lunes, 29 de marzo de 2010

Greg Haines - Until The Point Of Hushed Support

Genre: Ambient, Neo Classical
Label: Sonic Pieces

My Space


I won’t lie, I like my ambient music to be of a certain stripe. For me, the genre is most ideal for that unnamed twilight comedown of lying on a bed in the late evening, staring at the ceiling, and feeling unspeakable emotions race through one's heart and head. Bands like Hammock effortlessly evoke a mental snapshot of endless winter fields of dead, withered grass, stretched away under gray skies beside grayer Interstate highways; the music itself is mournful, forlorn, somber, subtle, overwhelming, and a bit heartbreaking. That’s how I like my ambient music. It’s that old cliché of a score for a film not yet written, the film of the listener's life. Perhaps no other genre makes one feel more like every moment is a crucial one, a crystallized melodramatic pause to consider weighty, life-changing turning points of stunning magnitude. Good ambient music makes the audience the star of its own soap opera.

Greg Haines’ music is not subtle. The Berliner’s twisted new-classical compositions are all Sturm und Drang: shrieking violins, deathly funereal organ, and haunted banshee wailing, the darkest expression of instrumental music this side of Constellation Records. Until the Point of Hushed Support is no Brian Eno affair; call it “Ambient #5: Music for Gulags.” While there are moments of stark, Stars of the Lid beauty, such as the restless feedback loops and rustling static of “In the Event of a Sudden Loss,” mostly this album is pretty bleak, Godspeed-style Gothic pomp. The aptly-titled “Marc’s Descent” could be a veritable descent into Dante’s Seven Layers, while the hushed quiet of opener “Industry Vs. Inferiority” masks a strange, eerie tug of foreboding like a dread undercurrent throughout. The only redemption from the disorienting siren voices and soul-crushing keys here comes in closer “Until the Point of Least Resistance," which carries an almost willfully defiant air of stubborn, beautiful, fragile hope. Still, it’s the hope of unsure survivors wandering dazed about the wreckage of a nuclear Holocaust or city-leveling tidal wave, everyone blinking at each other or gazing horizon-ward, more frightened and confused than ever, wondering what comes next, after the horror has subsided.

That is how Mr. Haines’ latest opus leaves one feeling on the first, even second and third listens: bewildered, lost, and a little scared. Until the Hushed Point is an exhausting, hard-won emotional experience, not without rewards, but definitely not a feel good album of soul-searching reflection in one's bedroom late at night. This is not pedestrian paint-by-numbers ambient, this is tragedy music, the moment when the doctor says, “We did all we could” in the fluorescent-washed hospital waiting room, the knock on the door and splash of police light-bars against the bedroom walls at 2 A.M., the down-cast eyes of a lover who says, “We need to talk.” This music is a soundtrack to those darkest of moments, never cheery listening, but certainly meriting a place there in some black corner of one's collection for when its malign comfort is needed. This album should perhaps come with a sticker reading IN CASE OF EMERGENCY OR DEVESTATING EVENT, BREAK GLASS, INSERT DISC, AND PLUG IN HEADPHONES.

And from that perspective, this album is without a doubt an unqualified, riveting, devastating masterpiece, powerful, affirming, and harrowing all at once. Who says all great music needed to make us tap our feet to the beat and smile, anyway?

Review from The Silent Ballet

Scott Tuma - Dandelion

Genre: Ambient, Experimental Folk, Drone
Label: Digitalis Industries

My Space


Box Ensemble’s Scott Tuma draws us inside a reverb-soaked world of droned-out field recordings and elaborate ornamentation with plucked banjos, eerie music boxes, and whispering pianos.”Red Roses for Me” is a perfect exemplar of this odd variety of the sounds of traditional music meeting the mind of a modern psychedelic. His vocals also give a bellowing haunt to the recordings, as featured on “Hope Jones (for Jason)” behind the creaks of Tuma’ moving around the acoustic guitar.

With all the different variations of drone music floating around on the LP market today, Dandelion really stands out as a force to be reckoned with. Throw this record on after your summer come down, pass around nature’s finest, enter the mellowed out world of Scott Tuma

martes, 23 de marzo de 2010

Field Of Hats - The Active Node

Not The original Cover Art

Genre: Ambient, Drone
Label: Durable Stimuli

My Space


Hand-numbered edition of 75 copies with solo guitar/synth work from one half of Fragments, Mr Jeff Hatfield. Field Of Hats has aspects in common with Emeralds, the same commitment to dissolving strings and synths into endlessly liquid melodies, but Hatfield gets even more abstract, with long tracks that sound like the afterimage of melodies hanging motionless in cold black space. Bleakly beautiful.

sábado, 20 de marzo de 2010

Fabio Orsi - Winterreise

Genre: Ambient, Drone
Slow Flow

My Space


With an entrance that displays the cold reaches of a surrounding, creeping fog, Fabio Orsi's 'Winterreise' is an immediate, enchanting production, reaching with the building swells of instrumental openness, and climactic ascendance. Fabio Orsi is an Italian electronic musician, reknowned for his work in the combination of the languages of popular tradition, and the avant-garde, while using field recordings, found sounds, guitar, piano, and synthesizer. After releasing on such labels as Digitalis Industries, A Silent Place, Last Visible Dog, Preservation, Low Point, Small Voices, and Ruralfaune, Orsi contributes his new work here to the Japanese label Slow Flow, for their second CD release.
Throughout the nearly 50-minute release, 'Winterreise' proceeds through hollows of inward movement, amounting in sonorous reaches to the realism of the field recordings of the natural world within, soundtracked by a delicate, free richness. With no less than mythical symbolism leaning in through the natural above, there is little left without a nonplussed pacification, while still proceeding to the far limits of overcoming interference. Orsi's 'Winterreise' breathes just as easily as it gives way, in ultra exception of impressionism into the listeners' ears, not only, but into their surroundings, and resting there within them, with unembellished grandeur.

martes, 9 de marzo de 2010

In a few days I will answer all the mails and repost the Andrew Pekler record.
Actually, I´m very busy with my job but soon I will be here again.
Thanks for your patience.

viernes, 5 de marzo de 2010

Epic45 - Steps To Further Winter (Tour Cdr)

Not the original cover art

Genre: Electronic, Ambient
Label: Wayside And Woodland Recordings

My Space

Great record with songs written between 2003 and 2009.

Epic45 is, was and always will be a home recording project/collective based round the ideas and inspiration of childhood friends Ben Holton and Rob Glover.