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Bruno Sanfilippo * Daniel W J MacKenzie * José Silva

Modulated Tones

Bruno Sanfilippo - Piano Textures 4

BRUNO SANFILIPPO – PIANO TEXTURES 4

On this fourth edition of his Piano Textures series, Bruno Sanfilippo continues his exploration of ‘minimalist piano concepts’, combining the sounds of the piano (and sometimes prepared piano) with electro-acoustic backgrounds.

In his own words: “Sometimes they ask me if I am a piano player who ventures into electronic music, or an electronic musician who ventures into the piano. […] I do love the sound of the piano just as much as I love electronic-based music. I know some times I can get some listeners confused by this, if I do, I’m so sorry. But, at the moment I will passionately explore both fields.”

Minimalist and modern classical piano music is a crowded genre nowadays, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees. But for his restrained but emotionally engaging compositions, his perfect sound quality and combining the sound of the piano with more experimental electro-acoustics, Bruno Sanfilippo can stand the comparison with fellow contemporary classical composers like Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson and Harold Budd.

Also on Spotify


Daniel WJ MacKenzie - Every Time Feels Like The Last Time

DANIEL W.J. MACKENZIE – EVERY TIME FEELS LIKE THE LAST TIME

Eilean Rec.’s first release for 2017 is Daniel W.J. Mackenzie‘s Every Time Feels Like The Last Time. The title promises dense, atmospheric melancholy and that is exactly what you get.
The album opens with modern classical piano compositions, but as it progresses the music crosses a bridge to more abstract experimental and ambient territories. (This may not be a complete surprise if you know that Mackenzie  has also released quite a few albums as Ekca Liena since 2008). By doing this, the album ignores some ‘traditional’ genre definitions and claims a unique position.

Mackenzie is accompanied by Ecka Rose Mordecai’s cello playing and many location recordings from Tromsø and various locations in England and South Africa.

The physical edition of this album is almost sold out already, apart from a few last copies available from Daniel Mackenzie‘s Bandcamp site.
So don’t hesitate if you’re interested in a CD-copy. The digital edition will of course remain available.


Modulated Tones

JOSÉ SILVA – MODULATED TONES No. 1: MUSIC FOR FRAMED WORKS

Debut album of South American artist José Silva, born in Venezuela but now based in Ecuador.
Multi-layered ambient soundscapes – created with guitar pedals, field recordings and a compressor – are the cinematic foundation for the soft, slow, often Harold Budd-like piano themes.

The music on this album  is inspired by Silva‘s interest in photography. It provides “a soundtrack for surveying a photographic collection to provide space for a slow introspective processing of the shots, as thoughts or memories flicker in your mind.”

So: randomise your photo collection, pick 10 of them, start playing the music, and then take your time to link what you see to what you hear!

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Marconi Union * Steve Hauschildt * Orchestramaxfieldparrish

Instant Light

Tokyo +

MARCONI UNION – TOKYO +

Strictly spoken, this is not exactly a new album. Tokyo was originally released in 2009, but it was exclusively available in Germany in a very limited edition. For this re-release, the original music was revisited and some tracks (the ones with the ‘+’) were completely ‘reconfigured’ – which is not the same as ‘remixed’: new loops and parts were taken from the original stems and combined with improvised live playing, together with their live drummer Phil Hurst.

The newly added ‘plus’ versions are a welcome addition to the original album, offering some nice alternative views. But the original tracks also sound as if they were created recently: the pulsating techno beats, rhythmic pop-ambient may be more ‘pop’ than ‘ambient’, perhaps, but it’s definitely atmospheric .

The music on this album is inspired by images of Tokyo but has no intention to represent the reality or include “authentic” Japanese music:
“Neither of us had ever been to Tokyo and we realised that our entire conception of the city originated from films, TV and books. We liked this idea of creating music for a place that only existed in our minds”

Also on Spotify


Steve Hauschildt

STEVE HAUSCHILDT – STRANDS

“I wanted to try and capture that moment in nature and society where life slowly re-emerges through desolation, so it has a layer op optimism looming underneath. The music represents this by seemingly decaying at times but then reforms and morphs in a fluid way back into its original state.”

Steve Hauschildt describes the music of his latest album, Strandshis fourth title for the Kranky label.
Like strands from a rope, the (eight) different tracks are separate units, but together they form a new organic whole. Hauschildt‘s spacey electronics meander from ambient soundscapes to modular sequencing and back again, shifting between soft sounds and harsher noises in a way that is symbolically depicted on the album’s cover.

Also on Spotify


Instant Light  Midsummer's Night

ORCHESTRAMAXFIELDPARRISH – INSTANT LIGHT / A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT

There has been quite a long gap between Mike ‘Orchestramaxfieldparrish’ Fazio’s  last release in 2010 (Crossing Of Shadows, which was in fact a remix from the 2007 release), but 2016 suddenly saw the simultaneous release of two titles.

One is called A Midsummer’s Night and features four abstract soundscapes created on a ‘rare 1936 Gibson L7 archtop with an antique mellophone’, a german lute guitar and a treated baby grand piano. Three string instruments ‘that sound nothing like you can possibly imagine them to sound after recording them through a series of unconventional effects.”

The other, Instant Light, is every bit as abstract, but its sound is very different. Here, the sound of processed treated electric guitars is mixes with field recordings, the bright sound of singing bowls and metals, and modular synthesis and electronics. Due to the instrumentation, it has a somewhat ‘brighter’ overall sound.
But in the end, both releases explore the same puzzling kind of landscapes.


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DreamScenes 2017-2

DreamScenes Logo

Music for the last days of Winter….

The february DreamScenes edition may feel darker than usual.
Possibly due to the dark winter days or, perhaps,  the general darkness of current times.
But don’t worry: there’s a sweet surprise at the end. So keep listening!

Tracklist:

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Yann Novak * Triac * Mytrip

Mytrip Filament

Ornamentation

YANN NOVAK – ORNAMENTATION

On his very first physical release on the Touch label, Yann Novak “continues his investigations of presence, stillness and mindfulness through the construction of immersive spaces, both literal and figurative.”

The title of this 49 minute soundscape refers to a 1913 manifesto of Adolf Loosarguing that “the proper and moral evolution of Western culture depends in part upon the removal of ornamentation from daily life”,  because “the desire to adorn architecture, the body, objects etc. is a primitive impulse.”
Loos 
equated ornamentation with the degenerate – an interesting viewpoint to ignite a heated conversation in a contemporary tattoo-shop on a saturday afternoon, I guess.

For this composition, Novak carefully selected poor quality field recordings from his archive. “Difficult sounds”, low fidelity smartphone recordings, full of awkward interruptions and problematic frequencies.
This selection forced him to approach the material in an entirely different way: “the familiar, reductive approaches would fail to be useful and ultimately abandoned in favor of more dynamic, additive and laborious processes.”
The result is ‘an adornment of time itself: a meditation on beauty, labor and aesthetics’. 

Is this an ‘ornamented’ drone? Or are the original recordings stripped of their inherent ornamentations?
It’s impossible to say. One wonders what Adolf Loos would have to say about a recording like this .

Also on Spotify


Triac Here

TRIAC – HERE

Third Triac album by the trio consisting of Rossano Polidoro (ex Tu’M, laptop), Marco Seracini (piano, synth) and Augustus Tatone (electric bass), and their second release for Richard Chartier’s Line label: the follow-up of last year’s Days.

Though their music is constructed in an entirely different process, the result is reminiscent of that of William Basinski in its repetitive use of short melodic fragments with an almost hypnotic result.
Mysterious clouds of drifting sounds, where  the sound of piano and bass is hardly distinguishable but definitely add to the complete sound palette.


Mytrip Filament

MYTRIP – FILAMENT

There’s a remarkable lot of experimental electronic music coming from the Eastern part of Europe. Most of these albums were hard to find in the old days, but with Bandcamp becoming the main distribution channel for independent artists finding this music has become much easier.
While I’ve seen many acts from – for instance – Poland, there are no names from Bulgaria that I know of. With this exception: Angel Simitchiev aka Mytrip.

Filament is physically released as vinyl and cassette, and there’s a download version, but no CD release.
The album features six multi-layered, dubby soundscapes (and three additional remixes by Ivan Shopov, Evitceles and Conjecture on the cassette version only which is 20 minutes longer than the vinyl album release).

The music can be classified as “breathing on the thin borderline of ambient, drone and dub”, but with a discerning sound palette because Simitchiev is careful to keep some harshness in his sound palette to accentuate the ‘live’ feel of the album.

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Teruyuki Nobuchika * TamTam * Rhucle/Silentwave

Teruyuki Nobuchika

Teruyuki Nobuchika

TERUYUKI NOBUCHIKA – STILL AIR

The third album by Japanese electronic musician and soundtrack composer Teruyuki Nobuchika is released on the Oktaf label.
As a sound designer and composer for a multitude of (Japanese) TV dramas and movie soundtracks, he’s experienced in creating different moods and atmospheres in relatively short tracks.
His skills are convincingly displayed on this multi-faceted album, featuring “electronic abstractions and classic sensitivity influences in a minimal ambient music context”.

With eight tracks and a total playing time of just under 28 minutes, the only downside I can think of is that it is much too short. No doubt there must be much more where this came from!

Also on Spotify


TamTam Urban Dialog

TAMTAM – URBAN DIALOG

If your association with ‘Field Recordings’ and ‘Environmental Music’ is that it are recordings from the environment presented in the most authentic way possible, preferrably without alteration of any kind, then this 50 minute soundscape is an obligatory listen. And doing so is without financial risk, since it’s a Name Your Pice download.

TamTam is a Berlin duo of sound artists Sam Auinger  (electronics, field recordings) and Hannes Strobl  (electric bass, field recordings).
‘Sonic thinkers’, whose music is situated at the exact spot “where the sound environment becomes the instrument, and the instrument becomes the sound environment.”

The environmental sound recordings are taken from different urban situations, restructured and merged with a set of bass sounds and playing techniques.
“The piece is considered finished at the moment it can be performed in one take”.

Urban Dialog is an environmental symphony, a soundscape where there is no difference between music and sound. It simply is both at the same time.
The hectic soundscapes of everyday city life are transformed into an pleasurable urban symphony.


Night Life

RHUCLE & SILENTWAVE – NIGHT LIFE

Yet another enchanting beauty on Chihei Hatakeyama’s White Paddy Mountain label is this split from Rhucle and Silentwave.

Rhucle (from Tokyo, further details unknown) delivers five relatively short tracks that feel like a garden walk in the early morning – uplifting and bright music with titles like Tipsy, Leisure Time, Ice Lolly and Warm Rug.

The album closes with a 20 minute drone track by Silentwave (Nogushi Yoshinori from Yokahama, Japan). An improvisation aptly called Night Wave, which is considerably darker -by design- but still a very comfortable way to spend the night.

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The Sound of Zen: Chihei Hatakeyama

Hatakeyama - Desert

There’s a steady and unstoppable stream of releases by Chihei Hatakeyama, on his own White Paddy Mountain label as well as on other labels.
A short roundup of some of his recent releases: 

Hatakeyama - Desert

CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA – ABOVE THE DESERT

Dronarivm‘s last release for 2016 is a great example of the Zen-like calm of Chihei Hatakeyama‘s music.
Soft drones, the sounds of half-sleep, balancing presence with absence. Being somewhere while at the same time not being there…
The sounds you hear seem detached from its source: it’s hard to imagine that this is ‘the sound output from a guitar anp and the speaker.’
Recording in the basement of a studio – or, in his own words: “worked underground in the bottom” –  Chihei wanted to create images of the sky.
This “theme of desert and sky” is perfectly captured by the album cover photo by John Fowler.

You’ll have to tie yourself to your seat before listening to this album to prevent yourself from floating away through the window.


The Fall Rises

CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA / HAKOBUNE – THE FALL RISES

The Fall Rises is Chihei Hatakeyama’s second collaboration with Hakobune (Takahiro Yorifuji).

The two use their Stratocaster and Les Paul guitars to produces unhurried waves of sound “with excellent overtones […] hidden harmony with depth” that “reverberate slowly with chord like Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine.”

With their roots firmly in Japanese culture, it’s no real surprise that these “songs with a sadness and beauty, such as feel the coming of fall” have the refreshing atmosphere of a Japanese garden.

Also on Spotify


Crepuscular Grove

ASUNA & OPITOPE – THE CREPUSCULAR GROVE

Talking of a Japanese Garden is a good link to continue with this album and venture quietly into The Crepuscular Grove.
Opitope is the ongoing collaboration project of Chihei Hatakeyama with Tomoyoshi Date. For this album they worked together with Asuna (Naoyuki Arashi).

The trio’s ambient sound textures are created with acoustic and electric guitars, analog synthesizers, homemade instruments and (lots of) found sounds and field recordings. This means the sound is somewhat more complex compared to the meditative drones of Chihei’s solo work, but is definitely has the same “nostalgic, idyllic atmosphere.”
Which is even more enhanced by the track titles: enigmatic English translations from the Japanese like Tiny Worms Wriggling Under The Light Shines  or The Lake Was Opened When Came Out Of The Grove At Dawn. 


Coastal Railroads in Memories

CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA – COASTAL RAILROADS IN MEMORIES

OK. One more Chihei before it’s time to drift off into the void. Or maybe becáuse it’s time to drift into the void.

The music on this album is inspired by “his memory of a view of the sea from (a) train that runs along the coast”, which explains somewhat enigmatic album title.
It must’ve been a peaceful trip judging from these five pieces (the title track being the longest with 16 minutes, the others around 7-9 minutes each) and their poetic titles like Butterfly On The RiverSide Big Stone or Sleeping And Listening On The Beach. 

As on most of his albums, the soft guitar is Chihei’s main instrument, embedded in processed sounds of piano and vibraphone. Chihei stresses the fact that the result was mixed on an analog mixer, not using a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).

Also on Spotify


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James Murray * Michael Begg * Finglebone

Daubigny - Landscape by Moonlight

Eyes to the Height

JAMES MURRAY – EYES TO THE HEIGHT

James Murray is the label owner of Slowcraft RecordsHe is also the one that created the music of Anne Garner’s bewitching album Be Life, one of my personal favourite albums.

As a solo artists, his albums are always a surprise, because you’ll never know what to expect. Murray is always exploring different styles of electro-acoustic and experimental music: “switching things around when the time feels right.”

Eyes to the Height
, his seventh solo album, is “a ten chapter story reflecting the fragile beauty of life and loss, memory and function.”
It’s labeled ‘modern ambient’, but in fact it rises above a genre tag like that.
With the use of rhythms without losing the ‘ambient’ touch, this album manages to create a delicate balance of ‘pop’ and ‘ambient’ where many others have failed.

There’s a great attention to every detail: in sound production as well as in composition. The album is fully instrumental, but each of the ten pieces feels like a complete “song”.
Wouldn’t it be a nice experiment to create a vocal version of this album using these tracks? There are a lot of albums with instrumental versions of previously vocal tracks, but I’ve never seen that done the other way around.
It’s fun to think about where that would lead to. But let’s be clear: I don’t want to suggest that  something is ‘missing’ on this album. On the contrary!

There are only very few people capable of creating ‘quantum ambient’ music: music that is ambient and isn’t ambient at the same time.

Also on Spotify


A Moon That Lights Itself

MICHAEL BEGG – A MOON THAT LIGHTS ITSELF

In 2016, Michael Begg was commissioned to compose music based around the 19th century painter Charles François Daubignywho is considered an important precursor of Impressionism.
The music was performed in september at the Scotland National Gallery, by Michael Begg accompanied by cellist Clea Friend. After this performance, Begg completed the work in his studio.

A Moon that Lights Itself is dedicated to the work of Daubigny, who painted his nocturnal scenes from his  boat studio. It is conceptually linked to the invention of the phonautographthe earliest known device for recording sound, by Edouard-Lean Scott de Martinville in the same period (years before Edison’s phonograph!). The first ever recording of a human voice was Au Clair De La Lune.

That is a lot of conceptual background information, I know. But it helps to get the feel of this album, its atmospheres, and explains the reason for the ghostly Au Clair De La Lune theme in the track The Birth Of Modernism. 

You can trust Michael Begg to come up with a haunting album that matches this concept in every detail. Overall, the music is dark, like nocturnal music should be. But it’s not a darkness to be afraid of. It’s a darkness to dwell in… just imagine you’re drifting in a boat on a quiet lake, watching the night sky and the moon, and trying to capture that in painting.
Or in music.


Sunlit Plumes of Dust

FINGLEBONE – SUNLIT PLUMES OF DUST

Whitelabrecs (one of Harry Towell’s outlets of experimental electronic/acoustic music) rounds off its first year with this release by Finglebone, aka Adam VarneyAn album crossing the thin lines between folk/post-rock and electronic ambient. Adam’s finger-picking guitar adds a refreshingly bright sound to the imaginary landscapes, creating an “introspective world inhabited by the gosts of memories, the looming spectre of death and the passing of time.”

But it’s not a ‘dark’ album at all: the guitar strings, soundscapes and found sound mix is expressing “melancholy, reverie and the feeling of alienation.”
It’s a very personal album, “loosely based on Adam’s experience caring for his Grandfather during his final weeks. He witnessed how dementia would render him silent, lost in his own mind, but then release him back into reality.”

All but one of the eight tracks are instrumental pieces around 3-4 minutes in length. The exception to this is the 12 minute track Blazing Golden Sun, which features a poem by James E.M. Smith, “Grovely”, describing the local woods where Adam spent many hours as a child.

As usual for Whitelabrecs releases, the physical CDr edition has only 50 copies which will probably be gone soon.  

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Various Various

Homework Year 1

A selection from the many label compilations that were recently released – looking ahead at 2017, looking back at 2016, or maybe even looking back at the last 15 years:

anticipation of an uncertain future

ANTICIPATION OF AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE

The near future of 2017 may be unpredictable on a worldwide political scale, but fortunately this 40 minute (9 track) compilation of recent and upcoming Preserved Sound releases is reassuring: there will always be great music to take a break from everyday absurdity!

Artists include Visionary Hours, Aaron Martin, Richard Youngs, Max Ananyev, Endless Melancholy, Poppy Nogood, Adrian Lane, Ales Tsurko and CovarinoIncorvaia.
A wide range of instrumental genres show all kinds of beauty this label has to offer. There’s influences from ambient, folk, improv,  jazz, post-rock, neo-classical and experimental electronics (the Ales Tsurko track [Grusha] uses regular expressions to generate music from random Wikipedia articles!)

Generously offered as a Name Your Price download.


Illuminations

ILLUMINATIONS

I am not sure if all tracks from this massive Dronarivm compilation are previously unreleased, but the subtitle “The New Year 2017 Free Compilation” suggests so.
But even if they were previously released, only the most dedicated label addict would recognise all of the 28 tracks on this two-and-a-half hour compilation.
The collection is presented without any notes but a quote from Arthur Rimbaud’s ‘Illuminations VI‘:
“… The colours proper to life deepen, dance and detach themselves around this Vision in the making…. .

Currently, Dronarivm is one of the experimental ambient genre’s most important labels, and the line-up of this collection shows why: Olan Mill, Giulio Aldinucci, Autistici, Spheruleus, The Green Kingdom, Offthesky, Aaron Martin, Dag Rosenqvist, Elegi, Legiac, Maps and Diagrams, Strom Noir, Wil Bolton, Enrico Coniglio, Christopher Bissonnette, Porzellan and Bartosz Dziadosz  – and that is only about two-third of the contributors!

Generously offered as a Name Your Price download.


Home To Wander

HOME TO WANDER

Home Normal looks back to 2016 with this 11-track (58 minute) overview featuring tracks they ‘were lucky enough to release in 2016’.
It’s a kaleidoscopic overview of the versatility of this quality label that cannot be pinned down to one style but always guarantees a journey into adventurous new paths.

Artists include David Cordero, Altars Altars, Giulio Aldinucci, M. Ostermeier, Ian Hawgood, Stefano Guzetti Ensemble, Isan, Asuna, Stijn Hüwels/Dudal and A New Line Related.

Generously offered as a Name Your Price download.


Homework Year 1

HOMEWORK, YEAR 1

In an ascending order of track count and playing time, this compilation comes last.
52 tracks that fill up seven (7!) hours and 40 minutes! And, apart from that, áll of the tracks are new and previously unreleased.

The concept of this overview is a bit different: is doesn’t look back to 2016 only, or looks ahead at 2017, but it celebrates the 15 years of existence of the Taâlem label. And they do so in a special way: asking every artist that ever had a release on Taâlem to contribute an unreleased track that was recorded or finalised in 2016 – so it’s all brand new music, not a retrospective!
The list of contributing artists is not complete: some of the artists could not be retraced, others have stopped making music, etc. But the result is imposing enough as it is!

Due to the label’s nature, the music is more abstract and experimental than usual, presenting a lot of sound experiments, field recordings, musiqe concrête and industrial soundscapes – so it’s also the most ‘hardcore experimental’ compilation in this short list. But the tracks are thoughtfully arranged: playing the collection feels like complete overview of all corners of experimental electronics and ambient music.

I cannot mention all of the 52 contributing artists here, so I’ll randomly pick a few familiar names: Aidan Baker, Mathieu Ruhlmann, Emerge, Yui Onodera, Tobias Hellkvist, Encomiast, Simon Whetham, Fabio Orsi, Strom Noir, Pleq/Lauki, Philippe Lamy, Enrico Coniglio, Yannick Franck and Jeff Stonehouse.

And the best news, once again: generously offered as a Name Your Price download.

 

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DreamScenes 2017-1

DreamScenes Logo

Let’s kick off this brand new year of monthly DreamScenes with a selection to tickle your inner eyelids and induce a variety of images:
some movie/series/game soundtrack tracks, a bit of drone, post-classical piano, and some pieces a bit harder to classify.

Tracklist:

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Drone Cinema * Kenneth Kirschner * Johannes Malfatti * Kirk Kadish

Drone Cinema Vol. 1

Drone Cinema Vol. 1

VARIOUS ARTISTS – DRONE CINEMA FILM FESTIVAL – SELECTED WORKS Vol. 1

Apart from curating the recently re-launched Silent Records label and online stream (don’t forget to check the recent releases of the From Here To Tranquility compilations vol. 6 and 7), Kim Cascone is also the dedicated curator of the Drone Cinema Film Festival. A low-key festival that has taken place in Seattle, Washington as well as in Leiden, Holland (the intimate little theatre that is shown on the cover).

It is essential to point out that in this case the drone refers to the  visual aspect of the (musical) concept of drone, not -or not necessarily- to the technical use of ‘drone’ cameras.
“Drone Cinema is the flotation tank of cinema”, as someone pointed out. Or, in the words of Kim Cascone himself: transcendigital media:
“Transcendigital media is conjured through active imagination instead of software templates and presets.”

Don’t let the ‘floatation tank’ idea make you think that this is one of those new-age kind of things. Because it definitely isn’t.
While some of the tracks máy feel like a warm immersive bath, there are also some tracks that are downright scary and/or industrial and/or culminate in an almost deafening noise.
Unless you’re a seasoned connoisseur of the genre, most of the artists names will probably be unknown. But you can leave it to Kim Cascone to curate a selection that is a must-listen for anyone interested in experimental drone music, a sampler of what the most minimalist of music genres has to offer.

Selected Works, Vol. 1” is not, as you might have expected, a DVD featuring the visual works. It is a selection of the audio tracks without their cinematic equivalents, and thus focuses on audio drones only. It is, by choice, only half of the concept. But that need not be a real problem because you can let your ‘active imagination’ serve the visual aspect, too.. I suggest staring into a bright light for at least five minutes, then close your eyes and start the compilation.

Most of the drones need their time to develop, and this collection is no exception. The fourteen tracks fill up two hours and sixteen minutes, which is why this collection is only available as a digital download and not in a physical form.

Also on Spotify


Datsuzoku

KENNETH KIRSCHNER – DATSUZOKU

To describe the music of Kenneth Kirschner and its impact, you’ll need many words.
Or maybe not.
It’s probably best to use the Yugen Art description of the meaning of the word Datsuzoku:

“One of the seven principles of Japanese Zen aesthetic. Freedom from habit or formula. Escape from the ordinary. Unwordly. Transcending the conventional.
The Feeling of surprise and a bit of amazement when one realizes they can have freedom from the formal.”

And – if this description is still not convincing enough for you: it is a free download! (Like much of Kenneth Kirschner‘s music)



Kenneth Kirschner – October 13, 2001
 


Malfatti Surge

JOHANNES MALFATTI – SURGE

It starts almost unnoticed, with a barely audible white noise reminiscing the sound of a distant beach. But slowly the intensity increases and the waves become a surge. Pushed up and forward by the drone sounds that gradually take over, sometimes with a thundering mass of sub-low bass, at other moments sounding like a distant choir. A drone in constant movement.

The 58 minute Surge “is based on textural developments that evolve very slowly over time.”
“Most processes in nature are too slow to be perceived by the human senses. We merely experience the ripples on the surface, like the passing of hours, days, of changing weather or trends in fashion. The all underlying stream of geological change, like the flow of glaciers or the drifting of continents, is outside our field of experience. However, some events bring these streams closer to the surface. In a glacial surge, the flow velocity of a glacier suddenly increases up to tens of meters per day, making the otherwise imperceptibly slow movement tangible.”

These liner notes are not only a description of what inspired Johannes Malfatti, but also link the album to its label: Surge is appropriately released on the Glacial Movements label, celebrating their tenth anniversary of releasing ‘glacial’ music.

The Berlin-based Malfatti  graduated as a Tonmeister for audio-visual media and has collaborated with many musicians, choreographers and film directors for numerous film, television, theatre and music productions. This is his very first solo album release, and it’s overwhelming and irresistible.
And glacial, too: you may better pull on an extra sweater or winter coat before you start listening.


Still Bill

KIRK KADISH – STILL BILL

Four tracks with a total playing time of two hours and twenty minutes. The shortest 13 minutes, the longest 63. You might want to sit or lie down before enjoying this collection by Kirk Kadish from Sante Fe, New Mexico.
Kadish performs in many different styles (jazz, improv, electronica) , but for this ambient project he chose an original starting point: the music of Bill Evans.

“Three of the four pieces are based on his compositions but completely reimagined from a minimalist/ambient/meditational perspective”.

I’m not familiar enough with the music of Bill Evans to name the compositions that this music is reimagining, and probably it is meant as ‘inspired by’ more than direct musical quotes. But the lush, unhurried and bright piano harmonies are a very refreshing approach to ambient soundscapes.
Add the warm  (Eno-esque) generative background synths, or a Terry Riley-like organ loop (in Some Other Time), and the result is a refreshingly fresh  – and literally timeless – ambient album …
A misty haze in daylight, instead of a thick foggy darkness..

Kirk Kadish is “happy to be free of any commercial restraints that would hinder his freedom in exploring the boundaries of our musical world”.
Which means that he is offering these tracks to download for free, or the full album for $ 0,19.
Or More. My advise would be to pay some more.



Kirk Kadish – Blue In Green

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