Meticulous Midgets is a magazine out of Russia who did me one of the kindest honors by doing a sketch on the blog. I am delighted to return the favor by covering their survey on not only the Russian electronic, avant-garde, experimental and indie music, but a few tracks from the United States, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Croatia, The Netherlands and Great Britain as well. This is a compilation whose broad scope equals that of my colleague Raffaele from Unexplained Sounds Group.
I expected to hear good headphone music, and I am happy to say that the comp delivers handsomely. There are three standout tracks for me:
The whole comp makes for solid listening, but just by hearing these three tracks, you can hear the depth and scope of the sort of music Meticulous Midgets covers. They have made a fan out of me.
I run into some truly kind, rather brilliant artists constantly. I wanted to give a heads up to designer John Hubbard’s website. Here’s a bit more about his work:
A professional book designer since 1994, my emphasis is on illustrated art catalogs, photography books, and elevating music packaging to book form… along with designing record albums, CDs, DVDs, film posters, children’s books, cookbooks, and so on.
With my situational approach to design, a great love and knowledge of typography, color, and printing, I will translate your ideas into a thought-provoking professional publication.
Our collaboration will generate a new juxtaposition of ideas, providing balanced and engaging form to your content.
My personal interests extend beyond books to photography, music making, and enjoying the sights and sounds in between.
After a lifetime in Seattle, I now reside in central Finland with my wife and daughter.
Thank you for looking.
B O O K D E S I G N E R / C R E A T I V E D I R E C T O R
Janne Hanhisuanto is an ambient music composer out of Finland. His soundscapes are about as bleak as his homeland. What I enjoy most about his work is that it hovers somewhere between 5 and 9 minutes, and it gives one time to really let the mind enjoy each and every pulse of this work. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Janne soon.
I have no idea what has gotten into the water over in Finland, but the country’s becoming a hotbed of amazing modern soul music. Timmion Records is releasing artists of astoundingly good quality like Willie West, Nicole Willis, and The Soul Investigators. You might want to check out some of their other brilliant artists over at their Bandcamp site here.
Norwegian composer Juhani Silvola is the heir of the French electroacoustic music tradition, and he has managed to update the sound while maintaining its spirit. According to his biography, “Juhani’s music often explores themes circling post-humanism, nature and virtual reality, questioning the role of humanity in the near future, and painting varied scenarios without exclusively condemning or glorifying the techno-futuristic vision.” We’re in for a bleak future, folks.
vivienxo is a Finnish musician who does ‘dreampop’. I have no idea what the genre really is, but there’s a lovely, muffled sound to it that reminds me of old 80s dreampop that I’m familiar with, such as bands like Dream Academy. Definitely worth investigating further.
Though I have an absolute loathing for metal, I really try to cut those who try to mix culture and folklore into their music. Football chants mar the the actual singing taking place in this song, tarnish what might have been quite a good ditty. On the plus side, though I find neo-paganism to be a repugnant fraud, it’s good to see that these kids are maintaining the tradition of metal existing solely to annoy parents until they have to pay their own bills.
If this sort of thing appeals to you (yes, I admit that the singer is pleasant to look at and the bagpipes in some of their songs is a very nice touch), then check out Kalevala’s website here. Better yet, go read the original, which inspired the name.