Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chihei Hatakeyama - Minima Moralia

Label: Kranky
Released: 2006
Style: Experimental, Ambient

"Chihei Hatakeyama concentrated on the textures of sound in creating Minima Moralia, consciously avoiding the use of electronic sounds; instead using sound fragments made by guitars and vibraphone he played himself. The fragments were processed and reprocessed in live performances on laptop. The contention between the analog sound sources, digital processing and the musician's choices are what give Minima Moralia its positive, warm, and physical presence.

Minima Moralia presents the listener with tones that are familiar and tones that are foreign. Specific points of sound appear and velvet clouds elevate and disperse over the course of the album. Jumbles of melodies reveal and then resolve themselves. At all points Hatakeyama's directing hand is at work; in the shiver of a guitar string, the bright ring of the vibraphone, and the strategic use of silence. The naturalistic song titles suggest every day moments, sensations and experiences." - Label


1 Bonfire On The Field (8:13)
2 Swaying Curtain In The Window (8:25)
3 Starlight Reflecting On The Surface Of The River (7:00)
4 Towards A Tranquil Marsh (4:46)
5 Granular Haze (7:21)
6 Inside Of The Pocket (4:31)
7 Beside A Well (11:30)


Ilyas Ahmed - Goner

Label: Root Strata
Released: 2009
Style: Lo-Fi, Folk

"Portland, OR. bedroom wanderer Ilyas Ahmed emerges from the shadows and offers up his first new batch of songs in some time. Over a year in the making, 'Goner' sees Ahmed telescoping his previous acoustic wanderings into fuzzed out rockers and a hypnotic set of beautifully tight knit nocturnes. The kick off of 'Earn Your Blood' is probably the most amped up and stoned out Ahmed has ever sounded, a heavy blown out thump of hiss & electric strum. From there 'Goner' really gets lost. Loner howls, model hypnosis, desolate vamps... it's all here. The comedown into 'Exit Twilight' with Grouper on vocals is as haunting a broadcast you'll hear all year, for sure to knock around in your skull for days." - Label


1 Earn Your Blood (5:22)
2 Love After Love (4:32)
3 Some Of None (7:03)
4 Enter A Shadow (9:36)
5 Out Again (5:59)
6 As Another (4:16)
7 Two Breaths (6:51)
8 Exit Twilight (5:45)


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pillowdiver - Sleeping Pills

Label: 12k
Released: 2009
Style: Abstract, Minimal, Ambient

"Sleeping Pills is the debut release from Germany’s Pillowdiver, whose concepts of simplification and minimalism led him to self-imposed limitations for the creation of this work. Utilizing primarily a Fender Jazzmaster, with a small amount of synthesizer and field recording, Pillowdiver took advantage of very lo-fi and modest mediums such as 4-track cassette and various guitar stomp boxes.

Appropriate to its title, Sleeping Pills is a dark and dreamy album of often-melancholic, post-rock influenced ambience. Most tracks rely on a bed of one or two simple loops over which guitar melodies, incidental sounds and harmonies are overlaid, enveloping the listener in a sleepy din of tape distortions and warm noise.

Sometimes about dreaming, sometimes about escaping, Pillowdiver’s focused approach is a unique voice among artists who tread the fine line between experimentalism and indie rock." - Label


1 Twenty-Nine (4:58)
2 Two (5:30)
3 Fifteen (5:29)
4 Nineteen (4:45)
5 Eleven (4:50)
6 Seventeen (6:38)
7 Seven (6:00)
8 One (3:43)
9 Twenty-Seven (5:28)


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