Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jessica Bailiff - Even In Silence

Label: Kranky
Released: 1998
Style: Post Rock, Minimal, Ambient, Shoegaze

"Extended guitar figures float over Jessica's vocals, bass, drums, samples and percussion. Jessica is joined by Zak Sally and Mimi Parker of Low on a couple tracks. Alan Sparhawk made contributions to the seven tracks recorded in Duluth. The album is an affecting mix of instruments and Jessica's beautiful vocals that leaves trails of melody for the listener to follow. The mix of instruments and Jessica's beautiful vocals leaves trails of melody for the listener to follow. The mix of the album allows echoing piano chords, traces of bass guitar or whiffs of percussion to emerge from the clouds of guitars. A delicately balanced mix of organ lines and rhythm is placed next to Jessica's fragile vocals, followed by deep guitar drones. Even In Silence grows on the listener, with carefully placed bits of melody and raw sound that emerge with each listening experience." - Label


1 Overcast (5:02)
2 Failing Yesterday (5:12)
3 For You (5:51)
4 Dreamlanding (2:48)
5 One Red Year (4:58)
6 The Sordid Light Of Morning (5:33)
7 Shine (2:49)
8 Sunshower (2:45)
9 Trust (8:00)
10 Beautiful Soul (9:30)


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gregg Kowalsky - Tendrils In Vigne

Label: Root Strata
Released: 2007
Style: Modern Classical, Minimal, Ambient

"'Tendrils In Vigne' is Gregg Kowalsky's Mills Collage graduate thesis project, a down right gorgeous slow burner of all acoustic instruments. Originally composed for laptop, Gregg transcribed and scored his music for an ensemble of 25 people that includes everything from a string section to a Shakuhachi player. Microcosmic loops expand into complex forms of geometry featuring voices and exploding drum kits.
Mesmerizing." - Label


1 Tendrils In Vigne (12:00)


Mark McGuire - Light Movement

Label: Wagon
Released: 2008
Style: Acoustic, Drone

"Mark describes this one as his most ‘new age’ sounding set yet, but cross that with some beautifully reflective deep-listening drone ala Andrew Chalk and the kinda luminous guitar work of peak Charalambides and you’re truly there. Excellent." - Volcanic Tongue


1 The Path Lined With Colorful Stones (9:32)
2 Under New-Age Skies (9:21)
3 Dividing Lines (9:31)
4 The Turtles And The Lizards And The Snakes And The Dragon Flies And The Field Mouse All Sat On The Riverbank (9:34)


Saturday, December 13, 2008

The North Sea & Rameses III - Night Of The Ankou

Label: Type Records
Released: 2006
Style: Minimal, Ambient

"Opening track "Death of the Ankou" is a hypnotic journey into the instrumental ambience explored by such acts as Popol Vuh or Stars of the Lid, yet adds a sense of cinematic adventure which could be compared to Type's very own Deaf Center. We are transported quite promptly into a spiritual, oriental world of water, bamboo, beauty and restraint which is simultaneously calming and beguiling. The second piece, entitled "Night Blossoms Written in Sanskrit" is different; the ambience is filled out by echoing guitar, and the mood goes from peaceful and spiritual to truly triumphant. It would even be possible to compare this track to the later work of Slowdive; it has that same blissful, life affirming quality which makes you remember why you loved music in the first place! The disc is polished off by a remix from the Type Records boss himself Xela, and pulls together the ideas explored in the first two tracks, adding elements of his own signature production which will serve as a good taster for his forthcoming third album. Drones and bowed guitar squeals are spread densely over light percussion, harp and other-wordly sounds to produce something unusual but hugely enjoyable." - Label


1 Death Of The Ankou (17:56)
2 Night Blossoms Written In Sanskrit (18:01)
3 Return Of The Ankou (Xela Remix) (7:45)


Jim O'Rourke - Despite The Water Supply

Label: Touch
Released: 2008
Style: Acoustic, Experimental, Ambient

"It's almost a shame the track had to be split up on a 7" as the two parts flow so perfectly into each other. Beginning with a deep resonant buzz, sounds like a guitar, but could be a harmonium, wheezing and whirring, warm and thick and lustrous, bits of feedback lace the blurred drift, over the top delicate high end melodies, float and shimmer, becoming more and more active until they seem to be driving the piece, the whole thing strangely looped and weirdly melancholy, beneath the track, deep rumbling swells pulse and throb. By the second side, the sound has gotten more abrasive, much more scraping and metal buzz, electronic streaks, the sound tangled and constantly shifting, managing to sprawl into an expanse of beautifully noisy dronemusic." - Aquarius


1 Despite The Water Supply Part 1 (4:12)
2 Despite The Water Supply Part 2 (4:05)


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Aidan Baker - The Taste Of Summer On Your Skin

Label: taâlem
Released: 2005
Style: Ambient

"Aidan's approach of instruments is that of an emotional paintbrush, breathing the air all around, soaking into its scents, the subtle tonal vibrations & colours to reach a sort of pure unreducible moment of communion...
Here, between layers of filamentous clouds,
sleeps a flowing light,
drawing delicate patterns & lasting traces...
Resonances come loose
in a slow imperturbable graceful carousel,
a vertigo of lost feelings...
As an handful of sand running out into the breeze,
the motion is melancholic,
the mood warm & contemplative...
Hear your skin oozing with deep summer tales..." (Chalkdc/Mystery Sea)


1 Part 1
2 Part 2
3 Part 3


Jonas Reinhardt - Jonas Reinhardt

Label: Kranky
Released: 2008
Style: Abstract, Synth-pop, Ambient

"Drawing from traditions of 20th century instrumental synthesizer music, Jonas Reinhardt represents a love affair between analog electronics, sweeping atmospherics, and driving motorik beats. Combined together, these elements bring the album's 13 pieces into focus as the soundtrack for an inner-eyelid space epic that never was.

Inspired in equal measure by the natural beauty of his California coastal surroundings, continental European art-rock experimentation, and the freewheeling punk aesthetic of contemporary home studio recording, Jonas Reinhardt's music transcends it's influences to bring into being a work that's wholly new while referencing a celebrated aesthetic of the past.

Armed with a battery of analog synthesizers and vintage drum machines, Jonas writes music that is at times stark and spare and at others lush and all-encompassing; all the while keeping an underlying rhythmic pulse just beneath the surface.

Jonas describes his technique as 'a spirited conversation between man, machines, and the ecstatic truth of the chaotic unknown.' With this album, Jonas carefully constructs melodies and rhythmic foundations then pushes the limits of recording to the sonic fringes and beyond. The effect is a warm, hauntingly familiar sound bounded by unpredictability." - Label


1 Lyre Of David (3:24)
2 Modern By Nature's Reward (5:52)
3 Lord Sleep Monmouth (3:04)
4 How To Adjust People (4:34)
5 Fast Blot Declining (3:14)
6 Tentshow (1:24)
7 Every Terminal Evening (3:56)
8 Worm Preach The Struggling Fire (5:09)
9 Tandem Suns (3:50)
10 Blue Cutaway / Tore Earth Clinker (6:16)
11 An Upright Fortune (2:15)
12 Crept Idea For A Mom (3:24)
13 Lucian Lift (3:25)


The Future Sound Of London - Environments II

Label: fsoldigital.com
Released: 2008
Style: Abstract, Modern Classical, Experimental, Ambient

"2nd in the series - continuing the journey through grass valleys to dark head storms - future past over 1 hour of head spin". A return to form, and much better than 1st.


1 Viewed From Above (2:34)
2 Glacier (Part 1) (8:56)
3 Serengeti (4:32)
4 Colour Blind (3:35)
5 A Corner (3:29)
6 Newfoundland (2:04)
7 North Arctic (3:19)
8 Factories And Assembly (5:04)
9 Ice Formed (4:17)
10 Small Town (3:14)
11 Nearly Home (3:38)
12 Boca Manu (2:22)
13 Journey To The Centre (3:41)
14 Glacier (Part 2) (6:22)


Popular Posts