Bridgetown #67: Dr. D.R. Barclay – ‘One Note mixtape’
Barclay’s newest offering utilizes 8 years of research and a lifetime of record collecting to present the first definitive collection of one-note guitar solos from dozens of classic pop/punk/blues/indie rock/etc. songs. The accomplished disk jockey’s skillset and attention to detail is nothing short of remarkable: each carefully chosen sliver of music is strategically arranged into captivating movements that leap across genres with expert transitions between solos as Barclay cued and played the songs directly from the original vinyl records. The analog experience comes complete with the native hiss, crackles and pops of each record, and each tape is dubbed in real-time from a master cassette to retain the medium’s warmth. A highly addictive listen that reveals a fresh and unique interpretation on the art of DJing and modern music, One Note focuses in on forgotten moments that normally go unnoticed in casual listening: bridges, interludes, outros and fractured shards of minimalist guitar solos. Guaranteed to be a hit at parties, dissipate traffic and ruin first dates. Limited to 50 in clear shells with black lining. The packaging for each copy exposes a different selection of album covers from the records used in the making of this tape. More info about the artist: Dr. David Barclay initially seems like an unusual title to perform under, but the name is no moniker. Holding a Ph.D. in Oceanography from UC San Diego, Barclay’s scientific distinctions include producing the deepest sound recordings in the world while measuring ambient noise in the Marianas Trench and recording the underwater soundscape that spans the 750 mile-long Mississippi River. All seriousness aside, the Canadian’s academic background serves as a catalyst for an endless list of unorthodox ideas and projects that span across the past decade. His impressive résumé is packed with accolades that range from performing 24-hour long DJ sets in front of a live audience to conceptual appropriations in the realm of internet art installations and countless print works. As an integral member of bands from British Columbia, Québec and California, his unprecedented antics include live radio performances conducted over the telephone while feeding his live set through a series of webcasts, more telephones and even hijacked radio stations to produce reverb and delay that is physically produced by the broadcast of airwaves.
Bridgetown #66: Giant Claw – ‘Clash of Moons’ C36
It should come as no surprise that Keith Rankin’s synthesizer escapades as Giant Claw spiral and dance into the sky and beyond. Hailing from Dayton, Ohio, otherwise known as the birthplace of aviation, Rankin’s work evokes imaginary soundtracks to vintage black-and-white space travel flicks twisted in a funhouse mirror and blasted through a wind tunnel. Seemingly empty constructions of beeping background tones and the rhythm of idle flight machinery escalate into a frantic, rapid paced voyage on their way to the closing title track: a climactic opus of planetesimal proportions that rises, falls and nearly crash lands several times over its nearly 18-minute span. Limited to 100 with full-color, double-sided glossy cardstock inserts.
Bridgetown #65: Sky Stadium – ‘Continental’ C54
In just over one year, Jeffrey Roman of Colonia, NJ has garnered a score of praise for his expert craftsmanship of miniature snapshots of liquid-smooth drone/new age under the guise of Sky Stadium. With a string of rapid-fire solo outings on Monorail Trespassing, Hooker Vision, Goldtimers, Sacred Phrases and Lava Church alongside recent splits with Cough Cool, Potions and Kevin Greenspon, it’s no surprise that Roman’s first official long player as Sky Stadium serves as his most grandiose statement to date. Continental wraps up the expansive journey into a monolithic 12 song full-length album that further condenses the precise attention to detail and quality control of his entire discography into just under an hour. While exhibiting a wide range of styles and approaches ranging from the distant sparkle in “Offering,” percussive staccato of “Guide to Floating” and the heartwrenching 75-second lullaby “Breaker,” each individual piece encapsulates the most essential elements of beautiful music with precise subtlety and tact, stripped of all things unnecessary to play its vital role on the cosmic stage. Limited to 100 with full-color, double-sided glossy cardstock inserts.
Bridgetown #64: Reighnbeau – ‘Ashes’ C42
Bryce Hample of Albuquerque favorites Hedia and The Fertile Crescent returns to Bridgetown with an all-new project that blends elements from genres such as ambient, classical, and post-rock into a slowed-down version of intimate folk songs. Hample displays an extraordinary control over the use of emptiness in his song arrangements, opting for sparse instrumentation and cautious quietude. Plucked notes and hushed words ring out and dissipate as they sink beneath the wooden floorboards of a cozy reverb chamber. These careful exercises in dramatic tension crescendo into moments of overjoyous relief for those patient enough to endure the stark loneliness often associated with silence. There is a vastly understated beauty that stretches across the high desert of New Mexico that Hample calls home. All one has to do is wait for it to unfold. Limited to 100 with full-color, double-sided glossy cardstock inserts.
Bridgetown #63: Hakobune – ‘November Light’ C42
Takahiro Yurifuji hails from a small town in Hyogo, Japan and has been crafting delicate works of organic sound atmospheres as Hakobune since 2007. Built upon layers of guitar harmonies, November Light reproduces room-filling textures that simulate four distinct outdoor environments and their moods. The humble sensibility of a naturalist pervades the forty minute album as melodies softly unfold in tune with the pace of the seasons. Limited to 100 with full-color, double-sided glossy cardstock inserts.