2.19.2016

Reviews from here and there



I haven't mentioned anything here about writing reviews for other joints, but I've been doing some writing in a few other places over the last year. I did a couple of short reviews for 2 of my favorite 2015 releases over at Record Collector News:

Blind Idiot God

Unconscious Collective

Never mind those rating stars, by the way--I'm not into rating systems, and if I were, those would both have to be 5-star affairs in my book.

In autumn, I started doing some pieces related to new cassettes for the venerable Tabs Out Podcast folks. I've loved reading their stuff for a long while, and it's an honor to chip in over there. You can read most of my contributions to their noble analog adventures at this link. But read everything you can over there--Tabs Out rules!

I'm especially excited for a new piece I turned over to the fine folks at Tiny Mix Tapes, which they just ran today. The Silly Symphony Collection, a collaborative release between Disney and Fairfax Classics, documents a massive collection of incredible music produced at the dawn of "talking pictures." Taken as a whole, this work is a sort of ur-text for film music and a lot of other collage/montage approaches across the spectrum of 20th century music. I think this music is beyond essential, and I hope you spend some time right here reading up on it and checking out the music.

I also wanted to write out a few of my thoughts and plans regarding the rest of 2016 while we're together here, dear readers. I find myself in the most comically busy period of my entire life, juggling 2 jobs and grad school at the same time, and I'm afraid my time is going to be at a premium through the end of the year. That said, I plan to continue working some reviews into the mix here at Words on Sounds, as well as keeping the reels spinning at Tabs Out. And the podcast will continue with as regular a schedule as I can swing, though I suspect it'll be more like twice a month than weekly for a while. Tymbal Tapes, which was a total delight and honor to work on through most of 2015, will continue as well, though the release schedule will be limited to 2 or 3 releases this year.

At times I struggle with the point of this blog: over 8 years of activity, it started life as a strictly review-oriented project, then became a way of documenting my thoughts/contributions to the Other Music radio show I was co-hosting for five years, and more recently documented the podcast series. To be honest, I prefer writing reviews to the radio/podcast activities, but there are advantages to the podcast: I can help draw attention to more artists than time allows for writing about coherently, and a lot of folks prefer listening over reading. Writing reviews takes a lot of time and contemplation for me. I don't take it lightly, and my focus is on exploration, discovery, context and conversation, as opposed to being just another news/hype joint. But I love it, and I'll do my best to keep it alive through this difficult year. Thanks for reading and listening!

2.16.2016

Podcast episode 59 now available!

Finally, a new edition of the Words on Sounds podcast is up, featuring:
--Great drone/guitar loop/tape atmospheres from the mighty AMULETS onPirate Ship Records
--symphonic synthetics from Arca on Mute Records
--pure madcap genius from Jake Tobin on Truly Bald
--ever-evolving songwriting from German Army's new jam on Kikimora Tapes
--excellent quarter-tone solo git-fiddle from the new Scott Fields disc on New Atlantis Records
--slow jams for weirdos on the new Bean Snack tape from Personal Archives
--barren modular soundscapes from the new Head Dress jam on Dionysian Tapes
--gorgeous field recording-heavy arrangements from the new former selvestape on Auasca
--transcendent vibes from the latest Gardener jam on BARO Records
--driving synth work from Artificiero on Verlag System
--and classic Merzbow in duo configuration from the incredible box set onTourette Records
--and the winner of the German Army/Novy Svet 7'' from Tourette Records isAlexandre Chami Filho! Congrats, and send me your address!
Tune in, turn on, drop out!

1.24.2016

Podcast episode 58 now available!

The latest Words on Sounds episode is an around-the-world affair, featuring:
--collaged multiplicities from the new M.M.S. Kaiser, Bald Eagles, and Bbjrcollab tape on Personal Archives
--some live drone atmospheres from Wizard Ashdod on Full Body Massage Records
--haunting soundscapes from Joseph Curwen's new tape on Still Heat Recordings
--free jazz/rock/noise from Nazolivye Bliznecy's killer tape on spina rec
--complex layers of synth/EVI jamming from Shingles, via a new split with Sound Out Light on Oxtail Recordings
--excellent extended-technique clarinet work from John McCowen on his new | OBF 14 | cassette
--wild synth/drum workouts from the debut of Square/Sine on Cuchabata Records
--contemporary prog/RIO to die for from the latest CHROMB album
--an intense Lou Cohen Symphony-composition from his triple-disc on Pogus
--and a short-but-perfect ending to the show from the latest Little Fyodor & Babushka jam
Tune in, turn on, drop out!