Ghost of 29 Megacycles – The Hummingbird Dream

hummingbird dream

The Ghost of 29 Megacycles (Australia) recently released a beautiful new EP-album called “The Hummingbird Dream”.

Though this is the second release under this name (following up “Love Via Paper Planes”  from 2009), the main part of this new album is a long drone solo recording by Greg Thaw on guitar, organ and field recording. 

Part 1 of this “delicate two song cycle born from sleepless nights, morning silence and sadness” starts with a guitar based drone, slowly deconstructing – until the morning breaks.

Machinefabriek – Halfslaap

Judged by its title ánd by its music, “Halfslaap”  (Half-Sleep) could have been a new release in the fascinating Slaapwel-series. But, surprisingly, it isn’t. This is part 6 of the Rural Route subscription series, as released by

All issues of this series have been released on extremely limited (150 copies each) 3″CD’s, including a digital download of the music. 

But, to keep things exclusive (and satisfy collectors), the download option ends when the title is sold out!

Elian – Whispers, Then Silence

If I would simply define “ambient” as “drone“, or as “ignorable music“, then Elian‘s Whispers, Then Silence” would not really fit in here: this roller-coaster ride of electronic soundscapes is definitely not created for repeated playing in the background!

This is clear from the 15-minute title track opening the album: starting with a minimal vibraphone theme, there’s a sudden atmosphere change in the middle, leading to machines running amok for seemingly endless minutes until the end of the track.

Le Berger – De Fe’kun. Dus Ad Salus


There’s not gonna be a lot of background information in this review. In fact, I do not know anything about this release – apart from the simple fact that it is created by Samuel Landry from Montreal, creating his minimal ambient using primitive means and scarce source materials.

This album may already be known to few under its working title Odes and Probes (the tracks had different  working titles, too).

It can be downloaded from Bandcamp for any price you care to donate.

Brian McBride – The Effective Disconnect

The fact alone that Brian McBride is one of the founding core members of Stars of the Lid (along with Adam Wiltzie), is enough to raise a lot of interest about this new release on the Kranky label.
Or maybe I should say “buzz”, considering the documentary this soundtrack was created for.

Inevitably, this record bears the mark of Stars of the Lid music: the use of extended string chords combined with electronic, the melancholic, “lamentable” overall sound – anyone familiar with the Stars OTL will immediately recognize this.

But this is not a SOTL album: it is a Brian McBride solo-album (his second, following 2005’s “When the Detail Lost its Freedom).

And this means there are some noticeable differences, too.

Piiptsjilling – Wurdskrieme

On the debut release in 2008, Piiptsjilling was the name of the album performed by Machinefabriek & Jan Kleefstra, together with Romke Kleefstra and Mariska Baars
Following this remarkable debut, the original contributors have kept working together and performing in as well as outside Holland – to growing critical acclaim.

Now, Piiptsjilling is used as the name of the band.

One might think this kind of spoken word music, spoken in the Frisian language (Friesland is a province in the north of the Netherlands) would be of local interest only.
Luckily, the opposite prove to be true: the message of their music came across widely outside Friesland too. 

The new Piiptsjilling album, called “Wurdskrieme(Cry of Words) is now released on
Compared to the original Piiptsjilling album, it’s a quite different view of the same concept.

Benjamin Dauer – Burning of Wine

Although Burning of Wine” is presented as Benjamin Dauers debut album, it is clear from the very first notes that this is not the first music he created.  
The tracks are extremely well-balanced, and created with a restraint that shows Benjamin’s musical maturity. 

From the very first play I realised that this album would be among my favourite ambient music releases this year!

And here is another pleasant surprise: this album can be downloaded for free from the Distance Recordings netlabel website.

Celer – Engaged Touches

Celer’s Engaged Touches’ was the second release on the Home Normal label in 2009 – which in fact sold out before it even went on sale. 
This fact alone justifies this (1000 edition) re-release.

The somewhat misleading cover photo may trick an unsuspecting passenger into thinking this is a new Konono No. 1 or Staff Benda Bilili release (though on second view the image isn’t even remotely african) – but the music tells quite a different story.

“…an absorbing combination of classic ambient, minimalism, and – perhaps as the most distinct characteristic – overwhelming romanticism. Longing, melancholy, nostalgia, and the like seem to be recurring themes in Will and Dani’s works.”
(original liner notes)

Joe Evans + Craig Burston – Systems out of Chance

Ambient/Electronic albums with an added DVD have my extra attention, especially when the DVD includes surround version of the music. 

In this respect, Systems Out of Chance is a feast for the senses, because it not only contains fascinating music on CD, but also a beautifully constructed “three way dialogue between text, image and sound” (as Sam Gatherole, art writer, described it) on DVD.
Including a surround mix on the DVD! 

The Systems Out of Chance exposition was presented at the Parfitt Gallery in Croydon in march, 2010, as a result of a collaboration between Joe Evans (sound) and Craig Burston (images). 
“Six speakers and three portrait monitors were synched to create an immersive audio-visual triptych born out of a shared love of systems, chaos and the everyday’