Natural Snow Buildings
Live Sheffield London 2012

Blackest Rainbow

Natural Snow Buildings get the official bootleg treatment, somewhat ironically in an edition  larger than  the bulk of their catalog. I don’t know if these two sets were culled from an entire tour’s worth of shows, but they certainly capture the band in prime form.  The terrain charted in each performance is similar - cinematic atmospherics that settle into song form after 10 minutes or so, 20 minutes of droning and tinkering, and a hypnotic, pulsating finale that  slowly erases itself - a solid set list, for sure. That doesn’t actually diminish the listening experience however.  Like a good trail hiked repeatedly, the subtle differences along the path are actually heightened by their familiar surroundings. - Mike Shiflet

Central Living
Dune Church

Blackest Rainbow

A new duo featuring Steve Gunn, a new record to pluck and strum and gnaw away at your nervous system. This man plays it like a mantra, his fingers constantly asking why, refuting each response with yet another. Why? His cohort in Central Living, one Manuel Padding, is just as relentless with his electronic accompaniment. The two side-long offerings these two have sculpted won’t wash over, they will burrow into you. Let the Dune Church in. - Mike Shiflet

Golden Cup
Vagabond

Blackest Rainbow

Listening to a short clip or even a few minutes of Golden Cup’s Vagabond won’t do you much good. This is the type of long-form psychedelic “jam” music that you’ve got to willingly enter for the long haul. Once inside you will discover many trademarks of the genre: wandering guitar/bass instrumentation that never quite shreds but seems perpetually in the midst of a stoned solo, loose Mitch Mitchell-style drumming, and a lot of swirling sounds and bongos. The single-track A side is pretty standard psychedelic fare, but side B starts by mixing things up with minimal rhythms and some flute and synth interplay (at least I think it’s a synth). The music becomes more interesting when you’re given breathing room, an idea that the last track nails; even though there’s an insistent guitar drone accompanied by loose hand-drumming, each element melds together effortlessly, giving us a taste of Golden Cup at their most zoned in. - Keith Rankin

Jeff Grace
Meek’s Cutoff (Music From The Motion Picture)

Blackest Rainbow

A quietly devastating work that offers no easy answers and is all the better for it, “Meek’s Cutoff,” the film by Kelly Reichardt, is a triumph of subtle movements and wide expanse.  The same could also be said of the soundtrack from composer Jeff Grace which is presented here in 10” vinyl format from Blackest Rainbow.  The music fully complements the visual aesthetic and emotional tenor of the film, but it also feels resoundingly whole on its own.  By mixing shades of classical minimalism with blurred ambience Grace is melding familiar worlds, but his approach feels more akin to the detail and emotional delicacy of En or the ethereal darkness of early Stars of the Lid.  In other words, good company.  ”Meek’s Cutoff (Music from the Motion Picture)” is the perfect entry point for a composer I hope to hear much more from – in film or otherwise.  - Ryan Potts

Padang Food Tigers
Ready Country Nimbus

(Bathetic)

Close to the very definition of pastoral music, Spencer Grady and Stephen Lewis, operating here as Padang Food Tigers, allow the sounds of rural life – rain, children playing, and wind – to become just as necessary as the guitar, piano, and banjo, the three traditional instruments that appear most often on “Ready Country Nimbus.” The two musicians are better known as two-thirds of Rameses III (Type, Important Records) and, though their style is similar, the music on this LP is noticeably pared back in order to illuminate naked, rough-hewn folk songs without a hint of the technological world. Even song length is cut down with none of the record’s fifteen tracks eclipsing the four minute mark. Unlike many other acts who take a similar approach to folk and minimalist tropes, Padang Food Tigers carry an optimistic mood throughout “Ready Country Nimbus,” allowing a warm, inviting feeling to pervade this enticing album. - Ryan Potts, Experimedia