Our Label of the Year in 2019 returns with a vengeance in 2020. One would think that the title Fearful Void was a response to the current crisis, but it has actually been in the works for years. The same label that brought us the Leave Me Sessions, Prelude to a Decline and We Stayed the Path That Fell to Shadow series has just announced its fourth mega-opus.
We could not be more happy about what is to come: 14 CD packages (one a double), prefaced by the sublime sampler that you can hear below. Lost Tribe Sound has received multiple packaging awards from our site, so we love the fact that they continue to pour their hearts and souls into the physical product as well as the music. The price is affordable, the roster intriguing.
Obviously any Lost Tribe Sound series is going to be heavy on William Ryan Fritch, one of our favorite composers, and the rare artist whose prolific release schedule has never affected the high quality of his works. Five of the releases come from Fritch, the first four under his own name and the fifth as Vieo Abiungo. The sampler introduces “Unhinged” (from The Letdown) with a slightly retro flavor, a timbre we haven’t heard yet from Fritch. The album is the first of the series to be scheduled, arriving this June. “Movement IX” (from Solidum) is peaceful and melodic to start, foreboding to finish. Choir and dark chords haunt “As We Progress;” as the guitar and percussion enter, the effect is of an old western just before the shootout. “Devi’s Last Deal” is thoughtful, restrained, even ambient, while “Balkanize” contains the African rhythms we’ve come to associate with the artist’s alter ego.
From the Mouth of the Sun is a familiar name to our readers, as Aaron Martin and Dag Rosenqvist form a spellbinding pair. “For a Moment We Were Weightless” is already one of the highlights of the sampler, and we can’t wait (weight?) for the album. It’s been a while since we’ve heard Martin’s cello, and it returns like an old friend. Claire Deak and Tony Dupé (Saddleback) join forces on the colorful “From a Rooftop,” which shifts from nightclub ambience to playful jazz, and raises expectations for a genre-defying set. We reviewed Several Wives‘ Göldi fell last year, and the drones remain intact and foreboding on “Mai Swarmer.”
Arrowounds’ The Loneliness of the Deep Sea Diver will be the second release, appearing this July as diving reaches its peak. The claustrophobic “Sunken Phantoms” is a perfect reflection of the theme. Continuing the nautical theme is Sailcloth, whose debut album is introduced with the creaking hulls and gracious guitars of “Woodcut.” Seabuckthorn teams with Dave Anderson as Mt Went, their soft acoustic pairing one of the label’s few forays into vocal music; the others include Microwolf, whose album is due in August; and debut artists Gallowglas, who pair male and female voices to sublime effect. Yadayn opens “Verder” with spoken word, but the majority of the piece is instrumental.
If you’ve liked anything on the label before, this series is a must-buy. There’s a wide variety of timbres on display, and the generous pricing makes the set nearly half the price of the individual releases. Act now if you want in on the CDs, as there are only 50 subscriptions available with an additional 50 discs offered upon release; the digital option is unlimited.
Welcome back, Lost Tribe Sound! Thank you for giving us something to look forward to throughout this year and next. (Richard Allen)