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DreamScenes 2017-3

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DreamScenes for March:

Music for the end of winter….


  • 00:00 DreamScenes – Intro (Susanna)
  • 00:38 Olivia Louvel – Good Queen Bess
    Data Regina, 2017
  • 04:20 Angelina Yershova – Intermezzo 80 Hertz
    Resonance Night, 2017
  • 08:16 High Plains – Song For A Last Night
    Cinderland, 2017
  • 12:54 Teleferick – Lumen Reign (Teleferick Reworks Illuminine)
    Sixteen Frames (2003-2013), 2017
  • 16:14 Abul Mogard – Desires Are Reminiscenses By Now
    Works, 2016
  • 25:00 Ceeys – Hover, Over, Me
    Concrete Fields, 2017
  • 30:26 Visible Cloaks – Terazzo (ft. Motion Graphics)
    Reassemblage, 2017
  • 33:35 José Silva – Does It Get Easier
    Modulated Tones No. 1 – Music For Framed Works, 2017
  • 37:11 Pjusk – Xue (Feat. Shao)
    Syklus, 2016
  • 42:40 Loess – Bowhead
    Pocosin, 2017
  • 44:53 Artists For Oona – Alpenglühn – Darren McClure Stem
    AlpenOO, 2017
  • 48:48 Masayoshi Fujita & Jan Jelinek – Parades
    Schaum, 2016
  • 57:57 Dead Light – The Ballad Of A Small Player
    Dead Light, 2016

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DreamScenes 2017-1

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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.


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Perception Management (Mix)

Perception Management

“There is something in the beauty of darkness. And one doesn’t have to be in a dark mood in order to appreciate it. Perhaps one gets desensitized with age to all of the bitter layers, in order to uncover all of the sweetness – like a fine old whiskey, slowly aged and waiting for your taste.
This, I believe, Peter van Cooten understands the most, with his latest Headphone Commute offering, titled Perception Management.
The concept behind this mix also challenges your view of the world… The inspiration for this particular mix came from Adam Curtis‘ BBC documentary Hypernormalisation.
Headphone Commute

Perception Management

“Domo de Argila” – Andy Goldsworth
Your reality is manipulated.
Your perception is managed.
Your thoughts are not your own.
Reality is imaginary.

perception management - sequence scheme

Mix Sequence


start time – sample length – Artist – Title
Album Title, Year, Label Details

  • 00:00 01:52 Amon Tobin – Lost & Found (Machinefabriek Deconstruction)
    Wendingen (Selected Remixes 2005-2015), 2016, Zoharum ZOHAR 117-2
  • 00:52 02:36 Ryuichi Sakamoto / Alva Noto – The Revenant Theme (Alva Noto Remodel)
    The Revenant (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), 2015, Milan 399-758-2
  • 02:06 02:05 Bjørn Hatterud – Victoria Arreleano
    November 20th, 2016, Line LINE_081
  • 03:55 03:00 Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie – Salero End Credits
    Salero (Original Motion Picture Soundstrack), 2016, Erased Tapes ERATP091
  • 05:37 01:16 Roly Porter – 4101
    Third Law, 2016, Triangle 33D
  • 06:20 01:57 Phonothek – Something Happened
    Lost in Fog, 2016, Cryo Chamber CRYO 037
  • 07:02 03:44 Loren Nerell – Dark Horizon
    The Venerable Dark Cloud, 2000/2016, Projekt PRO00330
  • 10:19 00:45 Sussan Deyhim & Shirin Neshat – Open City West
    Soliloquy, 2008, Venus Rising Records
  • 10:45 01:35 Andrew Liles – Taumatawhakatangitanghangakauautamateapokaiwhenua-kitanatahullanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch
    New York Doll, 2004, Infraction INFX013
  • 11:57 02:19 Jóhann Jóhannsson – Orphic Hymn
    Orphée, 2016, Deutsche Grammophon 00289 479 6021 GH
  • 13:54 02:06 Jim Haynes – It Doesn’t Matter
    Throttle And Calibration, 2016, Crónica 115~2016
  • 15:34 02:33 Christopher Tignor – One eye Blue, One Eye Black (Blue)
    Along A Vanishing Plane, 2016, Western Vinyl WV149
  • 17:34 02:35 David Toop – Human Skin And The Stone Steps
    Entities Inertias Faint Beings, 2016, Room40 RM475
  • 18:07 03:02 Bionular – The Western Lands
    Stary Pisarz, 2016, Oniron ON.004
  • 19:14 01:16 Mark Korven – Caleb’s Seduction
    The Witch (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), 2016, Milan 36768
  • 20:25 00:57 Resina – Nightjar
    Resina, 2016, 130701 CD13-23
  • 20:44 03:00 Tigran Hamasyan, Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset, Jan Bang – Traces X
    Atmosphères, 2016, ECM Records ECM 2414/15
  • 22:32 03:13 Looped Exodus – Mein Hz
    Souls Have Machines, 2016, self-released (Bandcamp)
  • 25:10 02:00 Nicolas Jaar – The Three Sides Of Audrey And Why She’s Alone Now
    Nymphs, 2015, Other People OP022
  • 27:05 01:04 John Metcalfe & Simon Richmond – A Descent
    Set In Stone, 2016, ECC100 Records 008
  • 27:18 03:31 Joe Frawley – Leda And The Swan
    Cartomancer, 2016, Self-Released (Bandcamp)
  • 29:40 02:47 God Body Disconnect – Prisoner’s Sacrifice Facing Arcadia
    Locus Arcadia, 2016, Cryo Chamber CRYO041
  • 31:40 01:16 Dimitry Evgrafov – The Lofty Sky
    The Quiet Conversation, 2016, Fatcat Records/130701 DA13-25
  • 32:40 01:51 Mi – Shanty Town
    Meow Wolf’s House of Return: Soundscapes Vol. 2, 2016, Meow Wolf
  • 33:33 01:44 Travis Corwin – Little House
    Beach Glass, 2016, Peconic Records 002
  • 34:30 02:03 The Cray Twins – Duao 2
    The Pier, 2016, Fang Bomb FB025
  • 35:17 05:12 Stephan Mathieu – If You Love,
    Radiance V: Fro Franz Wright, 2016, Schwebung Étendue V
  • 38:30 02:36 Biosphere – Shimmer
    Where Words Fail Music Speaks, A Compilation For Ania Mehring, Santa Sangre Magazine (Bandcamp)
  • 39:53 03:53 Monolake – Error
    D E C, 2015, Imbalance Computer Music ML029
  • 43:06 01:03 Stephen Paul McGreevy – Fish Rock Road Whistler Shower
    Electric Enigma: The VLF Recordings of Stephen P. McGreevy, 1996, irdial Discs 62 ird tcp2
  • 43:20 02:33 Mathias Delplanque – Ma Chambre Quand Je N’y Suis Pas (Paris) (Extract)
    Taâlem: Vijftien Années, 2016, Taâlem (Bandcamp)
  • 44:56 03:17 Ocoeur – Aside
    Reversed, 2016, n5MD MD243
  • 47:57 02:08 Anders Blomqvist – Sparar (Tracking)
    Media Artes II, 2002, Chamber Sound 27
  • 49:20 02:57 Tobias Freund & Valentina Berthelon – Branwelt
    Recent Arts, 2016 Non Standard Production NSP 13
  • 50:25 01:47 Paul Jebanasam – Eidolons beginning
    p = (m²A ² am to (rho-z)-y ∂t+(ρ see to wait dz/dt = it xy that I -beta* do not z countless
    Continuum, 2016, Subtext SUBCD006
  • 51:33 03:43 Nam-Khar – Tenshug
    Where Words Fail Music Speaks, A Compilation For Ania Mehring, Santa Sangre Magazine (Bandcamp)
  • 52:50 02:45 Phurpa – 100 Syllabic Mantra of Bon
    Where Words Fail Music Speaks, A Compilation for Ania Mehring, Santa Sangre Magazine (Bandcamp)
  • 54:47 03:03 Biosphere – Good Case And Rest
    Departed Glories, 2016 Smalltown Supersound, STS281CD
  • 57:00 02:23 Dead Melodies – Hidden Seeken
    Subtle Imperfections, 2016, Sparkwood Records SR22
  • 58:41 01:18 Amon Tobin – Lost & Found (Machinefabriek Deconstruction)
    Wendingen (Selected Remixes 2005-2015), 2016, Zoharum ZOHAR 117-2

Download Perception Management Now
(137Mb (59:59 min.)
[Surround-version (DTS.Wav) here]
Or: Stream it on Mixcloud:


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DreamScenes 2016 – 12

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DreamScenes usually only features new releases, but this month I want to start with an exception in memory of Pauline Oliveros.
She introduced the concept of Deep Listening – which is only one of the many things she left behind and will be remembered for.

Watertank Software was the very first track I ever heard of her music. Needless to say it left a deep impression.
It was released in 1985 on the amazing Vor Der Flut collection, recorded in an empty watertank with a 45 second reverberation.

Pauline Oliveros- Watertank Software
(From “Vor Der Flut”, 1985)

This december edition is concluded with a track by Mario Batkoviç, who is also exploring the possibilities and limits of the accordeon.
This particular track – Desiderii Patriae, from his forthcoming album Solo – feels like a (probably unintended) tribute to Oliveros’ Deep Listening concept.

Well, so much for the beginning and the end of this edition.
Apart from that: in-between, there’s many other things (… and also many strings).


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DreamScenes 2016-09/10

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I have enjoyed a holiday in September, so I had to skip last month’s DreamScenes edition.
To compensate for the immeasurable grief this must have caused, ánd to celebrate the start of autumn, this edition is a twice as long as usual.

So I hope you’ll enjoy these two hours of new (and relatively new) music to make you float away into your daydream…


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DreamScenes 2016 – 01


What better way to start a new year than with a new DreamScenes edition?

All the best for 2016!!


  • 00:00 DreamScenes – Intro (Susanna)
  • 00:27 Ben Lukas Boysen – Only In The Dark (Pleq Remix)
    Kingdom Hall, 2015
  • 04:26 Jóhann Jóhannsson, Hildur Gudnadottir, Robert A.A. Lowe – End of Summer, Part 1
    End of Summer, 2015
  • 09:50 Lee Chapman – Hoax
    Eilean Records 2015 Compilation, 2015
  • 13:50 Ambiq – Naked George
    Ambiq 2, 2015
  • 15:07 Frédéric D. Oberland – Scene IV
    Peregrinus Ubique, 2015
  • 20:00 David Cordero – Rio Salado-Conil
    El Rumor Del Oleaje, 2015
  • 24:00 Olga Wojciechowska – Walk My Shadow Home
    Maps & Mazes, 2015
  • 29:09 Markus Guentner – Baryon (feat. The Sight Below)
    Theia, 2015
  • 37:07 Understated Theory – Decoy
    Juxtapparition, 2015
  • 42:02 Aidan Baker Heliotail
    Ecliptic Plane, 2015
  • 50:41 Janek Shaefer – Another World
    World News, 2015
  • 58:53 DreamScenes – Outro (Pink Floyd)

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From The Mouth of the Sun; Christina Vantzou; Lyken / Dove; Olafsson / Futuregrapher

No. 3

From the Mouth of the Sun - Into The Well

I won’t go into detail about the exuberant packaging of this Fluid Audio release, because it’s one of those releases that are probably sold out by the time you read this. If you want to know what is (or: was) included in the 2×3″CD package, you’ll find the details here.
Into the Well is the second album from From The Mouth Of The Sun(FTMOTS) – the follow-up to their 2012 debut Woven Tide.
FTMOTS is Dag Rosenqvist and Aaron Martin performing most instruments, but with the additional horn section and vocal assistance this album has the sound of a full chamber orchestra setting. Some of the music has been compared to that of Sigur Rós, a comparison most obvious in the track called Bodies in Fog.
But for me personally, this music has more impact because it avoids the obligatory ‘post-rock climatic eruptions’. Which – paradoxically – enhances their impact.
And, talking about paradox: the cover art, plotted maps and photo’s included bear strong war-time references: ‘an uncompromising and evocative tribute to sacrifice’. But to my ears, it is peaceful and consolatory music – music beyond fear.

Christina Vantzou - No. 3

When listening to Christina Vantzou‘s albums (No. 1 in 2011, No. 2 in 2014, and now: No. 3)  in sequence, you can almost feel her grow as a composer. She’s still connected to her roots (linking her to Stars of the Lid/A Winged Victory for the Sullen since working with Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie in The Dead Texan), but working with a 15-piece ensemble of strings, horns, woodwinds and choir clearly opened up new possibilities.

‘Whereas 100% of the music of No. 1 and No. 2 was composed without time structure or steady click, the pillars on No. 3 adhere to a solid mathematical scheme.”

But, instead of venturing into more ‘modern classical’ compositions, Vantzou directs the ensemble straight back into performing otherworldly drones. Which proves to be the very right choice!
The ensemble’s arrangements are a perfect accompaniment to Vantzou’s synth parts, performed on DX7, Yamaha CS20, Roland Juno-6, and a selection of Eurorack modular synths.

There’s an eerie atmosphere to the cover, which is even multiplied by the mesmerizing movements on the Official 16 mm film accompanying the release.  But if you strip away the eerie overlay, there is a profound beauty underneath.
It’s the synths that show (and honour) some of Vantzou’s sources of inspiration. Most clearly in the track Laurie Spiegel, but on other moments I even imagined hearing Tomita’s ghost tucked away in the background (or is that just my mind playing tricks? Check the second half of Cynthia..).
But in the end, this is a Christina Vantzou album, not just a collection of references. An album that easily meets the expectations set by its two predecessors.
If Christina continues her own traditions, I guess we can look forward to the No.3 Remixes, too. 

Also on Spotify


Christina Vantzou – Robert Earl

Mirror Lands

Scotland-based artists Mark Lyken and Emma Dove worked together on this soundtrack – ‘a lovely combination of minimal pastoral piano infused arrangements, industrial and natural field recordings, voice overs and evocative electronics’.
As usual for Time Released Sound releases, this comes in two editions: a standard digipak version as well as a Deluxe Edition. The latter is packed in a vintage 7″ square reel-to-reel tape box, filled with vintage prints of the Scottish Highlands, antique fold out maps and pages from 100 years old travel books.
Also included is a printed link to a private viewing of the award-winning Mirror Lands film in which ‘preconceived ideas of Highland life are challenged and the complex interactions between nature and culture are brought to the fore.’
With the soundtrack performed by six speakers forming a circular sonic space from the screen, I guess viewing Mirror Lands must be an impressive experience. Since the Deluxe Edition will probably sell out soon, I do hope the film can still be viewed in some way or another.
But even without its accompanying images the soundtrack stands firmly on its own, perfectly balancing electronics with field recordings and ‘natural’ instruments.

Also on Spotify


Take two musicians from Iceland, combining piano with electronics and field recordings, and you knów you’re in for a treat!
Jón Ólafsson (piano) is an experienced keyboard player: he has played with numerous artists (Emiliana Torrini and Björk among them), and received the Icelandic Music Awards as ‘best keyboard player’ twice.
Árni ‘Futuregrapher‘ Grétar weaves a sonic tapestry with synthesizer, effects, and field recordings.
This is their first release together, and hopefully it won’t be their last: their contemplatice music sounds ‘fresh’ (- nót ‘cold’! – ), with a bright – ECM-like – production.
A bit like sunny days in spring. (In Iceland, that is).

Also on Spotify

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Mike Cooper; J Butler; Tambour; Lunae Lumen

Fratello Mare

If you want something different: hére’s something different.
I guess you never heard anything merging Hawaiian/Pacific music with experimental music into a rather psychedelic Exotica? Or, even better: how many experimental music artists can claim they have performed with blues legends John Lee Hooker, Howlin Wolf and Jimmy Reed, have recorded numerous sessions for John Peel, and have improvised together with Lol Coxhill and Roger Turner?
I assume this limits the possible choices down to one: Mike Cooper.

Although he clearly has nót forgotten about his roots, his current music may not be what you’d expect. It is… different.
That’s why Lawrence English aptly named him ‘The Icon of Post-Everything” (and that about perfectly says it all).
Fratello Mare is Coopers third album for the Room40 label, following Rayon Hula (2010) and White Shadows in the South Seas (2013).
Once again, it’s an ‘ode to the Pacific, its people and the traditions that have flowed from that part of the world into seemingly endless iterations with contemporary culture…. A poetic and dreamlike wandering, that sonically traverses the ever-changing edge of land and sea and Cooper’s musical imagination.’
But a word of warning here: don’t start this journey unprepared. Brother Sea is not just about lush tropical Pacific atmospheres – there’s just as much of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in it! 


J Butler Memory

From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania comes Jonny (J) Butlerexperimenting with guitar pedals, DIY & custom electronics, tape loops, toy instruments and digital signal processing.
Memory is a collection of calm (guitar based) melodic studies, “exploring the idea that memories change and evolve, just as things do in the physical realm: memories fade, change, are re-written, morph and elide”

Tambour - Chapitre I

With an artist/band name like Tambour I expected to hear some uptempo drumming, but this delicate little EP is about the opposite from that. It’s 25 minute of subtle minimalist neoclassical music, “with twinkling piano and haunting string arrangements.”
Tambour is Simon P. Castonguay from Montreal, a self-taught multi-instrumentalist with a background in film studies – which explains the ‘dreamy yet uplifiting atmosphere of storytelling’ in this little 4-track collection. But it’s only Chapter 1 – there’s more to come!

Lunae Lumen

A short (15 minute) EP showcasing the potential of Martha Otero, a 25-year old ambient/contemporary classical composer from Zacatecas, Mexico.
finds inspiration in the music of artists like Max Richter. The five tracks are all relatively short and – like most neo-classical music of this kind – would also do a perfect job as a movie or documentary soundtrack.

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Siren Song (Mix)


There is one special moment in this mix that defined its name and its theme: it is the moment around 23’30”, when Asne Valland Nordli‘s acapella voice finds its exact spot in the preceding tune by Field Recording. Two records that have nothing to do with each other and yet melt as if they were written at one session.
To me, these are truly magical moments.

At that point, I also realised that this mix was built around mysterious vocals. Vocals that may guide you, or lure you, into distances unknown. Often, but not exclusively, female, and some of them not even human – like the beautiful flute-playing by Jean-Christophe Bonnafous, or the mysterious singing sound of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that was recently discovered during the Rosetta space missions.
With just a little fantasy you can imagine the Philae Space Lander being attracted by the comet’s song – ultimately leading it to an untimely death.

Siren Song Sequence Scheme

(mix sequence)

This mix was broadcast on Bob Rusche‘s X-Ray” (X-Mas edition) on december 21, 2014 (Concertzender) – Thanks Bob & Concertzender!

Start – Length – Artist – Title
(Album Title, Release Year, Label #)

  • 00:00 2:39 Mendel Kaelen – Suñayaca Tãla
    (Sequence 8, 2014, Futuresequence SEQ008)
  • 01:51 01:41 Hildur Gudnadottir – Poka
    (Saman, 2014, Touch TO:96)
  • 03:16 00:54 Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin – End of the World Theme
    (Beasts of the Southern Wild OST, 2012, Thirty3 and a 3rd Records)
  • 03:28 04:06 Giulio Aldinucci – Fieno
    (Aer, 2014, Dronarivm DR-25)
  • 05:56 03:46 Iva Bittová – Fragment VI
    (Iva Bittová, 2013, ECM Records ECM 2275)
  • 07:13 02:55 Ambient Music Therapy – Sleep 3
    (Ultimate Sleep System, 2005, Self-Released)
  • 08:07 02:57 Above, Convenience Store! – Boneyard Stray Dog
    (Building in Search of the Sun, 2013, Sparkwood Records SR01)
  • 10:15 03:54 Penjaga Isaf – Pulang
    (Sama Sadja, 2010, Power & Steel PAS27)
  • 11:52 01:47 Andrew Skeoch & Sarah Koschak – Distant Bellbirds
    (Favourite Australian Birdsong, 2001, Listening Earth LECD 10)
  • 13:25 01:28 Andrew Skeoch & Sarah Koschak – Pied Butcherbirds
    (A Morning in the Australian Bush, 1996, Listening Earth LECD 9601)
  • 14:11 01:06 Ambrose Field – Technoform 7
    (Quantaform Series, 2013, Sargasso SCD28071)
  • 14:45 00:40 Andrew Liles – Tinder Box
    (Black Beauty, 2007, Beta-Lactam Ring Records MT127)
  • 14:54 05:02 Enrico Coniglio – Existenz Minimum
    (Areavirus Topofonie Vol. 1, 2007, Psychonavigation Records PSY 020)
  • 19:32 01:30 Cliff Martinez – Wrong Floor
    (Drive OST, 2011, Sony/Lakeshore Records 88691975162)
  • 20:36 03:21 Field Rotation – The Repetition of History
    (Fatalist The Repetition of History, 2013, Denovali DEN161)
  • 23:30 01:25 Asne Valland Nordli – Veverskens Tid
    (Over Tones, 2014, ECM Records ECM 2315)
  • 24:30 04:01 Darren Harper – Will My Memories of You Hold True
    (Suspended Memory, 2011, Self-released)
  • 26:48 04:06 David Toop – Disposal Chute Inoperative
    (Mondo Black Chamber, 2014, Sub Rosa SR385)
  • 29:39 01:57 Jack Dangers – Blast Off
    (Bathyscape Trieste, 2013, Primary Numbers PRIMA007)
  • 31:03 02:32 Andrew Liles – Aviophilia
    (In My Father’s House There Are Many Mansions, 2006, Fourth Dimension Records FDCD68)
  • 32:50 02:16 Rodolpho Alexis – Parabolic Amphibian Mix (Various Tree Frogs)
    (The Wire Tapper 34, 2014, Wire Magazine Issue 362)
  • 33:37 02:00 Lustmord – Babel
    (The Word as Power, 2013, Blackest Ever Black BLACKESTCD004)
  • 35:17 03:18 Desert of Hiatus – Trepidation’s Skin
    (Inconsolable Grief, 2014, self-released)
  • 37:51 02:56 Alogon – Snow
    (Wound, 2014, Under U.R. 08)
  • 38:49 02:29 Jean-Christophe Bonnafous – Alterina
    (Graines de Berceuses, 2012, Prokosnovénie, Prik144)
  • 39:28 02:23 A Day for Strange Birds – The Night Creeps
    (The Sound Between The Noise, 2014, self-released)
  • 40:40 02:16 Stefkovic van Interesse – Nebelmarsch
    (In the Fields, 2013, Self-Released)
  • 42:35 04:24 Pauline Oliveros – Watertank Software
    (Vor Der Flut – Hommage an einen Wasserspeicher, 1985, Eigelstein Musikproduktion, ES2025/26 CD)
  • 46:37 00:55 Paul Schütze – Sacred Agents
    (New Maps of Hell, 1996, Big Cat ABB 104 CD )
  • 47:02 03:31 Deaf Center – The Day I Would Never Have
    (Owl Splinters, 2011, Type TYPE080 )
  • 50:02 03:15 Mariolina Zitta – Sonar
    (Concert for Bats, Voices and Natural Sounds, 2007, Earth Ear ee6142)
  • 51:46 02:33 Max Eastley – Hydrophone String Installation
    (Installation Recordings 1973 – 2008, 2010, Paradigm Discs PD26)
  • 53:08 05:27 Ian William Craig – Either Or
    (A Turn of Breath, 2014, Recital 8)
  • 57:12 02:27 Mica Levi – Alien Loop
    (Under the Skin OST, 2014, Milan M2-36678)
  • 58:24 00:41 ESA Operations – A Singing Comet
    (ESA Operations Rosetta Mission, 2014, Soundcloud)
  • 59:00 00:47 Jon Hopkins – Distant Fire
    (How I Live Now OST, 2013, Just Music TAO056)

Download “Siren Song” Now  (59:40 min; 136Mb)

[DTS – Surround Version also available]

Or: stream it directly from Mixcloud:


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A Winged Victory for the Sullen – Atomos

The second album of A Winged Victory for the Sullen (let’s just call them AWVftS from here) – the follow-up to 2011’s self titled debut – was eagerly anticipated.
The release of the preceding 12″ EP last april (featuring Atomos VII with an additional remix version by Ben Frost) was an appetizer for the october release of the full Atomos album this month, coinciding with their tour around Europe, Australia and the US.

AWVftS is often referred to as a duo consisting of Adam Wiltzie (core member of the legendary Stars of the Lidguess there’s no further introduction needed) and pianist/composer Dustin O’Halloran. But AWVftS  would not be AWVftS without the (now 7-member) string section and the additional modular synth sounds created by Francesco Donadello. Together they present a full orchestral sound with a fascinating balance of string arrangements, melancholic piano melodies and (somewhat unsettling) synth embeddings.

Composing for Atomos started when Random Dance Company‘s choreographer Wayne McGregor asked Adam and Dustin to write the score for his new dance production. They got full carte blanche for their compositions, which also brought them the freedom to let it grow into a full album release.

Random Dance Company – Atomos

While the compositions are more dynamic in nature than the “tired sounds” of the Stars of the Lid ever were, the -s-l-o-w- music of Atomos still seems to be a bold choice for a dance production soundtrack – but probably that’s the exact reason McGregor chose them.
Whether the sounds match the dancers moves is something I better leave to be judged to experts of modern dance (and to those that have witnessed a Random Dance Company performance).
As a separate audio-only release it loses none of its imaginative power.

Opening with a sequence quoting from Philip Glass’s compositional techniques, AWVftS soon leaves the trodden paths to create their own unique blend of surprises – combining the smooth strings with unusual electronics (and some haunting sub-low synths).
On superficial listening this album leaves a somewhat superficial impression. But it isn’t: on closer listening, you’ll hear all subtle details. Listen, for example, to the sound manipulation of the piano note overtones in the opening of Atomos III.
For ‘post-classical’ soundtrack music, there’s always a risk of drifting into one-dimensional, somewhat melodramatic arrangements.
But AWVftS miraculously avoid these pitfalls and create a 62 minute symphony displaying their firm grip on this musical idiom.

Strangely enough, there’s no number IV among the twelve parts of Atomos. The question is even posed on the album cover notes: “Whatever happened to IV?”
My guess is that the nature of this part was probably too different from the others so including it on the album would break the spell. But we’ll probably find out about this in the future when the missing track will find its way out.

Shortly after its release the album charted up the UK Record Store album chart – which is a remarkable feat for any ‘indie ambient soundtrack’ album.
This may prove to be the Winged Victory of the Ambient String Superstars ! (No acronyms  here, please)

A Winged Victory for the Sullen – Atomos II

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