Friday, September 5, 2014

GOLDRUSH 2014 Companion Cassette + Zine

Hello again from your friendly friends at Planted Tapes! We'd like to welcome you to a very beautiful September that's shaping up here in Denver, CO. And of course September in Denver, CO means that we are feverishly gearing up for yet another installment of GOLDRUSH Music Festival, that mega, monolithic event taking place September 13th & 14th at the Larimer Lounge and Meadowlark Bar! To celebrate, the organizers of GOLDRUSH have again assembled a collection of tracks submitted by this year's performance roster, which has culminated in a 24-track mix we're happily able to distribute to the masses.

And so... BEHOLD: The Goldrush 2014 Companion, which features new tracks from Mount Eerie, REIGHNBEAU, Sparkling Wide Pressure, Champion, Kevin Greenspon, an exclusive remix from clipping. by Lauren Bousfield, Sister Grotto, Trabajo, Stag Hare, and much, much more. This mix was carefully sequenced by Planted Tapes' own Crawf, and was mastered by Lucas Johannes. Artwork by our favorite design company Tiny Little Hammers. We're quite proud of this one, no joke. Take a listen below to Side A:

Side A:
1. Sparkling Wide Pressure, "Violet Color"
2. Champion, "Frosting the Donut"
3. Guerilla Toss, "The String"
4. REIGHNBEAU, "Milk of Amnesia"
5. CP 208, "H.S.H.C."
6. Homebody, "Hollow Nest"
7. RUMTUM, "Hotel Vontie"
8. Docile Rottweiler, "Typhoon"
9. Stag Hare, "Gruum"
10. Mount Eerie, "You Swan, Go On (version)"
11. Good Willsmith, "Teen Quotes"
12. Sister Grotto, "The Great Haul"

Side B:
1. Dva, "Zoppe"
2. clipping., "Body & Blood" (Men, Women, and Chainsaws edit by Lauren Bousfield) 
3. Kevin Greenspon, "A Step Towards"
4. Trabajo, "Ronggeng"
5. Fingers of the Sun, "Meow" (an Image of Venice in Tatters)
6. Mezzanine Swimmers, "Sterile Sublimity"
7. Church Fire, "Violence"
8. Braeyden Jae, "It Was Shedding"
9. The Howling Hex, "Lord Gloves #3" (Ballas Mix)
10. Aja Vision, "Body2Body"
11. Thug Entrancer, "Terrain"
12. The Horse Latitudes, "Bees"

This item, along with our custom Festival Zine, are now up for pre-order and will ship promptly as soon as the festival has passed and I have a chance to catch my breath. There's a couple of different ways you can procure a copy of each or either, the best of which is to just come to the show. Every 2-day presale pass comes with a copy of both the 'zine and a cassette. You can purchase those for $25 right here:

The second way to secure a copy of this National Audio Company-provided beauty — a pro-dubbed, printed and packaged cassette tape — is to order one below. You can do this a couple of different ways, by either buying the tape on its own, or bundling it with a copy of our 44-pg., hand-assembled Festival Zine, which features our schedule program and write-ups about the GOLDRUSH Music Festival sponsoring labels, all written and edited by our pals at Tome to the Weather Machine, and featuring incredible original artwork by Brandon Locher of My Idea of Fun.

• Edition of 500
• Tapes ship 9/15/2014
• $7.00 postage-paid in the US:

• Bundle with the Festival Zine for $15.00 postage paid in the US & Canada:

• Zine only, $10 postage paid in the US:

Here are a couple of pages from the zine:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

PT005 - Lake Mary, "There Are Always Second Chances in the Mountains"

Hey, we're BACK here again at Planted HQ (finally, amirite?) with a brand new cassette tape for all to enjoy. While each and every release we've put our hands on has been special in its own way, this one might creep to the top of the list. Not only did our friend Chaz Prymek, aka Lake Mary, deliver one of his best works to date for us with this album, but each and every piece of this cassette tape puzzle was touched, built, assembled, and packaged all by the hands of Chaz, myself (Crawf here, hey guys), Jordan Knecht, Maryia, and the whole Evergreen crew where Chaz currently finds roost.
There Are Always Second Chances in the Mountains is the second Lake Mary release to grace the Planted discography, and we couldn't be happier to share this wonderful package with you. On a purple tint cassette with vinyl-transfer labels on both sides, a Risograph-printed booklet, all tucked away in a box made of salvaged cedar wood, this music finds a comfortable home for its rustic, simple beauty. Prymek is known for his elegant fusion of folk and drone stylings, and that marriage is at its most fully realized and fleshed out of all his efforts thus far here, weaving scratchy, patchy static with warm undertones, and situating these moments within larger structures built from gentle passages of strings -- guitar, banjo, and cello. We don't mind saying that it's absolutely gorgeous, and we hope you'll enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it together.
These were again dubbed with the help of our buddy Joey Wiley, so thanks are due to him (among many others) as well! With everything that goes into this package, this time we're asking for a little more, hope that's ok! We've got a streaming sample featuring excerpts from both sides of the tape, and also a little Q&A with Chaz Prymek further down below if you're curious! We'll also be taking these around to Wax Trax, Twist & Shout, Mutiny Info Café and Ironwood if you're around the Denver area and would like to save on postage. Thanks for visiting!
• Edition of 100
• Tapes ship 6/16/2014
• $12.00 postage paid in the US **SOLD OUT**

Tell me about the process for making the cedar boxes for the tape. Why did you want to do that?

Chaz Prymek: I wanted to do it first of all because I felt really proud of the piece of work that's going into it, and I wanted to make it a little bit extra special. Like more of a piece of art — thinking about music as more of art lately, rather than like a commodity. Me and my buddy Phil went and collected a bunch of old salvaged wood from around the neighborhood, and he's a carpenter by trade, so he taught me how to cut things into certain shapes and sizes. We brainstormed over a beer and pasta. And then it turned out pretty good.

Tell me the story of the album title for this one.

When I started writing this album... it was kind of a break-up record. I was in this long relationship before I moved to Colorado. And that relationship ceased to exist, and then writing this was therapy when I moved to Colorado. I moved up to the mountains, and I was kind of like re-discovering myself, so then all the songs started to change, and it just fit.

The last album you did for us didn't have a title. But this one does. So is there something different about the music that made you want to give it a title?

Yeah, I feel like this was my most cohesive piece of work yet, and in that sense it's special. And what it means to me was moving to the mountains near Denver, and re-discovering who I was as a person on my own, which is a huge thing for me. And now I feel very full and very much alive. So I felt like the title was very appropriate when I heard it from my little sister who kept referring to it. She's two years younger than me. She said it a few years ago. We were going up to Lake Mary, and we were talking about something, and that's what she said and I've held onto that phrase ever since.

You've been kind of moving around a lot, and even since you moved to Colorado, you've still been getting odd jobs, spending time outside of Colorado. You've played a few shows in Salt Lake City... so you're always kind of moving. Is there somewhere that you feel like is home? Where is your "home?"

I feel like I'm most at home when I'm just next to a lake up high in the mountains. And it's just calm and quiet... usually me and my dog, or good friends along for the ride. I think that's the most I feel at home.

You played with a couple of other musicians on this record. Can you tell me about how you came upon these people that played on your new music?

On a few tracks there's cello, one is Genevieve Smith and she's this amazing cellist out of Salt Lake City. We both played in this band called Bramble. One day I was recording with James Miska (who played second banjo on that same song), and we called up Genevieve, and she came over and just killed it, came up with all her own things. It took maybe an hour for her to listen, learn and record all of it. It was awesome. And then the other cellist is Jess Webb, who is in the Ranch Family Band, and also my roommate, and just a gem of a person. She plays cello for me live. And that was our fist time working together. She needed a new project, and I needed a cellist, so we made it work.

What's the best thing in the world?

Probably my dog.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

PT004 - Cody Yantis, "Resonant Memory" cs

After some ups and downs, a delay here and there, Planted Tapes is back with a late-2013 (or early-2014, depending on your perspective) release that we are incredibly excited and honored to have had the chance to work on. Cody Yantis is a Colorado native who's spent the last several years both in study and travel before returning to plant some firm roots right back here in Denver. Primarily a guitar player, Yantis has previously collaborated with Joe Houpert and Nathan McLaughlin as Tilth and recorded with longtime friend Seth Chrisman as Saguache. He's also amassed a modest discography of solo work under the C. Yantis banner and with his first name presented in all its full, two-syllable glory. Cody has become an integral part of our ever-expanding scene of Colorado experimental artists. He recently agreed to continue his work with electric guitar and tape loop experiments for us in a brand new work called Resonant Memory.

The album combines a multitude of textures that include recordings from the field and home-studio instrumentals—banjo, electric guitar, piano, percussion and more—all of it run through tape machines and effects to place the music in a surreal environment that feels as self-determinate as it does hand-crafted. Although there is a mechanical element at play here, Yantis' approach naturalizes the process; a performance of him performing, a record of him recording. And the results give familiar voices new sonic depth, rich in supple and brittle feelings, breathing and flowing arrangements evocative of hazy imagery and cool colors. Banjo melodies drift among the creaks and cracks of a wooden floor settling, guitar lines cough and stutter their way through a scraping sluice, and piano chords flutter through the leaves on a windy Autumn day.

These solid blue tapes were home-dubbed with the love and care of our friend Joey Wiley's gracious help, outfitted with photography by Yantis himself and hand-assembled by team Planted. We don't mind saying that they look and sound terrific, and would now like for you to listen to some samples and purchase a copy if it strikes you. We made 100 of them and they go for $7 with postage. Scroll down further below for an exclusive Q&A with Cody Yantis executed in true Planted fashion, and get familiar with this brilliant musician and artist. And hang with us through 2014 too, huh? We have lots planned for the new year — thanks so much for supporting our efforts!

• Edition of 100
• Tapes ship 1/6/2014
• $7.00 postage paid in the US & Canada

***International customers: Get in touch for shipping rates to your area!

I've read in other interviews you've done that a lot of your music is inherently tied to setting and location. What can you tell me about the places represented in the photographs that you gave us for the J-card insert and how they relate to the music of Resonant Memory?

Cody Yantis: Yes, I'm a very place-oriented person. I'm not sure if being an Earth sign has anything to do with it, but environment has always had a huge impact on me. That said, the role of place in my art isn't quite as direct as I think I often make it seem when speaking to my motivations. Rarely am I trying to actually represent or recreate a particular environment in my solo work; rather, what interests me is  examining the visceral effects that places have on us--those experiences that are often difficult to articulate yet manage to shape us in fairly profound ways. Or, at a more basic level, just taking sonic cues from a space or place. This is foggy terrain, to be sure, but I like that it's something that requires processes that are more about dialog and consideration than issuing definitive statements.

Speaking directly to the J-Card, the photos were taken in Cambodia last Spring. I was between jobs and moving out of the mountains and back to Denver, so I took the opportunity to travel through Southeast Asia for a month with my brother. I spent a lot of that time reflecting on my previous year of leading a fairly isolated life in Southwest Colorado as well as preparing myself for my move back to Denver, which is where I grew up but a place I'd been away from for a decade. All of this was set against a chaotic and humid backdrop that couldn't have been more different than cold, dry, and quiet Colorado. It was a wonderfully dislocating experience, made all the more so by my reading of Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle en route, which is a deeply personal and devastating examination of time, place, and memory (set in decidedly un-tropical Sweden and Norway). All of this provided a foundation for Resonant Memory.

In addition to thinking about your music in relation to place, can you also talk about Resonant Memory with regards to a certain time? What do you imagine that might be?

It's not really of a certain time (just as it's not of a specific place), but it's certainly about place, time, and memory, all of which are intertwined. Memory, in particular, is such a product of place. You know that feeling—not quite déjà vu, not quite nostalgia—that you get when you unexpectedly recall a past experience? For me, these recollections are usually gestural and murky and likely quite inaccurate, and yet they evoke powerful responses. It's this kind of thing that I was working through in this project, and the recycling and reworking of tracks and sounds via compromised magnetic tape seemed a good way of realizing this.

You've sort of bounced around the country a bit in the past few years... what has been your favorite place to live so far, and why have you chosen to settle back down in Colorado?

The life I'm carving back out here in Denver is really great, thanks in good part to the wonderful community of friends and fellow artists here. It never ceases to amaze me how supportive people are in this town—there's a lot going on and a lot of people doing wonderful stuff. I do still feel tied to the Pacific Northwest where I lived for a decade during my formative college and post-college years, and my two rounds of living in Dublin, Ireland also had a really deep impact on me.

Dream vacation spot?

Atop my list of places to visit, I'd love to go to Namibia. Starting out in Cape Town, trekking up the coast, and then heading on into the mountains, deserts, and national parks/preserves sounds amazing to me.

Desert island situation regarding equipment: What do you feel like your crux instrument is, what one thing could you absolutely not make music without?

My Telecaster has certainly been my primary instrument over the last 5+ years, though I've been letting it take a back seat more and more in recent projects. I spent a lot of time with the banjo this past year, and I'm continually amazed by the range of sounds one can produce with it. So, something with strings, that's for sure... although I do really love my H4N field recorder as well. Maybe that and a pair of headphones? I failed this question, didn't I?

Please give our friends out there some insight into the making of "Resonant Memory" Was your setup very different from what you've done in the past? How do the two sides of the tape differ from each other?

In terms of instrumentation and my approach to playing and recording, Resonant Memory is definitely an extension of my Starvation Winter tape for which I recorded guitar lines that Josh Mason then ran through magnetic tape. I loved the results of those types of sounds so much that I tracked down an Akai GX-4000D reel-to-reel tape machine for myself. This turned out to be the crucial component in Resonant Memory, as it appears on nearly all of the tracks.

In terms of my compositional process, it was mostly improv. I would record a music line and then, often, run it though tape. Syncing these lines up and then panning them created an interesting dialog—technically they were the exact same musical line, but there were wonderful aberrations thanks to the tape. It can be jarring at times, but there's a lot of melody, too, which creates a fun counterpoint, I think. Loud, jarring, but (hopefully) beautiful.

Not every line was run through tape, though, and I'd also fill in or subtract sounds as I saw fit—silence, space, and pacing are all really important to me. I don't like any excess in my music, so I often rework a mix, paring down until I've arrived at what I think is the essence of a piece.

Favorite book?

Totally unfair question, ha! Honestly, I take nearly as much inspiration (in art and life) from reading as I do music. I will say that, with memory and place being such a current preoccupation for me, authors like Knausgaard, W.G. Sebald, and Thomas Bernhard have really affected me this past year or so. They are all concerned with memory—not just personal, but cultural as well—and, thus, I've found them to be wonderfully rich resources.

I should also mention Richard Hugo, John Haines, James Welch, and Joan Didion, too, as I'm so impressed with the ways in which they use sparse yet beautiful language (be it prose or poetry) to examine our complex relationships with place. All of these writers have deeply impacted how I process my environments over the past decade.

Favorite plant?