Konstantin Trokay (Kosta T) is a violinist out of Perm, Russia. His music meanders in a pleasant way, something like a walk through a dark forest. There are plenty of twists and turns, and some are not always gentle. Intriguing.
Santiago Fradejas’ latest release features him on electric guitar, with some effects, and he ends up making a sonic world which envelops you straightaway. For an experimental record, this one almost qualifies as pleasant listening, though there is always an element of tension and danger to each of his compositions. Seminal.
Thanks kindly to Cuneiform Records, whose weekly $5 downloads are an affordable way to replace a few CDs lost to time and travel.
Piero Milesi was an Italian composer who started off his career in 1977 with the International Folk Group of Moni Ovadia. His first break came from the now-legendary Cherry Red Records, which originally released this two-piece work in 1982.
The release itself doesn’t sit comfortably in any genre. Obstensibly a classical music record of a sort, it also touches on chamber rock, art rock, jazz, electronic music, progressive rock, avant-progressive, film music and modern composition. It was a breathtaking debut for a composer who would score a few more albums, and even arranging an album for Japanese pop star Kazufumi Miyazawa before succumbing to a heart attack in 2011.
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.
Belgian composer Henri Pousser is receiving a beautifully done retrospective thanks to Sub Rosa Records releasing many of his works in a four-CD edition. This is the fourth of four discs, and combines two of his long works together in four tracks. Jon Whitney of Brainwashed.com does a phenomenal job concisely reviewing the album here.
After the release of his album March Of The Mysterious for Serein in 2017, Kryshe (Christian Grothe) returns with Hauch – an album of eight nocturnal pieces that will ease you through the winter months ahead.
Hauch began life shortly after Christian had moved home. With all of the chaos that entails, Christian sought a means of maintaining a daily practice with his music. The goal was to create and record something new every day in the most economical way possible, so Christian turned to his iPad microphone and tape recorder.
Phrases and fragments of sound were recorded and looped on an iPad and built upon gradually with piano, voice, guitar and more. Output from the iPad was recorded directly to tape for the warmth and natural compression analogue tape brings. The result is an album of immediate allure, musicality and soul. Gently looping piano phrases emerge from blankets of hiss and granular textures, swaths of guitar and washes of low vibrations envelop and submerge the listener.
It’s impossible not to give in to the soporific effect of listening to Hauch, especially with the nights closing in ever faster – undoubtedly an album for open fires and woollen blankets. Just listen.