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Some Ember – ‘Hotel of Lost Light’ cassette $5
Named for a piece in Galway Kinnell’s Book of Nightmares, Some Ember’s debut LP Hotel of Lost Light is the culmination of a lifetime’s experience for Dylan Travis; the man behind the moniker, he is a longtime musician and most recently a member in good standing of the Bay Area music community. Some Ember began dramatically. Laid up for weeks after a car accident and loaded up with a little compensation money, Travis “blew it all on synthesizers and production software”. In the past he and various bands he played with relied on studio engineers, but he was determined to learn and use that process for himself. Though Travis describes making Hotel of Lost Light as a very intuitive process, refracting his experience with post-punk and noise pop through a more minimalist, no-wave sensibility, recording and producing it eventually drew on every technique and technology that getting hit by a car had gained for him. Appropriately enough, this is a very personal album for him; seeking catharsis in his experience of music, Travis brings his vocals to the fore, underscoring a vividly offered shared experience in their naked emotion and the darkly evocative imagery of the album. His prowess as a producer only improves the experience as subtle nuance emerges in how instruments and vocals set distinct paces or the sound of unconventional warps and effects – whether vocal distortion or sega-synths – as they come into focus.


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