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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Premiere: X.Y.R., “Coral Reef Exploration”

Across countless cassettes, LPs, and one-off tracks, Russian synth voyager X.Y.R. (Vladimir Karpov) uses his tools to soundtrack stories of old-timey adventure, Precambrian explorations, and otherworldly odysseys. Regarding his selection of themes, he stated in a previous interview, “I’d be inclined to associate my works less with a time or place, and more with a mood or atmosphere.On his latest, Aquarealm, Karpov explores the “the shimmering mysteries of underwater life.

Prior to the album’s June release, you can dive into a preview of Aquarealm with “Coral Reef Exploration.” The track charts a familiar course of bubbly synth waves shimmering among electric waltz melodies. The warm analogue keyboard sounds X.Y.R. has perfected over the years fit perfectly with the album’s nautical theme. Within a few seconds of hearing these tunes, you are transported into an old diving suit, ready to trudge through the ocean floor. 

As with all his other releases, Aquarealm is best when taken in front to back, where you can immerse yourself in Karpov’s carefully constructed sonic zones. Until June 3, though, when Not Not Fun will release the sea green tape, you can get a taste of the experience with “Coral Reef Exploration” below.

Main image courtesy of Andra Ljos