– featured image courtesy of brian vu –
nestled among an unforgettable run of pivotal albums released in 2014 by orchid tapes was boring ecstasy, the first compilation offered up by the independent record label. given the context of its arrival, boring ecstasy felt like a deserved mid-season victory lap; tracks were supplements to each artist’s repertoire, not throwaways, the sum of their parts meticulously curated to highlight key facets of the label’s roster without merely tracing its lineage chronologically. that early mainstays could be placed adjacent to relative newcomers and not disrupt cohesion was telling, a nod to label co-founder warren hildebrand’s clear-eyed, focused vision for the consistent aesthetic of orchid tapes.
on august 12th, the label will release its sophomore compilation, radiating light: orchid tapes & friends. as the extended title suggests, radiating light enlists a handful of auxiliary artists for contributions, and the overall tone of the track list feels decisively more collaborative: fog lake and home alone work in tandem for the penultimate cut, while emily reo and yohuna team up for “teach you.”
of course, hildebrand’s notable work extends well beyond running a record label; since 2009, he has released music of his own as foxes in fiction, his collective output a meandering collage of contemplative ambient soundscapes and hushed indie pop. hildebrand leans towards the latter on “extinguisher,” the second offering culled from radiating light. the track, built on celestial chord progressions and hildebrand’s processed voice, eventually swells to cinematic heights, staging a cathartic release of incalculable proportions. take a listen to “extinguisher” below.