Stadiums & Shrines
4E

 

… with all my faiths and fears – in humanity, the power of presence, performance, the dark, death, Nina Simone, friendship, lonelier lonelier songs forever. But it’s a no pressure thing. Just keep it up out there. It’s always worth it.”

Hannah Read closes her recent tumblr post, describing the night she snuck into a recital hall in Waco, Texas to record 4E*. The album is a solo take on her band’s 2015 release, Forever. And far more; in this constraint the stories breath differently, Read’s delivery is nuanced and timeless (a quality Gold Flake Paint paints so well in their preface, and others have rightly praised).

She sings of a universal Americana. Hills that roll ‘forever on’, wildfires in fields, the stars at night, ‘dreaming of driving way up north’ (“Brazos River”, “Columbia River”), waiting for the sun on “Late Dawn”—holding that last refrain just long enough to see it break the treeline. The imagery has purpose, a guiding light to existential reflection: love, loneliness, and home.

4E* is available at bandcamp and through Austin-based non-profit, Punctum Records.

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S&S-NewtownRadio-E43

 

Episode 43 is a direct set. Save for one small hour, it looks ahead; internal airwaves as of late, after some time away, let out into the open. Among those featured with excellent albums imminent: Whitney, Haley Fohr‘s new project Jackie Lynn, and the dreamer Mutual Benefit.

Kirill Mazhai – I
Kiln – Airplaneshadows
Japanese Breakfast – Woman that loves you
Brandon Locher – Medium Frequency
Dave Harrington Group – Social And Folk
Purple Pilgrims – Thru Evry Cell
x.y.r. – Jeunesse Vague
Fog Lake – Rattlesnake
Jackie Lynn – Alien Love
Whitney – Golden Days
555 – Lean Life
Odd Nosdam – SISTERS
Four Tet – Evening Side (Oneohtrix Point Never Edit)

Chris Abrahams – Trumpets Of Bindweed
Tim Hecker – Black Phase
Christian Fennesz & Jim O Rourke – Just Want You To Stay
Julianna Barwick – Same
Mutual Benefit – Lost Dreamers
Cavern Of Anti-Matter – Zone Null
Emily Yacina – Permanent
Akira Kosemura – Farewell
John Martyn – Small Hours
Kirill Mazhai – IV

S&S Radio broadcasts every other Tuesday night on Newtown Radio.

Small Hours

 

Between midnight and morning, the hours are small.

In 1977, at the edge of a lake on an English countryside, songwriter John Martyn recorded his “Small Hours” using a rather serene technique which pointed a PA system across the water to achieve some truly natural reverb complete with geese.

In a nonlinear way, those hours now bleed into this soothing assembly of loops and field recordings from Belarusian artist Kirill Mazhai, also called Small Hours.

Hand-dubbed to cassette and recycled reel-to-reel tapes on newly-launched Siberian label ШАΛАШ, the music is presented as thoughtfully as it sounds. The tapes have all sold but the hours remain at bandcamp, harmonizing nicely with these illustrations by Ania Khazina.

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Germany

 

Swaths of cloth pinwheel in the passat. Evergreen strobic void in the streets of Munich.

“Don’t get too close!” the crowd shouts.

“That window’s open!”

“Look, look! They’re barely on!”

This jagged game… a rifted plane… how they brighten at dropping prospects, to dance and dare. A centimeter spin from disintegration, or perhaps a chance encounter with the Great Landscaper, forever rolling over those hills.

One tangles with another…

“Oooo… Oh my….” erupts from the terrace.

An unbalanced reach—a miss gasp.

Forever pinwheeling in the passat.

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North Americans is Los Angeles-based artist (and Driftless Recordings co-founder) Patrick McDermott. His debut LP, NO_NO, was released in 2015. Next month, Patrick will be at Moogfest as part of the interactive installation Unholy Matrimony Noise Music + Sparse Videogame Worlds.

Dreams is an ongoing project where we ask our favorite artists to create a piece of music inspired by a handmade collage.

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The controlled chaos of multimedia artist Brandon Locher was last explored here in 2013. Brandon took us through Mazes to the Motherload, his ongoing series of otherworldly, monochromatic drawings, as well as his sonic endeavors with The Meets ensemble and beyond. Today brings an update to Mazes, alongside a dazzling new instrumental. “Medium Frequency” is subtle yet atomic—much like its cover art above. The pulse (aptly noted by Decoder) remains fixed as an entire ecosystem unravels and multiplies. Strings and horns squiggle about in bliss.

Somewhere in that feature we asked Brandon if we ever find our way to the Motherlode, to which he replied:

“Hopefully embedded within these illustrations lies a personal topographic blueprint for the vision and self creation of even smaller moons, larger galaxies, and realized worlds… I don’t think I will ever find the Motherlode because I believe it’s more than just one thing. It’s about here and now.”

With this in mind, below is a collection of his most recent labyrinths. Regarding the new set, he adds:

“Since the New Year my studio practice has become much more introspective with my own individual journey. Producing music under my own name has allowed myself the permission to become completely honest with my new recorded works. From the very beginning my music has always been rooted in a self-produced vision and lately I’ve felt such an enhanced clarity and boundless freedom. I also continuously work on several visual art pieces for my ongoing drawing portfolio Mazes to the Motherlode while I am making new sounds in the studio. I quietly loop subtle patterns and repetitions while I draw for hours. I never force my musical ideas and always allow them to develop organically. Often my best sonic ideas come to mind while producing these abstract drawings.”

Thanks Brandon, here’s to many more.

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