The Baltozine Roundup is a regular feature wherein we take a look at what national periodicals are saying about Baltimore-area arts, events, people, and places. Be sure to pick up the magazines and read the full articles.
Under The Radar (#46), Hays Davis reviews the new Peals album, Walking Field.
".,, These eight instrumental tracks offer the musicians an opportunity to explore subtle, carefully crafted layers without the pressure of finding a fit for them in their other work. There's a living-room warmth to the sound and an elbow-close intimacy ... the musicians drape the rotating gears in multi-instrumental shades for some pleasing depth. ... guitars, keyboards, and occasional light percussion can be tied to brief themes, though the rustled chimes and muted string brushes ... point more simply toward the everyday beauty that can be found in passing."
Mojo (#236) also has a review, by Andrew Male, of Peals' Walking Field.
"...an instrumental album of electric and acoustic textures, akin to lazy mid-'70s ambient collaborations by Eno, Moebius and Roedelius and the folk-naif dream-jazz of Stephen Pastel's Geographic label. Buzzing with delicate analogue warmth, the gamelan rhythms, toy-piano chimes and warped guitar loops of Walking Field are lullingly hypnotic and eerily deja entendu, as if the pair have tapped into the elemental music we hear in that borderland prior to sleep."
Ghettoblaster (#35) has a Matt Lebens review of Time Was, the new Zomes record.
"Time Was is an explorative meditation capable of enabling some astonishing mental cloudbursts. ...These tracks have the ability of stalling time to a pace just ahead of standstill. This record encourages the listener to slow... the... fuck... down, otherwise we might be missing something."
There's also a conversation between Jad and David Fair of Half Japanese.
"Most music magazines are extremely conservative. An art magazine would seem totally square if it criticized an artist on the choice of colors. It's taken for granted that artists can do anything they want to. I still get criticized for not playing in tune. It's my guitar. I'll play it any way I want to." -Jad Fair
"Sometimes I think about how music just sounds the way it does because that's what the audience is used to hearing. I'd like to stretch the boundaries so far that the world would have to change. It would be impossible to see things the way they used to be." -David Fair
The Big Take-Over (#72).
"... If you've been following the band's output, Coming is a refined and somewhat more concise ... version of what you've enjoyed: psychedelic dirge with folk and classic rock leanings. If you haven't, this is probably the perfect album to jump in on. While a lot of psych acts rely on mere jangly reenactments, Arbouretum exist somewhere outside of both the modern and the dated."
Also in this issue, Tucker Petertil reviews Matmos' last album, The Marriage of True Minds.
"You have to credit the electronic pop duo of Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt for making an album out of an experiment in ESP. They combine all manner of objects, such as a sloshing water bucket, to drive their minimal percussive melodies - which occasionally break into anthem-like song interludes ... and their guests include members of Nautical Almanac, Half Japanese, Dirty Projectors, Wye Oak, Bloody Panda and The Arditti String Quartet. ..."
Dwell (#13.8) takes a look at furniture and accessories made inside the US, and features fabric made by Baltimore's Radica Textiles.
"The dotted sapphire and black pattern is screen printed with water-based inks onto cotton-slub duck or cotton linen blend by Sarah Templin in Baltimore."
And finally, the excellent record collecting zine Vinyl Vagabonds (#4) features a write up of both Atomic Books and Celebrated Summer.
"... Not only is Atomic one of the more interesting and well run