Archive for June, 2011

Introducing Silent Portraits

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Yes friends we find primo artists from the far corners of the earth that have a sound and feeling that seems at home in the Alchemist galaxy and we share them with you. The newest star in our constellation is the stunningly beautiful work known as ‘Silent Portraits‘. The artist responsible for said work is a Berliner that prefers to be known only as Maxi who lists “empty dancehalls” and “giant stars that have run out of fuel” as descriptions of her sound. As apt as those descriptions are we would add that it is the powerful yet subdued vocals and the beautifully emotive and unique voice behind them that really make these songs stand out and form the heart (however broken it may be) of the sound. These are minimal compositions based mainly on echoey guitars and reverb laden voices and it’s this minimalism and restraint that allows one the space to feel the moods that the pieces evoke.
For the past handful of months ‘Silent Portraits’ has been softly releasing new tracks through her bandcamp and we are elated to say that we’ll be putting out her debut EP on limited edition cassette/digital sometime in the near future. Dates and details are still assembling themselves but Maxi has many things to feast your ears and eyes on for the time being. In addition to her work as Silent Portraits Maxi is also quite a talented Director of videos and a visual artist. Some examples can be found here for Porcelain Raft and also for Quiet Lights. One of her most excellent videos (and songs) thus far is the melancholy yet cathartic one known as ‘Mama’. Here’s a new live version of the track and the video to tide you over. Stay tuned for more.

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Silent Portraits ‘Mama’ from Silent Portraits on Vimeo.

Illus Ocean live

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Eric Sarmiento ‘The Friend is This Animal’ out August 16th!

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

We are tickled to death to announce the release of Eric’s awesome new record ‘The Friend Is This Animal’ on July 26th! Prepare yourself for this one now because it’s a beast of gargantuan proportions. From the beat driven, melodic rush of tracks like So She Says, Alejandra, and Strange Power to the deep and unearthly beauty of songs like Husbands and Wives, Awake, Dust and We Waited For Nothing, this album is something new, fresh and strikingly original. It touches upon the complexity of jazz or classical, while retaining the appeal and dressed in the garments of pop, electronics, R+B and rock and roll. Eric’s lyrics are similarly unique in their ability to express complex subjects, feelings, relationships and ideas in a way that is immediate but yields increasing depth over many repeat listens. Overall it seems to be something of a commentary on the state of the world here in the 21st century as seen through the eyes of the relationships between individuals and extending out from there to all things. It’s also kind of like a map telling you You Are Here.
Stay tuned for more details and goodies as we draw closer to the release. As usual it will be available in both limited edition cd (10$) and a c40 cassette (7$) as well as digitally. Here is the cover art and the track listing.

1. Alejandra
2. So She Says
3. Strange Power
4. Dust
5. There’s So Much
6. Bilumsman
7. These Little Winters
8. Sunset Burned The City Down
9. We Waited For Nothing
10. Husbands And Wives
11. Awake

Alchemist to release Arrange’s debut ‘Plantation’ on tape

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

We are happy to announce that we’ll be releasing a c30 cassette of the excellent debut lp ‘Plantation’ from ambient R&B artist Arrange! Arrange is the work of one Malcom Lacey of Florida who’s been quietly dishing out free releases for a bit. You needn’t look far to find many accolades being showered on this new album including Pitchfork’s review of track ‘When’d You Find Me ?’ which they describe as “Patient and quietly stunning”. Much of it is patient and evolving but there’s also plenty of R&B jammers in there and some nice voice and piano led pieces too. It’s a remarkably confident and well designed debut from a new talent full of promise.
Good new music like this deserves to be heard on the warm and pleasing analog greatness of cassette. As usual this one is pro dubbed on hi bias chrome tapes. The artwork was handled by awesome collage maestro Jesse Treece.
The tape drops on July 12th for 7$ you can pre order and stream the whole thing here.

‘Should Have Been A Beekeeper’ video

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Here’s the tripped out video for I and I’s ‘should have been a beekeeper’. Directed and edited by Mr. I and I himself it is said to be compiled from “Found footage from future civilization on another oceanic planet plagued by hurricanes and ruled by primitive satellite technology controlled by the all powerful Beekeeper ruling class.” That explains things.

Today is the first day of ‘The Alpha Future’

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

I and I’s varied and positive trip through the space/time continuum ‘The Alpha Future’ is out today! Conveniently, the tape arrived today (better late than never). Order it on said portable analog c44 medium w/free mp3 download (7$), compact disc (10$), or at your digital retailer of choice here. Enjoy a photo of the newly arrived cassette below.