Tag Archives: swans

[Archive 6.25.14]

The Upstate Soundscape, 6.25.14

1) Gunn-Truscinski Duo, “Ocean Parkway” Ocean Parkway (Three Lobed Recordings)
2) Jerusalem in My Heart, “Amanem” Mo7it Al-Mo7it (Constellation)
3) John Fahey, “Sharks” Sea Changes & Coelacanths: A Young Person’s Guide to John Fahey (Table of Elements)
4) Jandek, “The World Stops” Guitar in the 21st Century (Quiet Design)
5) Death Blues, “Are” Non-Fiction (Sige Records)
6) Swans, “A Little God in My Hands” To Be Kind (Young God)
7) Cloud Becomes Your Hand, “Theme From Baby Age” Rocks Or Cakes (Northern Spy)
8) Jacob Gotlib, “A Sunless Room”
9) Craig Leon, “Donkeys Bearing Cups” Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1: Nommos/Visiting (RVNG Intl.)
10) Naka Naka, “D3” Right Sound, Right Place II (Pacific Psychedelia Tapes)
11) Hundread Waters, “No Sound” The Moon Rang Like A Bell (OWSLA)
12) M. Geddes Gengras, “Ishi” Ishi (Stones Throw)

[Archive 6.4.14]

The Upstate Soundscape, 6.4.14


1) Frank Zappa and the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra “Part 1” Lumpy Gravy (Capitol Records)
2) Brigitte Fontaine, “Comme A La Radio” Comme A La Radio (Superior Viaduct)
3) Can, “Bel Air” Future Days (United Artists)
4) Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, “The Best Batch Yet” Doc at the Radar Station (Virgin)
5) Swans, “Screen Shot” To Be Kind (Young God/Mute)
6) SQURL, “Spooky Action at a Distance” Only Lovers Left Alive OST (ATP Recordings)
7) The Dead C, “Head” Tusk (Siltbreeze)
8) Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso UFO, “Dark Star Blues (excerpt)” Astrograsm from the Inner Space (Important Records)
9) Sculpture, “5 Seconds in the Future is a You Made of Pure Thought” Membrane Pop (Software Recordings)
10) Kemialliset Ystävät “Vettä Yarahille” Alas Rattoisaa Virtaa (Dekorder)
11) Golden Retriever, “Sharp Stones” Seer (Thrill Jockey)

[Archive 7.24.13]

The Upstate Soundscape, 07.23.13


1) Marshall McLuhan, “Side B” The Medium is the Massage (Columbia/Five Day Weekend)
2) Swans, “Apostate” The Seer (Young God Records)
3) Pharmakon, “Ache” Abandon (Sacred Bones)
4) Cages, “Lost Lipids (Live at Soundlab 9.3.12)” The Upstate Soundscape Vol II: Summer 2013
5) Limbus 4, “Dhyana” Mandalas (Wah Wah Records)
6) Scott Walker, “The Day the ‘Conducator’ Died’ Bish Bosch (4AD)
7) Good Stuff House, “Untitled 03” Untitled (Holodeck)
8) Can, “Future Days” Future Days (United Artist)
9) VWLS, “Cyberspace Fugitive” Mixtape Vol 1 (Bad Drone Media)
10) Elfin Choirs, “Side 1” Elfin Choirs

[Archive 5.15.13]

The Upstate Soundscape, 05.15.13
1) DJ Sniff, “No Time to Breath”
2) Colin Stetson, “To See More Light” New History Warfare Vol III: To See More Light (Constellation)
3) Hanged Up & Tony Conrad, “Principles” Transit of Venus (Constellation)
4) Arrington De Dionyso’s Malaikat Dan Singa, “Tak Terbatas” Open the Crown (K Records)
5) Swans, “The Seer Returns” The Seer (Young God)
6) Pharmakon, “Crawling on Bruised Knees” Abandon (Sacred Bones)
7) Not the Wind, Not the Flag, “In The Province of the Mind, There are No Limits” The Starmaker
8) NYMPH, “Battle Funk,” New Millennium Prayer (Northern Spy)
9) White Rainbow, “Pulses” Prism of the Eternal Now (Kranky)
10) Kwaidan, “Gateless Gate” Make all the Hell of Dark Metal Bright (Bathetic)
11) Ghost Father, “HyperCard”
12) Co La, “Head in a Hole in a Space” Moody Coup (Mexican Summer)
13) The Haxan Cloak, “Excavation (part 2)” Excavation (Tri Angle)
14) Dolphins into the Future, “Memory of Self” ….On Sea-Faring Isolation (Not Not Fun)

[Archive 4.17.13]

The Upstate Soundscape, 04.17

1) Transmuteo, “Side B” Motivational Holography (Aguirre)
2) The Knife, “Fracking Fluid Injections” Shaking the Habitual (Mute)
3) Bitchin Bajas, “Bajas Ragas” Vibraquatic (Aquarius)
4) Ak’chamel, The Giver of Illnes, “El Curandero (Native Ghost Chant)” (Free Music Archive)
5) Sun Araw, “Bump Up (High Step)” Sun Ark (Not Not Fun)
6) Swans, “No Words/No Thoughts” My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky (Young God Records)
7) Mission of Burma, “Heart of Darkness” The Horrible Truth About Burma (Aces of Hearts)
8) Can, “Midnight Men” Lost Tapes Box Set (Mute)
9) Mercury Rev, “Goddess on a Hiway (1989 Cassette Tape Player Demo)” Deserted Songs (Light in the Attic)
10) Purling Hiss, “Porch Dude/Slight Return” Public Service Announcement (Woodsist)
11)  Ducktails, “Surf’s Up” Live on WFMU (Free Music Archive)
12) Mark McGuire, “Brothers (For Matt)” Living With Yourself (Editions Mego)

[2012 in Review: Damian Valles of Komino Records]

Damian Valles is head of Komino Records, operating out of Toronto. He is also an artist that has released a number of well-received albums, including this year’s Non-Parallel (In Four Movements). Below are some records that he enjoyed from the past year.

Eli Keszler, Catching Net (Pan)

Even though I had an exceptionally difficult time compiling my list this year, my number one choice was very easy to decide. Eli Keszler’s double CD is, simply put, a ferocious monster of an album and a genuine masterpiece in my books. It includes the 2011 release, Cold Pin, which is, in itself, amazing and would have made it onto my 2011 list, but I didn’t get an ear on it until this year. However, it’s the additional pieces – the ensemble renditions and installations –  that really put this release above and beyond. Experimental, arty, precise, unpredictable, refreshingly unique. It’s pretty much a perfect score.

Duane Pitre, Feel Free (Important)

The first thing that struck me about this recording was the production. A lot of times music of an experimental nature tends to be this wash of layered sounds (not that that is a bad thing most of the time) that blend and build to create what people refer to as drone or ambient or whatever you want to call it. On Feel Free, it is clear that Pitre really takes time placing each sound so they inhabit their own space, but still work to create a meditative blend of sound. It works very well and lets the listener almost pick and choose what they want to focus their attention on. Also, the whole album is basically one long piece broken into sections.

Culture Of Un, Moonish (Bocian)

Pianist Chris Abrahams has the “touch.” His other gig, The Necks, is consistently great. Here, he is paired with guitar player, David Brown. Together they have created an album full of unpredictable twists and turns and they both seem to play off of each other very well. Abstract and free, this is a solid as it gets.


Emptyset, Medium (Subtext) / Collapsed (Raster-Noton)

Ok, so these are two separate releases, but I decided to compile them into one entity since they are relatively shorter than most albums and both came out this year. I’ve always been a fan of “beat” oriented music, but for some reason, most of the time I am not very blown away by a particular album as a whole. With these two releases, Emptyset really seemed to nail it. Heavy and direct beats, pummeling bass tones, the right amount of distortion, cavernous space enveloped in total darkness. Great stuff.

Chicago Underground Duo, Age Of Energy (Northern Spy)

The best configuration of the Chicago Underground by a mile, Chad Taylor and Rob Mazurek consistently release amazing records as the Duo. Age of Energy is no exception, it actually may be my favourite release by the two of them so far. Both of them are masters of their crafts creating, more often than not, jaw dropping movements fusing insane rhythms, messy skronks and fat synth lines. Just listen to the digital only track, “Moon Debris.” Enough said.


Converge, All We Love We Leave Behind (Epitaph)

Ok, now for something completely different. First off, I am sucker for great heavy music and have been a long-time Converge fan. This album is an absolute barn burner. From start to finish, it is just fucking crazy. All the best parts of metal, hardcore, d-beat, sludge and punk all rolled into one. No holds barred. It’s definitely not for everyone, but they are, in my opinion, the best in their field. Not the mention, the drummer is a machine.


Mika Vainio, FeO – Magnetite (Touch)

Mike Vaino is on fire these days. Last year he released a great album on Editions Mego. He also was part of an amazing collaboration put out by Pan earlier this year. His newest for Touch records doesn’t show any signs that he’s running out of steam. This album builds on the darkness that possessed his last record, but is clearly more focused on presenting a certain theme. There are no drum machines to propel the blistering bass distortions, just calculated peaks and valleys that bring out tension.


Swans, The Seer (Young God)

How much more can be said about the Swans really? Michael Gira has created something reaching epic proportions here. This really feels like the ultimate culmination of all the previous Swans material fused with the best moments of his Angels of Light project. I think this music is in a category all on it’s own and nobody comes close to doing it with the same intensity.


 KTL, V (Editions Mego)

This is my favourite KTL lp so far. It also has one of my favourite album covers of the year. The Editions Mego site claims it’s O’Mally and Rehberg’s “most sophisticated release to date,” and I can only agree. It definitely sounds like they took their time creating these pieces and paid close attention to detail. A rewarding listen indeed.


EL-P, Cancer 4 Cure (Fat Possum)

 I listen to quite a bit of hip hop and am really taken with the production side of things more than great MC’ing. EL-P is a really solid producer, his work on this year’s Killer Mike album is phenomenal but the production on his own Cancer 4 Cure is exceptional. Tracks like, “The Full Retard” and “Drones Over Brklyn” really stand out among the sea of the generic production that is often found in the genre.

[Archive 09.26.12]

1) VWLS, “Tibiythm,” Broadcast in the Moss (Bad Drone Media)
2) Annie Shaw, “Side A: Howe/Wayfaring Stranger,” Shanty Awe (Old Frontiers)
3) Lucky Dragons, “Actual Reality (excerpt)”
4) Destroyer, “Archer on the Beach (Tim Hecker remix)”
5) Mensheviks, “(excerpt)” S/T (Tape Drift)
6) Swans, “Lunacy,” The Seer (Young God)
7) Mt. Eerie, “Instrumental,” Ocean Roar (P.W. Elverum & Sun)
8) Efterklang, “The Living Layer,” Piramida (4AD)
9) Michael Pisaro, “Silent Cloud ft. Julia Holter,” Tombstones (HEM)
10) Brian Ruryk, “Side B,” Toronto is a Really Weird Place
11) SlowPitch, “Untitled”
12) Damian Valles, “Drums,” Guitar and Drums (Komino)
13) Downsampling, “Dumptruck,” Playthings
14) Blake Flemming, “Time’s Up” Time’s Up (Owl Dirt)
15)  Jealousy Mountain Duo, “The Home of Easy Credit,” No. 02 (Blunoise Records)
16) All of Them Witches, “Toyotal Recall” Breathers vs. Drivers
17)  Mike Shiflet, “Asymptotes,” The Choir, The Army (Under the Spire)

[Preview 09.26.12: VWLS, Annie Shaw, Mensheviks and more]

Annie Shaw – Shanty Awe (Old Frontiers)

Tonight on The Upstate Soundscape we’ll hear new sounds from Buffalo drone project VWLS (Bad Drone Media), Albany-based collaborative project Mensheviks (Tape Drift), and a ghostly cassette from Hamilton’s Annie Shaw (Old Frontiers).

VWLS – Broadcast in the Moss (Bad Drone Media)

Lots of other good sounds coming your way tonight, including Jealousy Mountain Duo, Swans, Efterklang, Tim Hecker, Lucky Dragons and Mike Shiflet.

Show starts at 8pm on 91.3FM WBNY. Stream at WBNY.org.