Acid of All Ruins – Holiday (Full Spectrum Records)
I was blown away by this c20 out of North Carolina. Hushed tones, bells, and hand-played percussion offer quiet, sustained hymns that slowly build into cavernous guitar-aided explorations. After pleasantly drifting for the first side and a half, the last track, “Three Pilgrim,” cements the tape with a steady drum beat that serves as Holiday‘s gorgeous climax. Highly recommended!
Warm Climate – Edible Homes (Stunned Records)
I got totally blind-sided by this one. I don’t know where Stunned label head Phil found Seth Kasselman, but he cranks out some epic songs on this release. Opening with an acid-fried folk song that explodes into into a guitar-heavy rock track only to dissolve into layer organ drone, “Lost Teeth/Organ Donor” is a great hint at the extreme weirdness found on Edible Homes. The church organ, acoustic strums, feedback-drenched guitar, and Kasselman’s vocals reemerge throughout the tape, but they are augmented with bizarre percussion, warped tape loops, and electronic squiggles. This is tape is incredibly varied and makes for a really fun ride!
Locrian – Burying the Carnival / Exhuming the Carnival (Self Released)
With this tape, Chicago’s Locrian bring some really dense conceptual jams. On the “Burying” side, a dark bass loop struggles to cover up put a wild, squealing guitar. However, the guitar fights back, as gnarled, tangles of feedback and explode from the din. Only after howling vocals let out a death cry does the repeating bass win out. This deep, doomy loop resurfaces on the other, “Exhuming,” side. With a more sombre, subdued atmosphere, delayed guitar figures unfold over the dark atmosphere. As it comes back to life though, the track slowly becomes more rapid and frenetic, ending in gorgeous, overlapping guitar figures. This tape is dense, epic, and beautiful, reminding me of recent Expo ’70 releases.
Theo Angell – First Recordings (Really Coastal)
These early recordings from Theo Angell (Jackie-O Motherfuck, Hall of Fame) are spare, slow-paced bedroom meditations. A sole, deep-toned electric guitar supplies the audio for the scenes laid out by super descriptive song titles like “Raining with People Outside” and “You Looking at My Calves While Walking Up the Stairs.” This tape is straight bummer, rainy day jams until a gnarly, feedback-soaked explosion shakes things up. The B side of the tape returns to the loner vibe, but the guitar is accompanied by muttered vocals, xylophones, tape loops, and whistling. Light some candles, throw on some Theo Angell, and look at the raindrops on the window!
Treehouse People – Bubble Nuts (Disappearance Records)
On this collaboration between Stefan Kushima and Iko Nori wobbly synths stretch out over crystalline tones and delayed electronic chirps. Each piece slowly unfolds, gently opening up feedback tangles and swirling atmospherics. Bubble Nuts is never overwhelming as it gently massages the listener with crystalline tones and childlike Casio journeys. This tape is a truly pleasant listen.