The Fringes - On the Radar - May 13

Wonderful Beasts - Magic & Myth

Release date: May 20

Magic & Myth marks the second full-length release from Wonderful Beasts, which itself is a collaborative effort from Xqui and boycalledcrow that carries all the hallmarks of both artists. Filled with light synths and all manner of sampled percussive oddities that create a sound capable of living up to the moniker of the album. Opening up with the transcendent synths of "Dreamers," the album takes a variety of turns but never strays too far from its mythical motifs. Even with the oddly glitchy and surreal "In Love" there is still a familiar theme playing with the synth and folk acoustics in the background, even if the percussion and vocals glitches seem to take center stage. It's quite a trippy little journey of an album that is soothing on the one hand but also surprisingly unpredictable throughout its runtime. Currently available for pre-order on digital and vinyl with six tracks available for listening now.


Swansither - Inner Space

Release date: May 20

Tom Kennedy's Swansither project came about through a gradual shift towards the world of modular synthesis after becoming rather bored with the world of computer music and MIDI setups. It is quite the welcome change as Kennedy is able to squeeze a wide variety of compositions out of his current setup including the inspiriting opener "Interstice" as well as the more atypical bits of glitchy modulated goodness that are the follow-ups "Splaat" and "Synthemis." Going even further into the album, Kennedy brings in a few other artists to contribute their talents including a haunting yet beautiful clarinet piece on the otherwise erratically percussive "Psynco." This arrangement creates a weird kind of back and forth between the airy acoustics of the clarinet and the slightly harsh electronics of the Swansither modular setup. Currently available for pre-order on digital and CD with six tracks available for listening now.


Gold - Miserere Mei, Deus

Release date: May 16

In the realm of harsh noise, vocal sampling is a hit and miss as far as effective usage. But, with Miserere Mei, Deus, the vocal sampling seems to take center stage with the noise just providing the backdrop. For me, it's the content of the samples that strikes me since I still have such a strange attraction to religious imagery and subjects. Sampling (or taking in entirety) from long-winded sermons from televangelist sermons, Gold combines and mixes it in with harsh and indecipherable noise that recontextualizes the message being spewed. The available preview track "Evangelical (#5) (abridged)" is bizarre and manages to twist a message into something a bit disconcerting in full context. I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of this madness though. Currently available for pre-order on digital and cassette with one track available for listening now.


Monochromium/Monotonium - Glass Remnant

Release date: May 26

Monochromium/Monotonium is an album that seems to be defined by intensive, heavy, and late-90s-inspired breakbeats with clever sampling thrown in to make things interesting. At least, if the one available track "False Finger" is any indication of what's in store. The beats are rapid-fire with the weirdest bits of wind-ups and quick tape stops to create frenetic atmospheres. It posits a strange vibe though, like it's calling back to a previous time in a synthwave or vaporwave kind of way but manages to steer completely clear of any of the tropes of either genre. Still, there's something very memorably fuzzy about it. Currently available for pre-order on digital, cassette, and minidisc.


Teeth of Glass - Death Smiles at the Crystal Grave

Release date: May 20

Hearkening back to an era of horror that is years long gone, Death Smiles at the Crystal Grave is a well-executed blend of nostalgia and nuance. Much of the synth work quickly takes you back to the slasher films of the early to late 80s and all their affiliated properties such as video games. Tracks like the slightly Nintendo-esque "Empty Grave" lean heavily into the nostalgia with a slow and eerie arpeggiated piano line joined in by dramatic string stabs. It truly gives the vibe that it could have just seamlessly been included in a Friday the 13th soundtrack. But it isn't all just palpable nostalgia here as Teeth of Glass manage to intertwine modern synth sensibilities alongside the retro stylings, an approach exemplified in tracks such as "Center of the Ever-Widening Pool of Red." Throughout its runtime, the album manages to pay homage to the horror films of the time without going overboard. No pre-order is currently but you can follow Waxing Crescent Records to be notified when it is available.


Lyli J - Micro Wanders

Release date: May 20

French artist Lyli J has created what feels like a small album for the thirty-fifth on See Blue Audio. When I say small, I'm not referring to length or anything like that. Rather, it's some quality to the drums and the synths. There's nothing big and bombastic at all. The percussion throughout is short and blippy but not underwhelming in the slightest. The percussion on "Agave" is a perfect example with a kick drum that has just the perfect amount of punch with being boisterous as it is joined by all manner of additional smooth percussion. The synths on both "Agave" and "Onsen" are a bit difficult to describe, but the pads on both are so light and airy so as to give room to the percussion with neither elements dramatically overpowering the other. This album definitely lives up to its name as Micro Wanders manages to be discreet in its slightly psychedelic exploration. Currently available for pre-order with two tracks available for listening now.

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