Super Minerals – Clusters (Stunned Records)
With Clusters, Phil and William have created something of real beauty. Tumbles of piano play through a thick ambience as little eddies of melody spring up throughout the A side, “Oxygen Bombs.” The result is something almost transcendental, sounding like a great lost Minimalist work. The B side keeps the same magisterial feel, but this time the piano trickles are augmented with ambient field recordings and tape loops. Developing into a cloud of drone and tape hiss, the piano now struggles to punctuate the fog. Even with its relatively simple instrumentation, the dynamics on this release are breathtaking. Clusters is a truly beautiful and moving piece of music.
Derek Rogers – Cosmic Overlap (They Live We Sleep Cassettes)
Derek goes in a direction I’ve never heard him go with this new release. Beginning with the title track, fragments of crackly classical records skip and mesh together into a really dense, disorienting piece that walks a line between beauty and discord. I found myself really disappointed when its 9+ minutes were over. But the rest of the tape keeps up the thick, sustained drones while keeping something interesting in the foreground at all times. “An Unexpected Glow” is brilliant and haunting, “Above the Ether” is full of gorgeous, crystalline tones, and “Reich Tones” does its namesake proud. Rogers’s distorted guitar is still present, but on Cosmic Overlap it emerges from within the songs instead of overpowering them. This is honestly one of the best tapes I’ve heard in a while.