Plutonic Rainbows

XVARR - Echoes Of Time


Enchanted UK synth alchemist XVARR blesses Good Morning Tapes’ vinyl series with a gorgeous suite of ambient electronics certain to resonate with disciples of 0PN, Eno, Zoviet France, Colin Potter.

An eldritch beauty ripe with autumnal tone and mushied lushness, ‘She Healed Him In Her Sleep’ follows in the creeping vein of XVARR’s acclaimed 2018 tape ‘Serpent Power’ to bloom his sound with an organic, elemental quality and energy that binds Sufi trance to original kosmische and the kind of quietly humming, pastoral vibe typical of early British synth music.

In four tracks XVARR paints rolling sinewave vistas that unfurl with a timelessly slow-burning and romantic vision, ranging from cinematic sentiments that Eno would be proud of, to passages of amniotic ambient atavism and dream sequence arps that seduce listeners to the sweetest soporific states of mind and distract from everyday reality.

The gently elegiac synth-brass fanfare and strings of the title song unmistakably owe as much to 0PN as Eno’s stately early work, while the plangent jangle of ‘Past Masters’ surely recalls the hiraeth and pull of the sea and land found in Zoviet France’s enigmatic rituals. The pulsing ‘Echoes of Time’ most poignantly brims with the Eastern-oriented optimism of ‘60s and ‘70s electronics, channelling Harmonia via JD Emmanuel, and ‘Terminal Manoeuvre’ instinctively dowses a bout of BoC-like nostalgia in 3 minutes of lilting melody and elliptical oscillator wooze.

We could hardly imagine a lovelier fanfare for the change of the seasons. Time it all with sunset, fleeces and freaky fungi for optimal immersion (and possible optical side-effects).

You can purchase the EP here.

New Books

Currently reading ‘The Second Sleep’ by Robert Harris with Ted Chiang’s ‘Exhalation’ due to follow that. Finally, there is a new Stephen King novel, ‘The Institute’ which also looks interesting.

Guardian Server Update

Finally Guardian VPN Firewall has added a UK server to its functionality - it was essentially useless before - blocking all streaming services. If you reset your configuration and are in the UK, you should now see london-ipsec-3 as your host server.

808 State Return

It’s thirty years since they broke out with their album ‘90’ in 1989. The album contained the stunning ‘Pacific State’ which became an instant classic. They finally return on October 11th with ‘Transmission Suite’, their first new album in almost twenty years.

You can watch a video for one of the tracks, ‘Tokyo Tokyo’ here.

Guardian Firewall for iOS

Guardian Firewall, a brand new VPN that claims to be the best iOS firewall on the market. It’s proved useful so far but who would ship a product that has a broken subscription sign-up panel? Hope they get that fixed asap.

Update: The subscription issue has been fixed but two problems are now quite pressing. Firstly, the settings tab is empty which is not good at all. Secondly, Guardian is setting my host server to somewhere in the US so this is playing havoc with streaming services that I use - Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple TV etc.

Instagram Sharing

Looks like Instagram have removed the option to share with the iOS share sheet and consequently the ability to run shortcuts from within their app. It’s still seemingly available if you try with Safari. Now when you try to share, you are presented with a list of the people you follow and nothing more.

This has now been fixed. The share sheet option has now been moved to a different place in the menu.