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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 2016-07

DreamScenes Logo

There’s a remarkable amount of rain falling in this July edition of DreamScenes.
Well… I guess it perfectly fits this summer season…

With Cerfilic, Ian William Craig, Helios, Ben Lukas Boysen, Antonymes/Marconi Union, Claire M. Singer, Olivier Alary, Jonty Harrison, Stephan Mathieu, Mathieu Lamontagne, Anne Garner/Christoph Berg, M4X and Max Richter.

Tracklist:

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Bas van Huizen, Orphax, Chihei Hatakeyama, Dirk Serries

Kluwekracht

BAS VAN HUIZEN KLUWEKRACHT
You only need one short look at the (A5-sized) cover to know that you’re in for something different. The title is – as usual for Van Huizen‘s releases – untranslatable: a nonexistent dutch word which could mean something like ‘entangled force’.

‘Van Huizen searches for music that can speak for itself’.
And so it does – but once you watched the fantastic teaser video (check below) there’s no escaping the striking surrealistic images conjured by this combination of sound and images!

Kluwekracht is created from voice, guitars and singing bowls – but the resulting power ambient is never far from noise and may not be anything like what you would expect from this combination!


Dream Sequence

ORPHAX – DREAM SEQUENCE 1
For this short 3″ EP-release – the first of a series ‘with a dreamy touch’ – Orphax (Sietse van Erve) used a 40 year old Digisizer DIY synth to create the basic drone material.
‘A weird machine that has a high random factor and many errors’.
The result is a nice meandering, adventurous – yet dreamy – drone piece with enough variation to keep your attention for its full 21 minutes length.


Five Dreams

CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA – FIVE DREAMS
Once you’ve heard a few of his releases, you’ll immediately recognise the soothing sounds of Chihei Hatakeyama.
The calm, slow and peaceful meditations on Five Dreams are no exception.

Inspired by Ten Nights of Dreams‘ by Soseki Natsume, which were each set in different time periods, Hatakeyma presents his interpretations of five dreams, each one from a different month.
The basic sound files were recorded in 2008 using an electric guitar, but Hatakeyama took all the time he needed to edit them until they were ready to be released.


Storm of Silence

CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA & DIRK SERRIES – STORM OF SILENCE
The Glacial Movements releases are all related to winter, and cold desolate icy landscapes.  So is this collaboration of Chihei Hatakeyama with Belgian ambient music veteran Dirk Serries:

“My work with Chihei is one for the winter. Amidst the icy landscapes, the isolation and the desolate space. When nature becomes almost super linear, less expressive in colour but with equal strength and severity. […] Chihei’s approach to my sources were different, more isolated, perhaps colder and distant. Almost like something you witnessed in the distance on the horizon, something less concrete and hard to define.”

A perfect description of the seasonal ‘isolationism’ in these recordings, but at the same time I never really feel any ‘coldness’… I feel nothing but ‘warmth’ when listening to this music.
Not the kind of tropical, festive summer heat of course, but the kind of warmth you feel when you decide the weather’s too bad to to go out an so you stay at your comfortably heated home to surrender to the dark and sleepy winter days.
So: perfect winter music indeed.

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Ebauche; Todd Tobias; Arash Akbari; Darren McClure & Jose Soberanes

Vanishing Point

ebauche - adrift

EBAUCHE – ADRIFT
Alex Leonard (Ebauche) used to live in Dublin, Ireland,  but is currently based in Zakopane, Poland. So when he uses field recording to colour his soundscapes his obvious choices are the northern coastline of Ireland and the forest of the Carpathian mountains in Poland. But Adrift also contains locations recordings from the Kirirom national park and the ancient temples of the Angkor WatCambodia.
The result is a lush journey, covering half the globe.
“Lush drones underpin layers of intricate details, a minutiae of sonic touches which rise to the surface and drift away again, moving the listener through the soundscape in an almost hypnotic way.”


Tristes TropiquesTODD TOBIAS – TRISTES TROPIQUES
For Tristes Tropiques (‘Sad Tropics’), Todd Tobias “sought to evoke far-fung places where indigenous cultures have either vanished or are in the process of being swallowed up by an ever-expanding global civilization”.
The inspiration for this album (as well as its title) comes from the 1955 book by french anthropologist Claude Levi Strauss.
Do not expect to hear tropical field recordings and ambient drones here: these are atmospheric, melancholic, instrumental sound-paintings with “a luxuriant yet downcast tone”.
Todd Tobias
is a multi-instrumentalist and producer known for his production work for Guided by Voices and collaborating with Robert Pollard. This is his fourth solo-recording.
release date: june 9, 2015! 



TODD TOBIAS – MARAYOOR


Vanishing PointARASH AKBARI – VANISHING POINT
This is my first acquantaince with Arash Akbari (from Iran), and it’s a surprise to find out that this is already his fourth soloalbum.
Listening to the album it’s immediately clear that this is not Akbari’s first exercise in the field of ambient music: its sound is mature an very well balanced.
Graced with a beautiful cover painting, this album “nestles into inbetween places, revelling in the indistinct, the delicate and the mysterious.”
Akbari’s guitar and electronics merge perfectly with the (hardly perceptible) background of Iranian field recordings, but this does not mean this album pinpoints itself geographically: its sound is definitely global.
“This is a late night album, an album which soothes, a set of sounds to think to.”


Shelter

DARREN McCLURE & JOSE SOBERANES – SHELTER
Speaking about ‘global’: this collaboration between Darren McClure (living in Japan) and  Jose Soberanes (Mexico) is released on the Éter label, based in Colombia. In these six soundscapes field recordings – particularly birdsong – play a more prominent part, used as extra instruments. But the music and effects add to the ‘enhanced’ reality of these varied soundscapes.

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Pinkcourtesyphone; Triac; Chelidon Frame; Max Corbacho

Future Terrain

Three Themes

PINKCOURTESYPHONE – THREE THEMES
“Music for wine time”… which, according to the titles of the first two tracks Afternoon Theme and Evening Theme, covers the afternoon as well as the eveningBoth themes are extended (23 minute) and revised versions of work from 1997.
The third track 62000 Valentines (envelope version) is the extended version of a track that previously appeared on A Ravishment of Mirror.
The first two tracks are perfect if you’re in a ‘Basinski state of mind’: endless loops of a single simple phrase, showly shifting the background into the foreground, almost unnoticeably changing – like the light during wine time.
62000 Valentines 
is different: the sound of a vinyl runout-groove gradually gets accompanied by a very deep (Thomas Köner-like) drone background that slowly becomes unavoidable and all-encompassing.

Also on Spotify


DaysTRIAC – DAYS
Discogs lists a few acts under the same name – in a diversity of musical fields – , but this particular Triac refers to the Italian trio consisting of Rossano Polidoro (laptop, also known from TU M’), Marco Seracini (piano, synth) and Augusto Tatone (electric bass).
Days is their second album, and their debut on the Line label.
Their work explores “the relations between sound/space atmosheres and natural elements” – in this particular case by means of “dazzling yet smooth distant drones that almost hover in the air. The sound of the slowest moving picture and subtle flickering lights beyond it”.
Starting out with a ‘classic’ drone (almost like the drone of an Indian raga) the next days explores different drone variations, some lighter (Day Three), some darker (Day Six) – but without losing the reassuring calmness of pure timeless beauty.

Also on Spotify


Chelidon Frame
CHELIDON FRAME – FRAMEWORK (FREE download)
The first album by Alessio Premoli (Chelidon Frame) (exploring “sounds, noises, drones and minimalism, from an ambient point of view”) shows an interesting diversity in sound: from incorporating musique concrete to ‘circular guitar riffs’ and electronic drums and speech manipulations in ‘Cosmic Hypnosis’. His contributions for IFAR (Institute for Alien Research) “question some of the modern visions on concrete music”.
The longest track (11 min) on this free download album is Antarctica: “The white loneliness of one of the last deserts approached through the waves of a deep blue ocean.”. This particular track was chosen as part of a ‘sonic ambulation project’ “here.now.where?” in the 2014 fifth Marrakech Biennale: it was broadcast inside the city taxis “to give the opportunity to experiment a different view of the sonic ambient of the city.”
Remembering my brief experience with Marrakech taxis, that must’ve been quite some alienation experience!

Also on Spotify


Future Terrain
MAX CORBACHO – FUTURE TERRAIN / SPLENDID LABYRINTHS
“Ultra low, extended bass tones and organ-like massive sound waves flowing in a continuous, dark, pitch black loop”.
Future Terrain is offered as a Name Your Price download, but only for a limited time. It was created to listen at a low (‘subliminal’) level, but things may possibly start to shake uncontrollably when you play it loud.

Splendid Labyrinths

The 58 minute futuristic sci-fi landscape was created as a ‘by-product’ – parallel emerging tracks – at the sessions for Corbacho‘s  new full album Splendid Labyrinthswhich will see its release on May 15.
The six long tracks of Splendid Labyrinths (73 minutes) are considerably less dark than Future Terrain, but the stretched layers of ‘space music synths’ are indeed a good place to immerse yourself in and get lost.
This is the follow up to 2012’s Ocean Inside, and continues Corbacho’s search for “new harmony structures and calm spaces”. 


MAX CORBACHO – EARTH WOMB

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Frozen Thoughts, Phillip Wilkerson, Billy Gomberg, Richard Chartier + Yann Novak, Netherworld

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 or without extra words!

http://glacialmovements.bandcamp.com/album/calm-before-the-storm

FROZEN THOUGHTS – CALM BEFORE THE STORM
Frozen Thoughts is Petar Sakic, previously releasing hardcore dance music as Phobos. After hearing Biosphere’s ‘Substrata’ in 2005, he started to create his own ambient music – especially created for the Glacial Movements label, which is particularly known for its characteristic glacial (though not ‘cold’) atmosphere.

The title of the opening track “Reflections Of Dead Maidens” is an old Viking expression for Aurora Borealis.


http://phillipwilkerson.bandcamp.com/album/sojourner

PHILLIP WILKERSON – SOJOURNER
Five meditative deep synth-drone tracks, varying in length between 5 an 16 minutes. Phillip Wilkerson consciously avoids moving into darker territories. His self-directive “Go as slow as you can go” definitely has its effect on the listener, too.

“I composed Sojourner with the focused intention of specifically offering listeners a collection of imaginative and meditative quests that, hopefully, will take you to the deep listening and being zone within your listening space.”
“My intention with the patient blooming of these tracks is to explore the musical character, nuance, expression, and emotion that unfolds by holding the music to a slower pace–such as a breathing pace or the pace of waves washing onto a seashore.”


False Heat

BILLY GOMBERG – FALSE HEAT
“‘False Heat‘ is perhaps Billy Gomberg‘s most minimalist and streamlined album yet, occupying two side-long expanses of sizzling currents of electricity, sine waves on the edge of human hearing, and textures that gleam and spin, in turn harmonizing and beating against one another. The two tracks do diverge from each other in memorable ways the first is derived from static and hiss in a thicket of signal and noise, the second dips deeper into low end with plunging bass currents. “False Heat” is like the soundtrack to a land not yet discovered.”
Limited edition (108) vinyl release that also includes digital download.


Undefined

RICHARD CHARTIER & YANN NOVAK – UNDEFINED
“‘Undefined‘ is the first collaboration between artists Richard Chartier and Yann Novak. For this piece the artists chose to collaborate in a way that was less about concept and more about the act of listening.”
“‘Undefined‘ is dedicated to the uncertainties of Los Angeles where Novak has lived for the past 4 years and Chartier is currently relocating.”


http://open.spotify.com/album/3kcNuInt3rmMi0CQpDdTxw

SpotifyNETHERWORLD – ALCHEMY OF ICE

“The conceptual elements highlighted are Alchemy – a view from the metaphysical point in both spiritual development and liberation – and the ice, the natural element essential for the achievement of eternity.”
Netherworld (Glacial Movements‘ label owner Alessandro Tedeschi) dedicated this album to Oöphoi, who passed away in april 2013.

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Philippe Lamy + Pleq (3 Titles)


SlowFast

Philippe Lamy (France) is an artist combining various art-forms. He’s a painter, but also teaches ‘plastic arts’ at the School of Architecture in Toulouse. He started creating music about ten years ago, “feeling that his paintings and music resonate together”.
His soundscapes indeed resemble paintings: they are incredibly detailed, almost organic, including a wide dynamic range of sounds.

His latest solo album,SlowFast, is recently released, following up two recent collaboration projects with well-known Polish artist Pleq.

SlowFast is released on the new Dronarivm label from Russia, which is quickly building a firm reputation with their quality releases of electronic soundscapes.
Dronarivm’s physical releases are alway extremely limited (SlowFast is limited to 75), but can also be obtained digitally through Bandcamp.

The postcard cover shows a man walking through a deserted landscape, “walking across the desert with memories of the sounds where he has come from, of what he has left behind. Crossing the arid landscape, he listens to those sound images, he is haunted by them, he superimposes them on the present and brings them with him toward the future he is making for. Step by step, he uses this confrontation to reinterpret his memories and to finally attempt to grasp the music of the desert.”
I can assure you: that’s exactly how the music sounds.


Philippe Lamy – Bloud


Momentum

Pleq + Philippe Lamy – Momentum
Considering the way they both create their music, it was inevitable that Pleq (Bartosz Dsziadosz) and Philippe Lamy eventually would come to work together.
They obviously share their musical vision, and they have the same focus on creating spacious yet incredibly detailed landscapes of sound.
Momentum seamlessly blends both artists’ way of constructing “immersive worlds from microsounds, noise fields, glitches, mutated drones and field recordings”.

Like SlowFast mentioned before, Momentum takes the listener to imaginary landscapes, far far away, with tracks taking the time to develop in full.
Immersive as they are, this is never “just” droning….there’s alway a lot going on, showing enough details to keep your full attention.

The album is completed with three remixes by Mise_En_Scene, Yukimito Hamasaki and Machinefabriek, respectively. (Considering the way they work and how prolific they both are, I wonder when we will see a full collaboration between Pleq and Machinefabriek)


Pleq + Philippe Lamy – Dropping Waves


Split

Pleq + Philippe Lamy – Split
And to conclude this impressive batch this little gem should also be mentioned:

The successful Pleq / Lamy collaboration is continued with two long tracks on this first edition of Dronarivm’s “32” series: a cassette with (about) 32 minutes of music released in a limited physical edition of 32 (but also available as a digital download).
“This original dialogue between the modern ambient musicians attempts to emphasize their individuality and find common ground.”

With this particular start of the series, the standard is set high. So keep an eye on Dronarivm in the near future!

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Kyle Bobby Dunn – Bring Me The Head of KBD

KBD

Like his previous release on the same Low Point label (A Young Persons Guide to KBD from 2010), Kyle Bobby Dunn‘s latest release is a 2 hour double album set with a title suggesting a somewhat bombastic “grandeur”.

But the sound on Bring Me The Head of Kyle Bobby Dunn offers the opposite of what the title suggests.  “Drawing upon a love for emotional detailing and cinematically charged grandeur, these suites offer an apex in romantic, haunting and lonely bliss”. 

The album’s title is taken from Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia“, a 1974 Sam Peckinpah movie – obviously a KBD favourite. I do not know that movie so I can’t tell how it relates to the calm and peaceful music presented here. There is no ‘bombast’ in this music, and there certainly is not a trace of violence in the “quietly unfolding loops and waves of strings and electric guitar” presented.

There are 15 tracks on “Bring Me The Head of Kyle Bobby Dunn”,varying in length from 1’59” to 14’36”. Together, they have a coherent sound yet seem to present slightly different worlds. In this respect, the work of Andrei Tarkovsky might be a better fitting comparision.

KBD has defined his own style, his ‘trademark’ being cool, calm, and sometimes somewhat slighty unsettling atmospherics. His music’s charateristics are defining the genre, rather than just following it.

Judging KBD by his work, I’d prefer to leave his head where it is and bring him in alive!


Kyle Bobby Dunn – Innisfal (Rivers of my Fathers)



Spotify– (Also on Spotify)

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Matthew Florianz – Koude Handen


Koude Handen

Along with two other (dutch!) musicians Machinefabriek and Michel Banabila, Matthew Florianz is one of the three “all time favourite artists” in my last.fm profile.
This obviously means I was eagerly awaiting the release of Matthew’s new album “Koude Handen” (“Cold Hands”), his follow up to 2008’s Maalbeek

“Koude Handen” is presented as a free download from Matthew’s website – available as high bitrate MP3 or even as 24 bit FLAC (which, mind you, is even a better bitrate than standard CD can provide!). The album page also offers the complete artwork, as well as some beautiful promo videos.
And, to celebrate the release of this new album, Matthew also offers his previous release “Maalbeek” as a free download!

Most of the (10+) Matthew Florianz earlier albums were released through H/S Recordings. But these days it’s getting harder and harder to release a physical album, especially in the ambient electronic music field where release policies are rapidly shifting to digital album downloads. So Florianz, who earns a living as a (game) sound designer besides creating ambient music, decided to just give away this music for free. 

Stilistically, “Koude Handen”  closely follows “Maalbeek”: dark, cinematographic sound sculptures, most of them related to environmental images: places Matthew grew up in (or the way he remembers them).  Nine tracks revealing different ‘images’ in which Florianz’ shows his sound/mood design skills

Unlike a lot of other ambient albums, these are not just stretched drones. On the whole, “Koude Handen” is more fragmentary, with some surprising ‘theme shifts’ (like the sudden chord in“Wissel” ). 

Over the last ten years, Matthew Florianz has managed to create a distinctive, recognisable personal style of music. His website shows he also takes great care to present his work in a way that is aesthetically coherent with his music. 

With the music ‘business’ collapsing, he struggled finding a way to release his music. Abandoning the physical release, as well as the idea of making money from the music proved to be a way out.
…since there’s no cost involved in the production or distribution of the album, there was really no reason for me to ask for money …” , he states.
I disagree a bit about the ‘no cost involved’ part. Even the simplest recording gear has a price, as well as the site hosting the downloads (especially FLAC which is about 5 times MP3).

But hey..there’s still a donate button to directly support the artist if you like his work!

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Thomas Koener – Nunatak – Teimo – Permafrost


Koener

It’s not really a shame when you missed these albums when they were originally released in 1990/92/93.
Even though the original label (Barooni) was located in my hometown, I did not notice these releases until they were re-released on Mille Plateaux a few years later

With following album releases, Thomas Köner’s immersive drones found wider attention, and gained more and more recognistion. Albums like Kaamos, Daikan, Unerforschtes Gebiet, Nuuk and, more recently, La Barca) firmly established Köner’s reputation as the absolute master of immersive deep dronescapes.
And thus the interest in his back catalogue also grew.

Recently, Type Records have re-released Köner’s first three albums on vinyl. For those that prefer the CD format, a 3-CD version of these remastered albums is now also available.

So don’t let them pass you by this time: these albums are definitely classics of electronic and drone music!



Nunatak, Teimo and Permafrost are presented in a foldout digipack, with only black and white photograpy of arctic images (Köner’s music is often referred to as “arctic sounds”).
Unfortunately, it lacks any background information about the recording process of these albums.
For his first albums, Köner used all kinds gong sounds, recorded in different conditions and heavily processed. The result is a warm, natural sounding (yet somewhat metallic and alienating ) sound.

The first album of the set, Nunatak (originally called Nunatak Gongamur) is Köner’s debut, and presents an artist exploring new art-forms, searching and experimenting. On the next two albums Köner has obviously established his direction and continues to explore the (previously unexplored) territories of his sound.

No other artist that I know is able to create such deep and deserted sound environments, where time no longer seems to be a dimension (although Eliane Radigue’s Trilogie de la Mort may be one of the exceptions).

Though he always finds new angles to create his music (Daikan, for instance was created using a Japanese large drum; Unerforschtes Gebiet records the grains of dust on movie celluloid), Thomas Köner’s unique sound can easily be recognized. A Master of Drone, indeed.

Listening to Nunatak, Teimo and Permafrost evokes the same sort of feelings as watching the classic Solaris movie (1972). I guess from now on we could refer to Thomas Köner as “the Andrej Tarkovski of electronic music”.

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