claude (writing) and ola aldous (art) are doing a super cool zine called deft esoterica. i’ve gotten both issues, but issue 2, from fall 2019, has been sitting in my to-read pile for a long time. fostering dachshunds means we occasionally have a quarantine up and i go through stretches of not being in my record listening/reading room. well, i’m back to it and have a bit more time to chip away at my ‘to read’ stack. another wonderful issue that i can’t recommend enough. claude’s ‘voice’ in his writing is inquisitive, passionate, and positive. i had the pleasure of hanging with them when we played the show referenced in the review and i can tell you it’s truly the vibe claude has in person as well. anyway, in deft esoterica #2 he reviewed the ‘karl’ split tape that josh and i did for our tour in summer 2018. read that review below, and check out deft esoterica. these little zines are just so refreshing. i believe the physical tape for karl is sold out, but josh has digital available on his bandcamp page here.
Ola and I played a (Figure From Ground) show with Shedding last summer, the day before the formal start of the Shedding/Josh Mason summer tour. We caught Shedding the next day at Autumn Records in Winooski, Vermont, but Josh was unfortunately unable to make the gig. Lusky, I just found this tour momento. The Shedding side showcases Connor Bell’s synth manipulations as well as some field recording that eventually provides the underpinnings for something of a reprise of the squelchy, honking yelps and near “bouncing ball” bloops. Fascinating and tasty timbres, a bit like dragging your finger on a newly inflated rubber inner tube and bumping it around, with some liquid filter drips.
Josh Mason’s side has a crackling ambient quality with melodic lines woven behind artifactual pops and interference. This is not an unsettled calm, it more like the satisfaction of “letting things be” in an uncertain and chaotic world. Mason has a tape release on the Dauw label, out of Belgium, which makes sense to me, hearing this work. Very complimentary artists, Shedding’s inclusion of the field recording speaks to Mason’s textures and Mason’s tastefully chaotic seasoning resonates with Shedding’s deliberate bwonkiness.
fluf now has a page on their site for the release here.
boomkat is also distributing the release here. this is what they have to say about the release: “A pleasingly tart and sticky delicacy for the ears, ‘Flocking KF Variations’ approximates the feeling of slipping down MC Escher’s plughole. It’s recommended to listen to these 62 tracks on random shuffle with infinitely amorphous results.”
hello, the first review of my upcoming cdep is up at attn:magazine and can be viewed here or read below. at some point if i accumulate a handful, i’ll put up a link to an archive of all the reviews for this release. thank you for listening 🙂
62 tracks, none of which breach the 30-second mark, designed for shuffle playing. If a linear album is like a roll of parchment, Flocking KF Variations is a rattling sack: each piece a marble randomly extracted from the bag, inspected briefly for the swirls of colour inside, then tossed over the shoulder to make way for the next. It’d be far too easy to deem these tracks throwaway as if duration was the only vector in the calculation of listening intensity. In fact, each stimulates a piping-hot jolt of concentration, my ears scrambling over the surfaces of the sound like slippery digits on an almost-dropped ceramic plate, driven to a heightened focus by the ever-imminent vanishing.All of the pieces work with the same palette of sonics: synths that rebound and slurp, whistle and writhe. These constructs feel spherical somehow – a sensation perhaps rooted in those electro-caricatures of a ping pong ball plopped onto a glass table, which settles with a stammer and then rolls from left to right (or vice versa), each singing a spiralling error code as it moves. This textural continuity also raises another mode through which to understand Flocking KF Variations. When considered as a continuous 16-minute track, it becomes a shapeshifter whose molecular re-sequencing is triggered by the shuffle button. Track transitions cease to be “transitions” at all; those flashes of silence are instead the strips of Velcro between each splash of matter, ready to be ripped apart and reconnected anew.
good morning, last night i was searching through old folders trying to find one of my favorite pictures from a sxsw performance many years ago (2006? 2007?). no luck on that, but stumbled on the html from old site designs with old reviews. so, i posted them in the info page for long term storage, but here they are below if you’re interested: