Nathan McLaughlin – Stoner Lake in G

Stoner Lake in G is a solo work from Nathan McLaughlin, and it’s also his first release on Full Spectrum Records. Recorded at Stoner Lake and Hudson, New York, Stoner Lake in G is comprised of ‘synthesizer miniatures’, eschewing his long-standing use of tape loops and reel-to-reel methods, which had become something of a staple in his previous work.

For this one, the much-used and much-loved reel-to-reel machines were left on the shelf, and a homemade selection of modular noise equipment acted as a substitution. On the change in method, McLaughlin states that ‘tape was here 40 years ago when I was born and will be here tomorrow, plenty of others are doing that [sort of work] so they can carry that torch now’.

Because of that, Stoner Lake in G is all about new growth. McLaughlin furthers himself, and he’s able to tap into and explore new areas of sound, which ultimately gives him the opportunity to break out from the use of reel-to-reels. By mixing up the flavour of its sound and bringing the synthesizer into the spotlight, the music feels ripe and avoids the nightmare of staleness.

In this new, unrestricted architecture, notes are able to swoop in, dip downwards, and disappear over time. Described as ‘a meditation on past experience, future potential, and the possible lives that could have been but did not come to pass’, Stoner Lake in G is a quiet listen, but it’s unafraid to express itself. Layers of synth are slowly revealed and memories are unearthed; the music sets its sights on brighter worlds to come while looking back on the cooler caverns of nostalgia. Closer ‘Venus’ ends on a passive and serene note, where glimmering hints of the stars and echoing, sci-fi-inspired synths are transmitted to the listener. With mastering from Andrew Weathers and artwork provided by Gretchen Korsmo, Stoner Lake in G is available now as a special cassette edition and as a digital download.

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