27 February 2011

A Wonderful - uncorked understandings (2004)

A few months after my review of "Light-hearted dark days EP", I go further backwards into the discography of Tim Wilson, waiting for a promised comeback and hoping he might dig up more of his past discography (there is a split, a single and an album still unknown to me and unavailable). 

Koen Holtkamp - gravity/bees (2010, Thrill Jockey

Co-founder of the Apestaartje label, with Brendon Anderegg, both of them also active behind the ambient duo Mountains, Koen Holtkamp is back for a third release under his own name after two other solo albums as Aero.

"Gravity/Bees" is a two tracks, each one around 15 minutes, vinyl and mp3 release on Thrill Jockey. While his works with Brendon Anderegg mix introspection, emotions and self-restraint, solo he follows more intuitive, potentially hazardous, pathways and this record looks somewhat like a long alley of mirrors, in which reflections intersect endlessly, both modern and retro-futurist, managing both exploration and integration of stylistic features. 

25 February 2011

Memoryhouse - caregiver / heirloom 7inch (2010, Suicide Squeeze)

Following their successful "Years EP", the Guelph, Ontario, dreampop duo, is making a new strong impression with this 7inch, proving again that they completely stand apart from the swarming chillwave scene and are probably promised to a bright future.

I was doubtful at first listen because these two songs are less a love at first sight and need just more accommodation time before revealing their nuances and strength, and leaving me, in a state of bliss.

24 February 2011

Plinth - albatross (2010, Deadslackstring)

Solo project of Michael Tanner, from Dorset, South, UK, Plinth floats inside the atmospheric ambient instrumental genre with a preference for organic sound textures, with contemplative and very lightly psychedelic influenced moods.

“Albatross” is a strange object, collecting five, very free, interpretations of the Fleetwood Mac track of the same name, but this whole record of 55 minutes sounds mostly like one long single track cut into interconnected similar parts.

23 February 2011

Federico Durand - el éxtasis de las flores pequeñas (2011, Own)

Third album for Federico Durand, living in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, Argentina, after his debut "Elin" (2008) and his marvelous second one "La siesta del ciprés" (2010), a major ambient release and a strong emotional discovery of last year for me.

20 February 2011

Ilyas Ahmed - between two skies (2005)

Ilyas Ahmed is an American musician born in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1974, but who spent most of his life in various areas of the USA, from New Jersey to Minnesota, Vermont, Maine, Seattle and lately established in Portland, Oregon.

This is is first self-released album, now followed by several ones, all of these now amalgamated to the tentacular New Weird America scene of the 00's where he slowly became an icon, not unlike others artists as Grouper or Six Organs of Admittance, with whom he share at times certain exigencies and stylistic choices.

19 February 2011

Flim - orange (2010, Plinkity Plonk)

After a four years hiatus, which I feared was at first supposed to be definitive, Enrico Wuttke, from Dresden, Germany, is back in action under his Flim moniker for a EP  on the Dutch label Plinkity Plonk.

If the artwork pictures  a lemon, the title focus on another citrus fruit, orange, and in a similar shift after the highly personal and moving emotional content and impact of "Pola Music" and "Onhe Titel", the four tracks and 28 minutes of this EP were created for the dance piece ‘Refugium’, based on the novel ‘The Wall’ by Marlen Haushofer.

17 February 2011

Segue - grey (2009, Tokyo Droning)

Segue is a project of Jordan Sauer, a musician from Vancouver, Canada. "Grey" has been released on Tokyo Droning, a sister label of Home Normal.

Jodan Sauer has go an already impressive discography behind him, on various netlabels dedicated to the electronica ambient scene, a few of this ones released on his own label Duck Bay.

16 February 2011

Cold Mountain Child - stilness singing (2010, Dinosaur Club)

Debut album for a new American indie duo, coming from Kalamazoo, Michigan, now offered for free, "Stilness Singing" see the birth of a highly impressive, nuanced and subtle formation whose songwriting goes wall along those developed previously by bands such as Spain, Lullaby for the Working Class, Hayden or Carissa's Wierd.             

Cold Mountain Child is a collaboration between Tyler Bradley (guitar and vocals) and David Spalvieri-Kruse (piano and guitar), whose solo project Deep Waters was one of my strongest surprises of last year.

15 February 2011

Two Bicycles - the holy forest (2010)

New ep for Two Bicycles, following the steps brightly opened by his first ep in this vein, "Valerie".

There is some more space for melodies and vocals, and the dreampop / shoegaze leanings previously noticed  are gaining in importance, leading us through 18 minutes which were as supposedly written and recorded in the space of two days.

11 February 2011

St. Mary's - hear those voices call... (2008, Mon Petit Fantome Recordings)

I enjoyed "Oh Tremble" in 2006 but I lost track of St. Mary's to finally just find my way back to them and notice that Chad Merritt (behind guitar, bass, piano, organ, percussions, samplers and some vocals) now pairs with Tracy Uba (who played bass and sang in Timonium, a slowcore / dreampop band on Pehr label, and who's busy with most of the vocals here).

10 February 2011

Cloaks - serene (2008, Students of Decay)

Close to Brian Eno ambient works or to the explorations of William Basinski, “Serene” is the second release by Cloaks. 

It is a project of Spencer Doran, a young musician from Portland, also playing with the experimental band  RV Paintings, and also releasing music under the White Sunglasses alias or under his own name.

09 February 2011

Radiosonde - radiosonde (2010, Flau)

I first heard of Radiosonde through their collaboration with Sawako on the track "April - From Sea Shell" from her album "Bitter Sweet", which is one of her most moving compositions.

So I was really curious to discover this band on a proper release and this album on Flau, their second, was a really good surprise.

08 February 2011

Thee, Stranded Horse - churning strides (2007, Talitres)

Thee, Stranded Horse is a project of the French muscian Yann Tambour (before playing under the Encre alias). "Churning Strides" is a collection of songs built around the use of an African string instruments called kora which sounds like a fresh, greener, more versatile and aquatic version of banjo.

The banjo reference isn't free as often his voice turns into something folkish and bluesy which would fit perfectly with this instrument too. 

07 February 2011

The Gloria Record - ep (1998, Crank)

After the split of Mineral, Christopher Simpson (vocals / guitar) and Jeremy Gomez (bass) had started a new project with other musicians and recorded this first ep, released in 1988. 

Two years later a second more sophisticated ep followed and finally an over-produced album that was hard to finish for them, in 2002, followed by a quick split.

06 February 2011

Roomer - ep (2006)

Sometimes losing patience is beneficial. It has been a few years that I came across the myspace of Roomer, solo project of Kevin Holmes, from Greensboro, North Carolina.

Since then I have been waiting religiously for a proper release would it be a CD, a tape, a vinyl or a mp3 release (I was candidate with my netlabel Sundays in Spring) but nothing never happened, no new songs, no new posts, nothing. 

05 February 2011

Matteo Uggeri and Andrea Ferraris (with Mujika Easel and Andrea Serrapiglio) - autumn is coming, we´re all in slow motion (2010, Hibernate)

Matteo Uggeri and Andrea Ferraris are two Italian musicians belonging to the experimental / noise / ambient scene and they collaborated on their first full length with Japanese musician Mujika Easel (Eisi, Mono) on piano and vocals, and Andrea Serrapiglio (cello and mastering).

03 February 2011

Shores - coup de grâce (2010, No Idea)

From Grand Rapids, Michigan,  Shores is a duo formed by Brian Przybylski (guitar, vocals, bass) and John Massel (drums) and their debut album is a pure slowcore jewel with obvious references to some absolute masters of the genre such as Bedhead, Seam, Codeine, Low, Red House Painters, Kepler, C-Clamp or Bluetile Lounge.

Pandit - ep (2010)

I came across Pandit through a video for his song "Pack your bags" and connections with Foxes in Fiction made me want to hear more from him.

Pandit is the solo project of Lance Smith,  from Lumberton, Texas, who apparently has been active in various bands before, an experience which can be heard here on this first self-released free EP. If since his songwriting has evolved towards more musical refinement, the substance is already there.