2021 in Review: Electroacoustic & Experimental Folk

A selection of memorable releases from the year from the musical edgelands where electroacoustic ambient and field recordings meet acoustic, folk, and other analog experiments in sound.

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2021 in Review: A Sense of Place and Time

The act of creating a sense of a place or capturing a moment in time is a fairly common motif in a great deal of instrumental music, especially ambient, but it is intrinsically at the very core of these works released in 2021. Some are personal narratives or depictions of landscape either real or imagined while…

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VIDEO PREMIERE: “Peer” by Kinbrae & Clare Archibald

Circular patterns are at the heart of the first collaborative album between Kinbrae (twin brothers Mike & Andy Truscott) and fellow Fife-based writer and artist Clare Archibald. Much of the meaning behind what they have created is condensed into its succinct title – Birl of Unmap. Birl is a Scots word meaning ‘to spin’ –…

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Sound Impression: Gravity + Sand by Bethan Kellough

Since Aven was released to much acclaim by Touch in 2016, Los Angeles based sound artist and composer Bethan Kellough has remained busy drawing on her sound design and field recording practice to create ambisonic compositions for installations, film & media not to mention participating in artistic residencies, workshops, and interviews around the globe. While…

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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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