experimental and industrial. It’s unearthly, retrofuturistic, dark, lively and mind blowing. I should have expected nothing less when these two brains got plugged into each other and a set of amps. The remix by Akkya is a gem in itself. It strips some of the nightmare away and creates a darker, industrial version of the title track, adding to the very wild nature of the EP as a whole. The closing track goes darker still, leaning a bit more on the ambient side of things but remaining fiercely illbient, much like Small Fish With Spine, DJ Spooky’s early material and FSOL’s darkest dreams. Holy god, why isn’t this on a CD/vinyl yet with some additional tracks? This is stunning. (5 out of 5)

HOT DATE – Burn On Continuum – Talking Skull

HOT DATE return with another sonic explosion on their newest cassette. This is some in your face material, consisting of three tracks. Would I be wrong in assuming they’re improvisations? Either way, these are intense and yet capture the experimental spirit of electronic composition, something I’ve not picked up on a noise album since those old “computer tape music” or those “new electronic music compositions” records came out in the mid 60s. This tape, much like those records, are boldly mapping out new frontier while making as much noise as possible, even at their quietest moments. This tape is out of sight. Grab is ASAP! (4.8 out of 5)

Sy/van – Odette EP – self-released

Minimal-ish electronic music that oozes between house, ambient and dub, in the end to create its own sound. This is one of the first electronic submissions I’ve had pop on my radar that remotely touches on dance music and it was a fairly decent release. While leaning on some solid genre frames, it’s not afraid to venture out and make its own paths and sound. Don’t ask me to make comparisons, this is best left for you to hear for yourself. The tunes are fairly dark overall, but surprisingly light in spots, giving this music a vibe that’s sweet and wildly unique. Scoop up this bit of ear candy NOW! (4.7 out of 5)

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Relaunch of the Lonelyfox Project

bad wolf 3

So way, way, WAY back when, not too long after Keith and I launched the Coherent ENCoherence sound collage project, we both came up with our own side projects.  He did an ambient/ambient folk type thing as Keith Harvest, I created Lonelyfox for more ambient type things. We had a few others like The Eighth Tiny Reindeer and The Pistol Nixons but for the life of me, I can’t find the tracks we did under those names… at least not yet.

So Lonelyfox became an ambient output and even though it started as a solo project for me, Keith and the other brother, Jared would collaborate at times.  I put together two albums of material and self-released the first one in Maryland in 2004 or so.  Ultimately, I think two copies made it out and really, the material in my opinion wasn’t the best.  The 2nd album was pushed out as a free download some years later after moving to western New York but since then, it’s not done much and I’m debating what to do with it. Eventually, I’d like to just remix the entire first album. After that, I’ll figure out what to do with the second one.

I had plans to release some EPs, starting with the “Kisses EP.” I released the first track to whomever wanted it via Megaupload or something shortly after I made it so maybe a few folks have it.  I recorded three other version of the track, sort of like extended remixes or “paths” but none of them got released.  I redid one of those and then lost it somewhere and gave up on the idea for a while.

After putting together a 15 minute mixture for an upcoming Terminal Radio transmission, I felt creative again.  I dug up an old cassette of The Coherent ENCoherence material and converted it to digital, and suddenly realized I could start doing something similar for Lonelyfox.

I posted an old turntable clip under the project that was originally put together in 2003, simply called “Like This.”  It sampled an old public domain kids record, something that had to do with “tripping over the moon” and released a 45 second clip and let whomever wanted to remix it to go nuts.  I posted the final product, a four track EP, on the newly launched Bandcamp page.  The Bandcamp page would also serve as a label page, which was something else we wanted to do since the 90s.

While I figure out what else I’d like to do with Lonelyfox, I figured I’d at least dig up the older material that I did want to release and put it up on the page.  I also figured I’d let anyone who was interested have the ability to remix it; I liked how things turned out the first time around.  I might do a few of these.  Stay tuned to my Soundcloud page for “open season remixes” and the Bandcamp page for final results.

Consider Lonelyfox officially rebooted.

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