Celer; Ian Hawgood; Keith Berry; Kissy Suzuki; Strom Noir

In the Shortlist sections, I will mention the albums that I enjoyed listening to, but couldn’t find the time (or the right words) for a “full” review for. Still, I definitely think they deserve your attention, with ór without extra words!

Celer - ZigZag

CELER – ZIGZAG
It’s quite hard to keep up with Will Long’s incredible output: the Celer discography counts over 100 titles now, of which 8 albums were released in 2013 alone! But it’s worth trying, because his releases (Celer is his solo project since 2009) have a constant quality and a personal trademark sound.
Currently living in Tokyo, it’s only fitting that his latest (or one of his latest) albums is released on the Spekk label.

Celer – I, Anatomy


I'Anatomy

When talking about extremely prolific artist that manage to deliver amazing quality recordings with every new release, Celer is one of the names that pops up. At the time of writing, the Celer discography mentions 52 titles released on a label, and another 33 self-released titles!
I, Anatomy
, released as a double vinyl album (no digital download yet, unfortunately), is not the latest release, but, in fact, that is not the point at all.
Unlike decades ago, there’s no point in collecting, trying to be complete. The more important point is to simply enjoy what you encounter.

As Will Thomas Long puts it: “I know it is difficult for people to keep up, but for me, I just share things with people that I feel or assume might be interested in the music, because they’re just the people I have contact with, hoping that in maybe one of the releases, something will strike them or have some personal relation. I don’t expect anyone to listen to or enjoy everything, but it’s something that is just natural for me, making and working on music, and keeping doing it. Trust me, I’d love to make only 1 album a year, but it just doesn’t ever work out that way. Not yet, at least.”

Machinefabriek – Stroomtoon (+3)

It’s quite hard to keep up with Rutger “Machinefabriek” Zuydervelt’s output. In fact, I could easily publish an entire (sub-)weblog dedicated to his releases.

I really try to avoid returning to the same artists with every new release. But the sheer quality of Rutger Zuydervelt‘s music makes it hard to ignore his newest releases.
Every new release seems to bring a new surprise: an unexpected collaboration, or a kind of special touch that makes his music stand out from the mass of other releases.
It may be hard to keep up, but it’s always very rewarding to check his new releases

Here’s a pick from the latest batch:

Celer + Machinefabriek – Greetings From…


postcard set

It’s almost impossible to keep up with the speed of Will ‘Celer’ Long and Rutger ‘Machinefabriek’ Zuydervelt. 
By the time I have finished writing this review, I guess probably at least three new releases will have emerged which are all also worth hearing… 

Following up their 7″ collaboration (Maastunnel – Mt. Mitake” ), they recently did a short tour through Holland (and Brussel).
Recordings of these sets have now been released simultaneously with the duo’s second 7″ single Numa – Penarie

And, to conclude this batch: the CDR “Bliksem“, recorded by Celer especially for this tour (in a very limited physical edition of 10) is now also available as a digital download.

Celer – Evaporate and Wonder – Tightrope

If you are in any way familiar with ambient music, Celer will probably be familiar too. The discography boasts about 80 titles, most (if not all) of these well worth the listen. 

Celer started out as a husband-and-wife duo in 2005. After the tragic death of Danielle Baquet-Long in 2009 (she died of heart failure at the age of 27), Will Long has released music they had previously recorded together, as well as music he recorded later. 

Evaporate and Wonderwas originally recorded in may, 2009, only a few months before Danielle’s death. The source material was limited to improvised synthesizer and field recordings, but two tracks (about 20 minutes each) have all the warm aesthetic qualities that have become the Celertrademark from the very beginning. A sound well-balanced and harmonically pleasant – ‘utterly devoid of rough edges’.

Spotify– (Also on Spotify)

Machinefabriek + Celer – Maastunnel-Mt. Mitake

Well here’s a little gem that will definitely be a collector’s item quickly: 

Celer (Will Long) and Machinefabriek (Rutger Zuydervelt) – two giants of the ambient-electronic improv scene – met and performed together in Tokyo in 2010, and decided to collaborate on these tracks about a year later. Exchanging an reconstructing each others audio files has resulted in this 7″ vinyl release: Maastunnel-Mt. Mitake“.
An impressive, though short, ‘audio bridge’ between Rotterdam and Tokyo.

Kyle Bobby Dunn; Will Long; Kleefstra+Kleefstra+Davis; Kalte; Bgudna

In this “shortlist” section, I will mention some of the albums that I enjoyed listening to, but couldn’t find the time (or the right words) for a “full” review for. Still, they deserve your attention: use the links to find more info and hear previews.

Ways of Meaning

Kyle Bobby Dunn – Ways of Meaning
“Kyle Bobby Dunns new full-length album is a treatise on the resonance of memory; an attempt to harness the finality of meaning as a shared experience.
Some moments recall church and choral music, others are anthemic in their own quiet way, and sadness finds warm overtones to help quell its cold nature. Spatial qualities are examined thoroughly; clarity is reached when viewing one’s surroundings. The environment comes into focus and a reverie encapsulates the listener.”

When You Fall Out of Love

Will Long – When You Fall Out of Love with Me
The title in itself invokes the sad romantic mood for which this 18 minute track is the perfect soundtrack. Celer-style, in case you need any more recommendation.

Sieleslyk

Gareth Davis, Jan & Romke Kleefstra – Sieleslyk
“Jan and Romke Kleefstra are brothers, currently based in The Netherlands who have previously collaborated with Machinefabriek and Peter Broderick amongst many others. On Sieleslyk they are joined by British artist Gareth Davis (bass and contrabass clarinet) to make some ominous dynamic soundscapes using guitar, clarinet and spoken word.The spoken words of Jan Kleefstra are in Frisian, a minority language spoken in the north of The Netherlands.”
The physical edition is part of the Rural Colours Subscription Set, but non-subscribers can download the digital version for free! (!)  

Celer – Engaged Touches

Celer’s Engaged Touches’ was the second release on the Home Normal label in 2009 – which in fact sold out before it even went on sale. 
This fact alone justifies this (1000 edition) re-release.

The somewhat misleading cover photo may trick an unsuspecting passenger into thinking this is a new Konono No. 1 or Staff Benda Bilili release (though on second view the image isn’t even remotely african) – but the music tells quite a different story.

“…an absorbing combination of classic ambient, minimalism, and – perhaps as the most distinct characteristic – overwhelming romanticism. Longing, melancholy, nostalgia, and the like seem to be recurring themes in Will and Dani’s works.”
(original liner notes)

Celer – Close Proximity…

This could have been one of the shortest reviews of this weblog: I simply could state that this music induced some of the deepest sleeps I experienced when listening to ambient music. And please don’t doubt that that is meant as a true compliment!

Even the found environmental sounds included in the tracks could not disturb the peaceful quiet and the balanced harmonies of this music. And most of the real-time environmental sounds merging in from outside can’t either.

This fact alone makes this album one of the most impressive I heard this year.