Spectral Hypnosis: Golden Retriever, UMA, Silver Apples, San Gabriel MP3 Downloads & Streams

A recurring series, featuring mesmerizing songs for one to lose sense of time and space, mind and body.

Golden Retriever

As a long-awaited response to the question of many a Portland music fan, of — “When will people start paying attention to Golden Retriever and stop letting their genius slip under the radar?” — Thrill Jockey have finally taken it upon themselves to make a higher profile release for Golden Retriever happen! Be thankful, everyone, that Golden Retriever will see their first TJ release on July 24th. The duo, consisting of Jonathan Sielaff and Matt Carlson, possesses a level of nuance few bands in Portland possess, and their choice of instrumentation — an analog modular synth and a bass clarinet — sets them apart even further. Meditative and captivating, Golden Retriever are never the same in a live setting, and we’re more than thrilled to have had them play at our Intuitive Navigation show last year.

You can download “Serene Velocity” HERE. The music video can be seen below. Directed by Jamie Potter (the album’s cover artist), it fully immerses you in animated imagery of asteroids and gadgets floating you in space. The concept is remarkably entrancing for all of its simplicity, the slowly changing pixel distortion the most compelling aspect of all.

Anyone who pre-orders the record HERE gets a free 8-oz bag of Portland’s renowned Stumptown Coffee, because we’re ridiculous in the Pacific Northwest.

August 1, 2012 Update: They just dropped their new video for “Canopy” today, directed by Portland filmmaker Jeff Guay. Filmed completely in the Columbia Gorge area, so all of you who live outside of the naturalistic beauty of the Pacific Northwest can be downright jeally. Their CD release show for Occupied With The Unspoken takes place Wed. August 1st, at 8:30 p.m. at Holocene in Portland, OR, with some other badasses like Normal Music, Ilyas Ahmed, and Pulse Emitter.

Golden Retriever – Serene Velocity from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

01. Serene Velocity
02. Canopy
03. Eudaimonia
04. Winter Light


Golden Retriever was started in 2008 by Jonathan Sielaff and Matt Carlson whose paths first crossed in the early 00’s when Sielaff and Carlson were in experimental pop bands that frequently worked together, AU and Parenthetical Girls respectively. Through collaboration, they developed a deep understanding of each other’s musical voice and sensibilities. After exchanging a few solo recordings, it became clear that they had remarkably similar aspirations for and theories on music, thus Golden Retriever was born.

On their Thrill Jockey debut Occupied with the Unspoken, Golden Retriever create polyphonic music from monophonic instruments. The bass clarinet and the analog modular synthesizer are generally both capable of playing only one note at a time. Starting from this point of pure melody, Golden Retriever then find ways to turn melody into harmony using their “boring old one-note instruments” to make live electronic music that is remarkably rich in textural details and almost symphonic in its use of layering. Though the music is often classified as experimental, its most salient feature is melody. It is made remarkable by the ease at which it takes the disparate elements of minimalism, free jazz, noise, classical, and even pop and shapes it all into something emotionally compelling.

Recorded live, but then heavily edited in Carlson’s basement studio, Occupied with the Unspoken‘s songs are more concise then those found on Light Cones or in their typical live performance, where often Sielaff and Carlson allow room for exploration and re-invention of their material. The four songs presented here were typically performed as 25 or 30 minutes pieces. For the album, the songs were distilled into shorter passages where the original structure remains, but each section within the overall song has been shortened. The process allowed Sielaff and Carlson to fit more ideas into the album, and taken as a whole it is a more complete document of their stylistic variety than previous releases. While many of the compositional ideas behind the tracks are complicated, Occupied with the Unspoken excels in being an approachable listen. An impressive album of soaring melodic lines and vivid soundscapes, the aptly named Occupied with the Unspoken belies the complex creative process making the understanding of it merely an exciting bonus.



The upcoming debut EP from UMA, Drop Your Soul, evidently features textured pop music from a Berlin-based husband and wife duo. Their self-titled single is a shocking, swirling amalgam of haunting choral vocals and labryinthian sounds, a well-executed collaboration with New York’s Silver Apples. Stream the full EP below, which also guest-stars Japanese artist Yosi Horikawa.

The record comes out on Seayou Records on May 4th, 2012 digitaly and on June 11th on CD.


San Gabriel

Multi-instrumentalist and producer Butchy Fuego (!) has put together a pretty diverse collection of globally-influenced dance jams on his upcoming album, VOLFE. Of the media released thus far, “Can’t Work” is easily the winner, and the remix by EYE of Japan’s insanely far-out Boredoms, is the biggest mindfuck. Streaming below is the remix, with its original file. “Can’t Work” is like some weird candy with an indiscernable flavor; the remix is like some pill you got forced into eating, to your great chagrin and confusion. San Gabriel’s VOLFE EP comes out on May 22md (digital) and June 26th (vinyl) on Time No Place.

Below, a video for the mellowed out “Experimental Forest,” a link to stream the Latin-inspired track “Batalla Ultima,” and tour dates.

Stream San Gabriel’s “Batalla Ultima”

San Gabriel – “Experimental Forest”

5/4 Vancouver, BC @ The Waldorf (San Gabriel)
5/11 Kyoto, JP (San Gabriel)
5/12 Osaka, JP (San Gabriel)
5/17 Osaka, JP (Boredoms)
5/19 Tokyo, JP (Boredoms)
5/21 Shizuoka, JP (Boredoms Solar Eclipse Show)
5/26 Tokyo, JP Hot Banana Party (San Gabriel)
6/2 Nagano, JPTaico Club (Boredoms)
6/22 London, UK (w/ The Congos)


Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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