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Messages - chris23

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Sounds outstanding. Jesse is a pro at making videos that fit the mood of the music well.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 21, 2014, 01:48:24 PM »
Ishq - Seascapes and Blue Infinity
Two new Ishq releases. The first, Seascapes, is composed of mostly improvised and spontaneous tracks that draw inspiration from the sea (and, in some cases, include processed samples of ocean waves and wind samples that resemble foghorns). The album is a nice one, but not really a standout in the Ishq cannon. Blue Infinity, on the other hand, is fantastic. There isn't much in the way of the quirky electronics that I tend to appreciate in Ishq releases, but there are some truly stellar compositions on here, including Albatross and Lanyon. Most of the other tracks are neat, but reprocessed, versions of motifs that appear in the opening.

As Drone On observed, there are some oddities in at least two of the tracks--things that feel like levels hitting limits artificially rather than deliberate glitches. I thought this might have been an artifact of the digital files at first, but the physical CDs arrived yesterday and those had the same problems. Weird.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 19, 2014, 04:32:17 PM »
How to Disappear Completely - Oblivion/Rites
Digital only release, available on bandcamp. Drifting, weightless ambient with sounds that cast shadows.

ASC's new release on Silent Season is in its pre-order phase. There appear to be fewer than 40 copies left.

His Time Heals All release last year was wonderful. The samples here suggest this will be an outstanding followup.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: May 16, 2014, 04:37:27 PM »
Blake Crouch - Pines
Pretty neat book about a secret service agent who visits a small, mountain town to track down two agents who are missing. Shortly after his arrival, he gets in a car accident and has a profound bout of amnesia. The remainder of the novel is about him re-discovering who he is, why he is in Wayward Pines, and why he can't leave. This book is part thriller, part horror, and part sci-fi--a mix of all my favorite genres.

Mike: I pre-ordered Far From Streets and am looking forward to reading it!

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 14, 2014, 04:15:51 PM »
Recent plays over the past few days:

36 - Lithea
Ithaca Trio - Music for Piano & Patience
Michael Mantra - Mountain/Stream
Alexandre Navarro - Hozho
James Johnson - Minimum: Journeys 2
Aglaia - Hymns
Purl - Behind Clouds (I can't get enough of this release. It will probably be one of my favorites of 2014)

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 10, 2014, 07:19:54 PM »
Daniel W. J. Mackenzie - Teeth Sleep Under Winking Black Eyelid
A pretty neat release by Dan Mackenzie/Ekca Liena. I think this was self-released a few years ago, then Facture/Fluid Audio released a limited edition (70 or so copies?) version in March, and, when that sold out, Mackenzie made a digital version available online for a 'pay what you wish' rate. Mostly piano and various forms of experimentation. Not a memorable release, but a solid piece of modern experimental composition.

Castleview - Oceanscape
This is my favorite of the various Castleview albums I've heard. It feels a bit dark to me, although I don't know if that was the intention. One of the things I appreciate about it is that it is easy to sense the ocean-like depth of the work when primed to expect it via the title, but that specific theme isn't made explicit in the work (i.e., there are not obvious samples of waves crashing).

Wow, beautiful.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 06, 2014, 08:00:58 PM »
I second that Description Without Place recommendation!

Yair Elazar Glotman - Northern Gulfs
Super interesting album from Glacial Movements. It combines three things I love: isolationist ambiance, field recordings, and Geiger counter-like clicks and static. This is a true stand-out album; the last track in particular, Home Port, is a jewel.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 05, 2014, 08:33:16 PM »
I hear you, Joe and Castleview. And although I completely agree with you, I have a confession to make: I ordered a cassette recently because doing so was the only way to get the download code for the album. A bit clunky, I suppose, but it was a means to an end.

The album in question, by the way, is fantastic: Letna's Horizont on Sunshine Ltd. Samples here:

I will never listen to the cassette, however. It is a nice artifact, if nothing else. I would rather have had a CD version to buy.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 05, 2014, 05:21:35 PM »
Recent plays:

Vir Unis - The Drift Inside
A favorite of mine. The last track, Deepest Dreams, blows me away.

Jaja - Stars
Nice deep space ambient.

Wintersilence - Submental Vol. 2
Drones on top of drones.


Speaking of Robert Rich and buying turntables, etc. I was one of those sad people who held on to my VHS player instead of buying a DVD player until Robert Rich's Somnium was released on DVD in 2001. That was the event that led me to finally update my system!

According to Robert's newsletter, Premonitions will be available digitally once the vinyl is sold out. I'm tempted to buy the vinyl, but it has a hefty price. And I'll probably regret passing on it years from now.  :(

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 03, 2014, 09:00:32 AM »
I bet your wife calls you crazy when you do that.  ;)

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: May 03, 2014, 08:29:54 AM »
Just finished Hugh Howley's, Sand, which was a lot of fun (thanks Dave). I enjoyed it a lot, but, like the Silo series, I felt that it lost its fizzle about 3/4 of the way in. A great premise, but then a less than stellar story evolves from it.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 03, 2014, 08:26:28 AM »
Honeysuckle is one of a handful I never picked up. I'll have to give it a try sometime.

I've been enjoying this week some digital downloads from the recent Projekt sale:

Steve Roach - Live Transmission and Future Flows

Independent Music Reviews / Re: My review of "Centurion" CD by Aglaia
« on: April 29, 2014, 03:25:08 PM »
I love this release.

Very nice and thoughtful review, Richard.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: April 29, 2014, 03:14:47 PM »
I was saddened to learn yesterday that the SEM label has closed its doors. The label is continuing to sell some old physical stock on their bandcamp site, however. Moreover, the label owners (Alexandre Navarro and Letna/Sasa Vojvodic) have made their digital releases available for free. If you didn't get a chance to check some of those out in the past, this is a good time to do so. I've posted links to two of my favorites from the label owners below. I've spent the day at work revisiting these. 

Letna - Adria

Redfish - Redfish

Sem released some really neat stuff, including some work by offthesky. the Green Kingdom, and Segue's most recent album. The website hints at some kind of rebirth in the future. Fingers crossed.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: April 27, 2014, 10:23:00 AM »
Working in the garden with Current 93's Of Ruine or Some Blazing Starre.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: April 26, 2014, 08:27:38 AM »
Orla Wren - Soil Steps
Soil Steps is a sonic journey constructed from sounds Tui (Orla Wren) recorded during his travels through the Iberian wilderness and its border villages. Although most of the sounds are natural (e.g., brooks, insects, birdsong) or incidental (e.g., a car passing by, people talking on the street), they are mixed in with some of Tui's atomistic, micro-sound experimentation, which gives the piece a surreal quality--as if it is part natural history and part fiction. Listening to this in a single sitting is an incredible experience because the album truly transports you to another place.

This is easily a contender for one of my favorite releases of the year. It might not appeal to everyone here because it is on the far extreme acoustic/field end of the ambient/drone continuum; the electronics and synthesis are not the focus. But, if you have any interest in this kind of experimental work, Chris Watson's recordings, or organic dronescapes, this is worth a careful listen. 

Buy/Listen: or

This peacock makes a vocal appearance around 22 mins in to the album. Tui was kind enough to send me a disambiguating photo after I inquired about what my daughter had described as "the sounds of a loud and strange cat."

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: April 23, 2014, 05:48:15 PM »
Loren Nerell - Slow Dream
Picked up the digital download during Projekt's weekend sale. I should have grabbed this album in 2012. Deep subterranean drones and textures. Absolutely mesmerizing.


I love these two new CDs. They are the sonic equivalents of chocolate cupcakes. Yum.

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