Echo Lane Afterschool Laughs Foundation – bikes clouds cranes phones
The title track on bikes clouds cranes phones is a very gentle sixteen-minute symphony of quiet things. Ringing phones, wind, trinkets colliding, miscellaneous human and non-human sounds all interact to create a surprisingly moving piece. The other tracks are shorter (vignettes, perhaps), comprised of piano keys, dial tones, camera shutters, and soft stringed instruments among other sounds. It’s sure to get filed under “ambient” or “field recordings.” But it’s also nearly folk music: all the elements are there, but they are arranged so lightly that the cautious listener might be afraid of unintentionally knocking it all down.
There are now five releases from the various iterations of the Echo Lane Afterschool project, all of which are free to download and feature gorgeous crayon-drawn artwork. It tends to be fragile music, no doubt delicately composed. But somehow it still feels entirely incidental, as if someone just turned on a tiny cassette recorder, set it down at an empty playground and walked away. Something about the whole project hits me right in the heart, and I can’t help but be enamored and inspired by it.
(free dl – “all proceeds go back to laughing”)
Deetron – fabric 76
engages right away
and your head unexpected direct .
“ love coming on
calm before the storm
your love is out to get me
mind body ”
encourage movement and reaction
(“ ! h ! ” )
peek back into the mix an hour later
“ s e a r c h i n ’ 4 u ”
cerebrally physically sentimentally ,
extended time reward repeat listening
( a well-played trick ending or three,
Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
I think this is an album about hurting someone you love. With a bit of luck, you might hear it at an extremely vulnerable time – maybe driving home from a friend’s wedding with a person you are trying very hard not to be in love with yourself. Hopefully this will happen at night so the technicolor tears on your faces will be less visible.
The abridged 45-minute version (Futile Devices, Now That I’m Older, Vesuvius, I Want To Be Well, Impossible Soul) is still capable of full catharsis, btw. You never know when you might need it, and sometimes you don’t have 80 minutes to indulge in that kind of critical introversion.
One of the most emotionally taxing albums I can think of. Entirely worthwhile.
Lnrdcroy – Much Less Normal
I didn’t expect to spend so much time with this low-key techno/house tape from Vancouver’s 1080p label, but there’s something special going on here. Aesthetically I’m reminded of later Talk Talk and In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country – it feels organic, kaleidoscopic. A lot of it touches downtempo, like the lovely “I Met You on BC Ferries,” and there’s one or two tracks that are completely ambient. But the strongest tracks are the forays into house: the kinetic, punchy “Slam City Jam,” the subtle funk of “Telegraph My Love,” and the gorgeous closer “If Sylvia Built a House.”
I suppose this is sometimes referred to as lo-fi or retro, but I don’t really hear it like that. It has a kind of timelessness to it. Most importantly, it’s dance music.
Porya Hatami – Shallow
· ”I just got the good news that I don’t have to work until 4pm. I think I’m going to go for a very long walk around the lakes.”
- “Congratulations. It’s a beautiful day for it.”
· "Thanks. Have a lovely morning. Well, I suppose it’s afternoon by now."
I’m enthralled by the dynamic between sustained drone and gentle impressionistic notes. It’s a balance in minute flux, blown by the september breeze.
Lovely record, this.