No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiple in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most, terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. And early in the twentieth century came the great disillusionment…
All of the songs on 640.085 were either purchased legitimately or were offered for free. For more information about the music featured on this collection, please click on the band names in the list below.
Flying Saucer Attack – Wish [00:00]
Sigur Rós – Kveikur [05:23]
My Bloody Valentine – Who Sees You [11:15]
All You’ve Seen – Rift [17:18]
Constants – Mourning [22:22]
93MillionMilesFromTheSun – Waiting There (Noise) [27:28]
Hungry For Hands – Three [31:33]
Junius – Battle In The Sky [35:05]
The Cherry Wave – Cave/Wave [38:39]
Machines Learning – Punching The Rabbit [42:22]
The Virgance – Catch The Wave [46:45]
Nothing – B&E [53:30]
Slowdive – Primal [58:49]
The War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells © 1898
2014 new releases, new videos, and recent discoveries (up to June 28)
“I follow the determined cat back across the ancient bridge. We seem to sail through the clouds on the river. I remember beautiful springs, the first fresh leaves, Easter eggs, cake in the shape of a lamb, the maypole, and a blue, blue sky.
I feel as though many others just like me have passed here before, and many will be walking forever after, in different times, different ages — like time travelers caught in one frozen universal second.”
The Three Golden Keys by Peter Sís, copyright © 1994 by Peter Sís, bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.
This collection was on heavy rotation throughout a recent work road trip, and is dedicated to all of the lovely people who were with me the first few days of my adventure – Jake, Marion, Dan, Sander, Dani, Magda, Matt, George, Fil, and Kunal. Much of my week was spent on the motorways of Europe, traveling to/from meetings, offering ample time to reflect on the wonderful memories of Redshift weekend while the tunes and landscape rushed by…
All of the songs on 640.084 were either purchased legitimately or were offered for free. 6forty project does not support unauthorized downloading of the records that are featured on this web site. For more information about the music featured on this collection, please click on the band names in the list below.
Empire of the Sea – South [00:00]
Mainline Divide – Beyond Recognition [05:33]
…Of Sinking Ships – Breathing Anew [10:16]
Tides of Man – Eyes Like Strange Sins [16:36]
Heights – Symphony For the Sky – Movement 3 [24:20]
Kermit – We Tripantu [30:23]
Kalouv – Namazu [35:14]
Arms Of Tripoli – 10th Graders Forever [39:11]
Do Make Say Think – Executioner Blues [44:31]
Flyingdeadman – Ilae [52:49]
The Gothenburg Address – Tangents [59:22]
Pg.lost – I am a Destroyer [64:44]
Years of Rice & Salt – Lola [74:05]
As of March 23, 2014, 83 6forty collections have been released, featuring 553 bands and 1108 songs. There are currently 20 collections available for streaming here on the site, and 25 have been uploaded to the 6forty youtube page. Click on the PDF below to view the compiled list. Apologies for the small font on the PDF – I had to reduce it to 50% in order to fit all of the columns across one page.
“Thus this place became the Verge of Wandering, the northernmost limit of our exile. From this valley, we found our way southward among the mountains, sojourning by decades and centuries among strange and distant lands, living as nomads among peoples who knew nothing of the Land and Fangthane. Perhaps at another time we will speak of such things. For the present, I will say merely that we found no home there. But neither have we returned to the Land.
“Once in each generation, however, we visit the Verge of Wandering. Here we remain for a season, or a year, or for several years, scouting the Land until we have discovered that Fangthane yet lives — that the Land has not yet been healed of evil. Then we depart to wander again.
“For a hundred generations and more, no Ramen has set foot beyond these mountains, except to observe the life of the Land, and to carry word.”
The Runes of the Earth by Stephen R. Donaldson. G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Group USA) © 2004
All of the songs on 640.083 were either purchased legitimately or were offered for free. 6forty project does not support unauthorized downloading of the records that are featured on this web site. For more information about the music featured on this collection, please click on the band names in the list below.
Overhead, The Albatross – Telekenetic Forest Guard [00:00]
U137 – Midsummer Field [08:44]
Lights & Motion – Crystalline [13:32]
Maven – The Hymn Of Her Innocence [17:33]
Row Boat – Orkan [23:51]
Beneath The Watchful Eyes – Letters From Zedelghem [30:11]
Coldbones – The Hands Between Us [34:43]
There’s a Light – We Choose to go to the Moon [41:36]
Concords – Heed The Warning; Heed The Call [45:46]
Líam – VI [50:40]
Beyond This Point Are Monsters – K-Swiss Army Knife [55:56]
The End of the Ocean – Verses From Our Captain [66:16]
Ehgo – Long The Night [70:15]
A wall of sound with flutes and strings
Rising on a wave of voices
Surrounded by your humble faith
Morning’s there to wake us in time, rain and sky
The world is breathing, living
But turning in its rage
When summer returns to its warm green fields
The sun fading, pastel in the breeze
The swallow swooping, migrating home
Gems from my vinyl archive. Enjoy!
All of the songs on 640.082 were purchased legitimately. 6forty project does not support unauthorized downloading of the records that are featured on this web site.
Stereolab – The Light That Will Cease To Fail [00:00]
The Wedding Present – Niagara [03:23]
Crispy Ambulance – Bardo Plane [07:30]
Pale Saints – A Revelation [11:02]
Moose – Boy [13:41]
Dif Juz – Cs [17:20]
Lowlife – Given To Dreaming [22:22]
Modern English – Dawn Chorus [26:00]
Breathless – Is It Good News Today? [30:37]
A Primary Industry – Gush [35:27]
Cocteau Twins – Great Spangled Fritillary [37:40]
The Wolfgang Press – That Heat [41:42]
Ultra Vivid Scene – Medicating Angels [46:05]
Lush – Monochrome [54:19]
Excerpt from ‘Dawn Chorus’ by Modern English. Published by Beggars Banquet Music Ltd / Momentum Music Ltd.
“Meanwhile,” said Mr Tumnus, “it is winter in Narnia, and has been for ever so long, and we shall both catch cold if we stand here talking in the snow. Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe, how would it be if you came and had tea with me?” (C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)
On Monday morning, as I watched yet another snowstorm pummel our neighborhood, I put my iPod on shuffle, pressed play, and the first nine randomly selected songs worked so well together that I decided to use them for the 640.081 playlist. This is an outstanding collection of music – I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Please support the bands by buying their records and going to their shows. Click on each band name for more info. All of the songs on 640.081 were either offered as free downloads, or were purchased legitimately. 6forty project does not support unauthorized downloading of the records that are featured on this web site.
We Are Lockhart – Just Know This…A Change Is Coming. [00:00]
Esmerine – Where There Is No Love There Is No Justice [05:53]
Dry River – Part 2 [11:42]
This Is Your Captain Speaking – Ascendans [26:36]
MinionTV – Take Away My Gold Star [33:07]
Suffocate For Fuck Sake – I Keep My Eyes On The Ground, Afraid Of Meeting Someone I Know [38:40]
Clear Horizon – Distortion Song [43:08]
Chiaroscuro – Philosophy Of Time Travel [47:25]
Do Make Say Think – Chinatown [55:01]
“Always winter but never Christmas.”
Descending toward the trees, Pitchwife began to sing. His voice was hoarse, as if he had spent too much of his life singing threnodies; yet his song was as heart-lifting as trumpets. His melody was full of wind and waves, of salt and strain, and of triumph over pain. As clearly as the new day, he sang:
“Let breakers crash against the shore–
let rocks be rimed with sea and weed,
cliffs carven by the storm–
let calm becalm the deeps,
or wind appall the waves, and sting–
nothing overweights the poise of Sea and Stone.
The rocks and water-battery of Home endure.
We are the Giants,
born to live,
and bold for going where the dreaming goes.”
“Let world be wide beyond belief,
the ocean be as vast as time–
let journeys end or fail,
seaquests fall in ice or blast,
and wandering be forever. Roam–
nothing tarnishes the poise of Sea and Stone.
The hearth and harbotage of Home endure.
We are the Giants,
born to sail,
and bold to go wherever dreaming goes.”
And when at last the storm broke, opening a rift of clear sky across the east, there against the horizon stood the lorn stump of Coercri’s Lighthouse. Upraised like a stonework forearm from which the fist had been cut away, it defied weather and desuetude as if it were the last gravestone of the Unhomed. (Stephen Donaldson ‘The Wounded Land’ 1980 Del Rey Books)
Please support the bands by buying their records and going to their shows. Click on each band name for more info. All of the songs on 640.080 were either offered as free downloads, or were purchased legitimately. 6forty project does not support unauthorized downloading of the records that are featured on this web site.
Giants – The Palace Stands In Its Proper Place [00:00]
Heights – Trick Of The Light [04:29]
Glorie – Looking Through The Mirror [09:53]
Magma Waves – Fujise Shinzo [13:51]
Willow – When The Sea Called Our Names [22:15]
Afformance – Angel Playing With Foam On The Vaulting Keystone [30:20]
Arbor Lights – Interstellar [34:38]
Random Forest – See The Storm [40:00]
Bombardier – I Am The Danger [45:09]
Degree of Arc – The Marcher [52:03]
Chasing Traits – Sparrow [58:46]
I Am The Architect – Louis The King [62:50]
Audrey Fall – Medem [71:57]
Wander – Valor [75:11]
Richard Parker – Tempus [79:24]
Image by Clarkson Stanfield, R. A. (unsigned), 1855, for the private theatricals at Campden-House, Illustrated London News
<< 640.2013.releases >>
[released 19 November 2013]
French experimentalists Oiseaux-Tempête create visual music; rich in texture and depth. My first exposure to their music was via their release teaser on their website, and a few shorts on youtube. I was hooked immediately by their dark, organic soundscapes. The record, beautifully packaged in gatefold red vinyl with stunning imagery, expands upon the youtube films, and delivers a passionate and intense instrumental rock experience.
[released 18 October 2013]
‘Zaris’ is easily one of the finest post-rock records in my collection. It delivers lush soaring melodies, richly textured foundations, bold compositions, and the one feature that stands out throughout this entire release – never a need to rush. The songs are balanced and strong, and tell their story at their own pace. Impossible to pick a favorite – I love every song.
Signal Hill ‘Chase The Ghost’
[released 30 April 2013]
‘Chase the Ghost’ is blissfully melodic instrumental rock. The songs loop and sway with meandering brilliance. My go-to stream to start most days – a perfect combination of Dif Juz era-4AD, light/math, and shoegaze. Lovely.
The Shaking Sensations ‘Start Stop Worrying’
[released 22 March 2013]
The songs on ‘Start Stop Worrying’ are lush and melodic, and exhibit many of the same characteristics that made the first two Shaking Sensations records so enjoyable. The way the band embraces expanding layers of percussion; chiming guitars that weave and soar; perfect transitions between the heavy and soft moments. With this release, the band delivers six stunning and mature compositions that firmly position them among the best in the instrumental rock genre.
Oak ‘Not Afraid Anymore’
[released 19 January 2013]
Oak’s new release ‘Not Afraid Anymore’ is an excellent example of the new breed of rock bands that embrace post-punk heaviness with their own psychedelic rock influences, while adding unique driving rhythms, and densely melodic compositions. The songs are dynamic, brooding and dark. Highly recommended for fans of powerful and intelligent instrumental rock.
Kafka ‘la Petite Marchande d’Allumettes’
[released 18 January 2013]
I am a huge fan of avant-garde instrumental rock. Starting off in my youth with Gabriel-era Genesis, up through now, with great bands like Do Make Say Think, Fly Pan Am, A Far Off Reason, Jung People, Kafka. All are on regular rotation here. This release from Kafka is a musical adaptation of the film ‘La Petite Marchande d’Allumettes’ (‘The Little Match Girl’), Jean Renoir (1928), which is based on a short story by Hans Christian Andersen, first published in 1845. The story is grim and hallucinatory – the improvised quality of the songs match well to the story’s mood and will often leave you feeling disjointed and scattered, just as the little girl would have felt as she burns through her matches to maintain the visions of her long dead grandmother. The instrumentation on this record is brilliant – electro/acoustic meanderings with keyboards, bass, and guitar, with a strong emphasis on percussion throughout. An outstanding soundtrack – my only wish is that I would have been fortunate enough to see this performed live.
[released 26 January 2013]
The Heimkehr EP (‘Homecoming’) features two heavy epic-length slow-burners that will definitely appeal to fans of Milhaven and Daturah. I love this record. “For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?” George Orwell, 1984
Shy, Low ‘Binary Opposition’
[released 25 June 2013]
This EP is an outstanding transition from Shy, Low’s brilliant 2012 self-titled release. The songs are organic and uplifting, the builds are relaxed and quiet, and the movement into the crescendos is confident and powerful. And they sound really great live – one of our favorite shows of 2013 – pummeling, and perfect.
Wired to Follow ‘Everything in Colour’
[released 30 March 2013]
MinionTV’s 2010 self-titled debut topped 6forty project’s favorite releases that year. And it remains one of the finest instrumental rock albums in my collection. Subsequent releases have also been outstanding. Recently, band members Stephen Johnston and Barry Fearns have taken a side-car adventure with the formation of Wired to Follow, featuring a deep dive into the ambient soundscapes and post/electronica that appeared at times on the various MinionTV releases. The songs on this EP are lushly textured and alive; a vivid and visual soundtrack, fitting for films such as Liquid Sky or Fantastic Planet. Highly recommended listening. On regular repeat status in the 6forty office…
Fourteen Nights At Sea ‘Great North’
[released 12 April 2013]
‘Great North’ is massive; a glacial wall of beautiful rock music. Visual and stunning. “In the field itself, ribbons of color described arabesques across a background of sultry browns and greens, forms that were pure abstraction – bright jottings from some wild man’s diary – jostling with stylized flora and fauna. But this complexity paled beside the centerpiece of the carpet: a giant medallion, its colors as various as a summer garden, into which a hundred subtle geometries had been cunningly woven, so that the eye could reach each pattern as flower or theorem, order or turmoil, and find each choice echoed somewhere in the grand design.” Clive Barker, Weaveworld
Glories ‘Mother Reverb’
[released 12 April 2013]
‘Mother Reverb’ is an outstanding collection of smooth and melodic instrumental rock. Blissfully chiming guitars; gentle yet powerful swells; and such easy movement. Highly recommended for fans of Explosions in the Sky’s ‘Friday Night Lights,’ Red Room Cinema, Rest (Nashville, US), Sunlight Ascending’s ‘Appointment’ EP, and Moonlit Sailor. This is a wonderful collection of music – definitely a post-rock gateway drug.
Man Mountain ‘To Call Each Thing By Its Right Name’
[released 24 May 2013]
This is outstanding post-rock. The songs are melodic, bright, blissful, and smooth. “Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power, that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie. They are given to all kinds of marvelous beliefs; are subject to trances and visions, and frequently see strange sights, and hear music and voices in the air. The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions; stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country, and the nightmare, with her whole ninefold, seems to make it the favorite scene of her gambols.” Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Trappist Afterland ‘Like a Beehive, The Hill was Alive’
[released 21 June 2013]
‘Like a Beehive, The Hill Was Alive’ is definitely the most unique of the records on this year’s favorite releases list. Traditional acoustic instrumentation, spiritual lyric exploration, psychedelic folk arrangements. Highly recommended for fans of Glorious Din, Hrsta, and (Insight Records) Spahn Ranch. “and alone we tread through traps and longing; to find the path, birdsongs, insects calling; in lure we trek through thorns and bracken; to find an elm tree fit for lodging.” Trappist Afterland
[released 01 September 2013]
‘Ceremonies’ is one of the few releases on this list that features vocals. Lush melodic post-rock, relaxed movement, and lovely arrangements. Highly recommended for fans of Moonlit Sailor and Dorena. “My wanderings amid such scenes have been many, and far-searching, and often solitary; and the interest with which I have strayed through many a dim deep valley, or gazed into the reflected Heaven of many a bright lake, has been an interest greatly deepened by the thought that I have strayed and gazed alone.” Edgar Allan Poe, The Island of the Fay
jakeL ‘The Black Sea’
[released 03 October 2013]
Outstanding progressive post-rock from Montreal. This record shines like the sun. I love it. “The Black Sea is a marginal sea and is the world’s largest body of water with a meromictic basin. The deep waters do not mix with the upper layers of water that receive oxygen from the atmosphere. As a result, over 90% of the deeper Black Sea volume is anoxic water. The Black Sea’s circulation patterns are primarily controlled by basin topography and fluvial inputs, which result in a strongly stratified vertical structure. Because of the extreme stratification, it is classified as a salt-wedge estuary. (Wikipedia)
The Autumn Leaves Fall In ‘The Different Visions Of Things’
[released 17 January 2013]
Heavy, yet melodic, post-rock from Firenze, Italy. The songs are dark and rich; deep and transitional like an October sky. ‘Hiding places there are innumerable, escape is only one, but possibilities for escape, again, are as many as hiding places.’ Franz Kafka, Aphorisms
Jardín de la Croix ’187 steps to cross the universe’
[released 21 February 2013]
This EP kicks ass. Clean, tight, driving math-rock that’s constantly blaring from my iPod… “There were perhaps a hundred eyes in all, but staring an age at it would not have revealed their true number, for the thing, despite its solidity, defied fixing. Were those wheels that moved at its heart, tied with lines of liquid fire to a hundred other geometries which informed the air it occupied? Did innumerable wings beat at its perimeters, and light burn in its bowels, as though it had swallowed stars? Nothing was certain. In one breath, it seemed to be enclosed in a matrix of darting light, like scaffolding struck by lightning; in the next, the pattern became flame confetti, which swarmed at its extremities before it was snatched away. One moment, ether; the next, juggernaut.” Clive Parker, Weaveworld
Jung People ‘Gold Bristle!’
[released 12 October 2013]
There’s a whole lot of music going on here – it’s really difficult to adequately describe this release with only a few descriptives. Perfect avant-garde instrumental rock – intelligent, gentle, and so wonderfully melodic. Highly recommended if you enjoy 4AD’s Dif Juz, Do Make Say Think, Kafka, and A Far Off Reason. “If all the heavens with all their stars; exploded in this valley, they would; be but a leaf fluttering in the wind. Here a tiny fish is mightier than; a whale and nobody can say why.” Peter Sís, The Conference of the Birds
The Fierce and the Dead ‘Spooky Action’
[released 04 November 2013]
The Fierce and the Dead’s ‘Spooky Action’ reminds me of my favorite Yo La Tengo records. Tight improvisational rock jams, frequent tempo changes, blazing guitar leads, driving rhythm, and constant movement. I hear something new and wonderful every time I listen…
The Declining Winter ‘Fragment 5′
[released 11 August 2013]
“The Declining Winter started out as the meanderings of me, Mr. Richard Vincent Adams of Leeds, West Yorkshire now resident in York, North Yorkshire. A musical project to keep me occupied whilst my other group is (still) on hiatus and also so I can pretend that I’m not just an office worker by trade.” I’ve been a fan of Richard’s projects going back to the earliest Hood records, up to the latest Declining Winter release, ‘Lost Songs’ (limited cassette). ‘Fragment 5′ continues his exploration of acoustic soundscapes and lovely pastoral ballads. Outstanding.
[released 21 September 2013]
A stunning post-rock release – the songs are hypnotic and powerful. Gentle sways lead to massive swells. Listeners who enjoy their post-rock with a side of shoegaze will definitely enjoy this record. I’m addicted… “The pillar of fire still raged in the night sky as it had for the past hour. The stars swam in the inky darkness around it, magic swirling in a frenzy as if from a bottomless well.” Steven Erikson, Gardens of the Moon: Volume One of the Malazan Book of the Fallen
[released 16 December 2013]
This is modern-classical/post-chamber at its finest. I love the interplay between the strings and the acoustic guitars. Perfect arrangements, lovely melodies, such flawless movement. Emphatically recommended to fans of the Rachel’s. I will never get tired of listening to this EP. “subzar travelled to Austria to record in the valley town of Pfarrwerfen, near Salzburg, so sought to replicate the travellers’ ethos. ‘pico’ was recorded using only the instruments they carried and the natural sounds captured on their travels, with minimal overdubs formed mainly from analogue manipulation of recorded tracks. The result is a naked and pure recording that better captures the spirit of the quartet’s live performances.”
Vasudeva ‘Life in Cycles’
[released 23 July 2013]
Vasudeva is razor-sharp angular math that blends the pop-goodness and rapid-fire tempo of Wedding Present, with modern free-form loop/riffing instrumental rock. Superb! Extra bonus – they live close, which means that I get to see them play often. And that’s definitely a treat, because these songs are even more ass-kicking live…
North End ‘Cognoscere’
[released 13 August 2013]
‘Cognoscere’ is complex and heavy math-rock. Shifting time signatures, sharp u-turns, pounding rhythms, and layers of chiming guitars come together perfectly on this melodic whirlwind. Best when cranked through headphones, and preferably before or after the equally amazing Vasudeva release.
in violet ‘opal’
[released 08 July 2013]
‘Opal’ is sonic bliss; psychedelic post/noise-pop mayhem. Richly textured guitars, tight beats and electronics, driving bass, and signature ‘in violet’ vocal effects take you on a trip down the rabbit hole with these eight brilliant tracks. “…This bottle was NOT marked ‘poison,’ so Alice ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast), she very soon finished it off. ‘What a curious feeling!’ said Alice; ‘I must be shutting up like a telescope.” Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
[released 10 July 2013]
Outstanding progressive instrumental rock from New Jersey. Tight, explosive melodies and intensely energetic compositions. Damascus is my first choice when heading out on road trips – perfect driving music…
<< 640.2013.video >>
Maybeshewill ‘Live At The Y Theatre’
Overhead, The Albatross ‘Telekinetic Forest Guard’
Signal Hill ‘Meatlocker TV’
And Also The Trees ‘Live at Dark Bombastic Evening 5′
Mutiny on the Bounty ‘BeatCast Studio Session’
Temps Zero Toulouse : Oiseaux-Tempête live impro + fotoprojektions
And Also The Trees ‘Missing in Mâcon’ (90 minute live film)
Sigur Rós ‘Hrafntinna’ (Converse EMPTY SPACE #4)
Caspian ‘Live on KEXP’
<< 640.2013.live >>
Mohican, Signal Hill, Vasudeva, North End @ North Star Bar, April 25, 2013
Shy, Low @ Kung Fu Necktie, May 30, 2013
Bardo Pond, Major Stars, Static Mountain @ PhilaMOCA, June 27, 2013
Sigur Rós @ Mann Center, September 20, 2013
And So I Watch You From Afar, TTNG, Mylets @ First Unitarian Church, November 1, 2013
Mono, Majeure @ Johnny Brendas, November 19, 2013
Caspian, 65daysofstatic, The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die @ First Unitarian Church, November 26, 2013