Thursday, January 12, 2012

Opening Eye - Good Amount (Crash Symbols, 2011)

"Christian Filardo, aka Good Amount, is more than just a friend, he's a blinking glowing media being... an internet chrysalid waiting to plug into the supermind. Opening Eye is a new manifesto of Filardo's ever shifting anticipation of that union; ambient soundscapes littered with clustered bell tones, projecting a sense of monoliths. Big ideas and big narratives to draw them out, from our digital hierophant, Christian Filardo." -Dwight Pavlovic
Opening Eye, the newest chunk of plastic and magnetized tape from the cassette label Crash Symbols, out of Phoenix, AZ. It arrived, anonymous as an orphaned child, all innocent in my inbox. Yet again had the thrilling moment of excitement, discovery, and connection, upon first listening and realizing that i actually like this music, and that Christian Filardo had actually taken a moment to read this blog, and figure out what my tastes are. Here's how he described the 4 tracks off this cassette, in the flying e mails that ensued:


The idea for “Opening Eye” came about one and a half years ago when I was studying printmaking on the island of Skopelos in Greece. I hadn’t been in a relationship with anyone for a while and was in love with this lesbian girl who I obviously couldn’t be with. So leaving Phoenix for Athens came as quite a relief despite the fact that at the time I was feeling quite morose. I chose to see my experience in Greece as one of reflection to get my life back.

All throughout Greece they have these blue and white eyes that people hang from their windows and put on the corners of there houses to ward off bad spirits. While my record is about the opening of my third eye, it is not in the conventional way. Essentially, this record is about my personal intimate journey in finding personal enlightenment in the country of Greece. I have broken down the record into four parts, which include everything from my journey through the historic Mediterranean to waiting in airports.

1. Closed: Closed is representative of the time period before and while I was in the process of getting to Athens. I walked the corridors of the Phoenix and Atlanta airports reflecting on life. Once upon the plane I got drunk off of box wine and spoke to this girl named Sarah who sat next to me about my issues. I couldn’t help just feeling like a depressing drunk. I remember falling asleep to that movie about Nelson Mandela and the South African Rugby Team and waking up in spurts of kids screaming.

2. Matter: Matter makes up the gradual heavy times and influential down times of the journey. The moments at coffee houses drinking espresso and Alfa beers. The trips to bars at night, walking down the city streets into the center of the city. The frequent questions about Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns I would get from locals. The meat and tiny experiences, endless countryside and Casino 777 billboards.

3. Gain: Represents all the “AH HA” moments or moments of obvious disbelief. Marveling at ancient ruins. A few things that come to mind are dolphins swimming along side the boat I took out to the Island of Skopelos, touching the Acropolis and being in awe of how big it actually is and feeling proud of Greece’s existence, and overall fascination of a cultures respect for food.

4. Opening: The realization of the value of life. Purity that lies within every person and animal. Enlightenment on how I was physically and mentally growing by being in such an important historical place. Deep desires and understandings turned simple and the feeling of bliss and happiness. A desire to never go back into the dark.

While i do not feel like music needs to have a backstory to be interesting, and sometimes there is this sense of tabloid drama in the marketing of records, i DO enjoy knowing what was going through the person's head, during the moments of creation, and going back and listening to the album, again, with a different headspace.

As far as the actual sounds on this cassette, it is mainly neue Kosmische keyboard ambience, Klaus Schulze on the beach, Mai Tai in head. A bit warmer, fuzzier than those Berliner cosmonauts, due mainly to the analog production and new age samples lurking beneath the murk (i hear whales! i hear loons! i hear waves! I KNOW WHAT YR DOING!) All in all, gives a sense of glo-fi tropicalia bliss drone. Fans of The Skater's axis, Tangerine Dream, Panda Bear, or Dylan Ettinger's neon daydreams, will need to have this.

You can download it, for whatever, off of the bandcamp, or own yr very own cassette for the low low price of only 5 dollars! Here's yr chance to reward honest, hard working, heartfelt musicians that are making sweet jams and running sweet labels. I'm looking forward to delving further into the Crash Symbols back catalog (looks like there's some good shit on there. Apparently they just put out a new Stephen Steinbrink joint, too, which you'll be hearing about shortly!)

Very nice work, christian filardo. thanks for getting in touch. its all about the connection.

Opening Eye

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