jueves, 22 de diciembre de 2011

Sean McCann - Sincere World

Genre: Ambient, Drone, Experimental, Electronic

Sincere World, which was due out almost a year ago as I understand it, has finally been released for the world to enjoy. Sean McCann has worn many various emotions and experiments on his sleeve through his musical output over the previous years. Some are wild and zany, some are more serious and solemn, some are exciting and vivacious, and others have many different nuances within the same album yet all with the same creative stroke of genius that makes McCann such a master. Sincere World is more of the serious and solemn persuasion. It’s borderline ambient, yet with the McCannian twist of personified drone. In the same vein as Fountains and Leave Today as far as subdued and quiet nature, but it has a living and stirring nature that isn’t quite as restful as those two others. This is a restless, tossing-and-turning, insomniac series of drones. They stir with a baggy-eyed longing for respite, counting sheep, tossing back a nightcap, whatever it takes to settle down and catch some Z’s. There is a calm and nocturnal nature to the ambiance, but I just don’t hear a settling down, a final stillness. To me, they kick the covers and lie staring at the ceiling in frustrated sleepless torture. Everything feels dark with only the slightest illumination that highlights the shadows on the wall. Not dark as in black or foreboding, just lightlessness. And all the anguished sleep deprivation is not anything felt by the hearer. I just call upon this descriptive metaphor because there is a stillness and gentleness that reminds you of the night, yet not all is at peace. There’s still life and movement that’s pregnant within these tracks. The best comparison would be the actions of one in bed who cannot seem to fall asleep. That said, the timbre of this album is fairly tranquil and great for midnight boredom or late night soul searching.

lunes, 19 de diciembre de 2011

Grouper & Ilyas Ahmed - Visitor

Genre: Ambient, Drone, Experimental

Grouper's Liz Harris has just released a new EP in collaboration with shadowy freak-folkist Ilyas Ahmed. Titled Visitor, the EP is part of Social Music's Record Club subscription series. The opening track is everything you'd expect from Liz, an ethereal, dark beauty with the bleak shine of wet concrete.

lunes, 5 de diciembre de 2011

Ólafur Arnalds - Living Room Songs

Genre: Neo Classical
Label: Erased Tapes


Olafur Arnalds has always had a penchant for producing subtly immense and tragically beautiful minimalistic compositions. Approaching his music with an ear for getting a profound and grand sound out of as little as possible, Arnalds has become a contemporary darling. Since his humble beginnings somewhere around the middle of the last decade, the Icelandic artist has since rose to great prominence, with the full scope of his musical prowess becoming clear in last year’s exceptional …And They Have Escaped the Weight of Darkness. In creating his boldest record yet, Arnald discovered the power of sonic expansion, and the brilliance in experimentation. Yet unexpectedly, Arnald has shied away from his bolder sound, instead opting to find the beauty in introversion.

Living Room Songs is Olafur Arnalds latest release, and perhaps his most focused to date. It differs from everything he’s done before, but it’s certifiably his own sound. One can’t help but notice the techno emphasis featured on his earlier work rear their head hear, as well as the more minimalist aspects seen there as well. Despite sharing a more retracted sound with Eulogy for Evolution, Living Room Songs features the same focused feeling of his previous work. It’s in this mixture that Arnalds has crafted some of his best material to date.

As indicated by the record’s name, Living Room Songs was recorded in the artists very own living room in Iceland. Over the course of a week, Arnalds released each song with a corresponding video of the recording. In many ways, the videos represent the music itself. Surprisingly large crowds of musicians piled into the confines of the rather small living room. This could metaphorically be seen as the musician pushing the boundaries of his more minimalistic nature by expanded the core sound as much as possible.

Living Room Songs excels because it’s everything Olafur Arnalds needed to have made; a beautiful excursion that has substance to back it up. Nary a moment goes by that he doesn’t use to the fullest. Whether it is the swelling strings or the somber piano, each minute of the record’s 24 is full of purpose and deliberation. The song selection, despite lacking the flow of some of his other works, is simply wonderful. From the opening moments of “Fyrsta” to the final seconds of “This Place is a Shelter,” Living Room Songs displays that is in no short supply of brilliant selections. “Near Light” is the album’s strangest track, feature more electronic/techno elements than any of the other songs. The lush soundscapes created from the dichotomy of warm strings and cold electronics is sublime. Arnalds’ restraint with either element makes for a perfect blending as well. “Film Credits” polarizes this, as it features a lonely solemn violin, accompanied by mournful cellos. It’s a piece that truly displays the musician’s ability to craft something beautiful out of something so tragic. The production is yet another exceptional aspect. The little creaks of chairs and the soft movements of bows add an incredible layer of immersion to an already absorbing album.

sábado, 3 de diciembre de 2011

Andrew Pekler - Sentimental Favourites

Genre: Experimental, Electronic, Drone
Label: Dekorder

Pekler has been operating within forms of ambient, experimental and electronica since the late-'90s. As a solo artist he has no less than five full-lengths to his name, released through labels like Stefan Betke's ~scape and Chicago imprint Kranky. In collaboration, he's worked as a member of Bergheim 34, who put-out a string of release on Klang Elektronik during the early-'00s, and Groupshow, the trio which also includes Hanno Leichtmann and Jan Jelinek. 

Sentimental Favourites brings together 14 tracks borne out of an interesting exploration. As is the case with much of Pekler's music, the album looks into "an abandoned genre or aesthetic trope," which in this case explores a "strain of late 60's/early 70's easy listening which melded the sophisticated songwriting pathos of Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Webb or The Carpenters with a post-psychedelic attention to sonic detail."

Max Richter - Perfect Sense OST

Genre: Neo Classical, Electronic, Ambient

Another stunning score from this english composer. Enjoy it.
There isn´t a buy link because there is no fisical release. If you want it you have to buy it on Itunes. Sorry.

viernes, 2 de diciembre de 2011

Hauschka - Youyoume Ep

Sorry but there´s no download till Serein has sold
the limited edition. Read their news and support them.

Genre: Neo Classical, Electronic
Label: Serein

The breadth of sounds that now make up Hauschka's palette are the result of years of experimentation with different piano preparations. Of particular note is his uncanny ability to conjure sounds from the piano most often associated with electronic instruments such as drum machines and samplers.

Anyone who's been following Volker's output of late will know that he's been creating some incredible compositions inspired by house and techno music. The first side of this new record is taken up entirely by one such composition.

'So Close' is a thirteen minute long piece of deep, earthy music. Perhaps never before has Hauschka's interest in electronic dance music been more plainly heard. The piece moves with a great sense of purpose; from scattered notes and the clatter of makeshift percussion there emerges a steady rhythm - a note in the lower register becomes a bass drum, its staccato bass pluck sounding four on four. Further up the register, sharps and flats become hi-hats and shakers.

The beat builds and breaks several times throughout the piece, vanishing altogether only to re-emerge with its syncopation subtly shifted. The final break-down of the last few minutes is the longest of all, a gentle piano refrain plays out the piece while the percussive elements sigh, rattle and whirr until their last breaths.

The two pieces on side 'B' of 'Youyoume' serve as a gentle reminder of just how versatile a producer Volker Bertelmann is. Gone are the unrelenting rhythms of side 'A' and in their place, thoughtful, cascading melodies which hark back to some of Hauschka's earliest output. 'So Far' is a solo piano piece for unprepared piano, while 'Paige and Jane', the final track, features prepared piano and cello.

In all, 'Youyoume' is a unique record in Hauschka's discography bringing together some of the styles and ideas which have come to define his unmistakable sound.

domingo, 27 de noviembre de 2011

Richard Knox & Frederic D. Oberland - The Rustle of the Stars

Genre: Ambient, Drone, Neo Classical, Experimental

Having met while performing in Europe with their respective bands, Richard Knox, one-half of ambient-modern classical duo Glissando and sometime live member of Sleepingdog (and Gizeh Records manager), and Frederic D. Oberland, founding member of the experimental collective FareWell Poetry and soundtrack composer, soon after decided to collaborate on an album and did so in accordance with a few simple guidelines: first, to imagine the album as representative of, in their own words, “a polar journey to the ends of the earth through the Arctic Sea”; to augment their own playing with that of others (string players Angela Chan and David Ramsay appear, as do Elly May Irving and Matt Clark, who contributed choir and ghost narration to the project); and to record the project in a church. No carefree cruise trip, The Rustle of the Stars instead focuses on the darker end of the polar expedition experience, one that finds madness and terror setting in over the course of a long journey that brings with it more than its fair share of hopelessness, anxiety, and thoughts of disaster. The first indication of the project's special character is the album title itself, The Rustle of the Stars being a reference to a phenomenon that occurs 450 km from the Arctic Circle and that specifically refers to a barely audible noise produced when the draught from a human breath generates collisions among ice micro-crystals in the air. But, of course, the album rewards one's attention for reasons that go far beyond an imaginative album title and concept.

Begun at their respective homes in Leeds and Paris, Knox and Oberland drew upon a wealth of instrumental sounds (electric guitar, bowed glockenspiel, and field recordings for Knox, and piano, electric guitar, field recordings, harmonium, dulcimer, and analog electronics for Oberland, to name just some of the materials used) in fashioning the initial sketches for the collaboration and then solidified them when they convened two months later in Leeds to record in the St Margaret of Antioch Church. Regardless of whether the piece in question features large, rolling swathes of rumble, guitar textures, and soaring strings (“Mist”) or places delicate pianistics against a sombre backdrop (“Le Passage du Nord-Ouest”), the material is elegiac and dramatic ambient-classical in style and features a heavy emphasis on strings and electric guitar. It's also at times desolate, with the music evoking the limitless and barren expanses of icy terrain and often cloaked in a shroud of haunting gloom. In certain moments, The Rustle of the Stars' material is sometimes so stylistically similar to FareWell Poetry's Hoping for the Invisible to Ignite it could be mistaken for new work by the band (e.g., “Sea of Bones” and “A Divide”); certainly the inclusion of a Super 8 projector's clatter (courtesy of FareWell Poetry member Jayne Amara Ross) on “The Wreck of Hope” collapses the distance separating the outfits even more, as does the track's sweeping guitar-laced atmospherics. Generally speaking, anyone spellbound by FareWell Poetry's recent Hoping for the Invisible to Ignite may very well find him/herself equally captivated by The Rustle of the Stars.
Review from Textura

sábado, 26 de noviembre de 2011

Stephan Mathieu - To Describe George Washington Bridge

Genre: Ambient, Electronic, Drone
Label: Dekorder



“To Describe George Washington Bridge” is Stephan Mathieu’s second Dekorder release in the 10″ format (reflecting his interest in old 78rpm records) after 2009′s sold out “The Key to the Kingdom”, and, we’re happy to say, again it features two of the composer’s most outstanding short pieces. Both are recorded utilizing similar methods as used on his most recent album “A Static Place” on 12K Records yet they are presented in an even more condensed and melodic way. As source material he used transcriptions made from the marvelous 25x 12inch 78rpm set G.F. Händel. “Twelve Concerti Grossi” performed by the Busch Chamber Players in 1946, and a Columbia 10″ record from 1912 with Händel’s usual smash hits from “Messiah”.

“Between 1928 and 1932 the earliest recordings of historically informed performances of music from the late Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque era were etched into 78RPM records. I used some of these records from my collection, playing them back with two mechanical acoustic HMV Model 102 gramophones. The initial soundwaves produced back then by period instruments like the clavichord, viols, lute, hurdy-gurdy are read from the grooves by a cactus needle to be amplified by the gramophones diaphragm housed in a soundbox. Those vibrations travel through the tonearm which is connected straight to the gramophones horn, which releases the music to my space. Here the sound is again picked up by a pair of customized microphones and send to my computer, to be transformed by spectral analysis and convolution processes. An imaginary room, inhabited by all the spatial information collected on the journey is created and will be projected in a final instance into the listeners space.”

Stephan Mathieu is a self taught composer and performer of his own music, working in the fields of electroacoustics and abstract digitala. His sound is largely based on early instruments, environmental sound and obsolete media, which are recorded and transformed by means of experimental microphony, re-editing techniques and software processes involving spectral analysis and convolution; it has been compared to the landscape paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, the work of Colorfield artists Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Ellsworth Kelly.
Review from Fluid Radio

domingo, 20 de noviembre de 2011

Nest - Body Pilot

Genre: Ambient, Drone, Experimental, Abstract
Label: Serein

A fluttering “Stillness” dims the light; three notes turn six, over restful, droney string breaths; oh-so delicate tinkering lays soft quilt, easing vex. But try as you might to find its heart, the sense of loss, and icy depressiveness pervading the nooks and crannies of Huw Roberts’ and Otto Totlands’ pianism, becomes lavishness restricted, life jacket for low mood, conceptually meeting the flight theme they’ve adapted in minimalist repertoire. Played three times, Nest’s “Body Pilot” became a record I’d seemingly known all my life, like a catchphrase that existed subconciously; Mr. Chips returning to haunt one particular moment, penetrating. “Music without pretence”, in their past words.

Remaining homebound, sentimentally fearful of non-catharsis, “Charlotte” from “Retold”, platonic contrast to this 10′. “The engines are cut and we glide silently into the white”, is what Huw and Otto propose of “The Dying Roar” when the woodwind and brass exclude themselves, into their hallmark jigsaw-piece piano. It’s no wonder Hauschka is billed for this particular series. With modern musicians, environment, like Nest’s, plays an output discriminator, prohibiting you from saving a workload, or integrating a certain source for dubbing. In hindsight of Nest’s development: the hugely successful netlabel EP, and a comparatively sold-out-direct album, while “Koretz’s Meteor” leaning heavier on Totland’s synthesizer drone of Deaf Center reverie – a glowing proposition is harder to realise – how do you follow up lauded efforts in as timeless a manner?

Nest’s answer is seemingly to forget the premise of time, making it a continuum of last efforts, not a conscience-burdening approach that makes them think “what if I’d just done this”. Otherwise, minutes may go very slow normally, or lightning bolt anxiously. By retracting sensations that apply to a traditional chronology, too, not to mention having a loyal fan base, critical spikes, both internal and external, dissolve. Objectively so because the work is high calibre enough all the time. Even the Billy-no-instruments drone lapse of “The Ultimate Horizon” manages to escape throwaway straitjacket, sub bass undercutting the tinsel field recordings that metamorphosise, overlay and ebb. Part three of the “Seasons”vinyl and digital download catalogue on Serein, “Body Pilot” is the perfect edition to the series. It’s questionable depending on your entry point what you’ll rate higher – this or past Nest. One thing’s for certain though: you could do a lot worse than sampling your own camera, catching Huw and Otto’s flight further from base.
Review from Fluid Radio

sábado, 19 de noviembre de 2011

Lee Noble - Horrorism

Genre: Experimental, Electronic, Ambient Pop


Lee Noble blends droning lullabies into an artistic stew of eerie, yet inviting melody on his debut vinyl release, Horrorism. Deeply personal and wildly humbling, Horrorism is a vast chasm of introspective churning. Conjuring the spirit of some sort of homegrown and low-pass filtered Radiohead on downers, yet sewn to the hip of modern atmospheric-champions a la Grouper and Sean McCann. 
This is entirely its own creature, caressing various spots in the brain; both abysmal and blissful. Noble has crafted a 100% viable album, a true masterpiece in its own world. With Horrorism, Noble brings his compositions to life with class and depth, molding a beautiful, emotional release.

jueves, 10 de noviembre de 2011

Ben Fleury-Steiner - The Places That Find You

Genre: Ambient, Drone, Experimental
Label: Low Point

Ben Fleury-Steiner is a Delaware-based composer and owner of the Gears Of Sand label. Drawing upon his deep love of minimalism and influenced by the work of avant-garde composer Steve Reich, 'The Places That Find You ' was recorded over a two year period between 2009 to 2011.

The recording process made use of a mixture of instrumentation, including the use of the kalimba (the traditional name for a thumb piano) and the various sounds produced when played in the manner of a prepared guitar, coupled with more modern electronic instruments including effects pedals and synths. 

First impressions pull closer, strings and fizzles fall, carrying you, reaching further and ending up in an all-new place. Time is simple and less than a moment, with the lasting habit of a worn-out keepsake but nonetheless you are still immediately there again, inside those open arms and a world you have always dreamed of.

In homage to minimalism and imagination, 'The Places That Find You' by Ben Fleury-Steiner embodies an ultimate trance, the ability to connect directly with the listener and the truth behind the feeling of music from the heart. Far away but incredibly close, the five tracks forming this album never return to the ordinary but move, invert and grow, through time-lapse expressions and faded visions.

Some listeners want to be transported to other places through music, whilst others hear the technical artistry and find inspiration to delve deeper into the creative process. Without any direction and by simply following your own natural instincts, 'The Places That Find You' is a guide that places you instantly, allowing each listener to find more, not only through the music but from inside themselves.

miércoles, 9 de noviembre de 2011

Nils Frahm — Juno 7"

Genre: Neo Classical, Instrumental, Electronic
Label: Erased Tapes

Hearing the first notes of For, the sound of Nils Frahm’s new composition comes strangely unexpected given his generally accepted image of a contemporary classical pianist. Along with his peers, Ólafur Arnalds, Dustin O’Halloran among others, Frahm prefers form above technical brilliance and swims in a flow of something what can be called post-minimalism. There are neither vivid and brave orchestrations in a vein of Arvo Pärt or John Cage, nor are Arnalds’ or O’Halloran’s arrangements as daring and provocative as John Adams’ or Henryk Górecki’s. Surely, the young generation doesn’t call the elders to a battle; they evolve a concept of simplicity and emotional clarity – something needed in nowadays overcrowded world.

That’s why For and Peter, two improvisational compositions from limited vinyl Juno , come bit unexpectedly. For consists exclusively of dark, organ-tinged analogue synthesizers imprisoned in never-ending harmonic loops and simple melodic loops. Frahm’s mind raises to a more hopeful, blue hills and descends back into sedated comfort of dusk. The reason why For deserves an attention is its liberation of all those clichés about synthetic music; Frahm preserves the composition from falling into cold, inhuman territories. I believe that he reaches this strange warmness either by the patience which is present in every harmonic modulation or in the calm evolution of the motive and in the very selection of the synthesizers which recall the embracing sound of pipe-organ. Finally, he has already demonstrated his affection towards electronics on 7fingers, his collaborative effort with cellist Anne Müller and Juno just follows the suite.

But this time, he’s alone with his synthesizers – no other instruments are put in the mix – and Peter Broderick as his recurring muse. After all, the mystery of the cozy nature of For may dwell in its devotion to a particular person and an underlying emotion: the classic source of beauty in music. You may perceive For (and the entire EP Juno) as a surprising experiment; but it’s rather an expression of a personal feeling through an automatized device controlled by human fingers and living, creative mind.
Review made by Tomas, from MusicAddicted

martes, 8 de noviembre de 2011

Leyland Kirby - Intrigue and Stuff Vol. 3

Genre: Experimental, Ambient, Electronic, Drone

This Time no reviews. I´m lazy, sorry

domingo, 6 de noviembre de 2011

Leyland Kirby - Intrigue & Stuff - Vol. 2

Genre: Ambient, Experimental, Drone, Electronic

Kirby provides yet another facet of beautiful noise exploration here. Comprised of three songs, two of which clock in at roughly 12 and 20 minutes, respectively, there is a more grandiose framework to this second volume. However, as always in Kirby’s work, it’s the little details in songs that define this artist.

Embarking at 'Eventually, It Eats Your Lungs' we navigate the crests of swelling choral samples and strangely tactile blasts of blurry bass, delivered with a physicality not unlike being touched in a dream. The two elements tussle and tumble in this fluctuating mindspace, reaching irregular resolutions that still leave us baffled - in the best possible sense. After dilating our sense of time with this passage, we're briefly extruded through the cosmic chrono-chaos of 'Speeded Up Slow Motion', a piece that feels like gazing into localized miniature black hole. That's all preparation for 'Complex Expedition', one of Leyland Kirby's most breathtaking masterpieces to date. Spanning all 20 minutes of the B-side, the milk sea is curdling and we're stranded, eons away from anyone or anything.

sábado, 5 de noviembre de 2011

Nicholas Szczepanik - Candor of Night

Genre: Experimental, Ambient, Drone
Label: Self Released

Ante Algo Azul consists of 12 pieces; each will be released on a 3" CDr limited to 100 copies. The set will be sold as a subscription and each piece will be mailed individually, as it is finished. Each piece will be handwrapped in paper and, at times, a piece may also include other keepsakes like photographs, poetry, etc...

This is the third piece of this remarcable project.

miércoles, 19 de octubre de 2011

Benoît Honoré Pioulard - Plays Thelma

Link removed by request of the label

Genre: Ambient, Drone, Experimental
Label: Desire Path Recordings


Thelma is best described as a place existing in between--a lake within a haze. Against its concave mirror, the sonic territory of Benoit Honore Pioulard--documented across three acclaimed LPs by Chicago's Kranky label--assumes the qualities of this place and all its ephemera, warm breezes, burbling shimmers and avian circlers. During his excursions to Thelma, Pioulard rested beneath the willow and wandered in the meadow, listening, absorbing, and recording. Glimpses are contained herein, where the solace and beauty of this mysterious place resonate in travelers who care to listen.

Should anything of significance be read into the subtle name change from Benoît Pioulard to Benoît Honoré Pioulard? Is the amendment designed to reflect a marked change in the sound captured on this six-track EP compared to that documented on the three full-lengths Pioulard issued on kranky (2006'sPrecis, 2008's Temper, and 2010's Lasted)? One can only guess, but this much is certain: Plays Thelmapresents a radically different side of Thomas Meluch's Benoît Pioulard equation. The trademark vocals, acoustic guitars, and rhythm-based song structures of the albums are gone, and the material instead assumes the form of scenic ambient instrumentals that were crafted using guitar, harmonium, voice, bowed bells, cello, music box, and field recordings, among other sound sources.

Available in digital and twelve-inch vinyl formats (the latter in an edition of 300 clear vinyl), Plays Thelma isn't the romantic paen to an artist's muse one might assume it to be but is rather Pioulard's evocation of a place, specifically a haze-enshrouded lake populated by warm breezes, meadows, and willow trees that that he wandered through and rested under while soaking in the locale's ephemeral sounds. That experience translated into twenty-three continuous minutes of ambient settings that both soothe with enveloping calm (“A Land Which Has No End”) and restlessly flicker (“Calder”). One more surprise comes at the recording's end when “Autochoral” closes the EP with the lulling swirl of a cosmic drone.

Review from Textura.

domingo, 25 de septiembre de 2011

Alexander Turnquist - Hallway of Mirrors

Genre: Folk, Experimental
Label: VHF records

Alexander Turnquist continues to forge his own radical style to create a very resonant and enveloping acoustic sound, full of beautiful harmonic overtone interplay, all instruments sustained. Alex’s guitar approach revolves around a prodigious right-hand technique and a minimalist slant on composition that separates him from the retro-styling endemic to most current acoustic guitar music. Hallway of Mirrors uses much of the tonal palate from his previous record (As the Twilight Crane Dreams in Color, vhf#118) – dense 12-string finger-picking with vibraphone and piano carrying much of the melody. On Hallway, the pieces are more concise with the added sweep of Christopher Tignor’s elegant violin punctuating Alex’s harmonics-laden forward motion and Matthew O’Koren’s immaculate vibraphone (played with both mallets and bow). The additional instrumentation, inspired in part by Steve Reich’s “Music for 18 Musicians,” provides an added focus in the music, signifying each change in tone and timbre. Recorded on analog tape using traditional automatic double tracking stereo mix techniques by engineers Henry Hirsch and Bram Tobey, the sound has an elegant soft focus that highlights Alex’s strong and sharp performance. The centerpiece of the album, the 16 minute “Waiting at the Departure Gate,” makes a sly nod in tribute to fellow VHF artist Jack Rose, who all too briefly explored similar techniques on his classic “Black Pearls.” A truly uplifting and emotional listening experience.

sábado, 10 de septiembre de 2011

Talvihorros - Descent Into Delta

Link removed by request

Genre: Electronic, Ambient, Drone
Label: Hibernate

The descent into delta is British composer Ben Chatwin’s map of the mind’s vibrational spectrum. The human brain emits waves at different phases, with gamma rays reflecting full alertness and delta waves reflecting the zenith of slumber. Much like a film can trace a character’s entire lifetime in a couple hours, Descent Into Delta maps the transition between complete lucidity and deep sleep in less than forty minutes.

While the title suggests a dropping down into peace or darkness, the guitar-driven ambience contains a lot of bright-cornered drama, suggesting that the mind is surprisingly active while on the path to losing consciousness. “Beta” sounds like our curiosity with dreams, as if it is a direct invitation to visit the other side. Washed out tremors of tremolo swim amongst disembodied conversations and sea-floor trowling guitars. A multitude of distorted and shimmering layers jockey for space like a crowded school of fish that instinctively knows when to turn. Listening to this track is as fascinating as watching a coral reef burst with chaos and balance: a vivid but relaxing experience.

Considering the significantly less busy layering in opening track “Gamma”, Chatwin’s explorations suggest that the dreamworld is more dynamic than the waking state. Further into Descent Into Delta the sounds spread out. Alpha waves, the official waves of wakeful relaxation with closed eyes, arrive in the form of lugubrious guitar respirations. Dulcimers waver like leaves in a tree, and sour the shine of day. With eyes closed, the tangible world starts to bend. Talvihorros attempts to float the listener’s mind on an earthen hammock while the atmospheric sounds occasionally go off key, as if the mind is remembering them incorrectly.

The release is meant to be a continuous exploration of waves emitted by the brain, but curiously the music stops halfway though before the cloud-painting “Theta” slumbers its way in. On an LP this makes sense, but it’s a shame Chatwin didn’t blend it all together for the digital release. This would have allowed the listener to fully indulge in the experiment. The Caretaker’s recent album also served as a mental experiment on vinyl, exploring the affects of Alzheimer’s disease and memory, but the nature of those song fragments warranted pauses and uncertainty. Descent Into Delta is very lush and was labored over intently. Addressing this snag would have improved the experience.

Chatwin seems to get better with each Talvihorros release, and Descent Into Delta is a fine example of the diverse ways in which a guitar can contribute to the crafting of a cohesive environment. Overall it has the sensibility of Aidan Baker and the real-time nocturnal features of Expo 70. Chatwin improvises much of his work and goes in to tweak it later. Yet despite the obvious amount of care, this release has the air of spontaneity. On the final track, “Delta”, a viola wanders like a ghost through the dead of night, clearly present, but without tangible form, like a lucid dreamer in the ether of sleep.

Review from The Silent Ballet

sábado, 3 de septiembre de 2011

Leyland Kirby - Eager To Tear Apart The Stars

Genre: Ambient, Drone, Experimental
Eager To Tear Apart The Stars is as beautiful as you'd expect from a Kirby album, centred largely around piano, canned strings and a constant wash of static crackle.
These tracks are arrestingly clear-headed and sombre, with the requisite amount of emotional un-ease and a beguilling sense of ambiguity thanks to those perception-altering layers of fuzz and filtered detritus on the lens keeping things firmly hyperreal. How you decipher the meanings of these moods and atmospheres is where the beauty and longevity of these tracks lie, as patience and repeated listens will reveal new views of the landscape as the seasons change. Imagine if Roedelius had grown up in Stockport in the midst of a rave-o-lution, couple that with a sardonic yet discerning post-everything attitude 10 years before everyone else, and then wonder what that experience may result in - and you just might be quite close to imagining the treats this album holds in store for you...

miércoles, 31 de agosto de 2011

James Blackshaw - Holly Ep

Genre: Experimental, Folk
Label: Important



The two intimate and introspective pieces collected here were written and recorded during the first three months of 2011, during a break after an intense year of touring and the release of his eighth album "All Is Falling". In many ways, these songs more closely resemble his earlier work, with swirling, cyclical acoustic 12-string and nylon string guitar (a first for Blackshaw) being the focal point of the compositions. Charlotte Glasson also contributes some beautifully restrained clarinet, saxophone, flute and violin playing to the proceedings. There are echoes of French Impressionist composers Satie, Debussy and Ravel in the song "Holly", while "Boo, Forever" even sees a nod to the Takoma guitarists which first enthused and inspired him to start fingerpicking a decade ago, but - more than anything - the sound is unmistakably Blackshaw's own and ranks among some of his finest and most beautiful work yet.

miércoles, 29 de junio de 2011

Nicholas Szczepanik - Not Knowing (For Eliane Radigue)

Label: Self released
Genre: Ambient, Electronic, Neo classical

Ante Algo Azul consists of 12 pieces; each will be released on a 3" CDr limited to 100 copies. The set will be sold as a subscription and each piece will be mailed individually, as it is finished. Each piece will be handwrapped in paper and, at times, a piece may also include other keepsakes like photographs, poetry, etc...

This is the first release of this serie

jueves, 23 de junio de 2011

Marsen Jules Trio - Les Fleurs Variations

Label: Oktaf
Genre: Ambient, Neo classical

Minimalist electronics and neo-classic drapes. The echo is not so distant. Five years ago, the German Marsen Jules ventured on the language of Molière. Noble and slight, his album Les Fleurs remains this day one of the most beautiful manners to observe the morning dew. Since, time inexorably changed. Marsen Jules took some years, went up its own label and left the solitude of the studio for the collective adventure. Laptop, violin and piano. The flesh returns stealthily. Accompanied with Anwar Alam and with Jan-Philipp Alamplein, Marsen Jules thus becomes trio. Tuned to this first tour of stoking, its universe of ice-cold winds wins at it obviously in heat and density. Everything takes place in the detail and the lighting there, only spaces of freedom were granted to the sources of origin. Certainly, the territory is already conquered but the flight is made this time of night, so modifying the perception and the firm memory of past. Without upsetting totally the bases of a centred music.

miércoles, 22 de junio de 2011

Nicholas Szczepanik - Amaranthine

Label: Self Released
Genre: Ambient, Drone

Ante Algo Azul consists of 12 pieces; each will be released on a 3" CDr limited to 100 copies. The set will be sold as a subscription and each piece will be mailed individually, as it is finished. Each piece will be handwrapped in paper and, at times, a piece may also include other keepsakes like photographs, poetry, etc...

This is the fourth piece of this remarcable project.

viernes, 29 de abril de 2011

Leyland Kirby - Intrigue & Stuff (Vol. 1)

Genre: Ambient, Minimal, Experimental, Drone

Yet another curve-ball from oldskool Lancashire Raver Kirby. Changing colour like a confused chameleon, never blending in with its environment. This release was unannounced and comes as a minimally packaged hand-stamped white label which is a stark contrast to the breathtaking sleeves from his trilogy that were embellished with breath taking artworks from the highly under rated painter Ivan Seal. As with Kirby's recent out put this does feel very much like a journey of self-discovery and a magical roller-coaster of emotions. The tracks here sparkle with uplifting and vibrant tones with speckles of old new-beat and 808 State, David Lynch and way beyond influences, along with his more dreamy and cerebral direction. The general mood is difficult to quantify and comparing to other contemporary artists is practically impossible. This is very much electronic music at its most potent and soul stirring. Over analysis of these tracks would be dangerous but I can say there is a very "classic" electronic music spirit present.

sábado, 23 de abril de 2011

Kaboom Karavan - Barra Barra

Genre: Experimental, Drone, Jazz, Ambient
Label: Miasmah

With Kaboom Karavan it’s hard to know quite where to start – the Belgian collective led by Bram Bosteels have a history in theatre, film and contemporary dance, but that doesn’t really help shine a light on their music. They have collaborated with musicians all over the world including Miasmah’s very own Kreng, and released a debut album on Mexico’s Umlo imprint, but again this probably only gives a small indicator of what the collective actually sound like. There is something effortlessly surreal about the band, and surrealism is an aspect of art often attempted and very rarely perfected. Here Bosteels abuses his choice of instruments (and players) to the point where the listener would barely be able to place which instruments were being used at all, in fact at times you’d be hard pressed even to place what sort of music it was. Through a haze of pizzicato strings, clouds of sullen reverberation and clamorous percussion you get the feeling that you have been catapulted into a universe just outside of perception; somewhere cold and unforgiving where regularity is turned upside down just to toy with our strict ideas of reality. Jazz and Dadaism might be the cornerstones of ‘Barra Barra’ but these disparate influences are twisted and melted beyond recognition leaving only remnants on the finished product.

Bosteels and his band of collaborators have brought to life music steeped in surrealism which brings to mind This Heat’s classic album Deceit, but crossed with something different and yet more dark, like a musical version of cult television show The League Of Gentlemen.

The album, indeed each track within Barra Barra, weaves together many threads of sound and, occasionally, melodies, so that it is difficult for one to follow what instrument is being played most of the time. Opener Lentetooi is centred around a tune worthy of a child’s musical box, but this is offset with sinister mutterings, arranged with flute and strings in a method as to invoke a gleeful discomfort. Following piece Koboi is centred around relaxed guitar riffing in a slow and awkward rhythm. As the key refrain repeats again and again, the background is taken up by field recordings of indeterminate source, adding a texture and depth to a track which, if stripped down to just guitar, would be very minimal. Moving ahead a few tracks, the atmospheric Parka is more heavily led by captured sounds and the way in which they are employed brings to mind something of Graham Lambkin & Jason Lescalleet. It’s a beautiful piece and again highlights Kaboom Karavan’s knack for creatively bringing together many elements in a way which is anything but typical.

‘Barra Barra’ is a complex album which takes patience to navigate through; you could hear the German clanking pre-industrialism of Einsturzende Neubauten, the slow brooding doom of Bohren & Der Club of Gore and the stuttering abstraction of Black To Comm yet it still feels fresh and distinctly current. Unusually the most fitting comparison might be the work of the Brothers Quay, as the ticking, creaking, stuttering songs feel perfectly matched with these flickering, haunted images. This is what makes the album such an appropriate addition to the Miasmah canon, and one that will haunt your dreams (and nightmares) for months to come.

viernes, 22 de abril de 2011

Antonymes - The Licence To Interpret Dreams

Link removed by request

Genre: Neo Classical, Ambient, Experimental

There is no maelstrom, no swell of overwhelming sound. Antonyme’s first full-length work, The License to Interpret Dreams, is defiant in its fragility; in fact, the work is so over-wrought that it teeters on the point of collapse. It seems its purpose is to carry on a prolonged moment of respite despite the fact that it shudders under its weight and poignancy.

Each piece is a wonder, much like encountering different facets of the same being, finding something new to love about someone: an unintended twitch, a new wrinkle, freckle. To think you know something or someone so deeply and be surprised by what is still to be discovered. A guarded laugh may at times burst out into a full-fledged explosion. An undefined glance. I can also imagine knowing someone so deeply but encountering them in a store or street, without accompanying them, and seeing them exist outside of your life together, as if you’ve never met or known one another. Who is a person you care deeply about when they’re not with you? On this work, I began to look at people I’ve known and places I’ve visited in a new light, questioning everything I’ve ever known, and whether what I’ve known was conjured and an extension of myself. I listen to “Doubt” and I hear scattered words and experience an assortment of images, and I wonder whether what I see is me, or, as I understand myself to be.

A finite layer of gossamer shrouds the album from the start, as “A Fragile Acceptance” gradually seeps out of the speakers. A serene hush floats in and, intermittently, notes pick up out of the silence. A wave of strings emerges from the silence and shares a kinship with the sensation of an epiphany, of knowing everything all at once before it completely escapes you. I felt lonely in its absence, when it subsides, but became used to the emptiness so effortlessly filled in with the right note or the right shift, at the right time.

“Womb of the Great Mother” is barely there. I was directly connected to it without noticing; it was affecting what I was doing, whether I would stop and stare, entranced, while finishing some work, it began to inform my thinking and my doing. I suppose the purpose of some music is to barely exist and creep into your being. The many diluted definitions of ambient music try to express this point but what they fail to accept is that your mind moves with the music, you become aware, and it washes over you. Music should never exist at the perimeter and Antonymes’ work permeates your being from all angles. The listener plumbs the depths, occasionally rising for air on “Landscape Beyond an Open Window”; the wind cuddles around you before “Endlessly” wisps you away from the bracken, the charming foliage, and the shrubbery.

There is so much to experience and so much the music will conjure for the listener. The music on “The License to Interprete Dreams” can influence how one views the world, their inherent sensibilities, of knowing, and, finally, of returning.

Review from Fluid Radio