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Field Hymns 2014

Thanks to Scott Scholz for snapping this pic

 

Thanks to all who made the 2014 for us the best ever: we made a list here, a list there, and over here, and in the meantime sent out into the world many kickass, brilliant, and well-regarded albums for present and future adoration. But of course we could not do it without all of you, the fans & patrons who make moving forward possible. We tip our hats (and our drinks) in your general direction and can’t wait to show you what we’ve lined up for next year. Take a victory lap y’all – you deserve it for being the raddest.

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So it was a very, very fine year for us: Mattress, Oxykitten, Lazercrotch, Giant Claw, PLVS VLTRA, Cremator, Black Hat, Regular Music, The Cats’ Orchestra, and Nodolby all released stellar albums on Field Hymns. There will be a heap of good music and surprises all lined up for the new year – thanks for sticking with around and supporting us. It certainly is a cliché but we certainly could not have done any of it without you and it’s so damn true.

Here’s to 2014 – may it not suck!

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…

 

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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!

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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!

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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.

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Speaking of curation, check out Cassettivity – a tape-only web-shop full of excellent releases and some pretty sharp UI!

 

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…

 

oxykitten fugue state

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….”

GET IT FOR FREE

 

 

 

Nagra-IV-S-Professional-Tape-RecorderSo the cassette/small run/net label world is a pretty incestuous thing – because we don’t have to wait until we sell 1000 CDs or 500 records to release another album, artists like us tend to be prolific. This really is the benefit of tapes – burn bright and fast, and leave them wanting more. Make 100 tapes for a label move on…

Here are some current albums by folks who have released albums with us and what they do when they are not here.

Bastian Void

Joe Bastardo is also one half of  Looks Realistic which just put out a kickass cassette/VHS combo on the great Constellation Tatsu. He also has project called Homeowner which will have a release on the incomparable Orange Milk in April or May and then another title as Bastian Void on Architects + Heroes a month later. In case you didn’t know, he is also head honcho at Moss Archive which has a full slate of great albums coming out this year. Joe Bastardo = awesome, just in case you are bad at math.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit (Charlie Salas Humara – also of Pinks Quieter, Sun Angle and Regular Music ) has three albums out currently on Golden Cloud, Gnar, a digital release on AmDiscs + a Sloow tape that is now sold out. The man is too brilliant to sleep, luckily for us all. I have heard a copy of the Sun Angle album recently and it blew my mind – best band in Portland right now.

Charlatan Meets The North Sea

An amalgam of both projects Charlatan and The North Sea, Brad Rose the man over at Digitalis should have prolific engraved on his headstone. In fact, were I to type out all he has recorded I’d weep with frustration, but lately he has put out excellent work on vinyl over at Type and Rubber City Noise. And Digitalis has just been killing it lately with their releases – super kudos from us.

Andreas Brandal

Andreas has current releases on Lighten Up Sounds, Hair On My Food  and a now out of print tape on Tranquility Tapes. I am sure he has great stuff cooking as we speak…

Zac Nelson

Zac has been a busy bee: a full length vinyl release over on Debacle, a cassette on Goldtimers, and another on Further – there is more no doubt but the internet is blank to your intrepid reporter.

Nodolby

Michele Scariot is not only prolific, he also runs Dokuro, a most excellent label out of Italy. Instead of typing this out I will just direct you to the wiki of the small-run world, Discogs – but I feel like there are probably some missing titles here…

Adderall Canyonly

AdCan has an album on Tranquility TapesRubber City Noise and a release soon on Under the Spire. Also in the meantime was a release as The Dept. of Harmonic Integrity over at Beest.

Garth Klippert

And the award for the most prolific of the year goes to Garth: his band Old Light is planning five cassette releases recorded and released in one year on PDX label Curly Cassettes . That is a lot of old dinosaur guts but will surely worth it. Rumor is that there is also a vinyl release slated for this year too…