On All Perfect Days, Michael Vallera’s second LP for Denovali, he continues to distill his singular, cinematic approach to sound. Acting as both performer and producer, Vallera constructs a lush, deeply emotional album that jettisons the overt rhythms and explicit drum programming that characterized much of his earlier work. Instead, in its tightly focused reliance on little more than guitar and amplifier feedback, supplemented by piano and synthesizer, the album explores a sparse but rich palette that evokes the ambient works of Harold Budd—although filtered through Vallera’s own sharp-edged sensibility. Recorded with Greg Norman at Electrical Audio and mastered by Daniel Rejmer, All Perfect Days adds to the mounting evidence that Michael Vallera is among the most assured and compelling artists to emerge from Chicago in recent years.
Michael Vallera is a musician and photographer who lives and works in Chicago. Prolific as both a solo artist and collaborator, he has released albums under his own name and as COIN (Opal Tapes), with percussionist Steven Hess as Cleared (Immune Recordings), and with Joseph Clayton Mills as Maar (Umor Rex, Entr’acte). He sings and plays guitar in the experimental rock group Luggage (Don Giovanni Records). An MFA graduate of School of the Art Institute of Chicago, his work has been exhibited in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere.
Age of Insects is the result of a series of visits made by Mark and Laura to Stephen’s studio in Virginia between May 2009 and January 2010.
The three improvised around common interests in analog electronics and digital manipulation, field recordings and instrumental performance practice. These recordings presented here feature only minimal editing and post-production, with a primary intent of capturing shared moments of listening and response.
The titles refer to extinct insects—the imagined hum and flutter of their calls, flight and communication.
Extremely limited numbers available: For all intents and purposes, Grand Salvo is the work of singer-songwriter Paddy Mann. Grand Salvo’s debut album, 1642-1727, and its follow-up, River Road, earned him rave reviews and a solid following at home and beyond for his stark, sensitive and beautiful songs.
After a spell living in Europe, Paddy returned to Australia and began work on another album he’d dreamt up while away, A set of songs that acts as a children’s storybook, the album became cursed with too many recording problems and Paddy decided to shelve it. While that project will eventually see the light of day, its plagued nature ironically became the motivation for The Temporal Wheel.
As a sort of pantheist, or at least an artist who finds great stories hiding in the vast visual subtleties of nature – Subtle Trees is a classical music collage as much as it is an homage to classical music. It’s core is created through sounds gathered in the owl hours by sampling ancient instruments whose cores were derived from the trees of nature. These sounds were layered like lichen on an ancient pantheistic sculpture.