Vvolk may very well be the only ‘ambient orchestra’ in the world * Three works inspired by (perpetual) motion by Claudio F. Baroni * Olivia Block‘s ‘132 Ranks’ will make you feel humble.
Complex times breed complex albums.
A sign of the times, maybe.
Not unlike Matthew Colling’s album mentioned before, Lawrence English‘s new album “The Wilderness of Mirrors“ presents a “tectonic auditory offering, an unrelenting passage of colliding waves of harmony and dynamic live instrumentation”.
Apart from being an ‘ambient-electronic’ music addict, reggae music- and especially dub music – has been playing a major role in my musical life. There is a distinct crossover area between experimental electronic music and experimental dub reggae, as demonstrated by genius artists like Lee Perry and Bill Laswell (among others, of course).
Dub Music, rooted in reggae, is often very experimental music.
I have heard a lot of ‘ambient’ music cross over to different styles, up to the simple fact that there is no clear definition of what ‘ambient’ music is any more.
But to my own surprise I wasn’t really prepared for Marina Rosenfeld‘s approach on her recent ROOM40 release “P.A. / Hard Love“.
Room40, the Australian based ambient/electronic/experimental label (run by Lawrence English) kicks off the after-summer season with a batch of fascinating releases. Among these are the beautiful drone-based albums by Chihei Hatakeyama and Steinbrüchel:
Chihei Hatakeyama – Mirror
Chihei Hatakeyama has earned himself quite a reputation with his earlier albums (on Room40, as well as Home Normal, Hibernate and Kranky). Described as a minimalist with a “formidable reputation as a fearless textural experimentalist”, you might expect some loudness – but Mirror is about the opposite of loudness.
The deep drones (or polychromic and memory-evoking soundscapes if you prefer) are like a mirror indeed.
“Taking layers of composed instrumental passages and then re-recording them in a variety of reverberant spaces, Hatakeyama sought to accentuate and amplify the harmonic qualities of the sounds. Overtones were shaped by these spaces and rich fluctuations emerged from the original recorded elements.”
Some shorter field recordings mark the points of arrival and departure between the composed pieces. Together they present a fascinatingly calm and introspective album.
Chihei Hatakeyama – Alchemy
An album very well titled, since the five sonic electro-acoustic pieces on this album are indeed uncovering some musical ‘paths less travelled’