Natural Snow Buildings – Live At Cragg Vale

natural snow buildings live at cragg valeOh boy, this is a complete live set from Natural Snow Buildings European tour earlier this year. We took two recordings, one from the mixing desk and one room recording, and took them to Andrew Liles (Nurse With Wound, Current 93 and many more) to mix together and master. The results are VERY satisfying.

For about a year or two, I had been hoping Natural Snow Buildings would tour again because this time I had a much more atmospheric and appropriate venue for them than the one I put them on at before. Cragg Vale is a beautiful, wooded valley steeped in macabre history. The Tour De France took advantage of it having England’s longest continuous gradient just a couple of weeks after the gig. It reaches from the bottom of the Calder Valley up to the bleak moorlands, going up 968 feet in just over 5.5 miles.

The Robin Hood pub has been in business since around 1800 and has a strange little function room round at the back. With its low roof it creates an intimate feeling and focuses the sound right through the audience. We got a nice, deep sounding P.A. in there and set up the band in front of two large windows looking out across the valley. With the gig being so close to midsummer’s night, I turned out all the lights for the gig and the band played as the light slowly died behind them, reducing them finally to silhouettes in front of the green.
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It was my third Natural Snow Buildings gig and the best. It felt like the perfect location, the perfect time, the perfect sound. Just perfect. So glad we have this auditory snapshop of the night to offer to you. I was entranced by both the atmospheric room recording that John Miller made and the detailed desk recording by Gareth Babb. Liles has seamlssly blended them together to create the best of both worlds, not to mention some quality mastering.

This is over an hour of Natural Snow Buildings playing live. Limited edition of 160

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“a more tactile, extended side of the duo with swooning slow motion string drones that flit between Popol Vuh-styled swarms of broken occult melodies and the eerie future/ancient music of Nijiumu/Toho Sara et al.” – Volcanic Tongue

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Wooden Wand – Ogre 99: Live in Fort Collins

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Just can’t believe how the tape label is going, been getting all my favourite artists to do releases for me. Wooden Wand is another regular on our home stereo. Is he the greatest songwriter of our times? I think so, and so do many others.

Captured during his 2014 living room tour, its an intimate solo set that suddenly morphs into a trio show two-thirds of the way through. Featuring some choice picks from the back catalogue plus brand new song “Dear Joan”, which can hold its head up there with the rest of them. Only 100 copies and the artwork is by Jake Blanchard so its definitely not to be missed…

1. Spitting At The Cameras
2. LA Manna
3. Dear Joan
4. Tiny Confessions
5. Winter in Kentucky
6. Passin’ Thru
7. Eagle Claw
8. Days This Long
9. Mother Midnight

Tracks 7-9 feature Meagan Siebe and Kevin Donahue
Artwork by Jake Blanchard
Data Processing by Ned Netherwood
Thanks to Host Jimmy, Simon Joyner & The Ghosts, and the beautiful state of Colorado for Ogre 99.
www.woodenwand.org
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Volcanic Tongue said “Magical/dazed live in a living room recording of James Toth aka Wooden Wand: Ogre 99 presents a classic stripped down/Basement Tapes-style re-think of some of Toth’s greatest big band compositions, with six solo, straight from the void broadcasts and three trio jams. As much as I love the big band jams there has always been something particularly special about Toth’s solo blats and the high, distant sound of this recordings sits perfectly….Some great between song gassing too – highly recommended!

Various Artists – La Psicotropia

la psicotropia

Pakapi Records & Was Ist Das? present…. La Psicotropia

“La Psciotropia” is a compilation album exploring the new high-tech psychedelic sounds of South America.  The last couple of years have seen me falling under the spell of new South American bands Ø+yn, Montibus Communitas [represented on here by Brayan on his own] and GMC. I had been thinking of asking Guillermo M. Cerredo [aka GMC and Panchasila] if he would help me put together something like this when he told me about this project and how he was wanted to get it released not just on digital but on tape as well. Needless to say, I told him right away that I would do it. His own label, Pakapi Records are handling the digital release.

As I suspected, there’s a lot going on down there. Unifying a lot of different musical styles, the sounds are unmistakably South American. Its there in the rhythm, the mood and the atmosphere but all distorted through the prism of experimentation and higher states of mind. We have beats a plenty, we have psychedelic fogs, we equatorial futurism, we have deep production and we have the soundtrack to what remains of your Summer.

Side A

False Sir Nicholas – Octarine Pathways
Efrain Rozas – That’s Right Bitch
Tomas Tello – Cumbia de Yuko
Titanik – Null 21
Panchasila – Cumbia Hindú

Side B

Efrain Rozas – Alkali
Los Siquicos Litoraleños – Cumbia Cyborg
Chico Tropico – Leo´n cruza el desierto
Diego Bodego – Juanechoe y su planta magica
Ø+yn – Una Pipa Con Esencia De Rosas
Brayan – Los caminos ya se abren a tu encuentro

By its end, La Psicotropia seems like something of an actual landmark compilation; a real coming together of this hugely appealing, thriving and undersung scene. Perhaps most vitally, these South American experimentalists aren’t afraid to commit to both danceability and psychedelic musical anarchy, and the results are pretty damn special.” – The Quietus

Excellent new compilation from the people who brought us the recent Isengrind cassette that surveys the sounds of the new psychedelic music coming out of South America: this is blast from out of nowhere, with a bunch of groups, working in relative isolation but channelling the ghosts of precursors like the sainted Traffic Sound and Los Parajos via contemporary technology and DIY garage band formulas. Much of the music seems to connect at a tangent with the experiments of James Ferraro, Spencer Clark and Jan Anderzen, with small instruments, druggy/dubbed beats, extended cultic nod-out jams and an overall nocturnal 3am vibe but there’s also a heady bedroom Krautrock vibe, with an endless, open space feel and the kinda fidelity that makes it feel like it is being broadcast via massed third eyes.” – Volcanic Tongue

8/10 A cassette compilation here of contemporary psychedelic electronic music from the South American underground. There’s been increasing exposure over recent years of the region’s incredibly rich musical culture and even a few ‘breakthrough’ acts working at the more outré end of the spectrum (Columbia’s Las Malas Amistades and Meridian Brothers spring to mind), but this release feels like an invigorating taster of a scene that thrives beneath the radar of commercial interests.

As the compilation covers a vast geographical and cultural expanse, the tracks are quite varied but what seems to unite them is the combination of unmistakable latin rhythms with some properly wigged out sound manipulation- you’re very unlikely to have anything in your music collection that sounds like much of this stuff. Listening through the tracks, you can’t help get drawn in by the infectious rhythms and the freewheeling and at times almost random sounding sound shapes getting thrown out. One example is Diego Bodego’s track ‘Juanecho Y Su Planta Mágica’, which runs a hypnotic groove underneath a kaleidoscopic tapestry of shifting samples; bizarrely amusing one second, deep and slightly disturbing the next. Elsewhere you get unhinged cumbia (Efraín Rozas), exotic sample-based motorik psych (False Sir Nicholas) and all-out freeform weirdness (Ø+yn). ¡Chévere!” – Jim at Norman Records

 


Edition of 100 on Plum purple cassettes in grey shells

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Isengrind – Underflesh

Isengrind UnderfleshIsengrind is Solange Gularte, one half of enigmatic French duo Natural Snow Buildings. This uncanny masterwork is a stunningly beautiful affair like rain in the wilderness. Almost hints of Popol Vuh’s work for Herzog or even Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack but invoking the landscape of their rural French retreat. Solange’s classical training shines through on this one.

Strictly limited edition of 100 made for the Natural Snow Buildings 2014 European tour. Directly dubbed from the master to tape with a double-sided inlay featuring Solange’s unique artwork. Flesh pink cassettes in cream shells.

Side A:

Beyond Nowhere
Ghost Pond
Age of Steel
(interlude)

Side B:
Calling
Ruins
FIrst the Body
Dry

 

This is Isengrind at her very best, and while certainly her masterpiece under the name, it’s perhaps also the finest work in the genre” – The Quietus

Underflesh exists somewhere between Hosianna Mantra-era Popol Vuh, the sunbleached acid folk of Linda Perhacs and the haunted European exploitation soundtracks of the late Jean Rollin, with an impossibly ancient and otherworldly atmosphere married to future synth stylings and visions of Europe endless. Recommended. ” – Volcanic Tongue

 


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The Cosmic Dead – Live At The Trades

cosmic dead live at the trades

The best things take the longest time. Spring 2011 and I get an e-mail from the German label Who Can You Trust? Recirds and it links me to an mp3 promo of the debut album by a band from Glasgow called The Cosmic Dead. I get caught in a torrential downpour on my first listen and they make everything alright. Wild, frenzied psychedelic rock heaven…nothing but power and madness. Soon they were on my podcast, my shopping list and my end of year list but not my gig listings. We just could never match up the dates. They would tour while I was on holiday or they would pass through on the day I was doing an ambient night.

Then on Wednesday 16th April 2014 the planets finally aligned and the Cosmic Dead finally beamed down to Hebden Bridge alongside the returning Carlton Melton juggernaut. The results were devastating. It was the first time I’d seen them but I checked with the experts present who told me it was the best Cosmic Dead gig they’d ever seen. Maybe the band were buzzing off the green, beautiful surroundings of Hebden. Maybe they were bouncing off each other. Maybe they were responding to the liquid light show projected on every wall. Maybe It was just the time. Whatever the reason, they were on fire. Rich from Carlton Melton took over the lead guitar towards the end of the set. James from the Cosmic Dead returned the favour towards the end of Carlton Melton’s set.

It was the sort of night that made you want to padlock the doors and keep the bands trapped in there so they could play again every single fucking night of the year. We’ve tried to bottle a little of that magic. Using 3 seperate recordings from John Miller, Michael Linden West & Dave Mortimer matrixed together by MLW and mastered by Steven Hay for maximum density. C40 cassette containing the whole gig. Cover artwork by the one and only Jake Blanchard. Limited edition of 100 copies. All tapes dubbed direct from the uncompresed master file to cassette at normal speed for maximum listening pleasure. Full dynamic range recording to allow full audio detail, you just might need to turn up the volume a bit higher than normal.

Limited edtion of 100 green tapes in green cases
Very limited 2nd of 14 red tapes in red cases
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