Stadiums & Shrines

 

Two projects oscillating, linked by cerulean palettes and Patient Sounds; grouped here today in solidarity with Bandcamp‘s collective pledge to American Civil Liberties Union.

Naps’ recent tape Checking Out Early is a deeply meditative and observant window-side respite. The flutter and field noise of “Work” finds its rightful match in the blinds of its visual above.

Sunset Diver’s new cassette SD is a bright textural bath, fragmented and frothed. In the treatment for “Thicket”, the trio of goggles lock into an oceanic groove that does not go unanswered, for in next sequence (not shown above) they find that “Sunken Treasure.”

Patient Sounds is offering a few special collection discounts for the day, in addition to donating their portion of sales.

(Editor’s note: try playing both videos at the same time).

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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“Peering into mineral structures reveals a still, drawn out dynamism, a symphony of silent and expanding sound; energy and movement.”

Ran to the hardware store this weekend, happened upon a gallery. Modular synth emitted from an open garage door, beyond it: 13 paintings by Brooklyn artist Lauren Klein, all vibrating within a sound sculpture by Luke Crawford.

The ‘synesthetic experience’ is on view now at Immersive Gallery, open weekends and evenings for the month of August. A few pieces, below:

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Tone and texture are deeply studied here over three ambient pieces by composer Daniel Weismayr and producer Alex Ives (aka SPECIMENS). Each interprets a different photograph from Lucie Rox‘s Greyhounds series (shot around Chicago and South Baltimore). Once submerged in the set, these static images almost begin to ripple and vibrate along.

Water and Concrete is available on cassette with fold out A4 prints through Tenderly Surrender.

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