Originally self-released midway in 2010, VHS Vision was the one and only release from Texas producer Stephen Farris under his Cosmic Sound moniker, which he used briefly between solo releases. It hung around long enough to raise a few eyebrows, get some good “I never saw this coming” press, and even a nod from Com Truise before Farris began focusing on his work under his own name. At the time, reviewers loved his circuit bent keyboards and the horde of field recordings and other sounds that Farris recorded and mixed using his VCR, but aspects of those characteristics have since become typical of his larger output, so perhaps the name stopped making sense or the short tracks felt too tentative for Farris to want to justify the conceptual ground he would cover later. Nevertheless, it is an early and certainly one of the best statements of Farris’ experimental audio aesthetic and incomparably clever, always catchy synth-play. We couldn’t be happier to add it to the catalog over at our imprint Crash Symbols. My wife and I even played track #3 at our wedding last year.
"…super ill synth work, melted vibes and like the EP says, it’s a VHS Vision." -Com Truise
"This ambient project of ‘lost vhs tapes, forgotten sounds and lucid dreams’ has a beautiful, cascading dream-like quality." -Friends With Both Arms
“‘The Most Interesting Man In The World’ from those XX commercials could only dream of being as cool as this dude.” -Digital Hygiene
Preorder the limited edition cassette or download VHS Vision directly here. For a limited time, while the cassettes last, we’ll only be charging $4 for digital downloads on our bandcamp.
9:49 am |
May 22 2012
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Nomadic Firs is the solo project of Ryan Boos, a Tennessean with a petite farm, lots of pets, and a lovely wife named Holly. Boos says that his self-titled debut release started out (almost six years ago) as “colors and ideas” in his head, which isn’t surprising, since you’ll very likely feel an increase in your personal jubilance while listening to this album. Taking cues from his four year stint as a house DJ (and his experiments with electronic music), Boos fleshes out simple ideas into songs that sound like they were made by a full band; compelling beats are joined by inventive sound loops, sun-drenched reverb, and pop melodies that would warm even the iciest of hearts. While he draws a lot of inspiration from his idyllic surroundings, the songs also serve as mirrors, reflecting both his personal achievements and the darker places (burnt bridges, a bar fight) that spurred his move to Tennessee in the first place. While the band name fortuitously popped into Boos’ head one day, he’s since realized deeper meaning behind it - humans’ desire to explore but to also be grounded in some sort of domesticity, and how that translates to social media and the global possibilities that come with it.
Nomadic Firs - In the Morning
Nomadic Firs - Vines
Nomadic Firs - Cover Bombs
Download the album or buy it on limited edition cassette here. The first 50 cassettes will come in hand-knit tape cozies! Thanks to a new digital distribution deal we’ve got in the works, it will also be available very shortly through iTunes and other digital retailers.
12:05 pm |
May 8 2012
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Ghibli, Shipping Updates, Etc.
Thanks everyone for making our recent burst of releases such a success! It’s been a blast. Several of these projects are being done at different plants, so shipping will be a little inconsistent. Later this week copies of Some Ember’s Hotel of Lost Light will be shipping, but unfortunately Ghibli won’t be available until early June - thanks so much for your patience!
10:58 am |
May 8 2012
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QTM is Quinn McCarron, a 23 year old graduate student in architecture originally from New Jersey. Growing up and to this day, his family spends summers in Holgate, the southernmost town on Long Beach Island. His debut EP Holgate is to some extent the document of a life anchored by those summers, all 23 of them spent in Holgate at the vacation home his grandfather built in the ’70s; the same house decorates the cover that McCarron helped design for the release. He calls the town “a primary source of both continuity and musical inspiration”. A drummer since 13, McCarron turned to making mashups and sample music when his living situations prevented having drums. Over the course of subsequent years he expanded the range of those first experiments, changing his focus to making truly original compositions, for which Holgate is first and best testimony. Though the mood in the photograph is somber, McCarron’s music is colorful, animated in large part by catchy sample arrangements and cinematic juxtapositions of vocals and effects. We’re honored to be releasing Holgate on our imprint Crash Symbols.
QTM - Wooden Jetty
QTM - Rocket
Download the Holgate EP for free from the Crash Symbols bandcamp.
2:24 pm |
May 1 2012
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Named for a piece in Galway Kinnell’s Book of Nightmares, Some Ember's debut LP Hotel of Lost Light is the culmination of a lifetime’s experience for Dylan Travis; the man behind the moniker, he is a longtime musician and most recently a member in good standing of the Bay Area music community. Some Ember began dramatically. Laid up for weeks after a car accident and loaded up with a little compensation money, Travis “blew it all on synthesizers and production software”. In the past he and various bands he played with relied on studio engineers, but he was determined to learn and use that process for himself. Though Travis describes making Hotel of Lost Light as a very intuitive process, refracting his experience with post-punk and noise pop through a more minimalist, no-wave sensibility, recording and producing it eventually drew on every technique and technology that getting hit by a car had gained for him. Appropriately enough, this is a very personal album for him; seeking catharsis in his experience of music, Travis brings his vocals to the fore, underscoring a vividly offered shared experience in their naked emotion and the darkly evocative imagery of the album. His prowess as a producer only improves the experience as subtle nuance emerges in how instruments and vocals set distinct paces or the sound of unconventional warps and effects - whether vocal distortion or sega-synths - as they come into focus.
Dylan sums it all up best himself…
"…the point of this record is to explore emotional territory that is perhaps uncomfortable, but to make that process a positive and constructive one. It’s about finding strength and solace even in the midst of loneliness, sadness, jealousy, or anger, things we all go through."
Some Ember - Blood Drops From the Burning Heart
Some Ember - Deep Ocean
Order the limited edition cassette, the latest addition to the family at Crash Symbols, and download the album for free here.
10:45 am |
April 24 2012
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is Thomas Michael, an Edmonton based producer whose love of house music was born in Eastern Europe where - the child of immigrants - he would spend summers with his grandparents. Being in an isolated region and of a sympathetic turn of mind, he became absorbed by European music television, etching the likes of Modjo’s “Lady”, Craig David’s “Fill Me In”, and Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better With You” into his mind for the trip back to Canada. As he began making electronic music in his teens, the influence of that early European house re-emerged in his mind, receiving it’s finest summation on his new album Rare Pleasures
, a ten track opus built entirely of samples collected from youtube videos. Taking as his point of departure what he identifies as a lack of experimental sensibilities in the underground house scene, Michael blazes a trail of funky grooves and disparate more or less fully explored cultural references across the full breadth of his youtube cullings. We couldn’t be more excited to offer it to y’all.
MP3: Ghibli - Róisín and Aoife
Preorder the limited edition cassette and download the album for free here.
10:39 am |
April 20 2012
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We just got our copies of the small repressing we’ve done for Featureless Ghost's Biologically-Sound Cyber-Bodies EP! We have less than ten copies remaining, but if we run out overnight you’ll also be able to grab one from the band on tour this year.
If you’re in a rush, head over and get one from our bandcamp.
9:25 pm |
March 21 2012
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Today we’re announcing the first DVD release on Crash Symbols, done in partnership with incredible Florida filmmaker Joshua Rogers, producing through his company Broken Machine Films. We also couldn’t be more honored to say that our first DVD contains a track by track visual accompaniment to Monroeville Music Center's gorgeous Le Progrès EP, released last year on Brooklyn-based digital imprint Dracula Horse. Above is Rogers’ video for the EP’s opener “En Route (ou Enfin! Le Défilé Capsule de Temps va au Centre de Contrôle)”, setting the track to his bizarre found footage of the triumphant machinations of some aluminum beings, marching through factories as they’re transformed from raw materials into more practical “extruded shapes”. Roger does an incredible job of syncing the music and accidentally or deliberately his new juxtapositions feel like the completion of the original Le Progrès.
Buy the limited edition DVD and stream the original Le Progrès EP here. You can watch a couple promos and look at some pictures of the final product after the jump.
12:06 pm |
March 20 2012
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Late last year, my wife and I entertained Minneapolis label Moon Glyph
's founder Steve Rosborough and his significant other, taking them to the hippest places in Oakland, surely leaving them impressed with the area's vibrant cultural scene and the terrible table service at Burma Superstar, one of our favorite restaurants in the Bay. Amidst all that splendor, we were able to trade a bunch of releases - check out what we got! -Dwight
MG17: Tender Meat
, Live at the Ritz (the Ritz on the Fritz)
- Recorded live at Flaneur Productions
' Heliotrope Festival in Minneapolis, Live at the Ritz
… is nowhere near so elegant and clean as the Ritz, but every bit as shambolic and incredible as the use of the word Ritz twice and the addition of “Fritz” to the title would suggest. Tender Meat Jon Coe and Andy Fritz, with Coe’s percussion animating these recordings and Fritz fleshing them out into a jagged skeleton with his digital orchestra, echoing some of the crazed compositions of their co-Minnesotans Skoal Kodiak
, Living Image
- The solo project of Cole Weiland of Daughters of the Sun
, Camden plays blasted synths over tape loops, adding in “his boldest and most crepitative vocalizations yet”, which I quote primarily for Moon Glyph’s awesome and correct use of the word crepitative, but his second outing under the name is actually very accessible. Although there are plenty of spots where the ear is given over to a shifting warble of noise and tidal drones, these are more “pop” soundscapes than synth; plenty melodic and even Weiland’s oblique vocalizations aren’t particularly jarring. Certainly one of Moon Glyph’s most cohesive albums.
- “It’s uncertain whether Davis has tapped into a contemporary mania or synthesized a manic – and, at times, maniacal – electronic sound response to the times.” (via Moon Glyph
) This is actually one of the first Moon Glyph releases I reviewed, more than a year ago back at Get Off the Coast
, and I feel pretty good about what I said then: “I’d call Ghostband a working class Daft Punk; half the budget, twice the vision, and at least as danceable.” It remains one of my favorite of their tapes, and probably is one of the label’s most accessible, thanks to the captivating melodies embedded in Ghostband’s shambolic beats.
MG24: Soothsayer, Inflow Illusion
- Soothsayer is actually the home for Moon Glyph proprietor Steve Rosborough’s solo work. Inflow Illusion,
his second outing under the name, is an eleven track collection of calmative synth soundscapes; an extended new age meditation, occasionally pulled back to reveal Rosborough’s playful intellectualism and highly refined palette.
MG34: Roy Orb D.M.T.
, Doctor of Metaphysical Healing
- This is another favorite Moon Glyph release for me. In some ways, it feels like one of the most confident assertions of the label’s musical aesthetic, less challenging than other albums but ultimately more effective, and the name of the tape is entirely descriptive… synth soundscapes ebb and flow, but the sound is explicitly therapeutic. If you’ve been looking for something to accompany meditation or promote states of restful awareness, I’d highly recommend it.
All of these cassettes and more can be purchased direct from Moon Glyph
2:34 pm |
March 14 2012
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Ender Belongs to Me is a reclusive experimental pop duo from the fertile slums of Brooklyn. What better place to be while they wonder after their own identities and significance? Both of the pair go by Peter Wiggin in interviews and although their creative endeavors have brought the two together for their garageband collaboration, their music is anxious and damaged, as much by their hidden personal lives as their tension over gestures toward a new digital culture. Under their assumed name, both cop to long struggles with substance abuse. Both spent time in rehab. The recordings that make up Memory are an artifact of those times. The five tracks were recorded at different times with different guest vocalists over the course of years, yielding up a fragmented opus, preserving in sound the emotions of those tumultuous years and the ultimate priority of their shared identity.
Ender Belongs to Me - All Working
Download the EP or buy the limited edition cassette here. You can also check out some more tunes from the band at their bandcamp.
1:23 pm |
March 13 2012
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