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Michel Banabila + Maarten Vos

Banabila Sound Years

Banabila + Vos

MICHEL BANABILA + MAARTEN VOS – HOME

Michel Banabila‘s musical tree has many roots. Those of you that have checked out his back catalogue (and I hope most regular readers have done), know that it includes experimental electronics, as well as world fusion, jazz, and many productions for theatre, dance, movies and documentaries.
Every branch of his output is interesting in its very own right, but I dare say that his work for theatre and dance productions may often be his most emotionally engaging, as well as the most accessible for audiences not particularly used to ‘experimentalism’.
There’s an impressive list of his work for theatre [here], in case you might know (listing in Dutch).

In the past Banabila  has regularly worked with Conny Janssen for her well-known dance ensemble Conny Janssen DanstFor their 25th anniversary production Home -currently touring the dutch theatres extensively-  she asked him to create the music in collaboration with Maarten Vosand play it live at every performance.

Maarten Vos is a classically trained Dutch cellist.  who also studied Live Electronics. His work combines the two musical areas, merging the two disciplines into a new one. He has collaborated with many other artists such as Julianna Barwick, Greg Haines, Loney Dear, Machinefabriek, The Kyteman Orchestra, and now of course with Banabila. 
Both artists worked together intensely preparing the soundtrack for Conny Janssens’ anniversary production, and their work is captured on this CD which is currently available at the performances. And hopefully – if stock permits – after the tour has ended.

 

Even without attending the dance performance it was written for, it’s an impressive and diverse soundtrack. A golden combo of electronics and cello  (Maarten Vos is a cellist primarily, but with a soft spot for modular electronics too), capable of conjuring a  multitude of emotions with diverse musical styles.

Their music constantly evolves, so it is doubtful that the music on the last performance will be the same as on the first. As mature and complete as the music on this album may sound, the music captured on CD can be seen as a ‘basic draft’, simply because the CD had to be manufactured before the tour started. This means that the music will have evolved further and some of the tracks will have seen many reworks over time.
Banabila and Vos have found a solution for this: after the tour ends, the music will be made available via Bandcamp in different versions: a complete version (containing the full CD version and various reworks), and an ‘additional’ version containing the reworks only (for those that have already bought the CD version at the CJD performances).

All this, of course, is about the music soundtrack only. But if you read this before the tour ends and live anywhere near Holland, I advise to go see one of the performances for the full Conny Janssen Danst experience. (If tickets are still available, that is).
For all others: keep an eye on the Bandcamp page to see when the full edition is released (which will be the first week of may).


Banabila Sound Years

MICHEL BANABILA – SOUND YEARS

Sound Years is a compilation of previously released tracks (with the exception of the previously unreleased opening track Close To The Moon). All are hand-picked by Michel Banabila himself and mixed into two continuous tracks – one for each side of the vinyl album. The selection is taken from various projects: some of them from theatre works, some of the more recent experimental electronic music, an occasional live recording, and a selection of his collaboration works with Oene van Geel and Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek).

The oldest tracks are taken from 2005’s Hilarious Expedition, the newest are from 2016. They are selected to create a continuous uninterrupted flow.
The sound is immediately recognisable as Banabila‘s – especially in his trademark use of ‘alien vocal’ samples (like in E.T. and Vuka Vuka!).
The set is a perfect demonstration of Banabila‘s mastership of creating moods and atmospheres. A soft, warm, comfortable selection that is slightly unnerving and ‘outerworldish’ at the same time.

Sound Years can perhaps be seen as Banabila‘s companion to KLF’s ‘Chill Out’ album: a slow walk through quiet (yet alien) landscapes. Unknown, full of surprises, yet always vaguely familiar.

Banabila has claimed that this could very well be his last physical release before going 100% digital. I wouldn’t take his word for that myself, but if it is, this beautifully packed (transparant vinyl) album (with a striking cover photo by Gerco de Ruijteris a ‘perfect goodbye’ to the vinyl medium.

Purchase of this transparent-vinyl album comes with a download that includes the unreleased Close To The Moon track as a separate bonus track.

DOWNLOAD CODE GIVEAWAY:

The vinyl version of this album is available now (and selling fast), but the digital-only version of this album will be released on March, 21.
Three free advance download codes are available for commenters that answer one of these two questions below:

  • Who would you like to see Banabila collaborate with?
  • Can you take a guess about his favourite fruit?

Entries close sunday february 26!

Winners will be drawn randomly.
Thanks to Michel Banabila for providing these download codes!

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OST: Arrival * Samorost 3 * Astroneer * Salero * Iris

Salero

Arrival

JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON – ARRIVAL OST

For his score for Arrival Jóhann Jóhannsson takes a surprising step away from the neo-classical composition such as recently displayed on his Orphée album, venturing into more ominous abstract territory matching the movie’s subject.
The difficulty of translating alien communication is reflected in the music by the singers using no text, only vowels. The tension can be felt in every detail of every track.

For his score, Jóhannsson was able to work with some well-respected artists like the Theatre of Voices (conducted by Paul Hillier), Hildur Gudnadóttir and Robert Aiki Audrey Lowe (aka Lichens).

I haven’t seen the movie (yet), and based on the description the story will probably be incomparable to that of 2013’s Under The Skin, but there are many moments in the soundtrack that I find the music is equally intense and has the same chilling effect Mica Levi’s score had.
Mysterious, Eerie, Ominous… After hearing the soundtrack, you’ll probably want to go to see the movie too.
But even without having seen the movie, this is a soundtrack that is pushing the boundaries of movie score traditions.

Considering the strength of this soundtrack, it seems a weird choice to feature a Max Richter composition (In the Nature of Daylight) as the movie’s signature piece. Not because it’s not a beautiful piece, but it feels a bit secondhand after originally appearing on The Blue Notebooks (2004) and having been used in at least four other movies (such as Shutter Island, 2010).

Definitely a very, very  bad decision, because the inclusion of the Max Richter track in the score resulted in the soundtrack’s disqualification for an Oscar nomination, according to the Academy Awards’ guidelines.
The Richter track is not included in the soundtrack album, which -deservedly- focuses on Jóhannsson‘s score.

But in the end it doesn’t really matter: even without the Oscar nomination, this is simple one of the best soundtracks of 2016 (and a large part of 2017) you’ll find!

Also on Spotify

Jóhann Jóhannsson – Xenolinguistics


Samorost 3

FLOEX – SAMOROST 3

With the video game becoming a big industry, the attention that goes into their soundtracks has grown too. Soundtracks are no longer scored strictly for movies. The sound design for interactive video-games has become as important as its graphics design.
Composing for an interactive video game has some extra challenges, since the story isn’t linear in most cases: there are different routes a player can take, but the continuity must not be broken.

Samorost 3 is a game created by Amanita Designcreators of the award-winning Machinarium.
I’m not a gamer myself, so I cannot tell you about the ins and outs of the gameplay (other websites can do that), but from the short game preview (below) one can tell that Amanita has gone through great lengths to create a beautifully detailed fantasy world:

 

The same can be said about the soundtrack, composed by Tomáš Dvořák (aka Floex) – clarinettist, composer, producer and multimedia artist from Prague (Czech Republic). He claims to have spent at least two-and-a-half years on this project, creating the sound design, sounds and expression of the characters, the environment as well as the musical dramaturgy.
And this shows in the quality as well as the quantity: with 23 tracks and 77 minutes the album fills up and entire CD (or double LP).

“Floex’s favourite and leading instrument – the clarinet – appears, as does the flitting between the genres – experimental levels that easily sail into the ambient or the downtempo.”

The music is as diverse as the seven different planets the story takes place on; it’s an engaging collection to listen to even without having played the game. It draws from many sources and manages to be refreshingly original and to avoid the cliché’s of contemporary modern classical soundtrack composing.

Also on Spotify


Astroneer

RUTGER ZUYDERVELT – ASTRONEER

The objective of Samorost 3 may be largely the same as that of System Era’s Astroneerboth games are about travelling to unknown planets and discover alien worlds.
But the design choices are fundamentally different, as can be seen from both introduction previews.
Whichever style you prefer is simply a matter of taste. You can even like both of course, each for his own quality.
The soundtrack of these games are perfectly aligned with these design choices.


(Music Track: Gameplay 5)
 

Astroneer is Rutger Zuydervelt‘s first game soundtrack and will probably come as a surprise for those following his earlier work.
Using his own name instead of his Machinefabriek alias often (but not always) indicates a difference in music, too: somewhat less abstract, more ‘formally composed’ new music. The closing track, Starting Scene, is an exception to this since it is an adaption of the Machinefabriek track Wold.
Also, the fact that this is a collection of short, pointy compositions is one of the surprises of this 26-track album (16 on CD, 10 extra tracks with the additional download because they were finished later).

In line with the game graphics, Rutger chose to use a relatively basic, synth sound palette for his compositions. It’s not 8-bit music – that would have been a few steps too far in relation to the visual design – but the overall sound is definitely ‘retro’. No full-scale string ensembles here, no wide-screen symphonic cinematics, but a sound design firmly supporting the game physics.
The collection features the game’s main themes as well as a lot of atmospheric soundscapes with titles like Danger, Exploration, Gathering indicating their context.

Rutger ‘Machinefabriek‘ Zuydervelt, one of the most prolific artists in the world of experimental electronics, never fails to amaze with every new direction.
“And now for something completely different…” must be his basic life motto.


Salero

ADAM BRYANBAUM WILTZIE – SALERO (OST)

I don’t think that Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie needs any further introduction, but for those new to his name: he is one of the driving forces behind The Stars of the Lid and A Winged Victory Of The Sullen – one of the founding fathers of ‘orchestral ambient’.
The music of the Stars of the Lid and – even more- AWVftS  has always been extremely cinematic, so it was only a matter of time before there would be an ‘official’ soundtrack releases based on their way of composing.

Mike Plunkett’s Salero tells the story of a young ‘salt gatherer’ in Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, who becomes ‘the last link between the old world and the new’. For that description alone, the music of Adam Wiltzie is a perfect choice: his music also is a link between the old world and the new.

Stars of the Lid always presented the most abstract minimalist version of the acoustic ambient music. Compared to their work A Winged Victory For The Sullen always was more accessible.
Salero even takes this a step further and will feel familiar to those familiar with the works of Max Richter, Johann Johannsson and the likes.
But the musical ingredients that make up for the specific ‘Adam Wiltzie sound’ are easily recognisable: the string ensemble, the guitar, the electronic dub background effects.

In 2010, Wiltzie’s Stars of the Lid partner Brian McBride scored a (beautiful) soundtrack for  the Effective Disconnect documentary, but if my memory serves me correctly, Salero is the first ‘full’ soundtrack scored by Adam Wiltzie (please correct me if I’m wrong).
It certainly won’t be the last: apart from A Winged Victory For The Sullen’s soundtrack for Iris, the beginning of 2017 will also premiere Alexandre Moors’ ‘The Yellow Birds’ , with another score by Adam Wiltzie. 

Also on Spotify


Iris OST

A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLEN – IRIS
release date: jan 13,  2017

While Salero is Adam Wiltzie’s  solo score, the soundtrack for Iris is scored by A Winged Victory For The Sullen which means it is written by Adam Wiltzie and Dustin O’Halloran.
When director Jalil Lespert heard the music of AWVftS, he immediately knew that that was the music he wanted for his new film. And so, Wiltzie and O’Halloran got the opportunity to “explore more analogue electronic experiments as well as working with a large string ensemble (a 40-piece string ensemble), to create something that felt very modern and still cinematic”.

The first sessions for this recordings were some modular synth sessions recorded in Berlin. The combination of these modular sounds with a full scale string ensemble is a perfect match for a “script with tension, sexuality and darkness”.

If you’re familiar with their previous recordings you will hear the AWVftS sound trademarks all through the score. Their music has always been more accessible than the extreme minimalism of Stars of the Lid.
But even  compared to their own previous albums (AWVftS and Atomos), Iris takes this a few steps further.  Which brings this soundtrack somewhat closer to the many other modern classical soundtracks that are currently released.

The physical release of the album presents a set of 41 minutes (selected from the original 60 minute soundtrack); the digital download has some interesting extra bonus tracks: Part 2 and 3 of Adam Wiltzie’s The Endless Battle of the Maudlin Ballade (originally featured on the Travels in Constants series #24), and four tracks by Petite Noir, dOP, DJ Pone and The Shoes feat Thomas Azier that are featured in the film.

Also on Spotify

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Gideon Wolf; Michael Begg; Thomas Ragsdale; Variables;

Thomas Ragsdale - Bait

Gideon Wolf - Near DarkGIDEON WOLF – NEAR DARK
Fluid Audio  have built themselves some kind of cult empire. Not very surprising, considering the quality of their releases, and especially the way they are packaged. But the downside, of course, is that these releases are the kind that virtually sell-out on pre-ordering alone.
Here’s another one of those: if you’re interested in a letter-pressed CD including 20 prints, vintage photo slides, 1920’s explorer notes, dried leaves, scent, hand-typed messages – all hand numbered and sealed in oversized glassine bags….. you probably missed it because reading this sentence took you too long!
(To be exact: only 5 remaining at time of writing).
As long as there are copies available, there is no digital download counterpart. But there will be when they sell out – which won’t be long.
So we may better focus on the music, instead of its package.

To summarize: Near Dark is a baffling album.
The opener track, adressed to Mr. Controller, grabs the listener by the throats and from there it doesn’t let go. It is dark, but not completely dark: it presents a wide range of styles, vocal as well as instrumental.
There’s a haunting, heavy atmosphere, but it’s impossible to pin it down to a single genre.
I can’t really tell why, but this music definitely feels English, rooted in its mystifying forests and landscapes. I don’t think this could have been made anywhere else in the world.

Gideon Wolf takes the best of many influences and combines them to take it all a few steps further. The exuberant package is a fine thing for sure, but even when it was released in a simple white paper sleeve, this album would prove there may be an exciting future for ‘atmospheric experimentalism’.


Hivernant

MICHAEL BEGG/HUMAN GREED – HIVERNANT
A pre-summer release (June) that I missed, and which is definitely worth making up for!
Michael Begg is known for his contributions to Clodagh Simmonds’ Fovea Hex, his collaborations with Nurse With Wound’s Colin Potter, and for his own releases as Human Greed (which can be solo or a collaboration with Deryk Thomas).
Hivernant  
is a watercolour sketchbook inspired by the place where he lives: East Lothian in Scotland (bordering the city of Edinburgh). .

‘I sketched notes about silence, about space and place, music and recording. I took one step to the side and listened to the time rush by. I applied the same light touch to the studio. I sketched. It was enough. I somehow, briefly, removed ambition and purpose and found, in the winter, a moment of repose.’

Listening to the varied sound palette of these tracks – experimental ambient as well as contemporary classical, with references to Pärt and Schnittke – I would not use ‘sketches’  for a description myself.  The word ‘sketches’ feels like an understatement of this work, like something not really finished..while this feels like a full-grown album te me… But who am I to judge the artist’s own description?


Thomas Ragsdale - Bait

THOMAS RAGSDALE – BAIT
For this album, Thomas Ragsdale (one half of Worriedaboutsatan), re-worked his own score for Dominic Brunt’s thriller‘a modern day Faustian tale that examines the boundaries of humanity’s evil’.  The original score focuses more on background drones and atmospheres, but this version is re-created to be a stand-alone album, and not ‘just’ a soundtrack album.
On the other hand, ‘Bait’ was sequenced to take the listener down a similar path to the movie: at once beautiful as it is beguiling, intense as it is disturbing – shimmering drones give way to gnarled bass, refracting synth lines clatter over arctic atmospheres.’

And this it does very well; it’s an album with a very dark atmosphere, but also with a lot of beauty underneath. There’s no need to see the film to enjoy this music, though this version of the soundtrack definitely raises the interest to check it out too.
Bait is also released as a cassette which comes free with a CD-version and a package ‘that comes straight from the film’s brutal story.’


Variables

VARIOUS ARTISTS – VARIABLES
Here’s another fine example of what collaboration projects can bring us. This time, the concept is slightly different: bring together a bunch of artists (all Bigo & Twigetti related in this case),  let them jam and improvise with the objective to create a full release within seven days. From scratch, which means writing, arranging, performing, editing ánd mastering.

“I thought, what about creating an album in this way, but rather than just having two artists going back and forth, I thought it might be more interesting if the creators only got one chance each to add their input to the creative process. I also thought it would be more interesting to make this project very time limited, so that the creation had to be, to some extent, reactive/responsive/improvised, forcing composers to make quicker decisions and hopefully adding an energy and excitement to the music”.
(Jim Perkins at Completemusicupdate

Obviously, this was an inspiring task. Antonymes, Beatrice Chaume, Chris Perren (Nonsemble), Leah Kardos, Lucy Claire, Richard Talbot (Marconi Union) and Tiny Leaves did a great job in creating an album that sounds lively and sparkling, well balanced and also beautifully produced.
One would never guessed a thing like this could be accomplished in only seven days!


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Bionulor – Theatre Music

Bionulor

Compared to his previous album with reworkings of Erik Satie‘s music, Bionulor’s “Theatre Music” is spectacularly different in sound.
But not in approach, however, since for this music Bionulor also applies his “100% sound recycling method”, which means he’s strictly re-using pre-recorded material: classical instruments for Coriolanus“, and voice recordings from actress Sylwia Oksiuta performing SKAZAna”.
Although in both cases, the source is not easily recognisable.

Knowing that Sebastian Banaszczyk (Bionulor) is an actor by profession, it is not really surprising that he also creates music for theatre productions.
What ís surprising, is the way this music turns out to be a spectacular listen even if detached from the corresponding theatre plays.
Both albums are created for quite different theatre productions, but are offered as a 2 CD set totalling almost two hours of compelling abstract theatre music.

Coriolanus is a ‘somewhat refreshed’ version of the Shakespeare tragedy ’embedded in realities of a political and media 21st century spectacle’.
If you think the recycling of classical instrument lead to post-classical compositions, you are wrong. These are quite hard-core, raw electronic soundscapes, the atmosphere suggesting that the 21st century transition of the original Shakespeare tragedy is not an optimistical play to watch.


BIONULOR – TEMAT ZEMSTY AUFIDIUSA AKT 3
(‘Revenge on Aufidiusa, Act 3’) (from ‘Coriolanus’)

Neither is SKAZAna (‘Sentenced’), probably: an authorial monodrama by Sylwia Oksiuta, dealing with “the subject of a girl sexually abused by her stepfather” – hence the somewhat provocative album cover image.
Sylwia’s
voice recordings are stripped to the bare essentials, not even recognisable as ‘human’ anymore – which may thematically be perfectly in line with the play’s theme.


BIONULOR – SAMOBÓJSTWO
(‘Suicide’) (from ‘SKAZAna’)

Thematically, both plays deal with dark themes an will obviously not be easy to watch, and the accompanying music is not exactly ‘easy listening’ either.
But in this case, that is definitely meant as a recommendation!

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My Home, Sinking; Bluhm; Pan-American; Chr. Virant; W.R. Fritch;

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! 

My Home, Sinking

MY HOME, SINKING – MY HOME, SINKING
Enrico Coniglio often refers to Venice (Italy) in his music, which may explain the name of his new project. Released by Fluid Audio in a stunningly beautiful package (which is quickly selling out so don’t hesitate) it marks the label’s venture into new musical territory: ambient/experimental/improv crossover to rock/pop oriented music. This might have been risky ’cause when it failed it would have lost both audiences. But with this incredible set – and the help of people like Barbara De Dominicis, Laura Sheeran, Orla Wren and Katie English – Enrico Coniglio and Fluid Audio manage to define a completely new quality standard.

“The joined arsenal boasts acoustic instrumentation as well as synthesizer, manipulations and field recordings. Here guitar, cello, piano, harmonica, melodica, percussion and voice ring alongside Korg Monotron, Orla Wren’s processing, and Coniglio’s vinyls.Tracks range from glowing string examinations to humming whitewashes, from vocal reveries to textured pop allure.”


MY HOME, SINKING – MORNING WALK


Bluhm

BLUHM – THE VALE OF TEARS
The newly-set Fluid Audio standard is immediately and easily met by the labels follow-up release by Bluhm, a collaboration of Tim (‘Maps and Diagrams’) Diagram and Macedonian singer Genoveva.
They present a sound more ‘psychedelic’, with washes of echoes and vocal dubs, but (as My Home, Sinking does) their new releases also clearly marks a new musical direction.

“The musical production side utilises Tim’s trademark palette of drone, delay, reverb, discord, distortion, tape effects and granular synthesis. All consciously crafted with the light, ardour and purity that is always associated with his oeuvre. These primary melodies were presented to Genoveva, who then added her seraphic vocals.”
“It’s an exploratory, elemental union that includes a significant, immersive and expressive vocal narrative. The overall theme of light and hope is perhaps not so apparent on the first few listens because the vocals are full of hidden mystery. However, its nascent sense of optimism does become apparent the more you listen to it, essentially it’s a journey of hope”


BLUHM – WHEN WE CRY


Cloud Room, Glass Room

PAN-AMERICAN – CLOUD ROOM, GLASS ROOM
“With percussionist extraordinaire Steven Hess now a full fledged member, Mark Nelson and Pan-American deliver their first new album since White Bird Release from 2009. Bobby Donne (Labradford, Cristal) plays bass on multiple tracks, further emphasizing the live band feel.”
CLOUD ROOM, GLASS ROOM” delicately meanders from soft guitar rock-oriented soundscapes (‘Cloud Room’) to harsher noise experiments (‘Virginia Waveform’) or combinations of the extremes. With the thriving rhythm section underneath, Pan-American re-defines and sustains a completely unique sound.


PAN-AMERICAN – CLOUD ROOM


Christiaan Virant

CHRISTIAAN VIRANT – FISTFUL OF BUDDHA
Christiaan Virant was one of the originators of the now legendary Buddha Machine series, which may explain the somewhat contradictory title. Some sounds of the Buddha Machine are recognisable, as is the overall Zen-like feeling, but these nine tracks are full compositions, not just a collection of ‘loops’.

“Moving between China and Europe has allowed Virant a continuous access and appreciation of musical developments across the continents. Whilst still deeply Zen in mood and tone, the tunes here interweave minimal textures through drone and drift. Classical-trained Virant pays due homage to structure, drama and effect whilst completely understanding that, as Lou Reed once so accurately remarked, “repetition is anti-glop” Devotees of the Buddha Machine will treasure the connects and departures”.
But not just the devotees, I hope…


CHRISTIAAN VIRANT – RIVER PEARL


W.R. Fritch - Waiting Room

WILLIAM RYAN FRITCH – THE WAITING ROOM
Soundtracks are often great ways to bring music to an audience that otherwise probably would never find it. And there are quite a few names in contemporary music creating soundtracks: Cliff Martinez, Max Richter, Ólafur Arnalds, Johann Johannsson, Ben Lukas Boysen…and that’s just a few…
William Ryan Fritch has previously released music as Vieo Abiungo, but this soundtrack is released under his own name. “The Waiting Room” is a documentary by director Peter Nicks about the Emergency Room of Highland Hospital, Oakland, California.
“Fritch’s Waiting Room soundtrack is the ideal complement, with persistent gravities and thudding tempos that are keenly aware of the passing hours. The crawl of time is transcribed to sound with prolonged string notes, potent repetition and exquisite silences between topographies.”


WILLIAM RYAN FRITCH – CODA


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Good Weather for an Airstrike, Offthesky + Man Watching the Sky, Eugene Carchesio, Max Wuerden

In the Shortlist sections, I will mention some of the albums that I enjoyed listening to, but couldn’t find the time (or the right words) for a “full” review for. Still, I think they deserve your attention: use the links to find more info and hear previews.

Lights

Good Weather for an Airstrike – Lights
“Good Weather For An Airstrike (the name comes from a Sigur Rós piece) is an ambient/post-rock project by Tom Honey from Winchester, Hampshire UK. The idea of the project was to create a collection of relaxing sounds which would help Tom alleviate the issues caused by suffering from tinnitus, which causes a ringing sensation in the ear and can often result in difficulty sleeping. Combining processed guitars, dreamy strings, piano, synths, drums, lulling drones and subtle field recordings, Lights is full of wonderful soundscapes that mix ambient, electronic, post-rock and neo-classical sounds perfectly.”

Afar, Farewell

Offthesky & Man Watching the Stars – Afar, Farewell
Experimental violinist Brendan Paxton joins Jason ‘Offthesky’ Corder on these “five gorgeous tracks of slowly evolving melody on a soft bed of processed guitar, molten strings and Offthesky’s deep and quirky signatures”.

Circle Music

Eugene Carchesio – Circle Music
“The name Eugene Carchesio may not be an instantly familiar one – but for some two and a half decades, Carchesio has been a permanent fixture on the Australian music scene.
Circle Music is the first in a series of archival releases from Eugene’s huge electronic music catalog. A pulsing spiral of compositions, Circle Music taps the shoulder of minimal techno before scooting past into less familiar sonic territories. It’s a playful, bouncing collision of electronics, pulse and repetition”.

Orlost

Max Wuerden – Or Lost
The Farfield label returns from hibernation exactly 10 years after Wuerden’s “Ortlos” album. The title is not just an anagram: together, the track titles spell out “Finding the Perfect Moment is it a Dream Fulfilled or Lost”.
“Wuerden works with many diverse samples – from atmospheric field recordings to unusual instruments (like a parasol stand) – to create moody, vast soundscapes and complex rhythms alike. He used a contact microphone to discover the world of sounds hidden in an old hard drive and reinterpret the well-known clang of a porcelain bowl. The result is darkly mysterious in one moment, only to become powerfully intensive the very next”.

Lok

Max Wuerden – Book Sounds 1: Lok & 2: Transfer
While checking out the Or Lost release, I stumbled upon two other fascinating releases by Max Wuerden, called Books Sounds. Both are a single soundscape, about one hour long, created for playing while reading a book.
Book Sounds 1: Lok” was specifically created for the novel Die Lokomotieve byThorsten Nesch (but it is claimed to also work with other dark tales).
The second Book Sound, calledTransfer“, was not written with a specific title in mind.“It works with horror, mystery, fantasy and other dark tales.”
In my experience, these deep and adventurous soundscapes work very well – even without any book.
Both titles are offered for an extremely low price (1€ minimum each).

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