[Music] Jeton Hoxha – Vowel


I’m tempted to say that this release came from out of nowhere, but that simply wouldn’t be true.  Once again, my good friend Raffaelle from Eighth Tower Records releases a bombshell of a release for those of you who are into drone, especially of the kind made by luminaries like Thomas Köner or the Cold Meat Industry roster.

Jeton is a Macedonian sound artist from Struga, Macedonia, who goes deep in for bleak, rumbling sounds which give you a good shaking, especially if you decide to download the FLAC file and hear it on great headphones.

Essential.

[Music] Reptilicus & Senking – Unison


There are times when bleak post-Industrial music can be absolutely rhythmic and beautiful.  A case in point is the release by Artoffact Records’ of a performance by Iceland’s finest dark-electronics project Reptilicus.  This was a performance done in Toronto, Canada, organized by Praveer Baijal, founder of the seminal Toronto label Yatra-Arts, on the happy occasion of new output in the form of a 7-inch release after a (far too) long period of inactivity.  For the performance, they were joined by Germany’s Senking, Denmark’s Rúnar Magnússon, and Candian duo Orphx.

The group recorded a session at Grant Avenue Studio in Hamilton, Ontario, built my Grammy Award-winning producer and musician Daniel and Bob Lanois and  after Baijal introduced Reptilicus to William Blakeney, who at the time was producing a modular-synthesizer documentary called I Dream of Wires.

This collaboration bore fruit in the recording you hear here.  A lot of the material is reminiscent of early Industrial experiments (think more about early Cabaret Voltaire than Throbbing Gristle or NON), yet with a far crisper, dynamic sound.  Reptilicus has since become augmented with Rúnar serving as third member, and it is our hope that this unit continue to record.

[Music] Various Artists – ELECTROFRAMEWORK


Unexplained Sounds empresario Raffaele Pezzella is on a quest to make sure the best in experimental and electroacoustic music gets published.  It seems like, week after week, he is releasing a compilation of stunning quality from a specified region, a broad retrospective, or his own delightfully noisy work as Sonologyst.

These tracks might melt your headphones a bit, but the sounds are, in their own way, blissful.  Familiar names such as Sonologyst, Stefan Schmidt, Fahmi Mursyid and Thomas Grenzebach appear alongside a slew of new artists whose career trajectory will be interesting to follow.

Another masterpiece of a comp.

[Music] Ilir Lluka – An Étude In Two Variations


Albanian sound artist and composer Ilir Lluka is one of a new generation of experimental music composers carrying the torch passed along by his forebears like Pierre Henry and Pierre Schaeffer.  Each release has been outstanding, engaging listening for me, and this particular album is offered as a free download.  It’s worth a few moments of your time.

[Music] Various Artists – Anthology of Electroacoustic Lebanese Music


When he’s not working on his own music as Sonologyst, Raffaele Pezzella of Unexplained Sounds captures a lot of attention by releasing travelogue compilations covering the best of experimental and dark ambient music from various countries and regions. This one may well be his crowning effort.

All of these, with the exception of Sharif Sehnaoui, are unfamiliar names, but the sounds, which range from slow, churning, rhythmic drone to post-Industrial noise, the compilation introduces what I’m hoping is an energetic crop of new music composers whose influence will spread quickly both inside and outside the Levant.

Could a Syrian or Iraqi electroacoustic scene be next?  I surely hope so!

[Music] Ataşehir – Colorful Places to Live and Play


Ataşehir is the side project of Sumatran Black, an expatriate residing in the Anatolian side of Turkey.  The music roaring out of my speakers sounds, in part, like a black-ambient version of a 1950s B-Movie sci-fi soundtrack (trust me, this is a high compliment, considering my brother and I grew up as fans of the film genre and the music it produced) and a touch like the end of the movie Solaris, where film composer Eduard Artemiev goes into a drone which grows louder and louder until it crescendoes.

There is an amusing irony that the song titles, as Ataşehir mentions on his site, “are taken from aspirational advertising slogans of various residential developments from around the world.”

There is a bleak, black beauty to this album.  It ends with a progressive-rock length final track clocking in at 48 minutes. Colorful Places to Live and Play Bandcamp Exclusive Compilation Version. . As it turns out, it is the least brutally dark track on the album, making for a pleasantly drony listening experience.

[Music] Nhung Nguyen – Nostalgia


Sublime isn’t quite a strong enough word to describe the stylings of pianist Nhung Nguyen.  She comes to me from her experimental music background something I thank my friend and colleague C-Drik for), but this particular release, my favorite of her substantial back catalog, is something that would have done Andrei Tarkovsky (the famed director of the magnificent movie, Nostalghia) proud.  It is a perfect album to simply relax to and let the mind wander a bit.