Stadiums & Shrines

 

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.

S&S-NewtownRadio-E61

 

Taking over Episode 61 are two longtime friends of the site with two markedly different hours of music. The first is a drifter, courtesy of FLORA founder Jamison Isaak (Teen Daze). Equal parts pastoral and cosmic, the mix feathers unreleased material from his British Columbia-based label with the sounds of contemporary New Age, jazz, and ambient practitioners and pioneers (Hiroshi Yoshimura, Laraaji). There’s an appearance by Japanese artist and Orchid Tapes-alum Atsuhito Omori aka Ex Confusion, a rippling Melody As Truth-released collaboration between Suzanne Kraft and D.K, as well as フジネットワークシステム (Fuji Network Systems), whose trail since 2016 has all but vaporized (now abstractly related to Bedlam Tapes).

The set closes under the care of Gigi Masin. The Italian minimalist composer and Music From Memory vet prefaces the piano work on his 2018 self-release KITE: “This collection contains some songs that I’ve made in the past few years, written to talk about dreams and love while waiting for new colors and new music. It’s like looking back at a garden of roses and flowers, hoping the next lawn is just as beautiful and bright.”

In short time FLORA has bloomed a bounty of relaxation recordings. Isaak’s 2018 EPs 1 and 2 were recorded primarily on piano (such as the uplifting “Us” below), while his latest tape, Spring Patterns, splays out with meditative guitar loops (full stream further down). These generous and gorgeous sets are suited for golden hours somewhere, under a tree or beside a window, paused and watching the shadows move.

Hour two is “a journey through pastures and depots, liveries and bayous, parlors and front porches, barnyards and haylofts” with Patient Sounds (intl) head M. Sage. We can picture our host grinning at his living room turntables, pulling spontaneously from a collection amassed in travels: undisclosed country-folk and blues compilations and dusty dollar bin nuggets, both old and new, showcasing distinctly American — Southern, Western, Appalachian — songwriting traditions (from Connie Converse up through Daniel Bachman). Full tracklist N/A, but it’s easy to imagine a few Polish cowyboys, Rocky Mountain resort hustlers, moonshiners, and lonesome crooners.

Hour One: FLORA Mix
??? – forthcoming on FLORA
Hiroshi Yoshimura – Soto Wa Ame – Rain Out Of Window
フジネットワークシステム – 1に向けて
D.K. / S.K. – Burn
Hiroshi Yoshimura – Deep Echoes
Laraaji – All Of A Sudden
Ex Confusion – Lilac In July
Pat Metheny Group – If I Could
Jackson Milas – December 21st
John Klemmer – Waterwheels
???
Gigi Masin – Kite

Hour Two: Southern Exposure by M. Sage

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