The Alcohol Seed Submission Policy and Contact Information

I want to review your music.

*Before sending any work or questions regarding submissions please first read the following submission guideline:

Guidelines for submission:

Style-
The Alcohol Seed is a site for reviews, articles, and lists about music. Have a cruise through the website to get a feel for the type of music that is reviewed. If it seems the album you are considering to submit really doesn’t fit in, you are probably right. However, we are always exploring new avenues, so it just might be exactly what we are looking for. If in doubt, send a brief email inquiry. Generally speaking, we are most interested in reviewing music that challenges the definition of music, but we also like good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll.

Here is a grossly incomplete list of genres/styles we generally gravitate toward that could assist in determining whether or not your work is suitable:

ambient, experimental, drone, noise, shoegaze, field recording, emo, krautrock, new-age, spacerock, post-rock, neoclassical, dirge rock, art pop, industrial, doom, neofolk, electronic, post-punk, techno, shamanistic rain music… You get the idea.

Formating and Spam-
As of this moment we will only be accepting releases in physical formats. No digital submissions. Acceptable physical formats include vinyl, cassette and cd (prioritized in that order). Sending a submission does not guarantee a review. Send all physical format submissions to the following address:

PO Box 56524
Burnaby, BC, Canada.
V3J7W2

The Alcohol Seed will only consider submissions of complete albums in physical format that are either released on a label or self-released. DO NOT spam us with links to songs, youtube videos, bandcamp or soundcloud pages, or incomplete albums. DO NOT sign us up for a mailing list. DO NOT sign us up to receive notifications of your label’s upcoming releases. We will ignore all such emails and you’ll have a much harder time getting us to review something in the future when and should you eventually smarten up.

Thanks.

Site founder and primary writer: Adrian Dziewanski

Contact and inquiry: alcoholtheseed@gmail.com

Benjamin Finger – Ghost Figures

screen-shot-2017-03-02-at-8-06-48-pmBenjamin Finger – Ghost Figures
(Oak Editions, 2017)

In the second sentence of the Discogs.com profile for [Frank] Benjamin Finger, one comes across this: “[…] he has produced a prolific output of films and music with a healthy disregard for genres.” That last bit points to Finger as a kind of musical virtuoso whose art eschews easy categorization. And it’s true, many artists fit comfortably in a respective genre and as a result equally snug next to (some, but never all) contemporaries. Mr. Finger, on the other hand, does not. He is the lone wolf treading his own path. Over the past few weeks I’ve had a chance to immerse myself in a small portion of Finger’s discography – quickly approaching ten albums strong – and I can say that no album has sounded quite like anything I’ve heard before, nor do any two of his albums sound closely alike. It’s as though with each release Finger deliberately steps out of his musical comfort zone to take on a new, unexplored sonic territory.

In considering this lone wolf mentality, the careers of Keith Fullerton Whitman and Sean McCann come to mind, who both started in sonically sparse territory and whose music eventually careened into strange and wonderful realms of abstract synthesis and intelligent noise. In a way, Finger is like the opposite, where Ghost Figures sees him stripping away his usual cacophony to little more than a piano. Perhaps he’ll bring back the noise in the future, but for now he’s given us the type of haunt that usually pops up in an artist’s career after they’ve endured a great loss or hardship (see: Skeleton Tree).

Finger spent roughly two years recording Ghost Figures, spending hours at a time perfecting deceptively simple loops and miniature movements in front of a piano. Once perfected and then recorded, some instrumentation was added along with field recordings. Various filters were also used to better amplify the desired mood of a given piece. Despite the additional rounding out of the music, Finger keeps things minimal, letting the Satie-like melodies shine through on every track. It is rare when the piano is not the focal point here, and when it does get pushed slightly into the background, it is only to momentarily share the limelight with an elegiac cello, or field recordings of obscure dark creaks, clanging bells, and chanting crowds.

Part of Finger’s intention behind Ghost Figures was to strip away conceptualism and create something open minded yet emotionally arresting. The piano melodies that emerged from this pursuit rarely follow what one might consider a cohesive narrative, existing in the ambiguous realm between neoclassical and ambient-electronic. There are moments, however, that closer resemble more traditional song structures, such as the excellent “Strings Attached,” whose cyclical piano phrase sounds so damn familiar, but I can’t quite put my finger (ha!) on who or what it reminds me of – is it Satie, Part, maybe Eno? In any regard, the piece is a standout, and offers a refreshing – though subtle – change of pace midway through the album.

There is another element at play on Ghost Figures that works to the album’s success as a modern tome for melancholy. Finger has taken risks here, integrating instrumentation and recordings that are often atypical of these types of piano works, such as noisy traffic sounds and the aforementioned recordings of chanting crowds. In doing so he risks being pinned an amateur, but any seasoned listener would be able to detect a compositional perfectionist at the helm. The bigger risk, however, in taking into account Finger’s approach to the album, is the music’s transparency. Listening to these pieces, one gets the sense that each track is like a window into the composer himself, and every sound an attempt to build something from the ground up. Ultimately, Ben Finger has built an album that will likely stand as one of the year’s most honest and quietly compelling.

Ghost Figures is out March 7 on Oak Editions as a limited run LP. Get it here.

screen-shot-2017-03-02-at-8-08-27-pmghost_figures_detail