Music to stay well by

by Dave Maier

I had planned to do another philosophy post this month, but I can hardly concentrate on such things about now and I bet you can’t either. Instead I’ve been hanging out on Bandcamp and blowing my savings supporting deserving artists and labels in this difficult time. What better time, in fact, to chill to some nice drony tuneage? Here’s a new set featuring mostly new discoveries but also a couple of potentially familiar names. As I recall, last time I worried that my sets had become too drony for a show traditionally dedicated mostly to space music, as Star’s End has been since the 1970s, when Berlin-school dinosaurs like Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream walked the earth, and I promised you some sequencers this time. And sequencers you shall have! (Even if not throughout.)

I also did a (rather more wide-ranging) set for International Women’s Day (all female artists, naturally) on March 8. I didn’t write up notes for that one (seach the names on Bandcamp to learn more, and of course lend your own support), but before I forget, here’s the link to the Mixcloud page for that set:

Now here’s some more about this one (link and/or widget below).

Steve Hauschildt – Arpeggiare / Where All is Fled [Kranky]

I’ve played Steve in my sets before, so the name may be familiar, but if not, he was a member of the (mostly) 90s-era space/rock ensemble Emeralds with guitarist Mark McGuire and fellow synthesist John Elliott (I saw them once and they rocked).

I’ve been listening with enjoyment to the latest of Steve’s records, but this track is from an earlier one which I also picked up recently. There isn’t a whole lot of information given about Where All is Fled, but another listener had this to say:

At some point, you just have to surrender and let the melodies take over; it’s like lying on the beach and letting the tide wash over you again and again, if the water was made of crystalline sounds. Despite all the technical intricacy, there’s also a naturalistic bent to the music. There’s rarely any overt darkness to Hauschildt’s compositions, but at its most cluttered that tidal sensation edges closer to drowning. Favorite track: Arpeggiare.

Pjusk/Sleep Orchestra – Vansunbarth / Drowning in the Sky [Dronarivm]

From the Bandcamp page:

“Drowning In The Sky” is a collaboration album between PJUSK (Rune Sagevik & Jostein Gjelsvik) & SLEEP ORCHESTRA (Christopher Pegg). 

The music of “Drowning In The Sky” creates a soundtrack of ambient soundscapes and drones that move you slowly and steadily through an ever changing landscape of water, fog and the clouds in the sky. This is the type of music to listen to when you just want to float away to another world.

Pjusk’s own music is also worthy, but on occasion (more on some discs than others) it moves toward idm/techno if that matters to you.

Wave Temples – Forgotten Sanctum / Spring Ritual

Bandcamp doesn’t say much about this particular record by Wave Temples, whom they describe elsewhere as an “elusive Floridian entity,” but of another collection by this artist they have this to say:

[That collection] captures the essence of the project’s illusory allure, cross-fading vignettes of coastal drift, thatched hut percussion, and aquamarine dreams into a seamless séance of the inner Keys. 

Excerpts appeared on limited Rainbow Pyramid formats half a decade ago but the complete open sea saga has remained hidden on privately circulated artist editions until now. Totaling nearly an hour, [the collection] traverses windswept shores, campfire ruins, quiet villages, and rainbow reefs, restless but reflective, tape-hiss and tropical bliss interwoven in psychic landscapes at the end of the earth.

That sounds about right. I just used a snippet here, but maybe we’ll hear a full track some time.

Xu – Melasti / Taking Refuge

Bandcamp again:

Xu is the solo project of Nicola Fornasari from Cremona, Italy. [I hope he’s okay.] It combines elements of ambient, modern classical, minimalism, drone and field recordings.

Nicola Fornasari: synthesizers, tapes, looper and fx pedals. 

Recorded and mixed between April and August 2018.

Jonathan Fitoussi – Aquarius / Imaginary Lines

I had never heard of this guy until about a week ago, but wow, this record is terrific. Very Terry Rileyish.

“Imaginary Lines” features sounds from EMS Synthi Aks and Electric Organ Yamaha YC45D. 

“The stars we are given. The constellations we make. That is to say, stars exist in the cosmos, but constellations are the imaginary lines we draw between them, the readings we give the sky, the stories we tell.”  Rebecca Solnit.

Dag Rosenqvist – August / Into The White (The New Year 2016 free compilation) [Dronarivm]

Dag Rosenqvist is also known as Jasper TX, named in a dark moment for the horrific hate crime that occurred there in 1998. Here we hear him in a calmer mood. (Get the comp, it’s free!)

Andrew Sherwell – In Baba Yaga’s Hut / Orthodox Tales [Whitelabrecs]

Another name I didn’t know until very recently.

Orthodox Tales is the debut album from West London, UK based artist Andrew Sherwell. […] Andrew is still an avid collector of physical records and thanks to inspiration drawn from Svarte Greiner, The Caretaker and Xela as well as Eastern European choral music, Film and soundtracks, Andrew has increasingly been inspired to create his own experimental music. […] Andrew recalls his Grandfather as an old man when he’d spend school holidays at his house. On occasion at bedtimes, his Grandfather recounted wild tales of his ‘adventuring’: of the peoples he met and their folk tales, of days lost in endless forests, of nights camped out on a sea of grasslands when the frost was so hard that his blanket twinkled in the moonlight, as brightly as the myriad stars above. He told of feasting with mountain goat herders and with Orthodox Bishops, of shape-shifting shaman and of beautiful Princesses, of demons and of angels in human form. After a while, he’d be lost, transported to the magical world of his descriptions. Grandfather would lower his voice, he would wander from the story into more philosophical byways and soon, Andrew would fall asleep. 

Yeah, philosophy can do that to you, but you don’t have to rub it in.

Kubuschnitt – Medieval Light / The Lost Cathedral Rehearsal

Now here’s a rarity, the first completely unheard Kubusschitt [sic!] track for 20 years. The sequence is pure Kubusschnitt and comes from that vintage period around the year 2000.

Like many Bandcamp artists, Kubusschnitt offers their entire online discography for a deep discount (one reason my Bandcamp collection has swelled to almost 1000 albums). All 18 releases can be yours for a mere £3.30! I settled for this single track though (for now, at least …). I like this stuff, I do, but there’s no way I’d ever listen to 20 hours of it and live. Your mileage, as they say, may vary. Check out this highly typical track and see what you think.

That’s all for now — enjoy and stay safe!

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