31 January 2012

AMNPTN - seasons (winter ep) (2012, Dancing on Sharks)

AMNPTN, acronym for Amineptine, an antidepressant, but also a choice easy to relate to ASMZ (A Silver Mt. Zion) as it is an obvious and claimed influence.

It is a cold and dark release but also introspective an in a certain way both intimate and depressed, mostly mournful.

30 January 2012

Halls - fragile ep (2012, The Sounds of Sweet Nothing)

I've been experienced some urgency to listen to this EP after having discovered the song "I am not who you want", mixing melancholic vocals, somewhere between the cold ethereal wave of 4AD, the reverberation of Songs of Green Pheasant, and a new wave melancholy which you could get if you were throwing Rivulets in an ocean of shoegazing or just in the middle of a Labradford record. 

29 January 2012

Shores & Charles The Osprey - ritual (2011, 
No Idea)

This is a collaborative split EP between two bands, which were rehearsing and writing music in the same household, and progressively from meeting each other regularly came this idea of recording  something together.

Charles the Osprey is Rafael Ohli (guitar) and Derek Lancioni (drums), they play loud instrumental math-rock. Shores is Brian Przybylski (guitar, vocals, bass) and John Massel (drums), they play slowcore music under obvious Codeine / Bedhead influences. 

28 January 2012

Sinai Vessel - portion of the whole (demo) (2011)

I discovered Sinai Vessel through a recommendation on the Epithets fb page and to be honest their debut album "Labor Pains" released on October 2011 didn't convince me at all.

27 January 2012

Azure Blue - rule of thirds (2011, Matinée / Hybrism)

Vitesse, the early Magnetic Fields recordings, and all things related to 80's tinted synth (twee / indie) pop, once popularized by New Order, all names that come to mind when Azure Blue, alias Tobias Isaksson explores his own emotions through a well defined setup, but at times partially succeeds in breaking the lines with sentimental melancholic and ecstatic melodies. 

26 January 2012

Sonmi451 - a new popular star atlas (2011, Time Released Sound)

I discovered the music of Bernard Zwijgen with his charming EP, "Ruis", on Slaapwel records.  But I was curious to discover what the Belgian ambient musician would realize outside of narcotic contraints.

25 January 2012

Lexithimie - no matter how many times repeat (2009, Hibernate)

Four compositions, "Scale 1" to "Scale 4", a total length of 22 minutes, full of minimal, warm and blurry drones.

Listening to "No matter how many times repeat" is like experiencing the morning light with eyes still closed or watching a glass of water in front of a blank wall. Nothing really happens but the impression is both comfortable and appeasing. It's a time for rest, a time for settle down.

21 January 2012

Navel - ambient 4 : luneburg heath (Koppklys, 2011)

First it's the nice picture on the cover

which through rainy and gloomy winter weather looks particularly attractive, then there is the obvious Brian Eno reference with the title track, and finally it's this limited cassette release (50 copies) graciously offered on a blog.

19 January 2012

Marcus Fischer - collected dust (Tench, 2012)

New album by Marcurs Fischer, recorded in Portland, OR.

It is an excessively quiet one, like those moments in the middle of the night when everyone seems into deep sleep and when the streetlights reflecting on the pavement seem to belong to another reality. These are these moments, just before dawn, when the sun is still invisible but when indirect glowing light show the apparition of dew and solitary fog clouds drifting on meadows, slopes and hedges.

18 January 2012

Epithets - year of glad (2011)

Debut album for this Brisbane 5 piece Epithets led by Nick Smethurst, following a first collection of demos. It reminds me of The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, Purplene and the two first two albums by Death Cab For Cutie. 

15 January 2012

Black Sea Storm - 2005 (2005)

This EP is the first collection of songs recorded by Ali Ozkan in 2005 for his solo project Black Sea Storm and it sounds like a minimal version of the tense slowcore / posthardcore of Channing Cope.

We are in the middle of a no man's land and as Channing Cope unfortunately never even appeared on most indie radars, this more minimal version of the band was definitely stuck in limbo.

During these six songs, he is still searching himself, slowly adopting his own use of drums. I find it less convincing than his records with Channing Cope and Shere, even relatively abstract.

None of these tracks is really striking but a few ones are flirting with this limit and keep myself wondering, while alleviating my walking. "Rolling flags", "Inside Places", or "By the sea" are such budding embryos making the discovery valuable if you already know his other stuff.

Even in 2012, Black Sea Storm is still a work in progress and development. 


09 January 2012

Small Knives - rain on tin (Candle , 2003)

Once upon a time there was 2 Litre Dolby, a post-rock / post-hardcore Australian band, created in 1996, which released a 7", a few compilation tracks and an album, "El Caballo Rojo", and disbanded in 2001.

Not a band that can't be ignored but which offered at least a few (still) convincing tracks, like "Frida Kahlo".

08 January 2012

I am a vowel - body curves (2011, Fang Bomb)

An album in 2008, "Et Op La Bang" on Fang Bomb and three years later a 7" on the same Swedish label, with an edition of 200 copies, I am a vowel is the perfect example of an artist both rare and under the radar.

05 January 2012

Happy New Year / Nite Fields - split 7" (2012, Lost Race)

Split 7inch between two bands related to Brisbane, one directly from there, Nite Fields, and the other one, the project of  Brisbane-born but now Brooklyn-based Eleanor Logan.

Two bands with the eyes in the rear-view mirror, with a new wave and shoegaze ethereal and almost cold wave approach in direct line with the Factory Records / 4AD aesthetics. This vinyl, limited to 150 copies, is the first release by the new label Lost Race Records.

03 January 2012

Oscar + Martin - for you (Two Bright Lakes, 2011)

There are some albums you are not ready to enjoy at first, and you are not really sure you totally recognize as truly convincing.

I discovered Oscar + Martin, a duo from Melbourne with "What I know", I listened to the full song on Soundcloud, at first because  of their use of reverse loops in the intro, and then I was surprised by the vocal melody, which is truly indie but has some obvious debt towards hip hop & R'n'B. I listened to it several times, finally surprised to find it quite addictive and subtle.

02 January 2012

Seapony - go with me (Hardly Art, 2011)

35 minutes, 12 songs following the same indie twee pop format,  Seapony offers a debut album whose efficiency just balances the lack of surprise.

I feel like having experienced a time machine and found myself in 1992 with their pure twee indiepop, simple, bright and melodic.