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Pjusk * Nadia Struiwigh * Sonae

Sonae - ISWB

Sakne Verda

PJUSK – SAKNE VERDA  Also on Spotify

I don’t know which language this is, Norvegian I suppose since Pjusk (Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik and Rune Sagevik) are from Norway, but according to the liner notes Sakne Verda translates as ‘to miss the world – taking a short nap’. So this short three-track mini album by may be a reminder that Pjusk are still alive and not to be forgotten (their latest full album was released in 2014).
Translating it with Google Translate tells us it can also mean “Missing Values”… and when translated from the Latvian  language it means something like ‘Roots Up’.
So make of it whatever you want – maybe it’s best to not to try to translate it at all.

The tracks are three different Pjusk collaborations: Attende with Tortusa, Kviskra (meaning ‘Whispered’?) with Anne Garner (vocals) and Porya Hatami, and Bontelabo with Yui Onodera.
The result is a stunning mix of what we might call ‘pop ambient’ – crossing the borders of ambient experimental music and more radio-friendly sounds. Ánd taking the best out of both worlds.

As a result, this simply leaves us longing for more. Let’s hope this is a short preview of what’s to come soon.


Whrru

NADIA STRUIWIGH – WHRRU

I would never have guessed it myself, but WHRRU stands for Where Are You. Neither would I have guessed that Nadia Struiwigh is from Rotterdam, Holland. But she is.
Presenting herself as a’creative creator’, she is an editor/reviewer at Interface (Dutch magazine for musicians and producers), web/graphic designer, social media expert, composer and DJ.

Her second full album (follow up of 2017’s Lenticular) is released by Denovali, and will probably help gain the recognition she deserves to get. The album is impressive enough in itself, but watching her perform on the recent Rewire festival confirmed that she is an artist that will get herself known soon.

Her music is not easy to pinpoint… Denovali states she is ‘sitting somewhere between Biosphere and Boards of Canada’, but that seems to ignore her powerful techno background (especially when performing live). The ‘post-IDM’ reference to Warp (“electronic listening music for quiet nights and club drowsy dawns”) feels more to the point.
But why the references? Struiwigh definitely defines her own style. It’s ambient, and yet it isn’t. It’s techno, and yet it isn’t. It’s experimental electronics, and yet it isn’t.
In fact, it’s easier to write about what genre this is nót, than describe what it is. And that is always a good sign: a sign of a creative artist entering new territories!



NADIA STRUIWIGH – 4OTHU2


Sonae - ISWB

SONAE – I STARTED WEARING BLACK  Also on Spotify

Is it a just coincidence, or is a new wave of female composers/musicians/DJ’s currently re-defining electronic music? Artists like Nadia Struiwigh (mentioned above), Dasha Rush (mentioned earlier), and many others seem to unite in a musical feminist community, dedicated to prove the fact that “electronic music is not a boys club”.
“We Are Here”,
the title of the closing on Sonae‘s new album (released on Gudrun Gut’s Monika Enterprise), leaves no room for doubt about that. Better get used to it.

I Started Wearing Black” is a strong personal statement (“… resulting from an individual situation (lovesickness), I started to wear black(gaining weight and feeling ugly).”) as wel as a political one (“It was finished long before the black dresses were worn at the Golden Globes as a sign of protest against sexual violence.”).
Mixing ‘nerdy’ electronic music with personal emotions and politics: please welcome the new wave of electronic feminism!

Sonae‘s music on this album can be quite ‘black’ at times: “Sonae is not a kind of neo-romantic veiling with a tendency for escapist nebula.”
But, like in real life, “between the wrong things there are happy moments.”

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DreamScenes 2015-07

DreamScenes

The warm, soft voice of Anne Garner guides you into (and out of) a dreamy hour of sounds also including Nils Frahm, Bruno Sanfilippo, Leonardo Rosado, Michel Banabila, Söll, Yamaoka, Aes Dana, Miktek and Fabio Perletta.

Tracklist:

  • 00:00 Intro (Susanna)
  • 00:45 Anne Garner – Wherever You Go
    Be Life, 2015
  • 04:12 Nils Frahm – The Parking Garage
    Victoria OST, 2015
  • 08:03 Bruno Sanfilippo – Upon Contact
    Upon Contact Reworked, 2015
  • 12:52 Bruno Sanfilippo – Upon Contact Reworked by Leonardo Rosado
    Upon Contact Reworked, 2015
  • 17:57 Michel Banabila – Field Trip
    Jump Cuts, 2015
  • 23:53 Söll – Märr
    Cävv, 2015
  • 30:50 Yamaoka – Telescope
    Silent Film, 2015 (release tba)
  • 36:57 Aes Dana ft. Miktek – Diffraction Protocol
    Alkaline, 2015
  • 43:30 Øe (Fabio Perletta) – Charm, Hanami
    Unseed, 2015
  • 52:43 Anne Garner – Leave Your Bed
    Be Life, 2015
  • 56:07 Nils Frahm – Pendulum
    Victoria OST, 2015
  • 58:24 Outro (Pink Floyd)

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Anne Garner – Be Life

Anne Garner - Fire #2

Anne Garner - Be Life

With her previous releases, Anne Garner has secured a very special place, right in the middle of the area where indie folk, singer-songwriter and ambient music overlap.

Since 2006 she has partnered with experimental music producer James Murray, who is also the label owner of Slowcraft Records.
Their collaboration resulted in the immensely beautiful set Trusting a Twirled World – released in a vocal as well as an instrumental edition.

Be Life – the successor of that 2011 album set, and again the result of the close collaboraton with James Murray – moves further along the same path … but somehow it feels as if Anne‘s otherworldy vocals are even more intense and intimate.

This is shamelessly romantic music, and also unmistakeably English in nature.
Anne’s soft voice (closely recorded as if whispering directly in your ear), the lyrics, and possibly most of all the arrangements are as reassuring as a new-found love.

“It’s folk when celebrating lives lived, the grass and the dew and the soil. It’s classical when steeped in an ancient hymnal timelessness. She draws on electronica an electroacoustic too, though these are songs in the truest sense; intimate arrangements leaving lasting personal impressions.”

 

James Murray‘s music is a perfect match for this setting. His arrangements fit the songs like a blanket, at times reminiscing some of the best of Brian Eno’s shorter song arrangements – which is especially clear in the instrumental tracks like Soft Eyes.

The songs feel personal, direct, and very touching – though that may be a personal thing of course.
It’s in the chord arrangements, the voice, the lyrics – all of these breathe a kind of naivety – but it’s  a naivety of a very mature kind!

I immediately fell in love with this album upon first listen. Repeated listening left me wondering how it could’ve possibly been that I had not heard of Anne Garner before!
But, with all her work being available still, it’s never too late to catch up, is it?


Also on Spotify

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