Duologue: A Conversation with Melissa Pons

Melissa Pons is a field recordist and sound designer whose main interests revolve around anthropology, forests, culture and social justice. In recent years, she has explored sounds around the world from forests in Brazil and Sweden to Portugal where she is now based. In addition to her audio works, Melissa, maintains a fascinating and well-written…

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Travelogue: The Whitelabrecs Home Diaries

Since its inception, Harry Towell’s Whitelabrecs label has been nothing less than prolific with release after release that seems to bring out the best in any artist that appears on the roster. In fact, Whitelabrecs made more appearances in my 2019 retrospectives than any other label. Given the creative impetus that represents, perhaps it is…

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2019 In Review: The Art of the EP

The EP is often overlooked when it comes annual round-ups, but this format continually provides us with memorable outsize moments and the year in music would not be the same without them as these 16 releases demonstrate.

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Sound Impression: It Billows Up by Sontag Shogun

For their latest record entitled It Billows Up, Brooklyn-based avant music trio Sontag Shogun sought to capture the essence of their live performances on record through the use of collaborative techniques and modular compositions they had developed while on tour in Europe, Japan, & North America in 2016/17. The end result is a kaleidoscopic pastiche…

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Travelogue: The Beautiful Hum of Hotel Neon

“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…

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2018 In Review: A Sense of Place and Time

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.…

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Lucy Claire | Scape Works [1631 Recordings]

The third and final installment in Lucy Claire‘s “Works” series is a beautifully conceived EP that takes her music out of the confines of living room and studio to integrate with a variety of soundscapes. In a rather fresh take on the concept, she has taken an especially interactive approach which, when combined with her…

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A Sense of Place: From a Wind Turbine to Vultures (and Back) by Kate Carr [Flaming Pines]

How does one capture the essence of a landscape so as to describe it to another who has never been there? The vast majority of us would rely on words and pictures, but how many of us would think of trying to do this strictly with sound?  Not music, mind you, but sound. That is…

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Sound Impression: Deepness by Francesco Giannico [Manyfeetunder]

Francesco Giannico‘s latest album presents itself as “an unlikely acoustic bio-marine chronotope through a collaborative mode”. The collaborative aspect is the incorporation of sound samples collected from participants around the world, a concept that worked a treat on Agoraphonia (2016, Dronarivm) but with a change in focus from the urban to the aquatic. Giannico then takes these samples…

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