BOYLE – Spun Out On Out Sounds

John Boyle’s new CD, Spinout, is a big 'un, loaded with 28 short songs. Yup, SONGS. Unlike Boyle's previous releases, which range from a 5 disc meditative drone suite to solo flute, this is a Thinking Fellers-style cramming of dozens of ideas into bite-sized chunks, all possessed with the sonic glory of classic lo-fi 4-trackisms. After a n…

Unknown For Now – Lyric’s Inspirational Hip-Hop

I first met Lyric - aka Stephon Baldwin - when he was in high school. As an attendee of a music mentorship program I was involved with, he displayed a discipline and work ethic not common in someone his tender age. After a few months of classes, it was a revelation to see him command the stage with well-rehearsed talent and natural charisma. …

Seth Graham – Hearing the Tea Leaves

This new release from Ohio’s Seth Graham is the second album on Mondoj I’ve reviewed. Seth is an accomplished composer, as well as cofounder of the Orange Milk label, a heavyweight in underground experimental music. Hints (tape and digital https://mondoj.bandcamp.com/album/hint/) is his sixth release, and is a document of an important momen…

Crash Symbols – Psychotropic Spools

Last year I reviewed an excellent batch from Crash Symbols. 2019 brings another diverse set of tapes from the always eclectic label. This West Virginia-based tape label casts a wide net in the musical ocean, and as usual offers up artists and projects from all over the globe. ML Wah and Herbcraft - No Slack cassette/download (https://crashsy…

Claire Rousay – In and Out of Space

Free improvisation is one of those musics in which it is difficult to quantify “good”, yet quite knowable upon hearing. As most ears search for patterns and superimpose Western tonality onto the vibrations they absorb, solo freely improvised percussion is about as far from these historic aural norms as sound can get.  To that point, it …

Bad Cake Records – Four Slices of Today’s Special

Now well into its second year of existence, with nearly twenty tapes in its archives, Ruix returns to Bad Cake records. I was sent four of the most recent offerings and below will cover each. Tony Lien, aka Dere Moans, has carved a very rich and varied place in the experimental tape world. These albums are available both on cassette tape and as a d…

Brad Anderson – I Sing the Synthesizer Electric

With a formal musical education starting in the 1970s, Washington’s Brad Anderson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 1985 and a Master of Arts in Music Composition in 1989. Brad describes his approach to classical composition: “[w]hile some pieces are through-composed, the majority are in ABA form. The restatement of the ‘A’ section …

Arrowounds – The Red List On Tape

Arrowounds is the solo project of Texas artist Ryan Chamberlin. His new release, Book of Endangered Species, out now on Histamine Tapes, is quite the heavy statement. His previous work trades in post-rock/shoegaze territory, but this release veers toward ambient drone and field recordings. This is not just a reverb and echo laden headphone trip…

Licking Wounds – catharsis through chaos

From fairly early on, power electronics has been the province of edgy white dudes. In recent years, some great artists have emerged, subverting the genre’s tropes. Straight Panic’s queer-framed eviscerations of mainstream culture and its abuses of cishet privilege and Ritual Chair’s cathartic exploration of sexual violence and patriarchal…

Elska – a granular lullaby for your soul

Elska is the project of Brooklyn composer Laura Boland, who previously provided vocals for the noir-tinged Bella Koshka, as well as weaving melodies with soundscapes in the ambient duo Stehla. On her self-titled debut, Laura, who has trained at the Conservatory at Brooklyn College, is showing her many talents by writing, performing, recording, …