Through a Musical Lens: Touch Dissolves by Aaron Martin [IIKKI]

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Even with a thesaurus ever just a mouse-click away, one begins to run out of superlatives to describe the music of Aaron Martin. Perhaps it is the unpretentious, organic beauty. Perhaps it is sublime balance between the earthly and the empyrean. Perhaps it is simply that truth resonates in each handmade note, of which not one is ever wasted. If you have heard Aaron’s work, you know exactly what I mean.  If you have not, then a wonderful starting point would be his contribution to Touch Dissolves, the album portion of sixth edition of IIKKI Books in which volume is presented as a dialog between two artists, one visual and one musical (the visuals in this edition are provided by Turkish photographer Yusuf Sevinçli).

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Sound Impression: Millpond Way by M. Grig [Other Songs]

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Originally from the Pacific Northwest and now living Durham, North Carolina, Mike Grigoni is a composer & multi-instrumentalist who plays dobro, lap steel and pedal steel guitar and records under the name M. Grig. While he has settled personally in the Tar heel state, Grigoni’s music has found a home on Canadian label Other Songs where he has released a trio of delightful EPs – Field Notes (2016), Still Lifes (2017), and the brand new Millpond Way.

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Stilhedens Strømmen I Fuglenes Blod by øjeRum [KrysaliSound]

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Danish collage artist & musician Paw Grabowski aka øjeRum made his first appearance on KrysaliSound with one of the standout EPs of last year, a reissue of his alternate soundtrack to Chris Marker’s 1962 time travel film La Jetée entitled He remembers there were gardens. He returns with an encore reissue of another øjeRum long form piece, albeit a more pastoral one. Stilhedens Strømmen I Fuglenes Blod is a 30-minute suite of haunting acoustic guitar motifs, gossamer textures, and percussive chimes as delicate as the hollow bones of a tiny bird.

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2017 in review: Journeys in Post Rock, Experimental Folk, & Electronica

A vibrant and eclectic selection where genres never define of confine, but only serve as reference points for those of us with inadequate words to describe the music. 

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Sound Impression: Landscapes by Jacob Montague

What exactly is “cinematic folk”? A good way to answer that question would be to have a listen to Landscapes, the latest solo release by Oakland-based composer, producer, & multi-instrumentalist Jacob Montague. The album, which flows more like a suite than a collection of songs, oozes pastoral charm with scene-setting atmospheres and a strong narrative flow propelled by a keen sense of rhythm given a wide-screen context by clever integration of lush electronics, strings, and bold percussive elements.

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Seabuckthorn – Turns [Lost Tribe Sound]

When the resonator guitar was first invented, it was to address a simple, practical need to help guitar players be heard in ensemble settings and cut through the din of the noisy venues where they performed. There are many other ways to address such needs these days, but none that offer the distinctive sound this instrument generates. Used traditionally, it instantly adds an earthiness and authentic Americana flavor to almost any piece of music. In the hands of Andy Cartwright (aka Seabuckthorn) however it is something else entirely – a seemingly bottomless well of unbridled creativity and a veritable builder of worlds. On his third full-length album entitled Turns, Cartwright adds a new dimension to the peregrine narratives and wide-screen atmospheres he created on I Could See the Smoke and They Haunted Most Thickly to create his most complete artistic statement yet.

‘Turns’ is far more of a cerebral experience than its predecessors. transitioning seamlessly between hypnotic long-form pieces, minimal harp-like ballads and the primal stomping world-builders that have become Seabuckthorn’s calling card.  – Lost Tribe Sound

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2016 in review: Journeys in Acoustic, Primitive, & Experimental Folk

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This list is short, but particularly sweet. A dozen memorable albums released this year of particularly delicate construction and pastoral feel featuring acoustic guitar, primitive, and experimental folk music. 

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Travelogue 2016.10.16: An Americana Dream

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Take a listening journey with four albums by six artists steeped in masterful primitive folk guitar and rich echoes of Americana with an avant spirit of experimentation and imagination.  Featuring Seabuckthorn, Nevada Greene, Scott Tuma, Dylan Golden Aycock, Lake Mary, and M. Sage

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Sound Impression: Texture Series Volume One [1631 Recordings]

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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Sound Impression: Light of Woods – Field Notes [Other Songs Music]

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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Sound Impression: øjeRum – Væv [Eilean Rec.]

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A glistening gossamer web spun from reminiscence and longing. The warp and weft of memory woven into a translucent sonic tapestry. A collage of frozen time and faded beauty. All of these are suggested by both the title and music of Væv, the latest work of Copenhagen-based musician and collage artist Paw Grabowski under the moniker of øjeRum (the word væv, rooted in Old Norse, can be translated as tissue, loom, web,  or weave).

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Sound Impression: Albosel – Container [Hawk Moon Records]

The balmy, languid days of summer are a perfect time to discover the arcadian sounds of Albosel, an ambient folk trio from Nottingham, UK and their new album, Container about to be released on Hawk Moon Records. Theirs is an ethereal and melancholic sound built around pristine guitar lines intertwined with layers of gauzy vocals, and a delicate smattering of electronics, violin, & flute. 

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