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Sound Meccano + Jura Laiva * Tobias Hellkvist * No One

No One 1

Salty Wind

SOUND MECCANO & JURA LAIVA – SALTY WIND AND INNER FIRE

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

TOBIAS HELLKVIST – FOREST PSALMS  Also on Spotify

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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OfftheSky * Tobias Hellkvist * Rasalasad

Kaskelot

Silent Went the Sea

OFFTHESKY – SILENT WENT THE SEA

Releasing your 50th album (since 2003) requires an appropriate celebration: so many albums in just over 13 years while maintaining an artistic quality standard (perfectly demonstrated on this anniversary album) is a truly remarkable achievement!

For this special occasion, Jason ‘OfftheSky’ Corder releases his 50th anniversary album Silent Went the Sea together with a second disc, a DVD containing the video version of the 8 tracks of the album (+1 bonus video by Monolyth & Cobalt). And if that was not enough, the physical CD also includes an extra EP download code.

So much for the good news… now here’s the sad part: the celebration party is nearly over now. Meaning the special edition is sold out..
But as usual, the digital version remains available.

 

Many of these tracks were originally written as soundtrack for the accompanying films on the DVD, but they work very well without those too.

The Silence of the Sea refers to that special moment ” when all of the waves cease and there is a loud lull of silence before the waves start crashing again.”
It’s a most effective kind of (nearly) acoustic ‘ensemble ambient’, performed on violin, cello, water instruments, vibes, bowed crotales, vocals, with Jason Corder adding all other sounds.


Kaskelot

TOBIAS HELLKVIST – KASKELOT (+ REMIXES)

There are quite a few mentions of works by Tobias Hellkvist on this blog, but Kaskelot is not among them. I don’t know why I missed this lovely original CD-R release (2011, on Tokyo Droninga Home Normal sidelabel), but I did.
So I’m happy to hear that 1631 Recordings presents a lovely reissue – with added bonuses!

The original EP contained 4 tracks – Kasekelot 1- 4 – with a total length of no more than 16 minutes. It is strikingly different from other Hellkvist‘s releases: not only because of the instrumental setting (organ, lap steel, piano, loop pedal, cymbals, guitar, vibraphone) but also how it came about:

“Originally sprung out of an idea conceived of 4 notes repeatedly played on a vibraphone and a grand piano, Kaskelot was composed and recorded on-the-go one late night in February, 2011 in Sigur Rós studio in Reykjavik, Iceland.”

Hellkvist slept on a camping bed in the recording room where he worked as an audio engineer on a different project, so he had the opportunity to use the instruments and gear available to play rather than getting sleep. With a fascinating – though relatively short – result!

For this reissue, the original tracks are remastered and slightly reworked, but still remain true to their original acoustical starting point. No heavy remixing or additional effects here: those are reserved for the six remixes that follow (50 minutes of extras in total). Almost unnoticeably subtle, the first remix (Seque) floats into into a more electronic setting, slowly building up to a noisy climax in the closing remix by Chris Herbert.

The remixers (Seque, Steve Pacheco, Pausal, Porya Hatami, Chihei Hatakeyama and Chris Herbert) all work with different details from the originals, but the different tracks match together perfectly into a beautifully diversified full album.


Thismorphia

RASALASAD – THISMORPHIA

Rasalasad, a.k.a Fernando Cerquira from Portugal, ‘mixes spoken wordcore, drone, broken word, illbient, experimental, library music’.
He is also the founder of the Thisco label and of the Antibothis anthologiesa series of books released together with a CD compilation. A busy man, obviously, with a lot of connections in the experimental music scene.

Thismorphia is a collection presenting different collaborations, with some artists contributing spoken word pieces for Rasalasad‘s background soundscapes (Jarboe, Wildshores, Von Magnet, John Zerzan), while others deliver the sound sources (irr.app. (ext.), Emil Beaulieu, Merzbow, Smell & Quim, Antonym).

The list of contributora indicate that this collection may not be meant for the faint of heart. Be ready for some dark noisy pieces, intricately balanced with more subtle ambient and spoken word tracks.


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Atom TM, Jacob Kirkegaard, Asmus Tietchens, Tobias Hellkvist

Texturen

ATOM TM – TEXTUREN I
It is impossible to summarize Uwe Schmidt‘s biography in a few simple lines. So if you want to know about his background, best read his biography.
His versatile output and his multitude of aliases are legendary, and his music covers the full range of electronic music and beyond. Each alias reflecting a different style – from the serious side of deep ambient as Atom Heart or Atom™ to the fascinating Señor Coconut outfit presenting pop covers (Kraftwerk!) in jaw-dropping latin big-band style.
Texturen I is a venture into the deepest of ambient. It is a digital-only release on the NO. label run by Uwe Schmidt together with Material Object.
As its title suggests it is a 53 minute venture into minimalist drone textures.
“Due to its obvious minimalism and perhaps because it lacks tension, darkness or the habitual psychedelic twists, ‘Texturen I’ feels like a positive slow motion zoom into a limitless white void.”
Not much that I can add to that, apart from the fact that I don’t think this album ‘lacks tension’ at all. On the contrary: it’s a drone album indeed, but the sound evolves constantly in such a way that it easily holds your full attention for its full 53 minutes.


Kirkegaard - Arc

JACOB KIRKEGAARD – ARC
ARC is a commissioned score for Carl Theodor Dreyer’s silent film The Passion of Joan of ArcIt is re-edited for this LP-only release containing 2 tracks around 18 minutes each.
This time the source material does not originate from natural phenomena: the ‘prolonged choral-like harmonies’ are built from stretched fragments of music from Joan’s time (the exact sources remain uncredited), ‘aiming to expose the mystically charged atmosphere that could simultaneously declare Joan of Arc a visionary and a heretic [….] Arc is an unfolding of nebulous sound that emerges to the surface when time is suspended.’



Jacob Kirkegaard – Arc (fragments)
 


Ornamente

ASMUS TIETCHENS – ORNAMENTE (zwischen Null und Eins)
Asmus Tietchens (b. 1947) has experimented since 1965, when he started working with tapes machines, concrete sounds en electronic sound generators. He is currently teaching sound design at the Hamburger Hochschule für bildende Künste – yet in his own biography he claims ‘no studies, no academic education, no scholarships, just pure learning by doing – “I am my own Tonmeister”‘.
And Ornamente – released on the Line label – once again proves what a giant Tonmeister he is!

The electronics aren’t clustered into one immersive cloud of sound, they are extremely detailed – as if magnified using an audio equivalent of a microscope.
Some parts feel as if you’re listening to the extremely amplified sounds of a colony of (previously undiscovered) insects.  Or a soundtrack to the microcosm of protozoans… Or, if you prefer a less organic association – the sound of slowed down data streams made audible.
You can simply hear what you want to hear: Ornamente does not come with a pre-defined concept. The association is up to the listener.
But clearly there’s more between [0] and [1] than we imagined.


Also on Spotify


Tobias Hellkvist - Pause

TOBIAS HELLKVIST – PAUSE
With its 25 minutes this drone is much shorter than average. But still it’s a nice length to drift away to.
Tobias Hellkvist (Sweden) dug up this work from his archives and reworked it for this release.
The “sonorous melody that stretches ever so slowly into a gentle river of sound, like the peal of a bell that echoes indefinitely” is a perfect companion for a short power nap (or any other moment of quiet).
Or just to listen and enjoy of course.

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