Much respect to Dominic Razlaff for this album of four sessions which drift off gently into the sea, rather than in space. I’m not quite sure why, but while relaxing and listening to the album, I feel a sense of calm that I felt in places like the Black Sea, where I’m headed to in a couple of weeks. This is a truly chilled-out work from an artist who deserves to be heard more.
Raffaele Pezzella of Eighth Tower Records continues to show what a magical ear he has for new music artists. His latest release is by composer Scottish composer Michael Bonaventure, who makes full use out of the organ. There are bits of sci-fi music, creepy soundtrack clips, electroacoustic music in the style of Pierre Henry’s freakier compositions, and a hazy, psychedelic vibe throughout. It’s not overpowering, either, which I think adds to the enjoyment of listening to this record. It’s challenging without beating you over the head with racket. A job well done.
Ambient music composer Max Corbacho has been producing soundscapes for 21 years now, and in this (free) release, he explores drone in a way that washes over the listener like waves in an ocean. It’s an all-encompassing release, worth your time and any contribution you can give to it financially. From Max’s Bandcamp website:
After the reissue of Ars Lucis, I am glad to greet you again. My new album “Echo Of Longing” is now available for digital download exclusively from my Bandcamp store. The CD version will be ready in a few weeks, I will let you know the exact day of release later. Exceptionally and only for a short time, you can download it on offer under the option “Name your price” (pay from zero to whatever you want). After a few weeks will be available for all other online stores at full price. Download here. Thanks as always for your support! Stay tuned, more news soon.
All the best,
Hypnotic and minimalist soundscapes of an artist in constant search for authenticity and depth. In “Echo Of Longing” Max Corbacho offers three long pieces that are a distant resonance of a feeling that lives inside the human heart and constantly pushes the soul in its search for self-discovery. Through soft sound full of details, such as echoes of perception beyond words, the minimalist and repetitive structure of these subtle sound worlds creates an enveloping sea of stillness. Under a protective mantle of silky incorporeality, as dark and blurred as distant waves, the three long tracks, lasting more than 73 minutes in total, cross silent corridors of sonic energy, slowly changing but always retaining a subtle main harmonic current that continues its way underground. The piece that gives the album its title was created during the sessions for the album “Future Terrain” in 2015, so they are twin pieces that share a common origin. Successive modifications during 2019 have resulted in the piece that now appears in this album. The remaining two pieces were created during the first months of 2019. As if it were the resonance of music spreading through space and time, the cover image also reflects waves expanding in an atmosphere of stillness and deep introspection. These long cyclic waves arranged in layers of blurred sound are one of Max Corbacho’s trademarks, a constant that we can hear in all his albums as if it were another resonance suspended in time and permeating all his works.
This album is an atmospheric and ambient work suitable for listening to at a subliminal level while it gently impregnates one’s space or when listened to at a high level, one can delve deeply into gaseous soundscapes. “Echo of Longing” has been lovingly and expertly crafted by an artist now celebrating a 21-year career without any concession to the commercial or mainstream, faithful to a genre and an audience.
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!
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.
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.