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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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The Secret Miracle Fountain

Spun over the course of four years, The Secret Miracle Fountain finds hulking, hazy guitars and silvery piano lines merging with lyrical violins and fed through numerous trails of sound processing. Recorded in over 18 different locations with contributions from some 30 guest artists, its compositions are a tangled web of disparate backgrounds, predilections, and abilities — but for all that, the players do not step on each other's lines. They don't just show a capacity to listen attentively; despite their numbers, each makes him- or herself available to the others, and the intimacy involved in this gesture shows throughout the supple movements of these pieces.

In the first handful of tracks, what is first apparent is that, although songs shift abruptly from astral atmospheres of lambent clarinets, pensive chanting and dustings of languid chimes to angular guitar harmonics and melodic dissonance, the meditative flicker of fire or the crunching of gravel underfoot acts as something of an ocean floor, joining these otherwise isolated islands of sound. Now and again, on songs such as "Prayer in Tonal Forest," the soft crackle of these field recordings fuses with the coarse whistling of an overloaded amplifier, forming a static landscape that takes on a more prominent, active role as the piece develops. Elsewhere, on "Shards" and "Hanalei," the raw thrashing of rustic instrumentation treads alongside mercurial, abstract electronics, forging a sublime juxtaposition.

More specifically, though, the underlying strength of this music is the way in which these contrasting elements give onto each other in a fluent, willing manner. When purring trumpets and the delicate tapping of steel pans are themselves crosshatched, then flecked by psychedelic guitar washes and messy, scrunched-up beats, the sudden shift in momentum does not seem fortuitous, but simply another well-placed event carrying the mood of the piece onward. In this way, the crest and trough in the surging, at times euphoric wave of this band's sound are different yet inseparable. And while the current of this recording grows a trifle thin and weak in places, a powerful ritualistic aura — appreciation and fear before the indecipherable babble of nature — pervades its strongest moments.

by Max Schaefer

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