Travelogue 2016.04.21: Spotlight on Shimmering Moods Records

Shimmering Moods is a label based in Amsterdam that has already had a fruitful 2017 with a number of excellent limited edition CD releases and quite an international roster of artists. Featured here are recent works by Andrew Tasselmyer (USA), Snufmumriko (Sweden) , Rime Trails (Denmark), and Gallery Six (Japan). Also highly recommended are two albums featured on our 2016 year-in-review – Radio Sea’ by Adzuki and ‘Mothers Garden’ by Å Asher-Yates, a brand new reissue of ‘Naar Vi Vaagner’ by øjeRum, and a pair of works by Dimitar Dodovski, ‘Derive’ (2016) and ‘In Every Direction’ (2015). All releases can be found here on their Bandcamp site

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Travelogue 2015-39: A Modern Classical Sunday


Any day is a good day for listening to modern classical, but somehow it seems especially perfect for Sundays. In this travelogue we’ll look at four wonderful recent releases that can fill many Sundays to come with joyful listening.  The featured artists are Masayoshi Fujita, Jacob David, Jane Antonia Cornish, and Michael Vincent Waller

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Travelogue 2015-34: Spotlight on Scissor Tail Records

quad_scissor_tailBased in Tulsa, Oklahoma , Scissor Tail Records was founded in 2010 by Dylan Golden Aycock. His album Black Coral Sprig, under the moniker of Talk West, become one of my favorite “missed gems” from last year (thanks to Headphone Commute), so it is fitting that I am also an appreciative late-comer to this beguiling label which “enjoys facilitating rare and sincere audible moments into tangible physical formats” and is heavily tilted toward experimental folk, primitive, and acoustic music. Featured here are new releases on the imprint by Sarah Louise, Chuck Johnson, Dibson T Hoffweiler and a 2xLP vinyl reissue of a pair of albums by Scott Tuma

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Travelogue 2015-33: Pleasurably Lost in Eilean


It has been a little too long since we last visited the continent of Eilean, the imaginary land whose map is populated with 100 points, each of which marks a release on the label that bears its name (25 have been released so far). Each album comes with a card that contains a piece of the map and, on the reverse side, photos of soil samples collected from the artist who made it. This unique project and its commitment to eclecticism as well as stretching the boundaries of ambient & electronic music has generated some captivating releases, four of which are featured here by Yadayn (Gowaart Van Den Bossche), Lake Mary (Chaz Prymek), Twigs & Yarn (Stephen Orsak & Lauren McMurray), and Benjamin Finger.

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Travelogue 2015-29: Post Rock Summer Round Up


This travelogue concludes a week of post rock coverage with a round up of upcoming releases, recent discoveries, and missed gems spanning a wide variety of styles – atmospheric, playful, emotional, and heavy, or in some cases all of the above. Listen, discover, and enjoy.  Continue reading

Travelogue 2015-27: Spotlight on Celer

Following a week of concentrating on ambient & drone releases, this travelogue casts a spotlight on recent, upcoming, and archival material from Celer, the ambient music project of Will Long, an American musician, educator, writer and photographer, living in Japan, who also curates the Two Acorns label.  This coincides with a quiet explosion of material on his Bandcamp page which is now a must visit for any ambient music enthusiast. 

New & Upcoming Releases


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Travelogue 2015-24: Of Gardens and Introspective Journeys

Not long ago I read The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama. Describing the titular character’s domain, the narrator says “Matsu’s garden whispers at you, never shouts; it leads you down a path hoping for more, as if everything is seen, yet hidden. There’s a quiet beauty here I only hope I can capture on canvas”. These four albums capture a similar aesthetic, each an introspective journey that emphasize stillness over structure, quiet inner landscapes that provide respite and renewal.

Chihei Hatakeyama | Moonlight Reflecting Over Mountains [Room40]

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Travelogue 2015-21: The Power of 3 (a case for the short EP)

Just like the short story in prose, the haiku in poetry, or the short subject in film, the humble EP is a form that can be enjoyed on its own terms. These four wonderful EPs that have something on common – each has exactly 3 tracks. The shortest lasts barely 11 minutes and the longest just over 20. Yet, each one is a complete and memorable musical journey worth taking. Interestingly I also found they they flow very nicely into each other when played through in the order presented, forming a lovely arc from sparkling tones into deep reflection.

Cétieu – Into the Light 

[Twice Removed Records]

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Travelogue Week 2015-14: EP Spotlight Redux (and a label launch)

This week’s travelogue once again puts the spotlight on the humble EP as there have too many of these small gems released recently to ignore. Included among this batch are splendid new works from William Ryan Fritch and 36, a unique 48 hour collaboration by the artists of Bigo & Twigetti, a pair of standout releases from label/magazine Futuresequence, and a trio of recordings marking the launch of a brand new label, Moderna Records founded by Évolène Lüthi.  

William Ryan Fritch | Dampener (Lost Tribe Sound)

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Travelogue: Week 2015-03

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:

Recent Releases

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.


Travelogue: Week 2015-02

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 & Missed Gems

Talk West | Black Coral Sprig [Preservation]

I have been building a short list of missed gems from 2014 as I discover them on the best of lists from the blogs & fellow music lovers I follow, and this one sits near the very top. I should have expected as much since it was found on the Headphone Commute list called “Music for Withered Leaves and Lonely Fishtanks” which shared many of my own favorite albums of the year.

Talk West is the musical alias of Dylan Golden Aycock and Black Coral Sprig is his LP released in February by Preservation to inaugurate their limited edition Circa 2014 series “unearthing and unifying underground artists”. In it Aycock “negotiates the terrain between stately and homely by stretching a ringing country tone into an all-encompassing atmosphere, much like the ambient realms of Stars of the Lid. His unhurried, gentle playing style comes to reveal understated textures that weave into a whole alternately spirited, warming and often haunting”. On first of what is sure to be many spins I have found it to be beautiful, patient, and serene.


Featured Track: ‘Willow and the Dogwood’ 

Dreamsploitation | The In-Between Years:1959-1963

This intriguing November release was discovered among the stellar lists of A Closer Listen.
Dreamsploitation (aka Chuck Blazevic) set out to explore “the elegiac dimensions of American popular music recordings produced during ‘the in-between years’ of 1959-1963, i.e., the teen music that had dominated the charts between the waning of rock’n roll in ’59 and the flowering of rock in ’64”.  Not a theme one would expect for an ethereal & melancholic ambient recording and yet it works beautifully as remembrance of the era seen through a hazy, nostalgic filter as it decays and dissipates.


Featured track: ‘Adagietto for Priscilla’

Kate Carr | Fabulations [Soft Recordings]

Admittedly, recordings that are heavily skewed toward field recordings or experimental noise don’t often feature on Stationary Travels, and as something of a newcomer to that segment of the genre I am still cultivating an ear for it. But it is quite clear to me that Fabulations by Kate Carr is among the finest examples and thus has been garnering much praise from bloggers & fellow artists alike.

The album, just released by Soft Recordings “continues exploring our planet and society by trapping sound particles in various countries” with sounds recording in Marseille, Nice, Cefalu, Catania, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dungun and Barcelona, all embellished only sparingly with atmospheric instrumental layers.  A must listen for connoisseurs of the style and, possibly, an ideal entry point for curious or uninitiated.


Featured Track: ‘Under an Ancient Fort’

Clara Engel | Harvest (Siavash Amini Remix)

Recorded by Clara Engel in the middle of winter, in a large room that used to be a warehouse in  Toronto, Canada for her album Ashes and Tangerines, ‘Harvest’ is “a love song, a song of resignation, and a song about resolution. It’s about a landscape, it’s about bodies and how the wind rips and tears into them indiscriminately. It’s a song about the weather, about transience. It’s a song with open spaces where meaning dissolves as the wind blasts and whistles through”.

This remix of the song by Siavash Amini was most unexpected, but a more perfect match could not be imagined thematically or stylistically.  He brings the sweeping emotional drone textures he spun for his own Dostoevsky-inspired opus What Wind Whispered to the Trees, lending the piece suitable depth and drama. And Engel’s voice has the anguished sincerity, range, and gravitas to not only not get lost in it, but to radiate even more than it does in the original.  A very striking collaboration.

Upcoming Releases

Hotel Neon | Hotel Neon [Home Normal]

Hotel Neon is a side project of brothers Michael and Andrew Tasselmyer, also of ambient/post rock band The Sound of Rescue.  Recently Ian Hawgood of Home Normal discovered the self-titled debut recording and took it on to be remastered and reissued on his label.  As Ian says, “Much like the music, Michael and Andrew are wonderfully understated when noting the album came about through simple means: a usb recording device, cheap guitars, effects processors, and a computer. Yet the result is really quite something…When we heard it, apart from enjoying it solidly for a good few days, we decided to play around with twin decks to focus on the beautiful lows that were hidden within. Through tape saturation the lows became beautifully transparent giving us a deeper focus to the work, and hopefully an album that contains with it that stirring element of something glorious yet hidden within the recesses of the mind’s eye”.

Whether or not you have heard the original, this release will be worth your attention if you appreciate elegant, minimal ambient drone.


Featured Track: ‘A Lament’

Sarah Davachi | Barons Court [Students of Decay]

Barons Court is a new full-length recording by Sarah Davachi to be released next month via Students of Decay.  Davachi “marries an academic approach to synthesis and live instrumentation with a preternatural attunement to timbre, pacing, and atmosphere…Three of the album’s five compositions feature acoustic instrumentation (cello, flue, harmonium, oboe, and viola, played by Davachi and others) which is situated alongside a battery of keyboards and synths and emphasizes the composerly aspect of her work”.

Far from dense or impenetrable, there is an inviting airiness in every piece that allows the unique sounds of each instrument to shine through translucent layers, all reflecting a patient & thoughtful human touch. This is a mesmerizing record that offers something refreshingly different in the ambient field.


Featured track: ‘Wood Green’

V/A Compilations

 Ending the Year on a High [weareallghosts]

Many of you are familiar with Thomas Mathie, writer of the Headphonaught blog and curator of the Circumambient podcast (which has kindly hosted a few Stationary Travels guest mixes) and one of the nicest & most positive people who promote ambient music today.

Thomas also runs the weareallghosts netlabel and has pulled together some of the artists from the roster as well as some very special guests to produce a varied compilation called “Ending the Year on a High” the proceeds from which will be donated to Hospice UK.  Covering a gamut of sounds styles, a modest £5 gets you music from Cousin Silas and Christopher Alvarado, Brother Saturn and Kevin Lyons, Stephen Briggs and Tim Rowe, Negative Spectrum and Sound Awakener, Delicate Apparatus and Scott Lawlor, William Spivey, Wolfgang Merx and Rhys Anslow, Mystified and Microvolt, Orbit Over Luna, åpne sinn, Row Boat, Daniel Prendiville, and twincities.  In addtion, the first twenty who contribute more than that, will also get a download of ‘In Between’, the latest full-length album from contributor Row Boat.

Featured Track: ‘It Seems a Small Thing’ by Orbit Over Luna

 Enfold 01 [Ultimae]

Ultimae Records observes their 15th anniversary by inaugurating a new V/A compilation series call Enfold and offering the first volume as a free download.  The focus of this collection is “gentleness and chill” and contributors include label stalwarts such as Lars Leonhard, I Awake, Fingers In the Noise, Miktek, Circular, and AES Dana.  Available in both CD and studio master (24 bits) editions.


Featured track: ‘Winter Shell’ by I Awake

Travelogue: Week 2015-01

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

Olan Mill | Half Seas Over [Home Normal]

While many of us were busy drafting our year end retrospectives a number of fine releases came out that are not to be missed and Olan Mill leads off the list.  Half Seas Over is Alex Smalley’s latest under this beloved moniker and is released on the Home Normal label.  6 pristine tracks comprise this lovely EP including two recorded live.


Featured track: ‘Dexterous Bushwa’

Melodía | Diario de Viaje [Home Normal]

Melodía, the duo of Tomoyoshi Date and Federico Durand, further decorate the Home Normal label with the release of Diario de Viaje, something of an electroacoustic travelogue with 7 tracks recorded in hotel rooms, friend’s houses, fields, and various other places during a tour around Europe and Japan.

Information & ordering:

Featured track: ‘Un instante delicado’

Leonardo Rosado | Adrift [Oak Editions]

Adrift is a new full-length album of evocative, dusty, minimal ambient music by Leonardo Rosado released in December via Oak Editions.  Rosado says of the album “Adrift was composed trying to capture this set of emotions, images and barely coherent scripts to give a glimpse of my own journey through sensations. The use of sound to convey emotions is perhaps the common denominator in all my work and the search for a universal code language is what I mostly want to achieve.” . Available in digital formats as well as an attractive 100 cd-r limited edition.


Featured track: ‘Descent’

Free Dust | I: Population: Ashtray 

Free Dust is a new project from Matthew Sage who also records under his own name and curates the Patient Sounds label.  His 2014 release as M. Sage, A Singular Continent, was a Stationary Travels selection for the top ten electroacoustic ambient records of the year.  According to the Bandcamp page, Free Dust will see four works released this year, one each quarter, focused on ambient guitar. The first set, I: Population: Ashtray came out on January 1. Though the guitar sounds are heavily processed, the feel is very organic and placid. This is a mesmerizing collection of tracks that I highly recommend.


Featured track: ‘Williams & Stetson (Slow)’

V/A | Past Disappears [Dronarivm]

The wonderful Dronarivm label swooped in near the end of December with this compilation named Past Disappears featuring 17 tracks from an array of well respected artists including Aaron Martin, Porya Hatami, The Green Kingdom, Maps and Diagrams, Pleq , and Hakobune.  It is generously offered on a pay what you want basis (including free), so there is no reason to miss out on this fine collection.


Featured track: ‘Paynes Grey’

Upcoming Releases

 Steinbrüchel | Parallel Landscapes [12k]

This month will see the first release of Swiss artist Steinbrüchel on the vaunted 12k label.  One can expect the most finely crafted electroacoustic sounds, but this release goes beyond just the music.  In addtion to the compact disc, Parallel Landscapes will consist include a printed sixty page colour printed booklet with a laser stenciled wrap-around cover conceptualized and designed by the artist featuring photographs from Taylor Deupree and an essay by Lawrence English.  The label’s description of the forthcoming record is tantalizing:

“There’s an incredible amount of exploratory thought behind Parallel Landscapes that make this one of Steinbrüchel¹s most ambitious projects to date. His music has become increasingly refined but always retaining his signature sound. Still using the ideas of sine waves and pure tones but now softened with time, his palette stretches across electronics into a variety of found and acoustic sources. Bell tones are in the forefront, interspersed with the soft crackles of noise and static. Tones are stretched across the visual plane like a bell being carried across the land forever duplicating itself. Parallel Landscapes is engaging and reflective and sets a new standard in Steinbrüchel¹s creative output.”


Featured track: ’03’ 

 Fabio Orsi | Just For A Thrill [Home Normal]

Based in Napoli and specializing in atmospheric ambient drone, electronic musician Fabio Orsi will release his latest work, Just For a Thrill, on Home Normal at the end of the month (further evidence of a torridly creative period for the label).  The preview tracks are captivating and given that just three of them weigh in at over 30 minutes combined promises a generous and rewarding journey when the full release is available in digital formats and CD on January 30.

Featured: ‘2. Just For A Thrill’ 


Featured track: ‘2. Just For A Thrill’ 

 Linear Bells |  Insides [Assembly Field]

David Teboul follows hot on the heels of a prolific 2014 as Linear Bells and the curator of Soft Recordings with a new album due out this month on Assembly Field entitled Insides. There is a paucity of pre-release material available, but there is an beautiful preview track that can now be heard called ‘Greatest Tragedies’ which has a heavy cinematic, modern classical leaning and has me anxious to hear more.

Featured: ‘Greatest Tragedies’ 

More information:

 Bruno Sanfilippo |  Inside Life [ad21]

Bruno Sanfilippo will follow up his excellent 2014 release ClarOscuro with a new record called Inside Life which will be available in digital and on CD in February from his ad21 label.  No doubt we will hear more about the album from Bruno soon, but the first preview, ‘Tea Leaves at the Bottom of a Cup’ is certainly a lovely introduction that gives us much to look forward to.

Featured: ‘Tea Leaves at the Bottom of a Cup’ 

More information:

 M. Ostermeier |  Still [Tench]

March 2015 will see the first full length album from Baltimore, MD based artist M. Ostermeier in over four years called Still.  The record will be his third released on Tench.  Ostermeier describes his work as ” skeletal piano melodies that are augmented with electronics, guitar, and acoustic recordings” and that is exactly what we hear on the lovely preview track ‘Stasis’. Copies of the CD can now be pre-ordered from the label. 

Featured: ‘Stasis’ 


New Projects

Dust Breeding by Marcus Fischer

Dust Breeding is a creative project from ambient/minimal/experimental that artist Marcus Fischer is bringing back to life in 2015 and which is simply described as “a thing a day…maybe more”.  The original blog ran from January 2009 to January 2010.  The idea was for Fischer to “post an entry documenting one creative project a day and to use the year long project as a creative catalyst to improve my own artistic practices”.

Out of the original blog came a collection of pieces selected by M. Ostermeier, refined by Fischer, mastered by Taylor Deupree, and released as a full length album on the Tench label with the title Collected Dust (

Having not followed the blog in its original form, I am enjoying now going back and perusing the entries and listening to this excellent recording. I intend to correct my error by following the new blog as it unfolds. You can follow as well at

Listen to ‘Cold Days’ from Collected Dust (2011):