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Miguel Isaza * France Jobin * PinkCourtesyPhone

France Jobin Scenes

Miguel Isaza

MIGUEL ISAZA – MACONDO  Also on Spotify

Macondo is a town described in Gabriel Garciá Marquez’s 100 Years Of Solitude – a town ‘hard to declare as fully real or fictional; an archetype of the magical-real; an interstitial town, where things are, but are not.’

This description is also fitting for Miguel Isaza‘s music on this album: it is, and it is not (a fitting description of ‘ambient music’ by the way), and it is hard to tell if the sources used for this music are real or fictional.
Translated, the track titles emphasize this: ‘(1) The world was so recent (2) that many things lacked names, (3) and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point…’

The tracks for Macondo were composed in Medellin, Colombia using materials gathered since 2012. The compositions were used in various audio-visual installations and performances, but their magical-realistic quality is perfectly captured on this (digital only) release.


France Jobin Scenes

FRANCE JOBIN – SCENES  Also on Spotify

Also on Line, also ethereal and elusive (and also digital-only) is France Jobin‘s Scenes, her third album for the label: four Scènes created on the Serge and Buchla 200 modular synths as well as the Nord modular, with additional processed guitar played by Marco de Leonibus). 

France Jobin is a ‘sound-sculpturist’ from Montreal, Canada, with a ‘minimalist approach to complex sound environments where analog and digital intersect.’
Apart from her releases on Line, she has previously released music on labels like Staalplaat, Room40, Baskaru etc. and is internationally renowned for her installations and screenings at museums and festivals.

Immersive (drone) pieces, each with relatively short length (varying from 7 to 15 minutes, 42 minutes in total), wrapping around you like a warm blanket.


Indelicate Slices

PINKCOURTESYPHONE – INDELICATE SLICES  Also on Spotify

Pinkcourtesyphone is a more emotional, dare one say musical side of [Richard Chartier’s] work. Dark but not arch, with a slight hint of humor. Amorphous, changing, and slipping in and out of consciousness”

Indelicate Slices is full of dark looped tracks that could’ve been written for horror movie soundtracks. “A creak, a glance. Nothing is for certain anymore. Seven excellent examples of negative mood music.”
That may suggest this could be violent music, but the opposite is true: the most frightening horror is not gory slashers but subtle suspense. And Richard Chartier is very good at subtle suspense. While at the same time, the ‘PCP’ albums also have a touch of relativating humor, which enhances the musical impact.

Indelicate Slices presents seven tracks (70 minutes) of varied length, ranging from 2 minute sketches (Problematic Interior (Den)) to a 24 minute atmospheric Minimumluxuryoverdose filled with static crackle, ominous metallic dragging sounds and an inescapable deep rumble.

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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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