[Music] BLURRR – Pain Is A Garment

BLURRR, a project of composer Aaron Kim, performs a type of musical wabi sabi.  In times like these, with so much pain and grief in the world, I salute anyone who is willing to mix this concept with Kosmische Musik.  Quite a nice EP.  From BLURRR’s Bandcamp page:

This album was heavily inspired by the term ‘wabi sabi’. This Japanese term has no real definition. It’s more of an instinctual feeling of peace through imperfection. Crafting this album was emotionally laboursome as I tried to emulate wabi sabi in my own interpretation sonically.

This is a concept album about the process of self-healing. Suicide rates, anxiety and general depression has seen a sharp rise as mental health issues seem to grow more commonplace in society today. My hope is that you, the listener, can digest this album as a therapeutic experience that can influence your core to improve yourself today. All positive change can happen, it just takes support. And just know that there are people around you.

[Music] Haram Tapes – Scorpions & Fountains

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.

[Music] Glåsbird – Svalbarð

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.

Cold-climate ambient.

[Music] Jack Hertz – The Wind Speaks to Branches on the Hill

Bedroom ambient musicians should be a dime a dozen, but if you actually delve into their back catalogs, you find that they have a tremendous amount of talent.  I don’t know much about Jack Hertz, but I’ve come across his work while looking for other favorites like Cousin Silas, Martin Neuhold and the late Wolfgang Gsell (may his memory be ever eternal).  The cover art reeled my in instantly, so, as is my habit before beginning my work day, I spent my free hour with headphones in tow and jumped right into this release.

The sound is spacious, ambient in the pure sense of the word, and rather engaging at times, with pulses of low tones and what seems to be rather interesting instrumentation filling in any potential voids.  This is a beefy release for an ambient record.

As an aside, you may wish to consider heading over to his record label’s Bandcamp page.  Aural Films are offering 239 releases for the unbelievably low sum of fifty cents.  All I’ve perused have been interesting.

[Music] Sublamp – Lianas

Los Angeles based sound and video artist Ryan Connor has quite a reputation behind him, appearing on labels such as Serac (USA), Pehr (USA), SEM (France), Dragon’s Eye Recordings (USA), Friendly Virus (Portugal), Ahora Eterno (Argentina) Hibernate Recordings (UK) and Felt.

According to the composer:

“Every Sublamp record has been about an imaginary space, so the concept of pinning each release on Eilean to a fictional continent was exciting; the perfect excuse to indulge myself in layered textural sound again. Inspired by the cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica, Lianas is an audio map of a densely wooded mountain range, shrouded in fog, where fern and vine drip with condensation and small animals slip quietly through the undergrowth. Very little computer manipulation was used in the creation of these tracks. Most of the sound on the record is simply looped guitar through various pedals and a nice warm tube amp, sometimes recorded through an old reel to reel tape machine for extra crackle and hiss.”