Well, it's now past the supposedly prophesized Mayan apocalypse, and of course no obvious signs of eschatological judgment have been wrought down upon us, which was much to be expected. There is something else we need to address though, before we can just write this shit off for good. If you were paying any attention to what those of the neo-spiritualist ilk were saying for the last decade or so, the conversation always involved a shift in consciousness rather than a rogue asteroid raining fiery death from above. Nobody said it'd be instantaneous.
 
Prophecies regarding a sudden massive shift in the perceptual limitations of our species always struck me as being beyond improbable. Whereas I'd be the first to admit that more of us these days are getting turned on to the higher cosmic functionalities of our brains, I'd also point out that it's probably little more than a numbers game. There are more people, period. I'd wager that for every turned on occult-dabbling tripster, there are two new closed-minded evangelical sex repression nutsos. Occultist super freaks just don't proselytize, and they probably blew their money on drugs and albums rather than bribing politicians, so there's that. Our society still revolves around boring after all and will for some time to come. What the fuck are you going to do? But it's not like all hope for a revolution is lost, the times -- they are a-changin', after all. Terence McKenna foretold a spike in novelty leading up to 2012, and it's not like novelty hasn't been spiking. The great singularity might have to wait, but technology has opened up consciousness to a new array of bizarre potentialities, the implications of which we can only barely conceive of at this point. At the heart of all shamanistic extra-dimensional informational summoning rituals lies the evolution of language from spoken word to projected internal telepathic metaphor, the language of our dreams. Meaningful scenarios projected from mind-to-mind, manifesting as direct experience. It's where we're headed with all these interconnected smart phones, tablets, and such. A picture is worth thousand words and now we can send each other videos instantaneously with our shiny new synthetic telepathy. Videogames continue to increase in complexity replicating alternate reality scenarios in our heads ad infinitum. Think of how rapidly our lives have changed in comparison to our parents' and even our grandparents' generations. Your everyday world can now be filled with an increasing array of deliciously magickal shenanigans. Marijuana has now been legalized in two states, one of which just so happens to be my home state for the last 11 years: Washington. This is the biggest victory in the war of consciousness I've seen in my lifetime, and something I never saw coming as a cynical 18-year-old stoner. What no one's saying about this matter is that one of the fundamental tenets of Western occultism involves a focused practice of weed-based sex magick, which is now totally legal. People are going to figure it out eventually. Combine that with a wide array of art-summoning gadgets, and you're well on your way to re-programming yourself into the next age psychic stratosphere. In the next fifty years or so I'm sure we'll debate whether or not 2012 was the beginning of a widespread shift toward a higher order of knowing. Again, these things take time. People have been fighting for pot and gay rights forever, and the defenses have finally started to crack. LSD in next. More importantly, the fact that we're finally starting to recognize the environmental nightmare brought forth by our materialistic insanity is more than a good omen. I know what's been shown to me. We've dug ourselves a hole that we can only fly out of through a psychedelic mindgasm portal. It's where we're headed. The environment's going to force our hand on this one. The UFOs aren't going to just stop lighting up the skies, the storms aren't going to stop hitting and then where the fuck are you going to turn? Sorcery, that's where.
Say what you will about 2012, but since consciousness is comprised of linguistic information, the idea of a coming apocalypse in itself propagated some rather delicious undercurrents of sound rippling through the Akashic record this year. I've never written more than a top five list in my life, but when I was thinking back on the insane amount of mind-bending albums that dropped in the last 12 months, I was kind of in shock. Most of this stuff's fairly obvious, at least in my world. Was it people like Terence McKenna and his mechanized Timewave Zero prophesies, inspiring people like Grant Morrison to write the great Invisibles hypersigil, that summoned this record deluge of psychoactive soundscapes into motion? I have no idea. Did the Mayans get in every band's head and subconsciously encourage them to bring their A game in 2012 as it might be their final chance? Whatever happened, it appears a software update embedded itself into our collective psyche and we went berzerk. An aspiring mystic could use any one of these mind-warping albums to put a hex on their internal mind tunnel and help elevate our collective superstructure heavenward. One might now use these recorded sound patterns in conjunction with the aforementioned pot based sex tantra quite legally in a hip music town like Seattle if one were so inclined. I've been told by the gods that it's a very "time safe activity". Reach for the stars true believers, or to quote Seattle's THEESatisfaction: "Let the musicians, be your physicians."
 

Charlie Salas Humara has been a fixture in the Portland music scene for over a decade now, but these days, you simply can't avoid him. Right now, the musical polymath has three different projects in full swing. There is the five-piece, improvisational outfit Regular Music, which finds Salas Humara squealing out vintage synth melodies alongside longtime friends Eric Mast (aka E*Rock) and Marius Libman (aka Copy), and dual percussionists John Rau and Papi Fimbres. Libman and Fimbres also make up the rhythm section of Salas Humara's other band Sun Angle, a group that slams funk and Latin grooves up against the spongy walls of dub and psychedelia. On his own, Salas Humara writes and records under the name Grapefruit. It's a suitably tart and tangy name for the synth and drone work he is creating. The music he has released to date has an early morning drowsiness to it, a quality that can only be influenced by the sleep deprivation he must be dealing with as a new father. His work could also work just as easily as the soundtrack to a Blade Runner-style science fiction epic – one that is rain-soaked, neon-lit, and foreboding. To talk about these three projects and Salas Humara's work in all of them, we caught up with the musician on a cold early afternoon at a favorite coffee haunt. As expected for someone who was up most of the night caring for an infant, he was drowsy, chatty, and brutally honest.

 

SPECTRAL HYPNOSIS A recurring series, featuring mesmerizing songs for one to lose sense of time and space, mind and body. Here, we start off a bit rowdy with Tassels and sink slowly into the enchanting mellow instrumental shores of Grapefruit and Lyonnais.

Tassels

Vancouver-based producer Sean Orr will soon be releasing a new LP, the brilliantly artworked Pressure Mounts, on Dallas' Pour Le Corps. This 2:13-long track is a whirlwind of experimentation and unconventional sound bites which curiously leave one hungering for more. Pressure Mounts drops May 29th, and the full tracklisting is available at the bottom of this post. Tassels - "Shake Them Shackles"

 

Grapefruit

Analog synths and Tangerine Dream vibes combine for Portland electronic artist Grapefruit's latest record, which you can buy HERE on Field Hymns. Choosing a track to highlight was certainly a difficult task, so I've decided to take the liberty of offering you three, because... why the hell not? For download and stream is the entrancing closing track "Aleatoric Tone Tunnels", along with "End Scene" and the music video for "Phase Accidents". Expect an interview with Grapefruit soon! Grapefruit - "Aleatoric Tone Tunnels" - DOWNLOAD MP3 [audio:/mp3/downloads/Grapefruit_Aleatoric-Tone-Tunnels.mp3] Grapefruit - "End Scene"