Omni Gardens – “Moss King” CS
9 / 18 / 2020
Omni Gardens – Moss King
Omni Gardens is the experimental ambient/new age project by Moon Glyph head Steve Rosborough. Recorded at home in Portland during the early days of covid, Moss King is relaxed home listening for difficult times. The first Omni Gardens release, West Coast Escapism, was expansive with a broad selection of soothing synth tones and morphing samples. In contrast, Moss King is a smaller, more intimate affair, full of fuzzy new age moog drifters and self-captured field recordings. The tracks bounce between minimalist twinkling synth plucks, ocean-backed synth pads and ambient pop forms. Playful, serene and healing sounds for watching your plants grow.
Mark Tester – “Super Hiss” CS
8 / 28 / 2020
Mark Tester – Super Hiss
A psychedelic tapestry of vignettes and loose, homespun pop-adjacent songs, Super Hiss finds Indianapolis musician Mark Tester at his stream-of-conscious best. Tester plays in Crazy Doberman and in Caldwell/Tester, alongside longtime collaborator Landon Caldwell, with whom he also co-runs the experimental label Medium Sound.
Akin to his previous solo outings, Super Hiss derives its meaning and magic from the mundanity of everyday life – taking clips from outdoor sound anomalies, hand clipped tape loops and other patchworked found-sound moments recorded as a phone memo. These pieces are then dumped onto a 4-track cassette for a few layers of overdubs and then sometimes onto an 8 track reel-to-reel. The album is comprised of synthesizers, real instruments and faux-instruments derived from a floppy disk. The playful spirit and boundless creativity of Tester oozes from his solo work. It’s music imbued with his everyman philosophy that music, sounds and inspiration are all around you, waiting to be plucked from this universe and into your own. That freedom from rigidity and overthinking has resulted in Super Hiss, a free-flowing pop collage of experimentation and brilliant, melodic weirdness.
Grapefruit – “Light Fronds” CS
7 / 31 / 2020
Grapefruit – Light Fronds
Grapefruit is the experimental project by Portland musician and painter Charlie Salas-Humara. His ninth album under the moniker, Light Fronds is steeped in heady minimalism and hypnotic, casual psychedelia. It’s an album of colorful and loose jams; layering viola, guitar, synth and piano into a rolling, pastoral experience. Touches of new age and modern classical fill the space as well. The Frippertronics-esque tape loops and kosmische inspired compositions on Light Fronds are sublime and transportive, ideal qualities for this afternoon zone-out.
Secret Drum Band – “Chuva” CS/CD
7 / 24 / 2020
Secret Drum Band – Chuva
“Chuva” is the second album from Portland percussion and electronic ensemble Secret Drum Band. The group is co- directed by Lisa Schonberg and Allan Wilson, formerly from the groups Explode Into Colors and !!!. The band combines intricately composed percussion and tonal electronics alongside ecological soundscapes rooted in study and observations from Hawaii, the Brazilian Amazon and Oregon. Through soundscape composition, investigations in acoustic ecology and politically driven percussion, Secret Drum Band brings attention to topics such as insect sentience, our relations with non-human species and how our decisions affect our environment and communities.
The tracks “Antifa Green” and “Antifa Fuschia” were recorded by Heather Treadway and Schonberg during an alt-right rally in Portland, OR. They were created in direct response and borne from anxiety, frustration and a sense of duty to resist the fascist creep. The tunes “Ka’ena Point” and “Alaka’i Swamp” are based on the endangered Hylaeus bees and their habitats on Oahu and Kauai. Schonberg also has ongoing research on ant acoustic communication with entomologists in Brazil which influenced “Surface of Abyss at Ducke”, “Terra Firme” and “Multispecies (Ants)”. “Robert Plants” and “Riparia” were commissioned by the Portland chapter of the Oregon Plant Society. Playing with concepts of synesthesia, Wilson and Schonberg observed plant species in Forest Park to craft sonic and rhythmic patterns. Then at Rooster Rock in the Columbia Gorge, they were inspired by the delicate motion of floating plant detritus near the shore.
Secret Drum Band’s powerful sound, political and ecological messaging and conceptual songwriting process firmly plants the band in the here and now.
Aaron Space & His Terrestrial Underlings – “Fishland” CS
5 / 22 / 2020
Fishland is the expansive debut album from Aaron Space & His Terrestrial Underlings aka composer/drummer/vocalist Elihu Knowles. Based in Portland via the Bay Area, Knowles’ jazz background deeply influences his soulful and experimental tunes. On “Fishland” he deftly blends maximalist free-form explorations alongside pop harmonic structures to coalesce into something fresh and uniquely its own. The palette is as wide as its song forms; piano, bizarro samples, lush strings, acoustic & electronic drums, other-worldly synths, saxophone, rhodes, field recordings and a plethora of undefinable sonic experiments. A debut as bold and fully-realized as Fishland is hard to believe and yet, here it is, beamed down from interstellar space.
Cole Pulice – “Gloam” CS
Cole Pulice – Gloam
Gloam is the first solo record by Minneapolis-based saxophonist Cole Pulice. Cole plays in Iceblink, toured with Bon Iver and has worked with Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mild High Club, amongst others. Gloam is an album of audio holograms for tenor saxophone and hardware, recorded live without overdubs. Clusters of orbiting tones drift through empty space, languidly shifting and morphing between colors and shapes, like fractals within a kaleidoscope or fragments of stained glass in a rock tumbler. It’s a collection of electroacoustic lullabies for holodecks, interstellar rest stops and cryo-chambers. He was influenced by light prisms, Samuel Delaney’s speculative fiction, the Synchromism art movement and electroacoustic ambient environments.
Gloam is informed by liminal cycles, spaces of limbo, and timeslip. Cole’s circadian rhythm disorder manifests in sleep-wake cycles that seem to collapse the boundary between “days”; sunsets and sunrises coalescing into one another, ad infinitum.
Iceblink – “Carpet Cocoon” CS
1 / 24 / 2020
Iceblink – Carpet Cocoon
Iceblink is a homespun, intimate project conjured by Lynn Avery in Minneapolis. As a trans woman, everything she creates is about her experience and Lynn describes Carpet Cocoon as her comfort album, music to retreat to in the winter. Informed by her passion for mixtapes, oddities and crate digging blogs, the album is eclectic yet cohesively spun around the aesthetic of a bedroom new age album. Sonically, it has a fuzzy and rounded vibe incorporating nylon string guitars through vocoders, textural Prophet synthesizers, flutes and filtered saxophone. The effect of Carpet Cocoon is stunning and personal, melancholic yet idyllic, a spiritual ritual of baths for lying on your bedroom floor.
Danny Scott Lane – “Memory Record” CS
11 / 15 / 2019
Danny Scott Lane – Memory Record
Memory Record is the second solo album from LA based producer Danny Scott Lane. It’s an album with a unique vision, encapsulated by its wide palette including woody percussion, bells, morphing synthesizers, natural field recordings, plucky keys, early-digital synth tones and warm, aqueous pads. Accompanying Lane on many of these tunes is the gorgeous flute of Ei Talley II.
Memory Record derives its name and purpose from Lane’s grandfather who after being diagnosed with Alzheimers gifted Lane and his brother microcassette recorders and encouraged them to record and document their memories in a physical form. Taking his advice to heart, Lane sculpted the meandering and fleeting feeling of memories beautifully on Memory Record.
Danny Scott Lane – “Join” video
11 / 8 / 2019
Blue Tomorrows – “Without Color” CS
9 / 13 / 2019
Blue Tomorrows – Without Color
Blue Tomorrow’s debut album Without Color is a breezy collection of homespun psychedelic pop tunes crafted by Sarah Nienaber (also of Candace and Web of Sunsets). Time is marked by memories and milestones but the rest is in-between. You aren’t who you were and you’re not you just yet. An idle space for creativity to gestate. During these in-between moments, Sarah recorded at home in her basement studio in Portland, Oregon. She used hazy guitars, drum machines, gentle synths and her own voice to form Without Color, an album of shimmering, languid beauty. A perfect autumnal album for ushering in whatever’s next.
Crystal Myslajek — “Cove” CS
9 / 6 / 2019
Crystal Myslajek – Cove
Crystal Myslajek has been a steady force in the Minneapolis underground music community for years, notably in the groups IE and Brute Heart. Cove is her first truly solo endeavor, wherein she composed and played each element. The music is comprised of delicate interlocking piano cycles, layered vocals, uncluttered synthesizer pads and subtle melodic hooks. Cove was conceived over a year and a half, recorded at home and more formally on a grand piano. The entire creative process coincided with the birth of her second child. The resulting music is as beautiful, soulful and intimate as all that connotes.
Blue Tomorrows – “Sound of Moving” video
8 / 16 / 2019
IE — “Pome” CS
7 / 8 / 2018
IE – Pome
IE (pronounced “eee”) is a five-piece from Minneapolis devoted to experiences of hypnotic minimalism— sonic rituals from the future and ambient, desert soundscapes. Their shows feature sustained tones, electronic whirrs, slow beats, video and film projections, metaphysical recitations, and carefully crafted atmospheres.
In 2017, IE received a extraordinary gift: an eight-person hot tub from their eccentric handyman. After a year of bathing in its therapeutic waters, the band’s minimal vibes began to take on startling evolutions into new harmonic fields and cultic auras. With the inclusion of two new members, IE wrote their first full-length album. The album includes three entirely new songs with vocals (Amulets, Gloam, and Moon Shot) and three classic IE jams that are here polished into studio recordings (Empty Vessel, Idol Horizon, and Nebula). Moon Glyph is thrilled to unveil the fruits of these sessions with their brilliant new cassette— Pome.
Courtesy — “HEY” CS
5 / 4 / 2018
Courtesy – HEY
Courtesy has crafted an unclassifiable electronic blend of off-kilter atmospheric synths, otherworldly vocal harmonies, deep-house grooves, and weirdo-funk bass lines all sewn together via a persistent Oberheim DX drum machine. Throughout Courtesy’s three albums there has been a loose thread mirroring evolution and their process—from an amorphous single-celled Idmatic, to the lizard-like mass of reflexes represented in Slow Bruise, to the stumbling, playful, and exaggerated toddler of HEY.
Now a trio with the addition of Doug Malone, Courtesy’s new album was inspired by plastics, young bodybuilders as a metaphor for pop personas, the feeling of Andre Agassi’s pastel/neon Nike apparel line, and Ronald McDonald now wanting to be referred to as Ron. HEY is unabashedly weird yet accessible and all the more brilliant for it.
Treasure Hunt — “Space Jam” CS
11 / 26 / 2017
Treasure Hunt – Space Jam
Far out experimental collagist Treasure Hunt returns with a collaboration alongside Dennis Warren’s Full Metal Revolutionary Jazz Ensemble. Warren’s unique approach to improvisation is informed by his understanding of resonance and quantum mechanics, reading into musics on a molecular and deeply vibrational level. The collaboration began with three live recordings from FMRJE, split up into individual players parts (trumpet, saxophone, drums, flutes, congas, bongos, electric guitar, bass, etc) which were then shipped to Treasure Hunt who took these pieces, sampled and re-sampled and combined them alongside his own peculiar brand of synthesis and production. Together, these cosmic jokers crafted Space Jam, a bewildering and tripped out free jazz album blended with modern electronics, the kind of boundary pushing that would make Sun Ra proud.