domingo, 26 de febrero de 2012

Ólafur Arnalds - Another Happy Day OST

Genre: Neo Classical, OST
Label: Erased Tapes

It’s a good sign that it is difficult to talk about the album as individual tracks - each piece feels part of a whole, and as you near the end, it rises to a crescendo that turns a feeling of slowly moving through melancholy into a sudden, sinister squall. There’s something deeply mesmerising about the careful pace and creeping sense of a climax that so many Scandinavian musicians seem to inherently possess. Of course, it’s not his nationality that makes Arnalds so hypnotic, it’s his natural talent for being able to convey a mood and convert it into something the feels timeless, all within the confines of a relatively short piece of music. 

Though occasionally wanting for sonic complexity, Ólafur's simple, transcendent composure lends every inching phrase a delicate, intricate poignancy that displays a free honesty in short supply throughout lives and record collections countrywide. The Icelandic composer tempers his mellifluous nature with chirping idiosyncracies, while remorseful minor tones wallow like prison inmates trapped inside their cells during a flood.Another Happy Day creeps you out, sucks you in and gracefully spits you back again, with a renewed sense of comfortable discontent.

jueves, 23 de febrero de 2012

Orcas - Orcas

Link removed

Genre: Electronic, Experimental, Ambient Pop
Label: Morr Music

The courtship of ambient music and traditional songform has been a long and tenuous one, almost to the point that their differences seem irreconcilable. Spanning decades with only a few points of obscure intersections, the occasions on which the two styles have met and crossed into the pop culture lexicon have often yielded a contrary, oil-and-water form. The abstract nature of the "ambient" genre and instant gratification of the "pop" song require deft hands for successful cohabitation, thus it's little wonder that there are so few practitioners of its delicate equilibrium.

Orcas – comprised of haze-pop auteur Benoît Pioulard and post-minimalist composer Rafael Anton Irisarri – is an imaginative return to that narrative. Theirs is a style deeply rooted in personal variations on songform and ambient craft, and as a duo they bridge the furthest outlying aspects of their previous solo work published on Kranky, Touch, Miasmah, Room40, and Ghostly International. Here song and abstraction become one entity, condensing the spaces between to generate an arching trajectory. This co-mingling of contrasts is even coded into their moniker; Pioulard and Irisarri have chosen an iconic symbol of the American Pacific Northwest, a methodical sea hunter that is also a totem of the open oceans' expanse. The so-called "wolf of the seas" that evokes a quiet, stately, yet powerful nature.

Appropriately, their music is a careful balance of chiaroscuro elements, where pop hook and spatial ambience converge. In its environs, lyricism flows as a time-distended dynamic, rising and falling, proceeding almost antithetically to pop's typical gratification ethos.

Orcas has taken an immersive, fluid vector for their passions; a resonant call like sonar from the depths.

jueves, 16 de febrero de 2012

Black To Comm - Earth

Genre: Ambient, Drone, Experimental
Label: De Stijl

Astonishing new album from Marc Richter aka Black To Comm on Minneapolis's ever-reliable De Stijl (C Spencer Yeh, Michael Yonkers, Smegma, Wet Hair etc). As boss of the Dekorder label, has introduced to an astonishing array of quality artists over the years, but his own music is beginning to eclipse his estimable A&R skills. The long-awaited follow-up to 2009's Alphabet 1968 LP on Type, this new album is based on an original score he created for Ho Tzu Nyen's film EARTH. There's no doubt that it's his most ambitious work to date, with deliciously woozy, woe-stricken vocals - impossible to hear without thinking of Scott Walker, David Sylvian, Antony Hegarty and Vindicatrix - at the fore of minimalist, electronics-daubed drone-folk arrangements that occupy a hallowed space somewhere between Talk Talk and Fennesz. It's really that good, conjuring a truly epic sadness but providing enough sonic nourishment that the tears feel like a good thing. The second half of the record heads deeper into loop-based abstraction, climaxing on the 15-minute 'The Children' but those lachrymose vocals remain - and the combination is just sublime.

sábado, 11 de febrero de 2012

Mirroring - Foreign Body

Genre: Drone, Ambient, Folk
Label: Kranky

Grouper and Tiny Vipers make an alliance to do one of the most beautifull records of this year. Covering all the songs with layers of melancholy and gliding vocal textures they have created  six delicious compositions plenty of magical sensations.