Field Journal: 2020 Week 36

image © copyright Russel Sherwood Photography

Many of the releases featured this week were released on ‘Bandcamp Friday’, a day when the platform waives its revenue of sales allowing more money to go directly to the artists & labels. Featured in this edition: A Winged Victory for the Sullen (USA/Belgium), Drombeg (Ireland), Chequerboard (Ireland), Henrik Lindstrand (Denmark), Jeannine Schulz (Germany), Arash Akbari (Iran), Secret Pyramid (Canada), Astralia (Spain), Jameson Nathan Jones (USA), Julia Kent (USA), Alaskan Tapes (Canada), and Büşra Kayıkçı (Turkey).

A Winged Victory for the Sullen – “Ti Prego, Memory Man”

An outtake from the debut AWVFTS record, this track did not see release until 2013 when it appeared on Ghostly International’s ‘SSM: Opiate‘ compilation. This pristine audiophile version is offered for the first time in HD 24bit 88Khz WAV direct from 1/2 inch analogue tape.

‘Ti Prego Memory Man’, is an outtake from our virgin voyage recording session at Grunewald Church in Berlin, around the Spring of 2009. Originally it was planned for inclusion on our self-titled debut, but for whatever reason, we left it off. For our ears, it is still one of the best sounding Bosendorfer pianos left on earth.

A winged victory for the sullen

Drombeg – “Pluais na Scríob”

As a big fan of his last full-length release Earthworks (Futuresequence, 2016), I’ve been glad to see new tracks emerging from Thomas Brooke‘s instrumental project again recently. Last year he contributed a track called “The White Raven” to Gregory Euclide’s THESIS DRIVE and on this past Bandcamp Friday released this cinematic gem which refers to Pluais na Scríob (Irish), the mysterious Cave of the Scribing (or Writings) located in the Caha Mountains of his home country.

Chequerboard – “A Story on a Decorative Plate”

Each of the past two Bandcamp Fridays have seen a new single release by Chequerboard, a project from Irish musician John Lambert and it is wonderful to hear from his expressive acoustic guitar playing and beautiful arrangements once again. If you are not already familiar with it and you enjoyed this track, I highly recommend checking out his 2013 full-length album The Unfolding.

Henrik Lindstrand – “Stora Huset”

from the forthcoming album ‘NORDEM‘ [One Little Independent Records]

I was not familiar with the piano album trilogy by the versatile Danish composer and Kashmir band member Henrik Lindstrand until hearing this lovely track debut on Headphone Commute. Suffice it to say, I’ll be attempting to rectify that in the coming weeks. NORDHEM, the last in the series, will be released in October.

Jeannine Schulz – “Zazen”

from the self-released EP ‘Serve

I only recently came across the ambient music of Hamburg, Germany based Jeannine Schulz who also has a background in dance. With all of her Bandcamp releases dated in 2020, I assume this is a recent venture for her and, if so, it is certainly off to a fine start. This beautiful piece comes from Serve, a six-track EP which was released in July and is a collection of very nicely textured minimalist drones.

Editors note: Since this post was first published, ‘Serve’ has been removed from Jeannine’s Bandcamp, but this track reappeared on her Februaruy 2021 release ‘Painting of Light’.

Arash Akbari – “All That’s Left Is This Blinding Glare”

from the self-released album ‘The Records of the Days Gone By’

Iranian musician, producer, and media artist Arash Akbari recently launched a Bandcamp site of his own where you can find digital releases from his catalog like The Rest Is Silence (Unknown Tone, 2017) Vanishing Point (Flaming Pines, 2015) and Cracked Echoes (Soft Recordings, 2014) – all personal favorites. This track appears on a new collection he released last week that includes material previously released as singles or appearing on compilation albums. The artwork by Malthe Ivarsson was created using Gaze, an AV web-based experience developed by Arash.

Secret Pyramid – “Flares”

from the album ‘Embers‘ [Geographic North]

Vancouver based Amir Abbey who last released material as Secret Pyramid in 2017 with Two Shadows Collide emerged with two new albums in the summer of 2020. Embers, which he developed using Ondes Martenot, Space Echo, two tape machines, and other gear, constitutes his debut on the Geographic North label. While the otherworldly sounds Abbey creates can sometimes veer toward the disquieting, there are always tracks like this one that absolutely stun with their haunting melancholic beauty.

Astralia – “So Far So Near”

The Spanish atmospheric post-rock trio released their first new music in three years with this single recorded one summer afternoon in Barcelona last year. A soaring piece as majestic and uplifting piece as the mountains that loom over the horizon beyond their home town.

Jameson Nathan Jones – “All Things Fade”

A gorgeous new atmospheric synth & tape opus from the neo-classical composer and pianist based in Laurel, Mississippi, a 19th century as a lumber town in the American south that has produced ore than its fair share number of notable actors & musicians over the years. Lovely video captured in the low lights of the studio as well.

Julia Kent – “Drops”

Yet another moving single composition by cellist & composer Julia Kent who has been providing sublime solace during the pandemic with a number of new stand-alone works. This one was mastered by none other than Rafael Anton Irisarri and is accompanied by a video created by Justin Batchelor.

Alaskan Tapes – “We”

Toronto musician Brady Kendall continues to explore the liminal spaces between compositional forms and ambient atmospheres as Alaskan Tapes. Following the release of his spring EP Sleeping Since Last Year, this little piano-based gem quietly came out last month as a new digital single & video.

Büşra Kayıkçı – “Shadows”

Video : Kübra Başpınar

A pianist & composer as well as an interior architect, this video showcases the remarkable talent of Büşra Kayıkçı as it frames the intricate beauty of her composition “Shadows” in a dream-like monochrome montage filmed by Kübra Başpınar.

Shadows, the lack of light and darkness at the same time. The image of poetry. A second space for an objectMy piece “Shadows” came to me one late afternoon. I was watching the shadows of a plane tree that was touching my studios walls. The rhythm and harmony of leaves with the wind, light and shadow gave me full inspiration.

Büşra Kayıkçı