Transmuteo - Motivational Holography 6.8


                Transmuteo ‘Motivational Holography’ is the aroma therapy of sound. Offering soothing music with a hypnagogic twist it is calming. With two large slabs of sound there’s a lot of territory Transmuteo covers. For the most part the work feels quite similar to that of James Ferraro’s explorations between the sincere and the appropriated. Much of it tends to linger long after it is gone. Despite the feeling of eternity it invokes the album is actually on the short side. Through the use of constant repetition the music appears to expand. Jarring transitions between different suites within the two twenty minute plus pieces help to continue this feeling. 

                ‘Side A’ begins with a tongue in cheek homage to self-help cassette tapes. Extreme calm comes from the music. Her voice repeats such pearls of 80s self-help guru nonsense as ‘I find good opportunities’ and ‘Making money is easy for me’. From here the piece delves deep into the underlying synth noise. Transmuteo explores this tangent for considerably less time than the self-help tape. The 80s vibe continues as the piece transforms itself into a churning drone. By the very end it even brings in a beat. 

                On the final track ‘Side B’ things get considerably stranger. This is the more experimental side. Yes Transmuteo enjoys a good amount of midi with his woodwinds. During this side the transitions are considerably less jarring. Everything relates. Sudden shifts are rare. At the very end of the track it returns against to the playfulness found on the first side. 

                ‘Motivational Holography’ does a good job of avoiding categorization.

Transmuteo - Motivational Holography 6.8

                Transmuteo ‘Motivational Holography’ is the aroma therapy of sound. Offering soothing music with a hypnagogic twist it is calming. With two large slabs of sound there’s a lot of territory Transmuteo covers. For the most part the work feels quite similar to that of James Ferraro’s explorations between the sincere and the appropriated. Much of it tends to linger long after it is gone. Despite the feeling of eternity it invokes the album is actually on the short side. Through the use of constant repetition the music appears to expand. Jarring transitions between different suites within the two twenty minute plus pieces help to continue this feeling. 

                ‘Side A’ begins with a tongue in cheek homage to self-help cassette tapes. Extreme calm comes from the music. Her voice repeats such pearls of 80s self-help guru nonsense as ‘I find good opportunities’ and ‘Making money is easy for me’. From here the piece delves deep into the underlying synth noise. Transmuteo explores this tangent for considerably less time than the self-help tape. The 80s vibe continues as the piece transforms itself into a churning drone. By the very end it even brings in a beat. 

                On the final track ‘Side B’ things get considerably stranger. This is the more experimental side. Yes Transmuteo enjoys a good amount of midi with his woodwinds. During this side the transitions are considerably less jarring. Everything relates. Sudden shifts are rare. At the very end of the track it returns against to the playfulness found on the first side. 

                ‘Motivational Holography’ does a good job of avoiding categorization.

Fluorescent Heights – Tidal Moons 7.7

                Fluorescent Heights is pure psyched-out joy. The songs on here exist in the same universe as that of James Ferraro or similar hypnagogic artists. ‘Tidal Moons’ is a sublime experience. Repetition forms a large part of the work. With each new repetition the melody changes ever so slightly. Over the course of constant consistent looping there are gradual shifts, hazy, disoriented things. Most of the time the music sounds like it is evaporating away. Melodies appear to drift off into some other realm. Airy sounds are obvious. Anything vaguely approaching deeper frequencies (bass, percussion) has been completely edited out. Hence figuring out exactly where the music is going to go is impossible. 

                ‘Day’ is perhaps the most obvious cue to James Ferraro’s body of work. With slow builds in the periphery of the song it grows fuller and fuller until it completely blooms at the end. By the time it grows into a fully-formed song it disappears. ‘New Sun’ takes this level of airiness to the furthest extreme. A basic rhythm forms out of the persistent looping. Little details begin to crack out of the surface. Nearly religious in tone with an organ sound it is the calmest piece on the whole album. ‘Reaching the Open Ocean’ closes it with a rather lovely aquatic theme as the light sounds are gradually made heavier through constant distortion. 

                The melodies are always here. Fluorescent Heights, for all its interest in wanting to remain completely spacious, is more interested in emotional impact than abstraction for the sake of it. What results is a rather lovely album.

Olde English Spelling Bee – My favorite label of the year

Each year there happens to be a great record  label. A record label that confirms good music continues to be made.  Whether they are trail blazers or not is almost irrelevant. They’ve  found a niche that completely works for them and stay steadfast in that  dedication, until they finally give up and open their doors for all  (remember Warp’s signing of !!!, Grizzly Bear, etc.).  Olde English Spelling Bee supplied me with  the hits I needed this year. Having such a low output anyway makes this  all the more remarkable. Most of their stuff tended to veer towards the  chillwave/hypnagogic pop area, which is what I’m a sucker for anyway.  But their quality control for such a burgeoning scene is admirable, as  is their evolution from like the guy who practically invented the genre  (James Ferraro/Skaters) to newer acts like Big Trouble, Rangers, and  Outer Limits Recordings. It is doubly nice to have a record label so  close to me that I get to see all their Greatest Hits perform. Not only  do I have the expected joy of shows, but they even get to curate  various magazines mixes for thanksgiving. That’s right, I’m talking  about the below:http://www.viceland.com/music/2010/11/greatest-hits-lsd-karaoke-mix/Vice Magazine hosted these guys, with all  their wonderful taste in pop music trash. Ducktails have a great twitter  and probably are the most famous band off the label. Sam Mehran started  about a billion different projects, so it seems like the label is even  more prolific. And the kicker, all of the people performing on this  label looked like cloned versions of themselves. It reminds me of Dr.  Venture’s lab, but instead of cloned Hanks and Deans, they have cloned  hipsters and allow them to float in tubes filled with liquid irony and  borrowed nostalgia.  The music videos show this off, with weird  blurry images of people hanging around, not doing much. Most the videos  are fun, quirky, and so cheaply made that my cheapo camera has better  resolution. Taking this approach towards the visuals only compliments  the tact taken by the artists themselves, of hiding honest-to-goodness  pop under layers of fuzz and static.  Please keep up the winning streak OESB. I  believe in you. Your label has convinced me to have a “best of” EP  edition for this year. Each release gets sweeter and sweeter. More of  your artists need to put out albums. If I need to almost beg you to do  this, that’s a positive thing. Labels like Thrill Jockey, Warp,  Tigerbeat6, get your head in the game. These guys clearly do, and rather  than having a slick website, they have a myspace and a blogspot. And  that blogspot looks like it got set up in 3 seconds by some dude before  he went to bed.  Thank you my favorite label of the year for making me so very, very happy.

Olde English Spelling Bee – My favorite label of the year

Each year there happens to be a great record label. A record label that confirms good music continues to be made. Whether they are trail blazers or not is almost irrelevant. They’ve found a niche that completely works for them and stay steadfast in that dedication, until they finally give up and open their doors for all (remember Warp’s signing of !!!, Grizzly Bear, etc.). 

Olde English Spelling Bee supplied me with the hits I needed this year. Having such a low output anyway makes this all the more remarkable. Most of their stuff tended to veer towards the chillwave/hypnagogic pop area, which is what I’m a sucker for anyway. But their quality control for such a burgeoning scene is admirable, as is their evolution from like the guy who practically invented the genre (James Ferraro/Skaters) to newer acts like Big Trouble, Rangers, and Outer Limits Recordings.

It is doubly nice to have a record label so close to me that I get to see all their Greatest Hits perform. Not only do I have the expected joy of shows, but they even get to curate various magazines mixes for thanksgiving. That’s right, I’m talking about the below:

http://www.viceland.com/music/2010/11/greatest-hits-lsd-karaoke-mix/

Vice Magazine hosted these guys, with all their wonderful taste in pop music trash. Ducktails have a great twitter and probably are the most famous band off the label. Sam Mehran started about a billion different projects, so it seems like the label is even more prolific. And the kicker, all of the people performing on this label looked like cloned versions of themselves. It reminds me of Dr. Venture’s lab, but instead of cloned Hanks and Deans, they have cloned hipsters and allow them to float in tubes filled with liquid irony and borrowed nostalgia. 

The music videos show this off, with weird blurry images of people hanging around, not doing much. Most the videos are fun, quirky, and so cheaply made that my cheapo camera has better resolution. Taking this approach towards the visuals only compliments the tact taken by the artists themselves, of hiding honest-to-goodness pop under layers of fuzz and static. 

Please keep up the winning streak OESB. I believe in you. Your label has convinced me to have a “best of” EP edition for this year. Each release gets sweeter and sweeter. More of your artists need to put out albums. If I need to almost beg you to do this, that’s a positive thing.

Labels like Thrill Jockey, Warp, Tigerbeat6, get your head in the game. These guys clearly do, and rather than having a slick website, they have a myspace and a blogspot. And that blogspot looks like it got set up in 3 seconds by some dude before he went to bed. 

Thank you my favorite label of the year for making me so very, very happy.