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Niecy Blues

Exit Simulation

    South Carolina singer and producer Niecy Blues describes her songwriting process like an undertow: “I feel a strange pull, and let it carry me, following swirling leaves... whole days roll by, forgetting about the body.”

    Their full-length debut, Exit Simulation, captures this sense of deep-rooted divination, cycling between simmering ballads, ghosted R&B, downtempo gospel, and looped vocal improvisations – often within the same track. The title is taken from a science fiction novel she read during the purgatory of the pandemic, alluding to a dimensional ideation of departure – “the permission to imagine leaving.”

    Recorded in her current home of Charleston, she characterizes the album’s mood in terms both reflective and raw: an exploration of things suppressed, foundations beginning to crack, “talking myself off a ledge.”

    The music of Niecy Blues transposes reverie and reckoning into emotive devotionals of keys, guitar, bass, synth, and bewitched voice, steeped in sacred atmospheres gleaned from a youth spent in a religious Oklahoma household: “My first experience with ambient music was church – slow songs of worship, with delay on the guitar... even if you don’t believe, you feel something.”


    1. 1111
    2. The Nite B4
    3. U Care
    4. Violently Rooted
    5. Exit Simulation
    6. Exits
    7. Soma
    8. Messages From Above
    9. Lament
    10. Violently Rooted Reprise
    11. The Architect
    12. Analysis Paralysis
    13. Cascade


    The Man Who Died In His Boat - 2023 Repress

    “When I was a teenager the wreckage of a sailboat washed up on the shore of Agate Beach. The remains of the vessel weren't removed for several days. I walked down with my father to peer inside the boat cabin. Maps, coffee cups and clothing were strewn around inside.

    “I remember looking only briefly, wilted by the feeling that I was violating some remnant of this man's presence by witnessing the evidence of its failure. Later I read a story about him in the paper. It was impossible to know what had happened. The boat had never crashed or capsized. He had simply slipped off somehow, and the boat, like a riderless horse, eventually came back home.”

    The Man Who Died in His Boat is an album of unreleased songs recorded alongside the Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill album.


    01 6 
    02 Vital 
    03 Cloud In Places 
    04 Being Her Shadow 
    05 Cover The Long Way
    06 Difference (Voices) 
    07Vanishing Point 
    08 The Man Who Died In His Boat 
    09 Towers 
    10 STS 
    11 Living Room


    Ruins - 2023 Repress

    Eagerly anticipated new album from Liz Harris AKA Grouper.


    Ruins was made in Aljezur, Portugal in 2011 on a residency set up by Galeria Zé dos Bois. I recorded everything there except the last song, which I did at mother's house in 2004. Iʼm still surprised by what I wound up with. It was the first time Iʼd sat still for a few years; processed a lot of political anger and emotional garbage. Recorded pretty simply, with a portable 4-track, Sony stereo mic and an upright piano. When I wasnʼt recording songs I was hiking several miles to the beach. The path wound through the ruins of several old estates and a small village.

    The album is a document. A nod to that daily walk. Failed structures. Living in the remains of love. I left the songs the way they came (microwave beep from when power went out after a storm); I hope that the album bears some resemblance to the place that I was in.


    1. Made Of Metal
    2. Clearing
    3. Call Across Rooms
    4. Labyrinth
    5. Lighthouse
    6. Holofernes
    7. Holding
    8. Made Of Air


    Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill - 2023 Repress

      I held my breath and stared at them until they parted the air around me like a curtain.

      This is a new reissue of Grouper?s breakthrough 2008 album which has been out of print on all physical formats for the last few years.

      Press quotes for Dragging a Dead Deer...:
      “There?s a deeply meditative, almost spiritual beauty to these tracks; a melancholy that?s simultaneously strangely hopeful.” Drowned in Sound
      “This remarkable album is actually what I personally always wanted 4AD records to sound like, only they never quite delivered the hazy pleasures their beautiful sleeve art promised.” Pitchfork [8.2]
      “A psych-folk bent for harmonic discord and atmospheric dread ?nds something forever sinister lodged at the album's heart: thekind of beauty that makes sailors run aground.” Mojo
      “More than just a pretty acoustic record, Harris, through Grouper, has created a startlingly vivid and brooding shoegaze gem that works in spite of its length and ?rst impressions.” Sputnik

      Justin Walter


        The music of JusTn Walter veers between nebulous and numinous, coaxed from the translucent tonalities of his signature instrument, the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument).

        Destroyer, his latest, and third for Kranky, marks his most multifaceted work yet. Inspired by minimalistic urges (evading grandiosity, condensing scope, embracing spatial restraint) tempered with the drama of triptychs (becoming, destruction, aftermath), the album’s 11 tracks thread a keening suite of aching, opaque beauty, traced in absence and breath.

        First begun in the no man’s land summer of 2020, Walter gradually amassed nearly two hours of demos, drafts, and ideas, then steadily whimled them to their essence. Destroyer enlists the sounds of a recently restored pump organ, adding pulses and quaking texture, but otherwise the album is a shimmering showcase of the EVI: miasmic, melodic, intuiTve, infinite. It’s music of fraught devoTon and uneasy peace, quesTng yet languorous, forever rapt and untethered. 


        1. For Us
        2. Radio Contact
        3. Transitions
        4. Destroyer
        5. New Pads
        6. Fear 17
        7. Cliff The Cloud Catcher
        8. 11.27
        9. 1002
        10. Inner Voices
        11. Slow Walkers

        Bowery Electric

        Bowery Electric - 2023 Reissue

          Reissue of debut album from 1995, now including their 1994 Drop EP.
          First time available on vinyl in nearly two decades.
          On Pitchfork’s Best Shoegaze Albums Of All Time list.
          Included in Andrew Earles’s Gimme Indie Rock: 500 Essential American Underground Rock Albums 1981-1996.

          This new double LP version restores the track “Deep Sky Objects” to the original running order of the album as it was left off of the original single LP version due to side length restraints. This is the first time this album has been available on vinyl in almost two decades, and the first time the Drop EP has been available in any format since original release in 1994.

          At the same time, Kranky is making the CD version available once again for the first time in many years, with the Drop EP tracks also included.

          The debut album from New York City’s Bowery Electric was released by Kranky in late summer 1995 after they came to the label’s attention via their self-released 2x7-inch Drop EP from the year previous. The first in a trio of albums released by the core duo of Lawrence Chandler and Martha Schwendener finds them in their most raw form.

          “The perfect realization of their aesthetic, each word and chord tuned and focused for maximum impact.” — Pitchfork

          “Genuinely hypnotic.” —The Wire 


          Side A:
          1. Sounds In Motion.
          2. Next To Nothing.
          3. Long Way Down.
          4. Another Road
          Side B:
          1. Over And Over
          2. Deep Sky Objects
          3. Slow Thrills
          Side C:
          1. Out Of Phase
          2. Drift Away
          Side D (Drop EP):
          1. Drop
          2. Let Me Down
          3. Head On Fire
          4. Only Sometimes

          Stars Of The Lid

          Stars Of The Lid And Their Refinement Of The Decline - 2023 Repress

            "I simply feel that they are making the most important music of the 21st century." Ivo Watts-Russell - 4AD label founder .

            "Crushingly sad, lightly melancholic, or even uplifting, depending on the state of mind of the hearer… a sound divorced from intention and its ambiguity is its strength." Pitchfork.

            "The sound of deep sea disintegration… a work of art." Tiny Mix Tapes.

            "Music of such quiet and devastating power it can silence a room in five minutes without the volume knob on the stereo being manipulated. Deeply moving…." AllMusic.

            "Traces the fluid contours of a void through diaphanous lines that reveal all of its miasmal abstraction." Dusted "A two-hour juggernaut of careful dynamics and warm tones." XLR8R.

            TRACK LISTING

            Dungtitled (in A Major)
            Articulate Silences Part 1
            Articulate Silences Part 2
            The Evil That Never Arrived
            Apreludes (in C Sharp Major)
            Don't Bother They're Here
            Dopamine Clouds Over Craven Cottage
            Even If You're Never Awake (deuxieme)
            Even (out) +
            A Meaningful Moment Through A Meaning(less) Process
            Another Ballad For Heavy Lids
            The Daughters Of Quiet Minds
            Hiberner Toujours
            That Finger On Your Temple Is The Barrel Of My Raygun
            Humectez La Mouture
            Tippy's Demise
            The Mouthchew
            December Hunting For Vegetarian Fuckface

            Stars Of The Lid

            The Tired Sounds Of Stars Of The Lid - 2023 Repress

              "Put simply, 'Tired Sounds Of...' is one of the most unremittingly beautiful albums I've ever heard." Drowned In Sound.

              "Unspeakably beautiful."

              "One of the most beautiful recordings we have ever heard." Aquarius Records

              "A fantastic masterpiece, missing this would be foolish." Touching Extremes.

              "Their relentless commitment to subtlety sets them apart, as does their masterful hand with tone… dissonance is doled out in small portions, perfectly coloring the sculpted fields of sound." Pitchfork.

              "When all else fails and you need to shut the rest of the world out, this is a guaranteed mute button." Self- Titled.

              TRACK LISTING

              Requiem For Dying Mothers, Pt. 1
              Requiem For Dying Mothers, Pt. 2
              Down 3
              Austin, Tx Mental Hospital, Pt. 1
              Austin, Tx Mental Hospital, Pt. 2
              Austin, Tx Mental Hospital, Pt. 3
              Broken Harbors, Pt. 1
              Broken Harbors, Pt. 2
              Broken Harbors, Pt. 3
              The Lonely People (are Getting Lonelier)
              Piano Aquieu
              Fac 21
              Ballad Of Distances, Pt. 1
              Ballad Of Distances, Pt. 2
              A Lovesong [for Cubs] Pt. 1
              A Lovesong (for Cubs] Pt. 2
              A Lovesong (for Cubs] Pt. 3

              Bowery Electric

              Beat - 2022 Reissue

                The second album from New York City's Bowery Electric was released in late 1996, less than 15 months after their self-titled debut, but it found them having traveled light years musically in the interim, the group having seemingly decided to see how far they could take the guitar/ bass / drums / vocal setup into the atmosphere.

                Every aspect of their approach had been refined and focused: squalling, distorted guitars had been transformed into hazy, sensual sheets; the live drums transmuted to sampled rhythms more in debt to the blossoming downtempo sound of the day; bass lines reduced to their most basic diagrams; vocals submerged to become one with the narcotized fog of the instruments; even the lyrics were reduced to a few minimal lines used sparingly so as not to overshadow the dynamic.

                Beat is a lush and dense mantra of shadowy percussion, barely-there vocals and immersive drones that envelops the listener in an opiated blanket of sound. Includes the bonus track "Low Density," not featured on the original U.S. release.

                "Bowery Electric have made something utterly astonishing here. So deep, so wide, and somehow as intimate as a train crash. The first six tracks are just the most crushingly beautiful thing I've heard in 1997; the last five are even better. Good god, THIS IS IT." Melody Maker.

                "While cymbals shower down over the songs like a torrent of shattered glass, their austere beauty is never static. Ambience has rarely sounded so messy." Exclaim.

                A near-perfect mix of shifting dance beats, menacing electronic drones, analogue bleeps,
                syncopated rhythms and ethereal vocals." Now UK.

                TRACK LISTING

                Side A:
                1. Beat
                2. Empty Words
                3. Without Stopping
                Side B:
                1. Under The Sun
                2. Fear Of Flying
                3. Looped
                4. Black Light
                Side C:
                1. Inside Out
                2. Coming Down
                3. Postscript
                4. Low Density*
                Side D:
                1. Postscript

                *bonus Track Not On Original U.S. Release



                  Portland pianist Mary Sutton second’s fulllength for Kranky delves deeper into her roots as a Cherokee Nation citizen (Saloli, pronounced like “slowly,” is the Cherokee word for ‘squirrel’).

                  The album is intended to evoke “a day in the life of a bear in a canyon in the Smoky Mountains,” with each track channeling a different emotion or experience in its daily explorations. As with her 2018 debut, The Deep End, the entirety of Canyon was composed and performed live on a Sequential Circuits MultiTrak synthesizer – but this time routed through a delay pedal. This refraction adds a lyrical spatial quality, as though “echoing off canyon walls.” It's music both gentle and adventurous, curiously rooting through soils and streams, in a sustained state of discovery.

                  In Cherokee teachings, humans and animals are considered to have no essential difference – originally, all the creatures of the earth lived together in harmony. Canyon captures shades of this Edenic notion across eight elegant pieces, alternately meandering, pensive, playful, and pure. Sutton’s playing, as always, is dexterous and dimensional, mirroring the dazzled senses of its muse.

                  Her father, the Cherokee painter and flute-maker Jerry Sutton, created the artwork. Its yellow lettering is from the Cherokee Syllabary and spells “Yona", meaning ‘bear.’

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Waterfall
                  2. Lily Pad
                  3. Snake
                  4. Yona
                  5. Silhouette
                  6. Full Moon
                  7. Nighthawk
                  8. Sunrise

                  Tim Hecker

                  No Highs

                    The latest by Canadian composer Tim Hecker serves as a beacon of unease against the deluge of false positive corporate ambient currently in vogue.

                    Whether taken as warning or promise, No Highs delivers – this is music of austerity and ambiguity, purgatorial and seasick. A jagged anti-relaxant for our medicated age, rough-hewn and undefined.

                    Morse code pulse programming flickers like distress signals while a gathering storm of strings, noise, and low-end looms in the distance. Processed electronics shiver and shudder against pitch-shifting assemblages of crackling voltage, mantric horns (including exquisite modal sax by Colin Stetson), and cathedral keys.

                    Throughout, the pieces both accrue and avoid drama, more attuned to undertow than crescendo. Hecker mentions “negation” as a muse of sorts – the sense of tumult without bombast, tethered ecstasies, an escape from escapism. His is an antagonism both brusque and beguiling, devoid of resolution, beckoning the listener ever deeper into its greyscale alchemies of magisterial disquiet.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Monotony
                    2. Glissalia
                    3. Total Garbage
                    4. Lotus Light
                    5. Winter Cop
                    6. In Your Mind
                    7. Monotony II
                    8. Pulse Depression
                    9. Anxiety
                    10. Sense Suppression
                    11. Living Spa Water



                      The 12th full-length by Pacific Northwest artist Liz Harris aka Grouper is a collection of songs spanning 15 years. She characterizes Shade as an album about respite, and the coast, poetically and literally. How we frame ourselves in a landscape, how in turn it frames ourselves; memories and experiences carried forward mapping our connection to place.

                      — An ode to blue / What lives in shade —

                      Songs touch on loss, flaws, hiding places, love. Deep connections to the Bay Area, and the North Coast, with its unique moods of solitude, beauty, and isolation—a place described and transformed by the chaos and power of river-mouth, wild maritime storms, columns of mist that rise up unexpectedly on the road at night. Portions were recorded on Mount Tamalpais during a self-made residency years back, other pieces made longer ago in Portland, while the rest were tracked during more recent sessions in Astoria.

                      Throughout, Harris threads a hidden radiant language of voice, disquiet, and guitar, framed by open space and the sense of being far away.

                      Echoing a lighthouse, burying the faults of being human / Into things that we project upon the sky at night.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Followed The Ocean
                      2. Unclean Mind
                      3. Ode To The Blue
                      4. Pale Interior
                      5. Disordered Minds
                      6. The Way Her Hair Falls
                      7. Promise
                      8. Basement Mix
                      9. Kelso (Blue Sky)

                      “I could go on and on about the insane virtuosity, about the rare analog wind synth that almost no one in the world plays anymore, about the most unique intervallic melodies and harmonies, but it’s all secondary to the simple beauty that Justin Walter is able to conjure up with his solo music.” Colin Stetson

                      Michigan trumpeter Justin Walter’s solo work centers on evocative, intuitive explorations of the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument), a rare wind-controlled analog synthesizer from the 1970’s.

                      Its unique, smeared tonality allows for an expressive range of glassy, jazz-like textures, which Walter loops and layers with hushed electronics and twilit trumpet, painting opaque landscapes of resonant beauty.

                      Walter’s 2013 debut, Lullabies & Nightmares, included a handful of collaborations with percussionist Quin Kirchner but Unseen Forces finds him fully solo, refining the project to its essence: shape-shifting watercolors of pastel haze, lit by the soft synthetic glow of electric breath. It’s a sound both modern and timeless, fusing emotion and technology, gauze and melody, force and fragility.

                      From Justin Walter: Unseen Forces is a collection of recordings that document the use of improvisation as a means to create sounds that can either function on their own or serve as the foundation of, or source material for, additional improvisation. There was a definite process used to create this music but at no point was any music ever written or composed.

                      When putting this music together I was often aware of feelings related to density, spacing, silence, and the sense of time pulling back on itself, like trying to stretch a scene and pull on it in ways that distort it ever so slightly. This is a record of melodies, alone and in complex relation. This music is a reflection of both feeling, and thought, as much construction as composition. The recordings of the EVI, as well as the sequencing done using samples of those recordings, are mostly the result of exploring melody through intuition. Harmonically simple, but with a complex pallet of texture.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: Introspective wandering avant-jazz sections clash with soaring airy ambience and cut-up string sections. Sparse pianos on 'End Of Six' for example are alone but for their own shimmering reverb tails, left to ruminate through the sound field uninterrupted. From the minimalism and fog comes beauty and warmth, presenting as snippets of found sound and crackling pads.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. 1001
                      2. Unseen Forces
                      3. Sixty
                      4. End Of Six
                      5. It’s Not What You Think
                      6. Isotope
                      7. Following
                      8. Soft Illness
                      9. Red Cabin

                      Graceful compositions flow throughout. Steve Hauschildt’s fourth release for kranky following his Where All Is Fled full length from late summer 2015.

                      The songs fluctuate from the serene calm of album opener Horizon of Appearances, to the pulsing hypnosis of Ketracel, and on to searing grandeur of album closer Die in Fascination, Throughout, Steve remains restrained and in complete control of his sound.

                      Strands is a song cycle that is about cosmogony and creation/destruction myths. The title alludes to the structural constitution of ropes as I wanted to approach the compositions so that they consisted of strands and fibers which form a unified whole. This was so the songs could have the appearance of being either taut or slack without being fundamentally locked to a grid. So the sounds/tones have a certain malleability to them and sound like they're bending through time. It's also grittier and more distorted than my previous albums.

                      I wanted to try and capture that moment in nature and society where life slowly reemerges through desolation, so it has a layer of optimism looming underneath. The music represents this by seemingly decaying at times but then reforms and morphs in a fluid way back to its original state. I was also inspired by the movement of rivers, particularly their transformative aspect and how they're in a state of flux and change, in particular the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland where I live, which notoriously caught on fire thirteen times because of industrial pollution in the 1960s and before. I was very interested in the dichotomy of oil and water and the resulting, unnatural symptoms of human industry. It's a very personal record for me as it is a reflection of my hometown where I grew up and where it was mostly recorded.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: Where 'Where all Is Fled' was nuanced, but rife with confident and optimistic moments, 'Strands' is much more tilted towards the uneasy. Slightly syncopated melodies and growing pads unsettle but never become jarring, merely lending an equally proficient counterfoil to the majority of his already startling oeuvre.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Horizon Of Appearances
                      2. Same River Twice
                      3. A False Seeming
                      4. Ketracel
                      5. Time We Have
                      6. Strands
                      7. Transience Of Earthly Joys
                      8. Die In Fascination

                      Physicalist is the third album from New York City synthesis trio Forma. Since their acclaimed self-titled debut in 2011, Forma have been perfecting a distinctive style of improvised kosmische and minimalism that blends swirling arpeggios, ambient soundscapes, and driving motorik beats.

                      Physicalist is a sprawling, double LP journey featuring new member and multi-instrumentalist John Also Bennett. The first Forma album to include acoustic instrumentation, Physicalist owes more to American composers like Harold Budd or Terry Riley than Klaus Schulze and other Krautrock visionaries.

                      The album was recorded during marathon sessions at Brooklyn’s Gary’s Electric studio, and is packaged in a gatefold jacket with original artwork by Robert Beatty and a liner notes essay by writer and critic Michael Barron. Physicalist was mastered by Bob Weston.

                      Formed in 2010 by Mark Dwinell in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Forma released their first two full-length LPs on John Elliot’s influential Editions Mego imprint, Spectrum Spools. Physicalist is the first full-length statement from the new lineup, which also includes founding member and percussionist George Bennett.

                      The double LP contains two distinct halves; the first consisting of rhythmic compositions derived from the trio’s formidable array of modular and vintage synthesizers, and the second breaking from the grid with ambient, free-flowing experiments on piano, flute and acoustic percussion. The album marks a departure from Cool Haptics, the group’s techno-leaning 2014 EP on The Bunker New York.

                      Physicalist takes its title from physicalism, the philosophical belief that all phenomena in the universe are created entirely from physical interactions. Using a synthesizer as its foundation, kosmische music turns algorithms into art by investigating infinite possibilities within a set of physical parameters. The electronic composer Laurie Spiegel once suggested that a looped algorithmic sequence could go on forever, and as long as humans were able to interact with it, it would never cease to interest us. This is the bedrock of improvisation, and it is from this vantage point that Forma have created Physicalist, an American kosmische music in which a boundless voyage gives way to a structured environment—a programmed jazz with the grid as guidepost. “We’re not interested in providing an escapism for people,” says member Mark Dwinell, “We want to instead connect with people through a vigilantly monitored present. To us, that real moment, shed of any fancy, is just as divine.”

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: One of my absolute favourites, Forma. I remember hearing their self-titled debut album many moons ago and being equally blown away by their follow-up Off/On. This one is just as mindblowing. Kosmische synthplay and driven motorik rhythms abound, chirping pads and reverb-soaked arpeggios come together into a beautiful and melodic scree. The latter half of the album is more ambient, focused on acoustics more than electronics but with the unmistakeable sound they've become known for. Another brilliant showing, and an essential for any electronic music fans.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Collapse Of Materialists
                      2. Sane Man
                      3. Spin Glass
                      4. Ghosts
                      5. Maxwell’s Demon
                      6. Descent
                      7. Wanderer Imitates A Cloud
                      8. As If Pianos Grew On Trees
                      9. Collapse Of Materialists 2
                      10. Physicalist
                      11. Improvisation For Flute And Piano

                      MJ Guider

                      Precious Systems

                        Melissa Guion is MJ Guider. She lives and works in New Orleans and previously released the Green Plastic extended play cassette in early 2014 on the Constellation Tatsu label.

                        Employing heavy washes of bass and a deft touch in mixing, she uses stark contrasts to construct a semi-surreal aural space.

                        What results are songs that exist in a wholly contained sound environment, minimal yet lush, spare yet saturated, and most importantly, entirely compelling.

                        “ syrupy goodness that hits all the right spots.” Fact
                        “...swallows up the listener in dark, warm, gooey vibes.” Tiny Mix Tapes

                        From MJ Guider:
                        “Precious Systems is inspired and influenced by the landscape in and near New Orleans, particularly the juxtaposition of the natural with industrial and commercial constructs as they reflect life here.

                        The songs on the album attempt to create contrasts of their own as one means to induce unreality or alter perspective. While it is greatly influenced by science fiction, its sounds and stories often become it themselves.
                        The sounds come from a variety of sources, but are anchored by a few aging, outmoded machines.

                        A beloved Rickenbacker 3000 in combination with a Roland R-8 drum machine, and RE-501 tape echo set the tone of technology in subsidence.”

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: Though it might seem unlikely, gothic tinged shoegaze/ambient has seen a bit of a surge in recent years. Tropic of cancer being a notable (and equally excellent) recent addition. Precious Systems is as haunting as it is enchanting, saturated top-heavy drones whirl around Guion's haunting voice, driven along by cavernous guitar, and every so often punctuated by driving hardware drum machines. Spooky and shadowed gothic shoegaze for the masses.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        1. Lit Negative
                        2. Triple Black
                        3. Surfacing First
                        4. White Alsatian
                        5. Second Surface
                        6. Former Future Beings
                        7. Their Voices Clear Now
                        8. Evencycle
                        9. Fiction Control

                        Christopher Bissonnette

                        Pitch, Paper & Foil

                          Christopher Bissonnette is a Canadian musician/sound artist/designer living and working in Detroit and Windsor. He has released three full-length albums for Kranky and a collaborative recording with David Wenngren (Library Tapes) on Home Normal.

                          Continuing the explorations of the analog synthesizer first revealed on his last album, Bissonnette's deft touch in recording and mixing is a joy to experience. While most contemporary analog synth slingers find themselves unable to not overload the sound-field with the endless array of possibilities the instrument provides, Bissonnette provides a master class in economy and control.

                          Since his first full album release, Periphery, ten years ago, Bissonnette has been expanding his aural vocabulary and production techniques incorporating elements of concrete, field recording and modular synthesis.

                          This new series of works reflects an evolution of my adeptness with modular synthesis. As with my previous release Essays in Idleness, Pitch, Paper & Foil was constructed from a range of synthesis and compositional techniques. The goal with this album was to form a collection that exhibits more restraint than previous works.

                          Modular synthesis can be an unruly medium and taming it in order to produce delicate or subtle tones can be challenging. As with Essays..., I have allowed the artifacts of the process to find their way into the finished product. Tape noise, distortion and by-products of the random sequencing method all contribute to the character of the final recordings.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          1. Epoch
                          2. Diminution
                          3. Keeping Guard
                          4. Shuttering Slides
                          5. Surcease
                          6. Textbooks Of The Elites
                          7. The Rate Of Delay
                          8. Dualism



                            The culmination of four years writing and editing, Anjou marks the ?rst collaboration between Labradford?s Robert Donne and Mark Nelson since the release of that group?s “?xed:context” LP.

                            Combining modular synthesis, Max/MSP programming and live instrumentation, Anjou deftly weaves noise with gentle ambience and melody with texture.

                            Guitar, bass and Steven Hess? (Locrian, Fennesz, Pan American) live percussion give the eight pieces an immediacy and create a framework for the more abstract sounds of digital and analog synth programming.

                            The product of twenty plus years of friendship, Anjou is re?ned and challenging. An extension of the Labradford sound-world but no mere victory lap, Anjou represents Donne and Nelson stepping out and forward, their eyes ?rmly focusing on the future.

                            Mark Nelson formed the legendary Labradford in the early 90?s and and started working solo under the “Pan•American” moniker a few years later. Robert Donne played in Breadwinner, joined Labradford shortly after the release of the ?rst album, recorded an album with Adam Wiltzie as “Aix Em Klemm”, and has been active over the last decade in the trio Cristal. Percussionist extraordinaire Steven Hess has collaborated with dozens of artists including Greg Davis and Fennesz, and has worked in the Dropp Ensemble, Cleared, and Haptic to name just a few.

                            Lotus Plaza

                            The Floodlight Collective

                              In 2008, Deerhunter fans were presented nearly an embarrassment of riches with the release of the group's third album, "Microcastle, its pre release 'leaked' companion disc, "Weird Era Cont.", and front man Bradford Cox's solo project debut as Atlas Sound. With a good deal of Deerhunter-related material appearing on the band's web blog in 2008, anticipation surrounding the release of "The Floddlight Collective", the full-length debut of Lotus Plaza (guitarist and co-songwriter Lockett Pundt's solo project), came as little surprise. While the album doesn't stray far from the gauzy, ambient dream pop of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound, it comes across as a far more focused affair than either of those group's efforts. Rooted in Pundt's adoration of the wall-of-sound vocal harmonies of 50s Brill Building songwriters and the hypnotic, reverb-drenched haze of shoegazers like the Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, the songs are full of shimmering and opalescent melodies that teeter on the edge of something inchoate and chaotic. From the chiming, layered melodies of "Whiteout", which gently accumulate into a blizzard of white noise wash out, to the cresting surf-rock dissonance of "Sunday Night," with its circling microtones and billowing waves of guitar distortion, Lotus Plaza create blissful pop ambience that celebrates the beauty of sound unhinged.

                              1. Red Oak Way
                              2. Quicksand
                              3. These Years
                              4. Different Mirrors
                              5. Whiteout
                              6. What Grows?
                              7. Sunday Night
                              8. Antoine
                              9. The Floodlight Collective
                              10. A Threaded Needle

                              Cloudland Canyon

                              Lie In Light

                                "Lie In Light" is a work of extraordinary, hypnotic intensity and brain-melting beauty. It appears there is a second "kosmische musik" period in full bloom around the world at the moment, not so much 'kosmische' as in krautrock but instead 'cosmic'. You can play pick the influences if you like, but you can do that with any group. Cloudland certainly owe a debt to the German underground of the 70s, but they have also added flourishes of baroque pop and even a tinge of the 80s New Zealand scene into their sound. From the lock down groove of the opening track "Krautwerk", to the dense buzz of "White Woman", through the pastoral psych of "Heme" and on to the gentle wash of the closer "Mothlight", Cloudland Canyon have created an eclectic and rewarding listen.

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