Speaking of his solo project Lyrae, Swedish musician Ola Sandberg said ”I’m trying to make music that I, myself, can get lost in…I want to make audible rooms rather than songs and let the listener be more of a visitor with the choice to move around freely.” I would argue that concept is common ground to each of the beautifully crafted and deeply introspective albums comprising this sonic journey which also includes works by Glacis, anthéne, and r beny.
“Just trying to slow the world down” is Sebastian Buccheri‘s pithy summation of his Jazzdefector music project. And slow the world down he does with the reverb-saturated aural webs he creates as a backdrop to his intimate jazz-inflected compositions and improvisations a dozen of which comprise his newest album Solo recently released on Whitelabrecs.
Letting Go Variations is a more than fitting title for this collection of four plaintive, delicately ornamented constructions by Kirill Nikolai recorded by the artist in Seattle, Washington during the Summer of 2015. Ambient swells tugged by an undertow of wistful strings lap against the shores of memory in an ebb & flow full of unfulfilled longing.
The resulting music is a dying rose, a love letter written in notes to someone who never received or returned that love. ‘Letting Go Variations’ is a haunted recording; not of a spirit, but of a tired soul. – Fluid Audio
Mt. Judge is a project from London-based musician Tom White. Arguably a bit underexposed and underappreciated in the ambient community, his releases consistently offer an evocative coalescence of interesting field recordings and warm, expansive drones along with an adherence to minimalist simplicity as conveyed by the monochromatic album covers.
Chicago-based modern classical composer & pianist Lena Natalia follows up her recent Parisian diptych – Rendezvous in Paris (2106) and Sundays in Paris (2015) – with a fresh album of solo piano compositions entitled Second Youth, a collection of twelve enchanting pieces that feature her fluid and expressive playing and run the gamut from melancholic nostalgia to ebullient romanticism while always embracing an elegantly minimalist aesthetic and a cinematic eye.
I have to confess that when I first saw a release entitled The Exquisite Corpse from Bigo & Twigetti, I almost looked past it anticipating something of a morbid aesthetic. What a mistake that would have been. In fact, it is a reference to a game of chance and collaboration rooted in the Surrealist movement, a variant of which is also known as Consequences. The original idea was to construct a sentence, poem, story, or picture with a predetermined structure by having each participant add just one portion while only being able to see only the most recent contribution – the whole is not revealed until the very end. Inspired by this, the London-based experimental modern classical label has applied the concept musically choosing Moderna Records as their creative partners.
“Taking Leah Kardos ‘Little Phase’ from our Summer compilation as it’s starting point, the piece will be reworked by a series of composers and producers to create an album of tracks which continually evolve as each new version is passed from one artist to another, adding to and transforming material from the original piece.” – Bigo & Twigetti
Vhoir by Tim Linghaus is proof positive that it doesn’t take a lot of noise or flash to make a strong first impression. The debut EP by the German musician & composer consists of six modern classical sketches and vignettes of such exquisite construction and intimate warmth that one can hardly resist their consummate charms.
Born and raised in Obluchye, some 8,000 kilometers from Moscow on the border with China, Max Ananyev is a Russian composer and sound producer based in St. Petersburg. Having made music under the monikers of AMVI and Tree Bosier, he is also quite a fine classical guitarist and that is the instrument at the heart of his new solo album Communication to be released under his own name on Preserved Sound.
At the heart of Max Ananyev’s music is the idea of the variation of dynamics and lack of a stable tempo in composition that mimic the unpredictable processes that occur in nature. “There is so much rhythm and tempo in our daily lives,”says Max, “it sometimes seems to me that our metronomic lifestyles deprives us of a certain freedom and means of expression.” – Preserved Sound
This thoughtful 6-minute documentary video filmed by Natalya Poluyanova and entitled “Nature as Teacher” features excerpts from the upcoming album while Ananyev quietly drives home its central message, a gentle reminder to not let the sterility of a mechanized, technogenic society, with its relentless emphasis on predictability and productivity, blind us to the beauty, harmony, and complexity of nature and what we can learn from being attuned to it. Continue reading
Dead Light is a new project from pianist Anna Rose Carter and composer/producer Ed Hamilton which came into being after they moved from London to a remote space in the English countryside. Their eponymous debut has been released by Village Green, a record the label calls a “sonic ethnography that contemplates a personal narrative of transition and identity”, an apt summation of the artists’ own description.
“The migration out of the sprawling metropolis to their new rural refuge was a transition that significantly impacted them both; the reality of this new setting an apposition between the serene nature of their new life, and the dislocation from the lives, people and places that they left behind; two conflicting sentiments that co-exist in a somehow beautiful, bitter-sweet relationship. Dead Light is the tension between these two states, a textured and imperfect dream world.” – http://www.dead-light.com
The music of Sheridan Tongue has traveled the cosmos with Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox and haunted the gritty, shadowy worlds of characters like detective inspector Alan Banks (DCI Banks) and spy-master Harry Pierce (Spooks, aka MI-5). After years of helping bring the visions of others to life, the BAFTA nominated composer unveils a narrative of his own in the form a new project called IN-IS to which he brings all his potent cinematic storytelling abilities interwoven with colorful strands pulled from classical, ambient, and electronic music.
“I want my music to have a duality so it can mean different things to different people. I don’t want to impose too strong a single feeling. I am more interested in colours, textures and layers in music over melodies than more traditional aspects of composing.” – Sheridan Tongue
Kinbrae is a musical project from twin brothers Andrew & Michael Truscott, based in Edinburgh and Dundee Scotland. Having shared the stage with musicians such as Hauschka, Noveller and Lubomyr Melnyk and featured as session musicians on records by Scottish artists such as The Twilight Sad, We Were Promised Jetpacks and De Rosa, the solo project they have nurturing for the better part of two years will see its debut in the form of Tidal Patterns, inspired by a year spent on the Isle of Coll in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides.
‘Tidal Patterns’ is an album that explores remoteness, seclusion and the feelings that these can evoke. It confronts the apprehension and doubt often experienced when starting afresh and escaping comfort zones as well as embracing new ways of life in an unfamiliar environment…The album makes use of the unique sounds that can be heard on the island, gathered through field recordings depicting the wildlife, culture and ambience of the remote region.
Hakobune, aka Takahiro Yorifuji, uses layers of guitar to create his sonic landscapes. Originally from a small town in the Hyōgo Prefecture and now based in Tokyo, his immaculate drones are characterized by their wonderful sense of simplicity, harmony and balance – light and dark, coolness and warmth, opacity and translucency, introspection and extrospection. For a prime example of his more intimate work, seek out the gorgeous Seamless and Here on Patient Sounds, but his most recent release entitled Moraine turns outward for inspiration and matches the theme with some of his most expansive music yet.