We’ve been planning to release a tape with Kansas popster Nate Henricks for almost two years now, following his label debut on Patient Sounds, ‘Close Encounters with Green Magic,’ released gracefully on 4/20 (in 2012) and composed of two ten minute suites that collage Elephant Six/Olivia Tremor Control style surrealism with contemporary pop influences. As a solo recorder, the competing strains of Henricks’ audio fetishes co-exist much more seamlessly than his antecedents; for example, hearing a digital era flourish bubble out from the tail end of looped bricollage is only surprising the first time it happens. His fifteenth release to date and his first with us, ‘Neon For No One’ is similarly distilled, with its runtime having been trimmed frequently during the production process, resulting slowly in a more and more dense, evocative outing. His loops and the bright tones of instrumentation sometimes approach the focused, hyper-awareness of a joyful raga, but that belies how effective these recordings are as a vessel for his influences, offering subtle inflections from popular traditions that range from the commonplace to the esoteric, or even Utopian. Not always as contemplative or joyful, that register still gives fuel to the symbolic language in Henricks’ lyrics when the juxtaposition of instruments and voice achieve their closest symbiosis.
Our buddy Joseph Nanner, who you might recognize from his appearance on our Return to Dope Mountaincompilation, recently shared a new teaser from his upcoming debut double-cassette, courtesy of filmmaker Joey Holder. This guy is a genius and we’re proud as porridge to have an upcoming tape with one of his other projects on the books. His debut under the Nanner-nomen will be released via British imprint Exotic Pylon on June 5th… check out the video above and get all the details from the EP blog.
If you’ve been following the label with a microscope since 2011, you may recognize Flamingods as having appeared on our first compilation for French digital imprint Beko-DSL (which is still available, on the Crash Symbols page at Free Music Archive among other spots). Since then we’ve been plotting with the band’s head-man Kamal Rasool from his roosts in both London and Bahrain. Those plots will come to fruition this summer with the release of Hyperborea, Flamingods’ second album, named for a mythical country ruled by Boreas, God of the North wind, and populated by a people exposed to constant sunlight. It was a place the Greeks imagined in the vein of a well formed, harmonious society, “Never the muse is absent … lyres clash and flutes cry” according to Pindar. Flamingods transmute a broader palette than we might have found in Grecian taste, five hundred years before Christ, but the same evocative sense of wonder and mystery shines through the band’s shifting rhythms and kaleidoscopic instrumentation.
Hyperborea will be out July 21st. Welsh imprint Shape Records have point, with LPs currently available for preorder via their Bandcamp and we’ll have ours up a little in advance of the release date as well.
Though British recorder Duncan Lloyd began his Decade in Exile project in 2010, shortly after his father passed away, Transit/Pulse is his first collection to explicitly explore that experience as subject matter. In his own words, the album ‘looks at the time in which the human soul travels between the world of the living and the next’ through similarly abstracted forms. Organized into two discrete passages, Lloyd meditates on the subconscious resonance of that transition, focused on both the departed and the identity which must reconcile and remain. Somber guitar, loops, and a heavily textured backdrop give some songs the character of ragas, particularly on shorter tracks. It is largely Lloyd’s periodic singing that amounts to the album’s only distinct signal for the shift from meditation to consciousness. These tracks are beautiful and willful, and among Lloyd’s most varied creations to date… and we’re honored to have had them entrusted to us.
Following on Bary Center’s “Hidden Connection” video, we’ve got a more abstracted visual accompaniment to share for “Time Is Not Real;” although both tracks are standouts, the latter is more taut, unfolding — like the video — through subtle shifts and repetition.
'Nonbelievers' made it into FACT Magazine's latest cassette column, alongside a mind-bending Norwell & S. Olbricht collaboration on Cleaning Tapes, an incredible new DJ Michel Gentil mixtape, and Moon Glyph's Dorval & Devereaux debut… t'was definitely a groovy month and the write-up couldn't have been nicer:
"This collaboration between BK Beats & Black Noi$e finds the production duo in rare form. Throughout this tape their beats are the real star and considering the guest vocalists, that’s really saying something. Dark nets collapse into futuristic orchestras, all crumbling under the weight of dank beats and crushing bass lines."
Three seemingly unconnected city-dwellers are brought together by the machinations of a pyramid faced outsider in director Theodore Robinson’s new video for “Hidden Connection,” taken from Bary Center’s Veiled Void cassette, released last week and available on Bandcamp. Robinson’s oblique hierophant scopes out their more and less conspicuous reactions to his interference from a rather snazzy loft-space, to which the three are naturally drawn for a closing dance number. What could be a better fit?
We’re just now wrapping up our one-tape-a-week-or-more release schedule with Ghosts, the new album from Florentine four-piece The Vickers, ten tracks that represent the culmination of their transformation into one of Italy’s more recognizable touring psych pop bands.
Though we may not have a new tape out next week, feel free to stay tuned - we’ve got plenty more planned for this spring. Which is to say, for the week after next.
"The third Italian band represented in the Crash Symbols catalog, The Vickers hail from Florence, though the band is usually on tour as much as not. That wanderlust has been reflected in their music for years, though ‘Ghosts’ is their most ambitious work yet, transiting from the spectrum of regional pop derivations into the colorful realm of psychedelia. They are ‘influenced by immortal 60s melodies, mixed with a touch of 90s spleen,’ so to speak, and the modest four piece lives up to that legacy with confident vocals and suitably echoing guitars. Their palette for rock and roll shines through easily in diverse rhythms, evoking the acid rock of the early 60s or The Mothers of Invention (as if necessity forced a somewhat different pace to their development), and in their penchant for varied song structures. They just signed to Zuma Booking so hopefully all this business will be transpiring in the US by the time our ‘Ghosts’ tape sells out… though who would really want to move away for too long from the ancestral home of the Medici or the cradle of the Italian Renaissance? I bet the food is amazing."