15 January 2018


cozy tape label LILY --self proclaimed "purveyors of good sh*t" with TUCKER THEODORE's all time instant weirdo classic TO MAKE THE SUN HURT on his bandcamp "recommendations" page commented with the simple yet crucial plea "please listen to this" which i wholeheartedly echo-- starting off 2018 right with a stunning one-two(-three) punch

lily 2018, edition of 60

"For our latest batch of releases, Lily Tapes & Discs reaches across the Atlantic for the first time to welcome vierzig skizzen of Kiel, Germany to the fold. Partly inspired by a recent move away from home, travels in public translates the nervous optimism of leaving the known behind and embracing the new into a collection of road-weary journal entries. It's music that radiates from the overlap between wistful recollection and hesitant beginnings, like watching tracers of late night scenery on the other side of a bus window, or imagining familiar faces emerging on unfamiliar streets. It's a lonesome soundtrack to what we see when unknown surroundings make us feel like spectators to our own lives. // Edition of 60 pro-dubbed metallic gold chrome tapes. Packaged with full-color j-cards, numbered and assembled by hand at LTD Headquarters." - LILY

VIERZIG SKIZZEN ("forty sketches") is emergent soundscapist DANIEL STUHR who describes TRAVELS as "the first VIERZIG SKIZZEN album" despite digital and physical titles that predate, perhaps demarcating his first non-self-released album or perhaps a commentary on "album", perhaps shedding light on how he approached TRAVELS from inception

in any case, STUHR delivers the goods, a soothing iv drip, part hypnotic melodic undulation of SPARKLING WIDE PRESSURE, part textural heaven of BITTER FICTIONS - it's not easy to discern which instrument is which, where one note ends and another begins - a sonic palette where hum, feedback and distortion are not mere effects employed to enhance other elements or else left as unintended artifacts, rather these colorful sounds are aptly applied to both stand on their own and aesthetically compliment the totality of the music, both at any particular sliced moment in time and from a panoramic perspective - but TRAVELS isn't the perfect sum of it's perfect parts - the real beauty of it is that, say, much like ENO, for all the attention to such aural minutiae, there's -something- there that wasn't recorded --though intended, no doubt-- that is so easily able to obliterate all else and allow the close listener to soak it in, to escape through it like a hidden door - if there's somethin beyond the horizon of this existence and it doesn't sound somethin like this i will be rather disappointed


lily 2018, edition of 50

"seventh entry in our long-running series of split releases brings the tape debut of Cla-ras, a new musical project based in Providence, Rhode Island. 'I Could Taste Iodine in the Drinking Water' is a subtle but impactful introduction, a transportive work of deceptively rich guitar playing that slowly fills the room like steam off a pot of broth, with spoken word adapted from Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley emerging from the haze. Opposite Cla-ras's performance is the first new transmission from Lung cycles since 2015, a loose constellation of slow meditations on quick ideas, left alone to simmer while we wait for the room to heat up. // Edition of 50 pro-dubbed gold chrome tapes. Packaged in Brad Paks from Stumptown Printers with artwork designed, printed, and assembled by Jeremy Ferris, numbered by hand at LTD Headquarters. Includes a copy of 'Above Bridge Water' an illustrated booklet that serves as a companion piece to the tape." - LILY

LUNG CYCLES split cassettes are a real treat, fresh yet familiar, wandering yet welcoming, and perhaps easier and less daunting for the featured artist to just focus on half a tape's worth of material and to know that LUNG CYCLES will pick up the slack on the flipside - not that CLA-RAS leaves much slack to pick up

"transportive" is an operative word for this batch, but CLA-RAS's execution is on a grander scale, a nineteen minute sidelong suite, delicate fermatas sustain and dissolve above and below the sound floor, forming elongated loop-like structures that reveal minimal almost subliminal melodies, further out past ENO toward KRAFTWERK's "harmonika" and even further - really, CLA-RAS is like the finest iteration of late 70s early 80s private press new age, but with a certain longing or forlorn undercurrent that betrays that vibe, echoing in a STARS OF THE LID record run out groove, in a headspace not too far from DAVID COLOHAN at his most zen, perhaps not too distant from DAVID ANDREE's all-time favored IN STREAMS, then as it winds to a close things turn toward a decidedly folk-ified ambient zone, somewhere between MARISA ANDERSON and that NEVADA GREENE / SCOTT TUMA split, finding some overlap with PSI LAB's own SHAMELESS FRIEND cassette [PL03]

LUNG CYCLES picks up where CLA-RAS leaves off with a cluster of elegant hypnotic passages embellished with minimal self accompaniment, sometimes in the form of a subtle yet crucial dynamic ambient backdrop, other times courtesy blurry field recordings of people, muted faceless conversations and some of the clutter that comes with that, here filtered, strained and retrained into an immersed atmosphere - intimately recorded and emotionally invested, enamored maze-like circular melodies and pensive soundscapes, improving and expanding on some of those "slow meditations on quick ideas" that surfaced on his split with YLAYALI [REC #44] - i might be more inclined to the "moody drone psych" styling of the miniature odyssey presented on his side of a split with OCEAN CHARTER OF VALUES [REC #57] as highlighted by standout "sparklers" but i'm also inclined to say that this is his best side yet, cultivating a sublime zone adjacent to a host of upper crust contemporaries from ILYAS AHMED to OJERUM, from LOST TRAIL to TALK WEST, and recent phenoms ERIK KRAMER and JACOB SUNDERLIN

2018 is certainly off to a stellar start