“No Winners In The Blues” by Wes Tirey pulls from Americana, blues, folk, and influences from dark, morose string masters like David Berman and Neil Young and even Robert Fripp’s Fripptronics style of guitar playing. A musky, storied and groggled voice tells tales over an exceptionally well played and emotional bed of acoustic guitars. “Something’s in the water, whole world’s upside down, good lord, good lord” as a line, I think sums up well the complexities of themes present on this album, but this is open ended, country./folk music with themes wide enough to get lost in for ones self. Blending both relatable and abstract themes throughout the album, this is perfect winter music for a lonsesome exploration of the self.
“This is honest music for those moments when the night towers over the desert, as the dawn gathers faintly at the horizon: raw blues from the hands of a true master of his craft, now given fresh life with a new edition.”
Dark, weathered strings and undulating, tired but ever present and beautiful voice share stories of loss, grief, confusion and other emotions all too relatable for a world that’s supposed to offer peace and well being. Heavy strings with minimal background electronics create thick and wethered patina for the voice to perfectly cast a fishing line of hope out into a dark and depressed world, even if for a minute. Beautiful, simple music. Highly recommended. Comes out via Full Spectrum Records
Welcome back, and we have a brand new release to share with our avid new readers. First of several reviews we’ll be publishing in February of artists releasing their first albums in 2023. First up is INDIA SKY with “Somewhere Over The Mystic Moon”, a refreshing blend of nuanced electronics, dance, soul and ethereal soundscapes which transported us to spaces of exploration, trust, contemplation and rebirth.
India Sky’s first musical endeavor is due out February 5th. “Somewhere Over The Mystic Moon” dances through musical spaces and emotions like a time machine transporting you somewhere you only dreamed of living in, thriving in. “Somewhere Over The Mystic Moon” takes us there. The album begins with “Dark Symphony” and “Begin Again” – two vocal heavy, ethereal, morose, orchestral feeling pieces, warm and fuzzy sonic textures, singing strings, nuanced vocal hymns and dancing electronic pulses set the time, space, and tone perfectly for “Breakdown” – one of the highest energy tracks from start to finish on the album, and yet it fits in the mix perfectly, something about the third song on an album can be special, I don’t know what it is, but “Breakdown” taps into it. And for a full confession, after the album played through, I ran through “Breakdown” at least three more times on repeat while editing this review, something that never happens. That track hooked me! And it’s not the only one, many of the tracks on “S O T M M” tap into this sort of sonic nostalgia that only certain albums can tap into, and it’s beautiful and comforting in a way. Maybe it’s a drum sound, or a synth line, or maybe it’s just a space created by the artist for us to contemplate in, have we been here before?
Big synthesizers, funky 90’s Prince inspired drums and percussion glide off of Sky’s hauntingly beautiful voice for a vocal performance which is big, intentional and shows off an articulate and refreshing balance of technical and ability and raw emotion, both on “Breakdown” and throughout the album. “Breakdown” carries the album forward into more experimental ambient sections, such as the short but equally interesting “The Moon” which pulls sonic reflections from later classic “Translinear Light” era Alice Coltrane, Wendy Carlos, and contemporaries SPELLLING alike, while crafting sonic worlds yet to be heard or lived.
“Somewhere Over The Mystic Moon” seamlessly creates sonic spaces for us to enter and exit in nonlinear fashions. The dense, esoteric and warm electronic spaces throughout, seem to connect with the earth, the sky, and universes unexplored. SKY has created a sonic world where we don’t want to leave, and you shouldn’t either. India Sky makes big, powerful, emotional music and we’re here for it. Highly recommended. “Somewhere Over The Mystic Moon”is out Feb5, 2023 on Ratskin Records. You can preorder on Cassette tape, CD, and digital downloads here.
Los Angeles, CA’s The Bedroom Witch has released her third single from the soon upcoming album “A Place Of Hurt” due out Friday, November 4th, a co release between Psychic Eye Records and Ratskin Records November 4th (happens to be the next #BandcampFriday as far as we can tell as well). The track is titled “Venus”and it’s a glistening, funky, powerful tale told through big, brooding percussion, funk laden bass synths, and lush, etheareal synths and strings dancing into the dark purple glow of the night.
The artists monumental singing voice leaks in and completes her complex and unique sound palette, and what a glowing palette it is. Her musical brush strokes paint the perfect melancholic fall sonic offering of intense serenity, reflection love, loss and regeneration.
Stylistically “Venus” pulls from the likes of dark, atmospheric synth vibes of later John Carpenter, Boy Harsher, Spellling and Profligate while casting layers of magical vocal layerings across the already flawless electronic productions, and although we can hear spats of these artists in her work The Bedroom Witch has created a nuanced sound all her own, which pulses throughout the four minutes of “Venus”.
photos: Bailey Kobelin
Huge orchestral plucks, thumping electro percussion, swinging, spinning synth lines and her beautifully refined orchestral voice gel together to create a foggy and futuristic back drop for The Bedroom Witch’s voice to tell all. If “Venus” is a tae of whats to come for the full album release of “A Place Of Hurt”, rest assured it’ll stay stuck on repeat for the rest of 2022 and well into 2032 for us. Listen to “Venus” exclusively here, and make sure to preorder the album here (Psychic Eye) and here (Ratskin Records) before it’s release on November 4th,2022.
Mona Demone “S3RP3NT” is the funky, industrial laden disco record you need right now!
Something I discovered off the Bandcamp Album Of The Day column, this album has continued to grow and grow on me with every listen. The style is somewhere between psychedelic industrial, broken disco, minimal electronic funk, and a pop leaning take on EBM. “S3RP3NT” offers us funky, syncopated beats, singing arpeggiated synthesizers topped off with a psychedelic and wavering vocal delivery that sits perfect on top of the mix. This record makes me want to move, even if I’m laying down as I was for the second listen prepping for this review, I found my body moving, almost uncontrollably. Style wise, “S3RP3NT” seems to pick up where “OP3NDOORS” left off, which you can listen to on Mona’s bandcamp here. ”S3RP3NT” sonically visits several different worlds however the album feels unified and cohesive in both its sequencing and overall vibe. Flickering, funky and unique drum lines create a solid base for Mona’s army of warm, buzzing analog synths to build emotively rich sonic worlds filled with musical surprises and emotional offerings in nearly every bar. Mona’s music is emotionally dense, rewarding, and something that will not be leaving my playlists anytime soon.
MONA DEMONE (https://www.instagram.com/mona_d3mone/) states “The songs of “S3RP3NT” are meant to be anthemic. Trans people don’t have enough anthems and we deserve to be celebrated. We break barriers simply by existing as our true selves. I want these songs to lift us up, to celebrate us, to dance, to connect and to dive deeper into our transformations. Let’s grow our roses now while we are still here. Make the soil rich and send it forward. “
Mona’s music is original, timeless and refreshing in a world littered with music and art geared for instant gratification. “S3RP3NT” offers something new with each track and each listen and the listener will continue will be rewarded with sonic and magical discoveries throughout the album. The tracks on “S3RP3NT” flow together and create a narrative for the listener to navigate through while the warm, analog tones peek out of the speakers and transport us into 1986 in a musky, underground, sweaty dance club in a post apocalyptic decaying world. Favorite tracks are “WAV3RAV3” and “WHOREZ” You can order MONA DMONE “S3RP3NT” from Ratskin Records here and I highly recommend you do.
October Thrills: Dark and heavy cinema for the Halloween season. It’s that time again and we are here to bring you some terrifying recommendations for the season from both the big screen and the underground sewers. Here’s six must watch horror and adjacent films you should watch this Halloween season.
You Won’t Be Alone (2022)
Somewhere betweem isolation horror and folklore horror, YOU WON’T BE ALONE pulls from lots of classics while carving out it’s own unique narrative tricks and traps. Slow burn, emotionally hevay, must watch.
NOPE (2022, DIR. Jordan Peele)
Given the hair-raising standard of Jordan Peele’s previous horror projects, Get Out and Us, Nope is expected to be an absolute thriller. The first trailer, which dropped on Sunday, February 13, proved just that, giving fans a glimpse into the film’s unearthly storyline.
STRAWBERRY MANSION (2022)
“Strawberry Mansion is a unique sci-fi story with quite a few elements of horror, taking viewers to a not-too-distant future where the government records dreams and taxes them, as the gentle agent James Preble gets caught up in the dreams of an aging artist, only to find a secret that can change everything he has ever known.”
Hatching is a straightforward fantasy movie with a good portion of body horror that brings up an important topic for discussion, as Tinja’s mother tries everything to keep the image of a perfect family. Hatching is a clear metaphor for society but is also charged with gruesome moments and will leave you gasping for a break from the madness.
“Sweetheart sees a young woman (Kiersey Clemons) trapped on an island as a terrifying force from the deep hunts her down when night falls. Dillard directs some strong horror sequences led by a great performance from Clemons and Sweetheart has one of the coolest creature designs of any modern creature feature”
ATLANTICS (2019, Dir. Mati Diop)
While bringing out excellent themes of grief, love, and loss, Atlantics delivers some strong supernatural horrors that fans of the genre will love. Diop made history with Atlantics, becoming the first Black woman to direct a film featured at Cannes Film Festival.
Mirrors For Psychic Warfare is the brainchild of Neurosis co founder SCOTT KELLY and Sanford Parker. While puling elements from both the artists backgrounds, this project serves as a true collaboration, where we can see both artists vision refined, sharpened, and amalgamated to create something beautiful, something haunting, something new.
“I See What I Became” like the title suggests, acts as a sonic reflection of the inner strife, turmoil, of grief, loss, a broken world and a confused mind, or at least it sounds like it. Kelly’s nearly uncanny ability to blend seemingly distant emotions and moods through his musical vision is as nuanced and pronounced on this album as it is on his solo works and the juggernaut-like unrelenting discography of one of the greatest heavy bands of all time, Neurosis. Like Kelly, “I See What I Became” is honest, complex, and layered. The voice howls, screams, cracks, and spaces envelop themselves as time shifts through non linear passageways oh healing, trauma, strife, beauty, all of the inexplainable complexities of humanity are magnified through the music of Mirrors Of Psychic Warfare. If there was ever a less contrived musical collaboration across varied heavy styles than this one, that would be a sound for sore ears. Give yourselves to the nuanced and articulate noise and chaos of MFPW.
A beautiful and ethereal offering from Brad Rose / Foxy Digitalis stalwarts of Tulsa, OK. Brad Rose’s Charlatan creates blissful, emotional, deeply complex electronic music for a variety of moods and futures, much like his Foxy Digitalis archive project. “Bird Paintings, Volume 1” employs lush, textured bubbling, slow moving synth lines that evoke a world undiscovered and unscathed by humanity. Stylistically in a discussion with such synthesizer heavyweight acts as Emeralds, Tangerine Dream, and Long Distance Poison, Charlatan offers a heartfelt, yet morose sonic wormhole into an atmosphere filled with both comforting and entropic sounds that remind us of this passing fleeting moment. Warm ripples of mid toned explorations envelop undiscovered worlds we can dance and contemplate within.
from the release page on bandcamp:
“A bird. A bush. A sight. A flash. Anything peeping struck— Memory: Hush. Let him do his work.”
– excerpt from Bird in the Rain by Willie Lee Kinard III