The weekly travelogues begin for 2015 with a round-up of recent releases, previews, and other gems of music discovery to share. Daily updates are available on the Stationary Travels Facebook and Twitter feeds and audio/video links to all tracks featured during the month are available on the Songdrop page.
Previews & New Projects
Sakamoto / Deupree / Illuha | Perpetual [12k]
Among the events surrounding the ten year anniversary of the Yamaguchi Center of Arts and Media was a special concert which brought together Ryuichi Sakamoto, Talylor Deupree, and the duo of Corey Fuller and Tomoyoshi Date, known as Illuha.
“The performance, an improvised set for piano, guitar, pump organ, and synthesizers, ended up affecting the artists in a deep way. The four, having never played all together before, were taken aback by the level of listening and restraint that flowed between them. The audience sat in a breathless silence, the music offering a respite from the thick July air. As the last hushed note faded into blackness the artists knew right away it had been a deep journey.”
Fortunately the concert was captured in a high quality recording and is now available via Deupree’s 12k label. You can listen now to the delightful ‘Movement, 3’ and pre-order the album on CD or digital formats.
Inventions | Maze of Woods [Temporary Residence]
Matthew Cooper of Eluvium, and Mark T. Smith of Explosions In The Sky have joined creative forces again under the name Inventions, and will release their seonc full-length album called Maze of Woods in March. An early preview is now available in the form of ‘the ethereal and captivating Springworlds’. Pre-orders of CD and vinyl editions are now available from the Temporary Residence online shop.
Michael Price | Entanglements [Erased Tapes]
Emmy winning and BAFTA nominated composer Michael Price has spent two years crafting an original new album which will be coming out in April via Erased Tapes. The record will feature Price on piano with the addition of the cello of Peter Gregson and the voice of Ashley Knight as well as string orchestra, modular synth, tape effects, and electronics. To create it, Price explored and used recording technology ranging from the 40s to the digital age. He says:
“I wanted to make an album that sounded like a dark, Berlin record store discovery from the 30s. Something that had timeless emotive power, and pre-digital rawness. Something that I hope would make a deeper connection in superficially networked times…Entanglement is a very personal expression of my obsessions: music, love, physics and the inter-connectedness of things. There is structure and freedom, chaos and control, and the beauty of ancient instruments set against impassive machines.”
On the evidence of the preview single ‘The Attachment’, Price has achieved his objective and given us something to eagerly anticipate and savor when it arrives.
Ólafur Arnalds & Alice Sara Ott | The Chopin Project [Mercury Classics]
Icelandic composer and multi-instrumentalist Ólafur Arnalds follows up the debut of his Kiasmos project with Janus Rasmussen and his BAFTA winning Broadchurch soundtrack with The Chopin Project, a special collaboration with pianist Alice Sara Ott. The record will come out in March via Mercury Classics. In this video, Arnalds explains what the project also giving us a glimpse of the music and the lighter side of these two phenomenally talented musicians.
More information: http://www.mercuryclassics.com/
Undisclosed | 7C858C [Headphone Commute]
Undisclosed is an exciting new project started by Headphone Commute with a unique concept: “Composed by a hand-picked roster of contemporary artists, the project allows each musician to explore a particular sonic territory, while remaining detached from all of the previous associations with their notable name. The series also invites the listener to strip away all of the predisposed concepts and instead focus on the only thing that really matters — MUSIC.”
The first release is now out and features four ambient tracks with a distinctly cinematic, nostalgic, and melancholic feel. Will the artists be revealed eventually? That remains to be seen. But for now, enjoy some wonderful music in an refreshingly different way curated by someone with real enthusiasm for the experimental music.
Arbee | Variations Verdâtres [Chez.Kito.Kat]
Mathieu Lamontagne’s album Recidives appeared on my 2014 Travelogue featuring some of the best drone albums of the year. His latest release, Variations Verdâtres, has just come out on via Chez.Kito.Kat Records under his well-known alias of Arbee. While still pensive in tone, this record is more dynamic and subtly references IDM, house, and techno with a variety of percolating synths, glitches, and beats. Beautifully and thoughtfully crafted, it will no doubt reward repeated listening. The album includes six original tracks and four remixes and is available on CD and digital formats.
Featured track: ‘Gazon’
Spheruleus | Chronata
This week UK based artist Harry Towel released a new Spheuleus album called Chronata, a collection of tracks he has been incubating for the better of four years.
“The initial recordings took the shape of warm textured loops that I couldn’t ignore but yet couldn’t quite harness or sculpt them into a full body of work. I would pick the pieces up every now and then, adding fragments of detail into the soundscapes before putting them down again for a week or so in frustration…All the while I felt I had something special which I needed to develop further – themes and ideas were developing and then falling apart. Eventually, this process became the eventual theme itself – the difficult to describe phenomena that is an artist’s inspiration; what urges us to record and create.”
His patience is reflected in the languorous, looping drones, each one a contemplative journey that he felt was finally the right time to put out into the world and which we can now enjoy.
Featured track: ‘Corduroy’
Chehei Hatakeyama | Mist [White Paddy Mountain]
Mist is a new album from Chihei Hatakeyama on his White Paddy Mountain label. Hatakeyama tells us the music is “inspired from such beauty of fog like phenomena which reflects the thin light to fine mist” and features soft drones superimposed with field recordings of bird cries from Oahu, waves on the beaches of Bellingham, and rain falling in Takao-san and Hachioji. Only two tracks are available to preview, but both are as tranquil and inviting as one might expect. The album can be ordered as a digital download or on Compact Disc which comes with bonus 3-track CDr.