Wednesday, December 11, 2019

PT008: Graphics - Meaninglessnessless EP

When I started putting out tapes all these years ago, I remember thinking it might be a little crazy to include the two zeros in the Planted Tapes catalog numbers, somehow assuming (dreaming) that eventually I'd have enough releases under our belt to accommodate all three digits. Well, with PT008, I'm proud to say we're one tape closer to that target. And hey, what better way to return to the tape fray than to release my own band's first collection of tracks?

So: "Meaninglessnessless" -- having a lack of meaninglessness? OK, we're still trying to figure that out, but for our purposes here, Meaninglessnessless is a six-song debut from the Chicago-based free-jazz-informed instrumental riff-rock trio.

Graphics tip-toe and trample their way through tangled chord progressions, contorting propulsive pop hooks into skewed, polytonal diatribes. Stabbing baritone guitar lines trace cubist melodies which are rearranged into strange, oblong clusters of rhythm, then blasted through a cannon of bass and drums. Where a lot of rock music moves listeners through catharsis, triumph, and pain, Graphics scrap all that overdetermined meaning-making to get you lost in the woods of dissonance and ambivalence for curiosity’s sake. Shafts of melodic light pierce the dense harmonic overgrowth, your guides muttering tangentially under their breath as they creep and climb through musical terrain by turns expansive and claustrophobic. As they piece together and pull apart their teetering jenga-tower of pitch and rhythm, Graphics stay on their toes to keep you on yours. Jeff Wheeler and Crawford Philleo met in early 2017, adding James DB (who played with Crawford in Ko) a couple months later. They rehearsed these songs for about a year before recording them at JamDek studios in the Spring of 2018. Another batch of six is already written and ready to go in the oven but Meaninglessness is the opening volley. Make your own meaning of it!

Stream a couple of samples from the tape below, and catch Graphics at their tape release show on 12/12/2019 at Cafe Mustache in Chicago

 • Edition of 100
 • Tapes ship 12/12/2019
 • $8 shipped postage paid in the US & Canada

Thursday, June 1, 2017

PT007: Bret Koontz - Low Light Trades

Ahoy -- tape number seven is finally ready! It's called Low Light Trades, and it's written and performed by a guy from Chicago named Bret Koontz, also of the icy synth-washed post-punk outfit Cool Memories.

This is Bret's first solo release, which spans 11 songs from as many as ten years back, tracing a winding path for the songwriter in unmistakably personal ways. Armed with a graceful command of song and a light, whimsical flair, an emergent awareness and control is revealed across a decade spent persistently picking away at his craft like a scab, only to find himself very much here and now, sort of bleeding a little. While the world around him continues to evolve and expands outwards, Koontz remains here in Chicago, gigging his way through odd collaborations and stumbling his way through relationships. Yet he did make it here, and that’s something, right? He’s on the other end of what resembles a culmination, recorded and etched to tape. We know what this feels like, Bret. The communion you have with those you love, and the loneliness you feel in spite of it. Hometown pride and bitter scorn at the same time, maudlin for the ones who’ve broken free but also damned pleased with what you can do, what you have done. Are they careening toward (what could be?) better things somewhere else maybe? Very maybe.

An elegant sort of pop is the main vehicle for Koontz as he meditates on these observations. Would-be simple songs just aren’t, so listen in -- a wistful guitar can have a mind of its own without you even knowing it, turning light toe tappers into full, bonafide compositions that are more dense in theory than they are in practice -- easy on the ears with an ingrained charm, but also crafty backdrops for an artist to take instrumental-advantage of with flourishes of patient piano, organ, percussion, and strings, most of it coming from Koontz himself, who wrote, performed, and produced the entire thing (only the breezy country ballad “The Claim” features an additional voice -- the lamenting drawl of Ian B on violin). As a result, Koontz’s personality and style gets these songs to smile even when they’re sad -- a brief glimmer and twinkle in each's eye, an elbowed-nudge to the ribs (the kind that tickles at little at first, but sticks with you later). Koontz is a friend and former collaborator of John Wheatley (aka John Bellows, whose music graced our grateful label’s catalog sometime in 2015). Like Bellows, Koontz’s music is as much a product of his own idiosyncratic imagination as it is influenced by those around him among the Chicago DIY community.

Bret releases Low Light Trades on Planted Tapes June 13th. Scroll down to pre-order, hear a sample, check out a brief interview with Bret, and scope his upcoming live dates in Chicago!

 • Edition of 200
 • Tapes ship 6/13/2017
 • $8 shipped postage paid in the US & Canada

Catch Bret at BOTH of TWO Release Shows in Chicago in June:

Monday, January 11, 2016

PT006 - John Bellows, l o n g [EP]

Well hey there, and welcome back to Planted Tapes! As always: Long time, no see. And ho! 2016 -- new year, new experiences, new lives... for as big a year that 2015 was, what with the many changes for team Planted (new move to Chicago, new jobs, new life), we actually felt it was time for a little more of the same, something familiar, something we already knew we loved: Making tapes.

So here we are! Another tape. Number 6 this time, and it's a very special one from an old favorite. We're very proud to present the new album from John Bellows.

l o n g is the first John Bellows collection since the high-flying long-player Fast Hits, and the release presents an about-face in tone, mood, and composition for the songwriter. Ditching the light-hearted humor of previous efforts, the songs of l o n g are conversely solemn, careful, and methodic, while also displaying the sort of playfully haphazard style that makes Bellows such a charm and an uncommonly pleasant listen. The content here highlights the struggles of a certain generation - the 25-35'ers finding themselves within the turmoil of having no real clue what they're doing, who they're doing it with, or why, circling themes of love, relationships, dreams, desires, drives, all through measured metaphor. Some of the songs have an almost battle-march vibe to them, an anguish that is assured and confident, yet misguided, maybe even a little misdirected. Musically, Bellows is also at his most-daring in terms of composition -- the assertive lyrical challenges goading the songs into surprisingly complex developments with thoughtful arrangements of drums, cello, and guitar that emphasize his poetry's sweeping grandeur. More than an album or a collection of songs, l o n g is also a state of mind and a place to find yourself if you're feeling a little lost.

This EP release is presented as a lovingly pro-dubbed cassette edition, and we'll ship them basically anywhere, as usual! Check out the first track "No Memory" streaming below, and read an interview with Mr. Bellows conducted by team-planted a little further down. We've got a pre-order link up just below, order away!

Also: Catch John on tour January and February! Dates listed below the interview.

 • Edition of 200
 • Tapes ship 1/15/2016
 • $8 shipped postage paid in the US & Canada

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


Tell me the story of the last year of your life. Where have you been living, with whom have you been living, and why?

John Bellows: My partner Glenn and I live on San Juan Island, which is an hour and a half ferry ride off Anacortes, Washington. We’ve been here a couple years and moved residencies five times since our arrival… a horse whisperer’s ranch, a raw milk dairy farm, a moldy townhouse, a bare bones cabin in the woods, and now a bedroom above a carpenter’s shop. It was a crapshoot moving here, but has been an important development. Where I was DIY in a musical sense, living in Chicago prior to San Juan, people here are DIY in a practical sense, whether it be growing food, working on cars, hunting and fishing, or building their own boats, barns, and houses. People have a hands-on approach to self sufficiency here. I felt so dependent in a city. The way of life here is helping me become more of a confident, empowered individual. Perhaps we’ll apply what we’ve learned on San Juan back into a city context someday.  

One thing that has always drawn me to your work is your sense of humor, and when we talk, you’re always laughing so much. Do you think there is any of that left on l o n g ? If so, where can you find it?
I like to use humor in songwriting, although it seems to be a very uncool thing to do these days. But there are lots of “cool” old bands that use humor... Velvet Underground, Mike Rep, The Kinks! I laugh all the time either out of nervous habit or general enthusiasm. It’s not something to which I am aware of until I hear it or see embarrassing footage of myself giggling uncontrollably. That being said, there is absolutely zero humor in l o n g. That may have been an extreme thing for me to do!  

I really connected with the song “Nothing More,” and I think it has something to do with the ideas about big changes in your life, and questioning whether or not they mean what they mean, or deliver on their presumed promise. What are the biggest changes you’re facing right now?
I am, in all honesty, struggling with the relevance of being a musician, when I could be spending all my energy starting non-profits that help children save the world! How important is it for me to play house shows to a small number of people that are a similar demographic as myself? Why must my perspective always be tainted by low self-esteem? Why can I not embrace musicianship, the thing that I am innately good at? Why does becoming a musician mean that I have to give up everything else in this world to suffer being a musician? Why am I whining when so many people have no choice who they want to be?

Can you tell me a little bit about the cover art for the tape?
It’s a mandala by Glenn. It’s made of poppies. Yes, the opium kind. She pressed them in books, wheat pasted them into a design, painted around it in gouache, framed it for her mother, and gave it to her on her birthday. 

I sense that a lot of the songs are very personal love songs/stories that underscore how difficult it can be to be so closely connected with someone for a long time. Is there a happy ending to l o n g ?
That’s true! Most of these songs reference a relationship or an internal struggle of mine. Although personal, I like to think that I’ve captured an essence on l o n g to which people can relate. With newer songs I’m starting to reference things beyond me, the absurdity of the world. So yeah, the evolution of content might be me leaving my bubble and building an awareness and perspective of humanity’s shortcomings. If I ever reached a happy ending then my music probably wouldn’t be worth listening!

Do you have a favorite poet?
I don’t read much poetry, but I write songs in poetic form. In my teens I developed via Nirvana, Leonard Cohen, et al.  Like any poet I want my words to describe things words can’t describe. I want my words to be like the lectures of Ram Dass, the poems of Rumi, the myths told by Joseph Campbell, and I when I perform I want to be an illumination of that spirit gushing through me. But usually I feel like a total shlub.  

Favorite plant?
I like plants that are food. And I like when I grow them well. I finally grew some decent cauliflower. Maybe next year I’ll try to grow the ones shaped like fractals!  

Catch John on tour!

1/20 - Seattle, WA @ The Future
1/21 - Tacoma, WA @ 1120 Creative Space 8pm
1/22 - Portland, OR @ John's House
1/23 - Eugene, OR @ Gen's house 
1/28 - Palo Alto, CA @ KFJC 
1/30 - Oakland, CA @ Purple House 
1/31 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Dan and Amy's House
2/4 - Santa Barbara, CA @ 5432Fun 
2/5 - Pomona, CA @ DA Center for the Arts 
2/7 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Smell
2/11 - Flagstaff, AZ @ Firecreek Coffee
2/13 - Santa Fe, NM @ Zephyr

Sunday, September 6, 2015

GOLDRUSH Music Festival 2015 Companion Cassette & Zine

Wow, long time no talk! Planted Tapes here (remember us?) with a big return in 2015 to bring you the next installment of the yearly GOLDRUSH Music Festival Cassette Companion series. This is year #5(!) for the Fest, and #4 for the Companion Cassette. We're all growed up! The event is taking place on September 18th & 19th, this time at The Savoy at Curtis Park, and we could not be more excited. We've yet again been afforded the wonderful opportunity to assemble a collection of tracks submitted to us from this year's line-up to give folks a nice little preview of what's to come. We think it turned out just fine, just fine, indeed!

And so here it is in all its glory: The Goldrush 2015 Companion, featuring new, exclusive tracks from folks like Landing, Guardian Alien, Tara Jane O'Neil, Benoît Pioulard, and more. Yes, you read all of that correctly, you can blink now. These two mixes of music were sequenced by Planted Tapes' own Crawf, and mastered for cassette by Lucas Johannes (who is also a member of American Culture, one of the bands represented on the tape, and also performing at this year's festival!). Artwork by our favorite design company Tiny Little Hammers. To say we're proud of this one is an understatement.... Take a listen below.

Side A:
1. Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk - Little Village
2. Bollywood Life - White Wall
3. Landing - Glow
4. Guardian Alien - female masturbation music
5. American Culture - My Teeth are Sharp
7. Benoît Pioulard - Needless to Say
8. Crown Larks - Pt. 4: Satrap
9. déCollage - Friendlings
10. Tara Jane O'Neil - Kelly

Side B:
1. Lawrence English - Coda for a Fading Tide
2. Bang Play - Push it Slow
3. More Eaze - Amicable Detentes
4. braeyden jae - A Joy of Hell
5. dugout canoe - ('-')
6. Yoni Wolf - Rifle Eyes
7. Lisa Prank - Passionate Kisses
8. Make-Overs - Post Show Hissy Fit
9. John Chantler - A New Power
10. Nevada Greene - A Love of Irrelevant Mind
11. The Space Lady - Who We Are is a Key

The GOLDRUSH Companion Cassette will be available at our Festival along with our custom limited edition Zine. You can get one of each by simply purchasing a 2-day pass to the fest for a cool $40 (which of course includes two days of amazing music, visual projections, access to a record fair, and a whole lot of love from yours truly):

The second way to secure a copy of this pro-dubbed, printed and packaged cassette tape is to order one from us directly 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 40-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 some pretty amazing original artwork by Thaniel Ion Lee, and lovely layout work by Liz Pavlovic Design.

It should be noted that the tapes were provided by longtime GOLDRUSH sponsors/supporters National Audio Company - big thanks to them, as always!

• Edition of 300
• Tapes ship 9/28/2015
• $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's a screen cap of one of the spreads in the zine:

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?