New label: Constellation Tatsu
One thing you gotta love about the underground psychedelic tape scene is its abundance of micro-labels offering little jewels of trippy goodness. There’s always a lot of movement among those labels, some of them settle, find a steady market and continue to grow and build their own “brand” over the years, some of them stay so underground that they never even set up a blog page. But the truth is, when one label goes down here, there’s always two or three fresh labels ready to take on the world. In this edition of New Labels, I’d like to introduce you Constellation Tatsu, a fresh new label based in San Luis Obispo, California, US of A. C Tatsu is led by the psychedelic entrepreneur Steven Ramsey and it’s motto is, as described on their website, “adventurous with spiritual artistic sensibilities”.
The first batch in this label’s history is marked by the penchant for deep ambient and heavy drone structures, occasionally bordering on sustained guitar noise. The split tape between Blood Bright Star and Obsidian Towers is the harsher excursion, going through cavernous atmospheres and Barn Owl-ish post-apocalyptic soundscapes. Heavy fog and dead man’s drone.
On “A Silent Stroll On Sombre St.” Brazilian ambientalist Gimu (already known to some readers of Weed Temple, as he was once featured on the blog, back in the Blogger days) crafts dusted, melancholic atmospheres that linger in the shadows, bordering on unsettling dark ambient. Ominous melodies loop and fall into and out of focus, plodding ahead in the sea of vintage crackles and modified found sounds. Music from the bottom of the woods.
Next up is an IMMENSE drone album from the ever-massive Ohio synthesizer unit Long Distance Poison. On “Ideological State Apparatus” the proggressive electronic structures are stretched into seemingly endless slabs of glacial drone, reminding the listener of those “800% slower” YouTube videos, but instead of Justin Bieber, it’s Klaus Schulze that is getting 800% slower. Hardcore catharsis drone that appears to go on forever. Don’t fight the ocean - let yourself drown in it.
In case you get tired and overwhelmed by the obliterating drone of Long Distance Poison, you can find escape in “Lightness and Irresponsibility”, the newest cassette by Celer, the one-person ambient project of William Long, who continues to create under the Celer moniker after the untimely death of Danielle Baquet-Long in 2009. The cassette provides a wash of warm, welcoming, almost therapeutic and highly emotional ambience, which goes way beyond the notion of ambient being merely “wallpaper music”. Good, immersive listening. Bonus points for the great, somewhat tongue-in-cheek (adding a trademark sign to the project name gave me a healthy chuckle) artwork!