September 4 is one of those Bandcamp Fridays where the company doesn’t take its normal commission in order for the artists to either make a bit more money or donate it to the cause of their choice. Though well over 1,500 releases flooded by email inbox today, there was one which came to me from a dear friend of the blog, Raffaele Pezzella (owner of the incredible Unexplained Sounds Group, whose compilations never fail to impress.
This one is a second batch of Iranian dark ambient and experimental music composers, featuring such maestros as Xerxes The Dark, Reza Solatipour, Force Ignore and a host of names which are not only new to me, but who have managed to capture my interest rather quickly.
Today, of all days, is a fine one to introduce yourself to a fresh batch of music from Iran’s dark ambient wellspring.
At least for my taste, there’s not much better than hearing extremely deep, cavernous, and at some points, scary, black ambient. No, not dark ambient. This is black and bleak. Morego Dimmer (Xerxes The Dark himself) composes a lot of top-quality material, but I feel like he’s begun to hit the peak of his powers. I can say without hesitation that Iran is the place to watch for this strain of electronic music.
What do Frédéric Nogray, Lee Patterson and Pali Meursault (FANT^MS) have in common? All are fascinated with sounds that would normally remain unheard. Nogray specializes in industrial crucibles forged into singing bowls; Patterson prefers springs, motors and chemical reactions; Meursault focuses on failing neon light and other electromagnetic activity. Under natural circumstances, one might expect their […]
We had to take a hiatus due to some unforeseen personal issues popping up, but we’re happy to be back, starting with giving a nod to our colleagues at a closer listen who give us a taste of experimental composers Frédéric Nogray, Lee Patterson and Pali Meursault collaborating as FANT^MS.
Some of the participants in this album include Alphaxone, Dødsmaskin, Leila Abdul-Rauf, Mount Shrine, Phelios, Phragments, Shrine, Xerxes The Dark, George Zafiriadis from Martyria and Yann Hagimont from Cober Ord. The variance of sounds and textures on this release corresponds well with the different paintings which inspired Alessio to produce this album. Such painters as Zdzisław Beksiński, Ilya Repin, Salvador Dalí, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Francisco Goya among others.
There is a ghostly quality that comes with the genre on each track, but they have more of a viscous feeling to them. They sound, and in a sense, feel, more substantial than others I’ve been hearing recently. There is no shortage of incredible ambient music going around today, but Alessio and his partners continue to impress and surprise.
Lauri-Dag Tüür is a composer from Estonia, a country whom I have a deep love for and who have given presented two equally fine composers whom I admire (Arvo Pärt and Erkki-Sven Tüür).
Lauri-Dag’s work compares favorably to these legends, as Polar Night Jet reminds me of works by a more freeform Popol Vuh, Paul Schütze or Steve Roach, yet with an aura of a field recording about it. The percussion work is very engaging, so ambient it isn’t – it hooked me about 5 minutes into the release.
According to the composer, the three pieces should be perceived as one symphony. I concur. Everything flows together naturally. One of the best albums I’ve heard in a while.
RRUFF are a band based in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Though they are tagged as “dungeon-synth,” there is a dark, rather pleasant, atmospheric, air about this two-track album. The work seems to come from a performance-oriented project focused on the ideas of Joan Fontcuberta regarding the state of photography and image.
Today photographs have ceased to be a memory to be ephemeral. The massification of photography has led us to a new situation in which it is not so important to own as to share. We live or perceive through the screens, which, like the shadows of Plato, are now our access to reality.
Perhaps it is because she was on my mind today, but the second track reminds me of American composer Pauline Oliveros, of blessed memory. RRUFF are in good company.
Although seeing this listed as doom metal in the tags, it seems that the brilliant album by the New York-based group Witnesses is more cinematic in nature. The cover art, from a dark, foggy Gotham City-esque setting, gives you a great idea as to what kind of music you should be in for, and this did not disappoint.
Though Gianpiero De Filippo declares himself to be a non-musician (sounds like a chap with the surname of Eno), he intuits rather well. This release is a type of tribute to the beauty of Kosmische Musik, the Berlin School, Fourth World ambient and even a tip to Chris & Cosey.