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Monochromie; Visionary Hours; Peter Grech; Northumbria; Mogano

Sycomore

Behind Black Clouds

MONOCHROMIE – BEHIND BLACK CLOUDS
The word Monochromie refers to one single colour, but Behind Black Clouds is in fact a very colourful album: an album with lots of different sounds and atmospheres. “Dark or luminous, hor or cold, wind or earth – attentive ear will detect them all.”
Wilson Trouvé 
(from France) is also a virtual artist: “This also reflects on the way my music tells specific stories. It is no different than clay, dust, paper, colors, paint or inks.”
Behind Black Clouds is his fourth full album as Monochromie, and his third for the Fluttery Records label.
Different kind of pianos play the main part on the album, in melodic, romantic, as well as more abstract arrangements. But sometimes the piano makes place for other instruments like metallophone or melodica, bright synths, drum synths or samples from street recordings. Or even sheer noise, like in Noise.



MONOCHROMIE – HEARTBEAT


Footfalls Echo

VISIONARY HOURS – FOOTFALLS ECHO
The opening track Stillness of the Violin sets the mood: it shows exactly what the title implies.
But right after that the instrumentation changes completely, although the mood on this album stays very gentle. The diverse acoustic instruments (strings, guitars, flute and clarinet) are mixed using ambient reel-to-reel tape delay effect and also using slowed down or reversed recordings.
Together with producer Richard Formby (Spectrum, Mogwai, Dakota Suite, Jazz Butcher), Hayden Berry (Visionary Hours) has created a unique blend of analog sounds on this third album that is released on Hibernate Recordings in this handmade edition of 100 (which, as usual, is quickly selling out).


Sung of the Black CanyonPETER GRECH – SUNG OF THE BLACK CANYON
Peter Grech is an artist without a label, considering himself “the audio equivalent of a small local farm, hopefully supplying tasty sonic carrots”.
Judged by the tasty carrots he serves on this self-released album, he shouldn’t be without a label for long … but if he does, we’re lucky to have Bandcamp access his music.
Sung of the Black Canyon is a 50 minute descriptive soundtrack inspired by a wilderness hiking journey he made in the United States, each of the seven parts ‘intended as stages reminiscent of the journey’. It may be a personal notebook this way, but for other listeners it’s an inspiring soundtrack for their own imaginary fieldtrip.


Helluland

NORTHUMBRIA – HELLULAND
From Canada comes this duo called NorthumbriaJim Field and Dorian Williamson, creating ambient drones with guitar and bass as the main instruments, largely improvised and often recorded live. Helluland is their third full length album, “much more conceptual and introspective but still unmistakeably Northumbria in scope and sound”.
With the guitar creating the main layers it sounds as if Robert Fripp is  always near: Fripp and Eno are mentioned as one of their main influences. But the guitar is not looped like in most Frippertronics – the themes are played improvised on the spot. There is a close relation to the Canadian landscape, the Baffin Island (to the left of Greenland) more specifically, which was discovered by he Norse Vikins over a thousand years ago.
“(The Canadian Arctic) must’ve seemed like Jötunheimr to them, the mythical lands of the giants in Norse mythology. The landscape of Baffin Island i so unbelievably primordial and massive …. we really wanted to try and evoke the feelings, feats and wonder these adventurers must have felt.”


Sycomore

MOGANO – SYCOMORE
Second release from the brand new Berlin-based Arboretum  label is aptly named after a tree and dedicated to the Tree of Life from ancient civilizations. It’s a balanced set of brooding rhythms, electronics and ritualistic references to Eastern mythology by using instruments such as the dilruba.
Mogano (Marco Berardi) is obviously deeply fascinated by ancient cultures and musical practices, but at the same time manages to create a futuristic dubby beat – inescapable and atmospheric.
Sycomore is released as a four-track vinyl 12″ also including a remix of “Annunaki” by (Samuel) Kerride. Included is a download code that also includes the digital bonus track Dukkah. 



MOGANO – SYCOMORE

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Finally: Podcast Possibilities!

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In the past, I’ve been looking for a good platform for the ambient mixes I have created. Though the oldest these mixes are  nine year sold, I think they still deserve to be heard.

Since the Folio radio show I co-compiled will be terminated in november 2009, it became obvious that public local radio is not the best place to promote ambient music.
So I finally started working on something I had in mind for a long time: a podcast featuring the ambient collages/mixes/montages I created in the past, and to host the mixes I will create in the future!

This means this weblog will proudly present ambient mixes to listen, or to download to your computer/portable player for later listening.
Apart from listening or downloading from this weblog, you can also subscribe to the podcast in your favorite player, such as iTunes.
You’ll never miss another mix, and you’ll be able to listen to it in high quality, on a time that fits you… No need to stay up late to record the radio show 🙂

More info and instructions below.

All mixes will be presented as high quality VBR MP3’s, which means good sound quality (but of course also a bit longer download time).

Starting july, I will post all mixes in chronological order, starting from 2001 and working way up until now. This means that ultimately this weblog/podcast will contain quite a collection  of ambient collages: more than 24 hours to start with. After completing these uploads, I will regularly post another new mix.

Of course, all mixes will feature full details of the music involved.

Ambientblog.net will, from now on,  feature different kinds of entries:

  • the reviews (as until now), will contain a single sample track to listen as a webstream,
  • the podcast entries, which will feature a webstream as well as a download link.
    When you subscribe to the podcast using iTunes or any other podcast player, you will of course receive only the mix entries (not the reviews).

I really hope you will enjoy these mixes as much as I do. Of course: any comment will be greatly appreciated.

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