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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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Premiere: Joel Shanahan – “Laurelhurst”

Joel Shanahan, known to many as Golden Donna, weaves new worlds out of air pressure and a touch of joy. He might not quite get you to dance or bring you to tears, but he sure as hell can make a synthesizer sing. Drawing as much from the space-age mysticism and cinematic gravitas of classic electronic artists like Tangerine Dream and cutting edge experimental hip-hop, Shanahan’s ambitions know no bounds, but the sheer fun and passion of it all welcomes the uninitiated listener like nothing else out there.

Shanahan premieres “Laurelhurst” from his upcoming double-tape release for Ratskin RecordsFrozen Clock Hovering. The sprawling, ambitious work draws on Shanahan’s feelings of futility, lingering trauma, and heartbreak, but the listener feels a whirlwind of fractured personalities that obscure Shanahan’s true self—or belie the artist on an endless search for it. “Laurelhurst” drags us through a dust-storm of atonal muck, only to drop us halfway through in an alien landscape of kosmische synthesizer meditations, switching on a dime from space and silence to speed and noise.

When the full album is released, you’ll be treated to a Golden Donna remix of the track to close out the record—but as you’ll recall, Golden Donna is just one of Shanahan’s many alter-egos. In this case, it’s his effortlessly cool and gently sophisticated techno side that emerges, but not after a bewildering romp through abstract club music and impressionistic sound poetry. Shanahan’s sound leaves no single conceptual peg on which to hang your hat, but it’s a challenging swing through his personal jungle.