Stadiums & Shrines
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Episode 49 attempts to reconcile and to express, in the context of recent days, when music has felt especially vital. Setlist:

M. Sage – Montrose Harbor (two positions)
Emily Reo – Spell
Danny Clay – 5.12.2016
Weyes Blood – Generation Why
Ricky Eat Acid – Spinning About Under The Bright Light In Bliss
Naps – work
Noname – Freedom Interlude
Carla Sagan – Heroes of Space Travel
Danny Clay – 6.12.2015 (II)
Sunwoo Jung – A Far Away
Rayon – Kona
Julie Byrne – Natural Blue
Danny Clay – 6.12.2015 (IV)
Steve Hauschildt – A False Seeming
Loscil – Weeds
Mickey Newbury – Here Comes the Rain, Baby
Danny Clay – 10.15.2015 (II)
“With Love”, a short mix by ssurfacing (tracks listed below)
Enya – Exile
Paul Horn – Jumna
Pale Blue Sky – Attempt
(scanning am radio)
The Mamas & The Papas – Dedicated To The One I Love

Below are a few thoughts, collected from friends, and other inspirations.

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Dreams with Daniel Klag

 

The land rustles outward…

A village/choir. Just as it was built. Singing full of celtic surf and gales. Whistles catching in the bellows and crags: geologic, monolithic embouchures eroded slightly off their perfect pitches. Stones carved to their climbing octaves, melodies transported up the face of the mountain.

A pressure system pulling currents through the doric gills of the hillside. Breathing a hill hymn full of breath and mist. As one vessel halts, another skiffs, a cycle, a harmonizing ensemble winnowed from the briny air. A cloud-shaped cypher.

The sea replies with sighs…

S shhhhh/shhhh. Shhh sh sh shh shhhh. Shhhhhh shhh sh shhhhh shhh shh shhhh. Shhhhhhh shhhhhh sh shh shhhhhh shh shhhh: shhhhhhh, shhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhh shhhhh shhhhhhh shh shhhh shhhhhh shhhhhh. Shhhhh shhhhh sh shhhh shhhhhhh shhhhhh, shhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhh sh shh shhh sh shh shhhhhhh.

S shhhhhhh shhhhh shhhhhh shhhhhhh shhhhhh shh shhhh shhhh sh shh shhhhhhh. Shhhhhhhh s shhh shhh shhh sh shhhhh shh shhh. Sh shh shhhhh shhhh, shhhhhh shhhhh, s shhhh, s shhhhhhhhhh shhhhhhh shhhhhhh shhh shh shhhh shh. S shhhh-shhhhh shhhhh.

____

Daniel Klag is a New York-based sound artist. His new tape, Devotional, arrives soon on Patient Sounds.

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

Stills

 

A bittersweet, windswept dialogue between visual artist and composer.

Quietly released last month, collaborative project Stills pairs two mediums in a single narrative. Danny Clay‘s sound design (“open forms, archival media, found objects, toy instruments, analogue and digital errata”) interacts with Katrien De Blauwer‘s evocative collage work to great effect, disintegrating and regenerating, as if an elaborate snow globe music box filled with distant memories has been shaken. A delicate, disorienting, and essential late night listen.

This vinyl and book edition is the first in a newly launched imprint out of France, IIKKI (from the minds behind Eilean Rec.).

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Phantom Posse’s Be True, one of the year’s finest albums, is the expression of ten friends, a true collaboration that flows with impressive cohesion. The sound—languid, faded, somnolent—is shaped by Posse’s producer and overall connective thread, Eric Littmann. Since his early releases as Phantom Power (and later as Steve Sobs), Eric has approached home recording as an outlet free of expectations, uploading introspective, stream-of-thought vignettes (roaming guitar, subdued beats, occasional vocals) driven by experience and mood. As those projects matured, they also expanded in scope, documenting not just one artistic path, but the many zigs and zags of the musicians in his orbit. The dynamic came to culmination with last year’s Home, and is perfected on this self-described travel diary, Be True.

Last summer Eric took me on one of his semi-regular night walks around New York City, along with Posse member Thomas Beddoe (aka Cheetah Lamp). There was much to talk about—existentialism, identity, creative process, science (the latter especially fascinating given Eric’s profession and passion)—but our general mode became one of observation… how the city looks when you’ve got the time to really look. Metropolitan qualities romanticized to the point of cliché, often taken for granted in our day-to-day. The hypnotic calm in watching the movement of masses from afar, the muffled sound bites pouring out as restaurants give way to bars, the glow of a billion windows, lights, and signs bouncing off the waterfront. In the span of roughly four hours, we looped around the West Side before crossing the bridge to Brooklyn. It felt like we shared something, difficult to articulate. And it’s just like Eric to compile a little sense from it, sending over two iPhone videos shot low-key that evening, and the words below:

“When Phantom Posse started I was mixing on a pair of computer speakers that came with a 2003 Dell Desktop computer… nowadays we have some better gear and more experience, but everything else is the same. For me Phantom Posse has always been friendship and joy—thank you to everyone who has listened over the years.

It’s ok to be niche; it’s ok to be underground, forever even (-phantom power). Remember who you are, remember where you came from, who made you who you are—oh and be true.”

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Bing & Ruth

 

Just under a year ago, Bing & Ruth got the old ensemble back together for one night in New York, to revisit City Lake—the 2010 LP experiencing a second life via reissue on RVNG Intl. Together with the label and (Le) Poisson Rouge, we were honored to help pull off this reunion.

On stage surrounding composer/pianist David Moore was a spread of performers on clarinet, cello, bass, lap steel, tape delay, percussion, and vocals. Most striking, perhaps, was the collective restraint. Each musician waited stoically, meditating ahead of their next movement, be it a nuanced pluck or hum. Every note had purpose. A sublime minimalism, with a mesmerizing, maximal effect, swelling to its climax on the album’s title track. This moment was recorded by Q2 Music, along with the calm that followed on “Broad Channel/A Little Line In A Round Face” and “Here’s What You’re Missin.” All prefaced with a thoughtful series of interviews.

Much thanks to Q2 for providing this path back.