Tag Archives: clay cantrell

[Archive: 2013 in Review]

The Upstate Soundscape, 1.1.14

 

 

1) Patrick Cowley, “Out of Body” School Daze (Dark Entries)

2) Haxan Cloak, “Miste” Excavation (Tri Angle)

3) Mike Parker, “Lustrations Eight (Contours)” Lustrations (Prologue)

4) Rashad Becker, “Themes I” Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol. I (Pan)

5) Rambutan, “Flying Through Glass” Inverted Summer (Fabrica)

6) Tim Hecker, “Black Refraction” Virgins (Kranky)

7) Hobo Cubes, “Membrana” Hobo Cubes/Charles Barabé split cassette (La Cohu)

8) M. Geddes Gengras, “Side A (excerpt)” Re-Vision (Cae-sur-a)

9) Annie Shaw, “Dip in The Wavelee (Never Knowin) The Upstate Soundscape Vol. II: Summer 2013

10) Clay Cantrell, “Rain, Night, Farm” High on the Gallows (House of Alchemy)

11) Grouper, “Cloud in Places” The Man Who Died in His Boat (Kranky)

12) NYMPH, “Battle Funk” New Millennium Prayer (Northern Spy)

13) Fresh Snow, “BMX Based Tactics” 

14) Zacht Automaat, “Unknown” Zacht Automaat (Calico Corps)

15) MGMT, “An Orphan of Future” MGMT (Columbia)

16) Flaming Lips “Always There…In Our Hearts” The Terror (Warner Bros.)

17) Mary Lattimore, “Poor Daniel” The Withdrawing Room (Desire Path Recordings)

18) Dustin Wong, “Emerald Atmosphere” Meditation of Ecstatic Energy (Thrill Jockey)

19) Tsembla, “Aivojen pimeydessä” Nouskaa Henget (New Images)

20) Parashi, “Salt Diggers” The Book of Nothing (Cave Recordings)

21) Tuluum Shimmering, “Side A (excerpt)” Red Bird Messenger (House of Alchemy)

22) Damian Valles, “The Malpais After Dark” Badlands (Some How Recordings)

23) Chris Watson, “Winter” In St. Cuthbert’s Time (Touch)

24) Lee Noble, “December∞” Ruiner (Bathetic)

25) Dirty Beaches, “Landscapes in the Distance” Drifters/Love is the Devil (Zoo Music)

26) Martin Rev, “Temptation” S/T (Superior Viaduct)

27) Diamond Terrifier, “Shrine Flu” The Subtle Body Wears a Shadow (Terrible Records)

28) Lea Bertucci, “Swarm” Resonance Shapes (Obsolete Units)


[Review: Clay Cantrell, ‘The Tree Farmer’]

Clay Cantrell’s cassette The Tree Farmer is a unique blend of atmospheric folk and blues-tinged singer-songwriter compositions. While Clay has a relatively mysterious presence on the internet, Buffalo’s House of Alchemy label has shown him some deserved attention by putting out this gem of a cassette. With labelmates like Obscurer and Mama Baer, Cantrell is an odd fit for such a label renowned for specializing in stranger sounds. Cantrell’s ghostly ambiance, however, does share certain similarities with other artists that have been released by HOA.

The songs on the Memphis native’s cassette (none of which come titled) show an impressive musical range; some songs are fairly straight-forward folk rock (suggestive of The Decemberists or The National), others songs, like “Late Aster Girl”–which was posted to Soundcloud by House of Alchemy–show more ambient, heavy blues sections reminiscent of a melancholy Embryonic Journey with a little more of a metal influence. Another song “Cotton Wood,” which is posted to Cantrell’s Soundcloud page, is a classic ballad overlain with haunting vocals and a wonderfully resonant piano.

In general, the vocals are not so strong on this release, but they don’t necessarily have to be. On the folkier songs the voice is more prominent, while the mellower, experimental tracks feature odd melodies, hypnotic harmonies, and heavily distorted guitar. Although Cantrell is definitely a far better guitarist than a vocalist, his vocals work well with the music (which is true of a lot of artists with the same vocal style). It’s all in good taste; it symbolizes a movement. In music there needs to be a positive message that individuality and sincerity to the self are the most important things you need, and when artists bring off-key vocals to the table it brings a new dimension to their music, as numerous artists have shown over the past decade. Vocal qualities aside, Cantrell shines as a lyricist, which makes sense since he also writes poetry.

After a long day, this album and a beer would do perfectly. The calming tones of Cantrell’s Memphis-tinged voice combined with the completely mesmerizing distortion and reverb help to achieve a dreamlike effect when listening.

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Review by Chris Samide


[Archive 05.23.12]

1) War on Drugs, “Coast Reprise,” Wagonwheel Blues (Secretly Canadian)
2) Dog Lady (Island), “Folk of the Old Flood and Loud Doom Part 2,” Folk of the old flood and loud doom (Alien Passengers)
3) Medumpolis, “Dumpster”
4) Polar Envy, “Sixteen”
5) Parashi, “White Powder Man”
6) SlowPitch, “”Another Other Space,” Biosphere Stargaze (Bah Doom Recordings)
7) No UFOs,  “Flood III” Mind Controls the Flood EP (Public Information)
8) Shackleton, “Music For the Quiet Hour part 2” Music for the Quiet Hour (Honest Jon’s)
9) Ursula Bogner, “Liner Notes” Sonne=Blackbox (Faitiche)
10)  Keith Fullerton Whitman, “Rythemes Naturels”
11) Leboeuf et Laviolette, “Crystale”
12) Tim Hecker, “Analog Paralysis, 1978,” Ravedeath, 1972 (Kranky)
*Note: The below songs were played at top of the show, but did not make the recording due to technical error.
1) Underground River, “In The Sand,” Endless Air; The Other Side of Happenings (Owl Records)
2) Clay Cantrell, “Late Aster Girl,” The Tree Farmer (House of Alchemy)
3) Ducktails, “Sun Out My Window,” Welcome Home: Diggin the Universe (Woodsist)
4) White Fence, “It’s Confusing When You Wake Up,” Family Perfume Vol. 2 (Woodsist)
5) Six Organs of Admittance, “Black Wall,” The Sun Awakens (Drag City)

[Archive 05.02.12: House of Alchemy Special]

 

1) Afghanistan, “Cicada Song,” And Bide Your Time
2) Mister Matthew, “Innerspaced (excerpt),” Telecut Powers (Gift/Draft Tapes)
3) Digital Dog Party, “Life’s Intermission,”
4) Steve Baczkowski and Nola Ranallo, “Marrow Bird,” Live the Soundlab 
5) Rust Worship, “Side A (Excerpt),” Terrerestial Society (House of Alchemy)
6) Parashi, “Undulate,” Parashi/Chapels Splits (House of Alchemy)
7) Venn Rain, “The History of Things to Come,” Bioharmonics (House of Alchemy)
8) DeTrop, “Four Stages Apostasy (excerpt),” Man, Woman & Beast (House of Alchemy)
9) Mama Baer, “Track 1,” Perverted People Girl Fuckers (House of Alchemy)
10) Scott Valkwitch, “InfraRed Black Haze,” TBA (House of Alchemy)
11) Jason Lescalleet, “Accidental Orriental,” Electronic Music (RRR)
12) Hive Mind, “Side 1 (excerpt),” Elemental Disgrace (Spectrum Spools)
13) Yek Koo, “East Hollywood Studio,” A Plea for a Night Desert
14) Clay Cantrell, “Late Aster Girl,” The Tree Farmer (House of Alchemy)
15) Transplant Mountains, “So Shines a Good Deed in a Weary World (excerpt),” Transplant Mountains/Chapels Split (House of Alchemy)
16) Mundkrach & Kommissar Hjuler und Frau, “Track 3 excerpt,” A/N/T/I/Z/I/P/A/T/I/O/N (House of Alchemy)
17) Sheldon Siegel, “Side A excerpt”Midden (House of Alchemy)
18) Rambutan, “Midpoint (excerpt),” Rambutan/Fossils from the Sun Split (House of Alchemy)