[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] Selen Gülün – Many Faces

I’ve had the pleasure of following Selen Gülün’s work for about five years now, and her albums keep getting more and more interesting.  Many Faces sounds like a work straddling the line between music, theater and painting.  The sounds are delicate, graceful, but never sappy.  The vocals are crisp and sharp, with no feeling of wasted motion.  It’s a beautiful album.

I only have one gripe – I would love to see all of her back catalog become available digitally, at least, through Bandcamp and, if possible, to see these all come out on vinyl.  It’s a selfish wish, of course, because I find her music is suited best to the audiophile world, but one can dream.

[Music] RICK WAKEMAN-1973-1977: HIS GLORY YEARS. — dereksmusicblog

Rick Wakeman-1973-1977: His Glory Years. In January 1973, Rick Wakeman released his sophomore album The Six Wives Of Henry VIII, which was a groundbreaking album, one that would forever change prog rock. The Six Wives Of Henry VIII was the album that legitimised synths in prog rock. This was a game-changer. Following the success of […]

via RICK WAKEMAN-1973-1977: HIS GLORY YEARS. — dereksmusicblog

[Music] Jeff Gburek – Haunted Houses


 
Jeff Gburek spent his Easter recording a dark album of piano music (with feedback and effects among his weaponry) played slowly with elongated, pensive strokes rather than crashing thuds.  This album is creepy, but not in the horror-movie way it would imply with the album title.  These tracks, like most of his works, are elegant, more refined and force other experimental musicians to up their game.  He remains in a league of his own.

From Jeff’s Bandcamp site:

No one believes in haunted houses anymore but I believe in haunted houses just a little bit more than the unbelievers, after having lived within several, if only inside the skull, the crackling brain-case, and the house-bones, as they settle unsettlingly, in the merger meridian between seismic flow and over-head gulf streams and low frequency nor’easters. There is a spectre in spectralism and a prismatic fractal flaw splitting hairs without identity. Without the words equal to sound and the sounds equal to words there is the poem that rides shotgun over the carriage drawn into dawn by subtle horses, nameless ones, I cannot know while being guided by them over paths of further air, knowing them anyway, gusts of hydrogen-weighted gravity, a bustle between vibrating strings, the bright glow in the punctum sordum, a train running in one ear & out the other.

The worlds within the worlds inside the piano, the innenklavier, so called, the haunted house, the inner everglades of a sensual buzz as of strings in distant hunters of the stars drawing the mark.

Materials: grand piano, microphones, fingers, feedback (an immaterial material if ever there was one), delay, volume and pitch pedals. Did I miss anything? Please let me know.
Easter Sunday (4/21/2019).

It’s available now, and worth your time and your coin.

 

[Music] Sven Laux – You’ll Be Fine.

Though I was impressed on initially hearing the track Flickering Lamp on Sven Laux’s newest release, I wondered if his record label, Archives, had mis-tagged the album.  Ambient and electronic music I certainly here, IDM I certainly don’t.  No dub, but definitely there is a nod to classic 1970’s electronic music albums (think Neuronium from Spain, and perhaps a more electronic-leaning Popul Vuh, sans the horrible ‘techno’ phase).  The album also has a feel of this modern classical vibe I keep running across.

This album was not what I expected to hear at all.  It’s damn-near perfect walking music.

[Music] Ed Carlsen – The Journey Tapes (Deluxe Edition)

I grew up with piano music in my home because my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother (a violinist by trade) were fond of the instrument.  I would grow up hearing piano music, dated a pianist in Italy for a brief and stormy moment, and even here in China, I’m surrounded by it.

It pleases me to no end that piano music continues to be revolutionary.
Montreal’s Moderna Records is at the forefront of putting out the best of cinematic, minimalist piano music, and Ed Carlsen’s music has proven to be my current favorite of their bunch. For those familiar with Yann Tiersen’s music, Ed’s compositions will feel familiar. These are wispy, thought-provoking pieces which make you want to break out the blanket and coffee and sit by the window on a chilly day.

[Music] Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi with Masahiko Satoh – Proton Pump

Avant-garde bebop seems to be the most fitting way to describe this release featuring saxophonist Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi (drummer Chris Corsano and bassist Darrin Grey) along with pianist Masahiko Satoh.  No less than Jim O’Rourke gushes over the the musicianship of this improvisers, but this isn’t a racket-filled noise blast.  The musicianship is astounding, free, and engaging, something a lot of improvisers can’t seem to make happen unless they’re truly something special.  It seems that Sakata has been making music since the 1960s, so I have a bit of exploring to do on his previous work.