REALIZER & MATT TONDUT - "MEMORIES"
This collaboration between two guitarists Realizer and Matt Tondut showcase the two trading melodic leads, lines soaked in warm reverb, washes of delay and a sense of lived in sonic space that feels comfortable and nostalgic, making up for some of the more dynamic push-and-pull found in guitar duos that highlight confrontation as much as they do collaboration.
TROVA - "SILVER"
Making first contact we are drawn into Trova’s sonic palette. An aural canyon saturated in shimmering arpeggios that bubble up through weightless drones and melodic phrasings that dip in and out form and formlessness. Flashes of Harold Budd’s tendency to allow notes to hang suspended in midair ring throughout. “Silver” is a placid but engaging cruise into the heart of a cooling sun.
WISHBONE - "HIDEAWAY"
Marrying emo-revivalist nostalgia with another 90’s sub-genre with ever increasing cultural cache. Wishbone drench their muscular Midwestern arpeggios and quiet-loud choruses under the shimmering reverb of Slowdive and Drop Nineteen Shoegaze influences. I really admire their tendency to really lean into the shoegaze influences, creating cacophonous Kevin Shields-worthy walls of sound over top their most heartwrenching moments.
CLIFF MARTINEZ - "STARLIGHT CANTINA"
Nicolas Winding Refn’s ultraviolence and impressive scene setting has always been paired with excellent electronic composers. For his latest, Cliff Martinez is responsible for dragging us into the depths of our propensity for violence. Heavy sub-bass synths and a barely audible bass line are punctuated by uneasy strings and modular squelches and screeches. Heavy mise en scene.
RAPT - "LIGHTHOUSE"
Categorically Autumnal music, Rapt pulls from influences ranging from Red House Painters to Appendix Out! and Aarktica. A minimal acoustic line is wrapped in cloudy drones and suspended vocal phrasings that underscore male-female vocals that sound like a naked Slowdive track. A poignant track nostalgic enough to recall very specific locations and times in the memories of listeners.
MARTINA BERTONI - "THE BROKEN LIFE OF MUSHROOMS"
The German composer and cellist has created a dense and eliding piece of work that burrows into the sonorous aspects of the cello. The cello bows, drones and creates ghostly doubles of itself in the trac’s noisey surface. It’s a beautiful and shape-shifting work that reaches high-highs and subterranean depths with nothing but manual dexterity and scattered pedals blinking in a dark room.
TABARD - "VALLEY OF IMPRESSIONS"
This ever expanding track covers quite a bit of ground for its long running time. Gorgeous ambient passages weave in and out of buried melodies, looped musical phrasings, highly sanded and polished beats covered like pearls under velvet. For all of the. gliding and lapping passages, “Valley of Impressions” has quite a bit of drift and propulsion that keeps it moving forward.
DEVON WELSH - "FACES"
Devon Welsh’s post Majical Cloudz work has become direct, stripping away as many layers of abstraction to scratch the exposed layer of nerve that always served as the emotional center of his songs. Armed with his soaring voice, a keyboard and some simple atmospheric elements, “Faces” is as baldfaced as it gets. Speaking profound truths without metaphor.
SKY CIVILIAN - "LET'S BE EASY"
Sky Civilian has been one of the most refreshing finds of 2019, an electronic artist creating highly engaging and distinctive work that deconstructs dance music with loving grace. “Let’s Be Easy” covers similar ground as Ellen Allien’s headphone classic “Dust”. Ambient washes, modulated instrumentation and the pitter-patter of intersecting percussive patterns create well worn grooves that are easy to sink into.