Stadiums & Shrines

 

A few years back S&S was taken by Small Hours, a spiritual ode to John Martyn’s 1977 waterfront classic in the form of static loops and field recordings by Belarusian artist Kirill Mazhai. Soothing, seamless, reliable, the sequences have a way of lightly draping any number of environments, true to its name, in the most modest, smallest of moments.

Mazhai followed-up the album this past July with a now sold-out cassette called You Don’t Belong via Amsterdam’s Shimmering Moods Records (CDs in handmade sleeves still available). The tributes this time are present and more personal: “A house by the lake, an apartment on the first floor, a park in the middle of the city — the places that stuck with me for a long time and don’t let go.” Instructions implied, the artwork is a Google Maps-inspired watercolor by Antonina Sotnikova and the track titles are coordinates; if curious, plugging them in give literal ground to the abstract. Sonically, it corresponds well with its predecessor as a soft cycling of impressionistic tones set between wistful melancholia and bliss. For its author, the music brought closure after a season of transition.

For episode 65, we handed everything to him.

“The first hour of the mix is more melodic, airy and light, while the second hour is more lyrical, dark and moody, like a day/night thing, I think. This mix contains my favourite music from past few years (Kali Malone, Ellen Arkbro, Federico Durand) and some inspirational stuff (Sarah Davachi, Carl Stone, Ian William Craig), some of the electronic music from my childhood (Jonn Serrie, Parks), some tracks from my friends (Foresteppe, Intern) and few of my own currently unreleased tracks.”


Hour One: Day
Kali Malone – Locus of Repetition
Ellen Arkbro – Mountain of Air
Carl Stone – Banteay Srey
Meyers – Struggle Artist
Kara Lis Coverdale and LXV – Disney
Jonn Serrie – The Far River
r beny – the sea’s sullen green
Emily A. Sprague – Dock / Water Memory 1
Kirill Mazhai – N60.571260 E30.226697
Sarah Davachi – Buhrstone
Parks – Full Moon

Hour Two: Night
Federico Durand – Las estrellas giran en el pinar
Foresteppe – s02e19
Kirill Mazhai – All Wounds Explained
Ian William Craig – A Single Hope
Mirrorring – Fell Sound
Windy & Carl – The Silent Ocean
Many Rooms – Dear Heart
Angelo De Augustine – Carcassonne
Intern – A Day Off
Kirill Mazhai – Lenta

 
S&S Radio broadcasts every now and then on Newtown Radio.

 

Across a series of American vistas appears an amphibian Where’s Waldo of sorts. He sleeps in abandoned playgrounds, he frequents novelty roadside attractions, he practices Tai chi in a parking lot, his movements strangely hypnotic. The character is a cryptic presence in three videos from Going Steady, the new album by Los Angeles-based musician, Driftless Recordings co-founder, and S&S Dreams alumnus Patrick McDermott. 3-D modeled out of the LP’s cover illustrated by Brian Blomerth, the frog becomes a fitting mascot for a collection of rolling instrumentals that scan immediately as serene yet wink a little more clever with each spin.

McDermott recorded Going Steady with friends (Julianna Barwick, Hayden Pedigo, Joel Williams, Hand Habit’s Meg Duffy, Cloud Nothings’ Dylan Baldi), tapping into an appreciation for the way finger-picked acoustics play with the great outdoors. “This record is very rooted in California and the West, both in tradition and in concept,” he recently told Los Angeles Times. “I grew up on American Primitive guitar and this was sort of my modern ode to the genre. In a time that feels more complicated than ever — I was drawn to simple music.”

McDermott follows that mode further for episode 64, a sprawling set featuring classic and contemporary strummers and tinkerers.

00:01 – 07:30 – Steve Gunn & Mike Cooper – Saudade Do Santos-o-Velho
07:30 – 13:43 – Chuck Johnson – Rigga Black
13:43 – 16:17 – Will Ackerman – Dance of a Death Bird
16:17 – 20:54 – Papa M – Pink Holler
20:54 – 25:25 – Marisa Anderson – Slow Ascent
25:25 – 27:44 – Barry Walker – Ediacaran Moonrise
27:44 – 31:38 – Richard Crandell & Bill Bartels – The Proeletarian Shuffle
31:38 – 33:22 – Loren Connors – Airs 2
33:22 – 36:37 – Itasca – Hummingbird Migration
36:37 – 40:09 – Rob Carr & Bill Kahl – Chocolate Kchiip
40:09 – 42:45 – Hayden Pedigo – Jade Rhino
42:45 – 48:55 – Sarah Louise – Field Guide
48:55 – 54:13 – Steve Gunn & Mike Cooper – Song For Charlie
54:13 – 56:13 – North Americans – Stanley
56:13 – 57:16 – Papa M – Arundel

Going Steady is out now on Driftless Recordings.

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The work of Baltimore-based field recordist and composer Danny Greenwald aka Glassine first reached S&S via Patient Sounds. On that 2015 tape, No Stairway, Greenwald manipulated the dissonant — Guitar Center’s chaos of errant keys and noodles — and unlocked a soothing and unusual kind of heaven.

At the start of 2017, Glassine released “Day One,” an evocative one-off patching together the defiant and hopeful sounds of the Women’s March, D.C (with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood in Baltimore). He is currently at work on his next album, which he says is distinctly influenced by Baltimore. When given free reign over episode 63, it is unsurprising that Greenwald, a student of his surroundings, extend a love letter to his home city. He sets it up below, followed by the tracklist with accompanying photographs from friends:

“To me, these songs have infinite replay value (save for mine, which I am really sick of, but want to share anyway). They have undoubtedly influenced my relationship with the Baltimore music-making community. However, take that with a grain of salt because I don’t get out much anymore. All of the artists on this mix currently live in the city. Everyone included — some friends, some friends of friends, some people who I just think are rad — shared an enthusiasm for this project when I contacted them. I was very grateful for that because I chose a lot of deep cuts from albums that were released years ago.

“The city of Baltimore is perpetually seething with inspiration. You’ll definitely snug the duvet end of the spectrum during the next 80 minutes, but you’ll also saunter atop emphatic concrete and AM floor pulse, slowly drip comedown sweat, listen to my grandma talking, and touch shoulders with various other budding echoes.

Try to listen with headphones.

Warmly,

Danny Greenwald”

Wheatie Mattiasich – Gone Gone
Microkingdom – Chrome Dynasty
Andrew Bernstein – Broken Arc
Raw Silk – Malpresentations
Jacober – Move Slow
Amy Reid – Processoaring
Bastet – Rockit
Abdu Ali – I, Exist
Matmos – Teen Paranormal Romance
Glassine – Agency
Horse Lords – Time Slip
Ami Dang – Satgur Hoye Dayall
Smoke Bellow – Mary 3000
Wume – We Go Further
Outer Spaces – I Saw You
Infinity Knives ft. :3lon – blah blah supreme
The Office of Unspecified Services – Selflessness
Jana Hunter – Paint a Babe
Nicky Smith – Soulmate
Deakin – Seed Song

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We first met Karen and Ryan Hover in 2011; they were playing SXSW wearing animal costume hats as Candy Claws. The next year it was metallic cardboard constellation masks for the Portals backyard show. These days they realize an immense cosmic pop universe as Sound of Ceres with bandmates Jacob Graham, Derrick Bozich, and Ben Phelan. Following shows supporting Beach House, and the release of Demonstration Tapes (the original material for 2017 LP The Twin on Joyful Noise Recordings), they return to Brooklyn this September to host an immersive exhibition residency with AdHoc at Alphaville.

Their spellbinding music expresses wonder for the natural world and the vastness of what lies beyond. Naturally, they dream. Sound of Ceres’ contribution to the series, “Solar Shaded,” which they offered to re-record as a band for the LP, glides above the Austrian Alps.

More recently they designed the dusk of episode 62, an elegant and curious opening hour. The guest mix collects rare treasures — Rexy’s synth-pop, Belgium duo Carol’s proto-coldwave, Woo’s warm-blooded new age — with orchestral touches of Tchaikovsky and Liška, barbershop harmonies (The Chordettes) and perception harmonics (Dolores Catherino).

Hover & crew also reveal a keen ear for soft-sounds in the present. Among those is a self-described shaper of “star-projecting music” Samira Winter, fellow dreamer White Poppy, and former Broadcast member Roj. Particularly thrilling (to me) is the discovery of symphonic dream pop project Mohagany, whose early 2000s output feels linked to Sound of Ceres’ DNA today.

This episode’s second hour, the deep night, is supplied by Sunset Diver. The Los Angeles-based cinephile and aural excavator, known in the daylight as Devin Johnson, released a tape in 2017 with Patient Sounds (“a bright textural bath, fragmented and frothed”). His latest, Seagulls (out now on KMAN 92.5) is a fascinating piece of plunderphonics fusing film samples with woozy, nostalgia-inducing instrumental patterns. Selections for his S&S set include the underwater loops of Julia Bloop (Crash Symbols), an impressionistic mood suite from Leland “Ahnnu” Jackson (Leaving Records), and windswept field recordings from Tokyo (Rhucle, Adhesive Sounds). Johnson sets it all up:

“I’ve always loved falling asleep to music. It’s such a peaceful feeling to have quiet sounds washing over you while you drift out of consciousness. This playlist was created with that in mind. It includes some of my favorite bedtime tracks mixed with ambient highlights from my own discography. Turn off the lights, turn down the volume, and tuck yourself in.”

Hour One: Sound of Ceres
Roj – Home Telescope Kit
Roberto Cacciapaglia – Sparkling World
Annette Peacock – Sky-Skating
Ennio Morricone – La Bambola
Ken Griffin – Marea Baja
Tchaikovsky – The Sleeping Beauty Ballet Suite, Op 66 Panorama
Winter – Memoria Colorida
Rexy – Running Out of Time
Carol – So Low
Zdeněk Liška – The Black Sea
Woo – Hopi
Roj – Ludwig’s Children
The Chordettes – Soft Sands
Mahogany – Renovo
White Poppy – Magic Feel
Virna Lindt – Underwater Boy
Dolores Catherino – Temporal Parallax

Hour Two: Sunset Diver
Dedekind Cut – The Crossing Guard
Julia Bloop – Tenaya
Grouper – Come Softly
Sunset Diver – Nostalgia On Dangerous Ground
Ahnnu – Sugar In The Dark
Glassine – sunruse bench
Julia Bloop – holding hands on the precipice
Rhucle – Night Coast I
Sunset Diver – Sunken Treasure
Seth Chrisman & Nathan McLaughlin – I

S&S Radio broadcasts every now and then on Newtown Radio.