SUMMERLOVE

Michael's blog for his late-girlfriend, love and partner, Summer Serafin. The scattershot beginnings of a memoir...

BIPOLAR EXPLORER / TREMOSPHERE

Michael's bands - acclaimed NYC-based dreampop trio Bipolar Explorer and celebrated NYC shoegaze duo Tremosphere. News, audio, video and links to their nine albums on Slugg Records.

Bipolar Explorer's page on Wikipedia.

"COLLECTED PLAYS"

The first anthology of Michael's works for the theatre, Collected Plays, published by The Ginger Press, avail via Amazon.

CAMP Radio Show #5 

The latest edition of the band's show for France's CAMP Radio - Bipolar Explorer's "The Other Room" - aired yesterday and is now up, archived, on the station's MixCloud. Listen here.

A monthly hour of experimental and ambient music, field recordings and otherness, this month's edition includes tracks from Swartz et, Clarinette, Elaine Radigue, Delia Derbyshire, Dave Ackrill, Olivier Latry, Lanterns on the Lake and Atticus Ross.

CAMP Radio Show #4 

The latest edition of Michael and the band's show for CAMP Radio - Bipolar Explorer's "The Other Room" - aired yesterday and is now avail on demand on the station's MixCloud here. An hour, monthly, of experimental and ambient music, field recordings, spoken word and otherness, the next edition airs April 26th. Have a listen!

 

CAMP Radio Show #3 

The third episode of the CAMP Radio show that Michael curates for the station - Bipolar Explorer's "The Other Room" - has aired and is now avail on demand on the station's MixCloud here. A monthly hour of experimental and ambient music, field recordings and otherness, MixCloud has reported the show as charting in the Top 100 experimental shows globally.

Radio Play for "Forests" 

Michael and the band are excited and honored to have garnered an exceptional amount of airplay with their new album, their 10th - Forests, Voices, Coastlines, Dreams. A partial list of shows and stations around the globe includes Zoviet France’s A Duck in a Tree (Resonance FM), Anna Phoebe’s Between Sea & Sky (Soho Radio), Blue Star Radio, Carson Street (KFJC), Blessed are the Hearts that Bend’s Echos of Nature (CAMP), Fog Cast (Resonance FM), Irene Trudel (Give The Drummer Radio, WFMU), Radio TFSC,  and Space is the Place Radio Show (Cando FM). 

Notably, the album has reached the Heavily Played Albums lists of both WFMU and California's KFJC, where it had charted at 31 as of early February. 

The band is especially grateful to legendary BBC 3 and Soho Radio broadcaster Max Reinhardt for his airplay and exceedingly kind words and to WFMU's Irene Trudel (one of the band's earliest champions). 

The group was also very honored to have been featured on WFMU's long-running experimental music show "Strength Through Failure", opening the program last week with the opening track from Forests - "The Dark Outside, The Light Within" - and appearing again today with the album's penultimate track - "Expected Viking, Becoming Cyclonic". 

Thank you so much, everyone!

"Forests" on limited edition cassette - sold out! 

Michael and the band were about to announce that The Dark Outside was partnering with them to make available, for the first time, their work on limited edition cassette.

We say "were" excited because that limited cassette run of their latest album - Forests, Voices, Coastlines, Dreams - went live yesterday at 6pm GMT and was completely sold out in less than 24 hours, before we could even post this.

Holy cow! Thanks, everybody!

The album is still avail both digitally and on limited edition CD here.

Michael's new show on France's CAMP Radio 

Michael and the band were deeply honored and hugely excited when France's great CAMP Radio (listed in The Wire Magazine's "100 Essential Radio Stations" feature) reached out shortly after the release of their new album and invited them to host and curate a show of their very own for broadcast.

The monthly program is called Bipolar Explorer's "The Other Room" and is an hour, every four weeks, of experimental and ambient music, field recordings and otherness. The first two episodes have already aired and can be heard again on CAMP's MixCloud page. Links below. The next episode is March 1.

Bipolar Explorer's "The Other Room" - Show #1 (Jan 4, '21)

Bipolar Explorer's "The Other Room" - Show #2 (Feb 1, '21).

 

The New Album on Max Reinhardt's Show (London) 

Michael and the band are hugely grateful for the overwhelming response they've gotten for their new album, their 10th, Forests, Voices, Coastlines, Dreams: Recordings for The Dark Outside.

Very kind words and airplay have followed the album's release, just three weeks ago, from places near and far flung. Michael is particularly grateful for the reviews of two legendary broadcasters who we all have revered for decades. WFMU's Irene Trudel called the new record "Wondrous! A great album!", playing tracks over consecutive weeks. And on December 17, 2021, legendary BBC Radio 3 and Soho Radio DJ Max Reinhardt closed the first set of his show with these words and the album's closing track:

MAX R (on air): “…Well, there’s only one way to go - to people I’ve never met in my life but they are good friends. We hear from them quite a lot: Bipolar Explorer. 

Bipolar Explorer are a fascinating band, who I have described as “liminal”. They’re always becoming. And they’re always stepping out of having become, too. This is off a new album that just came out at the very beginning of this month - "Forests, Voices, Coastlines, Dreams: Recordings for The Dark Outside". It’s on Slugg Records and Bandcamp, by the way. And they are Summer Serafin - who’s still there - vocals, spoken word. Michael Serafin-Wells who plays a great many instruments and tape loops and things and Sylvia Solanas who’s also spoken word. 

So, the origins of this work is a 24-hour broadcast from Galloway Forest. The Dark Outside has been held annually since 2012. Furthering its mystique, the broadcast can only be heard within the narrow range of the transmitter rented for the event. So, actually this expands that listenership because the album comprises seven pieces they recorded for this experimental radio broadcast in the UK. It’s called The Dark Outside and it’s probably well worth finding when it’s there. But when it’s not there, you can always listen to this album from Bipolar Explorer. This track is called “Prayers With a Cathedral of Trees”. 

(plays track, live tweets: “Now playing - the sublime Bipolar Explorer”…) 

“You had it all there, really, didn’t you? You had minimalism. You had Musique Concrète. You had real sound. You had just an amazing feeling of release. And somehow being out there under the stars and the wind. That was “Prayers Within a Cathedral of Trees” -  Bipolar Explorer. And maybe that’s one of their finest tracks ever. It is for me. That’s off their new album, Forests, Voices, Coastlines, Dreams: Recordings for The Dark Outside, originally made for an experimental radio broadcast event - very mysterious, you’ll have to find out when it’s on, it happens in this country, every… I think once a year - The Dark Outside. For more information, Google “The Dark Outside” and see what you get. But brilliant, brilliant band - Bipolar Explorer.” 

Max Reinhardt 
Soho Radio (London) 
December 17, 2021

 

New Bipolar Explorer Album 

On December 1, the band will release their 10th album. A collection of experimental tracks they recorded for the UK's Dark Outside broadcast events between 2019 and 2021, it's called Forests, Voices, Coastlines, Dreams: Recordings for The Dark Outside.

A pre-sale will begin on Bandcamp Friday November 5th.

Michael and the band were honored to have tracks premiered over the last few days by KFJC's Carson Street and WFMU's Irene Trudel, who opened her legendary show this afternoon with one of the album's tracks - "Corridor".

Thanks to all. More news soon!

 

Michael on UK radio  

Michael is the guest today on UK's Radio SLE's "Music in Mind". A far-ranging conversation about music and life with host Frankie Rose, listen live online - 9pm GMT, 10 pm Europe, 4pm New York, 1pm California.