Jamie Levinson – Trouble in Mind Records Explorers Series Vol. 24

12.1.22 by Ryan Masteller

How long was I out for? It doesn’t feel like that long, but I guess a lot can happen in a year and a half away, which is how long it’s been since I last wrote about the TAPE SCENE. And it’s not like I was unconscious or in a coma or anything. I was just doing non–TAPE SCENE stuff, which, I suppose, is a much better use of my time anyway. In fact, I don’t even know why you’re paying attention to me right now, much less reading past this sentence. 

Know what Trouble in Mind Records has been up to since the spring of 2021? Releasing TWENTY-SIX friggin’ experimental tapes under the Explorers Series banner, that’s what! The overlap is uncanny, but I have no idea why the label waited until I was gone to drop these bad boys. It’s like they didn’t want me noticing these awesome cassettes, even though “Explorers Series” is the EXACT kind thing to title a run like this and make me want to mainline the sound directly into my parietal lobe. That’s the hearing part of the brain, right? Who cares! JUST HOOK IT TO MY VEINS!

I’ve already forgiven Trouble in Mind, as well as Jamie Levinson, because Vol. 24, Jamie’s self-titled “solo debut” (get in on the ground floor, people), bubbles and reverberates an ever-expanding joyous repertoire, foaming to fill in the everyday emotional cracks and strengthen the perpetual vibe that keeps you putting one foot in front of the other. (Also because Trouble in Mind probably didn’t diss me on purpose; in fact, they likely weren’t even thinking of me.) Yeah, that’s right, Jamie milks that mana spring for all its worth, self-actualizing through restorative tonics and melodic oscillations. 

On Jamie’s journey toward the inner reaches of the mind, the results meld with those of the host of other like-minded “explorers,” emptying into the great mesmeric void. I felt like I floated there, dreaming like a dreaming dreamer until I was awakened by my own sense of completed restoration. I felt the weight of my time doing other things leave me, freeing me to grab that true inner joy I’d misplaced, a joy that can only be triggered by synthesizers and electronic programming. Was my awakening an unnatural occurrence, a lie? Jamie, please! It was dead truth.

So in the end, yeah, maybe I missed a bunch of stuff, but it was worth it. Because now I get to come back and catch up on a bunch of amazing things, like Vol. 24 of Trouble in Mind’s Explorers Series! And the other twenty-three releases before it. And the two after it. What a time to be alive!