Cousin Silas is one of the leading lights of the underground bedroom ambient scene. Like so many of these characters (whose work I highly regard), he releases a lot of music, but somehow manages to maintain a sense of purpose of each and every release. These are crafted slabs of spacey, rich music for minds to float to.
There’s always a band that manages to slip into the cracks, no matter how carefully I try to research what’s new. Take Radare for instance – a band out of Wiesbaden, Germany, who specialize in a noir-jazz (maybe darkjazz?) style that reminds me of Die Haut, who gained fame collaborating with Nick Cave a lifetime ago, and the incredibly prolific Bohren & der Club of Gore.
Only a fool would believe we’re not living in a great time for music. The world of pop is banal, and should only be seen as entertainment. Actual music, that which is trying to continue breaking borders, bending (or snapping) rules, is doing quite well.
Iranian-born composer Maryam Sirvan has been featured on the blog before, having her powerful solo album reviewed here, but this is a newer release where she teams up with fellow composer Milad Bagheri and saxophonist Rezo Kiknadze. Few composers of this stripe are able to combine the intellectual rigors of electroacoustic music, especially that of the INA-GRM variety, with the gritty, ghostly feel of 20 Jazz Funk Greats-period Throbbing Gristle.
This is a brilliant work, and I hope to see more composers appearing out the of Caucasus soon.
Warm gloom is a great way to describe this album. Darkjazz master E.E. Engström makes another appearance on the blog (and we’re honored to showcase his work, by the way), providing a smoky, twangy, slightly muffled and claustrophobic work to pound your bottle of homemade absinthe to. Each release has a gorgeous creepiness to it, so I intend on following his development as an artist.
Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective are Ho Chi Minh City’s finest experimental group. Their sound reminds me of the lo-fi bedroom vibe Xpressway Records in New Zealand had. Think of projects run by Roy Montgomery, like Dadamah, to get an idea of how wonderfully drony this material is.
The only word that came to mind while listening to SUNN O)))’s latest release, Life Metal, is thunderous. Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley produce a slow, plodding, but so absolutely powerful without having to resort to cheesy metal riffs or death metal histrionics. Though they have been around for a long time now, I still feel that there are reference points to the work of the Swans during the 1980s, but even more under control.
A couple of guitars, a bit of drums, a stellar cast supporting them, including T.O.S. Nieuwenhuizen, on Moog, Hildur Guðnadóttir on Haldorophone, electric cello and voice, Tim Midyett supplying the bass guitar, and Anthony Pateras on pipe organ
Kiyomizudera is an impressive single track release by Los Angeles-based composer bu.re_, whose work came into my mailbox a few weeks ago. His is a rather stellar catalog, with music full of references to Brian Eno (when he was doing profoundly good ambient music), the floating parts of Tangerine Dream or Robert Rich, and a great use of acoustics.
This was a pleasure to listen to. My only quibble is that eleven minutes is far too short a time to enjoy a swim in this release.