D.Rhöne; Sima Kim; Tobias Hellkvist; Joao Damas; Orphax

D.RHÖNE – III (EXODE)
While creating music as Monolyth & Cobalt, Mathias van Eecloo saved some of his more abstract sounds with the filename D.Rhöne: “…a project to be close to the minimalist and repetitive music, the most closely to a drone state..
In 2012 and 2013 he self-released the first two albums under that same name, and now the third (and last) chapter is available as a free download. (There is also a very limited cd-release but that will probably be sold out by the time you’re reading this).

Inner Vision Laboratory vs. Nepenthe – Ambit

Inner Vision Laboratory is a musical project from the Polish artist Karol Skrzypiec, who describes his music as ‘basically industrial dark ambient, also including elements of ethnic music, classical music, et al.”

“AMBIT” is the result of his online collaboration with Nepenthe (Daniel Krause) (whose alias probably refers to the ‘Drug of Forgetfullness’). (Note: See Nepenthe’s reaction in the comments below)

Micromelancolie – It doesn’t belong here

It seems I have missed some things in the past: Micromelancoliéis a new name to me, but according to the discography on his site, Robert Skrzynski has already released around 30 titles (cassettes and CD/R) since 2009.

Micromelancolié is a great name for his project.
Likewise, It doesn’t belong here is a great album title, since that is exactly how the music sounds: as if it doesn’t belong here.

Yair Elazar Glotman – Northern Gulfs

Glacial Movements – the italian label specializing in “ambient and electronic arctic soundscapes” – is one of those labels where the quality of the releases is so consistently in line with their original mission that they can almost be ordered blindly. Quality glacial music guaranteed!

Northern Gulfs“, the debut release of Yair Elazar Glotman, is no exception to that rule.

Aqua Dorsa – The November Earth

The November Earth is Aqua Dorsa‘s second full album, follow up to Cloudlands (2009).
Sadly, it will also be their last: Gianluigi Gasparetti (better known as Oöphoi), died in april 2013.

The album they were working on was finished by his Aqua Dorsa partner Enrico Coniglio and was released later in 2013.

Therefore,The November Earth has become a fitting In Memoriam album to remember one of ambient music’s finest artist.

Celer; Ian Hawgood; Keith Berry; Kissy Suzuki; Strom Noir

In the Shortlist sections, I will mention the albums that I enjoyed listening to, but couldn’t find the time (or the right words) for a “full” review for. Still, I definitely think they deserve your attention, with ór without extra words!

Celer - ZigZag

CELER – ZIGZAG
It’s quite hard to keep up with Will Long’s incredible output: the Celer discography counts over 100 titles now, of which 8 albums were released in 2013 alone! But it’s worth trying, because his releases (Celer is his solo project since 2009) have a constant quality and a personal trademark sound.
Currently living in Tokyo, it’s only fitting that his latest (or one of his latest) albums is released on the Spekk label.

Kontakt der Jünglinge – Makrophonie 1

With a real name for an album title, Kontakt Der Jünglinge (Thomas Köner and Asmus Tietchens – the name being a homage to Stockhausen) break with the naming tradition of the predecessor series released in 2001 – 2003: ‘0’, ‘1’, ‘-1’, ‘N’.

The black color of the cover (in contrast to the white sleeves of the earlier series) suggests that there a more differences: to begin with, Makrophonie 1 is not a live set recording but the duo’s first studio album.

Stefkovic van Interesse – In the Fields

Needless to say that the first interesting thing I noticed was the name: Stefkovic van Interesse.
A surname that sounds quite Dutch…
Or, on second thought, German: van Interesse comes from Leipzig, Germany (I was tricked by the ‘van’).

But apart from his name there’s a lot more interesting to this debut album In the Fields

Black Elk – Sketches I -V

With core members Ian Hawgood (electronics), Danny Norbury(cello), Clem Leek (piano), and Tim Martin (Maps and Diagrams, electronics), Black Elk could be regarded as a post-classical/ambient “Supergroup”.

In 2012, their first albumSparks was released, a beautiful collection of atmospheric tracks in various styles.

For their recent Japan tour (december 2013) a collection of “Sketches” was assembled on five different (CDR) albums, containing outtakes, unfinished tracks, live performances and … sketches!

Autistici; Tattered-Kaylor; Synop; Andreas Brandal; Cestine

In the Shortlist sections, I will mention the albums that I enjoyed listening to, but couldn’t find the time (or the right words) for a “full” review for. Still, I definitely think they deserve your attention, with ór without extra words!

Autistici - Attaching softness...

AUTISTICI – ATTACHING SOFTNESS
A collection of detailed microsound pieces including collaborative works with Calika and Henry Duclos. It includes the original full-length version of Attaching Softness to a Shell. About half of the (50 minute) album is reserved for the centerpiece “Attaching Softness to a Shell” (a track that also briefly appeared in the Dream Calibration mix from 2009).

Machinefabriek + Esther Kokmeijer – Stillness

Sometimes, a certain kind of ambient soundscapes are referred to as “glacial”. Often, these are dark, slowly evolving soundscapes that evoke a desolate, solitary, atmosphere that can be associated with the vast arctic landscapes (although the sounds are not necessarily ‘cold’).

Stillness, a multimedia project by Esther Kokmeijer (cinematic landscapes) and Rutger “Machinefabriek” Zuydervelt (music) is literally “glacial”, because it documents Esther Kokmeijer’s journey to Antarctica in january 2013 and to Greenland in june 2013.
The video in 5 parts documenting these trips are subtitled “Millions of Winters, two summers” – with a perfectly fitting musical score performed by Rutger Zuydervelt.

Various Artists – Liquified Sky

There’s a big different between ‘just music’ and ‘sound art’ – the latter requiring active participation of the listener/visitor.
A release on Richard Chartier’s Line Imprint label is not something you just take for granted, consuming it playing in the background while being distracted by many other things.
So, it may take some time and serious effort investigating the works presented on Liquified Sky” before these audio-visual works can be fully appreciated. But it’s worth the effort!

Federico Durand; Tobias Hellkvist; Chronotope Project; Da Pacem; Scott Lawlor

In the Shortlist sections, I will mention the albums that I enjoyed listening to, but couldn’t find the time (or the right words) for a “full” review for. Still, I definitely think they deserve your attention, with ór without extra words!

El Idioma de las Luciernagas

FEDERICO DURAND – EL IDIOMA DE LAS LUCÉRNAGAS

Also on Spotify


“El Idioma de las Lucérnagas”
translates as “The Language of Fireflies”, which is a most appropriate description for this album full of environmental soundscapes and peaceful associations.
When Durand opens up his music box, the crickets breathe through it. ‘El idioma de las luciernagas’ creates a place where wind chimes, stray guitars, and dropped thoughts fall like rain. The music makes me think of eyes as olives and wonder what they would see. These are microambient sounds because they puncture air holes in the glass jar of the world and we can breathe through it, pausing and passing through the punctuation that makes the language of fireflies a language of light.

Anzio Green – A Day without Distance

Right after the light-hearted opener soundscape “Morning Tea”, “A Day Without Distance takes a somewat unexpected turn: “Fall Down” (with vocals by Kate Tustain) is a mysterious pop-oriented track that reminisces the sound of the 4AD label (or This Mortal Coil, to be more specific) in the mid-80’s.

After this track one would expect more ‘ambient-pop’ like this, but surprisingly the album takes a fairly radical turn into more experimental soundscapes.
But – even though Kate Tustain’s vocals are not reappearing – it never loses touch with the ‘accessible’ side. This is obviously what International DJ Magazine meant when they described the Rednetic label as “the subtle marriage of the adventurous with the accessible”.

Digitalsimplyworld; Ashes of Piemonte; Sam Genovese; Orphax; Eren Silence

In the Shortlist sections, I will mention the albums that I enjoyed listening to, but couldn’t find the time (or the right words) for a “full” review for.
Still, I definitely think they deserve your attention, with or without extra words!

Digitalsimplyworld

DIGITALSIMPLYWORLD – TOUT DEVIENT LA MUSIQUE
[FREE Download]
“Tout Devient La Musique” (“Everything is Music”) offers 81 minutes of highly varied soundscapes “reaching to the ends of classical electronic music, where everything becomes different.”.

Bruce Gilbert & BAW – Enrico Coniglio – Chris Watson – Felix Gebhard

Field recordings are often an important part of ‘ambient’ recordings. But there are many variations: from heavily processed, almost unrecognisable sounds to strictly natural representation – and everything inbetween.
Some impressive examples: 


Diluvial

BRUCE GILBERT AND DAW – DILUVIAL(*)
(*) – Release date: sept 2 – link will be replaced when available
With the basic material including field recordings from beaches in Suffolk and London (recorded by Naomi Siderfin, half of Beaconsfield ArtWorks), “Diluvial” originates from “local preoccupation with rising sea levels – a work that dwells on the dynamics of flood geology and global warming; creation stories and climate change”.
The basic material may consist of field recording of natural sounds, but the synthesized sounds generated by Bruce Gilbert (founding member of art-punk band Wire and experimental music researcher since 2004) and David Crawforth (the other half of BAW) in response to those recording take it to a completely different electroacoustic level.

Marina Rosenfeld – P.A. – Hard Love

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 Rosenfelds approach on her recent ROOM40 release P.A. / Hard Love“.