We’re getting closer and closer to the October 11th release date of Ashram Equinox so we’ve seen a flurry of activity from Julie’s Haircut in their home stomping grounds, Reggio Emilia, this morning sharing video of a recent performance of the album’s opening track, “Ashram,” performed at the local natural history museum; the Musei Civici. Their live rendition of the song plays out a little differently from the album and includes visuals by multimedia filmmaker/performer Carmine Masiello, whose work is generally produced under the name VJ Klein, so it’s well worth the lengthy runtime, particularly if you’re in the mood for some intergalactic sight seeing - it really picks up after about two minutes and a short cameo from the Eagle Nebula.
Oy vey, we left Brookyln yesterday and it’s been a busy day catching up. In addition to preparing for our Julie’s Haircuit cassette, we’re finally releasing the debut from Saintes, the new wave grunge project of Paris’ Anne-Sophie Le Creurer. Titled Horizontal/Vertical, the tape is our first with Le Creurer and any associate of the so called nøthing collective of synth-wave musicians she helped found, though there will be many to follow. Incidentally though, thanks to the folks that came out to meet us on Cassette Store Day; we brought a few of these up with us for giggles and they were very quick to go. Apparently describing something as “Parisian grunge” can be attention-getting.
The video above was made by Saintes’ live synth player, Floriane Kaeser for track six, “Where Were the Boys” (recently shared by our FrancoFriends at Hartzine). We’ll be premiering a new single in the next not-too-long-hereafter, so stay tuned for that… presuming you aren’t alright complying with one of our directives to “stay tuned” for something else. Either way, you can stream the album below or click through to buy it on our bandcamp.
Today we’re sharing some details on two upcoming cassettes from Italy. The first comes from ‘neo-psychedelic’ band Julie’s Haircut, whose new album Ashram Equinox will be released in October. The album will primarily be issued in Europe, on LP and CD, by Woodworm and Santeria, but the band graciously offered to mod their beautiful release trailer for a cassette/US teaser; I’m resisting the temptation of “Italian craftsmanship” jokes for the moment, but it really does show some glimmer of what a beautiful album the band has prepared. The second will be another collaboration with European imprints, this time for the new album from The Vickers, a Florentine band more inclined toward psych-rock. The former arrives in October and the latter a little ways into next year, so expect more details in the coming months.
We’re on the cusp of fall and it feels right to be releasing our first cassette with Portland’s Tyler Keene, known to us from his incredible solo recordings as Log Across the Washer and his more recent collaborations with Nathan Baumgartner, called Baumgartner & Keene; they’re incredible. Here’s a link to buy, but you can scroll down for our full release write-up or to stream right here.
"Citing the psychically stabilizing effect of sports talk radio and the instrumental mixing on John Coltrane’s Om, Log Across the Washer is the solo experimental/DIY pop project of Portland’s prolific and often amorphous Tyler Keene (somehow, sports radio and Coltrane almost seem like a clue the name of the project was inspired by Twin Peaks). His first release for Crash Symbols collects a sequence of new, increasingly coherent recordings; titled Pancakes, the album was recorded with fewer instrumental tracks and layered audio to give each element the character of a pancake, spinning tentatively in the air before falling. Keene prepares most songs as surreal vignettes, each unfailingly catchy however they might tend to develop; whether on the strength of his guitar-work, odd percussion, or just flourishes from his clever home production. In 2012, Keene’s album Welcome to the Afternoon was released as what he called a ‘minimal melodic ode to the textural sounds of 60’s free jazz;’ for Pancakes, the melody is more robust and the homage more subtly structural. Though the collection is an hour long and more than twenty tracks long, the nature of Keene’s compositions make the a and b-sides of Pancakes equally compelling, even heard in isolation. Each has its standouts and follows no structural pattern, ironically enough considering that Keene has tailored both the digital and physical mixes of the album to their respective formats. Keene continues to record and collaborate, with plans to begin touring this winter.”
While we gear up to release our first tape with Log Across the Washer next week, we also wanted to showcase two videos that premiered from other upcoming projects this week. First up, Beats Per Minute premiered a video for the title track from his upcoming Ripe Hymns cassette. The next, embedded below (premiered courtesy of Impose), is for Shawn Foree of Digital Leather’s new project Diode, undertaken with David Hansen of Worried Mothers. We’ll have their debut cassette out as well before the end of the year. It will, Praise the Maker, feature packaging by Keith Rankin, of Orange Milk Records and Giant Claw fame.
Today, our first tape to ship with a scented sticker. The scent? Banana. That will be in addition to the Canel’s chewing gum we’ll be shipping with orders for… the duration. In this case, they will accompany Fortyone’s debut for Crash Symbols Go Bananas. Keep reading for details on the release and to stream via bandcamp.
Fortyone is a rigorous, and only incidentally anonymous, composer of aleatoric music; building sample-based songs in the vein of collage-pop auteur Otis Fodder and the Bran Flakes, he churns through thrift store records and other finds in order to assemble a bank of samples he could imagine using. After only a single pass through each haul, he’s collected his samples and will not revisit individual albums to consider new sounds; he does no repeat listens during his scrutiny, no rewinds, no backtracking of any kind. Among the pratfalls of this process, ‘…the tracks appear on albums in the order I make them, so I’m often hoping I’ll have enough drum, instrument, or vocal samples left for later on in an album. I have to keep this in mind as I make the album, [because] it’s never concrete…’ Though none of his own compositions take their structure from sampled works, lyrics and repeated themes occasionally seem to cohere into narratives. His current ‘life’s work’ is a Gnostic canon enshrined at 41music.net, mapping his progress toward forty one releases composed according to the ‘Fortyone process’.
Visit his website here if you want to check out Fortyone’s dozens of other incredible beat tapes or just to see how deep the mystery runs.
Thanks to Noisey for premiering the last in a series of videos for songs from Halasan Bazar’s Space Junk. It also marks the inaugural video for our new Crash Symbols YouTube channel. A little empty at the moment, but we’ve already got a bunch of upcoming videos ready to go out later this month. In the meantime, we’re gearing up to release a tape from Log Across the Washer, with a rarer animal to follow (remember our scented banana stickers?) - so stay tuned and thanks for y’all’s support as always.
Mexican Summer released the vinyl edition of Spectral Park's self-titled debut LP, an innovative and unusual entry in the ongoing psych-pop revival. Built over a dynamic collage of samples collected from a box of old records that UK multi-instrumentalist Luke Donovan found curbside, it's a bright and energetic album that absolutely never disappoints. We'll have more Spectral Park news later in the year, but click through to bandcamp if you’d like to pick up a copy of the new tape in the meantime. Here’s a clipping from Pitchfork’s review:
"The push-and-pull between Donovan’s high-spirited, straight-outta-1966 psych-pop and the snatches of exotica he applies liberally to Spectral Park’s surfaces leaves the album constantly teetering on the edge of chaos. How fitting, then, that Donovan himself, driven almost mad by a romance gone sour, spends Spectral Park sounding every bit as turned-around and twisted as the funhouse mirrors that make up his music." -Paul Thompson, Pitchfork