Cool Maritime – Sharing Waves

*total runtime: 40min
*ltd. edition of 250 Vinyl
*silk screened jackets
*hand stamped labels
*remix tape features Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Dntel, Matthewdavid, Carlos Niño, Tomutonttu

Sean Hellfritsch returns to Leaving Records with his second outing for the label as Cool Maritime. Sean is an active mixed-media visual artist, and modern modular electronic composer living and working in North East Los Angeles with his wife Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.

Sharing Waves is all-expansive environments, and fully-realized worlds to explore and get lost in. A persistent sense of adventure and excitement is practically baked into the songs, many of them having been recorded in inspiring and remote outdoor locations using a nomadic studio including a “lunchbox” modular system. The narrative flair of this instrumental music comes naturally to Hellfritsch, who is also an accomplished filmmaker. What you hear is musical ideas captured in moments of awe, happiness and inspiration. Although the sounds are largely electronic, the feeling is organic, with lush arrangements that breathe and breaststroke their way gracefully through the open air. Illustrative song titles like “Forest Bathing” and “Secret Caves” evoke inviting landscapes of reflection and resonance. Pristine and glassy droplets of sound pitter over damp and mossy beds of emotional chords and feelings, as escape turns inwards.

In an interesting contrast to the nature-heavy motif, a number of the tracks on Sharing Waves were the result of a commission to create pieces for a large outdoor plaza in downtown Los Angeles. This dichotomy of nature versus development makes for an interesting fold in these fully realized compositions. As for the album’s title, Hellfritsch, who is an inveterate surfer, explains: “Sometimes surfing can be a competitive environment with crowded breaks and not enough waves to go around. The ‘right of way’ rule is that the first person to catch the wave closest to where it’s breaking gets it. It’s a known rule and everyone expects you to respect it – but the exception to that rule is that friends love to share waves. It’s a joyful experience to be riding this big undulating ripple of water with a pal alongside you. Such a unique moment of fun and connection and excitement that always sticks with me.”

Be it in a beautiful natural environment like those of the albums’ creation or shut away indoors, Hellfritsch says he’d love for people to experiment with different ways of listening. “My favorite way to listen is laying on the floor in a dark space with some nice speakers. The tape deck in my 1987 Toyota van while driving very slowly along windy, foggy coastal road would be runner up.” This idyllic image of a reliable old ride propelling through an endlessly unfolding seaboard perfectly captures the magic and mystery waiting to be found on Sharing Waves. Hellfritsch says, “the biggest thing i learned on this album was to trust my intuition when making music and not spend too much time second guessing myself. Just go for it and have fun!” Tune in with an open mind, and dare to share a wave.


Stargate Music

Ras G & The Afrikan Space Program – Stargate Music
LP/DL World Wide 4/20/2018

total runtime: 31min
recorded and mixed at SpaceBase 2912
mastered by MatthewMatthewdavidMcQueen @StonesThrowStudios
art by Ron Browne

“The womb is The Stargate of Humanity” says Ras G, relating to the concept of his latest proper full-length – an astral ode to woman. “Stargate Music is a record that I livicated to the Womb-man…to the Vagina, The Stargate from which beings emanate life on this planet. I gathered these sound pieces and presented it as a reflection of the life cycle of beings on this planet.”

G has always been more to us than an influential L.A. beatmaker, but rather the luminary with an infectiously heartfelt zero-fucks-given philosophy towards raw experimentation in the Los Angeles underground producer scene since the early 2000s.

“From The Primordial Water Formation we flow thru The Stargate….and one’s great journey reconnecting and returning to the sweet nectar that is The Stargate….and this is the soundtrack to the journey.”
-Ras G

photo Rogue Venom


Kemialliset Ystävät – Siipi Empii
DL/CS WW April 6th

Kemialliset Ystävät is a long running musical collective headed by Finnish multimedia artist Jan Anderzén. The group’s rotating contributors include virtuosic musicians, sound artists, mad electronic music professors, field recorders, singers, amateurs and professionals. Leaving Records presents the project’s latest LP, entitled Siipi Empii (loosely translated from Finnish to A Wing Hesitates.) Anderzén explains, “The English translation unfortunately loses all the music and rhyme of the Finnish title but the meaning’s still there, kind of. The title is aiming to describe the movements of a butterfly and the weight/heat of the idea that every single flap of the wing can cause a storm/revolution.” He has described the group’s sound as sometimes “like an orchestra flying around in a tornado.” These themes embody Siipi Empii, a wildly weird dose of electronic folk music crafted through sheer force of nature, an abstract organism guided gently by Anderzén’s deft artistic touch.

A collaborative spirit can be heard throughout each of the album’s twelve imaginative tracks. According to Anderzén, “The music stays alive only because of the input from my collaborators … The method produces half random, half directed sound events where independent elements intertwine into unpredictable music.” As part of the process, he sends out “musical skeletons” to his collaborators. They then react and contribute their own sounds and ideas. One batch of skeletons came with a motivational letter including a quote from Johan Huizinga, below:

‘We moderns have lost the sense for ritual and sacred play. Our civilization is worn with age and too sophisticated. But nothing helps us to regain that sense so much as musical sensibility. In feeling music we feel ritual. In the enjoyment of music, whether it is meant to express religious ideas or not, the perception of the beautiful and the sensation of holiness merge, and the distinction between play and seriousness is whelmed in that fusion.’

Siipi Empii’s compelling arrangements do contain a playful edge that softens its more experimental tendencies. Unpredicability is the order of the day, as dogs bark, springs boing, and electronic woodwind sections deconstruct themselves over beds of contemplative marimbas. Disembodied voices recite touching poetry, just more instruments playing freely in the endlessly mutating stream of sound. Every element feels perfectly weighed and expertly arranged, as if by gravity itself. Anderzén says: “Battles with gravity are a recurring theme in my work, something to do with changing perceptions of normal.” Siipi Empii is a joyous and playful paradox, beckoning you to embrace its loopy strain of intensely original expression.

Leaving Records and Kemialliset Ystävät make sense together. Both entities have a passion for blurring the lines of genre and exploring creative new frontiers. In Anderzén’s words, “The work needs to be free from predetermined themes or ambitions.” Experimentation is the ideal, and the process is sacred. They strive to find a language to convey something that can’t be expressed with words. You may hear and feel something you’ve never heard or felt before, and that is the aim. Perhaps Anderzén best encapsulates the album in his translation of the first track’s title: “Äimä is an ancient word for a large needle with a big round hole. In an old Finnish saying äimä describes a reaction where one’s jaw drops open in awe / confusion. Tähkä is an ear in the botanical meaning. So we are talking about some sort of potential for astonishment.”

Kemialliset Ystävät on Siipi Empii is Jan Anderzén with Marja Ahti, Niko-Matti Ahti, Francesco Cavaliere, Roope Eronen, Sam Hamilton, Jonna Karanka, Sami Pekkola, Petra Poutanen, Samuli Tanner, Antti Tolvi, Jaakko Tolvi and Paul Wilson.