We welcome our long-overdue Midwest melt season with open arms, and another uninterrupted hour of expansive mind music to usher in the fresh seasonal shift. We witness classic environmental escape, deep third eye improv, imaginary island fantasy, bio-feedback drift, Finnish electro-thump, shimmering folk strum, and beyond!
Non-stop music on the program, so we’ve included a few words along with the full playlist below.
The new album from Ringhold is a remarkable gift. The great Australian label Ramble Records has thankfully brought another valuable cultural treasure to light, following their relentless stream of important avant musics from around the world. Ringhold is the duo of eleOnora and Kalle Tikas, on guitar and voice respectively, and this beautiful and strange new album “Kaev” straddles the lines somewhere between the dusty twang of Tuareg desert blues and the vocal histrionics of Diamanda Galas. The band rises above the sparse instrumentation they’ve chosen for themselves to create a rich tapestry, spotlighting eleOnora’s voice as it ranges from soothing and sultry, to bizarre and almost disturbing, arcing across tendrils of Tikas’ guitar with a relentless, progressive groove. The work captures the duo in high form, with songs written in three different languages, and presents a unique sound with captivating structures. Released by Ramble on CD and digital formats, “Kaev” is also available through the band on limited edition vinyl, so good!
Son of Buzzi is the project of Sebastian Bischoff, a self-taught guitarist now living in Zurich, Switzerland. He makes music primarily with 6 and 12 string guitars and no-input mixer, augmenting what should be considered the traditional instrumentation and vibe of contemporary folk music, and creating instead a warm, glowing ember of modern electro-acoustic psych. This isn’t the first we’ve heard from him, Bischoff released the great “Fluss” CD on US label Fire Is Fire as recently as last year, and has been quietly amassing a tidy stack of digital only releases on Bandcamp. This most recent album ‘Die Hand der Riesin’ was made entirely in the artists living room, and recorded live to 4 track cassette with no overdubs, which helps to understand that these are very real-time sounds created for our own end-time ears. The album was self released by the artist in a very small run of DIY cassettes, which disappeared quickly, but the vibes speak loudly and are worth gripping in any form you can. Hopefully we see another physical offering sooner than later.
Gigantic squid sightings are incredibly rare, but it’s well known that they exist. Paq is the solo electronic project of multi-instrumentalist Andrea Rusconi, and his album “Hyphae” is a glorious chunk of smooth aqua funk, golden mutant groove, and curious electro-thud, a magnetic rejection of time as we once knew it. Rusconi is based in Rimini, Italy, located along the edge of the Adriatic Sea, and it's almost as if I can hear a strange unrecognized sea creature crawling over the low embankment, coming to surface solely to twiddle knobs on abandoned alien circuitry. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Rusconi has several releases under his belt, including the new collab “Matir Gaan (Songs From The Earth)” LP with Mohammed After Hussain, released by the great UK label Hive Mind. The track here “Ouzospore” is a particularly potent dose of hypno-wobble, with an undeniable heft to the momentum at hand. Thanks to Crash Symbols for getting this out into the world, the label has been around since 2010, and continues to bravely chart all forms of challenging sonics. Browse for many wonders.
Kuupuu is Jonna Karanka, Finnish artist, video maker and siren singer of avant-folk music. She has developed her unique voice through nearly two decades of tapes and CDs spread across the international underground, and her ethereal cosmic musings never fail to resonate. The sound is born from a careful blend of sputtering looped electronics and unorthodox acoustic tunings, with albums released on great labels like Time Lag, Dekorder, Vauva and KRAAK. This album “Spring High Spiritual Spree Spray Ray” was released in 2010 by Cabin Floor Esoterica, who put out consistently interesting music in their time, and had a nice sense of making each release feel special, natural, and handmade. The printed canvas bag that holds the Kuupuu tape has held up surprisingly well, and the music has a thickly woven fog that soothes immediately. This album features several tracks in collaboration with Jaakko Tolvi, evoking the grind of mystery machines pushing Sisyphus stones up endless hills, an angel song ringing through midnight skies, and purple slowly melts to black. Dirt feeds everything, it is as essential to life as air and water. More great tunes on her Bandcamp, dig.
The beautiful new Tilth record from Round Bale Recordings is a boon, an early Springtime blossom from still frozen dirt. Nathan McLaughlin and Cody Yantis have been making music together since 2012 and it’s been 7 years since we last heard from the Tilth project. The album title “Rock Music” is a clever nudge, an elegant formula built from most essential of elements, and is in keeping with 2015’s “Country Music” and the debut “Angular Music” on Soft Abuse. McLaughlin has produced a healthy stream of solo works and collaborations over the years on labels like Digitalis, Notice Recordings, SicSic, Scissor Tail, and Cabin Floor Esoterica, and Yantis himself has a good spread, check out the band Saguache, and the gorgeous 2014 collaboration with Mary Lattimore. With this latest from Tilth, we receive a blessing of textural Americana float and extended angel choir glow. Actually the track selected here “Jimmie Dale Gilmore” is one of the most rock-ist of the bunch, with it’s spacious riffs floating alongside the dense wall of friendly frog chirp. Most of the album leans even further into opaque gelatin and fragrant flora, with scenic elements of rusty hinge, and a trail of lightly strewn hay across an otherwise well swept dirt floor. Thanks to all involved, it’s so nice to listen to music sometimes. The vinyl is flat and perfect and still grab-able, please do so.
Great music lasts and calls you back for more. I’ve come to understand that time’s passing is the real test, and how I learn to acknowledge what music actually makes a mark. We experience so much in life, and listen to so many songs, when an album really sticks and you find yourself returning to it again and again, hoping to unlock some hidden secrets within it’s grooves, thats when you know you’ve really got a piece of magic in your hands. The album Earth Tones from Izzy Johnson is just that, an under spoken but masterful stroke of ambient folk spell craft, working within a deceptively simple frame to build majestic organic shapes. "Earth Tones" came out in Summer of 2021 and has found it’s way onto the turntable repeatedly, especially recently, seems a perfect thaw time balance of air filled melodies and effervescent song craft. This might appeal to fans of the great Time Lag band Prisma, or even some of the more acoustic moves from Finnish folker LauNau, but the sound here is all her own, and Izzy Johnson delivers a powerful, permanent record of precious, gentle air, a soft touch for rough times.
Maddi Baird is an artist and ambient musician based in LA, working with synthesizers and bio-feedback, using a bio-midi signification device to make literal plant music. The album Holobiont is a slow drifting cloud, one long track in three movements, made to explore the idea of the forest as a super organism and the concept of plant senses. The artist collaborates here with the voice of Jayne Dent and the guitar of Hailen Jackson, and the results are elevated and transcendent. Jungle Gym Records saves the day with a lovely cassette edition of Holobiont, featuring gorgeous artwork by Ilona Altman, and pressed in a limited edition of 50 tapes with a few copies still available as of writing. The label releases plenty of excellent and fascinating music, check out their upcoming Twin Lakes and R. Pierre releases for even more great vibes. Maddi Baird also has a previous album called “Far From Home” available, it’s a smoky 20 minute power punch straight to the limbic system, and looks like a few copies are still floating around on electric blue cassettes, get them directly from the artist here.
Eden Ahbez was an eccentric legend, and one of the very first proto-hippies in 40’s California, espousing a vegetarian lifestyle and back to nature philosophy that predated the movement by a solid twenty years. Ahbez wrote the song “Nature Boy” which was recorded by Nat King Cole and John Coltrane, to ultimately become a standard in it's own right. Despite that success, or maybe partially in reaction to it (?) Ahbez famously lived outdoors for a period under the Hollywood sign, following the Naturmensch and Lebensreform philosophies, and developing his own rich and complex fantasy world on which he based his incredible music. He only released this one proper album of his own in his lifetime, focused on themes of the sea and exotic far away islands known only to himself, but since his passing in '95, more of his recordings have come to light, allowing a deeper understanding of his complete body of work. I personally love the hushed spoken delivery of the tracks like The Wanderer, which we find sprinkled through "Eden's Island", connecting the proceedings in a loose sort of conceptual narrative, and helping to more clearly define the visions conjured through the music. Ahbez supported the album with a coast to coast walking tour, but it was poorly received. He was nevertheless hugely important, influencing artists like Martin Denny which furthered the development of what is now known as “exotica music”, but at the time he was largely seen as just another eccentric American composer who had possibly lost his marbles. Looking back, it's clear that Ahbez knew exactly what he was talking about. Brilliant visions come from all around us, all we need is to listen.
Matt LaJoie aka ML Wah has developed his own distinct style of modern new age music, using electronics with his trusty Fender Mustang to create evolving soundscapes of irresdescent harmony uniquely his own. The album “Paraclete Tongue” stands strong now a ways down the road, having been released in early 2021 on the artists own Flower Room imprint, and still yielding fresh fruits. The track featured here “Kandlebright Grotto”, is a colorful reflection of reality as it might be. The eye is drawn to the mysterious inner artwork of the cassette featuring a photograph of bright orange trees and earth; a theory of distortion through our own common mind, and a call for each of us to grow new wings of perception and understanding. I appreciate the artist’s devotion to his craft and diligent creative ethos, yielding a seemingly limitless harvest of deep sonic landscapes worth exploring. With an open willingness to share his process, and producing work that bares an all too rare sense of human intimacy, Matt Lajoie has exposed an essential need in us all. Never stop ML, the whole world can hear you.
Tidiane Thiam is a master of the blues. The album “Siftorde” was released in 2020 by the great label Sahel Sounds, and offers a clean window to heavenly skies, an echoing night star, an insect song on the breeze. Tidiane is self taught, learning to play music from late-night radio broadcasts while growing up Podor, a small riverside town in the far North of Senegal. His songs carry an emotional intimacy and calm the mind. The music is natural and unhurried, but intricate and elemental, a testament to the simple power of an acoustic guitar in skilled hands. The album’s title can be understood to mean “Remember”, which speaks to the endangered nature of this music and a note to the act of recording an instance in time, now only a memory of an experienced event from the past. The album was recorded with a single microphone at night, with the neighboring crickets playing an integral role in the atmosphere of the work. We’re lfans and supporters of literally everything Sahel Sounds does, but this beautiful album from Tidiane Thiam stands out as a radiant jewel from an impressive catalog, a personal, raw, shining light. Breathe and learn.
The recent single track album from Edmonton, Alberta artist Brick Road is fascinating and gorgeous, “Lunchbreak Meditation…” chronicles a slow journey into our own deep subconscious. The work was recorded in 2020 at a performance for the Boreal Electro-Acoustic Music Society, and the artist self-released the album back in February with a handful of cassettes that are long gone, but the digital album has been graciously made available over at the artists Bandcamp page. The full title is “Lunchbreak Meditation in the Grand Orchard of MU” and I quite appreciate the transcription of that idea, what we can picture as an actual event used as song title to clearly draw an image of the midday space/time ripple documented here. I like to think of taking my own lunch break after a morning of sadly under-valued labor, and escaping to create this transportive psychic stream, only to pack up the gear and quietly return to finish another afternoon at the old 8-6, with your fellow coworkers blissfully unaware of the life-changing mind expansion that happened while you ran out for a bite. If only more people skipped lunch to meditate and make beautiful music, think how much more easily that afternoon slump would slip away.
Larkin aka Larkin Stentz is an American composer, flautist and author based in Long Beach, Washington, a bard of lost knowledge, earth steward and formative grandfather of the new age music movement we know and love today. The album O’cean was released in 1984 and went certified gold, foreshadowing the environmental field recording records, and long-form ambient wash of that came to define the era. Over the course of his career Larkin worked with artists like reiki healing musician Aeoliah, and in the group Larkin & Friends with Michele Easton Cortright and Warren Dennis Kahn, seeking to connect with like minded creators as equal explorers through otherworldly planes of sound and creative thought. The track “Emergence” is one of the two side-long pieces from O’cean, we decided to let this one play for a good long while to finish out the remainder of the program. Let the waves wash over you, and acknowledge the connective space around us all. A day at the beach doesn’t sound too bad right about now, does it?
RINGHOLD - “Loobumine” from the album KAEV (Ramble Records, 2022)
SON OF BUZZI - “Was Kommt Nach Dem Regen” from the album Die Hand der Riesin (Bandcamp, 2022)
PAQ - “Ouzospore” from the album Hyphae (Crash Symbols, 2021)
KUUPUU - “Stimpi” from the album Spring High Spiritual Spree Spray Ray (Cabin Floor Esoterica, 2010)
TILTH - “Jimmie Dale Gilmore” from the album Rock Music (Round Bale Recordings, 2022)
IZZY JOHNSON - “Opening” from the album Earth Tones (Driftless, 2021)
MADDI BAIRD - “Holobiont (excerpt)” from the album Holobiont (Jungle Gym, 2022)
EDEN AHBEZ - “The Wanderer” from the album Eden's Island (The Music Of An Enchanted Isle) (Fantôme Phonographique, 2018)
MATT LAJOIE - “Kandelbright Grotto” - from the album Paraclete Tongue (Flower Room, 2021)
TIDIANE THIAM - “Yeery-Mayo” from the album Siftorde (Sahel Sounds, 2020)
BRICK ROAD - “Lunchbreak Meditation in the Grand Orchard of MU” (excerpt) (Bandcamp, 2022)
LARKIN - “Emergence” (excerpt) from the album O'cean - Flute Music Through Larkin (Narada, 1984)
Portions of this program have been sourced from vinyl and cassette formats.
Thanks for listening!
Originally broadcast at 11pm CET on March 28th, 2022 via CAMP Radio.
Does your music walk The Green Path?
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