FH040 Black Unicorn – Traced Landscapes

black-unicorn

RIYL: Tangerine Dream, Daphne Oram, Cluster, Kosmische, Radiophonic Workshop

Traced Landscapes is the law of correspondence seen from the rear view mirror of a departing space shuttle. A record of the parallel grown between macroscopic and microscopic in the basic urge for pattern, order, and meaning. Or like a thin sheet of paper — the copied blueprints of grand and unfathomable designs. These tracks are alien artifacts unearthed in parched deserts, planets orbiting like electrons, scale a relative term in washes of synthesized serendipity and filtered waves crashing upon shores of conscious reflection. The revelation is akin to the experience of Oedipa Maas in Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 as she senses the strange connection between city and circuit, “…she thought of the time she’d opened a transistor radio to replace a battery and seen her first printed circuit. The ordered swirl of houses and streets, from this high angle, sprang at her now with the same unexpected, astonishing clarity as the circuit card had . . . there were to both outward patterns a hieroglyphic sense of concealed meaning, of an intent to communicate.” Please enjoy your experience.

Black Unicorn is Curt Brown of Akron, OH

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Limited edition of 100 pro-dubbed & imprinted cassettes w/ download card

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black unicorn

A1. Lowland Observatory
A2. Cosmonoctambulant
A3. Temporal Immensities
A4. The Groutless Interstices
A5. Seafowl in Silhouette

B1. Trans-Dimensional Railway
B2. Magnetic Trap Type 77-B
B3. Petrified Lightning
B4. Magnetic Trap Type 77-C
B5. Celetal Supersanity

FH041 Cane Swords – Temple Swords

cane swords, temple swords

RIYL: Morton Subotnick, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Golden Retriever, Caboladies

Akron, Ohio synthesists Cane Swords return to ultra-terrestrial form with an analog odyssey of planetary drift and tindered timbre to fuel interstellar craft seeking deep space revelation. Washes of infinite blue light cool the jet stream as a profusion of electronic sounds wobble cosmic in long form meditations and bursts of sonic spasm. Like a soundtrack to a lost Painlevé film about the deepest riches of hyperdimensional scuba diving heard through beams of teslascope and fractured telegraph — Temple Swords elicits wonder in the true face of the infinite. Requisite listening for deep winter nights both in Sol system and abroad.

Cane Swords are Curt Brown and Karl Vorndran of Akron, OH

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Limited edition of 100 pro-dubbed & imprinted cassettes w/ download card

  

Price: $6.00  

cane swords

1. Temple Travel Thuggee
2. Telegraph One
I. Starfox Mulder
II. Rescue On, Fractalus!
III. Galactic Symmetry
3.  Telegraph Two
I. Voltage Control Gnosis
II. The Amalgamation of the Temple
4. Le Synchroniseur Luminescent

Year end thanks and all that sentimental bullshit

fh-cassette

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!

Scissor Tail Editions

scissor tail editions

not pictured: Robin Allender

So any label by helmed by an experimental pedal steel player (at least the release that I have) is bound to be deep and interesting. What always strikes me about Dylan Aycock’s Scissor Tail Editions is that as much as I feel like I have moved away from traditional-sounding music created by acoustic instruments, he consistently finds interesting artists that straddle that netherworld between what could be popular roots music (which I mostly loathe) and composed & melodic instrumental artists (which I adore). I know I should not shoot the messenger because of such superficial things as a “banjo” but I have been burned before and if I have to sit through another asshole group singing and stomping in four-part harmony about forests and bunnies I will take a hostage. I swear I will.  Too many years in Portland, Oregon have filled my quota as such. But that original love of such music is still there, however charred, stretched, tattered, and worn. I guess I feel arrogantly like the scene has been played but Scissor Tail always knocks the dick out of my mouth, proving me wrong yet again. And it’s not that the label’s artists are re-imagining the uses for traditional instruments and being all avant either, most are working within the confines of a very melodic, if on the woeful, side of traditional composition. I guess what I am trying to say is that whatever it happens to be, the releases from Scissor Tail are always the finest quality and an excellent listen.

Maybe I should get this beef out of the way right now, as two of these releases are 7″s: I bet there are plenty of folks in this world (well I guess there have to be) who enjoy 7″s – I am not one of them, unless the music sucks. Then it’s an easy out, music’s over – endo. That’s why I am totally cool with punk 7’s. But singles? Never collected them. Not even cassingles. So having to get up after one song for the vinyl ritual is always a chore for me, as I have always been a deep LP “folding into a couch for the duration” sort of fellow. This becomes a even greater pain when all I have for an artist is two songs and I want more – like for instance ALL THESE TINY ALBUMS. Rant over.

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Jesse Aycock – Out To Space / First To Last 7″

Maybe ya’ll knew this and are not late to the Jesse Aycock train like I am, but what is most surprising to me is that this high lonesome voice is coming out of a man. It’s as if you took Marianne Faithful and pitch-shifted her voice up an octave and a half but gave her Tom Petty’s vocal licks. Or whatever – fine, he sounds like Emmylou Harris. But a GOOD Emmylou Harris. Actually that’s not fair – Harris is pretty good. Whatever. The B-side “First to Last” is fucking beautiful and this is the point where I “get” him, his songs, his voice – it all come together for me and now I have no more, as this is a 7″. Fuck you Jesse Aycock – give me more!!!

GET IT HERE

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Robin Allender – Foxes in the Foyer lp

I guess this fellow plays in Yann Tiersen’s band and in Gravenhurst (bio alert) but in some ways it feels a natural release sibling of the the 7″ to be spoken of below. Introspective pieces, solo or small ensemble, abound throughout with a little more of some country swing/jazzy base. Robin Allender certainly has prowess on his instrument but I found myself drawn to the more woe-some and winsome tracks that inter-weave amongst the track order, culminating with the prettiest song I have heard in a while. In fact, were there a Buddha Box with only the final track “An Uneven Lie” I probably would never leave the house again. I want to hear a whole album with the emotional content and feel of that song. It’s fucking killer song but far too short for my tastes.

GET IT HERE

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Padang Food Tigers – Crabbing King Sappling
Lake Mary – White River 7″

This split 7″ is a natural pairing of two great atmospheric tracks by Padang Food Tigers and Lake Mary. Once again I am pissed that this is only a 7″ but I guess that is a good sign re quality, right?  PFT’s track starts with a haunting plucked banjo line before stepping aside for some plaintive piano and guitar swells before reverting back to banjo etc but that is really just the play by play, no? Who needs a diagram – listen to the fucking song, it’s beautiful. And too short. Did I mention that? Moving on….

There is a little bit of wonder in Lake Mary’s track. A bit of wonder like “where where did those 5 minutes go?” That sounds stupid but it’s true – obviously if I were a better writer you’d no doubt be able to parse the complex jumble emotions I feel whilst listening but it really has nothing to do with me. Pick it up and do me the favor of not having to describe it. Merry Xmas.

 

GET IT HERE

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Bruce Langhorne - The Hired Hand

Bruce Langhorne – The Hired Hand lp

This gorgeous sounding LP, the soundtrack to Peter Fonda’s first movie The Hired Hand would not sound out of place in a Ken Burns documentary about morphine addiction during the push to the West Coast. The audio quality is also superb in its atmosphere: apparently is was recorded by Langhorne’s girlfriend via an old Revox reel to reel while he watched handmade copies of Fonda’s movie in his apartment, forgoing the standard of the time of studio projection room recording. In fact, this might be the first modern bedroom soundtrack of a motion picture – it certainly has an intangible quality to it that befits written accounts of the film. There is a tacit lonesomeness to this recording that is hard to describe and if you can find a copy of this album these days it’s well worth picking up. Especially if you have a fireplace full of wood on a cold winter night.

GET IT HERE

 

 

FH039 Mattress – Fuck The Future

mattress, rex marshall, fuck the future

RIYL: Nick Cave, Suicide, Dirty Beaches

Portland Oregon’s reigning king of white-velvet doom returns with a sixer of vile yearnings and throbbing confessions. Gritty analog drum machines and flabby baselines drenched in reverb fill holes in the body formally filled with things like love and forgiveness. FUCK THE FUTURE has been said to be rough around the edges, brooding and somewhat frightening, like “Stephin Merritt crooning inside a locked closet”…

Rex Marshall is from Portland, OR

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Limited edition of 100 pro-dubbed & imprinted cassettes w/ download card

Price: $6.00

mattress, rex marshall, fuck the future, portland, cassette, oregon

1. Beautiful Moment
2. Fuck The Future
3. Arrested
4. Pretend
5. Watch For
6. Treasure

 

FH038 Oxykitten – Escape From New Amsterdam

oxykitten, field hymns, escape from new amsterdam, field hymns, cassette

RIYL: Dr. Octagon, Add N To X, minimal synth

Slow, dark and brooding are the streets in New Amsterdam – gangs run everything, law is dead, people are terrified and the awful heat of summer will not abate in this filthy town. The survivors and the lucky have retreated into abandoned tunnels deep under the city, seeking respite, safety, a chance to start anew or perhaps to just wait out this civil war. But even deeper beneath them something is stirring; a dark malevolence is awakening, nourished by the pain and suffering that trickles down to pool in its ancient sarcophagi…as unbearable as life has been for all of New Amsterdam, the real horror is only beginning…

Oxykitten is from Portland, OR

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Limited edition of 100 pro-dubbed & imprinted cassettes w/ download card

Price: $6.00

oxykitten, escape from new amsterdam, cassette, portland, oregon

1. 40 oz Nipple
2. Beholding
3. Springtime for the Dead
4. Communal Goat
5. Msr. Slab
6. Avoiding Those Nasty Bad Beats
7. Secret Asian Trustfund
8. What is This Pleasure of My Too Tight Suit?
9. Dick Ray
10. The Gates of Haven
11. Forgetting to Live Again

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