sioux trails records double post

sioux trails records is a netlabel that exists mainly to house the voluminous recording archives of long time collaborators c.m. slenko, henry hyde and francis mckeys, along with the work and input of a host of their friends. they are non-dependent, non-economic, lofi, DIY, eclectic and experimental to the end. MFOA/practice records considers souix trails records an inspiration and a true fellow traveler.

another thing about souix trails records is that they have a high volume of output. i am a bit behind on their releases so here is a double post highlighting the latest two, 'dead bodies on everest' and 'blast furnace'.

'dead bodies on everest' is another in a series of names for work by francis mckeys, this time with collaborator d.a. farr. it's an album of atmospheric, expansive lofi folk. it's heavily organic in feel even when the methods are electronic, buzzing amps and heavy feedback end up sounding like humming insects, bad weather and moaning animals as the music undulates between chaos and loose structure. the drones all have ominous, massive vibes.

'blast furnace' is a slenko/mckeys collaboration that took place long-distance, sharing files online. i have made music this way, and it can be frustrating but it can also lead to new innovations. 'blast furnace' has a more electronic feel than many sioux trails efforts, with a certain songs achieving an almost dub-like feel through repetitive rhythms and big echoes. dead pan/distorted talking type vocals are heavily featured over the distorted and warped soundscapes. i especially love the long-form psychedelic basement raga 'procession'.

get it all here.

irrelephant - age of irrelephance

irrelephant is a collective of musicians from houston, texas featuring guitarist will csorba, an MFOA favorite. their first release, 'age of irrelephance' is a collection of droney, mystical freak folk jams recorded live in a very lofi manner. the sounds range from sparse and skeletal to thick and immersive, with an array of stringed instruments being used in various experimental ways, as well as wooden flutes, saw, harmonium, voices and percussion.

the roots of this music are in traditional american folk and american primitive genres (this is the most chilled-out cover of jack rose's kensington blues i've ever heard, like a 'pizza tapes' version, with a shuffling brushed snare) but most of the songs go into a deeply psychedelic eastern-influenced drone-zone. highly recommended.

name your price for it here.

book of kells - depiction of saturn and other planets floating in space

book of kells is an ambient synth artist from germany. their latest tape 'depiction of saturn and other planets floating in space' is out now on german tape label midnight circles, which can be counted on for many fine, meditative lofi ambient and drone releases.

'depiction of saturn and other planets floating in space' is a very accurately titled album. these short synth pieces sound like the background music for the in-between-scenes of a 1970's show about space...if the editors of that show were nodding out on opium. it's a synth lovers dream. slow, dreamy tape loops full of ambient hiss and incredibly warm synth tones. highly recommended.

get the limited edition cassette here.

the deltaz - like your brother

the deltaz are a los angeles based alt-country band. their newest album is called 'like your brother'. the music could be described as 'laurel canyon meets outlaw country'. there's a laid-back california country vibe with rich, tight harmonies, but there's also some texas-style twang and swagger.

what sells me most on this album is the hook-conscious songwriting, the smooth, satisfying harmonies, and the rhythm section that nails it down. these dudes know what they are doing. there's a deep respect and feel for the traditions of country music behind these jams.

get it here.

lauren sarah hayes - manipulation

'manipulation' by lauren sarah hayes is one of those albums where i need to share the artist's description with you as well as my own:

'MANIPULATION is a collection of unedited one-take improvisations performed on unpredictable ecological hybrid analogue/digital/human systems. instability arises from the fragilities of touch-based engagement and mutually affecting relationships within the technology.'

based on that, 'manipulation' is an album that explores processes of music making (the conversion of actions in recordings or audio artifacts) and the interaction between humans and machines of various categories. 

conceptual ideas aside, the music now exists. minimal tunes, shifting synth-tone melodies over stark electronic rhythms that mutate over the length of the song. i love the cover art for this album, it really undercuts the high concept gravity of the description, while matching the sometimes playful feel of the music.

get it here for free from pan y rosas discos.

tyler alderson - fare ye well

tyler alderson's 'fare ye well' harkens back to the recordings of ewan maccoll, and even farther to the misty past of appalachia and the british isles. 'fare ye well' is a rare, completely a capella, solo contribution to MFOA. this is a bold kind of recording to make, but when it works, as it does here, it brings the listener into the story of the song in a way that is largely forgotten in our current age of more maximal sensory entertainment.

we forget that as human beings, a solo singer (or maybe a group, with a drum or two) used to be the way that all of our stories were passed from one generation to the next. with out music like this in our deep history, we would have no idea who we are.

name your price for it here.

restaurnaut - that too long hour never dim enough to sleep

'that too long hour never dim enough to sleep' is actually a split release from restaurnaut and wica antina out now on cassette from kerchow records. the artwork and production values with this cassette are DIY-luxe.

this is some extremely lofi indie/folk rock, but the songs and melodies run deep, in the case of both artists. minimal rock where the tape hiss and noise fills in all the gaps.

the cassette drops in october, but for now you can stream some tracks and pre-order it here.

cairns - version EP

cairns is an experimental folk act from missoula, montana that uses the mandolin as the centerpiece of their recordings. their latest release, 'version EP', is a concept album, a three song meditation on the childhood experience of handheld video games.

the music is sparse, mostly just mandolin and voice. occasional video game noises and weird vocal effects add a touch of psychedelia, but the minimalism adds to the personal nature of this song cycle.

get it here.

dying for bad music super post

dying for bad music is a small label from the mountains of germany that for years has been carefully selecting the cream of the crop in weirdo americana and releasing it in small, tastefully packaged batches. DBFM has been way ahead of the curve on artists that are having major success now, such as finger-style virtuoso daniel bachman and ascendant guitar hero ryley walker (check out the DBFM bootlegs for both of those guys here) while consistently highlighting under-appreciated practitioners of  what john fahey might've called the "volk-musical" arts. if you like roots, folk and american primitive music that has the ability to cling to that dubious pillar of 'authentic-ness', DBFM is where you might find it for real.

if that is what you're looking for you are in luck because DBFM dropped a 4 album blast of releases recently. they range stylistically from american primitive ragas and unearthed private press finger-style blues to folk song interpretation and surrealistic, jandek-esque confessionals. here's a little bit about each one:

abraham chapman - nothing to leave behind

'nothing to leave behind' by abraham chapman was a demo tape discovered by psychedelic guitarist anthony pasquarosa while buying old reel-to-reel tapes at a flea market to use to make his own recordings. luckily, he did not record over this one. these warbly, slow-burning solo guitar country blues rambles are priceless artifacts, though no information about the artist was to be found. originally released on pasquarosas's own label, 4th eye musick.


jonathan nankof - live at charles river variety

boston artist jonathan nakof's songs sound like they walk an extremely thin line between tight composition and complete stream of consciousness. a tough trick to pull off, but so great when it works as well as it does in this live radio performance. strange melodies, raw lyrics, far out angular finger-style guitar playing. ends with an interesting interview.


lukas read - neo age

lukas read is adept at the alt-country song form, as demonstrated by his last album 'ramble man, ramble'. his new album, 'neo age', steps fully off that  dusty road into the free-flowing territory of american primitive psychedelic wonder. his pure, silvery acoustic picking is paired with found sounds and waves of electric reverb and slide guitars forming a gently freaked-out musical landscape.


c. strøm - sings and plays

c. strøm is my favorite connection made through DBFM. i have written about his music and his efforts to digitize 78 RPM records many times over the history of MFOA, i'm glad to have gotten to know him and what he does. he lives in a rural seaside area of norway and his original songs and folk song interpretations, in his words, share a rhythm with 'the sound of stoney shores meeting the watery waves'. his love and reverence for this material flows out of the speakers when you play his recordings. his voice has a hint of that gravity the carter family brought to their renditions of the old songs. 'sings and plays' is an anthology style collection of his music from the past 15 or so years. a good place to start, as previous releases have mostly been made unavailable or sold out.


each of these releases, with the exception of 'live at charles river variety', which is digital only, are available in beautifully packaged CDR editions. this stuff receives the top MFOA recommendation, don't sleep on it. get it all here.

matt marble - twilights

matt marble is a portland, oregon based musician. his latest album is a collection of solo guitar improvisations called 'twilights'. each piece on this album was recorded live in the twilight hours, near an open window. the ambient sounds of an urban neighborhood break in at times, during lulls in the guitar playing. the music has a mystical vibe, and to make a long story short, i believe it was based to some degree on meditations on ancient geometrical magics and alchemical sciences.

the song titles are place names from the choctaw language. the playing itself has a rhythmic, almost clawhammer-esque feel.  the result is a collection of beautiful recordings that are worth a few spins.

Embed for Twilights

get it here.

dioxadol borges - siconauta tourist class

dioxadol borges is a mysterious person, i will have to let his artist bio from the pan y rosas discos website speak for itself:

'uruguayan composer born in montevideo. with five albums on the web he is a well known musician in the montevideo underground. he doesn’t perform live and his true identity is unknown. some believe that he is a pianist frustrated with the national orchestra who is believed to have disappeared in 2005.'

his latest album is called 'siconauta tourist class', which i interpret as being a psychedelic traveler relegated to the cheap seats. it's an appropriate title. this album sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a low budget sci-fi cartoon, like heavy metal, but a south american LSD disco/hip-hop version. it sounds like it was all composed and recorded on one or two keyboards, but it's dense with structural ideas, psychedelic experiments and genre mash-ups. this is a weird one and it is highly recommended. a good place to break into the wealth of experimental riches available on the pan y rosas netlabel, too, as it contains more stuff that would be considered accessible or 'musical' by most people than the average PYR release.

get it for free here.

wooden dinosaur - working weather

wooden dinosaur is a brattleboro, vermont based folk band. their latest album, 'working weather', is out now on vinyl from lost honey records, a label founded by WD frontman michael roberts and new england string player sam moss. it's the label's second release, the first being sam's excellent 'fable', which i believe even got some NPR music shine.

it's a swinging album of forthright alt-country/roots-rock, with plenty of stomp and twang. the musicianship is tight and there are county-soul harmonies as far as the eye can see. the rhythm section bangs, which is so important to music like this. occasional horn arrangements are extremely well done. would probably sound great performed live in a barn.

get it here.

three-year day job - for the new tenants of my old life

three-year day job is a one-man bedroom recording project based in missoula, montana. apparently some of the rhythms and sounds on 'for the new tenants of my old life' and on TYDJ's previous albums were generated with a gameboy, which is a technique i was not familiar with.

the result is some pleasant, well made lofi pop with classic melodies that remind me of melancholy 50's/60's pop that gets psychedelic with the surreal addition of those weird video game sounds. there are some very nice self harmonies too. worth your time.

get it here, on recycled cassette or digital.

all those ships - meteorology for runners

ive featured a bunch of tracks from one man bedroom indie rock band all those ships' new album 'meteorology for runners' in the past, because he did a thing where he released demos/early versions of the songs as he was working on the album.

now it's done and sounding good (side effect: he took down the old versions and there's tons of broken links in the old posts here). this is classic tense, lofi indie bummer folk/rock. it has been cool to watch this album come together over the year or two that all those ships has been sending me tracks.

get it here.

patkus - these are but dreaming men, they breathe and they fade

philadelphia based ambient/drone guitarist patkus is back with a new release called 'these are but dreaming men, they breathe and they fade'. it's a mystical sounding set of hazy soundscapes built from winding, looping guitar figures and drifting shoals of feedback. the overall vibe is of distant mystery with a darkness creeping in at the margins.

there are no lyrics, but there are two references in the song titles to a line from the rubaiyat of omar khayyam, 'tamam shud', which figures prominently in an as-yet-unsolved cold war era john doe case from australia that has all sorts of weird implications. that sort of gives a preview of the atmosphere this album creates: unidentified bodies, possible international spies, ancient persian poetry, misty beaches.

get it here.

timothy cushing - starry pathways

singer/songwriter timothy cushing is another artist i have covered many times under many names. his latest album, 'starry pathways', is the most stripped down to date. it's timothy's rumination on the passage of time observed from his hometown and the house he grew up in, recorded in his friend's living room on a reel-to-reel machine.

the songs are simple and meandering with a slightly improvised quality and a pervasive emotional ache. the fingerstyle guitar and timothy's high voice on the airy reel-to-reel tape make the perfect sound for these skeleton songs.

get it here.

mercy - mercy EP

mercy is a new york based singer/songwriter with a slow burning voice. the music on her new self-titled EP, recorded in DIY style with collaborator christopher pellnat, matches the hushed simmer of her singing with restrained, organic, minimal indie-soul production. smooth shimmering guitars, tip-tapping drums and fluttering woodwinds make it sound timeless.

the songs themselves are melancholy and haunting, filled to the brim with rich vibes and subtle turns of phrase. i don't get a lot of contributions that sound like this, or bang on as many levels. xanax torch songs for 2016. top recommendation. 'lioness' is a heavy jam, as is the relatively upbeat closing number, 'evil baby'.

get it here.

ilia belorukov and lauri hyvärinen – drupe

'drupe' is an international noise/jazz collaboration between russian saxophonist and noise artist ilia belorukov and finnish guitarist lauri hyvärinen.

the album deals in harsh tones and industrial atmospheres, stretching the potentials of the respective instruments far beyond their logical conclusions until alto saxophones are sawing through metal and guitars are drilling through bone. a hard noise symphony.

get it for free from pan y rosas discos.

yvette cornelia - open it up

yvette cornelia is a california based musician and songwriter. her latest EP 'open it up' brings an experimental, classically inflected approach to folk/pop. the songs on this EP are lushly orchestrated, often with yvette's violin or vocal harmonies at the front of the deep arrangements.

the melodies are winding and unexpected but they float on top of a jazzy rhythm section. not similar to much. i'm having a hard time summing this release up, it has to speak for itself.

get it here.

cloacas - ...and the skies are not cloudy all day

cloacas is folk band from santa fe, new mexico. their music blends global influences and weird instrumentation to create high energy instrumental stomps and reels.

their self-description on bandcamp says they compose 'the imagined folk music of a fictional country', which upon first reading i have to admit made me skeptical. after listening to a few track from their new record '...and the skies are not cloudy all day', i found that to be the perfect way to describe their sound. just check out the high-speed, east-meets-west, vibra-slap breakdowns in 'playing in traffic', or the latin dread of 'tequila mockingbottle' and you will see what i (and they) mean.

get it here.

pride of the thicket - the wayfarer EP

the pride of the thicket is a fayetteville, arkansas based folk/pop/rock band, favoring an upbeat style with swooning trumpets, driving beats, plunking banjos and huge choruses. their latest album, 'the wayfarer EP', is an introduction to the character of the wayfarer, a bereft wanderer in search of that which he is missing.

his journey to fill the hole in his soul is documented over the four songs on this EP, with more to come in the future.

get it here.

pinedrop - s/t

pinedrop is a string trio from brattleboro, vermont. their latest, self-titled album was released this past may. the vibes are laid-back. the combo of bass, guitar, fiddle and relaxed vocals evokes some late summer backyard two-stepping and beer drinking as the sun goes down.

the chilled out delivery belies a certain depth and sensitivity in the lyrics. give this one a few listens if it strikes your fancy.

get it here.


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