31 December 2010

Gareth Dickson - the dance (2010, Sleeping Man)

In the Gareth Dickson discography there is a balance between folk songwriting and guitar experimentalism - mixing folk tradition with avant-garde electronic music influences - and on "The Dance", the latter approach seems prevalent in terms of artistic and sensitive exigencies.

30 December 2010

Saito Koji - tokyo morning loop (2010, Resting Bell)

Saito Koji is a musician from Japan, specialized into long monotonous and minimal drone soundscapes stretched to the limit and beyond.

29 December 2010

Scott Wells - day songs (2010, Root Strata)

Four untitled tracks of five minutes, soft electric guitar droning odes sprawling on the ground like crystals of frost.

"Day Song" should be reserved to headphones only attentive listening, as every tiny detail in the background takes part into the fragile harmony and alchemy. You almost hear the fingers, picks or other objects rubbing the strings, and resonating, reverberating inside the contemplation room.

28 December 2010

Concern - truth & distance (2009, digitalis)

Concern is solo project of Gordon Ashworth - brother of Owen Ashworth aka Casiotone For The Painfully Alone -, exploring a world of instrumental ambient drones anchored to a vivid and emotional reality.

27 December 2010

Corey Fuller - seas between (2009 Dragon's Eye Recordings)

Born in the United States, Corey Fuller spent most of his youth in Japan, before returning for a few years in Washington state, to study and start his adult life, and finally return to live and work in Japan.

26 December 2010

The Ghost of 29 Megacycles - love via paper planes (2009, Sound & Fury)

There can be just a small difference between authentic and generic and "Love Via Paper Planes", the debut LP from The Ghost of 29 Megacycles - an Australian three-piece, with Greg Taw (vocals/guitars), Karen de San Miguel (vocals/drums) and Matt Aitken (organ), balancing between Perth and Melbourne - could be too quickly assimilated to the later.

23 December 2010

Brooke Manning - bride + loom (2009)

It was recorded in her living room, in Toronto, the evening of August 21, 2009, in one take and most of the instruments were "improvised" or "played on the fly".

It's a small, miracle, from someone who seems to not care to much about guidelines and archetypes, and so she let her songs fall from the sky, unfolding themselves slowly on the ground, caring only about the spontaneity of atmosphere and interpretation, about being lost into it.

22 December 2010

Danny Paul Grody - fountain (2010, Root Strata)

First solo album for Danny Paul Grody, a musician from San Francisco who was a founding member of both Tarentel and The Drift, two feet in the post-rock reservoir of the Temporary Residence label.

19 December 2010

Martin Herterich - recordings 070401-070521 (2007, Hwem)

"Silent Fields" (2009, Kesh) has been an important recent musical discovery so the exploration of his back catalog is the next step.

Martin explained that on this record, he wanted to explore "the possibilities of the grand piano as a droning instrument, by pitching, timestretching, processing piano samples" and adding field recordings.

18 December 2010

Solo Andata - iatunes #003 (2006, Hefty)

Slowly imposing themselves on the foreground of the ambient electronic scene, through three albums so far, this Australian duo of  Kane Ikin (from Melbourne) and Paul Fiocco (from Sydney) began in 2006 with this debut EP on Chicago label Hefty records. 

17 December 2010

The Green Kingdom - twig and twine (2009, Own Records)

Each new release by Michael Cottone (from Detroit, Michigan) finds a home on a new label so far and "Twig and Twine" is no exception.

Along the way, his instrumental ambient music, mixing electronic and acoustic instruments isn't changing much, only slowly evolving towards higher degrees of refinement.

16 December 2010

Jodi Cave - for myria (2007, 12k)

Debut album on 12k for Jodi Cave, a UK sound artist coming from a small town near Sheffield.  Minimalist but not austere, “For Myria” is like a collection of pencil drawings on a blank sheet. 

Handwritten words or sketches you invited to interpret or decode. Textures seem to be more important than narration. The use of microscopic sounds with a natural interface is a kind of continuum – an Arian's thread - on “For Myria”, much more than episodic atmospheric layers.

15 December 2010

Taiga Remains - ribbons of dust (2008, Root Strata)

Taiga Remains is the solo project of Alex Cobb. Released at first as a series of three 3-inch CDR on Alex Cobb's own label Students of Decay, “Ribbons of Dust” has been reissued on Root Strata. 

14 December 2010

Arroes - self-titled EP (2010)

Arroes is the solo project of Will Roud, a young songwriter from Canterbury, South Island of New Zealand. He is also a member of Coate whose first EP will be released early 2011.

He offers here four songs on acoustic guitar, with sometimes drums or field recordings.  While it may sound rough, wearing the heart on sleeve and obviously emotional, he manages to reach something disarmingly honest and fragile.

13 December 2010

Football, etc. - away game / XXL 7" (2010, Count Your Lucky Stars, strictly no capital letters & Keep It Together)

Honestly, I was kind of skeptical about Football, etc. and their revival of the Midwest 90's emo scene, even with a female vocalists, more than obvious references to Mineral, Sunny Day Real Estate or Rainer Maria can be limitative.

11 December 2010

Plastic Flowers - beko_63 (2010, Beko Dsl)

Synth-pop melancholic songs under heavy Factory / Sarah Records UK indie pop influence (Felt, The Smiths, The Cure, Field Mice, The Sundays, New Order), Plastic Flowers is the solo project of Sean Earl Beard (vocals, guitars, and programming), coming from Tallahassee, Florida.

10 December 2010

Fireflies - club 7 002 (2010, Bubbletone)

Lisle Mitnik is back with two delicious songs on a new netlabel, Bubbletone Discos, dedicated to the release of free digital singles.

Two recent recordings of Fireflies songs written a few years ago. This is sweetly melancholic and delicately twee, at first sight they seem harmless and mild, but if you give more attention a feeling of sentimental nostalgia slowly invades you. 

09 December 2010

Anois – tree house whispers (2009, Aerotone)

The northern Germany duo kept the netlabel diffusion for their first full-length, even if the quality of songwriting and production would have deserved a proper CD release.

Comparisons with Komeit, Ida or A Weather are obvious, with their mix of folk pop with electronic sounds, for a collection of melancholic melodies.

08 December 2010

The Ghost Of 29 Megacycles - the hummingbird dream (2010, hellosQuare)

Almost 31 minutes. 2 tracks. "Part 1" is a long slowly evolving drone of 24 minutes, while "Part 2" and a dreampop postshoegazing contemplative song with reverberated low vocals, close to 7 minutes.

The Ghost Of 29 Megacycles is an Australian three-piece, with Greg Taw (vocals/guitars), Karen de San Miguel (vocals/drums) and Matt Aitken (organ), balancing between Perth and Melbourne and this is their second release after a debut album called "Love via paper planes'.

07 December 2010

Hills Are Mountains - ep (2007, Stroboscopic / Reverb Worship)

A limited release, maybe no more than 50 copies, a short and temporary existence with continental constraints (two young musicians who met while studying Sonic Art at Middlesex University), based for a time in London, Hills went and now is gone with this single self-titled EP as a trace.

06 December 2010

Two Bicycles - valerie (2010)

Better know for his chillwave project Teen Daze, this young Canadian musician from Abbotsford, British Columbia, also owns a darker quiet melancholic side explored with his alternate project Two Bicycles.

Listening to "Valerie", it's hard to guess it is the same songwriter as stylistically we are sitting in the ambient folk field, certainly closer to artists like Songs of Green Pheasant, Grouper or to some Glenn Donaldson projects (Birdtree, Ivytree, Olivetree).

05 December 2010

A Broken Consort - crow autumn (2010, Tompkins Square)

New works for Richard Skelton under the A Broken Consort, compiling previously released "Crow Autumn (part 1)" (2007) and "Crow Autumn Part 2" (2009) along three new compositions for a now regular and coherent 7 tracks and 45 minutes long album.

This is the kind of classical, contemplative and cold but emotional atmospheres you would imagine easily as part of the ECM New Series catalog, as Richard Skelton seems follow other aims than musicians belonging to the usual contemporary electronic / ambient / drone / experimental scene. 

04 December 2010

A Wonderful - light hearted dark days EP (2007)

A Wonderful is the recently not so active, and I hope in the future not totally unactive solo project of Tim Wilson, an indie songwriter from Rochester New York.

"Light hearted dark days", now offered as a free download, is a 4 songs EP recorded during one night in his parent's basement and released in 2007 as 30 mini disc copies. As the legend says, a lot of coffee and whiskey involved, but as the result truly admits, a lot of talent, sensitivity and nuances were too included.

03 December 2010

Matt Rösner - repeat (Miatera, 2010)

No trace of melody on these six tracks and 43 minutes of music by this Australian electronic music composer. Listening to "Repeat" you wonder why, so far, Matt Rösner hasn't found home on the Touch label as he shares an even more ascetic idea of minimalist than a paragon like Oren Ambarchi.