Slide 1
Guest Playlist #06: Matt Bower of Wizards Tell Lies

By Steve Dewhurst

“When I started buying films on VHS, I would record the sound onto tape so I could take the film with me on journeys.”

Pete Swanson
Enough Dark Intensity: An Interview with Jimmy Lacy of SiP

By Jason Cabaniss

"I like the idea of “cocktail music.” Something intentionally light and pleasant. I’m always trying to write music that communicates some type of positive mood and when I’m playing, trying to focus my energy there"

Slide 2
Clean is Dirty: An Interview with Flowertown

By Lindsay Oxford

The birth of San Francisco’s Flowertown makes for a good story: longtime Bay Area scene compatriots Karina Gill (Cindy) and Mike Ramos (Tony Jay) compose a song together for an upcoming show in later winter 2020, and the day before they’re slated to play it, the world stopped.

Slide 3
Needles and Pins: Derek Piotr's Journey to the Heart of Britain's Folklands

By Steve Dewhurst

“Yorkshire is not so dissimilar to my home in the Northeast of America,” Derek Piotr tells me from York, the latest stop on his great British journey. “Connecticut is part of New England, so that makes sense.”

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Insect Factory, “Distancing”

We live in treacherous times, sheltering in place across the world to slow the spread of a global pandemic.  As we yearn for love in times of COVID-19, we contemplate the precipice of this era: do we stand on the verge of a new Dark Age or a new Renaissance? As arbitrary as these categories are, and as indistinguishable as they ultimately were for the average worker, the answer lies in us. Ambient guitarist Jeff Barsky, under the stage name Insect Factory, chooses compassion over cruelty.

Distancing is a short but immersive EP released just a few days ago to benefit the Manna Food Center, a charity that feeds thousands of hungry students. That our wealthy society even allows students to go hungry at all is barbaric; that we can come together to feed them amid worldwide catastrophe is the height of our humanity. Barsky weaves “Warm Clouds” into sonic existence through infinite looping echoes, using extended techniques on his guitar to coax alien electronic sounds through a pure interaction of the strings and volume knob—sometimes with the help of a handy e-bow.

Evoking imagery of rain, radio static, frost and fireflies, Insect Factory evokes eternity and vast landscapes out of a tiny home studio and an unassuming Telecaster guitar, drawing the mind’s eye out into a collective consciousness like a Jackson Pollock or Monet of sound. Like peering into the centre of a snowflake before gazing out into a vast blizzard, Barsky’s musical landscapes shrink the hearing self and expand the core of one’s spiritual being into the universe itself. It’s a purgatory that purifies, refocuses, and elevates the mind, at a time when the body politic may be crushed into dust under the weight of a microscopic killer. It’s what we need and what we deserve: a spiritual antiseptic.

Wash your goddamn hands.