Monday, December 26, 2011

:: First release by Rivière Amur ::

We're excited to share the news about Bois Flotté, the first cassette release from Rivière Amur, a new collaborative project between long-distance friends Félicia Atkinson and Jackie McDowell. The cassette features beautiful photography by Ana Cabaleiro and is available to order now at I Had An Accident Records!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Yuletide Greetings

We here at Biological Radio just wanted to say thank you for all of your support this year and wish you peace and happiness as we celebrate our Earth Mother this Yule. We look forward to your continued support and have some great releases on the horizon in the coming months so keep your ear to the ground!

Best Wishes,
Matt & Jackie

:: The Ballad of Wandlimb ::

A tidbit of great news from the frontiers of the forest! The Ballad of Wandlimb by Inez Lightfoot is now available from the wonderful folks at Kimberly Dawn in Tennessee. This limited edition 3" mini release is wee in size but mighty in sound! The beautiful wintery woodland artwork by Frank Baugh goes hand in hand with the music, which was inspired by ancient tree lore. Please visit Kim Dawn to snag a copy!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

:: Pollen on the Brow ::

: : :
We are pleased to share the news about a new Inez Lightfoot release, Pollen on the Brow, available now at Digitalis and Discriminate! The video above is for "Crickhollow's Theme" from the cassette, and it includes footage of the same natural area where the field recordings were also collected.
: : :

Thursday, November 3, 2011

:: Select Biological Radio tapes now available through Discriminate Music ::

Some autumn news as November's gibbous moon waxes: We're super happy to announce that we've teamed up with Discriminate Music, a fine music distributor in Austin that we've been fans of for a long time. You can now visit the Biological Radio page on Discriminate's beautiful new website to see what's available... we dug deep into the closet so we could pass along two of our favorite recent releases, BR#10 (Sagas Permutations on the Infinite) and #11 (Inez Lightfoot Nature Songs).

Monday, October 31, 2011

'Between Worlds' review on Aquarius Records

This killer write-up of the Sagas LP showed up on Aquarius Records last week. Obviously I'm biased, but I feel this one really hit the nail on the head.

"This was another one of those records that just showed up one day, and knocked us on our asses. And while all the descriptors pointed to something that would be right up our alley, spacey and psychedelic, krautrocky and kosmische, heavy and hazy, which all do definitely apply, the music manages to embody all those adjectives, while tangling them up into something all its own.

This one man band opens up the proceedings with some droned out psychedelic synths, sounding like Amps For Christ or Daniel Higgs, the sounds undulating and spiraling into little tangled melodic squalls, there are bells, and a deep crooned almost chantlike vocal, very hypnotic and almost new agey, those droning synths (or are they effected guitars?), get more and more wild as the song proceeds, a wild woolly freakout over that deep sonorous drone. Great stuff, and we would have been perfectly happy had the whole record sounded like that, but instead, the second song starts off all low slung slither and wah guitar, it's got 'boogie' in the title, and it shows, sort of. Loose and ramshackle, the guitars again blossom into soaring streaks of high end skree, the drums pound and stumble, the vocals wreathed in reverb, the sound insanely dubbed out, everything swallowed up in echo and send swirling into the ether before landing again and reengaging with the in-progress kraut-dub space rock freakout. This is the sort of shit Burnt Hills would conjure up if they wrote songs instead of endless jams, infusing sort-of-proper song structures with all the elements of an unhinged drug addled jam, and the results are pretty wild.

The rest of the record though is all over the place, feet firmly planted in psychedelia, and Appalachia, but exploring pretty much every disparate strain, from clattery, foresty free folk, sounding almost like No Neck Blues Band or Avarus, to back porch bluegrass Fahey-y style American primitivism, from strummy, synthy, noise drenched darkdrone balladry (maybe our favorite track, sounding like a muted Merzbow / Portishead slowburn mashup woven into some Appalachian psychedelic creep), to blown out, in-the-red, Japanese psych style White Heaven / Les Rallizes / Fushitsusha grinding guitar freakout, finally finishing off with another bout of melancholic minor key Appalachia.

Killer stuff, most definitely recommended for fans of modern psych, neo-Appalachia, psychedelic dronemusic and the weirder side of space/psych/drone rock."

In other news, BR10-12 are sold out from us, but 10 & 11 will be available soon from Discriminate and are also available locally in Portland at Exiled Records along with a few other goodies.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WaterFinder /// Dronography Mixtape

For those of you who enjoy deep drones (or even just a nice soundtrack to a good sunrise), we wanted to share this new digital sound compilation that is kindly being offered to anyone and everyone for free: Dronography Mixtape, curated by our colleague Zach in Pittsburgh. As he eloquently puts it, "(d)rones vary on this one: from airy ambient, to spaced-out U.F.O. signals, to turbulent earthquake-rumblings. Each hugs your auditory canals--especially with a giant pair of headphones--and soothes the soul." Artists include Balder, Buoyhood ft. Artie, D.S. Miller, Ground Zero Mosque, Hobo Cubes, RJ Myato, Ryan Emmett, SatyrElfheim, Tuonela, and WaterFinder.

Our contribution as WaterFinder is a short live piece called "Leagues" that includes Matt on lap steel and Jackie on electronics, tapes, and vocals.

Thanks for visiting! Autumn blessings...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Biological Radio #11

Inez Lightfoot - Nature Songs
This otherworldly broadcast from Inez Lightfoot finds her soaring deep between the fibers of the fabric of being in elevated states of ecstasy. Field recordings, ghost-vocals and shimmering strings, amongst other things, transcendently coalesce into a beautiful, 49-minute lo-fi sound collage that is as terrifying as it is benevolent. Harnessing all of her powers like a true sonic sorceress, Inez wields the tools of her trade in a narcotic display of universal love energy.

Edition of 25 cassettes. First 16 copies are housed in handsewn vintage fabric pouches; remaining 9 copies are housed in traditional cassette cases with handmade blue j-cards. Original artwork on both versions by Myste French.

25 copies out of print

Biological Radio #10

Sagas - Permutations on the Infinite
Recorded live in March 2011, Permutations on the Infinite by Sagas is a powerful, twofold aural journey through both time and space, beginning on side A in Pittsburgh and ending on side B in Cincinnati. Although Matt McDowell's solo project usually employs a dynamic range of instrumentation, this pair of recordings is a rare and focused exploration of just one thing: a beat-up electric guitar. Permutations on the Infinite captures a moment with Sagas as he takes you by the hand and leads you on a three-quarter hour trip beginning deep within the ocean's lightless caverns, riding the tide up through the crashing waves, and ending beyond the mountaintops as you climb the thermal winds towards the burning sun. Pop this tape into your deck and prepare yourself for one epic journey.

25 copies out of print

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stellar Review

I just wanted to take a moment to share this really nice review of the Sagas LP by Lee Jackson from his Womblife blog:

"Sagas is the most recent solo incarnation of Matt McDowell (Dire Wolves, Arco Flute Foundation, etc), and Between Worlds is his debut foray into the vinyl format. So far I've heard a couple of McDowell's tapes under the Sagas name, and everything I've heard by Dire Wolves delivered the goods via lumbering smokestacks risen up from the most zoned cosmic depths. Between Worlds is an old school acid rock freakout -- vintage to its core, trancedelic one minute, head charging into the Dead C void the next -- with a few oud-inistic ethnic detours along the way.

The first side features three fresh-from-the-primordial-aether jams. "The Hidden Variable" is a levitated organ/acid guitar soaked chant that wastes no time invoking a sense of otherness and sacred devotion, while "Scrapyard" offers collapsing free jazz deconstruction. The real standout though is "Bad Karma Blues" with melting Blue Cheer acid leads and a rampaging space punk climax. Fans of the most destroyed Komische rawk (Amon Düül II/Ash Ra Tempel included) and PSF Records will eat it up. On the flip, off kilter banjo raga is dispersed with subtle percussion and effects on "Hope Springs Vernal" and "In The Hall of Mandos". The harsh distorted oblivion of "Better Times" invokes the spirit of McDowell's earlier solo guitar rippers (such as the Headlong Into The Fire EP on Mike Tamburo's New American Folk Hero imprint). It's surely a good thing McDowell hasn't abandoned this more abrasive side of his sonic persona, as the resulting contrast only further heightens the drama of what's happening here. This makes plaintive closer "Soon A-Comin" that much more of a sweet come down with solo acoustic in the country blues vein, though the whole record's primitive and homespun every second with McDowell playing all instruments in his home studio. The under water sonar-infused cover art is by Brad Rose of Digitalis Records/The North Sea fame. Between Worlds is the real deal, out of space/time holy psych for those who like to dig deeper and roam off the beaten paths."

Thanks, Lee!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Salutations

Sun-filled greetings, friends and readers! We're enjoying very sweet summer weather over here in the foothills, and we hope you are, too. July has been good to us; we kicked off the month with a live performance for an event called Sync'd, which is an evening of local experimental short films accompanied by live music. Check out Michael Maraden's film EcoPome below, with live music by Imperial Earth (Ian Bonnet on keyboard, Matt McDowell on lap steel, & Jackie McDowell on tapes/electronics/percussion):


Other news from the BR front includes some upcoming releases in the works, including Nature Songs CS by Inez Lightfoot and Permutations on the Infinite CS by Sagas, both scheduled for release right here on August 1!

::: Enjoy the good summer vibes; thanks for visiting! :::

Friday, June 17, 2011

Freshly Picked: New Sagas Vid!

Please enjoy our first foray into the world of video editing with this little homemade pearl for the mega-jammer "Bad Karma Boogie" off of the Sagas LP Between Worlds that just dropped this spring.

You can jam "Bad Karma Boogie" on vinyl any time you like by getting a copy straight from the very kind folks at Greenup Industries!

Thanks for visiting.

:::Biological Radio Loves You:::

Sunday, June 5, 2011

This Just In...

The fine folks at Deep Water Acres have just made the first release from Psychic Frost available and they look fantastic! Here's what they have to say about it:

"Psychic Frost is the new duo project from Pittsburgh-based sonic insurrectionists Mike Tamburo and Matt McDowell; while both are better known for their solo work, they’ve also played together in various forms for over a decade. This is their first recorded outing under the PF banner, and it’s a doozy – a pair of lengthy (side-long, they used to call ‘em) pieces of form-extension and –destruction, the first an epic composition for two guitars and effects, with modular sections shifting from dual fingerpicking to walls of looping noise and beyond; the second a live recording for amplified hammered dulcimer and what sounds like an electric oud, exorcising the demons via intense improvisational interplay on a modal theme of indeterminate Eastness. Best experienced via full-body immersion, so check your short attention span at the door and get ready to, as they say, “Taste the Frost”."

Sold out through BR.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Recent Live Sounds

Summer is surely coming! The garage door was wide open between sets at The Shop in Pittsburgh last night at the Yellow Crystal Star/Pregnant Spore/Burnout Warcry/WaterFinder show. Here's a recording of our WaterFinder set for those who'd like to have a listen...

WaterFinder - Live at The Shop 6.1.11 by WaterFinder

Monday, May 23, 2011

Event Horizon

Just some words about what's up and coming for us around here... We've got a few shows in the works. Sagas is performing next Monday 5/30 at a little Memorial Day BBQ with Weyes Blood, who is supporting her new album on Not Not Fun, along with Angels in America (Ecstatic Peace) and local faves Tusk Lord. Details are vague, but I believe this will be at Helter Shelter. Then on Wednesday 6/1 WaterFinder will be shaking the dust off to perform with Yellow Crystal Star, Pregnant Spore, both from Baltimore, plus locals Triangle & Rhino. Catch this one at The Shop.

Later this year you can look for a Dire Wolves release on Weird Forest. In the meantime you can catch WF honcho Davy Bui on tour with the excellent Garrincha & the Stolen Elk. With two killer tapes already under their belt (on 905 and Stunned, respectively), they'll be heading this way, hopefully with their new CD/LP Void in tow. You can catch them here in Pittsburgh at the Shop on Wed. 7/6 with Gangwish and a special collaboration between WaterFinder and our friend Pete Fosco from Cincinnati. Pete, of course, is the man behind Greenup Industries, and he can coax some of the most fried textures out of a guitar this side of the Mississippi. Should be a burner!

Also be on the lookout this summer for some new tapes on Biological Radio from Sal Farina (Sundog Peacehouse) and Great Blue Heron (Ian from Dire Wolves) as well as Inez Lightfoot. More on that later...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lunar Ramblings

Greetings all! Spring is in full effect here at Crickhollow and the releases keep coming! Our own Inez Lightfoot just came out with a killer split tape with
Je Suis le Petit Chevalier (a.k.a. Felicia Atkinson) courtesy of Stunned Records and boy does it sound great!!! It's especially inspiring that, in a primarily male-dominated sphere, two amazing women can be found on one powerhouse release! Out of stock at the source, it can be had from the fine folks at Discriminate. Look for Inez's next release Gatherer in the coming weeks on Ruralfaune. Later this summer we will be releasing her Nature Songs here on Biological Radio. Stay tuned!

Also coming soon is the premier release by Psychic Frost, which is the name finally given to the long-standing collaboration between Matt McDowell and Mike Tamburo. That will be available from the boys at
Deep Water Acres very soon.

And for those who haven't gotten one of the Sagas LPs yet, get one while you can! They're available from
Greenup Industries, from Discriminate Music, or directly from us by clicking the "Add to Cart" button below:

That's about it for now. Be well!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Record Release Weekend

This weekend was special for many indeed. Not only did it provide the biggest full moon in decades as well as the spring equinox, it was also the Sagas Record Release Weekend in both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, courtesy of the brand-new Greenup Industries record label run by our friend and fellow musician, the talented Mr. Pete Fosco. I tell you, it certainly was a grand celebration of music and friendship in honor of the anxiously-awaited Between Worlds LP by Sagas, also known as the founder of Biological Radio, Matt McDowell!

I'm an enthusiastic archivist of life events and also a sentimental fool, so here is a photo journey for you of the weekend's events. Matt or I will also be posting some live recordings from this weekend once they are ready, so check back!

*Congratulations, Sagas!*


The LP, front and back, with a sweet Greenup Industries sticker!

Pittsburgh show flier.

What's a party without some (cup)cake?

Inez opening the show at The Shop.

Rad flier by Pete for the show in Cincinnati - love the hidden Nada Brahma!

Wasteland Jazz Unit opening the show at Marburg Hotel.

Adam (from Fractal Fractal) played a lovely solo set with drum and vocals.

Pete Fosco's powerful set at Marburg Hotel.

Sagas bringing the house down!

My nerdy photo of the LP on the merch table. C'mon, it's exciting!

The century-old Marburg Hotel venue by night.

"Breakfast is the best meal of the day." YES!

The mother!

Last stop in Cincinnati, Shake It Records. We had an amazing weekend.

Thank you so much for everything, Pete & Heather!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sagas write-up in Pop City Media

From Pop City Media's 'Filter' on 3/16/11:

Underground Sounds: Sagas Record Release

MARCH 18, 8:30 P.M.

"Pittsburgh's underground and experimental music scenes seem to be enjoying an infusion of creative energies and outlets, from the recent Fantastic Voyagers and Winter Void festivals and the VIA new music and media project, to locally-run vinyl and cassette tape labels.

Helping to fuel this activity and providing an informal venue for local and national underground acts is multi-disciplinary events arts space The Shop, located in an reused industrial space that bridges the city's Bloomfield and Lawrenceville neighborhoods.

This Friday, March 18, fans of the more free-form variety of the current freak-folk explosion won't want to miss a special record release show with Sagas--the solo project of Pittsburgh-based musician Matt McDowell.

Known for his work with Dire Wolves, WaterFinder and Arco Flute Foundation, McDowell's latest LP,
Between Worlds, is out now on Greenup Industries, the new Cincinnati-based label headed up by experimental guitarist Pete Fosco.

Featuring artwork by
Foxy Digitalis maestro Brad Rose, the LP spotlights McDowell's interest in blurring boundaries between rural American musical traditions and repetitive improv-based Eastern sounds. Pairing interwoven melodies skillfully played on the oud, with feedback drones, chant-like vocals, and hypnotic loops, McDowell's latest offering is an impressive contribution to the current electric-folk movement.

Fans of Krautrock masters like Amon Düül II and Neu, or Seattle's inimitable Sun City Girls, won't want to miss Sagas' multimedia collaboration with with Oregon-based video artist, Andrew Ellis. McDowell, who has performed with Daniel Higgs and Eugene Chadbourne, recently released
Root Structures & Private Dementias on Portland's Stunned Records.

Also performing are Fosco, Brooklyn-based drum, bass and tuba ensemble
Dan Peck Trio, sound collage artist Inez Lightfoot, and experimental band Hunted Creatures."


Many thanks, Pop City Media. -BR

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sagas Record Release!

Well, it's official. At long last, the 'Between Worlds' LP is just about ready to be released on Greenup Industries! We have a weekend of back-to-back awesome in store. Friday March 18th will be here in Pittsburgh at the Shop with label proprietor, Pete Fosco performing along with Dan Peck Trio from Brooklyn and two great Pittsburgh acts, our own Inez Lightfoot and Hunted Creatures. See Jax' rad flyer above. Should be a blast!

Saturday March 19th Sagas is playing in Cincinnati at the Marburg Collective, again with Mr. Fosco, Wasteland Jazz Unit, and Fractal Fractal. Really looking forward to this one as I haven't played in Cincy in years. If you're reading this and happen to live in either one of those cities, come check it out!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nite Lite / WaterFinder split cassette out now on Stunned!

Hey folks, we've got some super exciting news this week from Crickhollow, the home base of Biological Radio: our split cassette with kindred spirits Nite Lite has officially dropped on Stunned Records! Nite Lite is Phil & Myste from Stunned Records themselves; these two cats are really special and talented people who create beautiful aural synergy together, and we're honored to collaborate on this release with them. I'm going to share their write-up from their blog along with a photo of the mind-melting artwork for you to savor...


Nite Lite / WaterFinderMarjorie / The Good Heart c57 (Stunned no. 111)

"Phil & Myste return as Nite Lite along with backing bros Jeffry and William, and their offering ‘Marjorie’ is a year’s worth of free-jamming and field recording around the mountainside they call home. Migratory birds, frogs, parties in the park, synth & guitar trancin’, and riparian wildlife all coalesce in Nite Lite’s ever-evolving audio mosaic. Nite Lite is proud to partner on this split cassette with long-distance friends & free spirits WaterFinder, who’ve been delighting many recently with awesome releases on Peasant Magik and their own Biological Radio imprint. Members Jackie McDowell (Inez Lightfoot) & Matt McDowell (Sagas, Dire Wolves, etc.) explore a fascinating array of angles to folk, drone, homebuilt instrumentation, and nature-oriented sound in under a half-hour. Light a long stick of incense and likewise let your mind – and good heart – waft upward in a single vapor along with WaterFinder’s ritual songs. Limited edition of 111 pro-dubbed & imprinted c57 tapes w/ double-sided jcard and insert."

Sold out.

..:::Gratitude & Love to Nite Lite from WaterFinder:::..