Thursday, November 4, 2021

SOUND OUT LIGHT - "peeling off the grid" (OTA040 - Os Tres Amigos)

As I fight the urge to intentionally mispell "peeling" as "peeing", I am jolted into a sort of spanningly-panoptic mystic trance being conjured by the grooves on this tape, which came all the way from portugal. But the basis of these sounds emitted by the magnetic grooves actually come from a place much more relatable to me (if you know who I am). On a deeper level perhaps what I mean is that even though these sounds come from machines under the control and creation of one Dave Doyen (aka Sound Out Light) from my homestate of "Delaware" here in the 'states, these sounds are more like the invisible radio waves and neutrinos flying all throughout outer space and all its multitudinous contents at any given moment. It's difficult not to mention "space" (either outer or inner) when talking about synthesizer music, but I won't stop myself. The spaces created by the precise stereo images of sounds and tones on this tape are fantastical indeed (as well as just fucking cool). And to have such incredible stereophonic sound on a cassette tape is very precious indeed, perhaps it's something in the air over in portugal. Perhaps it is care and attention to detail and nuance that created this prized piece of magnetic bliss. If you give care and attention to the details and nuances of the sounds on this tape, you might experience a whole universe of luminous figure-and-ground worlds that are indeed invocative of voltages all coalescing into something trying to "sound out *light*". Doyen has been at it for a long time, assmebling bit by bit his modular world-building machines, perhaps at the beginning with no-input feedback loops, guitar effects pedals plugged in the "wrong way", and onward and upward into the impressive array he has at his expanse for this collection. This is a great tape for those who enjoy getting lost in dense realms of auditory sensation (I was going to originally say "for those who love getting lost while doing their homework" but I don't want to risk sounding at all negative- this is an awesome tape. Stay in school, kids. Only do shrooms if you listen to this tape.) OTS Os Tres Amigos is a portugal-based experimental tape label and archive.

MICHELLE LUONG - "june 16th, 2019" (FS002 Foreign Soil Field Recordings)

We are suddenly in Michelle's bedroom, which is more than a physical space. It is a mindspace where her poetic reflections are augmented by guzheng, a chinese zither plucked (and also presumably bowed). Her poetry is a casual-yet-important snapshot of perhaps her experience as an asian american not-man in an american landscape- a landscape overrun with disconnection, toxicity, illness, and colonialism, where the digital selfie is considered currency. Michelle's work on this tape has us transcending this type of currency and keeps us "current", in the moment; abiding within this expansive moment through droning strings and plucked tonal flurries that swarm and envelope her poetry in and out and all around like clouds on a mountaintop. A cat's meow punctuates the plastic satori while her music lets us let our guard down; meanwhile her poetry slices deep into the peachflesh state of experienced reality, both individual and collective. These incisions release bursts of guzheng radiations, stringy clouds comprised of bliss, frustration, pause, reflection, observation; things Michelle conveys in such beautifully direct ways. Foreign Soil Field Recordings is the collection of Katie Shlon (former baltimorean and eternal member of the immortal free music collective MEMS, which also includes Michelle in its roster of personel) and features mostly recordings poetry and experimental tendencies from in and around the baltimore area. Treat yourself to these amazing "field recordings of all things growing."