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moving on and feeling good with Michael Hentz

Photo by Christine Mai Nguyen

Michael Hentz is an all-around creative from Los Angeles. He’s not only an avid collage maker, he also runs the limited tape label auasca and he is a guitarist & vocalist for Secret Flowers. Every month, he airs a monthly radio show called Quietudes with George Jensen on Dublab.

With the year coming to a close, we asked Michael to share with us his sentiments with a mood list.

This is what he shares:

“This year, and for a lot of other people, the past four years have been some of the most uncertain years of my life. But as events unfolded and are still unfolding, our election in America really gave a lot of us a feeling of relief and content with the results. With that, I think it was the first time I was able to really sleep well when the results were finally tallied. I don’t enjoy that some of our collective grief came from one man, but to know that he will not be in that position anymore really allowed me to reflect and to finally get into some feelings about moving on and feeling good.”

This mood list is a collection of albums to help you reflect on where you are and where you will be going:

Federico Durand ‎– Pequeñas Melodías

These feel like little miniatures and ideas that could be expanded upon, but they feel so weightless in moments that they stand well on their own. A real lovely gem. The design from the label is also of note.

Jason Kolàr ‎– Modified Perspectives

Kolàr’s album really resonated with me when I first heard it. I couldn’t stop playing it. It has so many moments of hopeful melodies. Stroom always turns me on to new artists on their roster and this one was no different.

Raul Lovisoni / Francesco Messina ‎– Prati Bagnati Del Monte Analogo

This record makes me think about looking out of the window of a plane as you move along the tops of the clouds. It always gets me, as soon as the piano comes in: I’m gone. Such a lovely gem that more people need to hear if they have not already. 

Matthew Halsall ‎– Oneness

Sometimes a very simple and powerful designed cover can really make me turn the cover to dig deeper. I think that the concept for this record was perfectly encapsulated with the title and then to hear the arrangements and instrumentation, you know you are in for a treat. Like Alice Coltrane’s “Satchidananda” era covering Miles Davis’s “Recollections”, slowed down.  Sit back and enjoy all the harp. 

Suso Saiz ‎– Nothing Is Objective

I feel like Saiz’s work has been getting stronger as he is getting older, and I love every new thing that he puts out. This album on Music From Memory really should have been on so many year end lists when it came out. I love the track “Nothing Ends 2018” and if you listen closely, you can hear him moving about and breathing and rocking in the background. When you listen to this track with your eyes are closed, it feels as if he’s right there. 

Harold Budd – Pavilion of Dreams

If I ever need to recenter, this record is the one I would put on. I see Budd as one of the godfathers, but this record is what really got me started. More harps, a chorus, and Marion Brown?!? Incredible. 

Gigi Masin & Jonny Nash ‎– Postcards From Nowhere

I had the privilege to interview Gigi Masin this year and was able to talk to him about this session with Jonny Nash. We talked about how the children would come up to him while he was on the piano. I love the rustling of the feet of patrons of the gallery walking around while they play. 

Mary Lattimore – Silver Ladders

Mary on harp and produced by Slowdive’s Neil Halstead? Where do I sign? 

Andrew Wasylyk ‎– Fugitive Light And Themes Of Consolation

Luckily I had the chance to quickly chat with Andrew recently and he was very happy that his music has been reaching ears in Los Angeles. I feel like his music should be listened to all over the world. This album has been on serious repeat with me, and everytime I like one song the most, it turns into another one on this album. It’s so playful but not rowdy, and his vision is so clear.  Cheers, Andrew. It’s a masterpiece. 

Jatinder Singh Durhailay & David Edren ‎– Tea Notes

Another favorite label of mine, Ekster, with their impeccable design and direction. This was one I didn’t hear about until it was released and I was pleasantly surprised how diverse the arrangements were.  

John Also Bennett – Erg Herbe

JAB has put out some really incredible releases, especially with his duo with Christina Vantzou, or in the project Forma, but this one always stood out for me as it was nice to hear him solo after the duo outing, and to hear him more on flute. Worth grabbing and I’m always looking forward to hear what he puts out next. 

Dawn Chorus and the Infallible Sea – Alpha

Dawn Chorus and the Infallible Sea is a collaboration project between Marc Ertel, Zach Frizzell and Damien Duque. Frizell also runs the amazing ambient label Past Inside The Present, of which this album ‘Alpha’ was released on. I really enjoy this trio as they can tug on a lot of heartstrings on some songs and really express both sense of hope and hopelessness. It recently went out of print but I saw it will be reissued soon. They have a full length LP out this year as well, but this one really got me when I first listened to it. 


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