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.