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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Various Artists, “Reality Tunnels”

Muyassar Kurdi’s eclectic collection Reality Tunnels is like a gallery of physical rooms humming with their own distinct resonant frequencies soaked into the walls. Buried deep within the spider’s web of unassuming, spacious quietude lays a hidden beast ready to devour you.

Suffused in a drone-laden collection of modern classical, already of the soft finesse that goes for $30 in pricey 180g vinyl reissues by Eliane Radigue or Luc Ferrari, lies a richly piquant kick of harsh noise to the head. It’s like getting a rare, delicate 12-course meal for the price of a dozen donuts.

The collection is as tempered and chaotic as its curator, the laconic yet explosive singer and conceptual artist Muyassar Kurdi. (Like a more liturgical yet futuristic Keiji Haino, Kurdi’s solo performances are whole-body-vibrating experiences, not to be missed.) It’s as if she’d made a mixtape for a long-lost loved one, if the eulogised object were space and tension itself. Dark, pounding footsteps, chainsaw distortion, lonely fiddles and bowed cymbals fill the humid night air of eleven distinct sound-caverns.

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Although the intensity may peak in volume at Meira Asher’s “L’Abolition De La Croix,” comparatively quieter tracks like Diana Policarpo’s “Water Gong” still hum and churn with a frothing, immediate madness. Some of these sound-rooms are as solemn as meditation chambers, while others feel as decadent as dance-halls or as humble as a kitchen with a broken heater in the middle of winter. Yet they are as “here” as you’ll ever be.

Anastasia Clarke’s “Crushed Matrices #2” swells with the lonely loops of a prayer bowl, but the otherwise peaceful drones are undermined by what sounds at times like chains scraping across the brass, at other times like ghosts wailing across the centuries. Sukitoa o Namau’s “Good Boy” rumbles with sampled machine-gun fire and slow, echoing drum machines that never quite come down to earth, but evoke just tattered half-memories of all-nighter raves that may not have happened. Kurdi somehow found 11 otherwise completely unrelated tracks that still sound like part of the same hazily remembered nightmare. You’ll keep coming back to the nightmare and never fully remembering it.