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Ginger Root

SHINBANGUMI

    Step inside the world of Ginger Root. Cameron Lew makes it easy to do so; every considered detail is his own manifestation, written, designed, and executed as an all-encompassing diorama of sound and sight. A multi-instrumentalist, producer, songwriter, and visual artist from Southern California, Lew has crafted his project steadily since 2017, inviting a fervent and growing legion of fans into storylines drawn across mediums: captivating albums with accompanying films and globe-spanning tours. The Ginger Root sound — handmade yet immaculately polished synth-pop, alt-disco, boogie, and soul — takes shape through Lew's lens as an Asian-American growing up enamored by 1970s and '80s music, specifically the creative and cultural dialogue between Japanese City Pop and its Western counterparts from French Pop to Philly Soul to Ram-era McCartney. He spins his retro-minded influences and proliferates savvily in the present, synthesizing a songwriter's wit, an editor's eye, and a producer’s resource into something singular and modern.

    'SHINBANGUMI', his long-awaited third LP, translates roughly to a new season of a show. It finds Lew more poised, idiosyncratic, and intentional than ever in a new chapter of life, unlocking "exactly what Ginger Root should sound and feel like," he says. "In terms of instrumentation and musicality, it's the first time that I felt very confident and comfortable with what everything should be comprised of. On the more personal side, I'm coming out of the last four years of writing, touring, and living as a different person; 'SHINBANGUMI' is a platform to showcase my new self."

    In parallel with the songs and his real-life artist story, unfolding across the sequential music video series, Lew resumes the conceptual narrative from his 2022 EP Nisemono, which follows Ginger Root as a newly-fired music supervisor in 1987 starting his own media conglomerate, Ginger Root Productions. "If you watch music videos one through eight, you'll be presented with a story that’s comparable to a traditional movie; something I've always wanted to do.” Splitting sessions between locations in Japan and back in Orange County, Lew paid extra attention to SHINBANGUMI’s track arrangement, tapping his close circle for input, including members of his live band and his longtime video collaborator, David Gutel. He sees the album’s arc in multiple acts, mapping the chronological listen with "just the right amount of like front-end punch and then letting you breathe, then sending you even faster in the middle section, and so on...I wanted to grab you by the collar in a good way and then not let you go until the last song."


    TRACK LISTING

    1. Welcome
    2. No Problems
    3. Better Than Monday
    4. There Was A Time
    5. All Night
    6. CM
    7. Only You
    8. Kaze
    9. Giddy Up
    10. Think Cool
    11. Show 10
    12. Take Me Back (Owakare No Jikan)

    Brijean

    Macro

      Since their debut as Brijean, the project of percussionist/singer-songwriter Brijean Murphy (the percussive heartbeat for live bands like Mitski, Poolside, and Toro y Moi) and multi-instrumentalist/producer Doug Stuart has moved with ingenuity, fusing psych-pop abstraction with dance floor sensibilities. Through the body and mind, rhythm and lyricism, they make sense of the worlds around and within; 2021's 'Feelings' celebrated self-reflection; 2022's 'Angelo' processed loss, coinciding with the duo's first headlining tour, which doubled down on the material's desire to move. Now, across the playful expanse of 'Macro', arriving in 2024 on Ghostly International, Brijean engages different sides of themselves, the paradox of being alive. They've leveled up to meet the complexities and harmonies of the human experience with their most dynamic songwriting yet. Colorful, collaborative, sophisticated, and deeply fun, the album animates a macrocosm with characters, moods, and points of view rooted in the notion that no feeling is final and the only way out is through. 

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Get Lost
      2. Euphoric Avenue
      3. Bang Bang Boom
      4. After Life
      5. Roxy Mountain
      6. Breathe
      7. Counting
      8. Counting Sheep
      9. Workin’ On It
      10. Scenic Route
      11. Roller Coaster
      12. Laura 

      Bullion

      Affection

        Bullion is Nathan Jenkins, an enduring cult figure of electronic music. A producer and songwriter quietly to be found connecting artists, genre and UK subculture. His credits range from Carly Rae Jepsen, Ben Howard, NilüferYanya and Avalon Emerson’s breakout album & The Charm to records for Westerman and Joviale. Bullion’s celebrated solo releases, meanwhile, have run parallel on Young, The Trilogy Tapes, Jagjaguwar and his own DEEK Recordings. It’s a creative red-thread Bullion ties together on his surprise new album, Affection - a warm, occasionally off-kilter and beautifully realised pop record that’s bold enough to step from behind-the-scenes and show affection in public.

        Affection started life upon Nathan’s move back to London from Lisbon, where he relocated in 2018. Back then, the comfort of the crowd suited him: self-confessedly passive and faltering by nature, the opportunity to exist somewhere without any personal history proved liberating. Returning home, Nathan increasingly found himself reflecting on his place in the world, seeking affection in place of cynicism.

        Bullion’s music has always been difficult to pin down, but entirely distinctive - and on Affection, its rich pleasures are in hearing how this uncompromising approach is strengthened, in part, by softening. The album wonders-aloud about the meaning of intimacy, in relationship to others and the self. Masculinity and other contemporary concerns are punctuated by old-world charms, found in the ‘hat stands and watches’ of World_train. Influences stretch from morning swims to adolescent fears and a book of poems his Dad wrote as a young man, in songs that are tender if not always true of Nathan himself. Affection ultimately asks how we understand people, but in being more vulnerable at least attempts to care a little less about what they think, too.

        Taking your own advice is integral to Bullion’s latest album, where Nathan applies what he’s encouraged fellow artists to do in the studio for years: be open to adventure. Affection steps into a more emotionally-present, often playful space, with collaborators Carly Rae Jepsen and Charlotte Adigéry gracing songs that prioritise feeling over fixed meaning. Rare, for instance, emerged during sessions for Jepsen’s recent album in Toronto: high energy turning coy to express something ‘deep in the heart’. World_train, meanwhile, is an eccentric and brilliantly odd angle on Bullion’s love of pop, its locomotive power summoning a lost past amidst the uncertainties of the everyday. ‘I can hardly understand what it takes to be a real man’, Bullion sings. ‘…and nobody can’, Adigéry confirms. Still, connections - missed, imagined, or still possible - cocoon much of Affection, with Panda Bear collaboration A City’s Never emerging after Noah and Nathan lived in Lisbon at the same time but never actually met. For Bullion, the willingness to allow others into his songwriting process is as much about opening up the world of the album as it is about bettering the work and the person.

        In blurring the observational with the introspective, Affection’s avant-pop touch abandons categorisation. The albums lyrics are as unguarded and devotional as they are inquisitive of alternative ways of being, signing off with ‘being still is hard to do’. Nathan has mastered his sound, but life - in its expectations, contradictions, impulses and desires - remains impossible to control.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. A City’s Never (ft. Panda Bear)
        2. Affection
        3. Rare (ft. Carly Rae Jepsen)
        4. Your Father
        5. The Flooding
        6. Cinch
        7. World_train (ft. Charlotte Adigéry)
        8. Cavalier
        9. Once, In A Borrowed Car
        10. Open Hands
        11. 40 Waves
        12. Hard To Do

        Crushed

        Extra Life

          Los Angeles duo crushed announce their signing to Ghostly International and the first vinyl pressing of their 2023 debut EP, extra life. A love letter to ‘90s radio, the first collaboration from musicians Bre Morell and Shaun Durkan finds them tuning a shared taste for maximalist dream pop. Open-hearted hooks and melodic riffs move through a haze of breakbeats, spliced sound design, and distortion. Faithful yet fluid in its channeling of golden age alt-rock, Britpop, trip-hop, and electronica, there’s a refreshing freedom to the sound, which quickly resonated with fans and critics upon initial release. Pitchfork called it “effortless, widescreen dream pop that’s serene without being sentimental,” and NPR cited its “deep sense of place and time.” The music also struck Ghostly, and the first measure for crushed and their new label home is to give extra life a wider physical release paired with remix- es from band favorites Real Lies and DJ Python.

          The story of crushed is written across midnight transmissions. In the early 2010s, Morell, who fronts the band Temple of Angels (Run For Cover Records), hosted a graveyard shift college radio show and used to play music from Durkan’s former band Weekend (Slumberland Records). In 2020, Durkan, having focused on pro- duction work (Tamaryn, Young Prisms) following Weekend’s run as a formidable shoegaze act, hosted a late-night program on a community radio station in San Francisco. Driving one day, he heard Temple of Angels by chance and was imme- diately drawn to Morell’s voice. He added a song that night to his on-air tracklist. Morell saw it and reached out to thank him and point to that connection made a decade earlier.

          The exchange sparked a long-distance project. First, they filled an audible moodboard with ‘90s classics from the likes of Natalie Imbruglia, Sneaker Pimps, and The Sundays. Songs that transported them back to places of comfort and discovery; Morell’s memories of a metallic, lavender boombox that dispatched past sounds from a world beyond her Houston suburbia, and Durkan, in his mom’s car on the way to band practice. These touchpoints provided a palette for crushed to experiment without expectations, purely for the fun of it.

          A creative intimacy emerged; stepping outside the reverb walls of her full band, Morell embraced more clarity and a range of emotions in her vocals, while Durkan looked inward as a producer, collaging fragments from their everyday lives: voice memos, piano recordings, even the panting of Morell’s late dog on “milksugar.” The wistful ballad embodies extra life’s feeling as a whole. “I am home again,” sings Morell; her refrain cycles above a drum machine beat as Durkan colorstheir universe with star-lit strums, synth swells, and the crackle of fireworks in the distance. Elsewhere, the duo’s uptempo mode is equally effective, like the su- per-charged duet “coil” or the propulsive opener “waterlily,” which sets a cinematic tone for the set.

          Bold, bright, and replayable, extra life presents crushed as a project of immense promise, two artists unlocking something special within themselves, a space to hold both melancholy and bliss. Durkan adds, “To me, [extra life] is true and pure - in a way I haven’t felt about music in a really really long time.”

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Waterlily
          2. Coil
          3. Milksugar
          4. Bedside
          5. Respawn
          6. Lorica

          Emeralds

          Does It Look Like I'm Here?

            In the late 2000s a sprawling catalog of what is now genre-defining music was emanating from an unlikely place. Cleveland, Ohio has a broad reputation for many things, but in the aughts, psyche-expanding Kosmische wasn’t necessarily Cleveland’s calling card… until Emeralds. The trio of John Elliott, Steve Hauschildt, and Mark McGuire had released a profusion of limited-run cassettes, CD-Rs, and vinyl titles that had been passed around basement shows and then migrated to niche music communities online, creating a unique kind of murmur, even in the height of the DIY blog era. Three kids from the rust belt were crafting a distinctive and truly far-out strain of music on their own terms in the Midwest. They were flipping lids in wood-paneled basements and circulating around the underground with soaring sounds stylistically indebted to deep German electronic music pioneers and released with the ethos and twisted fervor of renegade Midwestern noise freaks. After several releases garnered a die-hard fandom in niche circles of internet/music culture, and then catching the attention of the late Peter Rehberg, the renowned artist and curator of the Editions Mego label, an expectation was set that the next Emeralds record was going to be a big one. And in 2010, Does it Look Like I’m Here? was it.

            Artistically, the album is a definitive statement; this is to say it was crafted by heads for heads, a genuine article and a profoundly deep listen, but the mainstream dove in too. Pitchfork acknowledged the rarefied nature of the album’s electricity with a “best new music” rating. This crossover success is a result of the tracks’ potency and wonderfully engineered and succinct structures. It’s dialed in. Still creating their distinct yawning cosmic sound, Elliott and Hauschildt shower the stereo spectrum with shimmering arpeggios, dusty, melodically dynamic swells, rippling FM textures, and canyon-wide waveshapes. McGuire’s signature guitar playing echoes emotive new age pathos and cascading astral space rock trance states. Their previous albums found many tracks hovering past the ten-minute mark, but these new songs were short, potent. “Candy Shoppe” opens the album with polished elegance; Emeralds’ throbbing synthetic sound made bite-sized, an incandescent morsel wrapped in waxed paper. On “Goes By” the languid electric guitar strums and swooning synth pads peel apart into enveloping sheets of synth gargling and soaring leads. Both tracks are entire worlds kept neatly under five minutes. If previous albums like Solar Bridge and What Happened were lysergic sprawls, Does It Look Like I’m Here presents itself as a tin holding a series of psychonautic blasts. This is all to say, the album lived up to the hype.

            Listening to it now, 13 years after its original release on Editions Mego, the album sounds however timeless, still immediate. There is a wide-pupiled and cotton-mouthed awe sewn into these radiant folds of sound; for those newly into this sort of thing, let this reissue serve as an initiation, a history lesson, and a heroic dose. For those who’ve come up in the scene and have worn out their pirated mp3s of this album; they can finally get a fresh copy on vinyl. Does It Look Like I’m Here? became a hallmark that would carve a path for an entire scene. Ghostly International is thrilled to reissue the album, remastered by Heba Kadry, including 7 bonus tracks exclusive to the digital album and CD. The limited edition 2xLP includes extensive liner notes by Chris Madak (Bee Mask).


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: I *love* Emeralds, and everything everyone from Emeralds has ever done independently of Emeralds, so it's no small thing when I say that 'Candy Shoppe' might be one of my favourite Emeralds tracks. It has an equal amount of everything in it that make the band great, and that's the FIRST TRACK. If you like Emeralds, you'll already want this LP and if you don't, then listen to the first track.

            TRACK LISTING

            01. Candy Shoppe
            02. The Cycle Of Abuse
            03. Double Helix
            04. Science Center
            05. Genetic
            06. Goes By
            07. Does It Look Like I’m Here?
            08. Summerdata
            09. Shade
            10. It Doesn’t Arrive
            11. Now You See Me
            12. Access Granted
            13. Escape Wheel*
            14. August (Extended)*
            15. In Love*
            16 Lake Effect Snow*
            17. Genetic (Rehearsal)*
            18. Does It Look Like I’m Here? (Daphni Mix 1)*
            19. Does It Look Like I’m Here? (Daphni Mix 2)* 

            Julie Byrne

            The Greater Wings

              The first album in over six years from American songwriter Julie Byrne is a testament to patience and determination, the willingness to transform through the desolation of loss, the vitality of renewal, and the courage to rise, forever changed. For nearly a decade, Byrne has moved through the world as a characteristically private artist largely outside the public eye. A self-taught musician that has committed her life to her work, she now emerges from a deeply trying and generative period with the most powerful, lustrous, and life-affirming music of her career, The Greater Wings. While they hold the plasticity of grief and trauma, the songs are universally resonant, unbridled in their devotion and joy, held up by the love and alliance of a chosen family. Byrne leans further into atmospheres both expansive and intimate; the lush, evocative songcraft flows between her signature fingerpicked guitar, synthesizer, and a newly adopted piano, made wider by flourishes of harp and strings. It is the transcendent sound of resource, of friendship that was never without romance, of loyalty that burns from within like a heart on fire, and the life force summoned in unrepeatable moments — raw, gorgeous, and wild.

              The Greater Wings was written across several seasons, pulling imagery from nights on tour, periods of isolation, and the drives cross-country for its various collaborations between Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Recording started with the late Eric Littmann, her longtime creative partner and Not Even Happiness producer, and finished in the Catskills of New York with producer Alex Somers (Sigur Rós, Julianna Barwick).

              “My hope for The Greater Wings is that it lives as a love letter to my chosen family and as an expression of the depth of my commitment to our shared future. Being reshaped by grief also has me more aware of what death does not take from me. I commit that to heart, to words, to sound. Music is not bound to any kind of linear time, so in the capacity to record and speak to the future: this is what it felt like to me, when we were simultaneous, alive, occurring all at once. What it has felt like to go up against my edge and push, the love that has made it worth all this fight. These memories are my values, they belong with me.”

              Julie Byrne will confess the success of her 2017 LP Not Even Happiness was unexpected; nine gracefully road-worn odes to the fringes of life she assembled without any expectation that they’d travel so far beyond their DIY origins. But its hushed closing track, “I Live Now As A Singer,” did forecast an intention. She knew the open space — occupied by Littmann’s signature palette of synth tones, Jake Falby’s strings, and Byrne’s robust, drifting voice — presented something new and thrilling, something they’d develop as a live band touring the world, and what would later be understood as the catalyst for material to come. From orchestral folk meditations (“The Greater Wings”, “Portrait of a Clear Day”) to windswept piano ballads (“Moonless”, “Death Is The Diamond”) to the luminous, synth-driven euphoria of “Summer Glass,” The Greater Wings builds on this revelatory space at every turn.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Liam says: Following on from her standout 2017 LP 'Not Even Happiness', 'The Greater Wings' is a sweeping, expansive and meditative record that passes through wistful orchestral folk, heartfelt piano balladry and iridescent synth passages - gorgeous, gorgeous stuff!!

              TRACK LISTING

              1. The Greater Wings
              2. Portrait Of A Clear Day
              3. Moonless
              4. Summer Glass
              5. Summer’s End
              6. Lightning Comes Up From The Ground
              7. Flare
              8. Conversation Is A Flowstate
              9. Hope’s Return
              10. Death Is The Diamond

              Brijean

              Angelo

                Angelo is an EP, named after a car, featuring nine songs Brijean have crafted and carried with them through a period of profound change, loss, and relocation. It finds percussionist/singer Brijean Murphy and multi-instrumentalist/producer Doug Stuart processing the impossible the only way they know how: through rhythm and movement. The months surrounding the acclaimed release of Feelings, their full-length Ghostly International debut in 2021 which celebrated tender self-reflection and new possibilities, rang bittersweet with the absence of touring and the sudden passing of Murphy’s father and both of Stuart’s parents. In a haze of heartache, the duo left the Bay Area to be near family, resetting in four cities in under two years. Their to-go rig became their traveling studio and these tracks, along with Angelo, became their few constants. Whereas Feelings formed over collaborative jams with friends, Angelo’s sessions presented Murphy and Stuart a chance to record at their most intimate, “to get us out of our grief and into our bodies,” says Murphy. They explored new moods and styles, reaching for effervescent dance tempos and technicolor backdrops, vibrant hues in contrast to their more somber human experiences. Angelo beams with positivity and creative renewal — a resourceful, collective answer to “what happens now?”

                Angelo the car is a 1981 Toyota Celica they got off Craigslist during their first stint in Los Angeles, where Murphy and Stuart have since settled. “Such a bro-y, ‘80s dude car, it’s been super fun to drive around in a new town,” Murphy says. “He’s older than us, he’s a classic, he’s got a story.” It is a spiritual vehicle with a cinematic appeal, first dropping them off in an alleyway for the scene-setting intro, “Which Way To The Club.” The question is quickly resolved by “Take A Trip” as a cruising bassline mingles with crowd sounds, hand-claps, cuíca hiccups, whip-cracks, even a horse neigh. Brijean have found some club on this cross-dimensional trip — the kind of imagined space or chamber within one’s self capable of “shifting a fraction of who you are,” says Murphy. They wrote the track with the simple intention to be “as free as we could be,” adds Stuart, likening the flip on the B section to a realm unlocked: ”What if the world changed completely? You open the door to a new room.”

                Next is “Shy Guy,” a motivational anthem for the wallflowers among us. Murphy sets up the daydream: “We are in junior high, we’re on the dance floor, what’s going down, who is dancing, who is not, how are we gonna make them dance?” The narrator, the MC, hypes up the room as conga-driven rhythms bounce between languid synth and guitar lines. “Show me how to move...I feel something...I know you feel it too,” Murphy sings sweetly, calling back to the opening lines of Feelings, and this time the audience chants it back. It is easy to picture Brijean performing this one — something they only got to do a handful of times until more recently, opening shows for Khruangbin and Washed Out, an experience they found informative. Murphy explains, “It was inspiring to be out there and let loose more. To see how people can expand their expression on stage gave me more liberty with how I viewed my musicianship. My role for so long was to be a backup percussionist, so why would I ever leave the drums, you know? But then after playing all these runs, you see these artists and realize you can, you have permission.”

                “Angelo” and “Ooo La La” deliver the danciest stretch in Brijean’s catalog to date. The title track adopts a deep house pulse replete with strings, hi-hats, and kicks. The latter opts for a funkier groove that foregoes verses in favor of warbled hums and extended breakdowns. What follows is perhaps the duo’s dreamiest run, a comedown initiated with the honey-hued interlude “Colors” drifting into “Where Do We Go?”, a tropicália reverie where Murphy contemplates the passage of time and space.

                It all culminates in “Caldwell’s Way,” a fond farewell to their Bay Area community — “a part of my life that I knew couldn’t come back,” says Murphy. Above shimmering organ sounds, lush strings, and the birdcall of their former neighborhood, she wistfully articulates the uncertainty of moving on by remembering the characters dear to them. There’s the wisdom of their neighbor, Santos, who refused payment when helping them move out: “I’d rather have 100 friends than 100 dollars.” And the song’s namesake, Benjamin Caldwell Brown, a friend and club night cohort for many years. “I’m only miles away, maybe I’m just feeling lonely,” the line resigns to warm nostalgia, and “Nostalgia” runs the closing credits to this healing and transportive collection.

                TRACK LISTING

                01. Which Way To The Club?
                02. Take A Trip
                03. Shy Guy
                04. Angelo
                05. Ooo La La
                06. Colors
                07. Where Do We Go?
                08. Caldwell’s Way
                09. Nostalgia

                Khotin

                Release Spirit

                  Canadian producer Dylan Khotin-Foote has kept his Khotin alias going for the better part of a decade; the impressionistic electronic project shifts with the movements in his life. Sometimes it leads, like when the club-friendly grooves of 2014’s Hello World immersed him in the heart of Vancouver’s underground dance scene, and sometimes it follows, like 2018’s Beautiful You, a downtempo salve for DJ fatigue. His melodic sensibility and playful ear for atmosphere remain the rippling core of the project’s fingerprint; whether beat-driven or ambient, a foggy smear or a dusted and pristine print, a Khotin track has a distinct and instantly recognizable swirl. During and after the 2020 release of Finds You Well, his second LP on Ghostly International, Khotin-Foote settled back into a slower vibe in his hometown of Edmonton. Even before the pandemic, his pivots to softer production, and away from DJing, left him with fewer opportunities in Vancouver and club bookings overall, and as a self-identifying introvert, he was fine with that. But the change of pace did open space for Khotin-Foote to grapple with concepts of adulthood and career. At his lowest, he almost walked off this musical path altogether; instead, he doubled down on the craft — the tone, pacing, and dynamism of new material — arriving at a definitive full-length. With Release Spirit, Khotin releases himself from the pressure of expectation, fusing and refining everything we know about his music. The warmth and familiarity of Khotin’s dreamy, dulcet style meet new ideas and frameworks, a natural progression, a modest revelation; Khotin confirms it is okay to move slowly and he’s never sounded better doing it.

                  The album title borrows from the “release spirit” mechanic in the video game World of Warcraft. When players die, they are prompted to release their spirit and return as ghosts to find their corpses and come back to life. Khotin sees it as a worthy metaphor for the impending change his return home presented and the resulting process of purging artistic expectations to find his creative self again. On this go-around, he is freer, more playful, and more intentional within his palette of warped synth, breakbeats, and piano sounds — including the classic Casio SK-1 presets he’s used since the start — mingling with wistful samples, field recordings, and other abstract snippets. For the first time, he enlisted Nik Kozub to do the mix and assist with sequencing. Khotin-Foote has long worked with the Edmonton-based musician and engineer in the mastering phase, as well as their days co-running the label Normals Welcome, and this time was able to involve his ears earlier given their newfound proximity. “I think it’s my best sounding record to date.”

                  We begin on “HV Road” or Happy Valley Road, where Khotin-Foote spent time during a family vacation in British Columbia’s Okanagan Lake. His plans to record crickets at night are quickly foiled by his younger siblings; the cute exchange orients the listener to a core memory of sorts, setting the tone of universally understood warmth and wonder that has defined some of Khotin’s most transportive tracks. Hazy percussion takes hold, and we are swept further into the wisp of “Lovely,” a grooving, melodic standout built on the interplay between the beat and human voice-like hums. Khotin knows this zone well; equally suited for a reverie or a club warm-up.

                  The bubbling atmosphere and absurdity of “3 pz” offer a cosmic/comic interlude and also speak to reflections on his family’s move to Canada two generations ago, and the audio tutorials they used to learn English. “I can only imagine my grandparents repeating some of the bizarre phrases.”

                  “Fountain, Growth” finds Khotin in collaboration with Montreal’s Tess Roby (Dawn to Dawn) for the project’s first-ever vocal track. Roby’s soft cadence echoes atop spiraling air pockets of rhythmic production, lending a breezy, almost shoegaze pop feel. Throughout the single and the album, wind gusts between the compositional layers, akin to the roaming spirits of its namesake, curving around the birdsong of “Life Mask” and seamlessly reaching “Unlimited <3.” The latter bumps in slow motion; disembodied whirrs from his Casio collide with 808 drums and sub-bass for a vibe that teeters on trap and instrumental hip-hop.

                  Release Spirit rests in a dream sequence. Oscillating synth lines dance around the heartbeat of “Techno Creep,” a hyperactive REM state before the digitized ambient sprawl of “My Same Size.” In the final pass, Khotin imagines transcontinental travel from the glow of his screen. He recorded “Sound Gathering Trip” to soundtrack a genre of YouTube videos he’s taken to that follows train routes through Europe and Japan. The scene is serene and moving; piano keys warble as static-filled sound design shimmers off the rails, from cityscapes to the countryside, an introspective ride through a world beyond his bedroom. It doubles as an apt parting image for Khotin’s project as a whole: dreaming big but happiest when riffing on the details, shaping environments from the inside out. Over the last decade, he has stretched from his core in Edmonton, leaving a trace in Vancouver and beyond; but when all signs point home, he loops back to see it all from a different vantage, revitalized, refined, and free. 

                  TRACK LISTING

                  TRACKLISTING

                  01. HV Road
                  02. Lovely
                  03. Home World 303
                  04. 3 Pz
                  05. Computer Break (Late Mix)
                  06. Fountain, Growth (ft. Tess Roby)
                  07. Life Mask
                  08. Unlimited <3
                  09. Techno Creep
                  10. My Same Size
                  11. Sound Gathering Trip 

                  Tycho

                  Dive - 10th Anniversary Edition

                    "Dive establishes its position as the most diverse musical statement of Hansen’s multi-medium career; the point where his skills as a performer finally catch up with his vaporized vision of a world that doesn’t belong to any particular time or place.” 

                    TRACK LISTING

                    01. A Walk
                    02. Hours
                    03. Daydream
                    04. Dive
                    05. Coastal Brake
                    06. Ascension
                    07. Melanine
                    08. Adrift
                    09. Epigram
                    10. Elegy

                    Launder

                    Happening

                      After nearly three years and sixty demos, Launder’s full-length debut is Happening. In 2019, Orange County-raised, Los Angeles-based musician John Cudlip signed to Ghostly International to build his recording project, developed out of casual sessions with friends Jackson Phillips (Day Wave), Soko, and Zachary Cole Smith (DIIV). Launder’s music had seen unexpected attention, with

                      Stereogum placing it “somewhere at the intersection of ‘90s lo-fi and shoegaze,” and Gorilla vs. Bear noting Cudlip’s “serious knack for the kind of wistful, soaring choruses that immediately make you feel like you’ve known these songs forever.” With live shows paused in 2020, he immersed fully into writing and arranging an overflow of ideas. Cudlip also embraced sobriety, redirecting his once-destructive addictive tendencies into studio craft — all his thoughts consumed by melody and texture, all his resources lobbed into gear, every buzz, hiss, and hum of this record became his entire world. The resulting set sprawls across a double LP release; it’s a considered beast of a debut and he’s proud of it, living with it, finally. Through its thirteen songs, Happening is timeless, grappling with something bigger than just melody, the cathartic and the tender, indebted to indie rock greats while informed by modern and prudent self-reflection.

                      “I feel like I’ve evolved into a much more self-reliant writer compared to the EP and 7-inch releases but I couldn’t have made this record without the band,” he says. “The songs came to life in the rehearsal space with them, it was like a light switch went on.” To record the album, Cudlip and collaborators — including Chase Meier (bass), Bryan DeLeon (drums), Nathan Hawelu (lead guitar) — joined co-producer, engineer, and mixer Sonny DiPerri (My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, DIIV) at New Monkey Studio, the vintage analog/modern digital recording studio in Van Nuys, California once owned by Elliott Smith. Cudlip mapped out his dream setup; alternate-tuning a fleet of Fenders to facilitate his left-handed playing, experimenting with different amps (a late ‘70s Marshall JMP carried much of the sound), and getting the vocals just right on Smith’s old Neumann U48 microphone and Fairchild compressor. With each nuanced adjustment and improved take, they’d joke, “it’s happening.” The sort of phrase you say to keep the vibe light — but there was some gravity behind it — as the group was forced to wait to be safely in the same space again. It was apparent to them that something magnetic was shaping this record.

                      Where debuts often feel full of rough-hewn potential, Launder has crafted a deeply honed collection that is happening right now. A process-oriented album, the work of a person maturing with their art, the sound of a songwriter pushing through their limits with thrilling and anthemic outcomes.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      01. Unwound
                      02. Intake
                      03. Blue Collar
                      04. On A Wire
                      05. Become
                      06. Beggar
                      07. Rust
                      08. Withdraw
                      09. Lockwood
                      10. Harbour Mouth
                      11. Chipper
                      12. Parking Lot
                      13. Lantern

                      Kate Bollinger

                      Look At It In The Light EP

                        Richmond, VA-based artist Kate Bollinger has signed to Ghostly International and released a video for her new single “Yards / Gardens.” Bollinger is currently on tour with Real Estate and will support Faye Webster on tour next year. She has also announced a 2022 European tour and a special hometown headline show in Richmond. 

                        “Yards / Gardens” finds Bollinger in full swing, skipping verses of uncertainty above a bright and nimble bassline and kick. Guitarist Chris Lewis weaves throughout, his riffs unravel across the bridge, trailing her lines like ellipses. Written with Trainum and Lewis, “Yards / Gardens” reflects “feeling resistant to change, during a time when it felt like everything was changing,” says Bollinger. Growing up has become a motif in her work, but she’s never sidestepped the concept in quite this way. Here, self-assured and surrounded by vivid production, she leans back in the grass, letting expectations breeze by, reminding herself she’ll tend to things in good time.

                        "For ‘Yards / Gardens,’ Kate and I wanted to take the sonic spirit of the track and translate its feeling into the video instead of using the direct lyrical meaning,” says the video’s director Mitch deQuilettes. “We wanted to give homage to 60's & 70's films such as Godard's ‘Pierrot Le Fou,’ Melville's ‘Le Circle Rouge’ and Altman's ‘The Long Goodbye.’ It was important to us to keep the piece campy and light, while keeping it grounded in realism."


                        TRACK LISTING

                        1. I Found Out
                        2. Who Am I But Someone
                        3. Look At It In The Light
                        4. Yards / Gardens
                        5. Lady In The Darkest Hour
                        6. Connecting Dots

                        Mary Lattimore

                        Silver Ladders

                          Los Angeles-based harpist Mary Lattimore returns with Silver Ladders, the full-length follow-up to acclaimed album Hundreds of Days. Since 2018, Lattimore has toured internationally, released collaborative albums with artists such as Meg Baird and Mac McCaughan, and shared a friends-based remix album featuring artists such as Jónsi and Julianna Barwick. At one of her festival appearances, Lattimore met Slowdive’s Neil Halstead: “A friend introduced us because she knew how big of a fan I was and Neil and I had a little chat... The next day, I just thought maybe he’d be into producing my next record.” He was. Lattimore traditionally records her albums holed up by herself, so the addition of Halstead’s touches as a producer and collaborator leave a profound trace. “I flew on a little plane to Newquay in Cornwall where he lives with his lovely partner Ingrid and their baby. I didn’t know what his studio was like, he’d never recorded a harp, but somehow it really worked.”

                          Recorded over nine days at Halstead’s studio stationed on an old airfield, Silver Ladders finds Lattimore exercising command and restraint. Her signature style is refined, the sprawling layers of harp reigned in and accented by flourishes of low end synth and Halstead’s guitar. The music can feel ominous but not by compromising vivid wonder, like oceanic overtones that shift with the tides. This material is colored by specific memories for Lattimore; “Neil has this poster of a surfer in his studio and I’d look at it each day, looking at the sunlight glinting on the dark wave. In these songs I like the contrast between the dark lows and the glittering highs. The gloom and the glimmer, the opposites, a lively surfing town in the winter turned kinda rainy and empty and quiet.”

                          Lattimore and Halstead reformed three existing demos and improvised the remaining four songs. Among the batch she brought with her, the title track recalls a trip she took to Stari Grad, Croatia on the island of Hvar. “I spent some days there just swimming in the bay, silver ladders right into the sea.” The image stuck with her when she found herself performing at a cliffside wedding overlooking the Pacific. “Before anyone showed up, I had time to set up and play and this song came to me, ‘Silver Ladders (to the sea)’, so I made a little recording on my phone to remember it.” This sketch expanded; a delicately glittering harp melody comes over the horizon, swelling and rolling towards the shore on ebbs of synth and refractory delay.

                          These songs are clearly tales, and yet Silver Ladders is open to interpretation. Her memories — “the Cornish landscape, the hotel from the movie The Witches, the cream tea, winning the pub quiz, the Sunday Roast, the ghosts of all of the surfers who had died in the wild waves, the night walks to the top of the hill to see the moon shining on the water…” — shine through these works without defining them. In a way, much like the sea, or the sky, they belong to everyone. Such is the beauty of her craft, which stands here in unprecedented company and clarity, the confidence of an artist in full.


                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: The beauty really shines brightly in this one. Mary Lattimore presents a perfectly relaxing, dreamlike meeting of brittle, echoing harp and tastefully applied delay, all undrepinned with slowly shifting, ambient atmospherics. A wonderfully immersive, beautifully realised LP.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          1. Pine Trees
                          2. Silver Ladders
                          3. Til A Mermaid Drags You Under
                          4. Sometimes He's In My Dreams
                          5. Chop On The Climbout
                          6. Don't Look
                          7. Thirty Tulips 

                          West coast composer, artist, and producer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has chartered a pioneering career with multiple critically-acclaimed albums since 2015. Following the release of The Kid in 2017, Smith focused her energy in several directions. She founded Touchtheplants, a multidisciplinary creative environment for projects including the first volumes in her instrumental Electronic Series and pocket-sized poetry books on the practice of listening within. She’s continued to explore the endless possibilities of electronic instruments as well as the shapes, movements, and expressions found in the physical body’s relationship to sound and color. It is this life-guiding interest that forms the foundational frequencies of her most recent full-length, The Mosaic of Transformation, a bright, sensorial glide through unbound wave phenomena and the radiant power discovered within oneself.

                          “I guess in one sentence, this album is my expression of love and appreciation for electricity,” says Smith. While writing and recording, she embraced a daily practice of physical movement, passing electricity through her body and into motion, in ways reflecting her audio practice, which sends currents through modular synthesizers and into the air through speakers. Not a dancer by any traditional definition, she taught herself improvisatory movement realizing flexibility, strength, and unexpectedly, a “visual language” stemming from the human body and comprised of vibrational shapes. Understood as cymatics, as Smith says, “as a reference for how frequencies can be visualized,” much like a mosaic.

                          Smith describes her first encounters with this mosaic; “the inspiration came to me in a sudden bubble of joy. It was accompanied by a multitude of shapes that were moving seamlessly from one into the other...My movement practice has been a constant transformation piece by piece. I made this album in the same way. Every day I would transform what I did yesterday...into something else. This album has gone through about 12 different versions of itself.” As it has arrived, in a completed state, The Mosaic of Transformation is a holistic manifestation of embodied motions. Smith’s signature textural curiosity that fans have grown to adore pivots naturally into a proprioceptive study of melody and timbre. Airy organ and voice interweave with burbling Buchla-spawned harmonic bubbles.

                          “The Steady Heart” quivers to life, peppering blasts of wooden organ between winding vocal affirmations. As with a body, moving one portion requires a balance and counterbalance; here, subtle tonal twitchy signals fire in conjunction with coiling arias to create a mesmeric core. When the beat arrives at the midway mark, a swooping and jittery waltz, a sense of stasis in motion, a flow state, is sonically achieved. As soon as it syncs, it disappears back into the swirling ebbs of electric force. Other tracks stray into more ruminative physical realms. “Carrying Gravity” is built around string-like pads that expand and contract like a solar plexus, becoming taught and then loose.

                          If the record could be summarized in a single movement, it is the 10-minute closing suite, a rapturous collage called “Expanding Electricity.” Symphonic phrases establish the piece before washes of glittering electric peals and synthesized vibraphone helix into focus. Soon, Smith’s voice grounds it all with an intuitive vocal hook, harmonized and augmented by concentric spirals of harp-and-horn-like sounds. Smith’s music doesn’t capture a specific emotion as much as it captures the joys of possessing a body, and the ability to, with devotion and a steady open heart, maneuver that vessel in space by way of electricity to euphoric degrees. 


                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: It's sometimes hard to listen to electronic music that has no real basis in rhythm or melody, and while the Buchla modular synth has produced some pretty 'out-there' albums, KAS is not one of those artists. She's created some mind-blowingly beautiful meditative ambient albums, but it's not one of those either. This is a wildly creative, beautifully accomplished coherent stream of gorgeousness, and shows just how diverse a modular synth album can be.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          1. Unbraiding Boundless Energy Within Boundaries
                          2. Remembering
                          3. Understanding Body Messages
                          4. The Steady Heart
                          5. Carrying Gravity
                          6. The Spine Is Quiet In The Center
                          7. Overflowing
                          8. Deepening The Flow Of
                          9. Expanding Electricity

                          Matthew Dear is a shapeshifter, oscillating seamlessly between DJ, dance-music producer, and experimental pop auteur. He is a founding artist on both Ghostly International and its dancefloor offshoot, Spectral Sound. He writes, produces, and mixes all of his work. He straddles multiple musical worlds and belongs to none, now nearly 20 years into his kaleidoscopic career, with five albums and two dozen EPs plus millions of miles in the rearview of his biography.

                          Bunny is the name of Matthew Dear’s fifth album. His first since 2012, it bounces into plain sight preceded by two slyly different singles in 2017: the moody, urgent "Modafinil Blues” and the buoyant, blithe, Tegan and Sara-featuring “Bad Ones.” Bunny follows both modes, among others, parading down a rabbit hole of unhinged phrasings, dreams, and interludes. It saunters in the shadows; it stands brightly in the moonlight. Bunny is a dual vision of avant-pop; an artistic reckoning from a 21st-century polymath; persona splintered, paradox paraphrased, a riddle rendered.


                          TRACK LISTING

                          01. Bunny’s Dream
                          02. Calling
                          03. Can You Rush Them
                          04. Echo
                          05. Modafinil Blues
                          06. What You Don’t Know
                          07. Horses (feat. Tegan And Sara)
                          08. Moving Man
                          09. Bunny’s Interlude
                          10. Duke Of Dens
                          11. Electricity
                          12. Kiss Me Forever
                          13. Bad Ones (feat. Tegan And Sara)
                          14. Before I Go

                          Since Scott Hansen's Tycho project's inception in 2004 with the release of 'Sunrise Projector' (later renamed 'Past Is Prologue' for it's reissues in 2006 and 2010), they have undertaken a wide range of melodic electronic miscellany. Centred around the trio of albums, 'Dive' 'Awake' and onto his latest offering, 'Epoch'. 

                          Though they all mine the seam of anthemic electronic music, they have leant in slightly differing directions with regards their emotional pacing and melodic makeup. 'Dive' was very much a morning album, slowly growing into a breathing and optomistic mass through woozy synths and reticent percussion, forming themes through repetition and infinitesimal variations. 'Awake' was much more as the title suggests, a pinnacle of alertness, an effervescent and resplendent rising from the woozy haze of the first. 

                          And onto Epoch. A culmination and combination of the previous two iterations, stylistically, and theoretically. 

                          Opener 'Division' begins with a hazy crushed electric piano, and growing fade before cutting brutally into galloping toms, and that trademark Tycho bass sound. Not two minutes in and it becomes instantly recognisable, with sliding square wave synths swooning backwards and forwards along with the kinetic rhytmic backdrop. 'Horizon' has throbbing cosmic chord stabs and sidechained crisp saturated drum kit. 

                          Pieces like 'Reciever' really move the posts of what has come before, embracing the dusky atmospheres of 'Dive' but with much more of a late-night feel, jazzy rhodes trills and throbbing ambience really lending their mystique before being given a firm but subtle bolstering by some uncharacteristically distant drums and shakers dragging the pace along. 

                          Move on further and 'Division' is a complex and fascinating melting pot of instrumental rock, driving electronica and ambience, being based much more heavily upon guitars and rhythm before bringing in the synths in a stop-start cut-up. A brilliantly varied but completely natural progression, made all the more hard-hitting by the lack of crossovers, opting instead for a complete about-turn on more than one occasion. 

                          'Epoch' is less about ambience setting the scene than on previous offerings, and much more based on Hansen's mastery of rhythmic foundations and celever melodic arrangement. Moreso than anything else Tycho have done, this is a bracing and rewarding journey, never jarring, but constantly evolving. A masterful culmination of concept and execution, and most of all a great listen. 

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: Having been a fan of Tycho's work for some time now, I was wondering how this would come out, and I couldn't be any happier. A brilliant fusion of the unbelievable skill of the previous two albums, and a brilliantly executed continuation and expanding of the themes found on both. Darker, moodier and more uplifting and euphoric at the flick of a switch. Brilliant.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          01. Glider
                          02. Horizon
                          03. Slack 
                          04. Reciever
                          05. Epoch
                          06. Division 
                          07. Source
                          08. Local
                          09. Rings
                          10. Continuum
                          11. Afield 


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