Aniseed, TX Constructs a Phantasm Via Improvisational Music

The term “soundscape” is reserved for describing acoustics in a natural environment, but Volume 1 by the temporarily formed super-group Aniseed, TX constructs an artificial version of this setting that’s worth experiencing — a place of both comfort and adventure.

This album includes queen of vocals, Sarah Ruth, and innovative violinist Leoncarlo, both who never fail to blow audiences away. They are joined by talented locals Michael Briggs (vocals, air synth), Nathan Fenner (bass), and Topher S.J. (drums). The result is a transcendent experience with allowances for spontaneity that are often absent from traditional recording productions.

On the subject of spontaneity, S.J. said, “[It’s] something I think we (people in general) want more of but don’t often get to be.”

The concept had been simmering in Briggs’ mind for a while. Even after figuring out the participants, it took a little time to schedule a day where everyone was available. Briggs had three goals in mind: have fun and make interesting sounds; make new connections by bringing people together from different parts of the music scene; and help the community by supporting good, local non-profits.

The beneficiary of choice is KUZU, Denton’s community radio station that three of the band members currently produce a radio show for. All producers are volunteers as the station puts max effort into representing the town’s character in a form that most communities don’t offer for local creatives.

Briggs said, “I think that having this type of free and open community radio station is very helpful to our local music scene and community at large.”

Although Volume 1 may be a different experience for most of Denton’s listeners, it’s not an album that’s easy to walk away from once you start listening. It’s atmospheric, but it pulls listeners in rather than reduce itself to background music for everyday chores. Remember what it was like to listen to “Svefn-G-Englar” by Sigur Ros? This album provides the same kind of experience.

Don’t get intimidated by the last track, “Lengthwave Suite,” being 34 minutes in length. After getting through the first five tracks, the group debated whether or not to do one more jam. Perhaps knowing it would be their last jam was a catalyst for releasing a lengthy flourish of harmonies. Why end it now instead of enjoying the moment?

It’s a day of music that will stay unique. Aniseed, TX is strictly a recording project, and ensuing sessions will have new collaborators.

Volume 1 by Aniseed, TX is available for purchase on Bandcamp and can also be streamed on Spotify.

Header image photographed by Michael Briggs
Header image design by Kylie Phillips