Celestial music has a vastly unknown history, the phrase first being coined in the early 70s by Iasos, Greek-American musician who began studying Bossa Nova & Jazz, before he became enraptured by an ambient radio station that began playing in his head. Alan Watts, a friend of Iasos, was quoted in stating “Iasos makes the classical music of the new age” – which gave rise to the musical genre. Music pioneers like Laraaji have found their own center in expressing celestial music, emanating his own aspects of Eastern mysticism & unique forms of meditation, proven to make you bliss out f’days.
In the last few decades we’ve seen celestial music work its way into pop. Vinyl Williams is an LA-based artist that has a history of combining these subtle aspects into harmonious pop music & visionary artwork. Collaborating with like-minded self-producers such as Chaz Bear of Toro Y Moi, Morgan Delt, and Ruban Nielsen of UMO, he’s built a universe of palatial 3D environments, and recorded 5 albums to date. Now onto his 6th, Cosmopolis, Vinyl Williams leads those through his most detailed exoplanet experience thus far.
Coming from a long line of LA-based musicians, Williams follows the feelings of Love, Brian Wilson, Strawberry Alarm Clock, and producer/arrangers like Curt Boettcher and Burt Bacharach to create his own lush sunshine pop paradise. One can also easily notice the many inspirations of Brazilian masterminds such as Arthur Verocai, Lo Borges, Nelson Angelo, as well as British dream pop / shoegaze production of Robin Guthrie and A.R. Kane. The many-riveted layers create a rainbow arch of pure imagination.
Since 2014, Williams has recorded his albums at Non Plus Ultra, one of LA’s last underground music strongholds. You’ll probably see him on a Friday or Saturday night running sound & visuals. His studio’s filled with a barrage of communal music gear, loaned tape machines and synths, making a funky-yet-simple recording setup. The sound he gets is definitely his own distinct textural landscape, turning Casio’s into orchestras and guitars into full choirs, the simple boundaries create the sonic complexities.
Dendrons hit the road before they even knew exactly where they were headed. On New Year’s Day 2018, Dane Jarvie and Zak Sprenger first convened in Chicago to start a new project, recording a demo at home by the seat of their pants, and almost immediately after, began to play shows. “I would just email as many people as possible,” says Jarvie. “I’m like, ‘Can we open this?’ It didn’t matter if it was in Dallas or New Orleans or Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was like, let’s go.”
With a band name chosen by flipping through books in the library (“Dendron” is Greek for “tree”) and a sound and lineup in healthy evolution as they bounced around North America, Dendrons were finding who they were in front of a live audience. Over the course of 2018 and 2019, they were developing a propulsive, acerbic rock style both reminiscent of midwestern peers and reaching beyond to develop an unmistakable aura all their own. They put out their debut, 2020’s Dendrons, and were packing their bags for a full European tour before it had to be abruptly canceled when borders closed and venues shut down around the world. Suddenly, a band that cut their teeth on the road had to get comfortable staying at home.