One imagines there is no shaking hands with Neapolitan composer Bruno Bavota, just hugs the kind of which shatter pretension and forge a lasting human connection. It is a sense that comes across in his music which is characterized by utterly disarming sincerity and an outpouring of pure unguarded emotion that touches every note of every song. For the past six years, he has been spreading his music quite literally around the world, performing in Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, UK, Iceland, Latvia, and Japan and playing sold-out shows in Russia and Ukraine. This past spring, he crossed the Atlantic to record his latest record at the impressive Sono Luminus Studios in the rural town of Boyce, Virginia. Out of the Blue is everything we have come to expect from Bruno, but with greater depth, resonance, and luster than ever before.
This album…has a lot of meaning for me. “Out of the Blue” is an informal English language idiom that describes an event that occurs unexpectedly, without any warning or preparation; It’s also a perfect way to describe my music. I always try to tell all the things that happen in my life day by day along with the emotions humankind embraces.– Bruno Bavota
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After nearly 20 years of playing guitar and covering other people’s music, Ed Carlsen recently started down a new path of pursuing his own compositions while teaching himself the piano as well as exploring the world of sound design. These new directions combined with the inspiration of the nearby landscape of Denmark’s Ravnholm Forest have culminated in his debut album The Journey Tapes, a loosely conceptual modern classical record with a cinematic bent and discrete forays into the territories of electronica & pop.
“The concept is deeply personal in nature, marking important stages of an individual’s growth, from childhood to maturity passing through darker moments of insecurity. The concept moves from Close to Far, white to black (with grey in between), child to adult, or Caged to Free.” – Ed Carlsen
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Poets and musicians tend to be restless souls. It must be a burden at times, but that innate inquietude can also be the very thing that fuels the creative engines and resistance to complacency. As both a poet and a musician, Leonardo Rosado not only knows this well, but has let it serve as the very impetus of his collaborative new album, In the Dead of Night When Everything Is Asleep. In response to a sense of getting locked into the idiosyncrasies of his own methods, he craved a new way of working and a creative partner who would help him break old patterns yet remain true to himself artistically, ultimately choosing cellist & multi-instrumentalist Aaron Martin as well as involving his own children. Unbounded by a specific theme, compositional structure, or even working track titles, they embarked on what Rosado called “a journey into nothingness”.
I just went and recorded everything I could think of with my kids: a trumpet, guitars, wooden, metallic, glass objects, rainstick, metalophone, just having fun, not caring about tempo, melody, or tuned instruments, just banging around…Having two hours of recordings I had to start sampling all the stuff and playing with it for awhile. After I started creating these nameless pieces I thought that it was a good time to ask Aaron if he wanted to do a collaboration that he accepted. The collaboration was quite straightforward. We decided that I would prepare the scenery for him to come and take over, and that’s what he did. He took over in the most beautiful way I can think of. – Leonardo Rosado
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It may seem that 1631 Recordings is getting more than its fair share of attention on these pages, but the sheer bounty of artists and music the label has been showcasing in a such a short period of time makes it worthy of the sustained focus, especially when they launch a significant new element to their burgeoning catalog like the Texture Series. Whereas their first three V/A compilations were all centered around the piano, the Texture Series covers a broader spectrum of modern classical as well as ambient, drone, electroacoustic, and instrumental folk.
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It was difficult not to become giddy at the prospects when this collaboration between Siavash Amini and Zenjungle (Phil Gardelis) was first announced by Flaming Pines. These are two of the most potent and expressive voices in experimental ambient and drone music on the scene today and the idea of them joining creative forces was tantalizing to say the least. While it would not be wrong to say the end result exceeded my expectations, it is probably more accurate to say it obliterated them with the stunning and imaginative work of fearsome beauty that is Topology of Figments. The abstract concept behind the record is the vivid exploration of the characters, places, and memories we invent and which become part of our personal and shared identities. Siavash and Phil explain it this way:
“Sometimes we cannot separate the imagined colors, textures, spaces, or even smells from what actually existed or exists.It’ s in such activities that we create spaces never imagined before; hallways, valleys, rooms, textures on a wall, a howling distant sound in a giant metropolis. These spaces can be thought of as explored but not owned by any person. No one has ever made claim to them. In these tracks we have tried to imagine some of such places, live in them for a while, walk their paths without ever stopping for too long. This album reflects how we understand many of these imaginary lands, leaving them behind as they were (are).”
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Instrumental post rock group Signal Hill is back with their first full length album since 2013’s stellar Chase the Ghost. The new record is called Alturas and will be released via AM 800 Sound, an independent collective members of the band recently helped found with several other like-minded artists. The new songs were written over a three year period across two continents and multiple coasts, but the effortless flow and tight integration that is the trademark of the band’s style betrays nothing of the patchwork nature of their origins. In fact, Signal Hill has never sounded better or more inspired.
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In some ways Along A Vanishing Plane by Christopher Tignor is as much as an act of resistance as it is a record album. In the role of composer, performer, and software engineer, Tignor is on a noble mission to counter and transcend forces of banality that obstruct meaningful interaction on many levels – personal, societal, and creative.
“This music is first and foremost about what can be done together, live in a room, to both transcend and reclaim ourselves from the noise of public living….These songs offer wordless hymns and pulsing harmonic frameworks one might use to focus their own contemporary values”
Continue reading “Christopher Tignor – Along A Vanishing Plane [Western Vinyl]”
Featuring tacks originally composed for a pair of documentary films, Field Notes is the debut by Light of Woods, a solo project of Raleigh, North Carolina based multi-instrumentalist M. Grig. Describing the album as “Americana in a minimalist vein”, Grig combines dobro, lap steel, pedal steel, electric & acoustic guitars and piano with dense layering techniques and textural loops to create a rustic idyll framed by a cinematic eye.
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Lagerstätte is a newly launched microlabel based in Gothenburg, Sweden that has set its sights on the “far-flung reaches of electronic music” – namely ambient, drone, minimal, industrial, soundscapes, IDM, & techno – and it is off to a promising start with its inaugural release, a mesmerizing new ambient opus entitled Chimera by Snufmumriko, the musical alias of Ingmar Wennerberg also of Gothenburg.
Continue reading “Sound Impression: Snufmumriko – Chimera [Lagerstätte]”