On it’s second anniversary, Australian micro label Twice Removed Records brings us two new EPs on Nov 11, a lovely modern classical effort from Mote and a minimalist drone ambient set from Darren Harper. These are lovely compliments to the October release of the sprawling Datura Notes by The Ashes of Piemonte. Let’s take a brief look at all three of these excellent releases.
The Ashes of Piemonte – ‘Datura Notes’
The Ashes of Piemonte is comprised of the stellar duo of Wil Bolton and Lee Anthony Norris (Norken , Nacht Plank, and collaborator on Moss Garden and Autumn of Communion, among others) . ‘Datura Notes’ is their follow up to the highly praised Winter’s Fire and offers a generous, nearly epic, 105 minutes of beautifully crafted and finely textured ambient soundscapes. Each track, the shortest of which is nearly 20 minutes long, wraps up the listener in a delicate cocoon of sound woven from organic and electronic sources – synths, loops, field recordings, and voice samples.
To my ears, ‘Datura Notes’ is the music of shallow, dream-filled sleep where one drifts in and out of consciousness, still of body but active in mind. The drone underpinnings create deep atmospheres and a broad canvas on which can be painted a seemingly endless variety of sonic colors and textures. The music delivers everything the evocative titles promise – ‘Endless Sleep in the Garden of Dreams’, ‘From the Garden of Dreams to the Shores of Cthulhu’, ‘The Colour of Space’, and ‘The Sunken Land’ .
A work of real substance and craftsmanship, ‘Datura Notes’ is highly recommended for fans of drone or long form ambient music. The album is available in a limited edition double cd-r in recycled gate fold card sleeve from Twice Removed or in digital format on The Ashes of Piemonte Bandcamp site (links below).
Mote – ‘Frames’
Mote is the musical nom de plume of Italy’s Marco Caricola and his debut EP ‘Frames’ takes us far from the electronic cocoon of ambient into a sunlit vista of modern classical of the most enchanting kind. Piano and strings render heartfelt and beautiful melodies with great beauty and delicacy on each of the 5 songs, sometimes blending both western and Asian influences as on the lovely ‘Canary Wharf’ (is that an ehru I hear?) and sometimes tugging the heart as on the wistful closing track ‘My Hands, Your Fears’.
‘Frames’ is a work of simple and pristine beauty and announces the arrival of a very promising artist who is poised to make a strong contribution to the genre. The album is produced by Wil Bolton and will come in a recycled card sleeve with attached artwork in a hand numbered edition of 100 copies.
Darren Harper – ‘Rising Sea’
Darren Harper is an experimental/ambient sound artist currently based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. With a strong emphasis on minimalism, he draws from both electronic and acoustic sources as well as experimentation and improvisation to produce his drone-oriented ambient works.
‘Rising Sea’ is an EP that Darren describes as “improvisational studies for Fender Telecaster and Ableton Live. Reflections on the ever changing landscape of our planet, and the sea-change events that are in motion…”. It is comprised of two tracks, ‘Rising Sea Part One’ and ‘Rising Sea Part Two’. Both are deep drones that ebb and flow at a pace as patient and gelatinous as a vast ocean. At just under 20 minutes combined, these two ambient tone poems are nicely balanced and create an immersive sonic experience that feels perfectly balanced.
The EP will be produced as a 3”release limited to 50 copies with the cd-r inserted in a card with attached artwork enclosed in a hand stamped envelope. This review will be updated with the ordering information as soon as it is available.
(For more information about these releases or Twice Removed Records, contact firstname.lastname@example.org)