jueves, 28 de abril de 2011

Mountains – Air Museum

Mountains ::: Air Museum
Genre : Ambient, Electronic

Buy It!

01 January 17
02 Thousand Square
03 Newsprint
04 Sequel
05 Blue Lanterns on East Oxford
06 Backwards Crossover
07 Live at the Triple Door


Mountains have blown me away with every release. After thinking I would never find out anything about the band behind the brilliance of Sewn, they caught me way off guard and dropped the stunning Choral in 2009 (original authorized review deleted from Blogger, eat a dick Google) and now Air Museum takes a new approach, totally exceeding the insanely high expectations I had for it. All you need to do is take a look at my LAST.FM stats to prove I’m not fucking around with this record. Mountains have ditched the electroacoustic computer processing on Air Museum, instead opting for a more analog approach and running their usual instruments (guitar, accordions, etc) through pedals and synths and shit. So this is probably their least electronic based record but easily their most electronic sounding record. It sounds SO goddamn synthy. This is their trip to outer space. They’re not there yet, but they’re en route, soaring through the mesosphere. This is what I want to permeate every moment of my life. Every little detail on this record is pure heaven. The opening track, “January 17,” has this sound that’s so subtle, but it fucking kills me every time. For the first minute, the song is all primer, chill smoothed out organ layers paving the way for the bliss to come, and a split second before it REALLY kicks in and gets all gauzy grandeur, there’s a quick bubbly sonar blip that just floors me. It’s so perfect. Mountains bounce back and forth between straight up drone and pulsing minimal space techno, keeping a nice balance, never cemented in their textured planar earthly past but not jumping ship for the OPN New Age. They mix it SO well, the sterile jet cabin air static on “Newsprint” breathes life into silver woven blankets, preceding one of the most amazing fucking tracks EVER, “Sequel,” with its surging synth rhythm and gut-wrenchingly glorious sprays of warm golden euphoric harmonies, layers upon layers of sun drenched buzz & twinkle, humming the tune of Platonic perfection and painting everything in absolute beauty, mesmerizing & dazzling enough that Death could arrive and you wouldn’t even notice. I had pretty much put Choral on an untouchable pedestal, imagining Mountains would never be able to outdo themselves. However, instead of making another but better Choral, they made something different but every bit as fucking great. Mountains achieved what Belong didn’t. They broadsided me, again, and this time I really thought I was ready for it. Mountains are fucking IT, man. They’re prescient visionaries. I want them to do something, and they say, “Ok, but what you really want is this.” So they do what they want and in the process make the greatest fucking records of our generation.

jueves, 21 de abril de 2011

Implodes ::: Black Earth

Implodes ::: Black Earth
Genre : Drone, Ambient, Experimental

Buy It!

  1. Open the Door
  2. Marker
  3. White Window
  4. Screech Owl
  5. Oxblood
  6. Meadowlands
  7. Wendy
  8. Experiential Report
  9. Song for Fucking Damon II (Trap Door)
  10. Down Time
  11. Hands on the Rail


Implodes are an experimental rock quartet based in Chicago who defy all attempts at pigeonholing… Centred around core members Matt Jencik and Ken Camden in 2009 and began practicing and writing in isolation until becoming the tight unit they are today. Having performed a number of live shows, they then went on to release a self-titled cassette that received positive reviews and it is with great anticipation that fans have awaited a full length album. Black Earth rises to the occasion and is a work which will entice listeners to delve into the band’s world of deep, dark and dare I say it, cinematic music. Though it is a word overused almost to the point of cliche, Implodes are indeed eclectic within the realm of guitar driven Rock and at times the band can sound like the logical successor to early Sonic Youth at their dissonant best. They also contain shades of influential Noise-Rock band Swans and perhaps something of the melancholic ambience of The Jesus And Mary Chain, but they are not reduced to the sum of their influences. No, they appear to learn the lessons of each precursor and move onwards, forging a new sound entirely their own. ‘Open The Door’ serves as introduction with a short atmospheric track of repeated chord progressions hidden beneath a surface of delay, and it is not until succeeding number ‘Marker’ that the band throw themselves into their performance. The guitars are naturally the focal point here and they sound powerful but just out of reach behind echo and reverb, while the bass and drum rhythm section have the difficult task of keeping time with such intangible audio. Despite the discord and frequently unintelligible vocals, usually delivered spoken or snarling, there is most often a catchy melody to encourage spontaneous involuntary head movement. With this mixture of challenging material wrapped in melodic verse, one imagines the band must be a real tour-de-force live. Alongside these heavier tracks and the occasional short piece, there are moments when Implodes veer into a more experimental direction. The band shun percussion and slow down for the ambient soundscape of ‘White Window’, while a Krautrock influence within ‘Wendy’ offers another element to the band’s repertoire. Penultimate track ‘Down Time’ is an ambient piece as beautiful as it is brief and Black Earth then closes with ‘Hands On The Rail’, a noisy dirge steeped in feedback and harmonic lead guitar. That which makes Implodes an exceptional listen also makes for difficult explanation. The band simply refuses to be easily categorised, so before they are arbitrarily tacked on to Shoegaze, Ambient or Rock, a new genre may be needed and Post-Post-Rock just will not do. Released April 20th on Kranky, Black Earth is available in CD and LP editions. - Review by Adam Williams for Fluid Radio

sábado, 16 de abril de 2011

Various Artists – Erik Satie Et Les Nouveaux Jeunes

Various Artists – Erik Satie Et Les Nouveaux Jeunes
Genre : Classic, Electronic, Ambient

Buy It!

CD1-01 Library Tapes – Satie On Tape
CD1-02 Kyle Dawkins – Danse De Travers
CD1-03 Minotaur Shock – Small Starts
CD1-04 Max Richter – Erik Sleeping
CD1-05 Chessie – Katy (For Satie)
CD1-06 Danny Norbury – Tango Fragment
CD1-07 Julia Kent – Seul, Pendant Un Instant
CD1-08 ww.lowman – Lakegirl
CD1-09 Akamatsu – Gymnopédie 8 (4/4)
CD1-10 Part Timer – A Clumsy But Subtle Technician
CD1-11 Rachel Grimes – Gnossiennes No.3
CD1-12 That Summer – Le Yachting
CD1-13 Monokle – Mist
CD1-14 Sylvain Chauveau – Prélude De La Chambre Rouge
CD1-15 Fred Lonberg-Holm – Le Flirt
CD1-16 Steve Peters – Hymne (Pour Un Fils Des Étoiles)

CD2-01 Rafael Anton Irisarri & Goldmund – Gnossienne No.1
CD2-02 Pan American – Leftalone (2ème)
CD2-03 Moinho – Movements & Variations For Satie
CD2-04 Hauschka – Chat Noir
CD2-05 0 – Gnossienne No.3
CD2-06 Beatrice Martini & Robert Lippok – Je Te Veux
CD2-07 Peter Broderick – Les Trois Valses Distinguées Du Précieux Dégouté 2
CD2-08 Rachel Grimes – Gnossienne No.2
CD2-09 The Boats – Le Yachting
CD2-10 Astrïd – Erik S.
CD2-11 Eluvium – Ogives/Redistributed
CD2-12 Dustin O’Halloran – Opus 33
CD2-13 Nils Frahm – Body
CD2-14 Mr Potier – Le Jars Des Andes
CD2-15 Steve Roden – EIAIE – In His Name, The Vowels Are Also Notes, And A Small Mountain
CD2-16 Inlandsis – Coloquinte


This really is marvelous. I’ve always got time for some Satie, the legendary 19th Century composer and Pianist. His compositions have been reproduced by many over the years but to my knowledge this is certainly the most comprehensive collection of interpretations by contemporary players. The audio and Satie’s work really speak for themselves so I’ll let you know the important bit and that’s who features across the two discs (32 in all!) including Library Tapes, Kyle Dawkins, Minotaur Shock, Max Richter, Chessie, Danny Norbury, Julia Kent, Part Timer, Rachel Grimes, Sylvain Chauveau, Rafael Anton Irisarri & Goldmund, Pan American, Hauschka, The Boats, Eluvium, Nils Frahm, Dustin O’Halloran etc. A stellar line up I’m sure you’ll agree. A really engaging listen, hearing how these talents add their unique magic to these important works.

viernes, 15 de abril de 2011

Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) – Some Days Are Better Than Others (2011) OST

Matthew Robert Cooper ::: Some Days Are Better Than Others (2011) OST
Genre : Ambient, Electronic

Buy It!

01 Curious Moments
02 Drifting
03 Pursuance
04 Into Dust
05 Expectation
06 What You Leave Behind
07 Reprieve
08 Worry and Care
09 Time and Abandonment
10 It’s Never What It Seems
11 Camille and the Ocean
12 Some Days Are Better Than Others
13 Katrina Outtake


We have waited with eager anticipation to release Matthew Cooper's spellbinding soundtrack to Some Days Are Better Than Others since before his creative breakthrough album, Similes (released under his more widely known Eluvium moniker) was even made. The film stars James Mercer (Broken Bells, The Shins) and Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia, Sleater-Kinney) as strangers whose lives occasionally intersect as they navigate their way through the struggles of personal attachment and disconnection. When viewing the film, Cooper observed themes being presented regarding our throw-away society, and realized that both he and Some Days director Matt McCormick shared a common interest in this world of things left behind and the emotional baggage that is connected to it - whether broken or simply tossed aside for something new; something once considered the future, turning into antiquated rubble. Cooper decided that using a collection of damaged instruments would be a fitting way to underscore this aspect of the film. Here he uses the inherent characteristics of these instruments to create something honest and beautiful, something that is at once familiar, damaged and unique - something we can all relate to.

viernes, 8 de abril de 2011

Epic45 ::: Weathering

Epic45 ::: Weathering
Genre : Post Rock, Electronic

Buy It!

01. People Say This Place Is Slowly Dying [0:07:07.94]
02. The Village Is Asleep [0:06:37.89]
03. Evening Silhouettes [0:02:31.29]
04. With Our Backs To The City [0:06:22.04]
05. Summer Message [0:02:41.96]
06. Afternoon, Shadowed [0:01:49.68]
07. The Weather Is Not Your Friend [0:02:57.49]
08. These Walks Saved Us [0:03:05.18]
09. Ghosts I Have Known [0:02:34.18]
10. Weathering [0:08:40.94]
11. Washed Up [0:08:48.89]


I was going to try and write this review without shoe-horning the word pastoral in, just as a bit of a challenge. I've given up pretty quickly as you can see. It's like talking about the Second World War and not mentioning Hitler. You can't do it. Oh and I'm reasonably sure Epic 45 and Hitler have no connections before you try and detect one and accuse them of being a bit dodgy. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the their brand new CD 'Weathering' is sat here all bright and sparkly looking at me. And an epic journey it is I'll tell you that! I've been enjoying this in my car over the last week and it works best at the sun's going down. Suddenly the music comes into its own and you're transported to a place of special. I think this is the bands most cohesive album and also possibly their most adventurous and accomplished. There are tracks on this album which do the Hood and Talk Talk thing (and Sigur Ros at moments) which you'd kind of expect but there's other gems to be found within! For Example 'With Our backs To The City' featuring Stephen Jones (Baby Bird!) on vocals. It's a diamond of a pop tune and by far my favourite one on the album. It just totally works.

Mid-way through the album you get a weird experimental dark ambient number which splits the album up neatly into two halves. I love it, very different for them. The album is rammed full of inventive and interesting ideas, songs are super layered with so many things going on, yet nothing sounds cluttered. Everything has it's place and no particular element impeaches on the other's musical territory. The music is mainly comprised of layered vocals, strings, field recordings, electronics, acoustic guitars, drums, samples but there's plenty more going on!

Essentially though this is an indie pop album with a lot of bells and whistles. It's a gentle record steeped in countryside romanticism and one which I think many people will cherish over the years. Oh guest stars! I knew I had something else to say! The album features Stephen Jones (which you know about!) as well as Richard Vincent Adams (Declining Winter), Antony Harding (July Skies), Andrew Johnson (Remote Viewer), Craig Tattersall (The Boats & Remote Viewer), Sarah Kemp (Brave Timbers) and lots more. A star studded cast playing a whole plethora of different instruments (hammered dulcimer, clarinet, violin, brass, glockenspiel, xylophone etc) as well as the Epic 45 boys playing a million different instruments, using samples, field recordings and all kinds of shenanigans reckon the boys (and girl) have done good with this 'un.

martes, 5 de abril de 2011

Tape ::: Revelationes

Tape ::: Revelationes
Genre : Electroacoustic, Ambient

Buy It!

01 - Dust and Light
02 - Companions
03 - Hotels
04 - Byhalia
05 - In Valleys
06 - The Wild Palms
07 - Gone Gone


Since 2008's gorgeous 'Luminarium', Swedish troupe Tape have been holed up in their Summa studio in Stockholm, studiously busying themselves hand-crafting a follow up. And what a sequel it is; 'Revelationes' is everything you would hope for from the band and more, finding the well-worn sound of brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling pushing into darker, more downtrodden territory. The overwhelming prettiness of Tape's back catalogue has been pushed aside; echoes of Slint's genre-defining 'Spiderland' haunt the opening notes of 'Dust and Light', but when the signature organs and electronics finally make an appearance it is a markedly more subtle and melancholy affair than we might have expected from the band. 'Revelationes' is somehow deeply sad and incredibly affecting, but is a record flecked with hope - the curiously uplifting vibraphones, wavering theramin and jazz-tinged drums offering an occasional and much needed counterpoint to the mood. The band have refined their craft over an enviable selection of full-lengths, and 'Revelationes', which clocks in at an economical thirty-two minutes, is easily their most focused to date. No song drags or outstays its welcome, instead their pieces are pointed and enjoyable, bringing to mind Tortoise at their very best.