Noteworthy highlights from the past week of music discovery, releases, previews, and other news.  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 of Upcoming Releases

Leigh Toro| L’Esprit De L’Escalier [Eilean Rec.]

Eilean Records wraps up an impressive debut year with this release by Leigh Toro (aka Flotel) due out on Dec 12. L’Esprit De L’Escalier is the title of the album, coyly taken from a French term used in English that refers to thinking of a perfect retort too late (literally “staircase wit”). The preview tracks promise an album of exquisitely crafted electroacoustic ambient music which the label has come to typify. As with previous releases, physical copies will be beautifully presented and quite limited, so interested listeners should check this out early.

http://www.eilean-records.com/#!release-leigh-toro/c1qut

Featured: ‘Ringstone Round’

New Album Releases

The Gateless Gate | Sibir (plus bonus tracks) | [Pyschonavigation]

Toronto based duo The Gateless Gate move from one extreme landscape to another as they leave behind the desert motifs of their Steve Kilbey inspired EP Myrrh to explore the vastness of Siberia with Sibir, a release so expansive that it comes in two parts.  The first part is a 5-track, hour long journey through the landscapes of this huge territory articulated in a modern “komische” ambient style that is simultaneously lush and glacial and is supplemented with evocative field recordings.  The second part is a companion release with over 30 minutes of bonus tracks that speak to the human element with references to both the region’s industrial installations and its somber, sometimes tragic, history.

Featured: ‘Winter in Yakutia’ and ‘Norilsk’ (bonus track)

Order: https://thegatelessgate.bandcamp.com/album/sibir

Download bonus tracks: https://thegatelessgate.bandcamp.com/album/sibir-bonus-tracks

Monolyth & Cobalt | Sub + Rosa [Uknown Tone]

Mathias Van Eecloo has been nothing less than a force of nature this year.  He rolled out the Eilean Records label which produced 12 outstanding releases since the Spring and put out two full length recordings, III (exode) as  D.rhöne  and Polarlicht under his better known moniker of Monolyth & Cobalt. And that is not even to mention the lovely new collaboration he has started with composer Madeleine Cocolas. The icing on the cake is the new double album Sub + Rosa on Unknown Tone, consisting of 12 original electroacoustic ambient tracks and another dozen which are reworks by a stellar array of artists including Wil Bolton, Porya Hatami, and Machinefabriek. Sub + Rosa is offered in digital and limited edition 2CD formats.

Order: https://unknowntonerecords.bandcamp.com/album/sub-rosa

Featured: ‘Asphodel’

V/A | A Minute of Your Time [Hawk Moon Records]

Hawk Moon Records has just released a noteworthy V/A compilation called A Minute of Your Time which contains 19 tracks from an impressive list of artists from inside & outside their roster. The format is unique in that each track is exactly one minute long (give or take a few seconds).  It is an engaging listen with a broad range of styles reflective of the diverse contributors who include Moshimoss, Good Weather for an Airstrike, Olan Mill, Stray Theories, Orbit Over Luna, Tiny Leaves, Caught in the Wake Forever, and more. Best of all, all amounts paid for the download will benefit Crohn’s & Colitis UK (www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk).  Being able to enjoy this varied and engaging set and help a worthy organization is certainly a winning proposition.

Download/Contribute: https://hawkmoonrecords.bandcamp.com/

Wil Bolton| Whorl [Sound In Silence]

Sound artist Wil Bolton follows up his outstanding album Bokeh with another beautiful collection of songs called Whorl just released on Sound In Silence. Whereas the former was set in mostly urban landscapes, the latter is a more pastoral, nature-oriented affair.  What both have in common the peerless soundcraft and sense of stillness & beauty that characterize Bolton’s work. The album is offered in a limited edition of 200 hand-made, hand-numbered collectible copies.

Order: https://soundinsilencerecords.bandcamp.com/album/whorl 

Featured: ‘Leaves That Curl’

Tineidae| Shadows [Tympanik Audio]

Electronic music artist Tineidae delivers a new album of evocative music in the form of Shadows on Tympanik Audio with tracks offering deep liquid atmospheres, glitchy transitions, and occasional eruptions of towering synths and resonating percussion. Whether you enjoy ambient, glitch, progressive, or IDM electronic music, there should be something here for you in this richly atmospheric recording.  Offered in digital and CD formats including a special poster edition.

Order: https://tympanikaudio.bandcamp.com/album/shadows

Featured: ‘Unconscious’

New EP Releases

Hakobune | Vitex Negundo [Empiric Records]

Hakobune (aka Takahiro Yorifu) has released a new three track effort long enough to straddle the fence between EP and LP and stacked in rich layers of blissful drone woven from soft ambient guitar and wrapped in warm hissing tape loops. This beautiful aural journey is entitled Vitex Negundo and is available via German label Empiric Records.

http://www.store.empiricrecords.com/product/hakobune-vitex-negundo

Featured: ‘Brief Respite’

Tomonari Nozaki | The Fall of Icarus | [Taalem]

After releasing quite a few stunning single tracks on his Soundcloud page, composer Tomonari Nozaki (aka UnknownJP) has released a gorgeous two track EP on Taalem called The Fall of Icarus.  Those familiar with his work will be happy to hear more of resplendent ambient soundscapes imbued with romantic spirit.  In this record, Nozaki offers stunning abstract musical imagery inspired by the mythic character as he imagines him falling into the sea and ascending into the sky. The striking cover art is provided by Curtis Hall (www.seehall.me/home). Available in digital and limited edition 3” CDr formats.

https://taalem.bandcamp.com/album/the-fall-of-icarus

Random Forest | Hibernation |

After putting out both a full length record (Pacific) and an EP (Sierra) as The Echelon Effect, David Walters again teams up with composer Aaron Gilbert as Random Forest resulting in their second release called Hibernation. It is another enjoyable outing blending atmospheric soundscapes with post rock drive and cinematic flourish. Available as a name your price digital download.

https://randomforest.bandcamp.com/album/hibernation

Featured: ‘Iowa’

Mixes

Ambient Acoustique – Stationary Travels 2014.11.25

As Autumn turns brown & grey and the first harbingers of winter’s chill arrive, the warmth of acoustic music is always welcome. This is a new mix which features some exceptionally lovely work by the following artists:

Western Skies Motel
Sundaug
Ancient Colours
Yadayn
Belle Arche Lou
Explosions In The Sky & David Wingo
Jacob Montague
Aaron Martin
Memory Drawings
Ghost and Tape
Wickerbird
Chequerboard

Looking back on noteworthy news, musical discoveries, and social media interactions from the past week.  For a complete list of songs featured this month on the Stationary Travels Facebook and Twitter feeds, check out the July Songdrop mix.

Deru

I am at least a month late to the party, but this week I finally got to dig into the amazing new 1979 project by Deru (the electronic music project of LA-based composer/producer/sound designer Benjamin Wynn) along with Effixx (filmmaker and designer Anthony Ciannamea). On his project site Deru describes 1979 as “an audiovisual time capsule, a perpetual relic, a collective beating heart, a breathing human record, a meditation on nostalgia, my fifth studio album, the year I was born”.   The music here is outstanding, but it is about so much more. To see what it is all about, follow the the links below to visit the interactive site and to read an excellent in-depth feature and interview on the ISO50 web site (ISO50 is the design pseudonym of Scott Hansen, aka Tycho)

1979 interactive site: http://www.1979.la
ISO50 Feature: http://blog.iso50.com/33584/deru-1979-experiencing-an-album/

Tomonari Nozaki & EUS 

Tomonari Nozaki (aka UNKNOWNjp) and EUS (one of several projects of Jose Acuña) partnered to release this sumptuous 4 track album.  EUS offers his original mix of ‘Sol Levit’, which appeared on his October 2013 release of the same title, and Nozaki offers his previously unreleased ‘Adansonia’ and then each remixes the other work.  EUS brings to the table his dark ambient and rich melancholic undertones and Nozaki his cinematic, nearly effusive romanticism. The two are seamless merged through the warm analog medium of reel-to-reel tape and the end result is as absorbing and as emotionally resonant as ambient music can be.  This is generously provided as a free download.  I strongly recommend you grab it while you can.

Wil Bolton 

Bokeh is the new album by Wil Bolton mastered by Ian Hawgood and due to be released next month on Hawgood’s Home Normal label and available now for pre-orders.  Above is the album sampler on Soundcloud and below is the video Bolton created for the beautiful title track which treats the viewer to a fine example of the bokeh effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokeh).

Oskar Schuster

Berlin-based composer Oskar Schuster released a lovely solo piano EP this week called Matilda.  It is available as a 5 track digital download or in a handmade physical edition which includes sheet music for all the pieces and 2 bonus tracks.  This is one modern classical fans should enjoy and may be of special interest to those who play.  Follow the link the Bandcamp site for full information.

Matilda on Bandcamp: http://shop.oskarschuster.com/album/matilda-ep

Peaceful Wrath

Peaceful Wrath is a music project of Belgium-based artist Stéphane K. Vandezande which blends ambient, electronic, and modern classical elements together with a cinematic perspective.  Featured here is ‘Canvas’, one of my favorite tracks from his album Fields.  I was curious about the vocal sample heard around 4:40 and found that they were the words of Hal Lasko, also known as “the pixel painter”.  The video below shares his amazing story in a very touching presentation:

A Sudden Burst of Colour 

A Sudden Burst of Colour is an instrumental rock band based in Motherwell, Scotland.  They have a particularly fresh and uplifting sound which is in full regalia here on their latest single ‘Yume’ courtesy of Stereofox.  I particularly enjoy the clean, crystalline, reverb heavy sound of the guitars.  If legendary guitarist Hank Marvin made a post rock record, this is what I imagine it would sound like. Lots of melodic invention and nice changes here too. Play this one loud and often.