Something warped is in the Peterborough water. I say this with the deep affection of someone whose family tree’s roots have been slurping the groundwater for 80 years.
Brandon Munro’s delicately wonky wanderings on Armgods were written in February for the RPM Challenge (10 songs or 35 minutes in 28 days). With looped & detuned electric guitar lines, relaxed toms, and slightly hoarse, removed vocals, this is a solid bedroom pop album just begging for an electronic remix.
Relaxing, unpretentious, and easy, Armgods reminds me of a nursery mobile spinning with bent plastic arms, drooping so low into the cradle that the pilled, dangling zoo animals graze the mattress with every rotation.
Plant Material is Toronto experimental electronic musician Jess Forrest‘s 7-track love letter to her apartment’s large-n-luscious house plant collection. The album idea sparked after legendary taper/music curator Joe Strutt asked her to play his Music Gallery show, EMERGENTS III—Joe told Jess to play, “anything she wanted,” and the concept was born.
Castle If’s previous releases are messages received and decoded from the endless drone of deep space—colourful Moog Lil’ Phatty nebulas flanked by milky way Oberheim oscillations, all dubbed to deliberately hissy tape. With Plant Material, Jess returns to earth—or more precisely, she reaches her hands down into the mossy loam of her plant pots, scoops up mineral-rich handfuls, and watches the dark grains of soil tumble back down onto the glossy leaves.
With delicately rendered cover art by painter Anna May Henry, file this release firmly in the card catalogue under library music; urban tropicalia, creature comforts.
Best Tracks: Sedum Morganianum, The Grass Is Greener, and Sansevieria Trifasciata.
Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing Brooklyn-based composer and sound-artist Byron Westbrook at Ratio along with Dirty Inputs,Fleshtone Aura, and Germaine Liu. Westbrook ended with a track that made my ears feel like they were stuffed with wadded cotton balls that were being slowly twisted.
Precipice is Westbrook’s first full length and came out via Root Strata on October 2nd. I wish I could’ve grabbed a copy, but he sold out in Chicago. Nonetheless, I’m very excited to listen to this album and I’ll try to grab it when I can. At times ebullient, at times subdued, it flexes between warm synths, crystalline sequences, and synesthetic tingling. Check it out if you’re into Craig Leon, Popul Vuh, or Terry Riley.