Ishq - Summer Light An hour-long piece that is dense with field recordings and light electronic flourishes. Like some of the other releases in this series, this one seems improvised and spontaneous rather than deliberate. Some of the environmental sounds and effects really shine with headphones. Buy/Listen: https://ishq.bandcamp.com/album/summer-light
Ishq - Spring Light Part of the 4-seasons series from Ishq. Most of these releases have seemed unremarkable to me, but this one has a nice meandering drifting quality that is conducive to daydreaming, relaxing, and reading. I suspect this is Matt noodling rather than composing, but that doesn't seem to detract from the work. Buy/Listen: https://ishq.bandcamp.com/album/spring-light
I just finished streaming the complete album. I agree with you.
I actually love the first piano track. But the other three tracks seem like filler. The second one in particular is filled with sequenced notes that don't cohere in any meaningful way. I can actually imagine appreciating the track in a different context because it does have a creepy, descent into madness atmosphere. But is clashes so completely with the beauty of the first track that my ears feel betrayed.
I think I'll end up buying the CD regardless (unless it is a cardboard sleeve). But I almost wish the first track was a 50-min long form piece and that it had been left at that.
I also appreciate the fact that Roach is doing something out of the ordinary. But, for me, the first track is what really strikes me as a departure from his typical sound. And it is exceptional and a success. If I heard it blind (i.e., without knowing the artist), I wouldn't have guessed Roach. The last two tracks could have appeared in several of his recent releases without notice.
Dave: Thanks for the head's up on the new Marconi Union. I just streamed a bit of it and it sounds really nice. It also sounds quite different from what I'm accustomed. It doesn't seem to have their signature sound; it seems more acoustic and experimental. I like it a lot.
Darwin Raymond and Jacob Newman - Transitions New from APK's dataObscura label. This was a nice surprise! Guitar-driven soundscapes that are glacial in pace, deep in their reverberation, and expansive in mood. Buy/Listen: https://dataobscura.bandcamp.com/album/transitions
Alva Noto - Xerrox, Vol. 3 This was getting some attention on the ambient listserv, so I decided to give it a try. Some of the tracks are amazing (2ndevol, Isola). Good pickup if you're into the experimental side of ambient. Buy/Samples: http://www.raster-noton.net/detail/index/sArticle/647
Joan Didion - The Year of Magical Thinking An insightful memoir concerning loss.
Peter Clines - The Fold Super cool sci-fi/wierd-fi story about a group of researchers who build a portal. Won't say more. Between this and his book, 14, Peter Clines might be one of my new favorites. I need to check out his ex-heroes series.
Sart is my favorite Pjusk release. Didn't care much for the latest one with the trumpet.
Gapfield - Abyss Picked this up thanks to a lead from Castleview. Experimental ambient from Jacob Newman & Devin Underwood. This feels a bit more electronic than their previous collaboration on dataObscura. Buy/Listen: https://gapfield.bandcamp.com/album/abyss