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Orphax & Machinefabriek * Hüwels & Clay * Federico Mosconi

Weerkaatsing

Weerkaatsing

ORPHAX & MACHINEFABRIEK – WEERKAATSING

The dutch title isn’t easily translated. Reflection comes close but doesn’t quite cover it.
But the cover image reveals what this album is about: two artists interacting on each others work, bouncing the ball back to each other and creating new pieces along the process.

The starting point for this album was their mutual respect. To call it a collaboration album would not be entirely true: two (of the three) tracks on this album are a remixes of each other’s music.
Orphax (Sietse van Erve, Amsterdam) remixed Machinefabriek‘s Stofstuk into Reflectie.
Spiegeling, 
on the other hand, is Machinefabriek‘s remix of Orphax’ De Eerste Dag.
Completing this album is the title track Weerkaatsing, which is a completely new piece. Not a remix, but a ‘real’ collaborative work.

Drone-based electronics, but not the static kind of drones… there’s a lot happening in these 43 minutes. The original sound is enriched with many tweaks and twitches, adding details that weren’t there in the first place (such as the string section in Spiegeling).

Ever-changing –  yet with a consistent overall atmosphere…  Weerkaatsing is one of those collaboration projects where the whole is absolutely a lot more than the sum of its parts.
1 + 1 = 3.


Unintended Space

STIJN HÜWELS & DANNY CLAY – AN UNINTENDED SPACE

Stijn Hüwels is a Belgian musician that is not only known for his own minimalist music (created using processed guitar, loops and field recordings), but also as curator of the famous Slaapwel Records label – promoters of Sleep Music with a critically acclaimed discography of handmade CD(r)-releases.

Danny Clay (from San Francisco), on the other hand, describes himself as a Composer/General Noise Maker who’s projects “often incorporate musical games, open forms, found objects, archival media, toy instruments, classrooms of elementary schoolers, graphic notation, digital errata, cross-disciplinary research, and the everything-in-between”.

So there you are: merge Stijn’s quiet and introspective guitar and voice with Danny’s interacting (but also introspective) turntables, sine waves and celesta, and you’re in for a sonic treat.
A very calming and undisturbed treat, for most parts.
The slow-paced (14 minute) 3.25.2016 (I), for example, has a background loop that could come from a William Basinski album (but without the degradation), and is covered in warm guitar layers and gentle glockenspiel-like bell sounds.

An Unintended Space is the duo’s first collaborative project, on which they worked for a year. The tracks are titled by the dates they were considered finished (I assume): between february 2016 and march 2017.


Federico Mosconi - Colonne Di Fumo

FEDERICO MOSCONI – COLONNE DI FUMO  Also on Spotify

Eight ‘smoke columns’ created by Federico Mosconi from Verona, Italy: “undefined and changing soundscapes as the figures drawn by smoke”. 
The opening track Notturno introduces sounds of distant thunder, while the album merges field recordings with Mosconi‘s guitar playing and live recordings into a beautiful dreamy set of lush ambient soundscapes.

Creating ambient music is not the only thing Federico Mosconi does: he graduated in guitar and multimedia composition at the Conservatory of Verona and has played solo as well as in orchestras, chamber ensembles and the electroacoustic improvisation sextet Cardew Ensemble.
Colonne Di Fumo is his second full album, following Acquatinta from 2014.

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Sound Meccano + Jura Laiva * Tobias Hellkvist * No One

No One 1

Salty Wind

SOUND MECCANO & JURA LAIVA – SALTY WIND AND INNER FIRE

Sound Meccano (Rostislav Rekuta from Riga, Latvia – electronics, field recordings, sound processing) and Jura Laiva (also from Latvia – guitar, guitar drones, piano) have worked together before, releasing 2 EP’s on Crónica and Flaming Pines. This release on Eilean Records is their first full-length album.

With the campfire sounds, the rain and other environmental sounds this 8-part journey feels like camping out in a dense forest, slowly moving through different weather conditions.

“The album is best perceived as an audio journey, a road-movie for the ears.”

With the help of Kate Pavula (violin, voice, viola, accordion) and Eriks Kirsfelds (cello) it becomes a cinematic journey. The eight parts are sequenced into one 71 minute trip from which there’s no way back once you started.
But why would you want to?
“The overall mood of the record is far from somber, as if to prove that the inner fire that never goes out is warm enough to protect us from salty winds, no matter how endless the winter might seem.”


Forest Psalms

TOBIAS HELLKVIST – FOREST PSALMS  Also on Spotify

The basic field recordings for this album were recorded in the United States in 2015 and 2016: at Culver City, Los Angeles, Topanga Canyon and Big Sur (California) and Big Pine Key, Florida. Additional recordings were made in Sweden and Denmark; the album was finished in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Field recordings being the basic source material does not automatically mean that this is a ‘nature’ recording: they are the inspiration, the starting points. The added electronics make it ‘true ambient’ sounds, intended “to lead the audience into a state of mindfulness, total relaxation, and focus”.

After a 2 day hike in the forest of Northern California, I came to experience a rare kind of stillness and desolation which really fascinated me. I think most of the music I make is some kind of attempt to recreate moments like these for me to revisit.”
And we can consider ourselves lucky to be able to join Tobias Hellkvist in this revisit.


No One 1     No One

NO ONE – 13

Just  a fairly random pick of two albums from the six that are numbered in the order (Franess) No One started working on them:   123459.
This means that 6 – 7 – 8 are currently works in progress but will probably be released somewhere in the near future. Besides, there’s also mention of an upcoming CD-release on Midira records.
Franess No One is an artist of the prolific kind, obviously, because only a few days ago another album was released – not numbered but with a title: Antipodes

I can’t tell how the other titles sound (yet), but No One states that he “often creates several practically identical works”, so I guess these two releases are fairly representative for many of his other work.

“No One makes conceptual music…” (which is a nice statement in itself, by the way) “… by manipulating sounds to create confusion”. 

One could say the music on these albums are heavily drone-based, but that wouldn’t the right description for soundscapes like these that constantly change and evolve in a very cinematic, story-telling way. The drones seem to cover hidden melodies that struggle to get to the surface. All in a lush, widescreen sound created with recordings, tape treats, instruments and keyboards.
1 is split in two tracks around 30 minutes each, while 3 presents a single 41 minute track.

 

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Dronny Darko * Phonothek * Dead Melodies

Abduction

Abduction

DRONNY DARKO – ABDUCTION  Also on Spotify

If you like your soundscapes dark and haunting, full of suspense, Dronny Darko (from Kiev, Ukraine) will definitely fulfill your needs (as will most of the releases on the Cryo Chamber label).

Abduction is described as “merging the lowercase and minimal genre with a strong science fiction element.”
“Lowercase music”, Darko
 explaines, is a minimalistic sound art that “amplifies acoustic objects and paints collages with them. Those are sounds that we almost cannot hear with a naked ear. Something like the hum of the domestic sound system, ants rumbling, plants growing,  etc.”.

The result of this process can hardly be called ‘minimal’: it’s an overwhelming and irresistible plunge into the deep unknown, where “throbbing bass layers croak and groan under the pressure of whirling machines that buzz and hum.”


Phonothek - Red Moon

PHONOTHEK – RED MOON   Also on Spotify

Phonothek‘s second album for Cryo Chamber (the follow-up of last year’s Lost in Fogcontinues “the theme of the inevitable death of our planet”.
So here’s the image to keep in mind when you listen to the track Last Melody:

“A sad lonely trumpet echoes between ruined apartment complexes. The ground is dry and dusty, nothing grows here. Where once laughter of children lingered, now only the creak of broken swings remain. The earth is dying. The chosen got on the ships, but not you.” 

The Georgian duo (George Shamanauri and his wife Nina) mixes many genres without losing the desolate atmosphere: there’s dark ambient (obviously), but also David Lynch-like dark ambient-jazz – with a leading role for  the trumpet.
The latter  will not surprise you knowing George was (is) the principal trumpet in the Tbilisi State Opera Orchestra, the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra and the Georgian Philharmonic, as well as a participating member in many other ensembles. Nina also studied at the Tbilisi State Conservatory, and continues to work in different projects.

For their work with Phonothek they developed a clear conceptual sound, one that isn’t usually taught at conservatories (though conservatories in Georgia might be different, I don’t know about that).
Their soundscapes are one of the most adventurous examples of ‘dark ambient’ soundscapes you will be able to find.
“It brings the sound of the old world to life as it shines light on the new and dying one.”


Dead Melodies

DEAD MELODIES – LEGENDS OF THE WOOD   Also on Spotify

Dead Melodies  (Tom Moore, UK)  come from the same stable: it’s his first album for Cryo ChamberBut it’s not a ‘debut’: over eight years Moore has released ten albums, EP’s and a large amount of collaborations making anything from dub to folk to ambient”.

With its lush field recordings and reverbed guitar, the musical approach is somewhat different – possibly taking its inspiration from English (foggy) landscapes. At least, in the beginning of this album.
There’s a ominous undercurrent in the music, and the eeriness soon takes over. Titles that tell tales of Crows and Blood, Devil’s Hill, the Hooded Nine and a Malevolent Rising will probably already have told you to stay on guard.

“The damp morning dew forms translucent drops on the knee-high grass. Whatever was out there last night seems gone but the birds are not yet singing and the animals still hiding.”
How’s that for  creating an atmosphere?

But rest assured (spoiler alert!): the last track is titled  Beautiful Coalescence. So no need to worry too much.

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Fabio Perletta * Simon Fisher Turner * Mayforest

Ichinen

Ichinen

FABIO PERLETTA – ICHINEN 一念

The 一 (one) and 念 (thought) in the title refer to the shortest possible unit of time known as a principle of Zen practice: “a point of time which has neither the past nor the future.. “. The moment “where eternity cuts into time”, which exactly correspondents to what is know as Satori, which “takes place when consciousness realizes a state of one thought.”

That are some thoughts to ponder on for a while – and for that pondering Fabio Perletta provides a perfect soundtrack. Three untitled tracks (totalling 48 minutes – but put it on repeat and you can take all the pondering time you need).

On this album, Fabio Perletta explores the “emotional states experienced before, during and after a very long awaited trip”. The three different pieces are created using location recordings from Tokyo, Takayama and Kyoto, all heavily processed to unrecognisable abstract soundscapes using computer, feedback, magnetic tape and digital and ‘irreversible‘ sound processing.

Musique Concrête for the mind? In fact, words fail to describe it describe because “Zen does not follow the routine of reasoning, and does not mind contradicting itself or being inconsistent.”
Just listen. And try to look for that exact moment of ‘one thought’.

Ichinen 一念 is a digital-only release.


Giraffe

SIMON FISHER TURNER – GIRAFFE  Also on Spotify

From the very first cut-up fragments op Into Bush it’s clear that this is going to be an amazing journey. Simon Fisher Turner – composer, actor, sound designer – took his relatively simple recording devices (Roland Edirol R-09 and iPhone) around the world (Berlin, Lake Biwa, Cambridgeshire, Hammersmith, River Thames, Tokyo, Porto, Andalucia) and mashed all kinds of location recordings into kaleidoscopic tracks that ‘blur the line between sound design and song, machine severity and narrative sentimentality’.

There are amazing sounds heard in every direction, but they are kept together by the layered electronics, morphed into augmented field recordings.
Images of non-existent worlds, created from blended and altered every day sounds: “a sonic landscape where musical and non-musical elements are placed on a level hierarchy.”

Slight Smile is a spoken word poem by Emma Smith, adding to the psychedelic dreamlike visions of this album, ultimately dissolving into the incromprehensible realms: 
“You are the leader, and I wore funny clothes. We travelled together, and I wore leather. Lovely backstage photos…”

Travelling together is the key to this album. Travelling, and sharing the amazement and excitement of unexpected encounters…

One question remains… why the Giraffe’?
The fata-morgana-like cover image of a giraffe’s shadow looks nothing like an earthly creature, but it still is. It’s an altered image, in the same way the life sounds on this album are altered images of the world surround us.


SIMON FISHER TURNER – SAVE AS


Mayforest

MAYFOREST – MAYFOREST

The cover design and ASCII-art track titles like –∞–––––∞– or ––(–––––)–– may suggest the analytical kind of sound resembling the analytical Raster-Noton approach: mathematical more than emotional (though that’s always a subjective matter of course). But even in the first minutes of the opening track it’s clear that this is a misconception: Mayforest presents an organical ambient sound with many acoustical (-sounding) elements.
Mayforest’s music is definitely more ‘human’ than the package might suggest.

Mayforest is Christian Maiwald, living in Berlin and Szczecin (Poland).
There’s not much information on the background of his music, apart from the fact that there’s “no lute and no 808”.

The tracks are presented in order of their production date, because  Christian “likes to see where things lead me.” Wherever that may be, it’s a promising path, passing many enjoyable soundscapes in a strikingly original instrumentation.

At moments, the sound is not unlike that of the Stars of the Lid, and you might also hear elements reminiscing Bersarin Quartett….
Namedropping of course, just to give  an idea about some of the Mayforest sounds you can expect on this ‘off-radar’ album definitely worth checking out.

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Mind Awake, Body Asleep (Mix)

Mind Awake, Body Asleep

The moment I heard Rami Malek whisper “You lie in bed and repeat this mantra in your head: mind awake, body asleep” (Mr Robotseries 2) I knew this would be the inspiration for a new mix.
A mix about half-sleep, lucid dreaming impressions… ungraspable images… and about “letting go”.
After all, Mr. Robot’s tagline was “Control is an Illusion”.

Control proved to be an illusion indeed, with these different, unrelated, fragments coming together like pieces of a puzzle, creating a mix “like its own cinematic score.” (H_C)

So let go, indulge yourself in this mix, and leave control to wherever the sound takes you.
But (as is this is not one of those ‘feel good, sleep well’ mixes) be sure to keep you mind awake at all times!

This mix was created for – and is co-hosted on – Headphone Commute – for which I am very very grateful!

“Peter van Cooten’s intricate storytelling with his favorite piece is the precise definition of a true curator. But it’s not just a collection of sequential tracks that makes a mix from PvC a transforming experience, it’s also his multi-layered approach to weaving in the dynamics and textures of individual compositions that truly create a brand new one, disabling your mind from peeling apart the individual pieces (see below the screenshot of the entire sequence). The mix becomes an event of itself – one that I am honored to share with you.”

Thanks, H_C,  for the helping in spreading lucid audio-dreams ! 

 

Mind Awake... sequence

 

Playlist

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

  • 00:00 00:53 Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil – Sloosha’s Hollow
    Cloud Atlas OST, 2012, Sony Classical 88765411202
  • 00:20 00:30 Rami Malek – Mind Awake, Body Asleep
    Mr. Robot, 2016
  • 00:50 02:02 Gideon Wolf – Disquiet
    Year Zero, 2016, Fluid Audio 038
  • 01:31 01:38 Kenji Kawai – Ghosthack
    Ghost in the Shell OST, 1995, RCA BVCR-729
  • 02:41 02:08 DirigentThe Perseids (Naviarhaiku 137)
    3 Years of Naviar Haiku, 2017, Naviar, Bandcamp
  • 04:11 01:22 Olivier AlaryXi
    Fiction – Non-Fiction, 2017, 130701 LP13-24
  • 05:14 02:19 Mayforest – –––––––
    Mayforest, 2017, Bandcamp
  • 07:13 03:00 Daniel WJ MackenzieAbandonment I (Moon Phase)
    Every Time Feels Like The Last Time, 2017, Eilean Rec 048
  • 09:35 02:59 Sij – Floating Clouds
    The Time Machine, 2017, Cryo Chamber CRYO 057
  • 10:08 00:26 Rami Malek – Mind Awake, Body Asleep
    Mr. Robot, 2016
  • 12:02 02:32 BJ Nilsen – Twenty Four Seven
    Eye of the Microphone, 2013, Touch TO:95
  • 13:10 02:19 Visible Cloaks – Wintergreen
    Reassemblage, 2017, Rvng Intl. RVNGNL37
  • 14:54 02:03 Stéphane Roy – III
    Migrations, 2004, Empreïntes Digitales IMED 0373
  • 15:57 01:10 Simon Fisher Turner – Burnt In
    Giraffe, 2017, Editions Meg EMEGO 231
  • 17:01 03:01 Max Richter – Morphology
    Three Worlds: Music From Wolf Works, 2017, Deutsche Grammophon 00289 479 6952 GH
  • 19:13 02:44 Angelina Yershova – Intermezzo 80 Hertz
    Resonance Night, 2017, Twin Paradox TPR004
  • 21:30 01:37 Gideon WolfNoise
    Year Zero, 2016,  Fluid Audio 038
  • 22:11 03:06 James MurrayAllways
    Killing Ghosts, 2017, Home Normal homen091
  • 24:40 02:47 Alva Noto – Gulf Night (For Peter Roehr)
    For, 2006, Line LINE_026
  • 25:49 02:17 Mario Batkovic – Desiderii Patriae
    Solo, 2015, Veruston VTR002 (2017: Invada INV16LP)
  • 27:07 04:00 J. Peter Schwalm – Endknall
    The Beauty of Disaster, 2016, RareNoise Records RNR059
  • 30:08 03:51 Abul Mogard – Tumbling Relentless Heaps
    Works, 2016, Ecstatic ELP020
  • 32:38 02:59 Lawrence English – Somnambulist
    Cruel Optimism, 2017, Room40 RM470CD
  • 34:43 01:54 Penjaga Insaf – Keinsafan
    Sama Sadja, 2010, Power & Steel PAS 27
  • 35:27 01:21 Olan Mill – Alve
    Orient, 2017, Dauw d21
  • 36:23 02:34 Jeffrey Roden – Threads of a Prayer
    Threads of a Prayer Volume 2, 2017, Solaire Records SOL1004
  • 38:50 01:40 Jóhann Jóhannsson – First Encounter
    Arrival OST, 2016, Deutsche Grammophon 4796782
  • 39:57 01:49 Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie – They Dream Of More
    Salero OST, 2016, Erased Tapes Records ERATP091CD
  • 40:23 00:14 Rami Malek – Mind Awake, Body Asleep
    Mr. Robot, 2016
  • 41:32 01:22 The Future Sound of London – Exerting Force or Influence
    Environment Six, 2016, fsoldigital CDTOT 70
  • 41:54 02:14 Andrew Wasylyk – Ghosts of Park Place
    Themes for Buildings and Spaces, 2017, Tape Club Records TAPCLB083
  • 42:43 02:57 Elegi – K-141
    Bånsull, 2017, Dronarivm DR-43
  • 44:43 03:02 DødsmaskinHeksetimen
    Fullstendig Brent, 2017, Malignant Records TumorCD104
  • 45:46 03:22 FM3 – Dui Xiang
    Ting Shuo, 2014, self-released CN-M69-14
  • 48:28 02:13 Scott Walker – Dream Sequence
    The Childhood of a Leader OST, 2016, 4AD CAD3620CD
  • 49:31 00:15 Rami Malek – Mind Awake, Body Asleep
    Mr. Robot, 2016
  • 50:00 03:47 Seabuckthorn – Passage of Old
    I Could See The Smoke, 2016, Lost Tribe Sound LTS-024
  • 53:07 01:50 Fabio Perletta – Ichinen Pt. 1
    Ichinen, 2017, Line LINE_085
  • 53:26 06:33 Olivier Alary – Epilogue
    Fiction – Non-Fiction, 2017, 130701 LP13-24

 

Download Mind Awake, Body Asleep Now 140 Mb (60:00 min.)

[Alternative download from Archive.org]

[Surround-version (DTS.Wav) here]

Or: Stream in on Mixcloud:

 

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DreamScenes 2017 – 5

DreamScenes Logo

The monthly editions of DreamScenes were never meant to present strictly ‘ambient’ music only. I prefer to merge different – though somewhat related – styles that share a dreamy, introvert, reflective, melancholic atmosphere (or whatever you would like to call it).

So, for this May edition, you can expect a bit of contemporary classical, a bit of piano, a bit of jazz , some drones and  (0f course) some ambient soundscapes too, to bring you a small hour of quiet dreamscenes  when needed.

Keep on (day)dreaming:

tracklist:

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Juha-Matti Rautianen * Bing Satellites * Bethan Kellough

Juha-Matti Rautianen

Juha-Matti Rautianen

JUHA-MATTI RAUTIANEN – THE ENDLESS NOW – MUSIC FOR STAGNATION

Sometimes Art flourishes on imposed restrictions.
Finnish bass-player Juha-Matti Rautianen can tell you all about this: he cut the tip of his right index-finger in an accident on New Year’s Day in 2014. Pretty disastrous for a professional bass-player playing over 15 years on stage and in various bands and various genres.

But Rautianen obviously is a man who doesn’t accept limitations – instead he took up the challenge: composing and performing live ambient music with his primary instrument, using an array of effect pedals.
“My accident gave me the opportunity to examine the aesthetic of focusing on the present – the moment right now. “

“I think the most intriguing music is born when you set limits to yourself” –  I can almost imagine Brian Eno’s smile affirmative here.
The limitation is not only his broken hand, but also the instrument: a bass guitar is not often the instrument of choice for ambient music. “I tried to use my bass guitar as unorthodoxically as possible.”
The result: a refreshingly imaginative, ‘mindful’ album.

But please: do not read this as an invitation to break your fingers or otherwise hurt yourself… It’s better to remember this advice from Eno’s ‘Oblique Strategies“: “Honor thy error as a hidden intention”

Also on Spotify


Bing Satellites

BING SATELLITES – EXTENSIONS OF REALITY

Let’s discuss ‘prolific’…. The artist known as Bing Satellites (real name Brin Colemanhas produced over 61 albums since 2015 under this name – and that’s not counting the releases under different aliases like Blocker, Ghost Harmonics, The Ambient Visitor, The Lovely Moon and probably more.
I can’t say I’m really familiar with all of his work, so Extensions of Reality is a fairly random pick – especially when considering that another eight titles were releases (at time of writing) after this particular one from December 2016.

That said, Extensions of Reality is a fine way to start exploring Bing Satellites‘ catalogue; especially since the download version is a Name Your Price release,
The music on this album is heavily inspired by Brian Eno’s generative music concept, sometimes you even hear fragments reminiscing Fripp & Eno’s heavenly guitar loops. The three king tracks are built from improvised layers, generative loops with slightly different lengths, so the output is different each time: “they interact in ways that could not be foreseen.”

Indeed: think Music for Airports.

So completist collectors: beware!
Think again before you start listening to this album: there may be no way back from checking out many many other releases.
(But then again: most of the Bing Satellites releases are available as a Name-Your-Price download.)



Bethan Kellough - Aven

BETHAN KELLOUGH – AVEN

Touch label release from last year’s august that I missed somehow but still want to recommend to those that missed it too.
Reading Aven‘s liner notes it’s clear that field recordings are the main ingredient here: recordings made in Iceland and South Africa. The impressive rumbling sound of ‘underground geothermal activity escaping to the surface through a small shaft’ gave the album it’s title: such shafts are called ‘Aven’.
But by augmenting the field recordings with various drones and melodic violin passages,  Bethan Kellough transforms the recordings into a symphonic fantasy, imagining entering unknown underground environments.
If you want to hear one example of how environmental field recordings can be turned into a full-featured symphony, try Aven

Bethan Kellough (a.k.a. Bethan Parkes) got the PhD in Sonic Arts in 2015 at the University of Glasgow. She is researching “immersive sound-worlds, spatial aesthetics and the interactions between sonically and visually articulated spaces”,  her music “inhabiting the boundaries between music and sound design”.

Aven is her debut album release – a live recording, recorded in April 2016 in Los Angeles as part of the Touch Conference.

Also on Spotify

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Dronezzzzzzzzzz

AS606

Lineeleh

ELEH & RICHARD CHARTIER – LINELEH I Also on Spotify, LINEELEH II Also on Spotify

Starting this drone edition with the two versions of Lineleh means we’re immediately diving deep into the most minimalist of drones. Richard Chartier and Eleh (personal information remains enigmatic, despite his/her impressive output… which was an inspiration for brainwashed as well as Noise Parkworked together in 2015 and 2016 to refine this drone celebrating their fascination for micro-nuances.

The micro-nuances best reveal themself with headphone listening, although quiet amplification is also recommended. This is deep listening material, not many people will listen to these long-form drone pieces with continued concentration. But that is not the issue: on ‘quiet amplification’ it is as ignorable as it is interesting – and isn’t that the original definition of ambient music? The kind of sounds that merge with the sounds of your own environment, altering the atmosphere to match with your own state of mind.

Lineleh is released in two separate versions: a 73 minute version and a 128 minute version. Though the first version would have fitted on a CD, both editions are digital-download only.

II is not simply a stretched version of Ithere’s a distinct difference in the two pieces – although they may use the same basic sound material.
is a drone piece in the truest, most minimal possible way, reminiscent of some of the work of Eliane Radigue.
II
 explores the micro-nuances, isolating some of its parts and zooming into it with microscopic detail.
In the first 30 minutes of II, there’s a faint yet distinctive whoop sound, something like the start of a loop sample, introducing a ‘rhythm’ to hold on to. A strange artefact, unusual to this kind of drone sounds, which does not seem to be present in the version. But when it finally disappears, the dive feels even deeper than before.

These two versions should definitely be regarded as pieces on one single album, even though they are available separately. It’s not either/or, but it’s a three-hour-and-twenty-one minute trip through “distinct floating durational interactions through slowly shifting waves.



Yann Novak Surroundings

YANN NOVAK – SURROUNDINGS

Also released on the Line Imprint label is this 29 minute dronescape by Yann Novakoriginally created as a sound performance for the Soundwave Biennal in San Francisco. Is is a symbiotic mixture of field recordings captured in the Golden Gate Park and synthesized sounds representing the architecture of the de Young Museum.

As expected, you can leave it up to Yann Novak to come up with a beautiful, “deep and meditative listening environment” that has the same effect as a revitalizing power nap: a 30 minute dive into eternity.


Radboud Mens En Matthijs Kouw

RADBOUD MENS & MATTHIJS KOUW – 1

The basic motto for this album is a quote from John Cage: “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.”
This is especially true when listening to what we call drone music.
If you listen to drones at the wrong moment, for the wrong reasons, without the right mindset or intention, you might dismiss it as boring. And it may very well be boring – but it is intentionally so.
If you surrender yourself to the sound, immerse yourself it, can be receptive to its many details, it opens up a world of timeless wonders. Miraculous waves of sound interacting with your body, your location, your hearing, your perception.

Radboud Mens and Matthijs Kouw have previously worked together, exploring all kinds of experimental electronic music. Their collaboration for this album is the first of a two-part album, recorded live in the studio in December 2014. This edition presents two minimalistic electro-acoustic drones, created using software, recordings of acoustic instruments and a modular synth.
The tracks, each around 20 minutes, are effectively called “F” and “A”. The start of each piece is like adjusting to a tuning fork. Once you’re tuned to the basic sound you can simply wait for the variations to start happening.

The funny thing is: it never gets boring, not even after 2 x 20 minutes.
So, if you want to test Cage’s statement, you’ll have to put it on repeat!


David Fyans - Trübhand

DAVID FYANS – TRÜBHAND

David Fyans previously recorded as Erstlaub, but currently releases his work under his own name. The (German) title roughly translates to something like ‘cloudy hand’ –  a reminder of a period David (of Scottish origin) and his wife were living in Bad Zwischenahn, north Germany.
‘In exile at the time, as a result of untenable UK visa policy’.

“The absolute flatness of the area was further adding to my homesickness and feeling of isolation.”

The two tracks, called (Left Hand) and (Right Hand), were recorded as two separate live performances, using a relatively simple setup: a small case of eutorack modules, a mixer and a couple of guitar pedals. They re-create a foggy state of mind, “feelings of occluded emotion, dullness and slowness of mind…”

“At night, in the alien darkness, I would close my eyes and rend the landscape. I would summon great mountains, pulling up grassy slopes that gave way to jagged cliffs, dragging down the clouds to create negative space.”


Martijn Comes - Interrogation of the Crystalline Sublime

MARTIJN COMES – INTERROGATION OF THE CRYSTALLINE SUBLIME

Martijn Comes is a Dutch composer specialising in new media, sound design and electro-acoustic composition. His hour-long deep-drone piece Interrogation of the Crystalline Sublime was published on the spectacular Drone Cinema 2015 Raspberry Pi (!) release – the kind of gem every dronehead will probably dream of, but with a price tag only few can afford.

So it’s a good thing that the Moving Furniture label decided to reissue this piece in a 2-CD version (ánd digital download of course): CD1 containing the hour-long Interrogation by Martijn Comes, and CD2 containing 8 remixes of that piece by Scant Intone, Mitchell Akiyama, Zeno van den Broek, Alberto Boccardi, Haarvöl, Juan Antonio Nieto, Giulio Aldinucci and Orphax. 

Comes describes his work as ‘livingroom music’ (possibly distinguishing itself slightly from Erik Satie’s ‘Musique d’Ameublement’ (Furniture Music), which was meant to be played by live performers).
He set out to “write a piece that is equally meditative as it is harmonious and melodic, or at least it would hint at large subtle progressions of harmony, in a way that is magnetic to the imaginations, while the body remains in a  meditative, relaxing state.”
It’s an immersive drone, with hints of a shore in the background, that gradually grows intense and inescapable in its first half and then gradually recedes again.

It is not often that drone material like this gets remix treatments by different artists, so it’s interesting to hear what other artists do with sonic material like this.
Some of the remixers focus on the drone aspect, emphasizing different frequencies thus altering the overall feel. Others filter out artefacts (which can hardly be heard in the original), or add their own material to create abstract electro-acoustic compositions that hardly seem related to the original. Some focus on emotional aspects, others take a more analytic approach. Most of them venture into sonic extremes, thus losing some of the ‘livingroom’ aspect of the original.
But each one of these remixes sound completely different – like if they were original compositions in the first place.


Orphax Dream Sequence #3

ORPHAX – DREAM SEQUENCE #3

With the exception of Lineleh, all releases mentioned above are released on the Moving Furniture Records label, curated by Sietse van Erve alias OrphaxSo it’s only natural to include his own release here (which is not released on his own label but on Taâlem by the way).

Van Erve is a dedicated admirer of the music of Eliane Radigue and this shows in most of his music (as well as in a lot of the releases on his label).
Dream Sequence #3 is the third part (duh!) of a series of dreamy ambient drone pieces. Part 1 and Part 2 are available through Orphax‘s Bandcamp Shop.

Because of the limitations of the 3″ CD it is released on, it is relatively short (at least for a drone) with its 23 minutes. It’s the kind of drone that can isolate you from your surroundings (instead of enhancing it), which definitely helps to drift away into a short but refreshing dream.

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DreamScenes 2017-4

DreamScenes Logo

The April DreamScenes edition features a collection of fine tracks from recent releases – meandering from ambient dreamscapes to abstract expressionism to jazzy modern classical, overtone throat singing suites and distorted choirs…
All in one night’s dream….

Tracklist:

  • 00:00 DreamScenes – Intro (Susanna)
  • 00:48 MayForest – -)(-
    Mayforest, 2017
  • 04:43 Olivier Alary – Epilogue
    Fiction – Non-Fiction, 2017
  • 10:57 Christopher Chaplin – Je Suis Le Ténébreux (Tim Story Remix)
    Deconstructed (Remix EP), 2017
  • 14:50 High Plains – Ten Sleep
    Cinderland, 2017
  • 17:55 Jacaszek – Love
    Kwiaty, 2017
  • 20:11 Tobias Hellkvist – Where No One Can Hear You
    Forest Psalms, 2017
  • 24:28 Olan Mill – Molanret
    Orient, 2017
  • 31:54 Second Woman – 05 ////\
    SW, 2017
  • 35:50 Simon Fisher Turner – Save As
    Giraffe, 2017
  • 36:40 Hauschka – I Can’t Express My Deep Love
    What If, 2017
  • 39:50 Enabl.Ed – To My Daughter
    Tipsy Haux 2.0, 2017
  • 44:17 Lorenzo Masotto – A Tree In The Snow
    Aeolian Processes, 2017
  • 47:30 High Plains – Blood That Ran The Rapids
    Cinderland, 2017
  • 50:46 Phonothek & Cities Last Broadcast – Last Melody
    Red Moon, 2017
  • 55:41 Olan Mill – Alve
    Orient, 2017
  • 58:00 Ocoeur – Crystal
    Touched 3, 2016

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Banabila Exclusive: Dissolve (Free Download)

Installation View

MICHEL BANABILA – DISSOLVE
(AMBIENTBLOG EXCLUSIVE!)

Ambientblog is very proud to present this exclusive download from Michel Banabila: a 38 minute soundscape created for Gerco de Ruijter‘s installation called Dissolve

Dissolve  is an installation by landscape photographer and filmmaker Gerco de Ruijtershowing landscape images filmed in the Alamosa Valley, Colorado, near the Great Sand Dunes. The shore of the mountain lake is shown in time-lapse images of one full day, from early morning darkness to nightfall, comprised into 4 minutes.
Using animation technique, the reverse image is added, so the mirrored landscape changes position with the real at about three-quarters of the movie. From there, the next sequence starts in mirrored mode until it is swapped into its original mode. This way, the images are shown in endless succession.
The landscape and its mirrored image are tilted 90 degrees, so ‘form and landscape are interwoven in a poetic, abstract experience‘.

Dissolve was premiered on the Holland Animation Film Festival (HAFF) in March 2017, as part of the Expanding Animation exhibition, presenting installations that combine animation, film and fine arts.

Dissolve   Dissolve   Dissolve   Dissolve
(click images for full size)
 

Because the tilted landscape image is detached from its natural context the eight minute installation can induce a meditative state which is deepened by the soundscape Michel Banabila created especially for this installation. The length of the film (8 minutes) is different from that of the soundscape (38 minutes), so the soundtrack is slightly different with every iteration of the loop.

Banabila‘s Dissolve soundscape reminisces some of Brian Eno’s generative works: repeating notes that appear at irregular intervals, embedded in multi-layered drones and deep rumbling sub-bass sounds. Indeed: ‘music that is as ignorable as it is interesting.’ It’s a soundscape one can lose itself in, an atmosphere enhancer that can be put on repeat – and thus it’s a perfect companion to De Ruijter’s detached landscape stills.
One could argue that this is not a ‘characteristic’ Banabila piece: he never before, to my knowledge, released a full-album-length ambient piece like this. (Until now, his X-Rated Manggha Mix was the longest ambient track with its 18:24 minutes).

It seems Banabila feels at home in whatever style he choses: in his works for films, dance and theatre, his more ethnic oriented collaborations, his present day focus on more experimental electronics, ánd in long-form ambient soundscapes.

The Dissolve installation is not the first time that Gerco de Ruijter and Michel Banabila worked together: many of Banabila‘s album covers are graced with stills from de Ruijter‘s aerial landscape photography. Floatand the recent Sound Years  are fine examples.
They also produced various other film and installation pieces together, like Crops, Grid Corrections and Ringdijk/Dike-Ring.
(An overview can be found here on this Banabila Blogpost)

Dissolve   Installation View
 



MICHEL BANABILA – DISSOLVE

Download Dissolve-FLAC (286MB)

Download Dissolve-MP3 (94MB)

This download contains Banabila‘s 38:30 version of Sound for Dissolve, and includes stills from the original video installation by Gerco de Ruijter. 

Please note that this download is intended for personal use only.
For non-personal and/or commercial use such as radio-broadcasts, soundtracks or any other kind of publication, please contact Michel Banabila (music) or Gerco de Ruijter (video stills) first.

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