Secretly Distributon

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2018-10-19
Farao: Pure-O

Pure-O, by Kari Jahnsen - aka Farao - is a prog-pop exposition on the curious dichotomy between beauty and destructiveness in sex and relationships. Farao creates the world of Pure-O with a neon pool of synthesizers, zither, drums, and soaring vocals, seamlessly referencing '90s R&B and the untapped goldmine of Soviet disco.

On Pure-O, we're hearing Jahnsen's early youth in Norway finding perfect equilibrium with her adulthood in Berlin. She says of the time she spent recording, "I was in the process of learning how to conduct myself while not getting sucked in to the whirlpool that is Berlin party culture," and of her childhood, "It wasn't a place I felt stimulated creatively, and felt quite lonely there growing up, which made me turn to music as a language for a set of emotions I didn't know how to release otherwise." It's precisely this relationship between quiet reflection and overstimulation that makes this album unlike anything of its genre. In an age when non-electronic pop seems like an outlier, Farao constructs a bridge of humanity from the organic to the inorganic, rounds out the hard edges and sharpens the soft ones, and altogether transplants a healthy, beating heart into modern synth-pop.

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2018-10-19
Geotic: Traversa

Ask Will Wiesenfeld to contrast his project Baths with the music made under his Geotic alias, and you'll get a simple response: Baths is active listening, Geotic is passive listening. But behind this straightforward duality exists two projects that are equally poignant yet starkly distinct, reflective of the emotional complexities of its creator. Don't mistake passive listening for anything remotely resembling apathy. Over the course of nine self-released albums plus a handful of singles & EPs (all released on Bandcamp), Wiesenfeld has certainly proved the contrary. With Abysma, his first release for Ghostly, Wiesenfeld solidified this notion as Geotic makes his label debut in tandem with the projects first ever physical oering. In 2018, Wiesenfeld presents his second full-length for Ghostly: Traversa. Part of Wiesenfeld's inspiration comes from his own domestic situation. A native of the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, the classically trained musician has settled on the Westside, inhabiting an apartment a short ride from the ocean. "It's a relaxing and slightly displaced vibe that informs the project. It's full of art everywhere, all my comics, an amazing media set up," Wiesenfeld says. "It's all the stuff that I've saved for and wanted to have in my life but didn't feel comfortable [setting up] until I moved in here. We nested the shit out of this place." "So much of dance music is about partying and going out and having a really hardcore social experience," Wiesenfeld says. "Dance music has never been that for me. So much of my experience listening to music is being by myself - at home or in my car. Those feelings are especially apparent on the tracks that comprise Abysma: songs that feel lived-in and comfortable - imbued with feelings that cant be faked or compartmentalized.

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2018-10-19
Graham Van Pelt: Time Travel

"I'd like to be as un-mysterious as I possibly can," Graham Van Pelt says. He's about to release Time Travel, his first record in the four years since he moved from Montreal to Toronto, and he's no longer Miracle Fortress, or Inside Touch, or any of the aliases he's used to record over the years. He's just Graham Van Pelt.

With the perspective of leaving a longtime home, of watching old friends change and familiar places become unrecognizable, came a recommitment to an emotional honesty in Van Pelt's songwriting. Time Travel's eight songs are a tangle of friendships and feelings. Moving backwards and forwards in time, they occupy a space of elegant melancholy.

Immersing himself in the work of house music legends like Larry Heard, Vincent Floyd and Maurizio and the fragile disco of Arthur Russell, along with contemporaries like Jessy Lanza and Kelly Lee Owens, Van Pelt built the album from the bottom up, rooting every track in the crude sequencer of the Roland SH-101 synth, a decades-old dance music totem. The result are melodies that are simple but affecting, anchored to deep, wandering basslines.

Time Travel is a renewal of Van Pelt's vows with dance music, and with the genre's pulse of synthesized melancholy. It's a heartrending rush, as emotionally direct as a sweaty, jaw-clenching 3am hug.

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2018-10-19
John Carpenter: Halloween OST

The 2018 Halloween movie has the distinction of being the first film in the series with creator John Carpenter's direct involvement since 1982's Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Carpenter serves on the new David Gordon Green-directed installment as an executive producer, a creative consultant, and, thrillingly, as a soundtrack composer, alongside his collaborators from his three recent solo albums, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies.

The new soundtrack pays homage to the classic Halloween score that Carpenter composed and recorded in 1978, when he forever changed the course of horror cinema and synthesizer music with his low-budget masterpiece. Several new versions of the iconic main theme serve as the pulse of Green's film, its familiar 5/4 refrain stabbing through the soundtrack like the Shape's knife. The rest of the soundtrack is just as enthralling, incorporating everything from atmospheric synth whooshes to eerie piano-driven pieces to skittering electronic percussion. While the new score was made with a few more resources than Carpenter's famously shoestring original, its musical spirit was preserved.

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2018-10-19
Jr. Thomas & The Volcanos: Rockstone

Jr. Thomas & The Volcanos' sophomore effort Rockstone is more than just a love letter to the roots of Jamaican music. It's an actual love letter. Tom McDowall aka Jr. Thomas explains, "I could write a musical love letter to all things I loved: my wife, my family, my friends, my band mates. I could write a song to tell me to Chin Up when times got tough. I could give gratitude to the Jamaican artists that paved the way for the beautiful music we now call reggae. I could write a song about what it's like to lose someone important to you. Or write a song to invigorate me spiritually. Music is healing and that's the best therapy there is for me." Rockstone isn’t just another throwback record to an era gone by. It's a record that takes risks within the genre, but more importantly it's a genuinely honest record. "I called the album Rockstone because true love cannot be defeated. It lives forever. We write tributes on our tombstones because they live on beyond our lives as a remembrance of something special and important to us."

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2018-10-19
Minus the Bear: Fair Enough

Minus the Bear is a product of the first two decades of this century. From their first show in 2001 to their impending dissolution at the end of 2018, the Seattle band thrived on the musical awakening in the era of the mp3, the internet, poptimism, and the crosspollinations generated from an expanded consciousness of new music forms. With their final EP, Fair Enough, Minus the Bear closes the book on their hybrid of art-rock, indie pop, and warehouse party appeal. The opening track "Fair Enough" went through a variety of permutations before the band found new meaning in its lyrical lament of lost passions and finding "the exact moment we turned it off". The other songs of Fair Enough are a continuation and culmination of Minus the Bear's diverse sounds. The up-tempo drumbeats, lush electronics, and nimble guitar work that initially set them apart are on full display during "Viaduct". "Dinosaur" has the groove of early hits of "Fine + 2 PTS", but crafted with the understated Steely Dan-eque delivery of their more current slow jams. The EP closes with a nod to their ongoing remix collaborations, this time with a rave-up reinvention of "Invisible" by Sombear.

Nico Collins & The Soul Chance: Give Love A Try / The Sole Chance

Bakersfield, CA duo The Soul Chance are steeped in early reggae. Lo- fi recording techniques and sweet reggae performances are the order of the day. The A-side features a cover of the classic “Give Love A Try” by Delroy Wilson, while the B-side is a sweet soul instrumental that serves as the group’s theme.

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2018-10-19
Shida Shahabi: Homes

Shida Shahabi is a Swedish-Iranian pianist / composer, currently based in Stockholm. The beautiful, intimate and homespun piano of 'Homes' marks Shida's debut release. Each of the album's eight pieces were played on her J.G. Malmsjo piano - a very heavy and good quality Swedish upright from the turn of the 1900s, that had spent the majority of its life stationed in a church in central Stockholm, and was in fantastic shape for its age. There are no whistles and bells attached here, no big name guest performers or hired studio hands. Absolutely beautifully played and composed, it is a deeply charming record that exudes a confident warmth and an emotional depth and honesty in every note. Its production eschews the prioritizing of cleanliness, with a warm, fuzzy noise floor audible from the very first track immediately immersing the listener into this sublime yet imperfect reality - as though the whole existed beneath a layer of dust. It posits comfort over obsessive cleanliness. Living comfortably with traces of wear and decay, the recording makes audible intimate acoustic details and imperfections - creaking and hissing; tiny distortions; the pressure exerted by fingers and feet against the piano's pedals and keys.

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2018-10-19
Various Artists: Switched-On Eugene

Switched-On Eugene documents the Eugene Electronic Music Collective and some of the many synthed-out figures in and around Oregon's iconic hippie stronghold during the 1980s. Whether connected by membership, geography, or the tape trading scene, the artists in and around the EEMC shared compelling visions of the future we now inhabit, vividly captured on home-recorded tapes and distributed via zines, classifieds, and local radio. Switched-On Eugene is a deep dive into a heretofore forgotten sonic microcosm unlike any other.

Wesley Bright & The Honeytones: Happiness / You Don't Want Me

Fresh, sweet soul from Akron's Wesley Bright & The Honeytones. After going through some changes in both personnel and sound, Wesley and the guys have found their groove. This tune represents a new direction for the band, produced by Colemine Records' in-house producer Leroi Conroy at their Loveland, OH studio, these tunes are rough and tough, yet super sweet as well. Maybe that because lead singer Wesley Bright is also a beekeeper. That's right. He's a sweet soul singer that makes honey. You can't make that up.