Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Talugung / Family Ravine - 1/2s (Power Moves Library, 2019)

The Toronto-based Power Moves Library imprint is back; I believe the last release to feature “original” material was the split CD-R/zine between label head Kevin Cahill (Downer Canada, East of the Valley Blues, et al) and British weirdo Posset from 2017, but I could be mistaken.  The label hasn’t exactly been quiet, however, as there have been about five or so editions released since then of the “Excavation Series”.  These are digital mix tapes that feature a variety of global moods and environments, available for free from the Power Moves Bandcamp.

This edition splits a reel of cassette tape between Ryan Waldron’s Talugung project and Cahill’s newest moniker, Family Ravine.  Waldron’s side is a series of what appear to be ethereal gamelan ruminations, ghostly percussive emanations that stretch endlessly toward the heavens.  Listening to these evocative pieces is akin to invading the privacy of a stalwart percussionist who has been experimenting with psychedelics and exploring the outer reaches of their various instruments and implements.  I feel like I should be stepping away from these gorgeous tones in fear of intruding, but I just can’t do it.  On the flip, Cahill offers a series of what he calls “no frills, just plug and play” electric guitar meditations.  Numerous lines and motifs run in parallel, intersecting and interweaving.  There’s a dizzying effect present as the melodies and harmonies unfold kaleidoscopically in bursts of tone.  The feeling becomes almost visceral as my brain seeks to unwrap and explore each note and chord as they pass by my ears.  This is true mastery of craft, right here.

Alas the cassette edition of this glorious song cycle has long since vaporized, but astute heads already know that Cahill makes all of the Power Move Library editions available digitally at no cost via the Bandcamp.  Do yourself a favor and lap up these delicious sounds.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Daniel Guillén - Inner Vision (Muzan Editions, 2019)

Back in April, we wrote about a cassette by Lunaria, the alter ego of Spanish ambient musician Daniel Guillén.  That tape focused on somnambulist meanderings and luscious drones; it was the perfect soundtrack to inward exploration.  Now Guillén has dropped a new offering under his given name, the lovely Inner Vision, for the Japan-based Muzan Editions label.  This release expands on the overall Lunaria template, adding plucked string accompaniment and a melodic sensibility to the thick drone tapestries that one might be used to.

“Celestial Friend” is a storm cloud of thick organ chords and alien synth pads that commingle to become a dangerously powerful sonic brew.  The music slowly builds into a frothy madness before petering out almost imperceptibly.  There’s a new age sensibility prevalent on “Rainbow”, which features plucked strings that are granularized into tracer-laden echoes ad infinitum.  These improvisational meanderings are laid atop a gelatinous fog of drone that is nearly opaque in nature.  The two elements are fused together in a beautiful marriage of disparate elements.  Synergy, it’s called.

Melodic and celestial.  That’s “Shooting Star”.  A pretty synth line laced with stardust to become a shimmering beam of light.  Loveliness incarnate.  And then the angels start singing and my heart stops and 8 minutes later I wake up to the nocturnal beckoning of “Inner Space” in all its synthetic glory.  The doppelganger of that piece is “Angel in Nebula”, during which we escape from Earth’s orbit and travel ever outward past glorious clouds of brightly lit dust and gas.

“Afterlife” comes on with drone in full-throttle mode, closing out this cassette with just as much beauty as it was entered into, albeit softer and with an unusually active sense of mystique.  Such a delicate orbit is meant to be explored, so I implore our readers to drift over to the Muzan Editions Bandcamp and experience Inner Vision for themselves.