The Archipelago Rises is very pleased and honoured to be stocking the latest 2 releases from Blue Tapes. We have been fervent supporters of the UK-based Blue Tapes label since their inception with Matt Collin’s sublime release The Grin Without The Cat or The Cat Without An Outline (blue one). With Blue Tapes releases, you get a fully immersive audio and visual experience, captured within the ‘archaic’ analog joy of cassette. To be sure, every release comes with a download code so you can listen to the glorious wonders within on whichever medium you choose. The art and music co-exist in perfect unity, delicately and painstakingly compiled by Blue Tapes into a sinuous whole.
Blue Tapes has this to say about Tashi Dorji:
‘It doesn’t sound like a guitar. It sounds less like an instrument, in fact, than many voices – swooping and surrounding the listener. Whispering lovely nonsense-poetry in one ear while its shadow quietly circles you and then shouts abominations in the other ear. Except it is a guitar. One guitar. All recorded live, improvised, with no edits or overdubs.
What’s more, this is Tashi Dorji’s first ever electric guitar release. His previous cassettes and download albums have stoked up feverish praise from fans. In a recent interview feature on Tashi in The Wire, Ben Chasny was so impressed with Tashi’s gorgeous acoustic improvisations that he formed a label – Hermit Hut – specifically to put out Tashi’s music.
Ben Chasny – one of the greatest guitarists of the 21st Century!
And it didn’t end there, guitar shamans from Sir Richard Bishop to Bill Orcutt have been lining up to pay their respects. As to how well Tashi makes the transition from acoustic to electric – it sort of simultaneously sounds nothing and everything like his previous releases. Which means it is EXCITING. It’s no less communicative than that minimal coding of acoustic guitar data, but the sound now shimmers and flutters and fades in and out and crashes in tones of pure gold. It could be the best thing this guitarist – already one of the very best of his generation – has recorded so far.’
..and what they say about Plains Druid:
‘blue eleven is more than two hours of sound on one bursting-at-the-seams cassette. It is the natural sequel to blue eight: Katie Gately in that we had no agenda for it other than to drown in it.
blue eleven, by synth mage Plains Druid, is the most immersive music we have released so far. In truth it’s not even so much “music” as sustained aural narcotic – you can dip in and out of the two sides much as you may dip in and out of consciousness. It sounds REALLY good on headphones as you’re falling asleep – the odd beat or squirming-in-the-red flare of synth-distortion snagging a hook into your dreams and suddenly jerking you up through several layers of subconscious. When it does that, the hallucinations get super great. “Super Real Islands” is Plains Druid’s title for this release. If the four compositions that make up this release are islands, then they’re under several leagues of not-water. They have the ability to rise and lower themselves at will and are mostly sentient aqueous flora.It’s swarming with sonic detail, so much of which is flittering and swooshing around the peripheral vision of your 3rd eye that trying to track each movement becomes irrelevant. Instead, just plug yourself into this ecosystem and hit the mute button on your thinking brain.’
You can check these and the other Blue Tapes release we have in stock (LostPoet) here – http://thearchipelagorises.bigcartel.com/category/blue-tapes
La Piramide di Sangue ‘Sette’ LP
From Sound of Cobra:
LA PIRAMIDE DI SANGUE – “The bloody pyramid” – is a seven musician ensemble from Torino, Italy. The sound of the band is built on two guitars, two basses, one clarinet, one synth, several effects, drums and percussions.
There’s a rich history in psychedelic music, and we all know it. The best trip is always the one yet to be embarked upon. And each trip is different from the one before. You can’t jump into the same lysergic river twice. Don’t even try. Instead, prepare to be washed away by the sonic waves of „Sette“ – a sunbaked stoner trip for both the funky freshman and the psychedelic veteran.
The latter may find traces of Santana’s „Caravanserai“ or Embryo’s „Reise“ when listening – as well as some strong Spiritual Jazz vibes, resembling the Phill Musra Group and the likes. It’s all there and much more.
Torino is a city crammed with dark apartment buildings. Layers of smog is hovering above and below the skyline, and people’s life stories accumulate like filth along the sidewalk edges. Misery and a sense of abandonment is the feel of Torino. But from the ashes, there is also rebirth. It comes in waves.
From aged peeling buildings, laundry and more lives are hung. Fumes rise up from basements. Everywhere people are smoking,
Living in Torino is like being in a film that makes the lungs impermeable. People smoke and drink. Less often, they eat. Always hanging out.
“Sette” seems to sound like that. Dirty and volatile. Like a gas. The album possesses the nobility of dilapidated buildings and their toothless allure. It shares with Torino the subversive power of a family-like union among musicians, semi-musicians and friends that have contributed in so many different ways to this project. It’s not immobile. It throbs by day and coughs at night.
LA PIRAMIDE DI SANGUE returns to Porta Palazzo, the square in Torino, and the black centre of a city whose grip, as if in a torture scene, they cannot break free from.
Torino’s mixed-blood parents have all traveled the road that stretches from North Africa up through Reggio Calabria in the south of Italy. Those guys at Porta Palazzo market know it all too well, they’re the proof of what really happened. Layer upon layer, generations of refugees and exiles accumulated. They are the true spirit of this nurturing city that did not refuse them. Every hole, every attic, every space was taken up. LA PIRAMIDE DI SANGUE has mixed blood too. And the seven instruments combined serves as,a symbol of alchemical transmutation. In much the same way, this record becomes a nocturnal road movie through neighbourhoods redrawn by time, dragging the listener further and further south of heaven. It speaks no language and may even be a hallucination: After all, “Sette” does not only mean the number “seven” in Italian, but also “cults”.
From Twice Removed Records:
Snoqualmie Falls are Jeff Stonehouse and Alicia Merz. Jeff is based near the South Downs in West Sussex, UK while Alicia is from the Waikato lowlands surrounding Hamilton, New Zealand. Jeff has released solo material under the name ‘Listening Mirror’ on various labels, in different parts of the world including Hibernate (UK), Cooper Cult (NZ), Twice Removed (AUS) and Dronarivm (RUS), as well as a few self-released albums. Alicia records solo material under the name ‘birds of passage’ and has released 3 albums on the Denovali label in Germany. She has also worked with The Dale Cooper Quartet and Aidan Baker.
Snoqualmie Falls was formed two years ago when Jeff and Alicia discovered each other’s music by chance, and contacted each other to see if a collaboration was possible. The music is a combination of Jeff’s treated guitar drones and field recordings and Alicia’s ethereal and haunting whispered vocals. Their first EP ‘Red Fire Dark’ received excellent reviews:-
“Reverb-drenched swirls imbue the title track with a dream-like aura as blurry washes and Merz’s haunting whisper emerge from the music’s mists. The material’s slow-motion unfurl envelops the listener, drawing him/her helplessly into its seductive realm via the music’s incantatory power” Textura
“…it creates such wonderful soundscapes. Rich in melody and mood the two songs feel far longer than their unfortunately brief running times would suggest. Gradually moving they seem to span out into eternity continuing in an absolute bliss. Vocals add additional layers of humanity into the mix softly half-spoken and sung. “ – Beach Sloth
Their first full length album – ‘Dream Sequence’ – envisages an hour long journey through the soundscape of the dream world in which Jeff and Alicia, although physically separated by thousands of miles, meet to share their secrets and write their songs. “Close your eyes and imagine a walk through an ancient forest, the wind stirring the high branches, pine needles under your feet, A cabin. A sad girl sings a beautiful song, whilst her companion idly picks at his homemade guitar. We are Snoqualmie Falls, and this is the soundtrack to our dream life. Where we’re from the birds sing a pretty song, and there’s always music in the air.”
A second, more conventional, song based album is currently in its early stages.
Carsick Cars and Flavor Crystals!
A Tale of Two Threes
After an auspicious run of activity, including two critically lauded albums on venerable indie Maybe Mars, sharing bills about the globe with alt-godfathers, Sonic Youth and slots at All Tomorrow’s Parties and Primavera Sound, Beijing indie-noise wunderkinds, Carsick Cars slipped into a well-deserved, five year, auricular hibernation of sorts, only to return in dramatic fashion this spring with a new rhythm section and 3, their most fully realized long player, to date. Yoko, a revved-up outtake from the Hamish Kilgour/ Pete Kember (a.k.a. Sonic Boom) produced sessions which spawned 3, marks a distinctive, stylistic departure for the band, who momentarily dial down the noise in favor of driving repetition, clean, Figurines-esque vocals and an anthemic, balls-to-the-wall resolve that unexpectedly launches the track into the stratosphere upon its incessantly rhythmic conclusion – an unequivocal, left-field indie-pop gem of a tune, if there ever was one!
On the flip side, Minneapolis psych-rock vets, Flavor Crystals, offer up Mirror in My Mind, a drone smeared, carefully considered, morotik ripper that mines the depths of exploratory shoegaze with aplomb, not unlike an auditory visage of one of Frederik van Eeden’s exercises in lucid dreaming. The band’s most recent full length release, a triple LP psych monster, coincidentally titled Three [Mpls. Ltd.], may well be one of the more criminally overlooked wax platters of the past couple years – self-engineered and produced by the band following a lengthy US tour in support of like-minded sonic sojourners, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Three captures Flavor Crystals in a vulnerable, metacognitive state and the results are nothing short of staggering!