18 March, 2013

Window Twins (Tim Cohen & Jon Bernson), Tar Halos, and Soft Riot LPs now available


We're pleased to announce that the Window Twins (Tim Cohen of Fresh and Onlys/Magic Trick & Jon Bernson of Exray's/Ray's Vast Basement), Tar Halos (mutant psych-punk), and Soft Riot (UK-based one man atmospheric synth) LPs are all available now.  Info, tracks, and videos below.

VOLAR24 - Window Twins - Wish LP


Stream the entire LP via Soundcloud or purchase a digital download and/or LP via Bandcamp or over at our digital store.  You can also stream the remixes via Soundcloud.




SF-based Window Twins, the joint project of Jon Bernson (Exray's/Ray's Vast Basement) and Tim Cohen (Fresh and Onlys/Magic Trick), have just released their sophomore LP, Wish, on October 16th digitally and on vinyl this week via Volar Records and Crash Symbols on cassette, following their debut LP, I Am This Tall City, released in 2009 via Howell's Transmitter.  In the time since that first WT record, Bernson has kept busy with Exray's, who, among other things, saw their track, "Hesitation," from their first self-titled LP, wind up in David Fincher's The Social Network, and recently released their sophomore LP, Trust A Robot. Cohen has been especially busy lately, what with the recent release of his solo project Magic Trick's second LP, Ruler of the Night, on Hardly Art, and the upcoming Fresh & Onlys LP, Long Slow Dance, out last September on Mexican Summer.

Read Interview Magazine’s interview with Jon Bernson here--


Reviews 
(read the compehensive post of reviews here)


“... a collection of atmospheric sketches that explore the scuzzy, sinister, and lo-fi fringes of jazzy R&B, and ramshackle folk... it’s a fascinating listen.”
-Steven Hyden, Pitchfork 


“While Tim Cohen is probably best known for fronting The Fresh & Onlys, and Jon Bernson for the experimental pop trio Exray’s, Wish mixes lo-fi electronics with psychedelic folk for something weirder and harder to pin down than either one.” -Nathan Reese, Interview Magazine 

“... with Wish, the follow-up to their 2009 debut I’m This Tall City, [Window Twins] make perhaps the most profound case for their partnership and blend of experimental folk-pop.”
-Chris Coplan, Consequence of Sound











VOLAR25 - Tar Halos - Wine Hand debut LP


Like the sound of Salton Sea-creatures, dried in Death Valley, Tar Halos is an all-encompassing entity; this San Diego based psych-rock iteration of “the sound” being comprised of five desultory elements, each crudely assimilated to one another in a broodingly raw aural mix.  The resultant entity lacks conventions and so exists in a constant state of irreality, their presence being compared variously to that of a pig-dog in heat or a dark stare to the back of a head. Reverb and screeching synths swell and echo, unabashed sound that seduces listeners away from their own cherished realities.  Wine Hand marks the entity’s vinyl debut, its intentions still ambiguous. 

Stream the entire LP via Soundcloud or purchase the digital download/LP below via Bandcamp or via our digital store, and you can also stream the digital-only s/t album via Bandcamp below:


 


Here's the video for the lead-off track "Broken Clocks" that I cut together over a frenzied couple of days:

 

Review via Heavy Planet

"This weeks second dose, Tar Halos, are a heavily psychedelic, rock band, whom with the power of disconcerting lyrical passages, harken back to the Syd Barrett days of Pink Floyd. The five-piece call San Diego head-quarters and prefer "old drum machines over young drummers". This becomes plainly noticeable through Winehand. The beat of the percussion and overall electronic nature build an oxymoronic vibe of despondent ecstasy. My favorite track is Arrival of the Second Center Moon, be sure to listen below. The track is immediate, as if your conscience is roused to the chaos of a blasting alarm at the moment your space-craft is losing pressure through a tremendous hole in its hull. This is the track I find the greatest correlation to old 'Floyd's cosmic poetry. The alarm continues to alter your thought process throughout the entire song while a steady beat of percussion inflame a bravery within the depths of your soul. The vocals are buried and glazed over giving the track a truly '60s psych vibe and the guitars have a deserted and arid tone creating a confusing sensation. Quite the unique and excellent track... Quite the unique and excellent album."

Another great review from a Polish blog can be found here.


VOLAR31 - Soft Riot - No Longer Stranger debut LP



Here's another one that's been a long time coming.  The vinyl release of Soft Riot's No Longer Stranger LP, which was originally released as a six-song EP via Panospria a while and was expanded with two more songs into this great LP.  Brooding, atmospheric, late-night synth orchestrated and conducted by Jack Duckworth in the UK.   You can stream select tracks via Soundcloud or stream and purchase a digital download or the LP via Bandcamp or our digital store.


 



Soft Riot is Jack Duckworth, a former Vancouverite now living in London who traces his musical beginnings to the vibrant underground art-punk/ hardcore scene emergent across the Canadian and American west coasts in the mid-90s. Duckworth was among the fixtures in that community’s northern outpost before helping to consolidate the early outpourings of a larger pre-“synth/new-wave” revival with his band Radio Berlin alongside others like Black Mountain, Wolf Parade, Frog Eyes, etc, though his output has shifted at least a few degrees from that older sound. His move to London is at the heart of his ongoing personal maintenance; the new atmosphere and cultural dynamic giving fuel to Soft Riot, previously just a concept. 

Originally released as a shorter EP on Vancouver imprint Panospria, No Longer Stranger has been expanded by the addition of two re-recorded contemporaneous tracks into an eight song LP for its appearance on San Diego’s Volar Records. Duckworth self-describes the album as not “late night club music”, preferring to locate it in “dimly lit rooms and dark street corners” and its futurist outlook paired with his well-explored interest in film makes for a uniquely cinematic experience; all the drama of pulsating synths with a more or less menacing, semi-ambivalent narrative voice and approach to vocals, themselves done in a uniquely dynamic timbre relative to the norms of the synth revival. 

Soft Riot is also releasing around this time an album of more current material called Fiction Prediction, available late 2012 on the European label Other Voices and later in the US again on Volar Records in 2013. While retaining the recognizable sound of the No Longer Stranger, Duckworth’s new material sees Soft Riot moving in a more upbeat, slightly more “synth-pop“ direction. 

REVIEWS FOR THE ORIGINAL “NO LONGER STRANGER” RELEASE:
“...an exercise in spooky aesthetics that sets its hazy mood with dark drones, throbbing electronic rhythms, and dread-dripping soundscapes. If you’re looking for inspired electronic music that will give you the creeps, this is a keeper.” - Tim Anderl, YouIndie.com 


REVIEWS FOR THE “ANOTHER DRONE IN YOUR HEAD” EP (released on Tundra Dubs, February 2012):
“...nothing’s quite touched the spectral glow of Soft Riot. It’s Jack cued up to serious next level: The conceptual result of all those wicked synthscapes and EBM swagger filtered through a pin-prick minimal lens. Soft Riot en masse, is what it’s refusing to do. Like the tension-soaked soundtrack to a robotic mob, just on the brink of anarchy.” - Mollie Wells, Mishka Blogin NYC 


Check out his great cover of "The Holy Intruder" from the 80s Nintendo game, The Secret of Mana:



Have a listen to "Cinema Eyes" and "Your Own Private Underworld", from the upcoming Fiction Prediction LP available in May/June on Volar Records/Other Voices:







 

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