Music is the Healing Force of the Universe

Hi there, plenty going on down here in the backwaters...vinyl, CDs, cassettes...

Label news

On April 25 we released two guitar recordings: Ryan McDermott's Nord-Sud and Manop Nakornchai's 2 EP.

Maryland guitarist Ryan McDermott's Nord-Sud is a powerful noise-drone, improv release filled with subtle changes in timbre, harmonic frequencies and nuances.

Thai guitarist and composer Manop Nakornchai is a free improv guitarist based in Bangkok and an integral part of the exciting underground music scene blossoming there that includes the Bangkok Street Noise group that jams and livestreams regularly.

2EPs is a fantastic collection of compositions that range from solo guitar, duo (percussion) and some wonderful acid psych vocal tracks.

Last week we released the Brazilian underground artist Vitor C ColaresAGRESTE – A PERSONAL ANTHOLOGY. 

Vitor has released 17 titles under Vitor C Colares and when not composing surreal psych soundscapes, he scores music for feature films, theatre and art installations. 

AGRESTE is an absolute gem of an avant-garde recording - it's truly original and uniquely bent - with elements of punk, psych, dadaism, and the cinematic intertwined with poetry and field recordings/sound grabs. It manages to be incredibly unsettling at times and moving at others.

One of my pet hates is sending out DL codes to media, journalists and radio shows and having them sit unopened and unappreciated in their in-boxes. This for me is the height of laziness and disrespect. There are many publications that have never opened a single DL we have sent over the last 18 months. It's unfortunate but it's time to cut them loose. Out of 100 codes I sent out for AGRESTE only 6 were downloaded. It breaks my heart that such a wonderful release has not reached the listeners it deserves but that is so often the case with great music unless someone is pushing it or championing it. Pushing it usually means large amount of marketing dollars and a dedicated PR team. Nether of these do we have. Make your mind up yourself and give it a listen from start to finish:

Chris Alford and William Thompson 'Overtone Undertow'

The test pressings for Chris Alford (guitar) and William Thompson's (prepared piano) Overtone Undertow have arrived and sounds stunning. Two of NOLA's finest musicians at the peak of their creativity lock in for an album of wonderful improv: gorgeously recorded and exquisitely played. 

When I was in New Orleans a few years back I asked one of the record store clerks where I could see some genuine music; avant-garde jazz and experimental music  rather than the tourist pap that was being peddled on Bourbon Street. I was given the address of the SideBar NOLA and it was everything I could have hoped for - extraordinary musicians improvising, jamming and sitting in with other musicians late into the night. The crowd was respectful but enthusiastic and friendly. I returned three nights in a row and each night was as memorable as the previous.

Sadly, this venue no longer exists but during lockdown they live-streamed gigs almost every night of the week. The calibre of artists was next level and it was during one of these performances that I saw Chris Alford playing. He was playing both lap steel and traditional guitar in a free improv band and man, they were cooking. I also saw him play a duo with William Thompson playing prepared piano and was also similarly mesmerised. Overtone Undertow was perhaps germinating during these show. 

Test pressing also have arrived for Luciano Bagnasco’s Procesos Cruzados. The talented Arentinian avant-garde guitarist's solo Ramble debut is a fabulous mix of free improv - a sonic potpourri of avant-garde vignettes that drift tastefully between metal shred, acoustic de-tuned freak out, drone and cinematic ambience.

The test pressing for Melbourne post-punk band 00_ also arrived and sounds fantastic. Ca-yptra is a blend of angular dissonance and avant-punk and noise with touched of melody and reflection. 


Bandcamp Friday 

El Toppo is an exuberant, jazz punk trio from Poland playing a dynamic blend of rock, free-improv jazz. Their debut release from Ramble, Wet is a blistering blend of math-rock, prog and free improv jazz. Available on CD and digital DL. 

Cara Engel: the Cicada Session/ In the Fog 

Canadian avant-folk singer-songwriter Clara Engel’s dark and brooding songs came to my attention during lockdown and I was instantly taken by her stunning arrangements, fragile guitar accompaniment and poignant poetic lyrics. These two EPs combined on one CD highlight a stripped back, intimate sound for Clara - wonderfully emotive compositions; the instrumental stark and hypnotic and the vocal arrangements lonely, brooding ghost-like.

Dark Leaves: Laid under Leaf, under Branches

UK's Dark Leaves Laid under Leaf, under Branches featured on more than 10 top 100 records of 2021 and is still on high rotation on radio show around the globe. It's a brilliant slice of dark, melancholia avant-folk LP and after months of delay, it's finally landed and looks stunning with Afsoon Shahriari's evocative art on the gatefold sleeve. Mastered by Anders Peterson and pressed at Zenith, its sounds gorgeously haunting and is the perfect antidote for these troubling times. 

Mail-order news. 

From the wonderful NYC label Carbon Records, we have several releases including the new Tolin Asumer from legendary Argentinian free-noise / psych / experimental veterans Reynols. Tolin Asumer is their first proper US release in almost 20 years and delivers in spades.

Also from Carbon Records copies of the Hermanos de la Muerte LP by Crush the Junta have landed. Abrasive and heavy sounds of the metal/stoner-rock/heavy-psych variety.

We have copies of US psych folk label Home and Garden's catalogue including the new brilliant psych, astral boogie release Enter the Sky from The Living Sky


Just around the corner, we have a whole bunch of guitar-centric releases to please all freaks and fanatics: 

Li Jianhong's long, single monolithic free-fuzz track Ferns.
Eric Arn's blistering solo live recording Misuse 
Seth Andrew Davis' free-shred and electronics For Electro​-​Acoustic Guitar
Droneroom's cinematic drone double CD Desert Hearts / I've Got Troubles You've Never Heard Of / Cockfighter's Lament / Sage Metallic 
Henry Kaiser and Anthony Pirog's shred soundscape Figure / Ground

As always, be kind to one another. You never know what someone is going through when you abuse them or judge them. We are all in this shit show together. 

Stay well 
Ramble Headquarters 

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