Ambient Music Mixes & Reviews
Mar 14

In the Shortlist sections, I will mention the albums that I enjoyed listening to, but couldn't find the time (or the right words) for a "full" review for. Still, I definitely think they deserve your attention, with ór without extra words!

Celer - ZigZag

CELER - ZIGZAG
It's quite hard to keep up with Will Long's incredible output: the Celer discography counts over 100 titles now, of which 8 albums were released in 2013 alone! But it's worth trying, because his releases (Celer is his solo project since 2009) have a constant quality and a personal trademark sound.
Currently living in Tokyo, it's only fitting that his latest (or one of his latest) albums is released on the Spekk label.

Mar 12

Makrophonie

With a real name for an album title, Kontakt Der Jünglinge (Thomas Köner and Asmus Tietchens - the name being a homage to Stockhausen) break with the naming tradition of the predecessor series released in 2001 - 2003: '0', '1', '-1', 'N'.

The black color of the cover (in contrast to the white sleeves of the earlier series) suggests that there a more differences: to begin with, "Makrophonie 1" is not a live set recording but the duo's first studio album.

Mar 11

In the Fields

Needless to say that the first interesting thing I noticed was the name: Stefkovic van Interesse.
A surname that sounds quite Dutch...
Or, on second thought, German: van Interesse comes from Leipzig, Germany (I was tricked by the 'van').

But apart from his name there's a lot more interesting to this debut album "In the Fields"...

Mar 08

Black Elk Sketches V

With core members Ian Hawgood (electronics), Danny Norbury(cello), Clem Leek (piano), and Tim Martin (Maps and Diagrams, electronics), Black Elk could be regarded as a post-classical/ambient "Supergroup".

In 2012, their first album"Sparks" was released, a beautiful collection of atmospheric tracks in various styles.

For their recent Japan tour (december 2013) a collection of "Sketches" was assembled on five different (CDR) albums, containing outtakes, unfinished tracks, live performances and ... sketches!

Mar 04

The Epic of Everest

"The Epic of Everest" is a classic documentary (from 1924!) about George Mallory and Sandy Irvine's attempt that year to climb the Mount Everest. The fateful expedition was filmed by Captain John Noel in the harshest conditions:
"The pair were last seen when they were about 800 vertical feet (245m) from the summit. Mallory's ultimate fate was unknown for 75 years, until his body was discovered on 1 May 1999 by an expedition that had set out to search for the climbers' remains. Whether Mallory and Irvine reached the summit before they died remains a subject of speculation and continuing research."
The film is also among the earliest filmed records of life in Tibet.

For the BFI restoration of this move, a completely new score was composed by Simon Fisher Turner.
And this score turns out to be an impressive sonic document by itself!

Mar 02

tintinnabuli mathematica

Whenever I listen to music by Arvo Pärt, I can experience a lot of different things. But one of the last things that comes to my mind is a mathematical analysis of the Tintinnabuli (Bell- ) compositional style Pärt often uses - a quiet, minimalist, and often meditative style that (quote from the Wikipedia Page): "is characterized by two types of voices, the first of which (dubbed the "tintinnabular voice") arpeggiates the tonic triad, and the second of which moves diatonically in stepwise motion."

For "Tintinnabuli Mathematica, Vol. I", Guy Birkin has programmed algorithms to create generative music (random and thus relatively unpredictable music created following a pre-defined set of choices and rules) based on the Tintinnabuli style.

Mar 01

Lay-By Lullabye

There is something special with the sound of passing cars, especially when recorded at night. They always bring a feeling of loneliness, of things passing by and leaving you behind. They make you think of where to go...

For "Lay-By Lullabye", his latest album recently released on 12k, Janek Schaefer recorded the sound of cars passing by on the M3 Motorway ("Right at the end of the road where J.G. Ballard lived")

Feb 24

In the Shortlist sections, I will mention the albums that I enjoyed listening to, but couldn't find the time (or the right words) for a "full" review for. Still, I definitely think they deserve your attention, with ór without extra words!

The Long Night

STEVE ROACH + KELLY DAVID - THE LONG NIGHT
With his impressive back-catalogue spanning over 30 years, Steve Roach may very well be counted as one of the Grandfathers of classic ambient music.
He has always remained true to his personal style: his deep soundscapes has become an example for many other artists.

Feb 21

Halfslaap II - Stiltetonen

I wonder if, looking back a few years from now, "Halfslaap II / Stiltetonenmay prove to be a turning point in Machinefabriek's discography - a cautious transition from 'improvised knob-twiddling' (his own words, not mine) to composed music played by musicians....
Listening to this version of "Halfslaap II", it's interesting to know that Rutger Zuydervelt is currently working on a transcription for a String Quartet version of this piece.
But that is a thing to happen in the (near) future - thís particular recording is a score for solo violin loops (played by Anne Bakker) and electronics.

Feb 17

Frequencies

Sometimes, from the first opening seconds of an album it can be immediately clear that this one is different...

"This one is different..." was what I felt immediately after hearing the first notes of Nicolas Bernier's new album "Frequencies (a / Fragments)".

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