PR20: Heart of the Ghost - Heart of the Ghost
"(Heart of the Ghost's) new, self-titled cassette is a master class in finely honed explosions, with bleating saxophones, pointillistic drumming, and ranging bass lines."
"The trio just dropped their first proper recording—a self-titled tape on McColm's own Pidgeon Records—and it captures the magic that makes Heart of the Ghost such a compelling trio to experience live. Though Gilgore's skronked-out sax wailings anchor the tape's two 13-minute tracks, no one part is greater than the sum of the whole. McColm's inventive percussion techniques feel like a rhythm from another world, and Stewart—easily one of the most prolific and talented bassists in the region, if not the entire country—takes his instrument to new dimensions. Together, Heart of the Ghost's vibes fits into the lineage of free jazz established by greats like Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, and Archie Shepp. Dive in."
"If you have a chance to hear Washington, D.C. trio Heart of the Ghost, rest assured that you’ve found another portal into the creative vortex that spontaneously lifts hearts, minds and bands off the stand. Their freewheeling improvisations tap into the same defiant spirit decanted by Mingus and the Minutemen..."
PR19: Nagual/Tongue Depressor - Split
"Both sides of the new split tape by Connecticut-based duos Nagual and Tongue Depressor are abrasive in a way that is somehow not off-putting. The noisy, clattering guitar and effect interplay between Nagual’s David Shapiro and Ian McColm is chaotic, violent even; but it’s also inexplicably warm, and magnetic. The way these musicians sculpt string buzzes, rattles, angular notes, and hypnotic loops into detailed soundscapes is truly amazing. Tongue Depressor’s side, composed of fluid violin and fiddle drones performed by members Zach Rowden and Henry Birdsey, is equally dense despite its sparser palette. You can almost hear the resin crumbling off the bows as they are mercilessly dragged along the strings, giving the lush harmonies a jagged edge."
"David Shapiro & Ian McColm have found a sonic plateau none have uncovered. A place where sounds cruise with menacing fortitude. Listen through and hopefully your consciousness won't get pinned under falling decibels."
"The second side changes course, Tongue Depressor finds sonic beauty stretching thousands of years in both past and future directions. Titled Nearer the Cross, bowed strings wreathing with a mighty organic sigh. Sustained drone so vibrant, the details coil around your thoughts. Slowly squeezing, forcing the cerebral to vacate for physical reflection. Zach Rowden & Henry Birdsey understand the cyclic nature of harmony. Their droning force begins to wain as chaos shatters a thousand year continuum."
PR18: Zach Rowden/Xenga - Split
"Low droning vibrations, almost mechanical at times, continually maintaining sentient quality that languidly breathes out. The bass surging with effort as if the musician has found the exact tone, causing the material construct to disintegrate."
"For musicians to thrive in the fringes, where music becomes chaos, it is truly amazing to see two connect so tightly. These sounds alone hold mayhem and sharp bites, but together they are there for each other. Balanced intensities falling from crescendos and climbing mountains together. A sonic mixed drink that goes straight to the bloodstream."
PR16: Nagual - Scraps: Southern Tour
#165 of the Top 200 Tapes of 2017 - Tabs Out Cassette Podcast
PR 15: Nagual - Clear III
"Warmth is the feeling most imparted by Nagual. Like the friction from gears in a wristwatch, small parts moving in a hidden harmony. Faintly heard when the world is quiet, but working ever loudly when the mechanism is pressed for audio clarity. Energy in motion and moving forward, sounds rattle and fill thoughts with infinite wonder."
PR14: I.G.M/Lugweight - Seven of Clubs
"It’s spectacular. Just massive. It sounds like if you saw Sunn O))) and they were standing miles from each other and somehow filling the space and enveloping everything in between." - dead formats
"Torche took stoner rock, right, and just shoved a molten cone of neon-pink cotton candy right through its heart. In this manner, so too does Ian G. McColm, but with doomy, blackened noise." - Cassette Gods
PR11: I.G.M - Virgin Skins
"There’s one thought the listener is left with after Virgin Skins, though: McColm isn’t just a good drummer, but a great performer in general." - Memory Wave Transmission
PR04: Nagual - Clear One: Ether(s)
"Seriously. This tape is gorgeous." - dead formats