Signal to Noise: Immune Recordings


Signal to Noise is a new column penned by Neil Lord. It will run periodically on Pop Press International. This feature column will spotlight and discuss artists, labels, and trends within the noise and experimental rock genres. We’re proud to present the first installment of Signal to Noise today.

Chicago’s Immune Recordings are a curatorial anomaly. Straddling a geodesic genre web like an 8 legged freak, the label stands as a leading figure in what is a blossoming community of focused, purposeful stations of release. In less than 5 years and with 33 releases (most from a core group of artists), Immune regulates itself with a bludgeoning canon of folk, ambient, psychedelic and just plain experimental records. Below you will a find a collection of what makes this label a label to watch, and feel free to explore their website for a plethora of worthwhile vinyl purchases.

Cleared: “Drown”

A song cemented in the history of dream pop, but played by disciples of drone, Chicago’s Cleared acknowledge both the patience and power it takes to cultivate an engaging experience while still residing in the garden of the avant-garde.

Steven R. Smith: “The News is They’re Coming”

Ulaan Khol: “The News is They’re Coming”

Two parts to a whole, these variations of a single composition by Steven R. Smith prove his duality as a musician. Part ambient folk prodigy, part Crazy Horse guitar wizard, Smith brings to life all sides of his inner psyche through a decaying reel-to-reel that appropriately broke at completion of this album.

Panabrite: “Pool”

As previously posted earlier on this site, Panabrites new album Pavilion is a year-end lister as is. The track “Pool” represents a simpler side to the record, a bubbling, glowing synth instrumental similar to a nap deep beneath the effects of Blue Lotus simmering in a glass of red wine. A fine breeze taking the last remaining leaves of fall along with it.

Tom Kovacevic: “Song for Peter”

A stark and minimal celtic folk gem, Song for Peter is the standout from Tom Kovacevic’s latest release Universe Thin as Skin. Harmonies weave in and out with the main storyteller, flutes come crashing in, and expectations are crushed post hypnosis, all while maintaining an intimate look into the rustic room the song is being played. (“pass on/all unnecessary crowns/which all too much/leaders culture tries to pawn” woah…)

Mind Over Mirrors: “The Fence”

Mind Over Mirrors is the solo moniker of harmoniumist/electronicist Jaime Fennelly. Using a variety of oscillators, synthesizers and pedals to effect his traditional Indian pedal harmonium, Fennelly creates swirling worlds of friends frozen in a midnight swim. His repetitious, hypnotic compositions represent that second you realize you’ll remember this perfect moment.

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