Late Night Listening: The Wilderness, Explosions in the Sky

Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there.

The Wildnerness is the latest record from Explosions in the Sky, of Austin, Texas.

I’m filing it to Late Night Listening, but the most transcendent moment I had while listening to it came in the middle of a glorious fall afternoon. I was driving up the Natchez Trace, winding through the trees and admiring the subtle color – Mississippi doesn’t really do autumn on a grand and glorious scale – when the title track came on. For four and a half minutes, everything was beautifully balanced and perfect.

The rest of the record is also pretty great. Explosions in the Sky operates in the Venn diagram of “modern classical” and “rock and roll” by which I mean they use keyboards, guitars, and drums to create tumultuous, wordless modern soundscapes that somebody, someday, will think of the way we think of Bach or Beethoven. Sometimes they shimmer, sometimes they roar, sometimes they shimmer and roar. But they are … Continue reading

Late Night Listening: As Old Roads, Goldmund

Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there.

I have dutifully listened to all three of Keith Kenniff‘s bands – Goldmund and Helios, which are solo projects, and Mint Julip, which he shares with his wife, Hollie – and determined that I’m most fond of Goldmund. Below, as a taste, is As Old Roads, from Sometimes, which is a piano-focused gem.

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Late Night Listening: Along a Vanishing Plane, Christopher Tignor

Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there.

Christopher Tignor is a composer, violinist and software engineer. He’s written works for several groups, including A Far Cry and Brooklyn Rider, and done strings arrangements for artists like John Congleton, This Will Destroy You, and Meshell Ndegeocello.

Along a Vanishing Plane is his most recent solo record, and it is a delight. It would, I suppose, fall into the category of “soothing and weird.”

It is, unsurprisingly, mostly violins, intercut with thudding drums and the occasional burst of experimental noise. It’s peaceful, but not dull. If Metal Machine Music is a cathedral made of noise, Along a Vanishing Plane is the flowers planted in the churchyard: singularly lovely and delicate, but watch out for hidden thorns.

Along a Vanishing Plane by Christopher Tignor

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Late Night Listening: Toad In the Hole, Chimpshed A. D.

Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there.

I am not quite sure how to classify Toad In the Hole by Chimpshed A. D., but I have listened to it several times in close succession, trying to figure it out. Here’s what I like: the low hum, the occasional burst of static, the vague sensation of having perhaps done some accidental time travel while attempting to vibrate with the Universal Now.

Golden Ray E.P. by Chimpshed A.D.

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Late Night Listening: Industrial Love, Casper Cult

A home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there.

Industrial Love from Domesticated by Casper Cult is, I think, the aural equivalent of sitting inside a Zen rock garden with a rain-noises machine and a warm fuzzy sweater. Some part of me thinks something called “Industrial Love” should be louder, clangier, with more screech and holler, but a larger part thinks no, this perfect, this is sitting in an empty warehouse and communing with the silence and the stillness of machines not in use.

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Late Night Listening: Unfathomed of Abyss, Arisen Upon Oblivion

A home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there.

unfathabyss

Because sometimes, twiddling knobs in the virtual garage, you get some static followed by atmospheric creaking followed by a roar straight from the dungeon. Or: “symphonic black metal” may initially sound like a contradiction in terms, but I promise it isn’t.

Unfathomed of the Abyss (Kevin Price) spent 14 years (!) working on Arisen Upon Oblivion and the result is a complex collection of sounds, some delicate, others more like a sledgehammer. That said, while it’s heavy, it isn’t suffocating.

For example, there’s To Unequal the Balance of the Cosmos, the first song on the record, which is fourteen minutes long, but not one single minute drags:

Arisen Upon Oblivion by Unfathomed of Abyss

And then there’s The Figment Unadulated, the second song, which grinds on the bottom but soars at … Continue reading

Late Night Listening: Lunatic Soul, Walking On A Flashlight Beam

Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there.

Lunatic Soul is the solo project of Mariusz Duda of Riverside, and Walking On A Flashlight Beam is the most recent release. It’s ambient music, but it’s ambient music with muscle. If it was a film soundtrack – and it should be! someone use it! – it would be for a movie with a lot of fast cars flying through forbidding landscapes and fever dream sequences.

Here’s a selection of tracks as an enticement:

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Late Night Listening: The Point, Pretty Marsh

Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there.

Pretty Marsh is the debut record from The Point, the newest project from Michael O’Neill (JD Samson & MEN, Ladybug Transistor) and Sammy Tunis (formerly of The Lisps). It’s a meditative record, and a complicated one. It’s dreamy, but it also sounds like soundtrack for an existential crisis:

Pretty Marsh by The Point

And then there’s this cover of Thirteen, which caught me by surprise the first time I heard it, and about wrecked me:

Pretty Marsh by The Point

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Late Night Listening: In The Valley Below, Hymnal

Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there.

Or, okay, late night viewing, because the song – Hymnal, by In The Valley Below – is a dreamy masterpiece, but it’s the video that both captures and expresses the exact qualities of soothing weirdness that appeal to insomniacs everywhere.

In The Valley Below – Hymnal


Watch this video on YouTube
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