Past Inside the Present Records are churning out incredible release after incredible release. This one is a special gem, however, as guitarist and composer Wayne Robert Thomas & film composer Isaac Helsen pair upon a 30+ minute drone epic. Though the who album floats beautifully, I have no choice but to declare the first track, a tribute to former Talk Talk frontman and producer of the greatest album I have ever heard in my life, Mark Hollis, who passed away in February of this year. What a near-perfect collaboration this is!
Haram Tapes is the side project of our friend Sumatran Black, and he’s really outdoing himself on this latest release. Genres blend seamlessly here, with ambient music, old industrial-influenced electronic music, field recordings and synth music being balanced well enough to be creepy and engaging. The material is very topical, quite political in a way that is not preachy or obnoxious, and it goes to show HT put a lot of thought into composing a story with this work.
A brilliant piece, but I expect this coming from Pete of SB.
This album by Glåsbird is so utterly enthralling to my ears that I feel like the angels are talking to me at the moment. There is a sense of a cool peace that this album is making me feel at the moment in a grimy, grotesque Beijing that I have to thank the creators of this sublime work for their efforts to keep me sane in this very, very odd place.
From the Whitelabrecs Bandcamp site:
In February 2019 we released the debut album by an anonymous artist named Glåsbird, in the form of Grønland, a sonic expedition of Greenland. The album received much critical acclaim despite being from an anonymous artist and was even featured on Bandcamp Daily under their ‘best Ambient’ feature. CD copies of this record have long since sold out, but the Glåsbird continues its flight to a new destination: Svalbard.
Svalbard lies 78 degrees north, is inside the Arctic Circle and had a population of around 2600 people and an estimated 3000 polar bears! Its calendar year divides between the midnight sun and the polar nights. The former is a period of constant daylight and the latter is the opposite. However, the dark season is broken from time to time by spectacular Northern Lights.
In Svalbarð, Glåsbird became immersed once more in this next excursion, through means of Google Earth, 360° photos, blogger accounts of the isles, maps and also, videos by Efterklang who were an obvious reference point with the band having visited.
This time, we are treated to a greater number of tracks, as ten movements weave Modern Classical influenced Ambient soundscapes. The pristine, polished reverb of Grønland is replaced with a slightly muddier, more lo-fi approach to the sound as the artist strived to present a tape-eroded aesthetic to their work. The recordings deal with dramatic landscapes, glaciers, an abandoned coal community, a seed vault, the Island’s capital city Longyearbyen and of course, polar bears. Each piece feels icy cold, yet the warmth and hiss provided by the decaying tape effects provide a comfort blanket for the listener as perhaps you take in these scenes from a lonely cabin, at one with isolation and natural beauty.
The packaging for the album includes photography from Svalbard itself, courtesy of Aldona Pivoriene who is a professional photographer based in Norway. We are also set to release the next Glåsbird album next year. Where will the destination be? For now, we hope you enjoy immersing yourself in this new set of works exploring Svalbard.
Alessio Antoni is a friend of the blog, having made a previous appearance with his disc The NHART Demo[n]s in March of 2018. His latest release surpasses even that dark masterpiece of a debut, partly because he continues to explore the depths of sound, and partly because he was a few guests adding a few jewels to his crown. Read on those guests who are participating in this recording. They are the best of modern dark ambient music. Alessio deserves to be held in the same esteem. We look forward to see what he has next for us.
From his Bandcamp site:
NERATERRÆ’s debut album “The Substance of Perception” (out on Cyclic Law records) is a daring collaborative work featuring some of the finest artists from the Dark Ambient, Drone, Cinematic and Ritual Music scene: Northaunt, Alexey Tegin from Phurpa, Treha Sektori, New Risen Throne, Flowers For Bodysnatchers, Taphephobia, Ugasanie, Xerxes The Dark and Infinexhuma.
The sound palette shifts between both stark atmospheres, melancholic ambiance and dense claustrophobic drones. Alternating between obscurity and light and oscillating between the ineffable detachment from the tangible and the relentless transmogrification of the self.
I quite enjoy the field recordings and soundscapes Benoît Pioulard composes, though, for the life of me, I’m not sure how long this long line of great composers using field recordings will remain relevant, as all good scenes must come to an end, but it’s my hope that this sort of music will remain timeless, as it makes for good listening to set one’s mind at ease, even if it might not be Pioulard’s intention to do so.
An important note from his website:
Companion piece to the album “Hymnal” (kranky, 2013), Recorded October 2012 in Portland, OR.
Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended. Moljebka Pvlse – Komoku (2019) John Zorn / Klezmerson – The Book […]
Dark ambient recorded on a remote Norwegian island, synthwave-inspired ambient, piano-driven autobiography, and more.