Last Year, Part Four (Joe Morgan)

We have reached out to different people within & around the HSAL camp to find out what inspired them last year. In the coming days, we’ll post a series of lists. Our hope is that you will get an idea of where we are coming from. Our fourth entry is courtesy of Joe Morgan. As part of TLVS, Morgan has been an integral part of HSAL since its inception. He also performs solo as asentimentalsong. Here’s what inspired Joe’s creative output in 2015:

#1Chihei HatakeyamaHatakeyama hails from Japan and just keeps on making great records. He does wonderful ambient soundscape work that is very calming and relaxing. His album “Mist” is definitely one of my most listened to records this last year. In addition to his stellar solo work, Hatakeyama also released a terrific collaborative album entitled “Magical Imaginary Child” with ambient artist Federico Durand. The album mixes the more drone-centered work of the former with the more natural organic textures of the later to create some extremely beautiful long form pieces of music.

#2Andrew WeathersIn addition to being a good friend and a genuinely nice guy, Weathers put out a number of albums this past year including his first full length LP entitled “F*ck Everybody, You can Do Anything.” His maturity as an artist and improving quality of work is really exciting to follow. A wonderful mix of Americana, drone, folk, and a bunch of other quirky ideas provides a solid palette of sounds to indulge your senses into.

#3: Will LongWill Long is an American who has relocated to Japan and puts out music under a variety of names including the moniker of Celer. Celer has to be one of the most prolific artists that I know of with a massive catalog of music. One may think such a large amount of output can lead to staleness in music but his 2015 output proves otherwise. His releases “Jima” and “How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I’ve Been a Liar All My Life” are amongst my favorite albums of the year. These albums showcase the beautiful loop based ambient soundscapes that Celer is known for and creates an environment that is both interesting to listen to and lose yourself in.

#4: mewithoutYouThese guys were a favorite of mine in my younger years with their unique mix of the scream/yelling style with a post hardcore sound. Over the years I saw them mature as a band and also move away from that initial style that I enjoyed so much. With the release of “Pale Horses” this last year I feel they have mixed their maturity back with a lot of elements of their original sound and provided an album that not only feels new and exciting but also brings a lot of nostalgia into the mix.

#5John DanielJohn Daniel is a true droner from Ohio. He has put out quite a number of albums over the last couple years including a ton of tape releases and a few LPs. His album “Encounter” is one I spent a ton of time with this last year in addition to a lot of other high quality work. I’m looking forward to big things from Daniel in the future as I feel he really has a handle on making great drone music.

 …and just for good measure I can’t avoid mentioning the outstanding “s/t” album by Perils which is the collaboration of Kyle Bobby Dunn and Benoît Pioulard. These guys are both incredible artists who bring a lot to the world of ambient experimental music and having them work together creates one of the best records of the year.



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