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Microphones



Microphones is Phil Elvrum, who also plays in D+ and Old Time Relijun and produces records for other people. As Microphones, he coaxes mesmerizing sounds from an extensive and eclectic collection of instruments, producing heartrending love songs, ear-splitting rock epics, and mind-bending psychedelic voyages. "Ocean 1,2,3" and "Where It's Hotter Pt. 3" are from the 1999 K Records release Don't Wake Me Up. Both songs showcase Microphones' entrancing fuzzy-pop soundscapes that unfold in the space of only a few minutes. Using layers or organ, voice, drums, noise, and tape loops, Microphones builds miniature symphonies of tension and release, capturing the urgency and uncertainty of an intense dream while maintaining a sweet pop patina. The songs on Don't Wake Me Up flow together effortlessly, creating a warm wash of sound that trickles through your ears and right into your brain, tickling long-buried memories and almost-forgotten feelings.

"Ice," from 2000's epic It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water (K), opens with a haze of pounding drums, guitar fuzz, and airy female vocals (courtesy of Mirah), before slowing to a gentle acoustic guitar strum punctuated with telephone rings. In typical Elvrum fashion, the album is available in CD, pop-up LP, and sheet music formats.

With 2001's The Glow Pt. 2, another vast epic (featuring 20 songs and clocking in at more than an hour) Elvrum once again took his watery psychedelia to new heights of emotional feeling and strangeness. "The Moon" is a delicately fuzzy pop song, marked by Elvrum's distinctively understated vocals and lovely horn swells.

The song "Moon Moon Moon" is from the Yo Yo Recordings CD, Window, a sort-of Don't Wake Me Up remix album. Microphones also has released recordings on KNW-YR-OWN (Microphone, Wires and Cords, Tests cassettes), Elsinor (Microphone Mix cassette, Tests CD), Up ("Bass Drum Dream" seven-inch), The Bedtime Record ("Feedback" seven-inch), and scads of compilations.