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
Another release a longtime in the making, we’re psyched to finally revisit our mixtape series with a new free-to-download collection, Return to Dope Mountain. Our biggest mix to date, the whole thing should give some impression of the admixture we’re building this year while still looking back on our history and partnerships to date; unhappybirthday, Halasan Bazar, and Cosmic Sound make appearances, alongside b-sides from Aria Rostami and other of our new projects this year, with the lion’s share representing new work by friends. We’d love if you clicked through to our bandcamp and grabbed a download, but thanks either way for all your support this year and since our starting Crash Symbols.
Another tape that’s been a long time in development, our cassette edition of How Many Padmes Hum?, previously released in New Zealand on CD by Muzai Records and digitally worldwide by Stroll on Records. The debut of 18 year old Christchurch musician Sam Perry, the album was mastered by Kody Neilson (Opossum, Unknown Mortal Orchestra) and was conceived of as a synthesis of Perry’s sense of punk and classic psychedelia. Stream “Change” below and purchase a copy of the tape from our bandcamp.
Thanks to everyone for sharing such a positive response with us as we’ve been shipping out copies of our new Cream Dream cassette, we hope that everyone enjoys it as much over the summer as we have while getting it to press. We still have copies available at our Bandcamp.
In the meantime, our pal Glenn Jackson at XLR8R gave album opener “Paradiso” an exclusive premiere and published the track to their SoundCloud. Hope you enjoyed it as much as last week’s track, which you can still stream over at the Crash Symbols SoundCloud.
We’re preparing a release with San Francisco producer Aria Rostami, Decades/Peter, a sort of double-album that pairs his older album Peter with a roughly equivalent new movement, Decades. This video from Caitlin Denny should give a pretty solid impression of where we’ll be coming from with this tape (weird/awesome places, God knows).