MICHAEL SCOTT DAWSON – FIND YOURSELF LOST
When you read about ‘the fringes of country & western’ your first association will probably not be connected top ambient music. Unless you’re listening to Michael Scott Dawson’s third album, Find Yourself Lost.
The pedal steel guitar may remind you of Daniel Lanois on Apollo, and the Paris, Texas soundtrack can also come to mind. But Dawson has created his own process to come to this grounded yet unearthly result.
He ‘began to experiment with alternate tunings and granular guitar. He recorded and mixed a full album, and then called upon a handful of friends and kindred peers to improvise on top of it. Treating their contributions like found sounds or samples he stole little moments, manipulated passages, and dismantled his original recordings in the process.’
This means that this is the first album where Dawson is joined by other musicians: Ettienne Soulodre on pedal steel, Dalton Lam on Flugelhorn, Bryce Lewis on guitar, Aaron Kapinka on dobro, and Gage McGuire on baritone guitar.
And, to top that off, there are also a few (almost hidden) fragments from an unlabeled garage sale cassette of someone’s home-dubbed line dancing (!).
CHRISTIAN WITTMAN – ORION NEBULA
Christian Wittman was one of the founders of the French group Lightwave, who started around 1985 playing ‘Kosmische’ Berlin-school music and later more avant-garde electronic music. As a solo artist, his music is ‘at the crossroads of ambient music and space music, with a strong emphasis on sound design and atmospheres’.
Orion Nebula quite literally refers to outer space: to the ‘cloud of cosmic light, color, gas and dust located in the heart of the Orion Constellation.’
There are 9 ‘stages’ in this ‘weightless journey’. However, Wittman does not want to tell a story with his music. It is up to the listener to ‘lose himself or herself in the labyrinth of memories, ideas, sensations and images’ – and with immersive music like this, that is not hard to do.
Bandcamp offers only the download version of Orion Nebula, but the CD version can be bought from Kunaki