London Plane Tries to Coax Disaffected Visionaries and Creatives From Self-Imposed Exile on “Come Out of the Dark”

London Plane, photo courtesy the artists

London Plane employs a lo-fi sensibility on its psychedelic post-punk single “Come Out of the Dark.” With the imaginative music video for the song one gets a taste of what feels like a more humanized science fiction concept album that is its new record Bright Black (which released on June 17, 2022). It’s not really comparable sonically or songwriting-wise to Failure’s 1997 masterpiece Fantastic Planet. But conceptually and in terms of how some of the imagery and language used makes for a more colorful storytelling and the ability to tell stories of human psychology and relationships in ways that don’t seem hackneyed or trite. “Come Out of the Dark” deftly incorporates electric and acoustic guitar with synths, drums, bass and poignant vocals for an effect like Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Dazzle” but repurposed as more modern indie pop space rock song. The easy sweep from major chord progression to minor and back throughout the song at unexpected points enhances the emotional impact of its layered melodies. The message of the song encouraging a specific person or the generalized you for whoever needs to hear the words to stop being disengaged, jaded and above it all when you can “be cool” and “come out of the dark” and “be adored,” “Be a defender,” “be a hero.” Yet the tenor of the song is one of understanding of a desire to disconnect with the world and events and community because of how it can wear you down or alienate but if you have some great personal qualities and skills and knowledge it’s wasted in wallowing in cynicism and bitterness when you can enjoy putting that all into the world in a productive way. Even if only a little. The music video is like something that Panos Cosmatos would make if he were in the business of such things and really captures a desire for isolation when the human community needs people of creativity and imagination more than ever. Watch the video on YouTube and follow London Plane at the links below.

London Plane on Facebook

London Plane on Twitter

London Plane on Instagram

Sleepwalker Conjures a Sense of Expansive Darkness on the Cosmic Ambient Single “Call of Ashes II”

Sleepwalker, photo from Bandcamp

“Call of Ashes II” sounds like it came out of a vision quest to one of the secret mystical places in Sleepwalker’s home in remote depths of Siberia. Who can say what instruments are used. You hear what sound like cosmic deep drones possibly made by synth, possibly by a processed industrial hum, you hear what sounds like prayer bowels, struck bits of resonant metal, urgent spans of streaming, processed guitar. The effect is of traveling through immense places in the dark whether underground or in the arctic winter twilight. While stark and mysterious there is an undeniable beauty to the spacious composition that one hopes finds its way into a science fiction or horror movie worthy of its scope of sonic detail and undeniably engaging, emotional momentum. The cinema of Panos Cosmatos, Anthony Scott Burns and the Safdie Brothers would be a good match of moods and cosmic darkness. Listen to “Call of Ashes II” on Spotify and if you like what you hear you can listen to the 2021 split with Fen on Bandcamp. Connect with Sleepwalker at Instagram linked below.

Sleepwalker on Instagram

JAF 34’s Film and Music Video for “EMPTY” Charts the Contours and Internally Corrosive Impacts of The Rat Race of Late Capitalism

Think of the new album video by JAF 34 “EMPTY” as something of a short cosmic thriller and science fiction film with obvious nods to 2001: A Space Odyssey, Jodorowsky, Stephen Kostanski and Panos Cosmatos. Musically the arc is like taking the very concept of dream pop to much more ambitious heights than usual. Yes, the flowing, refreshing synth drones that evolve and slip into the cracks of consciousness. Sure the ethereal, simple guitar line that wanders even as it suggests a distant destination. But JAF 34 doen’t leave it there, chapters of this song proceed to give a musical depiction of the way we have regulated our time on the earth and given up so much of our lives to the commodification of not just our waking hours but how the content we help to create to offer up as products of social capital monetizable as experiences and bits of information for others and as markers algorithms can use to market to us and to other people whose own characteristics and patterns of behavior and consumption match our own. This recursive feedback loop the film suggests does in fact leave us fairly empty and running on a kind of treadmill that serves capital instead of our genuine selves. The music thus in the point in the film reflects the layers of distortion and, flux and frantic and desperate activity and for what? More wandering and chasing paths outside our genuine and organic interests and desires and following those suggested to us by an impersonal economic model that enriches large corporations at the expense of society and our individual psyches. It’s an ambitious piece of work that has more in common with a work of art out of FLUXUS, Holly Herndon or Laurel Halo than any standard experimental electronic or rock artist as its social critique is inseparable from its execution. Watch the “EMPTY” in its entirety on YouTube and connect with JAF 34 at the website linked below.

JAF 34 Website