Travelogue: Week 2015-06

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. 

Recent Releases

Various Artists | Europe [A Strangely Isolated Place]

Based in Portland Oregon, A Strangely Isolated Place is both a music community and a label that produces excellent music often centered around compelling themes and concepts. Europe is perhaps one of their most outstanding releases: It is “a meticulously curated compilation inspired by some of the most beautiful locations on the continent.  Spanning ambient, modern classical, drone and electronica, it’s a journey experienced through the eyes and ears of the artists, capturing their memories, travels, tributes, and exquisite musical depictions.” The list of contributors is top drawer, including names such as Dalot, 36, Marsen Jules, Carbon Based Lifeforms, and Yagya.  Unfortunately at this writing the stunning blue vinyl editions are sold out, but even if you missed out, a digital download is a highly recommended. A beautiful collection in both concept and execution. Order: Featured track: ‘Home’ by Dalot

Various Artists | sans titre, 2014 [taâlem]

Belgian label taâlem has just released a V/A compilation of artists on their roster called sans titre, 2014.  The collection spans a pleasing spectrum of ambient & experimental sounds including the always mesmerizing Tomonari Nozaki, Kissy Suzuki (a side project of Soft label founder David Teboul, aka Linear Bells), and Pleq with Philippe Lamy.  Links are provided on the page to other EPs and albums on the label by each artist. Definitely worth exploring. Order Featured track: ‘million dreams’ by Tomonari Nozaki 

Loscil | For Greta 

Loscil is deservedly getting much praise and attention for the stellar Sea Island and Fury and Hecla, his collaboration with Fieldhead.  Not to be missed however is this little gem, a 3 track EP called ‘For Greta’ which the artist has released to help raise funds for friends whose daughter is battling Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer.  The response visible on Bandcamp is heartwarming and it is not too late if you would like the opportunity to hear these beautiful pieces and contribute. Order: Featured track:  ‘Lucioles’

Darren Harper | 2/1/15~Drifting/White.Two 

Ambient musician Darren Harper brings us another lovely extended work inspired by his locale in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  2/1/15~Drifting/White.Two is “A late night improvised drift with [his] Telecaster & Ableton Live”.   Get lost for 15 minutes in this beautiful sea of gentle noise. Order:

Jilk & Haiku Salut | Periscopes 

‘Periscopes’ is a new collaborative single by two UK based groups, Jilk and Haiku Salut which reflects the whimsical and musically diverse nature of both bands.  In the space of 5 plus minutes, it manages to touch on ambient, folk, electronic, and modern classical. It is quirky and fun as it engenders a sense of childlike wonder, but it does so through a cinematic lense making it also very compelling.  It is a very nice track and perhaps for some a nice introduction to two very creative bands. Order:

Jo Quail | This Path With Grace 

Cellist and composer Jo Quail is back with a stunning new work called ‘This Path With Grace’, a twenty minute excursion in four movements which she says is probably her most ambitious and testing piece so far.  It was debuted in her “Nocturnes” concert performance held on Feb 7, 2015 at St. John on Bethnal Green with The Green Army Choir.  The listener is held in rapturous attention as her stunning electric cello sounds meld with acoustic strings, voice, and percussion as the music creates moments both intensely intimate and incredibly expansive. Order:

Upcoming Releases

Porya Hatami | Shallow Remixed 

Shallow was one of several outstnding releases in 2014 by Iranian ambient and electroacoustic artist Porya Hatami. The music from the recording has been place in the hands of a group of stellar electronic musicians to rework with a roster inlcuding Loscil, Sven Laux, Purl, The Green Kingdom, and Arovane. Expanded textures and subtle dub aesthetics meet serene minimal ambient to create something new that will no doubt be eminently listenable and gorgeously atmospheric.  Shallow Remixed will be released by Dewtone Recordings.  Pre-orders are available and the official release is planned for Feb 17. Order: Featured track: ‘Fen’ by Loscil

Tracey Chattaway | Nightsky 

Australian musician Tracey Chattaway specializes in “piano and cinematic soundscapes” and she will soon be releasing her new full-length effort “Nightsky”.  Based on the sparkling melodies and tender arrangement of ‘Love is Here’, this should be a very enjoyable outing. Pre-orders and a sampler of all the tracks are currently available.  Official release is planned for Feb 19. Order Featured track: ‘Love is Here’

twincities | Memoirs: to dust [Unknown Tone]

Fletcher McDermott who records as twincities had a stunning 2014 releasing a stunning pair of recordings, the full length Variations on the Celesta and the September Tapes EP, as well as mastering one of the year’s finest albums, A Comet’s Coma by Aaron Martin.  He follows up with a new full length record on Unknown Tone called Memoirs: to dust, an elegant study in decay: “The, “sound of decay” thing I’ve kind of had floating around as a tagline for the album of sorts. I don’t know that I like using the term “concept album”, but if my last full length focused on the celesta, this one definitely focused on decaying sound.” – Fletcher McDermott A full review is soon to follow, but this record only enhances McDermott’s growing reputation as a fine craftsman of electroacoustic sound. The addition of viola and cello on some of the tracks only enhances the beauty. Not to be missed. Order Featured track: ‘gentle melody’ 

Tegh & Kamyar Tavakoli | Through the Winter Woods [Hibernate]

Shahin Entezami (aka Tegh) and Kamyar Tavakoli have worked together before as Artirial, but their latest recording under their own names promises to explore deeper and denser sonic territories.  Through the Winter Woods will be released via Hibernate Recordings has been mastered by none other than Lawrence English. The preview track, ‘Hollow’, is simply stunning.  Release is planned for March in a limited run of 60 3″ CDs. Featured track: ‘Hollow’

Bill Seaman | f (noir) [Eilean Rec.]

Looking at their catalog, it is hard to believe that the Eilean Rec. label only started last year and there are no signs of letup in the creative flow.  In early March, a new map point will be added in the form of an album by composer Bill Seaman called f (noir).   I confess to not being familiar with his earlier work, which looking at his CV is quite extensive in both composition and academia.  But I was quite entranced with the preview track called ‘ending (part 2)’ and am looking forward both to the album and learning more about his work as well. Featured track: ‘ending (part 2)’

Ben Chatwin | The Sleeper Awakes [Village Green]

For the first time recording under his own name rather than Talvihorros, Ben Chatwin will put out The Sleeper Awakes on Village Green, his first full length work since Eaten Alive.  While there is a continuity in style in evidence in the preview track ‘Mirroring’, there is also the promise of something that is both brighter and more expansive than it’s somber and unflinching predecessor. Chatwin writes: “I wanted ‘The Sleeper Awakes’ to represent the idea of a future that has been and gone. Before the information and telecommunications revolution there was a beautiful yet weird, naivety about what the future might bring and it was this that I tried to tap into whilst making the record.” – Ben Chatwin We will have to wait until May for the complete album, so mark your calendar. More info: Featured track: ‘Mirroring’

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