Last Year, Part Six (Ben Mauch)

We have reached out to different people within & around the HSAL camp to find out what inspired them last year. For the past month, we have posted a series of lists. Our hope is that you will get an idea of where we are coming from. Our sixth & final entry is courtesy of Ben Mauch. Originally hailing from Virginia, Mauch now calls the other side of the world his home. We were honored to release a cassette EP & a live set in recent months. Here’s what inspired Ben’s creative output in 2015:

#1: Eleh, “Homage”I found and listened to this LP on a whim, having seen the name online but never delving into the music. I am very glad I did; this is a great representation of much of what I have come to enjoy listening to lately- long form drone pieces that grow and evolve (or devolve) slowly over time, emphasizing restraint. It’s intense minimalism.

#2: Sufjan Stevens, “Carrie and Lowell”This album is pure gold. I also got the chance to finally see Sufjan play for the first time in Richmond, and it was life affirming.

#3: Vang Vieng, Vientiane, LaosThis was near the end of an almost 2 month excursion throughout Southeast Asia, and even though I was a little jaded of traveling at the time, this place stood out and reinvigorated me. Motor biking along the Karst Mountains with the sun slowly dropping is an experience I will never forget.

#4:  George Saunders & Lane Smith, “The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip”A very fun read, and inspiring to boot. George Saunders is a great author, and this is a unique representation of his work.

#5: Steve Hauschildt, “Where All is Fled”His first album “Tragedy and Geometry” in 2011 was one of my favorites, and this ones tops it. Spacey, ambient, whatever you want to call it, it’s something that I will listen to for a long time.




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