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!
Stars of the Lid will be performing in Utrecht, Holland on december, 21, 2007!
Yes…read that again!!
They will be performing at the Huis aan de Werf.
The Utrecht gig concludes an extensive european tour on which “The Stars” (Adam Wiltzie and Brian McBride) will be performing with a “real live” string quartet.
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.
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.
4AD will re-release Jóhann Jóhannssen’s “Englabörn” in November. Perfectly timed, since the opening track Odi et Amo, which is “sung” by a computer, links seamlessly with the equally beautiful 2006 release “IBM1401 – A User’s manual”.
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.
“Stofstuk”, a composition for singing bowl, contact mic, vinyl recording and laptop, was one of the many 3” cd’s Rutger “Machinefabriek” Zuydervelt recently unleashed. A beautiful, introspective piece of electronica. Shortly after it’s initial release, this collection of remixes appears.
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.
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
- 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 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).