Deep Magic – ‘Closed Eyes’
After spending some time recently blazing minds with his Heatwave project Alex Gray returns to his Deep Magic guise with the cavernous “Closed Eyes”. Blending his approach to layered instruments with field recordings from 5 different continents, “Closed Eyes” is a twist on the laid back vibes Alex normal trades in. The album reflects the cover’s colder tone compared to Alex’s normal vibrant pallet. Chill as in icebox yo. Mastered by Sean McCann.
Daniel Bachman – ‘Oh Be Joyful’
A drink concocted by restless Civil War troops, “Oh Be Joyful” was made out of such things as turpentine, tar water, lamp oil, and brown sugar. As Daniel Bachman puts it, “…it fucked them up. They drank it and they loved it.” Such interest in minute details are reflected not only in the Philadelphian’s passion for mid-1800’s history, but also in his song construction. Oh Be Joyful is the 7th release for Bachman, and the 2nd on Debacle. This digital/CD format re-issue (from the vinyl on One Kind Favor) features the 21-year old virtuoso’s warm, unfolding rhythms meandering from his finger picked steel guitar. Branching beyond the American primitive style he’s recognized for, this latest 7-track offering forays into new elements of style, particularly on tracks “Sita Ram (Who is God)” and “The Bridge of Flowers”.
Dull Knife – ‘Dull Knife’
Garek Druss (A Story of Rats,Tecumseh, Stenskogen) and Adam Svenson (Karnak Temples Little Claw, Du Hexen Hase) have been members of Dull Knife for over 6 years. Originating as a super-jam between key players of the drone/noise/weird scene of Seattle, Dull Knife has been paired down to the nucleus of Druss and Svenson. They maintain the original vision of deep dusky organic drones that reflect the wet and mossy vision of Seattle’s grey skies and open waters. Dull Knife seem to approach their pieces with a studied patience, focusing on improvisation and organic touches. Chords and timbre’s naturally build over time, allowing individual instruments to separate and become identifiable in the mix. Side A’s “Excavating” begins from a NNCK-style free-jam into the stacked fuzz of Tim Hecker-like maelstrom in the latter half of the piece. The mournful drones introducing side B’s “The Fallow Field of Vision” slowly break away into an almost uplifting bass line seeming to evoke the heart of a resolute man stumbling towards the horizon. It is precisely this amount of freedom the two players allow themselves that makes this LP so magical. Freedom of instrumentation, freedom of form, freedom of tonality, freedom of vision. Mastered by James Plotkin.
ZEPHYRS – ‘Order of the Arrow’
It’s difficult to describe all the things going on in the background of new ZEPHRYS album from long time besties Cam and Pierce. Setting the scene: The young duo finds themselves on the brink of college, the brink of indefinite hiatus, the brink of manhood, the brink of change. Written cooperatively between the two, “Order of the Arrow” seems to act as a final monument to growing up in the Pacific Northwest. Breaking down what it means to be a young man, what it means to be friends. Also bubbling under the surface is carrying the torch for PNW indie-punk heroes, invigorating the guitar/drum template with a level of honest righteousness that only youth can bring. Some would say this album falls outside the normal purview of Debacle, but one does not come across this level of talent, heart, and songwriting and just let it slip away. Mastered by Phil Petrocelli.
Particle Being Trio – ‘Post Terrestrial Vol. 1’
The first missive from the newly formed Particle Being Ensemble, “Post Terrestrial Vol. 1” is psychedelic treat, Balancing free-form freakouts and syncopated song forms in one cohesive release. The ensemble is paired back to a trio for this release. Weaving in members from various Seattle groups the trio showcases core members Jon Carr (Patternmaster, Brain Fruit), Garrett Moore (Brain Fruit), and Nils Petersen (Rose Windows). The three Seattleites have produced a multidimensional release featuring Petersen’s swirling processed trombone amid Moore’s jazzy percussion and Carr’s staccato synthesizers. Droning synthesizer and trombone gently peak and build as the opening seven minutes, on “Free Energy”. From there, the album takes you on a seamless journey through driving “Action and the Orbital Horn”, straight into explosive “Aggregate Resilience” with an overdrive straight to the album’s pinnacle. The final track, “Relative to Light”, smoothes things down, melding all the elements of the album into a bubbling, floating conclusion.