Jasper TX – This Quiet Season

Jasper TX

“This Quiet Season” is aptly titled for a release on Slaapwel Records (Sleep Well). Slaapwel is a small DIY label from Belgium that focuses on ‘music to fall asleep to’ and releases it in limited amounts (because the packages are handmade). 
While the releases on this label all have a recognizable package format, each release gets a handmade cover that perfectly fits the musical content.

Jasper TX (named after a city located in Texas) is also knows as Dag Rosenqvist from Sweden. Apart from earlier releases under this name,  he also released titles together with Rutger Zuyderveld (Machinefabriek) such as Vintermusik and Feberdröm.

Weblog Name Change

Some of you may have noticed the name of this weblog has changed.
“Sound is Audible Time” (a quote from a book by John Luther Adams: “Winter Music“) has been the motto of this weblog for over two years now. I felt it was time for something shorter.

“DreamScenes” was the name of one of the ambient-mixes I have created for NPS Supplement radio.
This particular one was broadcast for four uninterrupted hours back in 2002. 

“DreamScenes” is a short but effective description of what good ambient music can be. 
And, for some reason, it’s also the word that frequently makes search engine users land on one of my webpages.
(Could it be they came looking for a ‘dreamscene’ animated desktop backgrounds for Vista? 
Most of these animated backgrounds  are quite “ambient” natured too, so combining a desktop dreamscene with some of the music offered here may result in interesting combinations… )

By the way, the title is the only thing that has changed.
The rest of the weblog remains exactly the same. No need to change your links.

Entia Non – Sub Routine

Entia Non - sub Routine

I can’t remember how I found the Resting Bell netlabel website – must have been on someone else’s weblog. The website layout looked promising enough, so I downloaded some of the albums available.
Starting, of course, with the latest release: Entia Non’s Sub routine.
The quality of the music of this album is impressive. Created by Australian artist James McDougall, it bears many references yet still maintains a completely personal sound.
It’s Entia Non’s first release on Resting Bell, after releasing other titles on U-Cover and Test Tube.

The Young Person’s Guide to Generative Music

Dark Symphony

Koan, the music software that can be credited for creating a musical form that was neither “recorded” nor “live” (see previous post here ) did generate a lot of interesting musical projects.
Brian Eno’s diskette-release “Generative Music 1” may have been the most noticeable release, but certainly it wasn’t the only one that was interesting.

Wouter van Veldhoven – Ruststukken

RustStukken

Wouter van Veldhoven ‘s Ruststukken is recently released on the new Belgian label ‘Slaapwel’.

Slaapwel means Sleep well.; Label owner Wim Maesschalck tells us:
“I set out, looking for people that would be good at making mind-soothing songs. I ask them to write a sleep-inducing record, I listen to it, and when I fail to reach the end because I fell asleep, I release it as a musical record with whatever means are available to me.”
Well that’s a heart-warming concept to me!

Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent

Bloom. Huge. Allure. The Explanation. The Discussion. An Answer.
This is quite a special case (literally!).

Carefully scheduled in the last three years, Fovea Hex released three EP’s, each containing three songs, with a bonus cd containing remixes/reworks by The Hafler Trio (H30) for every initial release.
Concluding this series, in 2007, a beautiful box is released (as could be expected) containing all 3 EP’s and, if you want it all, also including the bonus cd’s.

"Computer says No"

C272

I recently upgraded my audio system with the NAD C272 power amplifier. I was not quite happy with the standard (stereo) sound performance of the Cambridge Audio 540R surround receiver. A good surround receiver, but a bit flat in the standard stereo performance (though lot of people think otherwise, that’s why I chose this particular one). Reverting to a stereo system was no option for me, because I really enjoy surround music when playing movies or electronic multi-channel music.
By adding the C272 for extra power, the performance in playing ‘normal’ 2-channel music (which I still play 90% of the time) strongly enhanced, so I get ‘the best of two worlds".

The NAD power amplifier is stored out of reach, and has a convenient "Sleep/Wake" feature that activates the amplifier when receiving signal and makes it go into sleep mode when there’s no signal for 5 minutes.

But there’s a downside.

Robert Fripp & Brian Eno – Beyond Even (1992 – 2006)

Fripp & Eno

There have been quite a few mediocre (‘fans only’) releases by Brian Eno in the last couple of years. The 2004 collaboration with Robert Fripp was a remarkable exception, and so is their collaboration sketches overview “Beyond Even (1996 – 2006)”.
I call this a ‘sketches overview’ because  it feels like that: a collection of works that sound like good yet unfinished ideas. Which does not mean they sound like second hand outtakes that should not have been released. Most of these tracks are very beautiful indeed, and do deserve a life on their own. However some of this tracks still feel a bit outdated, even a bit mushy sometimes.

Murcof – Cosmos

Cosmos

2005’s Remembranza was a remarkable release, partly because the warm organic sound that made the music feel quite different. Cosmos has the same sound detail, but it sounds less melancholic and more dark and threatening.
Of course, with a theme and title like this it’s no wonder it sounds like some retro-futuristic science-fiction movie soundtrack. Murcof sets himself a high standard, partly referring to to the great modern composers such as Pärt and Ligeti. The heavy crescendo’s will not appeal to everyone I guess: this is NOT ‘drone’ ambient – No chance to softly dream away.
Still, he’s living up to his reputation easily, settling himself firmly between the great artists of this genre.

BTW – Murcof will be headlining the Interzone Ambient Festival in Utrecht on September, 26.

Interzone Ambient Festival + Cluster concert

It’s been quite some time since my latest post to this weblog. Holiday time, the obligatory holiday trips …I obviously had a hard time…

But the new season has a promising start:
If you live near Utrecht, Holland you should keep an eye on the following events
(and if you don’t live in Holland but are interested still, keep an ear on the FOLIO webstream as linked below):

  • Interzone Ambient Festival – 29 / 30 september, Theater Kikker, Utrecht
    This is a 2 day festival that has a promising line-up. Murcof will be there, probably to promote his new release: Cosmos. Other performers on saturday are Jessica Bailiff, Klimek and  Shuttle 358.
    Sunday will bring us a Ahornfelder showcase, with performances by Sinebag, Semuin, F.S. Blumm, Marcel Turkowsky.
    Radio 6′ Folio will preview this festival on september, 4

cluster

  • Tivoli De Helling programs a performance by Cluster (Dieter Moebius / Hans-Joachim Roedelius) on November, 7
    Don’t know what to expect on this concert, but both Moebius and Roedelius were there to define ‘ambient’ in the time their music was called ‘Krautrock’. They partnered with Brian Eno, worked with legendary producer Conny Plank, and their 30+ years of musical output is quite difficult to survey. Again, the night before this concert, Folio will present a musical preview.

Sounds promising, doesn’t it?

Sleep Research Facility – Deep Frieze

Deep Frieze

Sleep Research Facility should be credited for one of the best names in ambient music. Apart from that, Kevin Doherty was also responsible for the Nostromo release a few years ago. Nostromo was based on the first minutes of sound from the first Alien movie (Nostromo was the name of the spaceship) (*), and the music was as deep as outer space. (By the way: you cannot find this release anymore by now, but Cold Spring Records has announced a re-release later this year).

John Watermann – Calcutta Gas Chamber

In 2006, Cold Spring records has re-released a record from 1993. It only recently came to my attention, so I would not have written about it on this weblog (for it would be ‘old news’) – if it’s thematic content wouldn’t be so shocking.
John Watermann‘s album is called ‘Calcutta Gas Chamber’ – and that about says all.  Story goes that the recording artist has visited India in the early 90’s and came across nightmare-ish giant gas chambers that the Indian government used for ‘population control’.