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Fresco + Irissarri * Steve Pacheco * Lorenzo Montanà

Lorenzo Montano Phase IX

EquidistanciaLEANDRO FRESCO & RAFAEL ANTON IRISARRI – LA EQUIDISTANCIA  Also on Spotify

The “12” white and black marbled vinyl housed in a matte-laminated sleeve including a 12 x 12 poster of the artwork” is marked as sold out at this time, but the good news is that a repress is coming up at the end of June. For those that can’t wait: the music is equally strong in its ethereal form.

Two like-minded souls that have never met while making this album – hence the title?: Leandro Fresco from Argentina and Rafael Anton Irisarri from Seattle, Washington. “A productive partnership that quickly found Leandro creating specific sounds based on concrete directives from Rafael.”

The opening track title translates to ‘When a mystery is too impressive, it is impossible to disobey’. We can safely assume this describes the way the two were working on this project.
“Leandro’s ‘melodic sensibility’ proved to be the defining undercurrent to Rafael’s signature sound design”.

The result is a set of tracks that are melodic, and sensitive ambient soundscapes, with ‘a lot of sadness and memories’ that listeners will instinctively recognise and tell us “we are not so different; not alone in this world”.  


Constellate

STEVE PACHECO – CONSTELLATIONS  Also on Spotify

A cassette release (as usual for the Belgian Dauw label, since they’re a ‘tape label’) – but fortunately with a digital download counterpart too.
Of course, the digital reproduction of the Dauw graphic artist Femke Strijbol is not as tactile as it is on the cassette release.  

Steve Pacheco is a Los Angeles based artist, so it’s somewhat surprising that his debut album is released on a Ghent based label.
Or is it? After all, his music fits the Dauw label perfectly. Dauw “aims to create an unique handmade piece of art that flatters both the ear and the eye” – and that is exactly what Constellations does.

46 Minutes of deep relaxation, the guitar-based drones clustering together in a constellation that feels like a warm bath.
There’s no darkness in his ambience – it is the sound of peaceful acquiescence. It’s OK To Let Go.


Lorenzo Montano Phase IX

LORENZO MONTANÀ – PHASE IX  Also on Spotify

Italian composer Lorenzo Montanà‘s work dates back to 2009. Besides releasing his solo-albums, he has collaborated with artists like Pete Namlook and Alio Die. Apart from creating and releasing his own music, he is also a soundtrack composer (perhaps you know the song Deep Shadow from the Hunger Games movie trailer which he composed together with Tying Tiffany as T.T.L.). As a producer/arranger his name is tied to more that 40 albums in various genres.

Phase IX is his first ‘American‘ release: it is released on the American/Canadian Projekt label. But of course it’s available worldwide through the usual channels.

The “translations of internal thought currents into autonomous sonic spheres” have a nice 70’s atmosphere, through the use of sequencer patterns of course (Dhalg Fu), but they are not strictly electronic: ‘natural’ ingredients are added by using instruments like the hang drum, cello and piano.
Overall, this music fits perfectly next to that of Robert Rich or Steve Roach. 

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David Toop * Lawrence English * John Grzinich

David Toop Entities

David Toop Entities

DAVID TOOP – ENTITIES INERTIAS FAINT BEINGS

Contemplating a release on the Room40 label, David Toop asked Lawrence English “Why would anybody release music in the 21st century?
“He laid out his philosophy;” Toop continues, “I was convinced.”

The philosophy of Lawrence English is not further explained here and may remain a mystery, but Entities Inertias Faint Beings is an answer to the question in itself: because there are always new territories to explore…  Because there always will be new languages to come…

Toop takes his material from all over the world, from all kind of instruments and all kind of environments – from east to west, natural as well as electric and ethereal.
He then combines them into complete alternate realities, creating music that is unlike anything you heard before, music that feels like it’s not from this world at all.
It is ‘environmental’ music, in a way, assimilating the atmosphere of “the placement of stones in Japanese stone gardens, the chanting of Buddhist sutras, daylight listening in thin air, kookaburra chatter, catapult elastic, radio waves in a kettle, electric buzzers….” (and possibly everything else you can imagine).
But at the same time it isn’t – because no environment sounds as mysterious like this.


Also on Spotify


Approaching Nothing

LAWRENCE ENGLISH – APPROACHING NOTHING

Approaching Nothing is a very direct reference to Presque Rien (Almost Nothing)  by Luc Ferrari, one of the earliest soundscape compositions (1970) including what R. Murray Schafer defined as ‘soundmarks’ (“a sound which is unique to an area”) – “Once a Soundmark has been identified, it deserves to be protected, for soundmarks make the acoustic life of a community unique.”
And it’s not just a reference in title: for this album Lawrence English traveled to Vela Luka (Croatia) – the exact location where the original sounds for Ferrari’s ‘Presque Rien’ were recorded. So it might very well be possible that some of these soundmarks were present on the original recordings also. I guess there are: the sound of the boats is exactly the same, the only difference is in the enhanced recording techniques.

Though they are subtly edited and manipulated to complete a detailed postcard-like view of the surroundings (and sometimes not very subtly: at some moments a passing car is deliberately cut off quite radically to shift to another scene), these are the most ‘natural’ kind of environmental recordings imaginable. There is no ‘musical’ content at all – no other instruments, no musical arrangements, no enhancements or processing. There shouldn’t be, of course: if there was one thing that Luc Ferrari’s ‘Presque Rien’ demonstrated it was that music everywhere around for those who care to listen.


John Grzinich

JOHN GRZINICH – PREVAILING WIND, TANGLED UNDER

For those interested in environmental recordings, the Corollaries series on the Crónica label is a definite must-check.
This (sixth) edition in the series is an acoustic exploration of a deserted, metal water tower about four stories high made by soundscape artist John Grzinich.

“People are pulled inward upon hearing the depth of the reverberations from within. In numerous instances time seemed to stop as we gathered around, crawling about, climbing, plucking, bowing, striking, howling, stringing and generally playing in and around the great structure.”

Two single-take recordings were made: “the first was a dialogue of sorts between three artists carried out through sporadic sounds and the second was a solo follow-up to meditate on how the various artifacts attached in the previous months were affected by the windy conditions”.

The metallic sounds – clangs, whistles, whispers and moaning – from within the tower suggest that it’s alive and breathing.
A fascinating recording of post-industrial environmental ambience, available as a Name Your Price download (as are all editions in this series).

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Jacob Kirkegaard * Francesco Giannico & Giulio Aldinucci * Andreas Usenbenz

Bells Breath

Sabulation

JACOB KIRKEGAARD – SABULATION

Singing Sand Dunes have puzzled travellers for ages. Marco Polo heard it in China (and suspected evil spirits), Charles Darwin wrote about a ‘bellowing’ hill in Chili. Only recently, scientists have explained this mysterious sound. “the sound of millions of little shocks”.
It may sound innocent – the sound of those tiny grains of sand. But it can be roaring, booming, squeaking up to 105 decibel, lasting several minutes.
“The sound is similar to a loud low-pitch rumble. It emanates from crescent-shaped dunes, or barchans. The sound emission accompanies a slumping or avalanching movement of sand, usually triggered by wind passing over the dune or by someone walking near the crest.”

A phenomenon like that is a challenge for Jacob Kirkegaardwho previously recorded the sound of the inner ear (Labyrinthitis), Icelandic geothermal motions (EldFjalland the soul of forsaken Chernobyl rooms (4 Rooms) – to name only his best known album titles.
He travelled to Oman to record and film the singing sands in the desert, and the result is presented on a 30 minute audio/ visual presentation released by mAtter (Japan).

I can’t really judge how the sound on this film relates to that in real life, because I haven’t experienced it myself. But I assume it’s every bit as overwhelming as this recording is.
The images of the shifting sands (presented in black and white) have a fractal effect: it’s impossible to determine the scale because there are no references to the size. But it is very beautiful to watch these mountains of sand, shifting down and the slowly climbing up again.

mAtter has taken great care of the presentation of this project: the DVD (PAL, Region free) is packed with a 56 page book (with B/W photographs and travel annotations) and a A5 photo card, together in a beautiful sealed paper envelope.
There is no audio-only release planned for this project.

 


Agoraphonia

FRANCESCO GIANNICO & GIULIO ALDINUCCI – AGORAPHONIA

Agoraphobia is the extreme fear of open or public spaces. So Agoraphonia is a perfect name for an album dedicated to the sound of those spaces: the soundscapes of a town square, an open public space commonly found in the heart of a traditional town.

The basic recordings were collected after an open call to send audio recordings concerning the “square” theme.
The resulting soundscapes were reworked by Francesco Giannico and Giulio Aldinucci “in order to create an ideal symphony of all living squares all over the world”.  They not only rearranged the location recordings, but they also added musical details so that the result is as much music as it is environmental sound. 

Four of these tracks contain the sound of specific squares in Morocco, Argentina, China and Italy. The additional 18 minute title track contains samples from 20 different contributors, morphing into a ‘global meta-square’.

Agoraphonia
 
is officially released on World Listening Day 2016 – which happens to be today: July 18.
“A day to celebrate the listening practices of the world and the ecology of its acoustic environments.”


Bells Breath

ANDREAS USENBENZ – BELLS BREATH

Most environmental recordings aim to reproduce the recorded sound as natural as possible.
For Bells Breath, Andreas Usenbenz‘ approach is different. On the occasion of its 125th anniversary, he recorded the 10 church bells of the Ulm Minister, stretched them and layered the different sounds until they are no longer recognisable as church bells but still have its intrinsic character. The result was presented as an audio installation inside the minster in the fall of 2015.

A vinyl LP release with three ‘Studies’ from this installation is scheduled to be released later this year. To help fund this release, an extended (59’30”) Sleep Version of Study III is already available as CD-R version or digital download.

[Update 08-02-2017]
A beautiful clear vinyl version is released on february 17 on the Klanggold label. I’ve updated the purchase links to reflect this.

The Bells Breath release contains three different Studies (III, 20:38; IV, 13:00; II, 7:00), and it also includes the 59″  Sleep Version as an added bonus in the digital download (included with the purchase of the LP, and also available as digital-download only).

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Jonty Harrison; Sound Meccano + Jura Laiva; Chris Watson

Flow Moss Northumberland

Jonty Harrison - Voyages

JONTY HARRISON – VOYAGES
If ‘music is organised sound’, then this new album by Jonty Harrison is far more than a collection of seemingly unrelated field-recordings. It is a composition (or two, actually) in its own right, created by selecting sounds from a variety of locations, spaces, places, scenes and vistas ‘which we may or may not have experienced, but which we somehow recognise’.

The first piece of this acousmatic electroacoustic collection, Espaces Cachés, is a 14 minute ambisonic trip created from the original 30-track commission from Maison des Arts Sonores.
The second piece, called Going / Places is a one hour journey divided into 23 parts. The recordings come from all over the world and are often combined in such a way that they could never have existed on one location simultaneously.

The scenes, ‘one implying imminent motion, the other more restful and tranquil’, take you all over the world – unpredictably jumping between Europe, Iceland, Australia, North America, North Africa and parts of Asia.

“Sounds reach us as they would in everyday life, as if we were ‘there’: from multiple locations in different positions and at different heights and distances. In this sense we are closer to reality; but even the bounds of reality can be stretched by the agencies of motion and memory — unreality, surreality and hyper-reality are but steps along the route that can be taken by the imagination…”

Save yourself an expensive holiday this year: buy this album, put on a quality headphone, close your eyes – and let professor Jonty Harrison guide you to some unexpected corners.



JONTY HARRISON – ESPACES CACHÉS


Sound Meccano + Jura Laiva

SOUND MECCANO + JURA LAIVA – SIRELI AIG
Continuing the excellent Corollaries series – compiling works resulting from the Active Crossover: Mooste residency (Estonia) curated by Simon Whethampart IV introduces Sound Meccano (Latvia-based Rostislav Rekuta-Dzhordzhevich) collaborating with Jura Laiva (Jurii Santalov, also from Latvia).
All of the Corollaries recordings rely heavily on the environmental recordings of the location, which are often stunningly realistic, and Sireli Aig is no exception.
Adding Jura Laiva‘s guitar drones and glitchesand Mirva Tarvainen‘s double bass and occasional vocals to Sound Meccano‘s field recordings, electronics and sound processing brings a whole new dimension, resulting in impressive soundscapes that are ‘environmental’ as well as ‘musical’.
A fresh taste of the northern hemisphere, available as a Name Your Price download.


Flow Moss Northumberland

CHRIS WATSON – DAWN CHORUS
While on the subject of field recording: if you’re interested in the bright and lively sounds of nature you might as well check out this free download of Chris Watson – the unsurpassed master of environmental recording.

Not only does he record his material in unexpected locations, the page on which these files can be found is a bit of a surprise too: it’s a blog post on the Bowers & Wilkins site dedicated to their speakers and headphones.
(Which undoubtedly are perfect companions to these binaural recordings, by the way – but don’t worry, this is not gonna be a sponsor-driven blogin the future. It’s really just a coincidence that I found these files offered here).

Two incredibly realistic – and refreshing – recordings, from Northumberland and Suffolk respectively, are offered for free as  high-quality WAV files.
And that’s not all: the download also includes a Dawn Chorus remix by Richard Norris.
The recordings were made and offered on occasion of the International Dawn Chorus Day (May 1).



RICHARD NORRIS – DAWN CHORUS

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Multicast Dynamics; Tobias Freund & Valentina Berthelon; Mario Gronnert; Richard Eigner

Mario Gronnert

Multicast Dynamics - Outer Envelopes

MULTICAST DYNAMICS – OUTER ENVELOPES
The fourth and final part in a series of releases that ‘explores organic and aqueous worlds in a dreamlike and spiritual appearance’.

After Scape, Aquatic System and ScandinaviaSamuel van Dijk takes off into outer space.
‘He sends a time capsule out into a fictional space, exploring the unknown and placing sonic beacons which create eerie soundscapes and detailed textures. Together with airy pads and dark shuffling rhythms, these elements form dynamic sequences which display the sonic and embody the thematic evolution of the Multicast Dynamics project.’

In more than one way the music resembles some of the best work of Geir ‘Biosphere’ Jenssen: the dubby rhythm combined with a blanket of electronic layers.. But if there’s one thing that this series of album proves it is that it is not simply a copy, but the work of someone creating new originals with the use of noise generators, modular synths and ‘experiments with voltage’ .

Each of these albums stand up very well on its own, but of course the full evolutionary concept is best enjoyed when the four albums are played sequentially.

Outer Envelopes is concluded with a dub-techno re-shape of the title track by VC-118A – one of Samuel van Dijk‘s other aliases. It concludes the 4-cd series that moved ‘from an evolutionary to a cosmological scale’ – and might very well be a promising glimpse of the direction Samuel van Dijk‘s next venture might take.

Also on Spotify

MULTICAST DYNAMICS – SONAR


Recent Arts

TOBIAS FREUND & VALENTINA BERTHELON – RECENT ARTS
Tobias Freund is a German experimental musician with a long history of experience in music (even dating back to 1980 when he worked as an engineer in the high-end studio of German producer Frank Farian). In his later works he explores the musical areas between Acid, Ambient and Techno, all of it with a focus on the live approach. He has worked together with Max Loderbauer, Ricardo Villalobos and Uwe ‘Atom™’ Schmidt (among many others).
Max Loderbauer also helped develop the Max/MSP application that was built for this Recent Arts project: ‘a  “Loop Based Computer Controlled Engine” that repeats and processes sounds in a free and natural way – which feels like listening to the flowing water of a creek, or to the sound of the wind.’

For Recent Arts, Freund teams up with Chilean visual artist Valentina Berthelon (who is currently living in Berlin).
Primarily, Recent Arts is an audio-video liveshow manipulating sound and image in realtime, the video is as important as the audio.
This album version, of course, displays only the audio component of such a show. But it’s impressive enough, even without the videos.
Nonetheless, checking more examples of Berthelon‘s video art, I’d say that this project also deserves to have a DVD-version including the videos for these tracks!


Tobias Freund & Valentina Berthelon – Emptiness Syndrome

Tobias Freund & Valentina Berthelon – Zero Theorem


Mario Gronnert

MARIO GRONNERT AND COMMONSEN5E – NIGHTMARES AND DREAMSCAPES: SILHOUETTES OF URBIA
Collaboration album of Mario Gronnert (Germany) and Mason ‘CommonSen5e’ Metcalf (Portland, USA).
Mario Gronnert had some musical experience in a progressive rock project named Aera before he decided he wanted to be a ‘one man music project’ and finally found his home in ambient music. Since his initial release in 2012, this is his fourth full album.
The Nightmares and Dreamscapes are rather dark and abstract ‘urban’ soundscapes with an occasional glimpse of light shining through near the end of the album.

“It is shaped, driven and originally inspired by the imagination of a journey by two individuals, beginning in a kind of post apocalyptic city. They are following the dark and foggy and ashy urban streets and railways to find a sign of light and hope for a new beginning at the end”

The opener, Breathing the Ash, is a 22 minute (nightly) walk through the unfamiliar city, the remaining six tracks are shorter pieces  (3 – 7 minutes)


Richard Eigner - When the Days

RICHARD EIGNER – WHEN THE DAYS ALL TIP FROM NESTS AND FLY DOWN ROADS
This is the second release in Crónica’s ongoing Corrolaries series, a collection of works resulting from a collaborative residency curated by Simon Whetham in Mooste, Estonia (the first was  this one by Yiorgis Sakellariou).
Released as a Name-Your-Price download, they are a perfect way to discover the various ways that environmental recordings can be transformed into sound art soundscapes.

When the Days…‘ is constructed from Field recordings made in Mooste and its surroundings, “which was especially appealing for the contrasts between nature and derelict and abandoned structures from the soviet area. My aim was to convey the atmosphere I was absorbed in, wandering around in solitude in the landscape almost devoid of human presence.”
And that atmosphere is perfectly captured!

Environmental sound recordings can be used to re-create a certain atmosphere, if you record them well and leave them as close to the source as they can be.
But that is not the purpose of these projects, of this album. When listening to them, you hear music, not just sound.
That’s precisely what Edgar Varèse meant when he defined ‘music’ as ‘organized sound’.

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France Jobin; Nils Quak; Vlad Nedelin; No Mask Effect

No Mask Effect

Singulum

FRANCE JOBIN – SINGULUM
France Jobin (Montreal, Canada) is a sound artist whose work reveals ‘a minimalist approach to complex sound environments where analog and digital intersect.’
Her latest release on Line is a collection of four  ‘sound sculptures’ recorded using the Serge and the Buchla 200 modular synthesizers as well as the Nord Modular. Subtle, non-intrusive pieces you’re hardly aware of, but with a lot of details to be discovered if you listen carefully.

“I put field recordings through a series of editing and manipulation processes which result in very different sounds from their origins. These manipulations affect time, timbre, harmonics and the essence of each sound, whereas composition influences how they relate to each other.” 

Singulum represents an unattainable goal, the process of decay while conserving a continuation of information.”



FRANCE JOBIN – M


Ad Interim

NILS QUAK – AD INTERIM / IN GIRUM IMUS….
Two cassette releases from Nils Quak that (luckily) are also available as a download:
Ad Interim has a ‘introspective, relaxed kind of vibe – not unlike staring in your TV’s static for approximately six hours’ (this description comes from Nils Quak himself).

In Girum Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni (‘We are lost in the night and consumed by fire’) is a collection of modular synth pieces that – again in his own words – is “like this wonderful acid trip that turns into your personal nightmare: abrasive, disjointed, noisy. The perfect soundtrack for your romantic dinner.”
Personally, I have some slight doubts about that last statement…


Vlad Nedelin Postante

VLAD NEDELIN – POSTANTE
Jazz drummer and composer Vlad Nedelin was born in the Soviet Union, has lived in Israel, and is currently residing in Stockholm, Sweden.
This is his first fully electronic album, and an impressive debut it is, too!
Nine tracks, seamlessly sequenced, drawing influences from ambient, industrial and musique concrête. Soundscapes with an adventurous ‘sci-fi’ touch, reminiscent of that of Biosphere, but with a somewhat sharper edge.



VLAD NEDELIN – AN ISLE


No Mask Effect

NO MASK EFFECT – QUICK SMART
After many years of running a label (Psychonavigationand listening to hundreds of demos, Keith Downey decided it was time to release some of his own music.
His main inspiration for this album was (again) Geir ‘Biosphere’ Jensen’s music – most clearly so in Grass that could’ve been taken directly from Jensen’s Cho Oyu album.

There’s an important role for everyday environmental sounds: ‘the sounds that we all encounter on a daily basis, be it the sound of traffic, people’s conversations at a local market, the sound of someone cutting the grass perhaps or even just the lovely sounds of birds singing in the trees, basically anything or everything you might experience from taking a walk around any town or city.”

Strip away the radio signal sounds from the opening track, Downtown, leaving just the synth pads and bird sounds, and you may experience the same feeling of summer heat as on Wendy/Walter Carlos’  landmark album Sonic Seasonings (from 1972).

Enough references to classic ambient material, but it’s also a very personal vision of what makes (environmental-)ambient so interesting to listen to. Or not listen to.
Also on Spotify

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FrostbYte (Daniel Blinkhorn) – One Dog Night

Frostbyte - One Dog Night

One look on his website is enough to know that Daniel Blinkhorn (Australia) is an avid collector of ‘ecoacoustic’ fieldrecordings: you’ll find sounds and photos from the Arctic, Africa, Alaska, Amazon, the West Indies and miscellaneous other countries.
Environmental sounds and ecoacoustic composition are his prime medium – but the resulting soundscapes are way beyond ‘manipulated fieldrecordings’:
‘Through the use of varied digital sound manipulation environments, I strive to sculpt a language extant within perception, alteration and diffusion of environmental sound, and the inextricable, organic bonding of place and space within its origins.’

For One Dog Nightthe basic material was recorded throughout the Arctic Region of Svalbard (Spitsbergen) – one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas up north between the mainland of Norway and the Northpole.
And, yes, it’s cold up there: the title One Dog Night ‘refers to an adage once used to describe how cold the temperature could drop at night. If it was a particularly cold night, it may have been appropriate to have one, two, even three of your dogs on the bed with you to help keep you warm as you slept!’

The area ‘is renowned for its visual and cinematic beauty’, but also ‘there’s a great deal of sonic activity, both animal and aqueous, and the FrostbYte cycle of works seeks to portray some of there sonorities in a highly abstracted, yet clearly discernable way.’

The result is highly acousmatic: the sounds are so detached from their origins that they seem to represent an entirely different world.
The FrostbYte Cycle consists of four different pieces: Red Sound (recordings taken from a day at the hut and its surrounds), Chatter (created with open air and hydrophone recordings of iceberg and iceberg fragments as they melt, collide and dissolve), Wildflower (field recordings from the high arctic recordings) and Anthozoa (for prepared piano and a composite recording of coral – the latter recorded in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and off the coast of Barbados in the West Indies).

It’s worth noting that this Audiobulb release is available in different formats: apart from the Bandcamp (stereo) version, which you can hear below, Audiobulb also offers AC3 and PCM high resolution surround versions.
If you have the possibility to listen to the surround versions, I highly recommend choosing these, because Blinkhorn delivers his compositions as full (discrete channel) surround compositions – with amazing sonic result!
You’re definitely a lucky person if you have the possibility to enjoy the surround versions, but that doesn’t mean the stereo versions aren’t worth checking out too!
Just listen for yourself, and discover new, hitherto unexplored, sonic areas!   

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Michael Fahres; Miguel Isaza; Naviar Series 006; Circuit Integré Vol. 1

Circuit Integre 1

Tibataje

MICHAEL FAHRES – TIBATAJE
Michael Fahres is a German-born composer now living in Holland, but also often residing on El Hierothe smallest of the Canary Islands.
Among all that the island has to offer there are some fascinating acoustic phenomena, such as the breathing rock tube formations which Fahres previously explored with Jon Hassell and Mark Atkins on his 2006 album The Tubes.
On Tibataje, Fahres explores the natural echo of the Risco de Tabataje, a mountain massif about 1000 meters high and eight kilometers long.
In fact, the natural echo box resonance of the mountain wall is the main instrument here. It is invoked by (three) drummers playing rhythmic variations based on a religious celebration, the Bajada de la Virgen de los Reyes. These  rhythms are considered sacred and protected which is why they are slightly altered for this recording.
“The Tibataje resonates, answers and sings its own song”.

The result is an unprecedented view on environmental recording – and about the opposite of the usual calm natural environment due to the frantic drumming. And Fahres does not simply leave it at that: he further eliminates the borders between what is ‘natural’ and what is ‘artificial’ by adding extra post-production effects and treatments, such as the sound of a clock or a music box, which sometimes feel strangely out of place amidst the large echoes of the mountain wall.


Temoiternidad

MIGUEL ISAZA – TEMPITERNIDAD
The philosopher Raimon Panikkar described the concept of Tempiternidad, ‘in which temporality and eternity are one, reflecting a notion of time but also a state of being, a path of plenitude towards the present moment in which everyday things and environments manifest eternity.”

Colombian sound artist Miguel Isaza has masterfully succeeded in transferring this philosophical concept into the soundscapes for this album – created using a laptop, field recordings (from the mountain area of Antioquia, Colombia), found objects and a few instruments (such as flute and harmonica).
The drones make you lose all sense of time, thus representing eternity, while there’s also a lot of temporal fragments calling for your attention.

“(Isaza’s…) compositional work calls for a silent activity, an attentive listening that is present in the intuitive exploration of the sonic phenomenon, exposing its subtle and textural qualities, especially those present in the perception of time scales, thus generating sonic collages between micro and macco realms which result in a reflection towards morphology, space and emptiness.”

Music cán be capable to illustrate what temporal eternity is: the proof is on this album!



Miguel Isaza – Presencia
 


Naviar Series 006

VARIOUS ARTISTS – NAVIAR SERIES 006
Naviar Records is a community facilitating artists who create music inspired by literature. There are two Tumblr projects: Naviar Haiku (‘about expanding the meaning of a poem beyond its words’) and Naviar Soundbook (‘about condensing a short story into a unique music composition’).
The results of this community are (partly) collected on their Bandcamp page, all available as a Name Your Price download.

Series 6 is a good example of the fruitful results of such a creative community: there’s not a single artist name that I recognise, but the 23 track collection offers a lot of impressive tracks, all of them taken from earlier Haiku projects by the way. The download also includes the photographic theme cards that inspired the included pieces.

Some of these tracks are also part of Disquiet Junto project #0145 (“There’s a Lifetime In” – Make a short piece of music inspired by a provided verse.)
For those that don’t know yet: Disquiet Junto is another collaboration project where artists can contribute music following a new assignment every week. The result is a wealth of (Soundcloud) tracks almost too immense to explore.

“Artists who are part of a community generally make stronger works”, Naviar Records 
boldly claims.
Based on this collection I think they might be right indeed.


Circuit Integre 1

VARIOUS ARTISTS – CIRCUIT INTEGRÉ VOL. 1
The first of a new series on the Zoharum label, that will present ‘young projects working in the field of broadly-defined electronic music’. Each edition, three different projects will present their work. On Volume 1  we find Dat Rayon, NLZD.pl (with aliases FOQL and RNA2and Gaap Kvlt.
On this volume the acts all come from the Polish experimental underground scene. Apart from Dat Rayon (their 2014 release Motor City was recommended before) the acts are unfamiliar to me. They share their love for electronic abstract experimentalism but are at the same time very different in sound.

Dat Rayon‘s music ‘penetrates the periphery of the post-club electronica mixing ambient, dub and minimal techno’. Gaap Kvlt is more drone-based ambient ‘with hints of orientalism’, while FOQL / RNA2 ‘cannot be pigeonholed – their fully analogue music drawing from elements of electro, techno, drone and ambient.”
Powerful examples of the ferte Polish experimental underground culture!

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Dag Rosenqvist; Tiny Vipers; Artificial Memory Trace; Ken Camden

Ambience 3

Dag Rosenqvist - Forest Diaries

DAG ROSENQVIST – THE FOREST DIARIES
A forest can be many different things, changing completely with every season. But here, the album cover sets the mood: an extremely desolate atmosphere of an open space in the middle of a forest, covered in mist, just two rather bare trees in sight, and a human silhouette looking into the distance standing on (what seems to be) a half-sunken tombstone.
Which, for me, is not necessarily a negative connotation: the isolation of walking in a thick fog can be a comforting experience too!

The Forest Diaries was created for a project by choreographer Jenny Larson, dealing with “roots, ancestry and identity”. For 30 different forest sites in Sweden, she will create a site specific dance piece. This album is the soundtrack for the resulting video and multimedia presentation.


Rosenqvist‘s instrumentation is minimalist but very effective: (mainly) acoustic instruments like piano and pump organ, focussing on different aspects of the theme, at times combining all details to the beautiful main theme (which, by the way, is based on the track Summer from the 2007 In a Cool Monsoon album by Jasper TX .
I can easily imagine the striking effect this music will have as the soundtrack of the multimedia event – but even without the visuals this album works very well on its own.


Ambience 3

TINY VIPERS – AMBIENCE 3
The word ‘Multimedia’ gets a completely different meaning when looking at the releases from the Box Bedroom Rebels label: the Ambience 3 package contains a 2-track vinyl 7″, a full length (76″) CD, additional remix tracks on the download that goes with the physical purchase, an art insert and artist portrait. Now thát’s a neat little (or not-so-little) package!

The title and cover images of this BBR series is a direct homage to the 1972-82 Ambient 1-4 series of Brian Eno: ‘a conceptual homage’. The  7″ sleeves pictures the area where Jesy ‘Tiny Vipers’ Fortino lives, while the CD sleeve shows where she was born and raised.
The full packages features over 2 hours of music, most of it (Tape I-V and Guitar) performed by Jesy Fortino “recorded directly to tape in her own defining style that echos William Basinski’s own recording technique of crumbling destroyed tapes and Groupers distant muffled simplicity.”
On the CD there are also additional remixes from Shaun Blezard and Xela (under the name of Alexander Johnson), and if that’s not enough the download features another two extra remixes (15 minutes each) by Brittle Stars.

Together, it’s a varied collection of (sometimes rather extremely) lo-fi ambient – the ‘Alexander Johnson’ track being the exception to the rule with a thick and throbbing beat.


Amfibion

ARTIFICIAL MEMORY TRACE – AMFIBION
“Comprised of treated field recordings of frogs taken during excursions in the Brazilian Amazon, Amfibion is lagely based on mating songs, and treats them in a manner which underlines the humid fecundity of this ecological wonderland.”
Artificial Memory Trace is Czech/Irish experimental sound artist Slavek Kwiwhose discography boasts over 55 album releases since 1994. With his extensive experience he manages to treat and manipulate the environmental recordings to a whole different level, where they can be enjoyed much more as a fascinating piece of electronic music than as a sonic documentation of a specific environment.
“An unforgettable journey into a rich, bizarre and disorienting world.”
The download that comes with the CD has an additional 23 minute bonus track called “Epilok”.


Ken Camden Dream Memory

KEN CAMDEN – DREAM MEMORY
On his third full length release for Kranky Ken Camden explores many different styles of electronic experimental music: from spacey vocal dreamscapes to sequencer-driven krautrock, and many things in-between. Though the album sounds electronic, Camden‘s main instrument is the guitar: “by utilizing both a steel slide and e-bow technique, Camden has moved into micro-tonal territory to bridge the textural gap between guitar and synthesizer while examining their inherent differences.”
For the vocal part in the tracks, the Vocaltron is introduced: an ‘organic vocal sampling machine’ which retains the original characterictics of the singer that contributed the vocal samples (in this case Emily Elhaj and Angel Olsen).


Also on Spotify


KEN CAMDEN – RENEWAL

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Multicast Dynamics – Scape, Aquatic System

Scape

It is a good Denovali practice to pair a new album release with a re-release from the same artists: often a release that previously was only limitedly available or very hard to find.
Here, Multicast Dynamics’ (Samuel van DijkHolland) newest release Aquatic System is paired with his previous release Scapeoriginally released in 2014 as a C44 cassette (on the Finnish label Kaukana Väijyy Ambient).

But this particular project reaches even further: Scape and Aquatic System are the first half of a quadrilogy that will be completed with another two albums later.
“The album series move from an evolutionary to a cosmological scale: starting from dry land filled with light and streams, to the constantly changing surface of the oceans, into a frozen and murky underwater world, finally up to the arrival in an interstellar space and the cosmos.”

Scape

Scape is assembled with the use of analogue synthesizers, field recordings and ‘lo-fi outboard effects’.
Samuel van Dijk masterfully creates sounds that are organic and sci-fi at the same time. Although it’s a risky comparision, the result somewhat reminded me of Biosphere’s music (without the beats) – though I cannot really explain why exactly…
“Mysterious crackles, subtle hisses and washes of gloomy sounds reveal a dense approach to composition, processing and recording resulting in an introspective, ehtereal and intense listening experience.” 



MULTICAST DYNAMICS – SURFACE II (from SCAPE)
 


MULTICAST DYNAMICS – VALO (from SCAPE)
An attempt to capture and recreate the traveling of light on colliding objects through a detailed and organic space.
sound+ video: Samuel van Dijk


Multicast Dynamics - Aquatic System

Aquatic System manages to keep up the same quality level, but -as expected- shifts its focus to more (sub-)aquatic experiences.
The tracks were composed over a period of two years, inspired by (and using processed field recordings from) locations in Finland and Fuerteventura.

Originally composed for an audiovisual performance with visual artist Emilia KwiatkowskaAquatic System is an album about water and the life within it:
“The (music and the) visuals illustrate the story through a series of highly atmospheric and almost tangible images.”
It starts out from a small scale, almost microscopic: you can almost hear every bubble finding its way to the water surface. From there, the journey continues “from frozen lakes, forest creeks, rotating super cells to finally arrive at the all-imposing ocean”.



MULTICAST DYNAMICS – TIE (from AQUATIC SYSTEMS)
 

 

Both these albums immediately grabbed my full attention on first listen: the music has that mysterious undefineable ‘extra’ … I can play them almost continuously without losing interest.
This first half of the full project set a high bar for the remaining two releases of the series, but I am really very confident that this set will become a landmark in conceptual environmental ambient music.
If I was someone making lists, these Multicast Dynamics albums would definitely end up at the top.
In other words: highly recommended! 

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