microphones in the trees

Thursday, October 20, 2016

channelers ~ video & album premiere



Each time I see the news from Inner Islands my days turns into a little celebration. The music this label releases resonates so deeply with my perception of the world, that it feels almost impossible. Of course there are always some space for interpretations and subjectiveness but some things don't need an explanation. They just emerge somewhere between the sounds, between the flips of the tape, in the soft humming of endless water streams shown in this amazing video which label's boss Sean Conrad shot in American deserts and over expanses of Iceland... When the beauty arises, it touches hearts directly, without need in words. That's why we love music so much - it can be pure beauty, without strict material form, just flow of vibrations from one soul to another. It needs just few instruments or voice to appear and an open ear to be heard.


 «Reverence for the cycles of life, for the ever-changing sky, for the yearning that drives one forward, for the acceptance
that keeps one still».
inner islands

On the different paths life makes through the space and time there are always cycles, seasons, changes which unfold like an endless spiral. With every new turn we may feel something like deja vu, considering the ability of our minds to forget everything quickly, to think in one dimension. To regain the experience of past cycles in the present, to make them significant and changing, we create rituals - may kinds of them. Starting from morning tea and social interactions and up to religions and annual celebrations. And once again our minds are failing, forgetting the meaning, flattening the experience... So the only way here is awareness, which unavoidably leads to self-invented ceremonies, practices, to the clear feeling of your own unique path. While listening to the music created by any of Sean Conrad's projects this feeling on the uniqueness appears with every album, showing the perception of the world, which may be shared, but at the same time remains thw whole in itself. Like any river is created by the thousands of streams, the Inner Islands is a bright torrent of personal world perceptions, created by many artists and Sean's ability to maintain that stream is amazing. There is a place for many forms and crossroad for many path, but still this unique universe of sound keeps its doors open for any resonating soul. And its essence is always changing, moving with the sun and moon, growing, unfolding... Archipelago of the tiny whirls of creative energy, forming something bigger and powerful than its part taken separately. Each album of Ashan or Channelers seems like a private ceremony, which concentrates the overall aura of Inner Islands. Gathering of winds and waters, celebration of new cycle, which begins with every new batch of sounds released to the world... It may seem unimportant, but this is the thing of such intimate creations - it becomes bigger, when you inside of it. Like gazing at the drop of water, which reflects the whole sky. Each song here is a drop. And each tiny moment of silence between them is the passage from the inner to the outer. It's simply fascinating.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

lunaria / tvvin_pinez_m4all



Second tape release at Sounds of The Dawn brings to the world a new masterpiece in the new age genre - an it's only a debut album, recorded by Daniel - a member of our blog's team. Listening to this tape is an immersion into the state of heightened sensitivity, when everything becomes brighter and clearer. It may sound as a cliche when it comes to ambient new age music, but I'm too assured in the fact that actually any music can do that if it has sincerity. There are nothing supernatural about the impact which music can do on our minds and we don't need scientific proofs for that - just an open-minded listening, which leaves analysis and criticism beyond the perception. Blissful tones of this music is a soft contradiction to the modern pop-music with its aggressive production. One may call it escapism, but then one should ask himself - where are you escaping when listening to radio hits? What is real? Which reality is true and everlasting, and which is just temporary construct of humanity's greed? Nature is all around us, but we mostly ignore it, building our own realities, first concrete and metal, then virtual... But when I go with this though further, while bathing in the crystal clear melodies and chimes of Lunaria, I realise that answer is already here - literally. On the tape cover. It says "all is dream" and duality of the meaning of the word "dream" makes the answer even clearer. There is no escapism. Global civilization, the Humankind, even Cyberspace - everything is Nature, part of our planet's evolutionary process. And this whole process is just a part of universal dream. Who dreams it? We all do, and by doing that we can make all kinds of things... And we do them, many different things, not always pleasant - saying "what the difference?". But when someone makes music like this, when someone listens to it and it makes one's dream a bit brighter and lucid - I can be only happy. And it makes a difference.

 


Colorful, growing plants are the key to livening up any interior décor. 

During the course of last year or two vaporwave has become much more structured genre, than it was at the beginning. To tell the truth, it was more like a joke, than a "real music" and some people still think that way. But even superficial acquaintance with everything vapowave-themed on Bandcamp brings so many sub-genres and variations, that no joke can have. Being 100% product of postmodernism, this music recycles long-forgotten tunes, giving them another perspective in the massive retromania, which overfilled music market nowadays. And by doing that, vaporwave shifts the perception towards images and situations that actually never existed. If you old enough to remember early 90s, you can feel the similarity in atmosphere and aesthetics, but there are still too many differences, which makes vaporwave-induced nostalgia no more than a postmodernist trick. And it tells a lot about the way we remember, think and perceive. Take this tape - typical, I'd even say classical vapowave album full of slowed disco tunes, ambient passages and late 80s new age reminiscences - but still none of these things in sum. It reminds me making collages of old magazines - you can put together some random parts from your mom's old knitting magazine, modern National Geographic and some last year's newspaper. Of course, you get some new picture, but what is more important - this picture transcends time, it brings everything in present moment, making it joyful. So what's the difference between music for plants, recorded by 80's new age artists and this tape? Only time - which is just an instrument for the artist, a way to make perspective, to give us a hint on our own head interior. Do you have any living plants there? I bet they'll love this tape, because it sounds damn chill and relaxing.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

matthew barlow / ashan


matthew barlow ~ hatha (inner islands, 2016)

«Just being, without striving. A place of stillness». inner islands

Focusing on sound healing practices, Matt Barlow took a vacation with his renowned Twin Springs Tapes label and started recording more and more music, which takes new turn in unfolding American New Age music. His latest tape for Inner Islands gives you not only the opportunity to relax and get nice background music for 30 minutes but also the possibility of deepest meditation on the nature of music. Combining simple drones with electronic melodies and contemplative flute playing, this tape reflects the idea, which I run through my haed so many times, while listening to some good ambient records - you don't need to be focused, to perceive everything in this flow of aural sensations, but at the same time, staying out any activity in mind and environment you actually start feeling everything so clearly! I think this state cannot be achieved by means of intentional focusing, so this state feels much more natural and I'm always so childishly happy when it happens. Of course, not only music can bring it, nature can too - bird songs, streaming water, whisper of the leaves... And you can actually hear and feel same energies in these two compositions. There is nothing supernatural about it, but still I have no other word than magic.

listen ~ buy tape
 

ashan ~ death is new life (heavy mess, 2016)

 «Sean Conrad (Channelers, Orra, Inner Islands) returns as Ashan with a collection of new songs exploring where the physical meets the spiritual and how the two influence and dialogue each other». heavy mess

For the new label run by Braeyden Jae (former boss of Inner Islands label), Sean Conrad (current Inner Islands mastermind) put an exclusive recording which brings to light new facet of his Ashan alias. Usually taking place somewhere far from city hum and electricity circuits, Ashan (almost) always was about instrumental psych-new-age jams, self-invented mantra singing and celebration of simple joys of life – this time Sean takes electric guitar, some distortion and drums, blending the rock music benefits with Ashan's usual sound. You already curious how it sounds? Okay, just hit play on Bandcamp and read further. And I'll continue playing this on repeat, each time wondering how same energy can take so many forms. This is obviously same Ashan I used to and behind all those walls of sounds, electronic drones, krautrock beats and psychedelic solos I hear same magic, that once entered this complicate world with "To Return To" album. Folk music can take many forms and I suppose that there is nothing hard for experienced artist as Mr. Conrad to transform his music into powerful rock outfit without losing primary inspiration. Actually this is fun synchronism between to friends putting softest side of Braeyden Jae's music at Inner Islands and heavier side of Ashan on Heavy Mess. Consider this as "anti-unplugged" album and simply enjoy it!

listen ~ buy tape

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

saåad ~ verdaillon



When it comes to drone music one may think "there is nothing special about it - just lonely guys making sounds with their laptops" and usually this is true. Of course, there are many bands using guitars or synths for this and it makes music a bit more interesting. But how about church organ? I don't know many drone albums with such source of sound - Razen, Anna Von Hausswolff, Charlemagne Palestine of course... But still not much. French duo Saåad is well-know to any drone maniac for their powerful, raw sound and this time it takes new turn on the spiral of their evolution. Using the organ of Church of Notre-Dame de la Dalbade along with the field recording made at the same place, they managed to recreate haunting ambiance of the times, when music was truly spiritual and served not just for entertainment. This approach makes sense in the modern world, full of music created almost for no reason - if only for fun, but just out of boredom, especially when it comes to ambient & drone... This album is not just excursion, it has ability to transport your mind into the places & states of transformation, of better feeling yourself and world around you. I'd say it has meditative qualities, but there is nothing new-agey about it. Just pure power of sound, energy of life, captured it the short moments of aural bliss.
  

Saturday, June 18, 2016

dugout canoe ~ over unity



«A 54 minute tapestry of transcendental motifs caterwauling fizzy manifestations hurled forth from the Unified Field. Professionally dubbed and duplicated blue-green glitter tape with printed art and full color J-card in a soft poly case». dugout canoe

Imagine Terry Riley playing some old video game and realizing that instead of actually playing it, he can play music with it. So he starts pushing all those buttons in a manner he does with electronic organ and the game becomes more and more chaotic, yet doesn't want to end anyway. At some point game gains awareness and transcends its own code, achieving digital enlightenment and disappearing from the physical plan... Now you get an idea how this tapes sounds, with the only difference that instead of Terry there is Jacob Isaacs behind the wheel and you may heard his tunes already in Bridgetown Records catalogue. Speed is really high, so all your attempts to analyse this music are doomed to vanish in abundance of 8-bit tunes, voice samples and rumbling drones somewhere deep beneath all of this. It may seem pretty hard-core, but actually this music has certain New Age and bright futuristic feeling about it, sounding like dynamic Osho meditation for cybernetic mind or minimal techno party for androids on the loose. Take Kara-Lis Coverdale and Giant Claw, let them dance, smoke few joints and flirt (only musically speaking, of course) and you'll get "Over Unity" in result. 

listen ~ buy tape 

PS: By the way, one of this album's perks is the fact that you can listen to it from any point, it works perfectly from any tape position and at any player / volume / speakers / headphones, etc. Just amazing! 

sister grotto ~ song for an unborn sun


sister grotto ~ song for an unborn sun (self-released, 2016)

I love when things happen right as they should. One may ask who knows how do I know the way they actually should happen, but I can't explain that, it's just a feeling. Something you realize just in the right moment. You know then that this is exact space-time point where you belong right know. Opening bandcamp page with new Sister Grotto album tonight was something usual for me, I just pressed play, made speakers louder and had some tea. And somewhere in the halfway it hit me right into the hearth. Looking at the distant trains passing by, watching red lights at the smokestacks... Peaceful air of white night, smell of trees after the rain, slow clouds above all of it and the moon sleeping on them. It seemed that music goes from everywhere, being just a part of all of this wonder, simply existing as the air itself. People sleeping in all those huge buildings and stars hiding behind this grey sky – they have so much in common. Sound of Madeline's guitar unfolds like fog, bringing peace and kind of protection. Her voice washes my thoughts away from shores of my mind. Peaceful melancholia of these melodies flies somewhere between my window and horizon bringing echoes of the day which ended so quietly. There will be noise and rumble again on these streets tomorrow, but while sun is unborn, I'll enjoy that feeling. Every single part of it, even if it brings tears to my eyes. 

listen ~ buy tape

Friday, June 17, 2016

rest easy, volume 1 by australian newborn label hi tide




Volume 1 of our 'Rest Easy' compilation series showcases eight relaxing tracks made by musicians living across the continent of Australia. Digital timbres are blended with field recordings and analogue tones, structured by circadian rhythms and fluid compositional trails to create a soothing, contemplative journey suited to long walks, kayaking and other easygoing activities; enjoy in loungerooms, libraries, hotsprings, bathhouses and anyplace easily softened by the sounds of the Ambient. hi tide

What do you need when the summer sun hides beneath the clouds? What do you want, when you sit by your window, watching rivers of the sky falling on the ground, making trees hum and asphalt wet? Yes, that's right, it's music! Something calm and warm, something so relaxing, that you will go up to the sky with the air, reaching the highest clouds to see the sun over them. Same sun that shine right now somewhere over the places you've never been, over the oceans you never touched, over the mountains you never climbed... Maybe right now it shines over Australia, where dozens of people read same blogs you enjoy, drink same kind of tea, seeing same dreams when sun goes down. There are many things which are universal, and probably music is the most universal (if I may say so) of them. Sharing their visions of life and their dreams, a group of highly talented artists joined for this compilation, which gives a very nice perspective on the present ambient music scene in Australia. Of course, we live in the global world now, we meet each other here, in the web – but there is always something special about such selections. I'd call it "a taste" of a place (and time!), which can be translated only by such lucid medium as music. Something you won't see in the tourist brochure or read in Wikipedia. I'm sure, Australians know things about relaxing but there is definitely something more about this compilation than just global laziness we all share. If I'll try explaining it further, magic will be gone. So just press the link already! And relax ~_~
 
listen ~ download ~ support

ps: Any money given for this album will be donated directly to Bush Heritage Australia, a conservation organisation protecting millions of hectares of ecologically important land and working in close partnership with traditional landowners.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

pandelindio & bird people



~ native american flute, mapuche ~


Federico Fossati _ Bamboo Clarinet, Phytagorean Harp, Bansuri, Native American Flute.
Corina Inveninato _ Bamboo Clarinet, Citarina, Tanpura
Alfredo Vidal drum and Chaska Voice on "La fuerza de la palabra"


Roy Culbertson III _ banjo, sruti box
Uli Rois _ banjo, sruti boxRéka Kutas _ cello
Tom Gaskell _ sitar
Ben Kingsbury _ electric guitar
Noamie Randall _ acoustic guitar