Remastered Collections II from ambient guitarist Karl Verkade

Ambient guitarist Karl Verkade has just uploaded remasters of several of his albums on Bandcamp, including the outstanding “Collections II”.   Although this album contains only 4 tracks, one of them, ‘Under Two Skies’ weighs in at nearly 40 minutes.   That might sound exceptionally long even in a genre where 12 to 15 minute tracks are commonplace.  It is however, my favorite of all of Karl’s pieces that I have heard so far.  Perhaps that is because it is more of a reverie or a meditation than a song.   Tones and melodies seem to swirl, evaporate, and recombine endlessly, keeping my interest, but also letting me drift in and out of a state of complete attentiveness and so the time spent playing the track seems to melt away in a very pleasant and relaxing way.   It really is quite a special piece of music and an achievement to create something that impressionistic that remains so inviting and interesting without ever seeming indulgent or falling apart.  The remaining three tracks on the album are also quite enjoyable, making this a should-not-miss download, especially as it has been generously offered at ‘name your price’ for a limited time.   Highly recommended.

‘Walizka’ – Inviting new EP from John Lemke on Denovali Records

Glasgow based composer and sound designer John Lemke has a debut album set to release on Denovali in July. As a lead up to that, a digitial-only 3 track EP called “Walizka” has been released and is available this week as a free download. The EP is described on the label site as one where “John establishes his very own blend of prepared piano, hand crafted beats, field recordings and dub aesthetic”. Sounds intriguing and inviting, all the more so after listening to the captivating title track on Denovali’s YouTube channel.

Information on the releases and the EP download can be found here: http://www.denovali.com/johnlemke