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Sound Meccano + Jura Laiva * Tobias Hellkvist * No One

No One 1

Salty Wind


Sound Meccano (Rostislav Rekuta from Riga, Latvia – electronics, field recordings, sound processing) and Jura Laiva (also from Latvia – guitar, guitar drones, piano) have worked together before, releasing 2 EP’s on Crónica and Flaming Pines. This release on Eilean Records is their first full-length album.

With the campfire sounds, the rain and other environmental sounds this 8-part journey feels like camping out in a dense forest, slowly moving through different weather conditions.

“The album is best perceived as an audio journey, a road-movie for the ears.”

With the help of Kate Pavula (violin, voice, viola, accordion) and Eriks Kirsfelds (cello) it becomes a cinematic journey. The eight parts are sequenced into one 71 minute trip from which there’s no way back once you started.
But why would you want to?
“The overall mood of the record is far from somber, as if to prove that the inner fire that never goes out is warm enough to protect us from salty winds, no matter how endless the winter might seem.”

Forest Psalms


The basic field recordings for this album were recorded in the United States in 2015 and 2016: at Culver City, Los Angeles, Topanga Canyon and Big Sur (California) and Big Pine Key, Florida. Additional recordings were made in Sweden and Denmark; the album was finished in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Field recordings being the basic source material does not automatically mean that this is a ‘nature’ recording: they are the inspiration, the starting points. The added electronics make it ‘true ambient’ sounds, intended “to lead the audience into a state of mindfulness, total relaxation, and focus”.

After a 2 day hike in the forest of Northern California, I came to experience a rare kind of stillness and desolation which really fascinated me. I think most of the music I make is some kind of attempt to recreate moments like these for me to revisit.”
And we can consider ourselves lucky to be able to join Tobias Hellkvist in this revisit.

No One 1     No One

NO ONE – 13

Just  a fairly random pick of two albums from the six that are numbered in the order (Franess) No One started working on them:   123459.
This means that 6 – 7 – 8 are currently works in progress but will probably be released somewhere in the near future. Besides, there’s also mention of an upcoming CD-release on Midira records.
Franess No One is an artist of the prolific kind, obviously, because only a few days ago another album was released – not numbered but with a title: Antipodes

I can’t tell how the other titles sound (yet), but No One states that he “often creates several practically identical works”, so I guess these two releases are fairly representative for many of his other work.

“No One makes conceptual music…” (which is a nice statement in itself, by the way) “… by manipulating sounds to create confusion”. 

One could say the music on these albums are heavily drone-based, but that wouldn’t the right description for soundscapes like these that constantly change and evolve in a very cinematic, story-telling way. The drones seem to cover hidden melodies that struggle to get to the surface. All in a lush, widescreen sound created with recordings, tape treats, instruments and keyboards.
1 is split in two tracks around 30 minutes each, while 3 presents a single 41 minute track.


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Jonty Harrison; Sound Meccano + Jura Laiva; Chris Watson

Flow Moss Northumberland

Jonty Harrison - Voyages

If ‘music is organised sound’, then this new album by Jonty Harrison is far more than a collection of seemingly unrelated field-recordings. It is a composition (or two, actually) in its own right, created by selecting sounds from a variety of locations, spaces, places, scenes and vistas ‘which we may or may not have experienced, but which we somehow recognise’.

The first piece of this acousmatic electroacoustic collection, Espaces Cachés, is a 14 minute ambisonic trip created from the original 30-track commission from Maison des Arts Sonores.
The second piece, called Going / Places is a one hour journey divided into 23 parts. The recordings come from all over the world and are often combined in such a way that they could never have existed on one location simultaneously.

The scenes, ‘one implying imminent motion, the other more restful and tranquil’, take you all over the world – unpredictably jumping between Europe, Iceland, Australia, North America, North Africa and parts of Asia.

“Sounds reach us as they would in everyday life, as if we were ‘there’: from multiple locations in different positions and at different heights and distances. In this sense we are closer to reality; but even the bounds of reality can be stretched by the agencies of motion and memory — unreality, surreality and hyper-reality are but steps along the route that can be taken by the imagination…”

Save yourself an expensive holiday this year: buy this album, put on a quality headphone, close your eyes – and let professor Jonty Harrison guide you to some unexpected corners.


Sound Meccano + Jura Laiva

Continuing the excellent Corollaries series – compiling works resulting from the Active Crossover: Mooste residency (Estonia) curated by Simon Whethampart IV introduces Sound Meccano (Latvia-based Rostislav Rekuta-Dzhordzhevich) collaborating with Jura Laiva (Jurii Santalov, also from Latvia).
All of the Corollaries recordings rely heavily on the environmental recordings of the location, which are often stunningly realistic, and Sireli Aig is no exception.
Adding Jura Laiva‘s guitar drones and glitchesand Mirva Tarvainen‘s double bass and occasional vocals to Sound Meccano‘s field recordings, electronics and sound processing brings a whole new dimension, resulting in impressive soundscapes that are ‘environmental’ as well as ‘musical’.
A fresh taste of the northern hemisphere, available as a Name Your Price download.

Flow Moss Northumberland

While on the subject of field recording: if you’re interested in the bright and lively sounds of nature you might as well check out this free download of Chris Watson – the unsurpassed master of environmental recording.

Not only does he record his material in unexpected locations, the page on which these files can be found is a bit of a surprise too: it’s a blog post on the Bowers & Wilkins site dedicated to their speakers and headphones.
(Which undoubtedly are perfect companions to these binaural recordings, by the way – but don’t worry, this is not gonna be a sponsor-driven blogin the future. It’s really just a coincidence that I found these files offered here).

Two incredibly realistic – and refreshing – recordings, from Northumberland and Suffolk respectively, are offered for free as  high-quality WAV files.
And that’s not all: the download also includes a Dawn Chorus remix by Richard Norris.
The recordings were made and offered on occasion of the International Dawn Chorus Day (May 1).


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Quiet Noise; Tiny Portraits; Bionulor; Lucy

Quiet Noise

Quiet Noise

Adam Wilkinson is a composer and multi-instrumentalist that spent his years as a sound engineer building ‘a large and well-ordered collection of things that make noise’.
The cover of his new album shows a colourful machine room (Google, obviously) that is as playful as it is well-ordered and clean.
And so is his music: a massive collection of inventive samples ordered together in playful and bright-sounding compositions, backed by well-ordered yet somewhat unconventional rhythm patterns.
There are many things to discover in this lively demonstration that experimental music does not need to be heavyweight, dark and incomprehensible, but can be fun to listen to without becoming too simplistic.

Music | Building | Music is the story of a hard day’s work. Percussive sound effects reference the author’s experience in labouring and carpentry. While rhythms champion teams of hard working hands, the melodic arrangements deliver the emotional experience of a long shift – triumph, failure, empowerment and exhaustion. Opening with the journey to work, Music | Building | Music pushes on before clocking off and going home to celebrate.”

Also on Spotify

Tiny Portraits = Second Set
Tiny Portraits is an ongoing series of 3″-CD releases from artists from all over the world, ‘presenting sonic portraits of lesser known places’.
It is a continuation from the 2013 compilation with the same name, which focused on Australia’s lesser known places. But this new series of four EP’s spans all of earth! It heads east, depicting sites in Russia, Hungary, the Ukraine and Latvia.

Foresteppe kicks off with a piece dedicated to the fog in his hometown Berdsk, Siberia. Gamardah Fungus  present a live outdoor jam on the porch of a small house in Slavske (West Ukraine), at the foot of the Carpathians.
Peter Terner is a Hungarian sound artist. His composition is derived from recordings of trams undertaking a tight turning circle in west Budapest.
Concluding this batch is Sound Meccano + Jura Laiva (with Mirvan Tarvainenwith a piece depicting the working harbour of Andrejosta in Riga, Latvia.

Though this may sound like these are strictly environmental recordings, (most of) these pieces are musical compositions, using local field recordings from the part of the world where they were created as their main material.

This is growing into a very interesting project from the Flaming Pines label,  including a dedicated website where you can see the series’ progression and get more info about each individual ‘Portrait’.

As mentioned, this is the second series of four EP’s.
The fist series has presented releases from Siavash Amini, Zenjungle, Sound Awakener and Yuco.
“Collect them all!”, as they use to say!

Bionulor - Stary Pisarz cover

Stary Pisarz means The Old Writer – a direct reference to William S. Burroughs. This album is the studio version of a multimedia performance dedicated to Burroughs’ 100th birth anniversary in 2014. 

Bionulor (Sebastian Banaszczyk from Poland) refers to his own working method as “100% sound recycling”, which means that “every track is created solely on the basis of processing only one sample deriving of a specially selected source sound, without any additional sounds or instruments”. A great way to reflect on Burroughs’ experimental cut-up technique of writing.

The original performance contained music, videos created by Kolektyw : Międzymiastowa, and prose taken from different fragments of Burroughs work.

This CD version contains the (instrumental) studio versions of the music created for that night – referring completely to the details of the writer’s biography (hence the reference to the Moroccan culture), or to his certain books.


Lucy - EDSR

It’s part of the modern-day cycle of consumerism: Eat Drink, Shop, Relax.
Only a ‘Part’, because it’s incomplete – it seems to be missing the way to gain enough of an income enough to do all that… But nevermind: we’re focussing on the relaxing side of life here:
“while the world continues to move at a breakneck pace driven by people’s acquisition of ‘things’, Lucy‘s experiments exude a notion of peace and contentment. […] a time and place where freedom from the clutches of consumerism can, and will be the norm.”

Lucy is Italian-born but now Berlin-based Luca Mortello, a DJ/producer well-respected for his ‘deep yet dancefloor-driven’ sound. The tracks on this relatively short album (somewhat under 30 minutes) are definitely nót aimed at the dancefloor.
It’s another fine example of an artist that is familiar with the more adventurous dance-scene (performing Berghain, Sonar, ADE, Boiler Room etc.) that dares to venture out into way more experimental areas.
These four tracks (you guess their titles) were recorded live to tape in Lucy’s berlin studio – ‘a warm, comfortable bubble of hypnosis that feels at times like the machines have developed their own language.”


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