Tabs Out | Skyminds – Shapes & Traces

Skyminds – Shapes & Traces

7.8.20 by Ryan Masteller

I’m SOOO glad Michael “Selaroda” Henning and Sean “Ashan/Channelers” Conrad are still working together as Skyminds. Their first, self-titled tape on auasca was a droney delight, but the duo has outdone themselves here on “Shapes & Traces,” the inaugural release of Berkeley-based Internal Rhythm. Wanna know a secret? “Shapes & Traces” is also available on a format called “Compact Disc.” I know, right? 

But since tapes are making a comeback, I’m only discussing the music that appears on the cassette release (even though it’s identical, presumably, to the CD version). Did I mention that there’s been some “outdoing of selves,” or something along those lines? I sure did. Skyminds has sharpened their freak-folk aesthetics and pressed their compositional chops to the next level. Falling somewhere between early Pink Floyd and Espers (or thereabouts), the duo folds in gently played stringed instruments and synthesizers and percussion to create layers of minimal psychedelia. It’s not out of the question for their tunes to warm like an ember somewhere in your chest, lodged behind your sternum, and gradually grow in glowing warmth until you feel their universal power reach your fingertips and beyond, radiating outward in shimmering positive vibes. 

That’s what happened to me, anyway.

No surprise, then, that “Shapes & Traces” causes the inner to become the outer in a shining example of collective empathy, a feel-good excursion that makes others feel good as you make yourself feel good. See? This is the ever-expanding cycle. Hewing close to vibes like these is a centering act, very much like the gist of all those Zen-like albums Conrad releases over there at Inner Islands. And even though this isn’t one of them, it’s as kindred-spirit as it gets.

So give this one an order, why don’tcha? Out in an edition of 100 from Internal Rhythm.

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