Note: Starting today, Weekly Journals are being added as a regular new feature to share the best musical discoveries and social media interactions with the readers of the blog. For a complete list of songs featured this month on the Stationary Travels Facebook and Twitter feeds, check out the July Songdrop mix.
Hilda Gudnadottir‘s new album Saman was released on the Touch label on June 30, but I only discovered this week. On this album recorded, mixed and mastered in Berlin, Hildur blends her voice and cello together to create a rich musical journey. Modern classical fans should really enjoy this. Featured here is the ravishing track ‘Bær’.
Aidan O’Rourke, known for his fine solo work as well as the outstanding modern trad bands Kan and Lau has created this piece of music as a soundtrack for Dalziel and Scullion’s multi-screen film installation Tumadh: Immersion. “This is the first of two works which explore ideas of urbanization, In a world where for the first time in human history, more than half the global population live in towns and cities…The intension of this music is to immerse the listener in the chaotic and dense environment of the sea-cliff. Not a beautiful isolated island but an overpopulated colony, like a urban tower block”. It is a mesmerizing and highly enjoyable blend of traditional and electronic elements.
Sublamp (Ryan Connor)
This week, Ryan Connor released a new album called Lianas under his moniker of Sublamp on the enigmatic Eilean Records label. “Inspired by the cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica, Lianas is an audio map of a densely wooded mountain range, shrouded in fog, where fern and vine drip with condensation and small animals slip quietly through the undergrowth. Very little computer manipulation was used in the creation of these tracks. Most of the sound on the record is simply looped guitar through various pedals and a nice warm tube amp, sometimes recorded through an old reel to reel tape machine for extra crackle and hiss.” Look for this to be featured in a Stationary Travels review soon. Featured here is the track “our bodies draped in moss and cloud”
The Elephant Frame
I was not previously familiar with The Elephant Frame, the musical project of Norwegian artist Christian Solheim, but I have enjoyed all the recent releases on the Sparkwood Records label. Graced with lovely artwork and lush ambient music, my early impressions of the new EP The Grass Isle are all quite positive and I am looking forward to listening more in-depth. Featured here is the track ‘Elsewhere’
Franz Kirmann, who along with Tom Hodge is also part of the post-classical / electronica duo Piano Interrupted, will be releasing a solo album soon on Denovali called Meridians. I was looking forward to this before hearing a note, but this week we got to here the second preview track called ‘That Day We Threw The Keys Out The Window’, and all positive expectations are confirmed. Look for the release later this month.
When Whale Fall released their eponymous album in 2011, I was still very nascent in my ventures into post rock and only discovered it this year. I absolutely loved their sound, though, and was thrilled to hear they are in the studio working on the next one. In the meantime, they have released an excellent, rousing single called ‘These Chests of Ours’ which is part of the soundtrack of the award winning documentary film “Code Black”
Yair Elezar Glotman
File this one under missed gems. A chain of discovery led me to the Bandcamp site of the Glacial Movements label based in Rome, Italy where I got drawn into listening to the beautiful work of Yair Elezar Glotman and his album Northern Gulfs released this past April. “This album is a journey through the arctic gulfs in the north seas . Electro-acoustic composition aiming to find a delicate balance between digital processing and analog electronics, with acoustic instruments and real-world field recordings.” The depth, atmosphere, and textures are sublime. Featured here is the track ‘Home Port’.
Idlefon / Arash Akbari
This week I reviewed the debut album Intensive Collectivity Known As City by Tehran based artist Idlefon (aka Hesam Ohadi) along with several other outstanding ambient electronic records. The album, released by Tympanik Audio, is a heady mixture of deeply atmospheric ambient and rhythmic electronic elements that is spellbinding and hauntingly beautiful. Featured here is the track ‘Reminiscence’ set to a stunning new video by fellow Iranian artist Arash Akbari (also known as Odepth).
Finally, Preserved Sound have just released a free compilation of music called The Blinding White Heat of Summer Days. The first three tracks are taken from albums to be released in the coming months by Tess Said So, Richard Youngs, and North End. The remaining tracks are taken from recent releases by Adrian Lane, Vitaly Beskrovny, Visionary Hours, 3+, Unconditional Arms, and Ancient Colours (whose album Relent I reviewed last year). This collection highlights the label’s emphasis on organic and acoustic music and works very nicely as both a cohesive listening experience or a platform for discovering each of these fine artists.