Poltergeists: Week of July 13, 2015

Poltergeists is a biweekly feature in which Michael and Wes share tracks that they have had on repeat over the past two weeks.

Michael

Volt 9000 - “Grand Illusions”

Volt 9000 are one of the many bands that I am very excited to see at Terminus Festival here in JUST A FEW WEEKS! We spoke with Andrew Dobbles (episode will be coming up here soon) and Cory Gorski did Poltergeists a few weeks ago to help promote their new and awesome album Timeshift. “Grand Illusions” is a wonderfully constructed track that takes me to that warm Greater Wrong of the Right Skinny Puppy era that I thoroughly enjoyed! There is a building tension in this song that I really appreciate. The pulsing piano bass note and the reversed samples create a Jaws-like crescendo that ends with a very impactful “Holographic, automatic, static universe set to code through mathematics.” There is one moment in “Grand Illusions” that sticks out to me most - which was brilliantly placed - and that is right before the last big hurdle into the last chorus. A very calm, whispered voice, with a soft pad that leads into a gentle jazzy piano and just builds back into static. It makes the end of the song more emotionally charged.  

Hiraeth Eschar - “Hyalite Canyon”

I have recently become obsessed with field recordings and manipulating organic sounds, and I think that Hiraeth Eschar had something to do with it. “Hyalite Canyon” is a very calming and creepy motif that plants itself hard into the earth with a mixture of field recordings, acoustic guitars, and a very deep synth underling. It immediately takes me to the image of a forest in autumn. Hiraeth Eschar is a side project from Jason W. Walton of Agalloch, Self Spiller, and Nothing, and I think it really captures his talents. Jason also has a noise album called Mara coming out soon on Red Orchard Records under his name.

Wes

Sofia Reta - “TOBACCO MOSAIC”

Any time a new Sofia Reta drops, I have to check it out. This new Sofia Reta reminds me a lot of the older music this artist put out as ^ (aarrcc), and it excels in the ways that Sofia Reta tends to excel. While much of the music tends to be minimalist in its layering, this song is a bit denser; strange pads meld with LFO basses, reminiscent of that brief moment of dubstep influence in industrial, without being aggressive and obnoxious. A heavy kick keeps beat throughout most of the song; this is a contrast to much of Sofia Reta’s back catalog which tends to be more atmospheric and slow paced.

Chynna - “Glen Coco”

I just recently came across Chynna and I haven’t been able to stop listening to her. The beat, produced by Cloud Atrium, is incredibly minimal, but though that minimalism manages to be incredibly impactful. Little, light arps mix with long kicks, a soft pad, and occasional hits of hats and snare to create a dark atmosphere. In terms of the flow, I love the fast paced flow Chynna puts out. Often with these slower, Southern-inspired beats you get a slow, almost drawling delivery; Chynna flips this on its head by spitting every single verse in double time. She’s definitely an artist to keep an eye on.

Poltergeists: Week of April 20, 2015

Poltergeists is a biweekly feature in which Michael and Wes share tracks that they have had on repeat over the past two weeks.

Michael

Ritual Springs - “Safety Cage”

Where did this band come from!? Portland is the answer. Damn. I have listened to this song so many times this week and it still hasn’t gotten old yet. I am coming to find that I have a very specific post-punk/new-goth taste and these guys scratch all of the right places for me. There is a great balance between minimal, 80s-styled synthesizers and bellowing vocals. I would also like to point out that this is a debut EP. I look forward to many great things from these new local friends.

Sofia Reta - “Le Soif”

Sofia Reta is something that Wes turned me on to about a year ago when I asked him for Witch House and Witch House-adjacent music that I could play when I DJ. There is so much emotion in these songs. I love how the few elements that come in and out of this song are so subtle, but very impactful, adding to the pitch-dropped vocals to create a robotic longing. Even when most of the elements drop out about three minutes in and there is only a simple drum beat, bassline, and vocal left, the song feels so full - which I think is really hard to do.  

Wes

Wovoka - “Chosen”

Let me just say upfront that if you consistently want to find good metal on Bandcamp, follow Majbritt Levinsen.  

Wovoka lays down some heaviness on “Chosen,” the first track from their album Saros. The song starts with the feedback hum of the guitars, slowly building to the drums and bass. These hums seem more intentional than you might expect; rather than being used simply as a pre-track texture, it seems they are intentionally used to build tension, adding to the sluggish, brooding pace the rest of the track maintains. The whole album, in fact, maintains this pace; it is always slow but never drags. I found Saros this past week and I haven’t been able to stop listening.

JVNITOR - “Albatross”

One third of trap/witch-house trio BRUXA recently departed for LA, leaving JVNITOR in her wake. JVNITOR maintains the dark, witchy tones that BRUXA was so good at creating, and in "Albatross", the atmospheric elements of that tone really shine through. In between heavy kicks and claps, delayed vocal clips and quiet howls of distortion meld with muted bass tones to create an almost calming feeling; I say almost because the darkness of the track is consistently unsettling enough to prevent the sort of chill that you’d get from someone like The xx.