Departure Street is American/French guitarist Allan J. Kimmel. Reading his bio on the Bandcamp release page, he calls his work neo-folk. I thought it a strange term, as I normally associate it with dark bands who worked with music that would set well with fans of bands like Death In June, Current 93 and the like. Giving this a couple of listens, perhaps there is some connection there. What I hear a bit more strongly is a sound that compares well with contemporary guitarists like Cousin Silas. This has floaty, pleasant feel to it. Worth a third or fourth listen, definitely.
From Allan’s Bandcamp page:
Departure Street, AKA Allan J. Kimmel, creates tranquil electric guitar meditations that sprawl and explore like the hungry tendrils of an aggressive ivy.
Kimmel, who hails from both America and France, has filled this record with nothing but vividly surreal instrumental soundscapes, which are comprised purely of his multi-tracked and effects-laden solo guitar. Across the record’s nine tracks, Kimmel takes his unique brand of psychedelic loner-folk, and stirs in elements of reverb-heavy ambient music, cosmic American primitivism and even some Middle Eastern folk traditions. The resulting brew is a heady yet mellow mix that glides along with a pleasant ease.
While the album feels like one large suite, “Ascension” is certainly a highlight. David Gilmour-esque slide guitar coasts through slow waves of spacey, repetitive riffs, all while Kimmel laces melancholic solos across the entirety of the piece. There’s a heavy atmosphere in “Ascension,” and it makes you think about people and places that you’re nostalgic for, or pleasant dreams that you’ve once had. It’s certainly a comforting recording, but there is some sort of loss hidden just below the surface.
Two Islands in the Heart is a complex record despite its minimalist approach, and it’s an unexpectedly emotionally charged one, as well. If you are a fan of Steve Palmer’s latest record, Cian Nugent or David Grubbs, then you need this album.
Janne Hanhisuanto is an ambient music composer out of Finland. His soundscapes are about as bleak as his homeland. What I enjoy most about his work is that it hovers somewhere between 5 and 9 minutes, and it gives one time to really let the mind enjoy each and every pulse of this work. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Janne soon.
Bob Dylan has outlasted everyone. It must be quite heavy to be the man who influenced almost everyone of note, and to watch so many of these acolytes pass away. Yet Bob still manages to release good music, and this nearly 17-minute opus proves it.
Thanks to Jeff for letting me know about this. It was worth every minute.
This is something of a revelation to me. Until the good folks at Kalamine Records (run by Zumaia) told me about him, he was off my radar. This I count as a loss, because Philippe Simon brings a vibrant, updated sound to the Berlin School of electronic music which peaked with artists like Klaus Schulze, Mario Schönwälder and others during the 1980s. Simon’s sound is a fresh, even better-produced continuation of that tradition.
He has made 200 albums. I have some exploring to do.
This was a very pleasant surprise. Virus is, perhaps, not the best choice of band name only because there are so many great bands (including a legendary Austrian one I whose album I was listening to today) who share the monicker, but because it is about as far away from the music as possible.
The music claims to be influenced by bands like Sigur Rós, but I hear elements of New Order, some 80’s funk and pop, and a nearly shoegaze-meets-Gospel music feel.
The first time I remember hearing this was at Aron’s Records, and I couldn’t quite wrap my mind what genre this album was. I suppose Rachel’s could be seen as a precursor to post-rock or a lot of the modern classical music coming from labels like Erased Tapes. This album remains gorgeous listening.
We beg your pardon for the long delay in posting. Dealing with a long and brutal quarantine both in China and now the Inland Empire has worn your scribe out a bit. Thankfully, the music resumes. Enjoy a brutal piece of work by Hüsker Dü this evening.
Ningen Isu (The Human Chair) are a metal band out of Hirosaki, Japan. I got a kick out of these guys for their imagery, their influences (which include Robert Fripp, Tommy Iommi and Judas Priest) and their rather unique costume choices.
Killing Joke, always ahead of the curve…