09 February 2018


tackling my favorite new label's fresh batch of tapes, all of em highly appreciated additions to my collection, but these are the standouts by my measure

flower room 2018, edition of 50

"Recorded live at 3S Artspace (Portsmouth, NH) 06.29.17. Special thanks to Daniel Bachman & John Andrews. / Matt Lajoie: electric guitar / Home-dubbed Type I music grade c27, with each cassette shell individually hand-painted by the artist. Full-color pro-printed tip-on cover on clear polybox, hand-numbered and strictly limited to 50 copies." - FLOWER ROOM

LAJOIE at peak electric (slide) guitar wizardry - side one akin to JON COLLIN eschewing his typical "a loner starkly" approach, arming himself with a warm amp and an array of pedals, pulling up alongside criminally underappreciated fellow weirdo folk guitar veteran DOC DUNN (another regular MV & EE road warrior and studio contributor), here LAJOIE conjures an electric vibe parallel to DUNN's 2009 acoustic trip PEACE BE YOUR RIDER courtesy BENIFFER

side two pushes past COLLIN and DUNN toward a more boldly psychedelic territory adjacent to folks like RAFI BOOKSTABER and CLOUDSOUND with glorious gradually de-sychronizing loops nearing the kosmische zone of "golden age" EXPO 70 circa 2009-11, not too far from the last known intergalactic position of LAJOIE's mainline HERBCRAFT triangulated by masterpiece WOT OZ and satellite tapes TABS OUT and AMEN DUEL, bringing to mind another avant rural guitar gem quietly collecting a decade of dust by another unheralded trailblazer in 2008's DUST AMERICAN DUST by PETE FOSCO courtesy DIGITALIS - this is like the best tape DIGITALIS never released

flower room 2018, edition of 50

"ML Wah's solo debut is a long-awaited return to the brass instrumentation that was the origin of his musical path 25 years ago. An unbroken chain of ambient sample-and-hold-based automatic compositions unfold organically in the cathedral of now time across two sides. / ML Wah: trumpet, slide trombone / Home-dubbed Type I music-grade c52, with hand-painted A-side and hand-stamped B-side on black shell. Full-color pro-printed tip-on cover, hand-numbered and strictly limited to 50." - FLOWER ROOM

a mind-blowing dark ambient drone concerto for trumpet, patient longform improvisation elegantly laid out over hypnotic loops laced with kosmische experimentation - big air, indeed - a tabula rasa dream state where out of the nothingness appears this surging swelling energy, a glorious sonic monolith of origin and inspiration, primitive yet profound, echoing enthralling existential evocations in DEREK ROGERS' SATURATIONS and SOMNOROASE PASARELE's DEMO, kinda like LICHENS' THE PSYCHIC NATURE OF BEING swapping voice for trumpet

LAJOIE offers a crucial bold brass counterpoint to COLIN STETSON's hyped saxophone works, which, aside from the fact that i wholeheartedly believe that the trumpet is a vastly superior instrument (unless you're almighty COLTRANE or SANDERS), right out of the gate i find BIG AIR's approach and execution much more -exponentially more- captivating and exhilarating than anything i've heard from STETSON, but hey, that's just me

BIG AIR kinda taps into the cinematic charge of both LIGETI and STRAUSS courtesy 2001 and to some extent VANGELIS' BLADE RUNNER score, as well as the hushed stark psychosis sides of early to mid 70s MILES DAVIS, sure think BITCHES BREW, but just as much if not more so BIG FUN and GET UP WITH IT

a year end top ten tape heavyweight contender right here