“I could hear everything, together with the hum of my hotel neon…” – Jack Kerouac
One of the privileges of being on this journey of musical discovery over the past five years or so has been to witness first hand the trajectory of emerging artists from their tentative beginnings to their creative peak, and one of the most satisfying among these has been Hotel Neon. What began in 2013 with brothers Michael & Andrew Tasselmyer, some inexpensive equipment, and a little inspiration from Jack Kerouac has blossomed into a vital trio (multi-instrumentalist Steven Kemner joined in 2015) that is doing some real heavy lifting in the field of ambient & electroacoustic music.
From the perspective of the outside observer at least, some of the keys to Hotel Neon’s success would seem to be an extraordinarily clear vision of their sound from the very outset, a commitment to avoid repeating themselves, an intense work ethic, and persistent efforts to cultivate a sense of camaraderie with fellow artists as well as their audience. All of this has translated into a series of albums each of which becomes essential listening as soon as it released. This travelogue features the last two most recent full-length records, the brand new Vanishing Forms and last year’s Means of Knowing, both available on Agustín Mena’s outstanding Archives imprint. Continue reading “Travelogue 2019.04.21: The Beautiful Hum of Hotel Neon”
This travelogue introduces some wonderful recent & upcoming modern classical releases showcased through a collection of new videos. Featuring Hania, Rani, Flying Hórses (Jade Bergeron), Nico Casal, Erland Cooper, Peter Sandberg, and Aukai.
Continue reading “Travelogue 2019.02.23: Saturday Matinee”
On a sunny & brisk February Sunday nestled between a false spring and a forecast of cold rain, this travelogue finds a pocket of stillness to showcase a wonderful new quartet of neoclassical releases sure to be worth your time & attention. Featuring Jacob Pavek, John Hayes, Nathan Shubert, and Ô Lake (Sylvain Texier).
Continue reading “Travelogue 2019.02.10: Modern Classical Sunday”
The EP is often overlooked when it comes year-end retrospectives, but this format can provide us with some very special musical moments and here are some from 2018 that I would not have wanted to miss.
Continue reading “2018 Year in Review: The Art of the EP”
A vibrant and eclectic selection where genres never define of confine, but only serve as reference points for where words fail to describe the music; a sort of musical edgeland where ambient and modern classical minimalism co-exists with acoustic, folk, electronica, post-rock, and shoegaze.
Continue reading “2018 Year In Review: Journeys in Post Rock, Experimental Folk & Acoustic”
From the delicate minimalism of a single piano to the aching beauty of a string ensemble to the mysterious studio alchemy of the analog fused with the electronic, here is a selection of some particularly memorable journeys in modern & experimental classical music released in 2018.
Continue reading “2018 In Review: Journeys in Modern and Experimental Classical”
This list can never be big enough to include all the beautiful work done in these genres over the course of a year, but here are 25 albums that left a lasting impression. Here you’ll find rich atmospheres, deep emotional undercurrents, and organic, warm, and tactile soundscapes. Among these albums we find as much decomposition as composition, an embrace of stillness and naturally occurring beauty.
Continue reading “2018 In Review: Journeys in Ambient, Drone, and Electroacoustic”
Each of these sixteen albums is conceptually, thematically or musically connected to places or moments in time. While this is a somewhat common motif in instrumental music (ambient in particular), it is absolutely integral in these outstanding works released in 2018. Some are personal narratives and some are depictions of landscape either real or imagined. Others are sonic interrogations or interactions inextricably linked to the locations where they were formed. Whatever their nature, all of them proved captivating and memorable. One might say they represent the very essence of stationary traveling…
Continue reading “2018 In Review: A Sense of Place and Time”
This audio journey features a globe-spanning quartet of immersive long-form single releases by Saariselka (Chuck Johnson & Marielle Jakobsons), Hakobune, Arash Akbari, and Dave Watkins.
Continue reading “Travelogue 2018.09.07: A late summer long-form journey”