Acoustic ambient: Trio Ramberget creates music to fall asleep to with double bass, bass clarinet and trombone… Ian Vine‘s 24 Still Pieces can be played in any random sequence.
Introducing “We Stayed The Path The Fell To Shadow” – a new subscription series from Lost Tribe Sound. Also introducing two new releases by Gavin Miller (one of those not included in the subscription series).
Cello music to enjoy the quietness and calm of hidden moments: by Danny Norbury & Ian Hawgood and Aaron Martin
An alternative soundscape to ‘Festen’ by Manos Milonakis * From The Mouth Of The Sun‘s third album ‘Hymn Binding’ * Two albums full of ‘piano-focused tenderness’ by Jason van Wyk
Two great ‘Contemporary Classical’ albums:
Christoph Berg‘s ‘Conversations’, released on the Sonic Pieces label.
Jeffrey Roden‘s Next Level Minimalism on volume 2 of “Threads of a Prayer”
From the contemporary post-classical debut of Resina to Tamar Halperin’s re-interpretations of classic Satie, via a remarkable collaboration of Murcof and Vanessa Wagner
Improvised soundscapes from Unland, an homage to animals by The Elderbranch Campaign, and previously unreleased reel-to-reel installation soundscapes by Wouter van Veldhoven.
CEEYS play an intimate church live session; music for Mourning by Poppy Nogood; and Joe Frawley captures the spirit of the ‘Cartomancer’ Olney H. Richmond.
It’s a hell of a comparision, I know, but Man Watching the Stars reminds me of the best work from the now-legendary Stars of the Lid.
Check out this album – you won’t regret it.
Barely one month after the DVD (re-)release of “Escapement”, Poppy Ackroyd pops up again with her newest full album release “Feathers” . Time for a quick update, an ‘addendum’ to the previous post.
Before you start listening, answer this: what associations do you have with a band name like VLNA?
Personally, I prepared for somewhat ‘unpersonal’ and possibly even ‘harsh’ sounds when I started listening.
But I was in for a surprise:“Turquoise Threads“ is an ‘impressionist vocal’ album – an album with spoken words fragments, humming, whistling, intertwining with ‘a thick veil of atmospheric noir from threads of adapted violins, guitar’ (and electronic treatments).
Matthew Collings (Scotland) has not only recorded and performed as a solo artist, but also worked together with Dag Rosenqvist (Jasper TX), Talvihorros and Ben Frost.
He has been performing live using custom-made software, and composed movie scores – such as a live score for “Man with a Movie Camera”.
“Silence is a Rhythm Too“ is his second solo-album, and it turns out to be quite different from its more ‘minimalist pop’ orientated predecessor“Splintered Instruments” (which is rereleased together with the new album).
Imagine a single 50 minute track album with contributions from more than 150 artists….
I can’t even begin to list names here but you should definitely check the list on the Bandcamp page – I’m sure it’ll raise your interest to find out more about Rutger “Machinefabriek” Zuydervelt‘s project“Stay Tuned“.
NILS FRAHM – SPACES
Possibly the most well-known artist mentioned here is keyboard wizard Nils Frahm. Whoever has seen him perform live will definitely remember that performance clearly. His music can be extremely melodic, making it accessible to a wide audience, yet he’s not afraid to search for some extremes during the process.
After each performance, people often asked him which of his albums best represented what they had just witnessed. Since such an album did not really exist, “Spaces“ was specifically assembled with that question in mind. And indeed it perfectly captures a Nils Frahm performance.
The ambient tree has many branches. In fact it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what “ambient” music is. This has raised many discussions, as the music called ‘ambient’ ranges from strict and almost unchanging drones to techno beats one can even dance to.
As the genre evolves, some borders are crossed. “Ambient” music can sometimes involve introspective (and sometimes psychedelic) folk music, massive guitar chord walls… or even jazz.
Most of the times, ambient music also involves electronic sounds or processing acoustic sounds.
But not always: sometimes ambient music is created strictly using acoustic instruments.
Enter The Necks with their latest album called “Open“.
‘IMPETUS‘ is Sebastian Plano’s second full album release, the follow-up to his 2011 debut album “Arrhythmical Parts of the Heart“ (which gets a well-deserved re-release for this special occasion, by the way).
Plano’s compositions are somewhat in line with a lot of contemporary ‘post-classical’ composers (like Ólafur Arnalds, Max Richter and Nils Frahm) and will definitely appeal to the same audience. I say ‘somewhat’, because there are some notable difference too.
For those not very fond of ‘ambient’ music, the sheer productivity and release rate of some of the artists can lead to sarcastic jokes about how easy it must be to create this “kind of music”. But numbers are often deceiving: some of these prolific artists manage to produce a surprising variety of well-constructed music that manage to surprise with almost every new release.
Alio Die (Stefano Russo, Italy) definitely is one of those artists.
At the time I found out about “Deconsecrated and Pure” (which was released in march 2012, as his 56th release!), at least two new titles have been added to his impressive discography.
But just forget that release rate and focus on this very album.
Recording music since 2004, Swedish composer David Wenngren a.k.a. Library Tapes has a distinct personal style that perfecly matches the best in the ‘acoustic ambient’/’post-classical’ genres.
His latest album “Sun Peeking Through” flawlessly unites different kind of aspects from the genre: ambient electronics in the opening and closing Variations, romantic piano melodies combined with melancholic cello musings, all alternating with dark abstract ambient string soundscapes.
Title and cover image tell all there is need to know about this album: look behind the melancholy and sadness to find the ‘Sun Peeking Through‘.