Record Round Up - July 2014

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Bre'r

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma Songs of Forgiveness (BARO)

There is a teenage fantasy of societal destruction as an excuse to motivate in them the things normal kids do. The world is ending and it's prom so you can bet I am going to try to kiss somebody. Songs of Forgiveness can play on, the batteries in the tape deck winding down to nothing. The mind sinks, perception shifts and distorts, rays of sunlight making corridors of warmth in the ocean. This is music telling the story of the senses. Turning senses and places into thoughts, the dream your body has of the ocean, or the surf's dream that you're tapping into? The drum is a heartbeat, and the wash of rhythm is oxygen in the blood. Temporal and eternal, the blood is always blood, but its contents are in constant flux, a blend unique to the moment. The air is a part of you, where you are becomes what you are. Songs of Forgiveness.

At the Goron Hot Springs, a sozu counts time, yet the music flows not within but out of and beyond the beat. Ethereal waves, a fabric layered over and over upon itself- cloth of infinite pile. The tower being constructed implodes, collapses on itself in a swirl of digits pushing buttons on an action figure's backpack. The horizon clears for bolder, clearer spa jams. Black Lodge waiting room music. The soundtrack to tender love made by androids. If the A side is under water the B side is just as floating, but in the International Space Station. Not just a sense of place- viewing- but a sense of being- immersion. This is music's aim, experience instead of memory. Not to mark its passage, but to travel with it, within it.

Bre'r A.R.M. (BARO)

Temple tunes. Blossoms rise and open to meet the sun. Shoots grow from sapling to tree over epic tracts of time. The bonsai grows where you shape it. This is the essence of A.R.M. There is a calm, bodilessness to it, passing through space, not using technology but via astral projection. Monks contemplate the scrying pool. Artificial wind rises in the Replicant grotto, and the caves sing. Hannibal Chew plays the standing bell. The rin gong. Roy Batty strums the guitar, a passage from Live from a Shark Cage, and the sound ripples out across the water. Strips of light flutter and melt across the walls. Goosebumps at the threshold of tranquility. If there is any anxiety in this recording, it merely the held breath of the diver. Worth it. The walls of the fjord roll out thick sonic folds. This sound is ice cracking to make way for the limbs of Yggdrasil. The band plays on, what was once a cave is now a maze of living roots cut through with sun and snow. Bittersweet hope, the sound of a bedroom rock band, but the bedroom in the Fortress of Solitude. Cold warmth, frostbite, your senses telling you bluntly how you are alive. Not by symbol but through being.

Tundra. Dwarfed trees alive under the snow. Their roots are the nerve of the tooth, in winter's mouth. And winter's breath: brisk, cold air is clear and the best for star-gazing. This is starlight music, the cosmos soundtrack. This is what's playing in the ether in all the rooms of David Attenborough's house, he says something normal like "Would you like honey on your toast?" and its like an angel giving you a kiss on the cheek. Solemn like the Nostromo, but without the dark, the Heart of Gold. Blissful, peaceful music. At no point reserved, restrained, even in the red, which it frequently is, it is nothing but joyous. No opposition or resistance. Just tranquil flow. Artificial whale songs. The Loch Ness monster may not exist, but someday they may build a robot. That sound. Tiny moments likes beacons, signals reaching out, enveloping. A landscape of feel drawn by echolocation. Ghost feels. Lush nothingness, a true pleasure to get lost in.