Although seeing this listed as doom metal in the tags, it seems that the brilliant album by the New York-based group Witnesses is more cinematic in nature. The cover art, from a dark, foggy Gotham City-esque setting, gives you a great idea as to what kind of music you should be in for, and this did not disappoint.
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.
As lounge music and easy listening were massive during the 1990’s, library music seems to be the rage for today. So many labels are releasing wonderful compilations that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with what’s coming out, and what belongs on the top shelf. Buried Treasure Records seems to have come out with the year’s best library comp, which also happens to be available on vinyl and CD. Check out these tracks by no-name artists who deserved a better fate than to be forgotten for so long. All the material is brilliant!
It’s hard to believe this release was recorded 20 years ago, as it has a healthy freshness to the material. Former drummer of the new wave band Japan Steve Jansen collaborates with keyboardist Claudio Chianura and is ably supported by guitarist Roberto Zorzi and synth player Piero Chianura. The work is a collaboration where the quartet improvise to the Dziga Vertov film Man With A Movie Camera [German: Kinoapparatom], a classic of Soviet filmmaking.
In places, it sounds similar to Industrial noise; in others, like a more playful version of Rock-In-Opposition. It’s a solid release, though I wonder if there is live footage of this performance available.
The record cover of this new EP by Lousberg, The Death of Humanity, gives it the aura of either a black metal band or a black ambient band circa 1990s-era Cold Meat Industry. It is neither of these. In fact, it’s a swelling, sumptuous piece of neoclassical music which would work as a soundtrack to many a movie. I quite like this!
Check out more releases like this one at Dunkelheit Produktionen out of Germany. They seem to be releasing a lot of quality material.
SPK had an incredible beginning as one of the brutal first wave of Industrial Music, then dissolved into a dance mess with a couple of utterly forgettable albums. Their swansong, however, is about as sublime as Dead Can Dance was at their best. Zamia Lehmanni: Songs of Byzantine Flowers would be a bridgeway for Graeme Revell to go into soundtrack music, which he is still doing to this day.