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Elegi * Alphaxone & Protou * Lustmord

Bansull

Bansull

ELEGI – BåNSULL

Ten years after his chilling debut Sistereis (and eight years since Varde), Elegi is awakened from his slumber by the curators of the Dronarivm label in their search for “unsung melodies from our century”.

Tommy ‘Elegi’ Jansen (from Norway) claims Bånsull is an old and rare Norwegian word for lullaby.
But you’d better not fall asleep to this music: it’ll probably be the soundtrack to your most frightening nightmares.

 
 

“Folk tales from around the world that have scared small children for centuries. When I became a father some years ago it was only natural for me to write my own bedtime stories to lull my baby to sleep. For some strange reason these gave her nightmares and she did not sleep for years.”

Let this be a warning to you: you cannot un-listen this!

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Alphaxone & Protou - Stardust

ALPHAXONE & PROTOU – STARDUST

When released on Cryo Chamber, you can bet it’s dark. And cold, like the label name suggests (though the label is now based in Oregon, USA, its roots are from Sweden).
Not ‘dark ambient’ in the inverted new age sense, with chanting monks, church bells and such nonsense, but dark in a fascinating way. Let’s call it IDM –  Intelligent Dark Music.

Alphaxone (Mehdi Saleh, from Iran) and ProtoU (Sasha Cats, from Kiev, Ukraine) work together on this spacey album that helps you ‘float weightless into the void to the sound of exploding supernovas.’
The ‘exploding supernova’ bit suggests a collection of loud explosions, but actually this album has the trance-inducing calmness and timelessness of endless space travel.
Recommended for lovers of space ambient and old school science fiction soundtracks.’

Also on Spotify


Lustmord - Dark Matter

LUSTMORD – DARK MATTER

A bit late to the party, perhaps: this album was released september 2016. But while on the subject of dark and space, we simply cannot ignore this gem. After all, Brian ‘Lustmord‘ Williams is widely credited as the originator of the Dark Ambient genre!

The vast expanse of the Universe, ‘far larger than we are able to comprehend’, was the inspiration for this album.
Three long-form tracks (Subspace, Astronomicom and Black Static) created from sounds derived from an audio library of cosmological activity, gathered from sources like NASA, The Very Large Array, National Radio Astronomy Observatory and more.

“Behind the world that we experience lies a veil of darkness and much is hidden between, beyond and unseen.”

Created from the sounds coming from space – the sound that ‘exists as naturally occurring electromagnetic vibrations’, coming from sources like ‘interstellar plasma and molecules, radio galaxies, pulsars masers and quasars’ – the ambience of this album is dark but not scary.
After all:  ‘The universe began of darkness, not light.’

Dark Matter is enigmatic yet comforting. And a spacey dark ambient classic.

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Pleq & Giulio Aldinucci; Umchunga; Dronny Darko & ProtoU; Matthew Atkins

Dronny Darko & ProtoU

Pleq + Giulio

PLEQ & GIULIO ALDINUCCI – THE PRELUDE TO
Italian electroacoustic artist Giulio Aldinucci (also known as Obsil) meets Polish experimental wizard Bartosz Dziadosz (aka Pleq). The opening (title) track was their first collaboration, previously published on Home Normal’s Elements 5They continued working together after that, which resulted in these four tracks. It’s a fascinating mix of matching ingredients: the subtle piano notes, vocal samples, field recordings and stretched drones all seem to fall into the right place.
The piano notes in the title track never take center stage: they are mere accents in the background, yet once you heard them you’ll always recognise them.
Three of the four tracks are reworked by The Green Kingdom, Christopher Bissonnette and Olan Mill to complete this full album.
If this is the prelude, we can definitely look forward to further collaboration work from these two artists!


Umchunga

UMCHUNGA – SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE BY NOW
It starts with a quiet drone, but after a few minutes there’s an unexpected twist in intensity. Droning organ sounds and effects reminiscent of early Pink Floyd, from their most psychedelic period. But on the other side, there are also the calm guitar themes from the title track.
Nima Pourkarimi (from Tehran) named Umchunga after the Mira Calix song Umchunga Locks. This is his debut album: ‘six tracks of atmosphere drones and static noise, each reflecting a particular state of mind in which he found himself at the time.’
I don’t know if it’s the context and being from Tehran that gives this album an extra, and somewhat different, dimension: there’s a cry of despair in almost every track, but there’s also hope.


Dronny Darko & ProtoUDRONNY DARKO & PROTOU – EARTH SONGS
A (dark) ambient concept-album: starting out with the Big Bang (13.8 billion years ago), and exloring various stages of evolution from there – even into the distant future in Leaving Earth (2135 AD).
Given the enormous span of time it thematically covers, it’s remarkable that these seven tracks sound remarkably consistent: it’s a calm atmospheric, misty cover to immerse yourself deeply into.
Of course, you can also ignore the concept if you want, and just see where your own imagination gets you.
Dronny Darko is Olec Puzan (and onviously fascinated by all things outer space), and ProtoU is Sasha Cats  – a trained violinist and choir vocalist now exploring more experimental territories. They are both living in Kiev (Ukraine).


Geometric Decay

MATTHEW ATKINS – GEOMETRIC DECAY
Matthew Atkins (not be confused with Matthew (‘Monty’) Adkins – the difference is only one letter) runs the Minimal Resource Manipulation label, and this album is the fourth release under his own name.
Atkins uses all kinds of found sounds, field recordings and drones, takes them out of their original context to replace them in these sonic collages ‘whose textures teeter at the edge of noise in places. This is offset with almost meditative passages with snatches of repeated melodies and looped textural blocks’.
The result is a fascinating kind of abstract, industrial, but above all otherworldly soundscapes. Bandcamp offers the digital download, but you can order a hand stamped cardboard sleeve physical edition here.

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