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Alone In The Woods

Alone In The Woods

    Jon Dobyns and Lonn Bologna make up Alone in the Woods. Their instrumental debut features downtempo beats, ambient production and takes cues from orchestral music as well as hip hop. Alone in the Woods capture a unique sound that only a multitude of influences blended can produce. Warm 80’s synth tones are melded with modern day techniques and experimentation that Depeche Mode and Bjork would be proud of.

    Instant classics like “Digging Holes” and “Ripples” push the listener into the stratosphere and then you are pulled back by the intimacy of tracks such as “woods funeral” and “New roots, old growth” which will fully absorb you into the woods...


    Barry says: This couldn't be any more up my street if it was designed specifically around the concept of fitting my street. Shimmering synths, weirdo drum machines, modern classical flourishes and on my favourite label of the moment. Properly beautiful stuff. This will sell out in a heartbeat.


    Coloured LP Info: Limited Edition Forest-burst Green Vinyl.

    Xander Harris

    Villains Of Romance

      Musician/composer Justin Sweatt, aka Xander Harris, was in the process of working on an ambitious double LP when he was struck by a car riding his bike in New Orleans. The accident could have been much worse, but Justin has still been de-commissioned for several weeks/months while he heals from an injured shoulder and a concussion. A 9 to 5er with benefits and vacation time might be inconvenienced by this but would recover and life would begin as it had before. For an independent musician who works part-time and relies on his or her hands to work and create art, something like this can be life-altering.

      Villains of Romance is leaner than first envisioned, but that gives the record a vital nature. At 9 tracks just under 50 minutes it’s another exploration of life through the eyes, heart, and mind of Xander Harris. The tracks follow the dystopian vibes of Termination Dust, but with touches of dark pop strewn throughout. From hazier fare like “Bleeding Meridians” to techno banger like “First Taste of Hate” to the gothic beauty of “Individual Outs”, Sweatt outdoes himself. There is even a collaboration with singer Nicolas Nadeau on the lilting and gorgeous “Wither Lace”.

      Did anyone ever watch 'California Dreams' on Nickelodon in the early 90's? Bright, pseudo-surf teens carving through their difficult formative years using a combination of friendship, music (the eponyomous 'California Dreams' was their band) and good old-fashioned teamwork. Sure, we had our ups and downs (they were, unforgivably prone to cultural stereotyping and 'playful' appropriation a-la Saved By The Bell), and their band, despite the optimistic title, were shit, but they made an impression on me nonetheless.  

      Enter master synth-fiddler Deadly Avenger and Luke Insect, a local purveyor of mindblowing psychedelic imagery to create 'D.A.L.I', an homage to to hazy summer days in California, suddenly casting aside all thoughts of the California Dreams and their saccharine interactions. 

      We hear the hazy air of a humid california day throughout, saturated into VHS tapes, and brought overseas with throbbing Italo pulses and snapping arpeggiated octaves (the duo of 'Mushroom Grip' and 'Sunset On Overland Drive' had me subconsciously desk-dancing, and continues to amaze even after repeated listens). We have more dynamic struggle/resolution montage gold in 'Too Tuff To Bluff', shimmering reverbed DX7 and panned glittering saw waves in 'Me And My Mongoose', interspersed with context-giving skits (BMX competions, frivolity, the pressures of being North-Cal etc.) 

      A Brilliantly absorbing and unbelievably emotive cruise along the entirety of the PCH, stopping at college parties, rad spots and diners, illustrated and brought to life with deft musicianship and perfectly curated artistic direction. A simmering, summer winner. 


      Barry says: Another superb slice of 80's electronics and saturated synth throbs from the ever-reliable Burning Witches. Snappy gated snares ring out over the hazy horizon, one thousand over-sized boom boxes blare sound to the polyester-clad dude-shouting masses. Honestly the best synth music i've heard since D/A/D. Absolutely superb.


      LP Info: Gloss gatefold sunshine yellow vinyl.

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