A bit of a sleepy Spring here on the Field Hymns internets waypost – upcoming Summer releases will be Giant Claw, Mattress and Lazercrotch – and if you haven’t picked up the Spring releases, they are going fast! Don’t hesitate, paper weight – buying tapes is totally great! In the meantime, here are some of the things we have been geeking out about and wish to pass along…
Tape Famous, run by Vikram Babu, is the one of the coolest gig around: originally started as an aggregator of the best cassettes on Bandcamp, it’s now becoming a purveyor of analog taste – it’s like crate-digging, but in virtual bins and of such an impeccable curation that it’s practically an order form. Always insightful (especially for tips on using your Walkman for self-defense), Tape Famous is also a great portal for the uninitiated and an avowed champion of cassette culture. Soon it will be a physical publication too – triple win!
Holodeck Records from Austin, TX is one of the best labels around these days, hands down. We often commiserate at the “office” about how much Holodeck is everything we want to be as a label. Kudos gentleman, kudos. Plus Survive and Thousand Foot Whale Claw are always on the hi-fi around here. People keep raving about this Troller album they’ve released but it keeps fucking selling out, so there you go. Apparently they are taking pre-orders for another pressing – get on it!
Blue Cranes are the best jazz band on the West Coast, if not this side of the Rockies. We were fortunate enough to pick up their record release party show and our heads are still spinning, much like this beautiful blue record which I have been flipping over and over this morning. Ostensibly an album about loss, their latest Swim holds almost unbending joy and seemingly a touch of survivors guilt. Blue Cranes come from a fabulous world where a young Mingus was influenced by Sunny Day Real Estate and Constellation Records – fucking killer.
We are taking a two week leave of absence from the shop – all orders placed before today, the 2nd, have gone out – orders placed in the interim will be on their way after the 17th. In the meantime, you should watch this…
RIYL: Alog, Bjork, Brigitte Fontaine, The Focus Group
Rippling like a thumbed-through flip book of vaporous, hazy memories or maybe like a box of old photos left to the devices of the wind, Yo-Yo Blue feels like a curated tour of a fevered dream. Replete with childhood recitals, fragments of half-remembered stanzas and sumptous j-pop interludes, we sense that this was a life lived well and well lived. As the shadows fall around our eyes and the summer skies turn from pink to the bluest-black the sensation of being lifted and rocked slowly slips away…
RIYL: Heldon, Tonto’s Expanding Head Band, John Carpenter
Cremator’s new album title comes from a tale about a sudden, radical shift from a controlling, benevolent, and sterile society to one of individuality and danger ruled by an elite group called the Instrumentality. Now picture the soundtrack circa 1979 by Klaus Schulze and filmed by Jean Painlevé. Flickering images beyond your stars have trapped you in the dark as you recline in your velvet-lined pod whilst arpeggios and synth washes swirl around the ship, returning from the ether, leaving crystal contrails – and that is just the opening sequence.
The voices of futures past howl through PNG files of grass and waterfalls – thumping and thrumming, bumping and humming – but always subservient to the pulse. It’s a very pleasant factory where the tunes for imaginary holidays of post-Christian digital paganism are made: some static is playing dub on a radio in the background, mechanical insects flit about your head plucking harps from a laser bandstand and the air always smells of ozone. But the beat, the beat is what drives us through our toil – always the beat.
Not technically a Field Hymns release but an offering from Oxykitten: “Fugue State is a collection of 4 and 8 track tape recordings from Oxykitten’s past. Previously floating around as the spirits of albums never requited, these killer but odd cuts are newly assembled in a shiny and happy home. Hope you enjoy….”