Bathetic Records just let me know about 3 new singles they just released, the first one I gave a listen to was this Age Wave single, from Ren Schofield which is completely composed of electronics, but not in an overwhelming way. The glitches slowly build up into the mix and this super experimental manipulated sound can be so interesting, it's really reminding me of Rioji Ikeda and his dataplex or +- albums. "Telephone Dreams" on the A-Side takes a very exacting, scientific approach to the manipulation...still with plenty of room for those happy accidents, while taking the time to listen for the right moments and bring that aggressive sound to work in front of the slow repeated, far away, subtle sounds. It feels weirdly natural, even though it's built out of alien mechanical sounds, there's an organic feel to this repetitive waves interrupted by chaos.
Listen to a sample of this and buy from Bathetic here:
Age Wave is Ren Schofield, known best for his stints as God Willing and as a member of such noise-dog legends as Dynasty and Mercy Light -- among others. With Age Wave, Schofield channels a less distorted sound, as he experiments heavily with tape loops and a Juno-106. The outcome is a textural, sci-fi-cadelic workout, bringing to mind various aspects the likes of Tangerine Dream, Experimental Audio Research, Eliane Radigue, Bee Mask, and more.
Next up is Wreaths, a Wisconsin duo of Nathaniel Ritter and Troy Schafer. The A-Side, "The Reigns" starts with a dense array of organic sound, a harpsichord, violin, mandolin and an unsettling tom rhythm. The vocals are in some unrecognizable ancient tongue (no it's english - ed) and it has that sort of tribal folksong feel, a reinterpretation of norse shanty songs. Rowing songs from below the decks, the only thing those guys had day after day was this haunting melody. It's dark, I can't imagine this could possibly a joyous song recognizing a happy occasion...or else these sailors are in bad shape.
Once I realize they're actually singing in English, I think it's the delivery that's so foreign and chanting sounding, it's masking any understanding. I could also hear a Buddhist or Gregorian chant inspiration, or even Tibetan throat singing of multiple layered harmonics. There's a lot of traditional harmonies that show up throughout, and it could be gradually taking you on a journey of music history, getting closer and closer to traditional western sounds after starting from such a primal place.
Wreathes unleashes their epic debut single The Reigns b/w Full Turn. This daring 7" is the triumph of Wisconsin duo Nathaniel Ritter and Troy Schafer, who started their dark music intimacy within a preceding band, the well-beloved Kinit Her, and have since been involved with a slew of other projects including Burial Hex, The World On Higher Downs, Rain Drinkers, Compass Hour, Circulation of Light, and The Second Family Band.This one is available from Bathetic here.
Finally up is High Wolf and their A-Side, "Free Your Energy Field", this is going to a psychedelic electronic place, full of distorted delayed loops and subtle electronic rhtyhms. Combined with a lot of traditional eastern instrumentation; conga's, and deep almost didgeridoo sound. It's sounding to me like a more straight ahead middle eastern Ducktails, the same approach with gradual shifts in rhythm and melodic lines over the length of the piece, new parts sneaking up on the listener ending up in a completely different place then where it began.
Currently living in Djakarta, the mysterious High Wolf has garnered attention with his releases through LA's Not Not Fun, his own Winged Sun Records based in France, as well as Iibiis Rooge, a collaborative effort with Neil Campbell of Astral Social Club. After hearing our sold out Wet Hair/Rene Hell split 7", High Wolf approached Bathetic with the idea of doing a 7" - we couldn't tell him no. Recalling the drifting, shambolic spirits of artists such as Sun Araw, Forest Swords, and Beaches & Canyons-era Black Dice, his repetitive, psychedelic structure is paving it's own meditative road for others to be a part of.
Super interesting, experimental acts covering all angles from Bathetic, who look to also be releasing a slew of cassette releases, the sign of a truly experimental label giving NNF a run for their money. If I lived near a real salvation army I would buy one of those old dual cassette decks...hell if I had the giant space of anywhere but NYC, I would be one of those people on that show with stereo equip, old electronic toys and records everywhere.