You know, I listen to a lot of music. I try my best to keep up with what’s being released, at least the kind of stuff that I find interesting. Granted, I’m not gulping down much top 40, pop, country, hip hop, or otherwise. I’m more of an under the radar kind of listener. And when indie labels reach out I give ’em an ear or two.
One label I’ve been following for a couple years now is Moon Glyph Records out of Portland, Oregon. It’s run by Steve Rosborough. He’s a cool cat that’s originally from the Midwest, aka Minnesota. But he made the move from the arctic Midwest to the Pacific Northwest and has been maintaining a solid run of amazing forward-thinking artists. Steve also makes music of the ambient/new age variety as Omni Gardens. His release with Holodeck Records in 2018, West Coast Escapism, is an all-timer. He also released Moss King on Moon Glyph which is another stellar album.
I’ve gotten behind on my duties of sharing the goodness with you all, and I’m making amends right now. I’m going to cover the three latest releases from Moon Glyph Records, Mark Tester’s Oblivion Rhythms Revisited, Sip/Prezzano’s Sip/Prezzano, and American Cream Band’s Dark Hemisphere. Check them out below, then hit up Moon Glyph Records for all your mind-expanding needs.
Mark Tester : Oblivion Rhythms Revisited
Midwestern sound collage master Mark Tester has a knack for creating sublime, ethereal songs that feel like gauzy, anesthetic dreams and far-flung Berlin School mind melters. His last album Super Hiss was just that, and his newest album Oblivion Rhythms Revisited continues the forward-thinking compositions and psychedelic patchworks of sound.
Previous work dealt with specific places and geography, while Revisted deals with time and events. There’s a glorious hazy enthusiasm to a track like “Subconscious Destinations”. Bouncy electronics and uplifting buzzy melodies feel like an existential trip into one’s own mind. Or “Liquid Dance Memory Fade Into Mist” sounds like Boards of Canada colliding with an episode of PBS’ Nova. Tester uses the Moog and Mellotron more as time machines than noise makers.
I find myself wanting to stare off into the fading evening horizon to the east as I listen to this record. I find it eclectic, experimental, and quite moving.
SiP/Prezzano : SiP/Prezzano
According to Moon Glyph Records, “SiP/Prezzano is the collaboration between Pete Prezzano (Love All Day records) and Jimmy Lacy (SiP). Prezzano on modular synth and melodica and Lacy on synthesizers, drum box and percussion. These songs have been bubbling under the surface since 2018/2019 and were performed live in Chicago, eventually honed into the playful melodicism that’s ever-present on “SiP/Prezzano.”
This 4-track release is filled with light and optimism that feels very therapeutic to my soul. A touch of ambient, a pinch of new age, and just the right amount of Mort Garson to make you feel as if positivity is emanating from the speakers. “Pygmalion” coats the mind in Far Eastern visions with electronics, while “Cathedral Blues” sounds like drones from the center of the Earth. Psychedelia meets New Age enlightenment. “Seneca Falls” promenades like a circuital parade on some higher plane.
There’s a simplicity to this release that shouldn’t be mistook for simple. The heart and mind collide in a kaleidoscope of sound and energy, giving the proceedings an intellectual heaviness.
American Cream Band : Dark Hemisphere
American Cream Band’s Dark Hemisphere is this wild ride into Krautrock, art rock, and free form psychedelia. According to Moon Glyph Records, “American Cream Band is a psych/experimental collective fronted by Nathan Nelson out of Minnesota. The large group lived together for 3 buzzing days, cycling collaborators in and out to record the otherworldly haze of “Dark Hemisphere.”
There’s a freewheeling feel to Dark Hemisphere. A mix of Art of Noise, Popol Vuh, and Cluster all coming together in a collage of mind-expanding psych and experimentalism. “Under The Dark Moon” sounds a bit like Peter Murphy fronting Echo and the Bunnymen. There’s an 80s alternative vibe here, as if 4AD decided to go for a more psych feel, as opposed to the Goth tendencies of the early 80s. “Releasing Spiders” wavers between late-60s psychedelia and Factory Records nihilism. “Nocturnal Precognition” is a slow burn. An almost, dare I say, sensual track that closes out the proceedings.
Dark Hemisphere locks into the spirit of The Velvet Underground, free form psychedelia, and the experimentalism of early 70s Krautrock. This is a fantastical sound world that seems like the perfect bridge between intellectual sound experiments and visceral art expression.