Explaining the obscure by the more obscure: drones by Matthijs Kouw and BJ Nilsen
Improvised soundscapes from Unland, an homage to animals by The Elderbranch Campaign, and previously unreleased reel-to-reel installation soundscapes by Wouter van Veldhoven.
Ian Hawgood will probably be a familiar name to most: apart from making ambient music he’s also running the well-respected Home Normal label. Ryo Nakata’s name might not immediately ring a bell, but he may be better knows as Ryonkt.
“Fireflies“ is “inspired by the magic of low light periods and the quietude of a summer spent in the countryside.”
While this description may sound like an introduction to any average drone-ambient album, the result of this collaboration is remarkably different from most others.
‘Electronic music’ sound design is often searching for ‘new’ and (if possible) previously unheard sounds.
But others prefer to look back – back to the time when electronic music was a new frontier to be crossed, the time when the sounds of (analog) electronic music was automatically related to space travel.
Here’s a roundup of some new retro sounds.
KEN CAMDEN – SPACE MIRROR
On this second release for the Kranky label, Ken Camden “allows the listener to be suspended in a gravity free environment”.
You may not immediately recognise it, but his ‘vessel of choice’ is the guitar, electronically modified into pulsating loops and sequences that “could be a soundtrack to an epic 60’s science-fiction film, or a long forgotten grade school educational film strip explaining how humans would be living on Mars early in the 21st century”.
“Back to the Future” is simply the most appropriate description here!
Ken Camden – Antares
His past catalogue and (maybe even more) his live performances have shown that Greg Haines manages to combine artistic consistency with surprising changes of directions.
One never knows what to expect, but one can always rest assured it will be good..
On a first listen, “Where We Were“, Haines’ new release on Denovali Records, sounds surprisingly different from what he has done before.
Frank Rothkamm is a composer as well as a conceptual artists. You can tell when visiting his website, but also when reading the promo text for this new CD: “He cultivates enigmas <…>In fact, Rothkamm is a magician, a prestidigitation theoretician, and a carny all in one”.
Wow. Big Words. Want more? Read [here]!
But luckily he’s not without humour. His discography boasts 21 releases – among which Opus Spongebobicum, a set of piano variations on the first ten notes from the “Spongebob Squarepants” theme song. (Don’t know it, but I’d love to hear it!)