Jaakko Aukusti – Mountain

I’ve listened to this album twice in a row, which I never do, and I can’t decide if it’s because I really love it or if it’s because it’s snowing and the album reminds me of a love child resulting from a musical orgy consisting of Passion Pit/Mew/Team Me/Kid Astray/some guy with an MS-20.

Either way it’s great and I’ll probably listen to it a third time because I’m not about to deal with life and this is a great escape.


Rhucle – Yellow Beach

For some reason the courses I’ve taken at Uni over the years have had their exams absurdly early. At least, when compared to literally everyone I know. At the end of every semester I’ve been stuck waiting for weeks while housemates and friends are stressing out over exams. Pretty much stuck in my room watching movies, shows, reading books, or listening to music. It’s not the worst, but when there are no more routines, no tasks, no deadlines, no coursework, I slowly fall apart. I get pretty desperate in looking for something to keep me occupied for more than an hour or two, I can no longer disappear into a game for an entire day like I could a couple years ago, and I get restless if I read a book for too long. Music’s always been a nice escape, but even then I need something to do while listening to it. I spent about 10 months stuck in bed between June 2015 and this spring after I had some surgery done, and I damn near went crazy. Stuck in a bed in my parents’ house, with the nearest friends 200 km away, I’m surprised I came out the other end still fairly well-adjusted. I guess the upside is that I finally had the free time to learn how to produce my own noises. Well, I’ve always had the free time, I’ve just not had the patience. It became one of few things that kept me from going insane. I’m pretty disappointed in how little I’ve done with the netlabel I started, and the fact that I haven’t produced anything since March, but that’s hopefully about to change.

It was while I was stuck in bed that I started spending more money on music as well. I started my cassette collection, and went from something like a hundred releases in my Bandcamp collection closer to a thousand. I had no experience with cassette labels, so I had no idea what quality I could expect, but I got pretty lucky when I picked up a 2047 tape from No Problema Tapes. The now somewhat infamous Snow album, which I still enjoy listening to. I’ve picked up a handful more releases from the label since, and I’ve yet to be disappointed. Their Ambient Paths Series has been incredible so far, and I’m really bummed out that I can no longer afford to splurge on cassettes like I could a year ago.

Just this year, Rhucle‘s released through Oxtail, White Paddy Mountain, Constellation Tatsu, Adhesive Sounds, and now No Problema Tapes, and every release has been a welcome escape from an otherwise pretty hectic daily schedule. It’s totally cliche to talk about music as an escape from reality, I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean anymore, but I guess it’s an apt way to describe Rhucle’s music. For 40 minutes, Yellow Beach had me drifting away. When it was over, I looped it, and still felt the same.

Conner Youngblood – The Generation of Lift

When you listen to a lot of different music, you’re inevitably going to forget about a lot of fantastic artists. There’s no way you’re going to be able to keep track of all the incredible artists out there, believe me, I’ve tried. Eventually you’re going to end up with a maxed out RSS feed and an inbox with hundreds of unread updates from artists, bandcamp, soundcloud, and you just give up on even looking at your Soundcloud or Bandcamp feeds directly, they move too fast for you to keep up with them. I’ve almost given up on reading music blogs these days, relying mostly on friends suggesting new artists to me, and a series of wonderful physical labels and netlabels that every day fill up my inbox with fresh releases. Sometimes I feel like I’m unable to give an album or a song the attention it deserves, sometimes it feels like my inbox is a to-do list of stuff I have to finish before the day is over. Usually when that happens I clear out everything and find something in my music library, physical or digital, and re-listen to stuff I know I love, music I know can give me chills and bring back memories of simpler and more laidback times.

Yeah, I forget about  a lot of musicians. It happens more often than I’d like, but in the end, I’m not sure I mind it too much. Eventually there’ll be something familiar about a name in my inbox, or a sound I feel like I’ve heard before. Rediscovering something you heard years ago, and that you’d completely forgotten about till just this moment, is an amazing feeling. I first heard of Conner Youngblood through music blog The Blue Walrus, back in 2011. Back then I relied mostly on blogs like The Blue Walrus, Alphabet Bands, Berkeley Place, Harder Blogger Faster, Not Many Experts, and a handful others to help me discover new music. Australia was the first track I heard from Conner, and it stuck with me for at least a year, probably more. I can’t find it on any of my playlists, so I couldn’t tell you. I mostly listened to music on my Zune back in the day, and I’m too lazy to go digging for the charger to find out when I last listened to Conner Youngblood.

Apparently Conner’s been keeping busy without me knowing, with three EP releases since Australia, the last one being The Generation of Lift, which I found in my inbox courtesy of Counter Records. The sound’s the same, though maybe a bit more refined, with Conner still doing all the instruments himself. As before, the lyrics are the strongest point, as before, I instantly fell in love. Hopefully I wont forget this time. Like before. At least I’ll have a physical copy this time, as a reminder.

Conner on Bandcamp
Conner on Facebook
Conner on Twitter

DREIFALT – remembered​/​remastered​/​reissued

I’ve always hated spending a lot of money at once. That is, unless it’s something I need, like new furniture or a new mattress or whatever. Spending a lot of money on something I want, but not necessarily need, I always hated doing it. I bought a new computer last week, and it cost a lot of money. To make up for that, I decided not to spend any money on anything I didn’t need for the rest of March. Sounds simple enough, and it’s just another three weeks.

I mean, it really is simple enough, it’s just that when most of the music I like comes out in limited quantities, not picking up one on release means you’ll either never get one, or pay a stupidly high price to get a copy a month later. Yes, you can just buy a digital copy, usually for a lot less money, and I do buy digital copies quite frequently, but I like having music on physical media. So far this month there’s been a new sky 空 release on No Problema tapes, an excellent V/A release on Adhesive Sounds, Boliden’s new album out on Oxtail, and later today there’s a new chris††† tape out on Bedlam Tapes. And we’re only ten days into March.

And today, there’s another one. In late 2014, M.K.Hensel, probably better known as Trium Circulorum or Kanal Drei, created a new moniker for a conceptual series of double-sided singles, where the B sides all were heavily modified versions of the finished A sides. The alias for the project was Dreifalt, and was finished in January 2015. Now, the entire series has gotten a remaster and reissue digitally, with a special cassette release containing a mixtape of the artist’s personal favorites. With only five available copies I can’t imagine there being any left at the start of April, but I’ll be sure to pick up the digital edition when I can. Check out Trium Circulorum’s full Bandcamp page, and make sure you give Silent Surveillance a listen as well.

Candy – Wrapped in Plastic

The increased international shipping price from the US that came into effect in January is honestly not that big of a problem. Or, it shouldn’t be, at least, the difference isn’t that huge, something like 10%? The price of an ice cream cone or a pack of gum? For some reason it’s become a bigger issue for me than it really should be. Well, I say that like I don’t know why I think it’s a problem, but I do. Buying a tape from the US was already far more expensive than buying a tape from, say, Canada or Japan. I think I ordered a tape from Chile once that had higher shipping costs, but for the most part US topped the list. And now it’s gotten even worse? The shipping alone costs twice as much as the tape does, and I know there’s nothing that can be done about it, but it annoys me and has stopped me from buying physical copies of music i love more than once.

So, I was pretty sad when I saw that Candy (Calum Newton) had his 2014 release «Wrapped in Plastic» released on tape through Out of Breath records. Out of Breath is a fantastic label that consistently puts out wonderful music from talented musicians, but I’ve yet to buy any physical copies from them. I might have to change that though.

To my knowledge, Calum does it all himself. Production, mixing, mastering, which in itself is pretty impressive. He recently released his newest album Azure on cassette through Z Tapes, which I’m expecting to pop up in my mail any day now, and less than two weeks later comes the physical release of Wrapped in Plastic. Music for hopeless romantics.

Pick up a copy of Wrapped in Plastic on the Out of Breath webstore, or the digital copy on Candy’s bandcamp. Z Tapes still have copies of Azure available too, which I highly recommend picking up here.

Marti & the Dads – Hang Tentative

I’d love to tell you how I came across Grouphug, but I really can’t remember. I mean, the first release I heard from them was their recent split compilation with King Pizza Records, but I’m not sure whether it was Grouphug or King Pizza I discovered first. I have a habit of following labels and artist on Bandcamp, forgetting about them, and rediscovering them as they pop back up on my feed, though it has lead to me having an annoying backlog of releases at all times.

I tried to do something about my backlog by deciding to not listen to full albums if I didn’t enjoy the first 5-10 minutes of the release, which I suppose has helped somewhat. Time will tell, I suppose.

Marti & the Dads are a 4-piece surf punk / garage rock group from Colorado that have been making fall feel like summer for two years, and Hang Tentative is no exception. Check out the EP up top, and follow the shitrockers on Facebook.