Posts Tagged ‘ ambient ’

Dorji-Toth Duo: September 8, 2017 Three Lobed / WXDU Hopscotch Afternoon Jamboree (Raleigh, NC)

September 27, 2017

Tashi Dorji and James “Wooden Wand” Toth are both favorites of ours, each having performed some spectacular sets of music that we’ve featured in the past (and more to come). Dorji is a modern day avant-guitar master, while Toth — best known for his Wooden Wand songwriting — can move fluidly through several genres, as comfortable in singer-songwriter mode as he is with the way out. This Three Lobed Recordings / WXDU Hopscotch day show set featured the two men doing more of the latter, as the two men wove together a one-of-a-kind ambient noise improvisation. The mysterious box you see Toth in front of in the picture is the Octatone, a rare, handmade instrument by Forrest Marquisee of Virginia-based Forest Floor Studios, which you can learn more about here (watch a YouTube demo here). You can’t have one of these legendary day shows without a spiritual out performance, and this collaboration was that highlight for us this year. The connection between these players was such that this creation didn’t even start with a roadmap; what you hear is the organic evolution of two music minds in the act of creation. It’s a special moment not to be repeated, and it’s part of why I never miss a Friday at King’s in the early weeks of September.

I recorded this set with Evan Lamb’s house mix plus Schoeps MK4V microphones onstage. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Tashi and James play at Black Iris in Richmond on October 21. Check it out if you’re in the area!

Tashi Dorji / James Jackson Toth
Three Lobed / WXDU Hopscotch Afternoon Jamboree
Raleigh, NC USA

Recorded and produced by acidjack
Hosted at

Schoeps MK4V (onstage, DFC)>KCY>Z-PFA + Soundboard (engineer: Evan Lamb)>Zoom F8 (24bit/48kHz WAV files)>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 improvisation

Tashi Dorji – Guitar
James Jackson Toth – Octatone

SUPPORT TASHI DORJI AND JAMES TOTH: Pay to download this recording (click the bandcamp link above), and buy stuff from them: Wooden WandTashi Dorji

Away Msg: September 11, 2015 WXDU/WXYC/WKNC Day Show, Neptune’s (Raleigh, NC) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

October 9, 2015


In lieu of its usual tag-team day show with Three Lobed Recordings at King’s during Hopscotch Festival, this year Durham’s WXDU teamed with fellow college radio stations WXYC and WKNC to create a two-level show that offered the broadest possible spectrum of sounds. Opening things up at Neptune’s, Kings’ downstairs venue and an electronic music hotbed throughout the festival, was the young artist Away Msg, aka Kat Liang, who produces thoughtful ambient dance music that incorporates natural sounds into the usual slow-rolling flow of textures and beats. The Raleigh artist’s repertoire consists solely of some Soundcloud tracks thus far, but she deserves a wider audience that we’re sure she’ll get. During her time making music, Away Msg has evolved away from 8-bit style sounds toward a more cerebral glitch/ambient style exemplified by songs like “after work (the good times are too short),” which began this set. Away Msg’s songs are complex without being precious (even with the long song titles), and listening to them in the comforting twilight of Neptune’s at one in the afternoon set a perfect musical tone for the rest of the day, at a creative day show that has historically always been more of a true music fan’s event that the “parties” that go on elsewhere. We don’t get nearly as many opportunities to feature electronic music on this site as we’d like, so this is a special treat. Keep an eye on this artist – we hope to hear more from her in the future!

Eric PH recorded this set with a soundboard feed and AKG CK91 microphones to provide ambiance. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Away Msg
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded by Eric PH
Produced by acidjack

Soundboard + AKG CK61>Naiant actives>PFA>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, fades, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 [intro]
02 After work (the good times are too short)
03 At the park (burning my memories of you)
04 Reflection (smoking a cigarette by the ocean)
05 Breath of fresh air (it is a good day to die)

If you enjoyed this recording, please support Away Msg by checking out her Soundcloud page

Tony Conrad: September 5, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival, Vintage 21, Raleigh, NC – Streaming Full Set

September 28, 2014

[photo by acidjack]

The appearance of Tony Conrad at this year’s Hopscotch Music Festival was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that makes a festival unique. Conrad is a living legend in a number of out fields, having made his name as a filmmaker, artist, musician, composer, teacher and writer. As a member of the pre-Velvet Underground band Theatre of Eternal Music, Conrad was one of the earliest progenitors of improvisational noise and drone music, making him an influence on a huge number of acts who had the benefit of newer technologies than the gadgets that Conrad built from scratch.

At the Vintage 21 stage at Hopscotch, Conrad began seated with a cardboard box in front of him, onto which he drew a rough circle that he cut out with an Xacto knife. A violin bow, when inserted through that space, created a drone effect that became the centerpiece of Conrad’s first composition. Offering this as a live recording doesn’t really do it justice; to watch Conrad create his art was as much an experiential pleasure as an aural one, if not more so. Conrad then moved to a violin, face painted black, with extra strings hanging off of it, and in drawing the bow across it, created new cascades of noise.

While improviser-in-residence was normally the influenced rather than influencer among the many acts he joined over the weekend, that was not the case when Moore and Conrad got together. The two created a dynamic noise piece that set yet another bar for the weekend. Conrad, almost giddy at his reception by the crowd, seemed almost as pleased to introduce Moore as Moore was to join the master. This was an experience that wouldn’t be repeated, in the weekend, or possibly ever.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed and Schoeps MK41 microphones. The sound quality is excellent. At the artist’s request, this set is streaming only. Enjoy!

Stream the full set:

Tony Conrad
Hopscotch Music Festival
Vintage 21
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard + Schoeps MK41 (at SBD, DINa)>KCY>Z-PFA>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, levels, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, imaging)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, fades, dither and downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Improvisation 1
02 [banter]
03 Improvisation 2 [w/ Thurston Moore]

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Tony Conrad, learn more about him on Wikipedia, and buy his music on Discogs and iTunes.

Little Black Egg Big Band (feat. Steve Gunn, Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, James McNew, Letha Rodman Melchior and William Tyler): September 5, 2014 Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show, King’s, Raleigh, NC (Donation Download)

September 9, 2014

photo by PJ Sykes
[photo courtesy of PJ Sykes]


This year’s third Three Lobed Recordings / WXDU co-produced Day Show during the Hopscotch Music Festival was an embarrassment of riches once again, featuring a number of one-time-only collaborations. But perhaps nothing was more hotly anticipated than the brief spring into existence of the Little Black Egg Big Band, named after Georgia Hubley’s solo guitar project Little Black Egg, which she has performed only rarely:  guitar luminaries Steve Gunn and William Tyler together with Hubley, Ira Kaplan and James McNew of Yo La TengoLetha Rodman Melchior also provided the pre-recorded material that was mixed and manipulated into the live recording.

Hubley, Kaplan and McNew’s participation in this event was brought about in part by their desire to support Melchior, a friend and fellow musician who hoped to join for the day show but was physically unable. Melchior, who has played music under her own name as well as under the alias Tretetam, and in the band Ruby Falls, was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma in 2010, which she has documented on a personal blog. Melchior’s illness has produced considerable financial hardship for her and husband Dan Melchior in addition to the agony of her cancer. An effort to offer further support to Melchior is also the reason why we are honored to offer this performance to the wider world today.

What the fans in the room at King’s in Raleigh saw at the show (along with those who heard it on the stream by Duke University’s WXDU) were five masterful musicians collaborating in real time on an at-times brooding, but oddly hopeful soundscape. Instead of soloing all over each other, each artist blended into a whole that spoke with one voice. Over its nearly forty minutes, the piece gains on itself in increments, with the bed of guitars and Melchior’s pre-recorded effects manipulated by McNew, a technique familiar to anyone who has seen him perform as Dump.

The piece honored Melchior as well as the spirit of the entire event, which celebrated the power of experimental music, the validity of independent labels and college radio, artist-run venues like King’s, and the ever-present, unquenchable thirst that the best artists have to evolve, change, and create. Three Lobed has a fan base primed to understand that this particular grouping probably wouldn’t be playing YLT classics like “Big Day Coming” with a bunch of extra guitars added in. What was expected, and what was received, was a unique offering that could exist only in this single moment. It was a performance for the benefit of people who believe the best artists never stop taking chances and are as generous with the product of their minds as they are with their time. People like the ones sitting on that stage.

This recording was made with Schoeps MK4V microphones in the center of the stage, combined with a stereo soundboard feed by the King’s staff. Because this download is offered for donation only, we are not streaming it, but you can trust me that the quality has been approved by the artists and is excellent. We are deeply grateful to all of the five artists involved for playing this show and for giving us the opportunity to help benefit Melchior and share this music with the wider world.

Thanks to Cory Rayborn, Ross Grady, Kelly Davis (and everyone else at WXDU), Paul Siler of King’s Barcade, Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, James McNew, Steve Gunn and William Tyler for making this possible.


This recording raised approximately $4,000 in seven days for a worthy cause. We thank the artists and the others noted above, as well as all who participated, for their support of Letha Rodman Melchior. 

Rodney Bowles LBEBB -1
[Photo courtesy of Rodney Boles]

Little Black Egg Big Band
Three Lobed Recordings / WXDU Day Show
Hopscotch Music Festival
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted for donation only at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (onstage pair)>KC5>CMC6 + Soundboard>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, light compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (adjust stereo image, light EQ, light harmonic effects)>xAct (tagging and conversions)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time: 38:28]
01 improvisation

Musicians (in alphabetical order)
Steve Gunn
Georgia Hubley
Ira Kaplan
James McNew
Letha Rodman Melchior (pre-recorded material mixed and incorporated into the performance)
William Tyler

Along with supporting Letha Rodman Melchior, please support these musicians. You can buy Steve Gunn’s albums from Three Lobed and Paradise of Bachelors, Yo La Tengo’s recordings from their website and Matador Records, and William Tyler’s latest work from Merge Records.  

Rodney Bowles LBEBB-2
[Photo courtesy of Rodney Boles]

Villages: September 6, 2013 Hopscotch Music Festival, Kennedy Theater (Raleigh, NC) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

September 24, 2013

[Photo by acidjack]

One of the best things about festivals like Hopscotch Music Festival is being exposed not just to artists you know you want to see, but ones you didn’t know you wanted to see. I wasn’t aware of Asheville, NC based Ross Gentry, who records as Villages, before he took the stage at Kennedy Theater on the second night. But as soon as Gentry began creating his custom-made soundscape, I was grateful to be in the right place to hear the work of this brilliant emerging artist in the world of ambient and drone music. After a frantic day of day shows and main stage recording, sitting in the cool, dark Kennedy Theater for this Villages set felt like a reset button on the whole day. During this piece, you can hear the wash of running water, keyboards, guitars, found sounds and more combine to create an organic whole that is as soothing as it is thought-provoking.

At times it’s difficult with this kind of music to actually understand what the artist is doing, so I asked Ross to explain. Here is how this set was constructed:

All of the sounds I use are created using organic instruments and field recordings. My sets basically consists of a series of tape loops, which were present on stage, as well as electric guitar which was running through a series of effects pedals. The laptop itself it basically a means of triggering field recordings and various atmospheres, and recording and looping my guitar and tapes to further process and expand the sounds. It’s a very open and evolving process. It certainly leaves a lot of room to really feel out a space and develop pieces naturally.

The result on this night was a piece I felt was a beautiful meditation on the human experience, an oasis of calm in the midst of a frantic (but fun) festival. Gentry’s work was some of the most moving and powerful that I experienced at the entire festival and I hope more fans have a chance to experience his work. Please check out Villages’ extensive discography on his bandcamp page, where you can buy his releases on vinyl and cassette as well.

This recording was made with Schoeps MK41 microphones from an ideal spot in the venue. The recording captures the feel of the room very well and makes for a particularly good listen on headphones. Enjoy!

Stream and download the full set:

(To download the MP3, click the “Download” link in the upper right corner of the stream)

Download as FLAC

Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from this site, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. Please respect our request.

Hopscotch Music Festival
Kennedy Theatre
Raleigh, NC USA

Schoeps MK41 (DINa)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2>Sony PCM-D50>24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (trim)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.03 (tracking, amplify, balance)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 improvisation

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Villages by liking him on Facebook, visiting his bandcamp page and purchasing his releases there.

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