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Review: Retribution Body, "Baphomet"

By Steve Dewhurst

For Baphomet‘s creation, Matthew Azevedo decamped to Methuen Memorial Music Hall, replete with its 160 year old Great Organ and famed four-second reverberation.

Pete Swanson
A Folk Music of Sorts: An Interview with Zefan Sramek of Precipitation

By Jason Cabaniss

"For much of my work, both musical and otherwise, the notion of place is very important. That’s one of the reasons I like using field recordings."

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Inbox #10: Real Life Ambient Top 10

By Emmerich Anklam

Greil Marcus, whose books like Mystery Train and Lipstick Traces and The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs deepen the mysteries of rock music instead of explaining them away, has kept up his Real Life Rock Top 10 column with few interruptions for more than thirty-five years. This edition of The Inbox is structured after his column and dedicated to him.

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Guest Playlist #08: H. Anthony Hildebrand

By Steve Dewhurst

“The first album I was given was Rolf Harris’ Greatest Hits... that’s how not cool the music happening at our house was."

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Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, “The Mosaic of Transformation”

Ferns, redwoods, and primordial moss ripple in the foggy moonlight. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith builds a private language of new-age wonder on The Mosaic of Transformation, her newest album available for pre-order from Ghostly International. Raised on Orcas Island, Washington, her sounds are steeped in the rural magic of the Pacific Northwest, cellos groaning with the gravitas of snowy mountains while synthesizers trickle back down to earth, feeding rainforests and vast fjords of soothing delights.

Blinking with childlike wonder, the minimalist lo-fi ambient musings paint a delicate tapestry with sonic crayons, as if a Philip Glass score were being performed on a Casio toy keyboard. Textures soar into the stratosphere from the most basic technicolor patterns, coaxing huge anthems out of little lullabies. “Carrying Gravity” wanders into space like le petit prince, twinkling stars singing softly in the distance.

Remember Altar Eagle? Imagine if they teamed up with Stars of the Lid to play Mario Kart for an hour and you’re in the general vicinity. Smith sometimes sings, but mostly she intones like a worshipper enraptured, and indeed she’s a modern whirling dervish in the music video for “The Steady Heart.” Watch her twist and unfold like a human origami as the color spectrum explodes around her. It’s a psychedelic yoga lesson you won’t soon forget.

There are pulsing tropical marimba melodies on “Expanding Electricity“ that make you feel as though you’ve been invited into a healing ceremony to expel maladies you didn’t even know you had. Indeed it feels as though the whole album had been building to this epic journey, and the spaceship is now lifting off to the next encounter.