Tag Archives: stunned records

[Review: Nite Lite, ‘Megrez’]

Buffal0-based label Desire Path Recordings‘s latest release Megrez, by Portland-based duo Nite Lite, is a fitting addition to the label’s young, but steadily growing and always stellar catalog. The vinyl-only release (limited to 300 copies) shares many qualities with previous releases by the label, i.e. inventive use of field recordings, re-configurations of spacial reality through sound, and subconsciousness ruminations explored via collage. Thus, Megrez serves to further elucidate what seems to be Desire Path’s emerging ethos.

Listeners will recognize many of the sounds that were collected via field recording for this record. None of them are unique or uncanny, instead they are all echoes of what is ignored or hardly noticed everyday by everyone. Similarly to Mira Calix’s utilization of natural organic sounds to weave weird rhythmic tapestries, Phillip and Myste French of Nite Lite (who were formerly the masterminds behind the now defunct, but still revered Stunned Records) use those same type of sounds to remarkable effect but in a subtler, quieter way more in the vein of Australian duo Solo Andata (also on the Desire Path roster).

The sounds here, for the most part, are naked or– in audio production terminology—dry, meaning very little manipulation is applied. Now it very well may be that there has been substantial treatment and/or processing of these sounds, but, you see, it doesn’t sound that way to the listener, which is it what makes it impressive. Instead of obliterating their pristine field recordings with tidal waves of delay, or avalanches of artificial reverb, or mountains of mangled modulation, Nite Lite–in John Cage’s immortal words—“let sounds be themselves.” The duo’s creative contribution comes in the skillful arraignment of the sounds into eerie soudscapes of the subconscious. Ducks, footsteps, overpasses, human voices, clicking, clapping, clucking, and more all blend and fold into one another until an orchestra of mostly mundane worldly sounds is made into a magnificent audio mosaic.

Is there something that the duo is implying by presenting this seemingly random juxtaposition of organic clatter? Perhaps, like the universe we inhabit, what may on the surface appear as random clatter is in fact ordained by skillful unseen hands revealed only in brief moments that can easily be missed. This is just one of many interpretations that Megrez will perhaps suggests to its attentive listeners.

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Review by Taylor Waite


[Archive 01.04.11]

1) SlowPitch, “No Turning Back,” REPLCMNT
2) ProEf, “Fading DeLights,” All Eye Know
3) Beta Cloud, “Crystaline,” Glossy Eyes Vol. 1 (Bad Drone Media)
4) VWLS, “Maurauder Water,” Glossy Eyes Vol. 1 (Bad Drone Media)
5) Alfred Brown, “I’m Not a Fox for Nothing,” Glossy Eyes Vol. 1 (Bad Drone Media)
6) Mutus Liber, “Hesitation Resources,” Glossy Eyes Vol. 1 (Bad Drone Media)
7) Grasshopper, “I Sang a Sad Song Today,” Miles in the Sky (House of Alchemy)
8) Parashi, “Car char odonto saurus,” Parashi/Granitkorridor Split (Stunned Records)
9) Benoît Honoré Pioulard, “A Land Which Has No End,” Plays Thelma (Desire Path Recordings)
10) Claymation, “Solidarity,” The Dolphin Key (Magnetic Eye Records)
11) Richard Lainhart, “Live @ Alfa Art Gallery 4.9.11”


[2011 in Review: Parashi/Granitkorridor, ‘Celadon/VI c80’]

Parashi/Granitkorridor, Celadon/VI c80 (Stunned Records no. 131)

Stunned Records announced earlier this year that it was discontinuing its practice of releasing otherworldly tapes and CD-Rs that greatly appealed to the musically maligned. There would be one last batch, however. And within that last batch was a tape, and on that tape there was the A-side that featured Upstate artist Parashi.

Hailing from Clifton Park, NY (in the Albany region) Parashi–who also runs the Skell label–has released under Stunned before with Troika (Stunned no. 115). The folks at Stunned warned upon Celadon‘s release, however, that Parashi was “not treading the same ground” with this new cassette.

Celadon crackles like a severed wire, still live but sometimes merely gurgling along as if the electric juice could run out at anytime. Incessant feedback-like sounds are channeled, chopped, and then clobbered into a form of its makers choosing.  Parashi’s electronic tools, tuned to frequencies in the lo-fi dimension, spurt to life at unpredictable moments then wail about until they are mercifully silenced by their creator’s invisible hand. The reprieve which allows your ears to breathe never lasts long though.

These recordings are disquieting in the way that the paths of least sonic resistance are rarely, if ever, taken. Instead, Parashi patiently hovers, sometimes squirms, awaiting the moment to come to him, like a hunter awaiting prey to stumble into a trap. Then, just at the right moment, Parashi pulls the trigger and unleashes a sonic shit storm that will make you wonder if your headphones are broken.

With Celadonwhich is a ceramics reference–Parashi helps to send one of the most revered micro-labels of the past few years out on an appropriate note.

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Review by Cameron Alexander