Coming soon, on Mind Tweekers records!
Coming soon, on Mind Tweekers records!
One of the things I love the most about the whole music experience is the discovery. In fact I think I’m addicted to it. The thrill of discovering a band or project, sometimes by pure luck, is what gives me faith that the music world is always progressing independent of money or media.
I’m saying all this to introduce you to the best “found by luck” band of the last don’t-know-how-long: Magnolia
The first time I heard the album (“This is Magnolia”) I had to stop doing whatever I was doing and just soak in the lazy post-rock waves of emotional lap guitar, minimalistic piano and smooth light grooves. It’s not the most original sound ever.. In fact the Tortoise, Mogwai, Sumner McKane influence is so obvious (for me anyway) that is like a bow or homage. And I don’t care at all. Since the last Sumner McKane I didn’t get so emotional connected to album like this one.
Well, enought talking. Just listen and fly.
Wow, just noticed that I didn’t review this yet! It’s so good that it went straight to my case and iPod and have been listening to it since.
I confess that I didn’t know much about Manual. It was recommended by Magnus Birgersson on this interview (togetther with the latest Hammock album) and searching a bit found out that it took 5 years for the Danish guitar-player Jonas Munk to complete this masterpiece. You can even say it’s a “guitar album” since most of the sounds are made using the instrument. The way it is used reminds me a lot of the 90′s post-rock albums (Mogwai, Godspeed you black emperor) mixed with Cocteau Twins nostalgic atmospheres.
The upbeat structure of the tracks give it a feeling of always moving forward and fits perfect with the clean production. The result is timeless album, full of deep emotions and feelings. A perfect companion for summer days, rainy afternoons, travellings, chilling, thinking… Easily one of the bests I heard lately!
Extremely recommended! Get it here.
I’m not updating this blog as frequently as I want but this doesn’t mean that I haven’t been listening to some good stuff lately. I’ll try to start posting some of it on the following days. Let’s begin with this beautiful album from Dane Jacobs called “Yellower Days”.
Usually I think that the glitch genre is some kind of sonic masturbation, with all the clicks and pops and no soul. This one is different. Full of emotion and melodies, it reminds me of more experimental and crazy Kettel. Now the icing on the cake: it’s free!!! But ff you download and like it please consider paying I $4 (!!) for the whole package including a bonus track.
Easily one of the best free releases I’ve heard this year. Oh, the art is amazing too!
2005 marked the release of what is in my opinion one of the greatest psychedelic ambient albums of all times: Solar Fields “Leaving Home“. Magnus Birgersson had already released two albums before but no other showed his incredible sense of production, composition and originality like this one.
Since then I’ve been a huge fan and waited impatiently 4 years for the the follow up: Movements. And it was… ok. The production level was still very high and we had some real gems there (“Sol”, “Discovery” and “The Stones Are Not Too Busy” are among his best) but something was missing. Everything was so “right as expected”… I couldn’t help to feel a little disappointed. But I knew he still had this creativity and desire to break the rules on him. It was only a question of time…
…and suddenly, out of nowhere, comes “Altered – Second Movements“. He had already done an remix of one of his own albums (“Extended“) but what he attempted (and succeed) here is something else. I have no other way to describe it as “Movements” on acid. He abandoned all the strict rules of how a song should be arranged and that seems to have guided so much of “Movements” and permitted himself to create freely, without beginning or end. You can still hear and identify most of the tracks but they are so transmuted and realized that I wonder if they were written at the same time or even before the others!
It’s much more experimental than any other thing he has done before but very rewarding as a complete journey. And what a journey! Together with Carbon Based Lifeforms “Interloper”, the deepest one of the year. Extremely recommended!
This ambient/downtempo project from Budapest is defined by its own creator (Peter Fabok) as “When Solar Fields meets Jean Michel Jarre”. I confess that I was never a big Jarre fan but since he mentioned Solar Fields I jumped in immediately. He has two albums and one EP released on bandcamp, all of them with ”name your price” tag. My favorite one, Micropolis, has Ultimae Records written all over it. You get 9 psychedelic tracks, some with a beat, some minimalistic, others melodic, most with a nice nostalgic atmosphere.
Chek it out, specially if you like the artists mentioned above.
I don’t know if I’ve been living under a rock or something but first I didn’t know that Future Sound of London was still going as an electronic band and then now I found out on accident that Woob is back. Woob is back?! But who is Woob, you ask?
If you started listening to ambient on the 00′s chances are you don’t know about a label called em:t, one of the pioneers of this type of music during the 90′s (and still active). Woob released two albums and a lot of tracks with em:t but one them, Woob 1194, is considered one of the milestones of the ambient genre (and works fine even nowadays). It was a long time since his last release so that explain my surprise when I found “Repurpose” when browsing through bandcamp.
It’s not made entirely of new tracks (some remixes and remakes) and there are some fillers but believe me when I say it’s high quality stuff. Pure cinematic and epic ambient music tending more to the dark side of the force. The use of real instruments (mostly ethnic) conjures a pretty intense ritual organic atmosphere. And the price… So cheap!! It is worth for the last two tracks alone. What are you waiting for?
Since last week I’ve been immersed in this fresh new compilation released by Shulman and DJ Sahar (owners of Aleph Zero). After a little disappointment with “Natural Born Chillers 2” (to oriental for my taste most of the time) this time they went for a similar mood that from the amazing “Midnight Soul Dive” compilation released three years ago: serious cutting edge chill and ambient with a quirky high-tech flavour. Do they succeed? Hell yeah!!
All the tracks, without exception, have top-notch production and are filled with fresh ideas and beautiful (and most of the time quite simple) melodies. There is also a big IDM and Glitch influence, giving the whole trip a more upbeat feeling this time. In fact the album was certainly made to be listened as a one great composition or journey since the tracks work better as steps than as individual entities.
But please don’t think there are no highlights! The Krusseldorf track (Boxing) gets me amazed with his sonic wizardry every time I listen to it, the Aligning Minds one (Tee-child) is a hell of a trip filled with tasty sounds, Eitan Reiten managed to transform Shulman’s “One Step Closer” with weird hypnotic alien sounds and finishing everything with great style comes Minilogue with gorgeous and deeeeeeeep tech-lowfi monster (“When The Roof Is Low Open Your Heart And The Sky Will Follow”). You can easily buy the album just for the above tracks… but you still get famous names that never disappoint like Vataff Project, Robert Rich (!!!), Omnimotion, I Awake and Hibernation. Together with less famous but not less exciting ones (who the hell is Alexander Daf and why I never heard him before?!) you get what probably will be the best 2010 ambient/chill compilation.
My only complaint is about the transition between the tracks. Sometimes they are quite abrupt and not DJ friendly. But this is only a small point and should not distract you from what is, in my opinion, the best compilation released by Aleph Zero so far!
Listen to samples and buy it here. Highly recommended!!!
2004 saw the release of one the best down tempo albums ever in my humble opinion, Phutureprimitive‘s Sub Conscious. It’s blend of tribal rhythms, twisted synths and highly psychoactive atmospheres rocked a lot of chill stages around the globe and it is still a benchmark for the style.
When the awesome Interchill Records VA “Future Memmories” was released two years ago I was really surprised by the direction of his track “Deeper”. Much more commercial (vocals!) but very well produced and still retaining the Phutureprimitive touch. How wrong was I to think it was a one-track-only offering… Going the same direction as Simon Posford, now the Phutureprimitive project is a live band with more 3 members! And it seems to be quite a treat, watch for yourself:
The “Luminous EP”, released on May, follows on the same path. Twisted psychedelic down tempo with male and female vocals. Very well produced and with great refreshing sound, reminded me a lot of the ProSect vs Reflekshum album (“Imagination Corporation”). And it even contains a remix of one of mys favorite tracks from “Sub Conscious”: Darkness.
Kalpataru Tree‘s first album, Scattered Fragments Of The Eternal Dream, came out of nowhere in 2007 and became one of the most listened during this great year for ambient music. I was mesmerized by the effortless blend of dubby grooves and dreamy guitar riffs.
I was very happy to find that he released a second album in June and it’s very good! The production quality evolved a lot (the first one was a little low on this) and you can feel that the compositions are more mature and held back. Even if it’s not as original and beautiful as the first one, the highlights are still here: organic textures and dreamy trippy dubby atmospheres.
Recommended to lovers of psydub, guitar, and easy listening chill.