Noteworthy highlights from the past week of music discovery, releases, previews, and other news. 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 the Stationary Travels Songdrop page.
Jacob Montague | North Winds (Aug 19)
Multi-instrumentalist member of the indie alt-folk band Branches Jacob Montague has been building a wonderful body of largely instrumental solo work which sees him blending classical, cinematic, and electronic influences into his acoustic Americana base to paint vibrant and eclectic widescreen soundscapes. His album Tiger and Traveler was one of my favorite releases in 2013 and while the new album North Winds is not a significant departure in sound and style, it feels both more kinetic and less pastoral. The guitar, banjo, and mandolin are shimmering and clear, the percussion pops and booms with cavernous reverb, and the songs teem with a variety of additional voices and instrumentation (celesta, marimba, horns, & more). The music ranges from moments of delicate grace to anthemic swells with occasional brief, but seamless forays into electronica and post rock. It is both something different and something beautiful. Highly recommended.
‘When All We Have Is This’ by Jacob Montague
On Mountains | Made with wood and Fire (Aug 31)
On Mountains is an ambient oriented post rock based from Nick Riley based in Melbourne, Australia. His new album Made with wood and fire presents a very interesting conceptual context for the music:
“Synesthesia is an effect wherein the stimulation of one sense causes automatic sensations in another sense. I met Sean Day a synesthetes who would see colours and shapes when he heard music. I asked him to listen to these songs and tell me what he saw. Amazingly he saw a general theme of wood, colours of red and orange and smoke. We used this imagery to name the album as well as the track titles.”
Fans of the more pastoral sounding work by Hammock, Helios, or Explosions in the Sky should feel right at home with the feel of this record. Melodic and blissfully clean & clear in tone, Made with wood and fire is easy on the ears and made all the more interesting when considering the imagery of the song titles as they play.
More about Sean Day and synesthesia: http://www.daysyn.com/
‘Beneath burns dark and orange’ by On Mountains
Savaran | The Spaces in Between | Ember Music (Sep 1)
Savaran is moniker used by Welsh artist Mark Walters for his ambient experimental music. Having enjoyed his contribution to the Endless Intermission V/A compilation for Subterranean Tide netlabel, this was my first opportunity to listen to one of his full length works. The Spaces in Between is a well crafted and nicely varied collection of electroacoustic music with a strong drone ambient leaning and an abundance of deft touches of noise, field recordings, and other sonic textures. With the album generously offered on a pay what you want basis, I would strongly encourage fans of these styles to give this a listen at the earliest opportunity.
‘Glade’ by Savaran
Equal Stones | Self Deliverance | Hidden Vibes (Sep 1)
Self Deliverance is a new 3 track EP by Amerstam based producer Amandus Schaap who releases his music under the name Equal Stones. These pieces dwell in the grey mists of ethereal and melancholic drone, a style I am particularly fond of. With the digital edition available on a name your price basis, there is no reason not to check this one out, however there is a very nice limited edition CDr package available from Hidden Vibes with photograph by Peter Nejedly and art design by Oleksiy Sakevych (aka Endless Melancholy) that is very much worth a look. A very nice little package here and an artist I look forward to hearing more from.
‘For Her’ by Equal Stones
Chihei Hatakeyama | Winter Storm | White Paddy Mountain (Sep 2)
Tokyo based sound artists Chihei Hatakeyama this week released his new album Winter Storm. Consisting of four tracks captured at various points during the year, it offers over 70 minutes of blissful lo-fi ambient guitar drone music. The album is available from White Paddy Mountain in digital form or as part of a CD bundle which includes a 2 track bonus CDr. This is one to really get lost in. Beautiful work.
‘Don’t Ask What’ by Chihei Hatakeyama
Christopher Willits | Opening | Ghostly (Sep 2)
Christopher Willits’ new project Opening is much more than a collection of new music. It is a “visual album” which includes a 45 minute film and a seven track recording on Ghostly International along with a series of photo prints and special live performances; truly a comprehenisve multi-media experience.
Willits says, “There are no actors or dialogue in this film. The audience and their perception is the main character, and everyone’s imagination is going to create some meaning that’s relevant to their own experience. My intention is to create a space where people can open up and expand into, relax and recharge….For me, OPENING is about transformation, the experience of changing oneself to be more of who you know you can be, and, ultimately, the joy that comes with that change.”
You can enjoy a view and a listen through the lovely official YouTube video of ‘Wide’ embedded here and then follow the links below for the complete film and album.
Download OPENING – vimeo.com/ondemand/opening
Project site – christopherwillits.com/opening
Buy the Album – theghostlystore.com/products/christopher-willits-opening
‘Wide’ by Christopher Willits
Hiatus | Garden (Sep 9)
Equally at home with piano based modern classical, cinematic, and beat driven electronic music, Hiatus, the London based project of Cyrus Shahrad, released this short, but gorgeous single called ‘Garden’ on his Soundcloud page. It is wonderful piece of music to enjoy (and download if you choose). If you are not familiar with Hiatus, it may also serve as entry point to a fine catalog of music by this talented artist.
Hiatus on Soundcloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/hiatus
Hiatus on Bandcamp: http://www.hiatusmusic.bandcamp.com
‘Garden’ by Hiatus
Miguel Isaza | Uji | Eilean Rec. (Sep 9)
Uji by Miguel Isaza will be the next release on the Eilean Rec. label and the next point on it’s imaginary map. Isaza is is a composer from Medellin, Colombia dedicated to the practice and research of sound in different fields. His work has been beautifully described as “ephemeral sounds floating in the ocean of impermanence where nature’s temporality is contemplated in a dialogue of suspension and transition.”. Indeed, Uji is a beautiful recording of patiently crafted electroacoustic music, a highly textural and organic style of ambient that is very at home in the resplendent Eilean catalog. Enjoy a preview here and look for the full release on September 9.
Album preview of Uji
Row Boat | Romance | Fluttery Records (Sep 19)
Romance is a reissue of the debut EP from Mark Waredale’s enigmatic Row Boat project that will be offered by Fluttery Records with new art design by music blogger & photographer Daniela Patrizi on September 19. As the label notes, the reissued EP will be a fine complement for the recent full lenght release In Between.
“Whereas now many people refer to Row Boat as a Post-Rock project, it all started out with glistening xylophones & violins, abundant textures and lots of horns. Romance is the ultimate accompaniment to Mark Wardale’s most recent album ‘In Between’, were we saw him reign in the heavier guitars and take a small step back into the Romantic side of music and composition”
The growing base of Row Boat fans will certainly want this in their collection and for those not familiar with the project, I would submit this as a great place to start.
‘Bella’ by Row Boat
Gabriel Saloman | Shelter Press (Oct 18)
Composer Gabriel Saloman (Yellow Swans) will be releasing a new two volume solo project called Movement Building on Shelter Press. The first volume, a 34 minute 2-part opus called The Disciplined Body, will be released in October. Featuring music originally composed for a dance work (“Re-marks on Source Material” by Daisy Karen Thompson), the album is a foray into haunting minimalist guitar-based drone with an undercurrent of pulsing and sometimes polyrhythmic percussion all building toward an of apex of swirling visceral distortion. It makes for engrossing listening as a stand alone piece of music. Enjoy an excerpt here and look for the full release of The Disciplined Body around October 18.
‘Movement Building Vol.1 (excerpt)’