Noteworthy highlights from the past week of music discovery, releases, previews, and other news. Remember daily updates are available on the ST Facebook and Twitter feeds and audio/video links to all tracks featured during the month are available on our Songdrop page.
Hugar is the duet of Bergur Þórisson & Pétur Jónsson who had played together for years in various bands and decided in 2012 to embark on a project that came to fruition in an album released last week. Their eponymous debut adds even more lustre to Iceland’s pedigree as a home for beautiful modern classical and evocative post rock music. In fact, Olafur Arnalds himself plays drums on some of the tracks. The songs are simply gorgeous and while there is an air of welcome familiarity in some of the sonic components, the prominent use of clarinet and horn adds some tones and colors that feel very fresh. And if that is not enough to recommend it, it is generously offered on a pay what you want basis.
‘Endalok’ by Hugar
I am long overdue to give a shout on the blog to Zack Mitchell’s Atra Aeterna project and this week he offered to perfect opportunity. He has re-released his most accomplished album Machinations completely remastered and sounding sharper, deeper, and glitchier than ever. Mitchell aptly describes this music as “cinematic electronica”. It is a potent mix of melancholic piano, dark ambient drone, and melodic electronica. Whether or not you have a copy of the original, this version is well worth having.
‘The Forgotten’ by Atra Aeterna
Heinali, the musical nom de plume of musician Oleg Shpudeiko, released an EP this week called Music to Sleep Under Snow. The three tracks on it are all compositions that were previously released on compilations. Heinali explains that they “were written during different time periods, yet all three are connected through the states of water: solid, liquid and gas”. ‘Music To Sleep Under Snow’ was re-worked and the remaining two tracks were remastered. All in all, it makes a tidy package that fans of piano based ambient music will want to check out.
‘Music to Sleep Under Snow’ by Heinali
Orbit Over Luna – Colour Theory
Toronto musician Shannon Penner’s project Orbit Over Luna is a perpetual favorite at Stationary Travels. Last week he debuted a wonderful new stream on his Mixcloud channel called ‘Colouor Theories #01’. The idea behind the mix is unique. As Penner explains: “To me, sight and sound together form a deeper experience than each on their own. Hues, frequencies, tones, shades, dynamics, etc. – they all make up spectrums, either visual or audio. This mix series endeavours to blur the lines a bit between them. Each track, apart from the Colour Theories ‘theme’, represents a colour from the visual spectrum (ROYGBIV) and, to me, they conjure some sort of similarity to those colours.”
The mix includes a new Orbit Over Luna track and music from a stellar array of artists: Helios, Hammock, Moshimoss, Lowercase Noises, Amman. Josh, Aural Method, and Stray Theories. It is a great place for your ears to spend 30 minutes.
Colour Theories #01
Circumambient – Guest Mix by Allister Thompson
Allister Thompson who blogs onmusic at Make Your Own Taste and produces music as half of the duo The Gateless Gate created a guest mix this week for fellow blogger Thomas Mathie’s Circumambient podcast. It is a nicely varied mix of experimental and ambient tracks featuring musicians such as diverse as Zenjungle, Kumea Sound, Western Skies Motel, All India Radio, Off Land and Darren Harper. You can check it out here.
Circumambient 20 – Allister Thompson Guest Mix