Crackles and shapeless tones waft across each other in slow-mo digital drift, motherboard reveries transmitted deep from a hard disk on standby. There’s a satisfying sense of algorithmic self-determination at times here, yet the fact that these two pieces are actually edits of live, human performances in no way detracts from their terse machine anomie. Originally broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2016 – a triumph of public service broadcasting! – the first cut, there will be no miracles here, sees Maguire alternating the scuffle and buzz of his software with abrupt snatches of found sound. The disjunction between the two is deliberate, the disembodied voices of Maguire’s samples, possibly clips of old adverts and public information films, bursting out from the dusty blur as if trying to escape from an archive prison.
Breaking Day is the second full-length album from Cleared, the Chicago-based duo of Steven Hess and Michael Vallera. While their self-titled debut album (Immune 014, Jan 2011) found the duo exploring themes of stasis and texture, Breaking Day represents a huge development in the scope and overall style of the project. Where previous material had been slowly assembled from dozens of individual recordings and experiments, this new collection of songs was born from the raw documentation of Clearedâ€™s live performance in the studio. Elements of noise, drone, and psychedelia are filtered through a dark, unifying lens that ranges from relentless rhythmic assault to monolithic tonal sculpture. Dueling rhythms of drums and sampled percussion, walls of undulating soundscapes, and hypnotic guitar are deployed with heightened intensity and force. If Clearedâ€™s first record presented a frozen, gray-washed realm of ambient sound, Breaking Day represents its inverse: A blackened subterranean space of alien movement and activity; a premonition of an assault from the unknown.
Perfect for the wintertime, Alicia Merz’ Birds of Passage project comes from another world, separate from our own. This is an world similar to ours, but everything is just slightly off. A constant overcast sky, filled with birds drifting through these skies leaving long trails of gold and blue ribbons. It’s a fantastic and ethereal plane.
If you’ve ever had the chance to travel, you know that it changes your life. After a year on the road, from the jordanian dunes to the asphalt of Nashville, Julien Magot locked himself in his appartement to record ‘Fue’, the first album of his lonely adventure Appalache. If you’ve ever had the chance to travel for a long-time, you know how hard it is to fight against monotony of a daily life. This is maybe the start of this story, a way to escape from the outside world’s oppression, a dream about a dream inside a dream, where flashbacks can be possible futures. More than a story, ‘Fue’ can be the painting of a luxuriant desert under the moonlight, maybe like the one on the Barn Owl’s Lost In The Glare cover. 8 songs for 8 colors, leaded by an electric guitar and indians spirits, both hunting for serenity…