‘Deep Code’ is the 7th studio album from acclaimed artists Saso which is to be released by Sun Sea Sky Productions on 12” vinyl in Mar 2021.
The album continues Saso’s recent musical direction of instrumental compositions using analog synthesizers, upright piano and electronics.
Saso were formed in Dublin, Ireland in 2000 by Jim Lawler (compose /multi instrumentalist) and Ben Rawlins (producer/recording engineer) who share a unique artistic relationship as a composer and producer partnership.
The inspiration for ‘Deep Code’ comes from Ben’s desire to revisit a soundscape from his formative years as a young musician and avid film fan.
“I was inspired by movies and tv shows from the late 70s and early 80’s with the music of John Carpenter a major influence. Those films helped me learn about music. Dark, brooding, synth laden themes. They weren’t orchestral. They were minimalist and evocative” (Ben)
Ben came up with the concept and Jim picked up on this direction and sought to investigate this soundworld.
“I didn’t know where I was but somehow picked up on the sonic themes. I felt drawn to the unknown and wanted to let go of preconceived beliefs and seek purity of expression. This became a theme. Being lost. Being curious. Letting go of how I normally compose music. Trying to get into flow state” (Jim)
Saso committed to the performance aspect of just playing and recording live. No click tracks were used. There were no restrictions on how songs should be structured. The tools were vintage synthesizers and an analog valve desk which were of that time. Nothing was locked to a grid. Most of the compositions were improvised.
The result is an evocative and atmospheric work, which is expansive in nature. Layering a hybrid of textural synthesis and organic composition, Saso takes the listener on a cosmic journey to an unseen world.
Boy Is Fiction offers up one of the best albums we've heard in recent memory. Previously available on the UK's List Records and now licensed for distribution worldwide, you'll be sorry if you pass this one up -- it is absolutely stunning.
Clocking in at nearly 65 mins, "Broadcasts In Colour" delivers over an hour of music that explores new sonic territory for the artist, including but not limited to vocals on selected tracks. A six-panel digipak featuring artwork and illustration by Paul Nolan round out this hauntingly beautiful package.
Signal Hill's debut release on the label, "Chase the Ghost" (or CTG) is an elegantly restrained instrumental post-rock gem that continues to be met with positive reviews as the band increasingly garners more and more fans across the globe each consecutive release.
Melorman's breakout release on Sun Sea Sky Productions was met with much critical acclaim by the electronic music community, and was also featured as Echoes Radio CD of the Month in August 2013. For those wanting to explore the melodious sounds of this artist, look no further than "Waves" as a rightful introduction.
Ten years later, Signal Hill's "More After We're Gone" (MAWG) still represents one of the most memorable and iconic albums in the genre. Now completely remastered by Taylor Deupree and featuring all-new artwork, the album is being properly reissued on limited edition 12" double vinyl and digital formats.
Vinyl is limited to 100 copies (white) and 150 copies (black) on 180-200g virgin vinyl. 18pt (350gsm) full-color gatefold jacket w/5mm spine and matte machine varnish finish. The release also includes a special photo collage insert commemorating the band’s history and release of the album.
Inspired by modern day minimalism and baroque like orchestrations, Simplicity in a Complex World is a meditation on the complexities of the modern way of life. It is, for Spardel, both a reflection and recreation of the inner space we must all find for ourselves in a world that is constantly shifting beneath our feet.
Lights Out Asia's debut LP. What started as a few former members of Aurore Rien dabbling around with guitar and programmed beats, has since become a staple in the diet of many shoegaze/electronica fans worldwide. Now coming into their own on the n5md imprint, this recording is still arguably their best.
Sun Sea Sky Productions has teamed up with the Bluetech to compile all four of the artist’s “Four Horsemen of the Electrocalypse” series EPs into a Limited Edition Double CD set featuring stunning eight-panel digipak artwork from Totemical that appeared on the EPs, as well as new artwork for cover and inside panels. All orders ship with an 11"x17" poster and 1" button while supplies last!
These four EPs reference the Biblical bringers of the Apocalypse. Drawing inspiration from the classic fantasy art of Moebius, Beksinki and Syd Mead, “The Pale Horse” dances around eschatological tropes with tongue firmly placed in cheek. Featuring gorgeous artwork from concept designer Justin Totemical, each release in the series presents a facet of the visionary prophetic current.
“Emerging from a long period of creative drought and personal struggle, I was seeking a way to frame my own experience in a larger meta-narrative. Navigating through loss and painful transformation always feels apocalyptic, so I wanted to take the opportunity to not only frame my heartbreak in a larger context but also to really laugh at myself and experience the high drama of being human with a sense of humor. The Revelations of our little lives feel like the end of everything, and looking out of our windows of meat and bone we feel the ground rumble with the approach of the 4 Horsemen.
On a larger scale, it’s easy to draw parallels between the realities of modern life and the harbingers of ‘the end’ in John’s symbolic vision of the end of the Roman Empire. We are in the grasp of a dying empire watching the destruction of our biosphere, and yet… every seed must go to ground before new life emerges.
This series of releases is about watching it all burn with a smile, embracing the death of the self as an act of beauty in order to grow. By aligning my own story and our collective story with a prophetic vision of epic proportions, I was able to to regain my joy and (en)lighten my life.”
The Boy Who Spoke Clouds debut album was recorded in 2004-2005 at a beach house over a four month period without release in mind. All the songs were recorded via the microphone of a Sony handycam video HI8 into a cheap soundcard. Everything from flamenco handclaps, percussive chanting, foot stomping and chopsticks hitting guitars were incorporated, sometimes in the hope of mimicking a sound Adam had no means of producing conventionally, and sometimes, trying the ridiculous in an attempt to dispel self conscious methods of music production and simultaneously to push himself out of his regular habits and musical clicks. ‘One of my biggest fears as an artist is to repeat myself, to fall back on my comforts. These recordings began as explorations outside of my usual musical vernacular. They very quickly became something intensely personal for me.’
On this album, Adam sings predominantly of death, transitions, and one’s engagement with the mystery before the answer or question arise. ‘My fascination with things in-between, the shadows between the branches, have crept into these songs. The songs are like little invocations, prayers to not knowing.’
Recorded & Mastered by Adam Casey. Female voice on 'Ending' by Jenny Jo Oakley. Violin on 'Fill This Room' by Alex Taylor.
Just about everyone who knows about Sunday Flood owns this [EP]. Fantastic packaging by HammerPress (see: all Gaints Chair related releases and artwork), and songs that showcase the earlier songwriting tendencies of the band that have since been replaced by more metal and rock influences.
This album is by far the most intense set of recordings the band has ever documented on a given release. "Advisory" further showcases Sunday Flood's ability to move effortlessly between the emo and hardcore genres, which on more recent recording efforts shows the band leaning toward the latter.
The Storied Northwest encompass what some have come to know as the "KCMO" or "Kansas City" sound bands like Giants Chair and Shiner helped shape many moons ago. Bands such as Boilermaker, Juno and SDRE also come to mind. Not unlike their predecessors, The Storied Northwest compile a pummeling lineup and retrospective of songs on this release that have been completely remastered and released for the first time ever. Members would later go on to form Schooled In Victory.
'The Chip' was never reworked for the "What Cheer" full-length released through Anodyne Records. An alternate and acoustic version of 'Still Proud' appeared on that very same release, with this version being decidedly more rock-oriented. The songs feature the *classic* and orginal lineup for the band (with Mike Myers on drums, minus Wade Williamson on guitar).
Andrew Ashby :: voice and guitar Matt "Auggie" Wolber :: guitar Dan Weber :: bass Mike Myers. :: drums
Recorded and mixed at Woodland Music in Olathe, KS by Jason Hall in Summer 2002.
PLAY DUMB // NEW RED
Destined for a 7" that never was.
Andrew Ashby :: voice and guitar Wade Williamson :: guitar, keys Matt "Auggie" Wolber :: guitar Dan Weber :: bass Billy Brimblecom Jr. :: drums
Engineered and Recorded at Static Studios in Chicago, IL by Steven Vandeven in late 2001. Mastered at Colossal Studios in 2002
London-based Spinger returns with Invisible Tree [May 5th], continuing his deep dive into the world of downtempo and ambient music, and featuring a track written with long-term collaborator Data Rebel. With an emphasis on melody and the unexpected, the songs on Invisible Tree blend vocal, guitar, and piano textures with tiny glitches and expansive electronic soundscapes. Pre-orders are now open, before the album sees a digital release next month!
We lifted this from the band's website...."Well, there's the crunching of Tar and Big Black. Then there's the pastoral side of bands like Codeine. And of course there's the seminal noise of Sonic Youth and Gang of Four. And maybe the latent metalisms of folks like The Melvins. Which is not to say that we approach the greatness of any of the above-mentioned outfits, but we're worth a whirl nonetheless." Yep, we couldn't have said it better ourselves.
NEIGHBORLY, sadly, was the apex and end of my time as a primary singer/songwriter. From 1993-1996 I was the drive behind Skiploader, a band fortunate enough to sign with Geffen Records and perform with many of our influences/friends at the time (Foo Fighters, Sunny Day Real Estate, Seaweed, Shudder To Think, Heatmiser, etc). When Skiploader imploded [for which I can also assume responsibility] I moved back to California, got married and continued writing the batch of songs that would become Grass Is Greener. The first 11 songs would have likely represented the follow up to Skiploader's From Can Through String and as I listen back from a quasi-objective distance I see an interesting evolution. The Neighborly songs are more traditionally arranged, allowing the vocals and lyrics to come to the forefront, rather than hide behind the quirky rhythms and dissonant chord voicings that Skiploader preferred. The lyrics, although still a bit angsty, are far more universal and less personal diary/confessional than Skiploader. Although it could probably be effectively argued that those traits are exactly what made Skiploader more unique sonically, I suppose like most creative types I suffer from the disease of preferring my most recent efforts.
From 1996-1999, Bob Penn (Coco B's, The Jealous Sound and Racquet Club) and I rallied several friends - Wes Davis, Val Wolfe, Adam Orth and Rodger Marinelli - to help us write, perform and record these 16 songs. As the primary songwriter and now archivist of this project I guess I get the last word, so I cannot overstate how integral Bob Penn is to any project he plays. If I was the brains of this poorly conceived operation, Bob is most certainly the soul which preserves it's integrity. Not to denigrate any of the other performances or contributions (especially Adam Orth who played a huge role in tightening the LPs final performances) but Bob was there from bittersweet end to end and listening to his drums on these songs always brings a smile to my face.
Songs 2-10, the main bulk of the original Grass Is Greener CD release, were mixed in 1998 or 1999 by Mark Trombino at Big Fish in San Diego. The extra tracks "Is That All?" and "She Watches Columbo" also come from that mix session. "Jarvik 7" was actually a Skiploader demo recorded with Pat Wilson from Weezer on drums and bass that was originally slipped onto the original CD as a hidden track. "Vandalized," "Nibbler" and "Chasing Trash" were the very first Neighborly demoes recorded for Warner Chappell Music Publishing in the Fall of 1996 with Wes Davis (bass) and Val Wolfe (guitar) absolutely crushing it. It's probably for the best that we didn't re-record those tunes, because their rawness is my favorite part of this re-issue. "You and I Against..." was a demo I forgot existed until I found it on an old DAT while trying to curate this reissue. I was tempted to re-record lead vocals because I really love the music, but I'm older now and am somewhat capable of not making an ass of myself from time to time. Finally, the demo version of "Bully's Bliss" had to be added because it too was found on an old DAT and I had absolutely no recollection of its original structure or even which line up is playing it. I may prefer the final LP version as a cohesive song, but I'm amazed at how we went from that demo to the final version.
Finally, it occurs to me that the reason you might be reading this has everything to do with Sunday's Best, which was arguably the most "successful" band I was in despite [or perhaps because of] the fact that I was playing in what seemed like a more diminished/collaborative role. The truth is I was also the primary lyricist in Sunday's Best and co-produced/engineered all the S Best recordings (although Tony Lash performed miracles mixing both records and co-producing The Californian LP). The Sunday's Best song "In Beats Like Trains" and "I Concede The Point" from Grass Is Greener were the last two songs written as Neighborly. S Best needed a 10th song to finish the Poised To Break LP and they helped me rewrite/clean up the chorus. Ed from S Best co-wrote the bridge to "By The Way..." and Ian helped engineer me playing all the instruments on "I Concede The Point" because I guess every rock dude who can play multiple instruments has to record an entire song by himself.
That's about all I can think to say about this project for now. When I listen to these songs today, I get a feeling you might be familiar with: you know when you see an old photo of yourself and you actually look pretty good but then you remember how you saw yourself back then and how you were always plagued with self-doubt? Well I do and when I see old candids from my 20s I want to jump back into those photos and pat that person on the back and say, "take it easy on yourself, kid. You're doing ok..." So when the iTunes shuffle drops a Grass Is Greener track, I smile and think "you were not half bad at the whole songwriting thing, maybe you should have tried to enjoy it more."
The song of Lewis and Clarke is a craft of beautiful and subtle intensity through the timeless sound of guitar, Rhodes piano, drums and voice. The sound strikes the human chord. Hailing from the rural anthracite region of northeast Pennsylvania where the fever of isolation burns from an underground blaze, Lewis and Clarke was formed as an extension of singer/songwriter Lou Rogai's solo work and features a cast of friends that contribute on the recordings.
Two stellar artists come together for a split release that's something truly unique and special. A good argument for a split release, whereas this format can be otherwise redundant, littered with a few (but not all) solid tracks, nor particularly worth your time and money to investigate. Not so with this release. Stunning artwork and packaging matched by equally beautiful and harmonious tracks.
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