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Benjamin Finger * Lee Yi

Into Light

Into Light


Apart from his filmmaking (he is a director at the Film and TV Academy NISS in Oslo), Benjamin Finger is also a multi-instrumentalist ‘with a healthy disregard for genres.’
Some of this ‘respectful disregard’ is exposed on Into Light, merging ambient with electro-acoustic and modern-classical elements, a ‘classy meld of analogue synths, guitar and field recordings’.

There are four tracks: two short ones of about 3 minutes, and two long pieces about eighteen minutes each. Perfect lengths for the limited vinyl edition.

Gravity’s Jest 
starts with a haunting cinematic cello part (performed by Elling Finnanger Snøfugl) that slowly seems to fall apart and is gradually taken over by sweeping atmospherics, until in the last third of the piece the mood suddenly changes with the introduction of Inga-Lill Farstad’s voice. 
Paradox Route, the dreamlike ‘a hazy weave of voice, instrumentation and analog colours that feel like a warm embrace from your headphones’, somehow mirrors Gravity’s Jest: it starts with Farstad’s voice, slowly submerges into more abstract electronics fragments, to end with a (more distorted) cello.  The circle is complete.

Dissimilar Lake Pigments Eslandtika   


I’m afraid I’m  a bit late to the show: these albums were both released in July this year. But better late than never, and after all: the music is still available, so…

Dissimilar Lake Pigments  is a cassette (or download) released by Rottenman Editions from Spain. The gentle music is inspired by Lee Yi’s ‘fascination with natural pigments and the many sensations
that the impact of seeing its wide range of intense colors produced.”
Seven songs, spanning 30 minutes, ‘composed with organic dyes and a pink aura.’

The cassette is available in two editions: the Deluxe edition has a special wool fabric sheath, manuafactured and dyed by hand with natural pigments from Marocco. But that one is limited to only ten copies (only 2 available at the time of writing).

Eslandtika, released by Shimmering Moods, is available as a CD, a cassette and as a download. It is a collection of improvisations ‘recorded entirely on micro-cassettes’ – hence in this case the cassette is an appropriate medium for this album.
There is no detailed information about the album, but I guess the artist statement tells enough:
“Eslandtika is a bunch of small memories that I would like to keep forever. Ordinary people, without any pretention; who have shared an instant of their lives and who have left. 
It is a tribute to a simple & beautiful past.”

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Anne Chris Bakker/Andrew Heath * Lee Yi

Lee Yi - An Instant for a Momentary Desolation



Regular readers will know Anne Chris Bakker‘s name from his contributions to the various Kleefstra brothers album, ánd of course from his solo albums. Titles that may unfortunately have reached only a small cult audience but are among the best of introvert, unhurried (semi-)acoustic ambient music.
After meeting Andrew Heath when playing live at the Resound festival in the UK, the two decided to work together. After a week of inspired improvisation in the north of the Netherlands – ‘gathering field recordings, composing and cycling’, the recordings were edited into the four tracks of Lichtzin (a difficult word to translate, but I guess sense of light comes close) – which is now released as a CDR on Chihei Hatakeyama’s White Paddy Mountain label

It’s easy to hear why these two musicians get along so very well. Their music develops in such an unhurried way that they help you loose your sense of time.
‘Half-glimpsed melodies’ are embedded in the immersive drones. This combination is what makes this music stand out: like the best of Brian Eno’s soundscapes this music avoids to impose obvious emotions on the listener. It is neither dark nor light – it just is, it is what it is. I guess that must’ve been influenced by the cycling tours through the Frysian landscapes: it is music that feels like a natural environment.

Mindful music.

‘Pause and contemplate’- a much needed advice for the hectic and hurried times we live in.

Lee Yi - An Instant for a Momentary Desolation


His name may suggest otherwise, but Lee Yi comes from Málaga, Spain. He is a jazz musician (guitarist) also focusing on composing ambient/electronic music. A somewhat obscure artist perhaps: no mention of him at Discogs, however his Bandcamp page offers six previous titles since 2013.

The title prepares the listener for some desolate sounds. This album deals with a topic many will recognise – not a political issue but environmental disasters: it ‘describes a place devastated by the natural reactions of these days… how beauty can corrupt us by desecrating what we love… Nature can be as cruel as beautiful. Immense and tenacious!’
With all the hurricanes, floodings and raging fires going on this clearly is a present-day topic.

This definitely sets the mood for listening. And sometimes, the desolation is inescapable (like in Incertae). But at other moments, what this music tells you is entirely up to your own mood. Imagine yourself a different concept and probably the music will wrap itself around it. It can be desolate, but it can also be soothing.
It all is in the Ear of the Beholder, I guess.

The physical edition of this album is available in two editions: Litography + Interior Engraving Deluxe (only 20 copies, so probably sold out on pre-orders) and Lithography Standard edition. Digital download also available.

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