Wednesday, 28 December 2022

Bandcamp Recommendations (Dec 22)

Here's my final recommendations list of 2022. Things have been incredibly busy and hectic for me these last few months, so I've had very little time to listen to new music, never mind sit down and write about it...but thankfully things have slowed down a bit during the festive season, and I've had some time to collect my thoughts on a bunch of albums I've been enjoying lately.

I'm currently working on a plan which will hopefully allow me to dedicate more time and energy to writing about music in the near future. I'm not there yet, but hopefully sometime soon. Thank you to everyone who has read my blog, followed me on social media, shared my posts and/or sent me music this year. 

Without further ado...

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Lyndsie Alguire - ...like butterfly wings (2022) 


GENRE : downtempo electronica, ambient, chillwave
RECORD LABEL : Reflections

A delicate sprinkle of wistful piano notes shimmer and float gently over expansive serene soundscapes. Gorgeous fuzzy synth chords rise and fall as the listener is slowly drawn towards the soft glow of a distant horizon in a hazy nostalgic dream...

Lyndsie Alguire is a Montreal-based artist, musician, producer & model. This album is her 9th, and her first ever release on a record label (Reflections - the ambient imprint of dance label Anjunadeep). 
Rooted in themes of nature and childhood innocence, this music breathes with deep yearning and melancholic wonder. Alguire expertly creates and produces these vast ethereal ambient dreamscapes, with flourishes of minimalistic piano that float on the breeze and tug at the heart strings. It's the sound of sadness and longing, but also of comfort and hope.

This is the first album of Alguire's that I've listened to, and I look forward to exploring more. Beautiful stuff. Highly recommended.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Kate Carr - making do Vol. 1 (2022)


GENRE : sound art, field recordings, drone, experimental
RECORD LABEL : Tool Use

Kate Carr is a London-based sound artist and field recordist whose practice is centered on investigating the relationship between the soundscapes we collectively create and how we experience our shared public spaces. ''making do'' is her series on monthly experiments involving limited numbers of everyday objects, and ''making do Vol.1'' collects the first and fourth installments onto a single cassette, which has been released on the Canadian tape label/imprint Tool Use.

This album is a strange and fascinating listening experience. Carr's absurd yet elegant audio manipulation techniques transforms the sounds of these everyday household items into lush ambient atmospheres of a serene yet eerie beauty. 
In these recordings you will hear brushes bristling, marbles bouncing, steel bells jiggling, soft breaths echoing, wooden tubes crunching and creaking, lonesome whistles sighing and dying in the air, waters trickling through narrow vessels...and all other kinds of ordinary everyday noises coming alive and dancing through these ambiguous soundscapes with a strange fleeting grace, while dark ominous drones ripple and rumble in the background, making the entire thing seem surreal and haunted. 

An excellent piece of immersive sound art. Highly recommended. If you like this album, you should definitely check out the rest of Carr's 'making do' series here.

Stream/Download the album here...

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The Lonely Bell - The Broken Heart of Man (2022) 


GENRE : experimental, sound art, dark ambient, drone
RECORD LABEL : Somnimage

This eerily hypnotic and gorgeously spellbinding 2-song EP consists of two sound collages - two dark swirling whirlwinds of sorrowful choral singing, funereal drones, ominous field recordings, mournful classical music and haunted ambience.

The Lonely Bell is the music project of Scottish/Filipino artist & musician Ali Murray. This particular release leans more towards sound art than the dark ambient music The Lonely Bell is typically known for, but it's certainly no less powerful or evocative.

'The Broken Heart of Man' plays out like a mesmerizing 12-minute long movie - a dark broody drama perhaps, or a lonesome character study. It's a sweeping sonic exploration of the dark side of the human condition. And it has Murray's signature stamp all over it - the misty soundscapes, the dreamy melancholic surreality, the profound loneliness and the deep aching sense of loss.

A dark, painful and beautiful EP. Highly recommended.

Stream/Download the EP here...

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Sulk Rooms - Ceremony (2022) 


GENRE : dark ambient, drone, electronica
RECORD LABEL : Decaying Spheres

Dark foreboding rumblings, sorrowful pulses and sinister eruptions of grainy rippling noise heralds the latest offering from Manchester-based artist/composer Sulk Rooms (a.k.a Thomas Ragsdale).

This album of his was inspired by the concept of secretive cults and hidden societies. Listening to it feels like being led against your will down ominous corridors, haunted passageways and eerie rooms full of masked onlookers who partake in ritualistic sacrifices and other kinds of sick depraved acts which are best left to the imagination. It's a nightmarish descent into dark labyrinths of a  strange and daunting world of shadows.

But it's not all darkness and terror and gloom. There's actually some moments of beautiful warmth and mellow euphoria in there, making 'Ceremony' a well-rounded and wonderfully dynamic slab of cinematic ambience. And from my listening experience, it gets better with each listen. Brilliant album. Highly recommended.

Stream/Download the album here...

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M​.​A. H​ồ​-​Kane - Scrapbook 22 (Here #8) 


GENRE : sound collage, experimental, film music, field recordings, ambient
RECORD LABEL : Here Free Press

This album is a complex and beautiful audio scrapbook of film soundtrack fragments, snippets of radio recordings, tape hiss, cartoon voices, avant-garde ambience and fractured synthetic modern classical music. It's a surreal and whimsical sound journey through a year of the artist's life.

M​.​A. H​ồ​-​Kane is a Brooklyn-based experimental artist/musician/designer, and is also the owner of the wonderful tape label Here Free Press. 'Scrapbook 22' is basically a lo-fi dreamscape of sonic abstractions and cutup orchestral film music. It aurally treads a delicate fine line between mundane reality and fantasyland. Every moment is fleeting, and nothing returns....just like life itself. Garbled voice samples, radio static, abstract rumbling and the rise and fall of modular synthesis make up these intriguing and sublime sound collages. Excellent album. Highly recommended.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Catherine Sikora - Winter Solos (2022) 


GENRE : jazz, jazz improvisation, solo saxophone, avant-garde
RECORD LABEL : self-released

This is an album of constantly expanding and evolving improvised saxophone jams from the inimitable virtuosic avant-garde composer/musician Catherine Sikora
Sikora's idea for 'Winter Solos' was simply to record one solo sax piece for every day of the month of December 22. A very ambitious yet wonderful idea for these cold winter days.
At the time of writing this, the album hasn't been completed yet...so I technically haven't heard every single song on it. Regardless, it's a magnificent collection of songs, and a poignant aural document of a certain time and place in the artist's life.

This album currently consists of 28 heartfelt saxophone solos. These performances are extremely minimalistic and bare, yet beautifully executed and so wonderfully heartfelt.
As I embark upon this wintry musical journey, I allow my thoughts to become calm and still, and let my mind drift and wander along the waves of blissful sound that emanate from Sikora's saxophone. The feel of the music is sometimes tender and contemplative, sometimes playful and joyous... and at other times mournful, or just plain weird. 
These avant-jazz pieces are fleeting fragments of pure soulful expression. Sikora's powerful tones and distinctive timbre along with the bare lonesome atmosphere of the album makes for a rather meditative listening experience. Incredible stuff. Highly recommended.

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Coagulant - Archival Recordings For Paolo Monti (2022) 


GENRE : sound art, musique concrete, experimental noise, drone
RECORD LABEL : Antenna Non Grata

This album consists of one 34-minute long-form noise composition from CoagulantCoagulant is the conceptual sound project of Fabio Kubic who uses various microphones as his main instrument to capture, cutup and broadcast sound. 
Through various electronic manipulation techniques and audio-feedback editing, Coagulant creates vast and immersive soundscapes and abstract audio sensory environments that are wonderfully fascinating, and entirely engulfing.

Listening to 'Archival Recordings For Paolo Monti' feels like I'm trapped within the internal mechanism of some powerful unmanned machine, surrounded by gears and levels, chugging and clanking away into oblivion...
This album is a bizarre amalgamation of ominous whooshing drones, swirling hiss, fluttering tones of abstract frequencies and modulating oblique feedback that rises and swells towards a furious cacophony of mesmerizing and engulfing noise.

I can't claim to be able to aurally identify the source material of these collated sounds, but they've been skillfully manipulated and wonderfully collaged to create this massive body of ever-moving and ever-evolving noise that makes up this album. 
'Archival Recordings for Paolo Monti' is a dark and unsettling yet beautiful and exhilarating work of art. Highly recommended.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Blush To The Snow - Dream Triptych (2022) 


GENRE : ambient, drone, electronic, sound art
RECORD LABEL : Not Yet Remembered Records

Blush To The Snow is an ambient catalogue well worth exploring if you're seeking minimalistic abstract drifting drones and dreamy synth atmospheres to lose yourself in. This music is more about textures than melodies, more about immersion than structure, more about feeling than meaning, more about atmosphere than any kind of storyline or progression.

Blush To The Snow is the musical moniker of William Creason. This latest album of his is a collection of singles that were previously released through his own personal Bandcamp page - now collated and sequenced together in one long delicious flow. 
You should sit back and allow these sweeping soundscapes to completely envelope you and take you across vast empty plains and uninhabited expanses - all bathed in serene otherworldly hues. This music both freezes and warms with its ethereal glow. Wonderful stuff.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Autumna - The Third Half (2022) 


GENRE : ambient, drone, electronica, soundscape
RECORD LABEL : Frosti

Here is one 18-minute long slice of shimmering ambient drift to immerse yourself within from Belgian musician/composer Autumna. Its beautiful resonance and haunting ethereality makes for a delightful dreamscape, and a compelling listen. 

'The Third Half' is based upon the general idea of the coming-of-age not equaling getting older, and a musical and artistic reaction to the way society clings to unwritten rules and conventions. This piece of music suggests the embracing of freedom, and the individual struggle to find his/her place in the world where most people blindly follow like sheep. The sound is generally pretty lo-fi and murky, with some glitchy noise elements, and the subtle clanging of bells. This is glorious drone music. I love it.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Permanent Vacation - Shelf Life (2022) 


GENRE : lo-fi pop, indie folk, bedroom pop
RECORD LABEL : Totally Real Records

Here's an album of gentle fuzzy lo-fi bedroom folk songs to lull your aching heart into a wonderful soft stillness. Dull (as in tone) acoustic guitars, dreamy wistful vocals and twinkling ambient synthesizers comprise this wonderfully intimate and beautiful album.

Permanent Vacation are the musical duo of Juliette Rapp (vocalist/writer/keyboardist) & Chris Marks (songwriter/guitarist) who are based in Mexico City. 
'Shelf Life' is an admirably minimalistic and lovingly dreamy album - ideal for languishing about the house during long empty days of nothingness. It's like a hazy reverie, or a fuzzy pillow that you want to sink your head into. Simultaneously life-affirming and bittersweet, these quirky lo-fi songs will dig their way into your heart and warm you from within. And it gets better with repeated listens. Great stuff.  

Stream/Download the album here...

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Joshua James Wittman - Orbital Patterns (2022) 


GENRE : ambient, drone, abstract, soundscape, electronica
RECORD LABEL : Shady Ridge Records

This is an album of huge, rippling, pulsating soundscapes based on the theme of radio, satellite and wireless technology.

Joshua James Wittman is a Minnesotan guitar-based ambient musician, and one half of the dark electronica duo Kindly Spoken Thieves. In this album, Wittman transports the listener to strange and beautiful abstract dimensions...taking us on an intoxicating ethereal journey through chilled ambient dreamscapes using a unique mixture of effect-laden guitars and gorgeous synth pads. Sit back and allow wave upon wave of abstract guitar-driven electronica wash over you and leave you speechless and calm. Highly recommended

Stream/Download the album here...

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Monday, 28 November 2022

Bandcamp Recommendations (Nov 22)

Here's my latest list of Bandcamp recommendations....

I've been absolutely overwhelmed and inundated with amazing new music this month, and I've only got the chance to write about a fraction. Hopefully some of these recent discoveries will make it onto future posts. but for now...

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Joseph Blane - The Spider Room (2022) 


GENRE : experimental, avant-garde, improvisation, noise jazz
RECORD LABEL : Submarine Broadcasting Co.

This album has a wonderfully unique backstory. You can read the blurb in its entirety on the Bandcamp page itself, but it basically came about as the result of the artist breaking into the music room of an old derelict school building in his local vicinity (at night) and using the various broken and rotting instruments at his disposal to create and record two 15-minute long improvised performances on a cheap Sony sound recorder, later mixing the tracks together into this breathtaking avant-garde masterpiece.

Joseph Blane is an avant-garde musician and experimental improviser from Scotland, and this is his incredible debut album - released on the ever-intriguing and consistently wonderful record label Submarine Broadcasting Co, and is (in my opinion) one of their best releases to date.

'The Spider Room' is a creepy and haunted sounding album. You can hear the background creaks and echoes of the desolate vacant space in which it was recorded, whilst the foreground is filled with the sound squeaking violins, an old reverberating piano, a broken glockenspiel, a percussive egg and (most importantly) Blane's electric guitar... puncturing through the sound with his unique brand of smooth jazz flourishes and wild avant-garde wackiness.

Musically, this album is hard to define. I think it's some form of improvised avant-garde noise jazz...but I'm really not sure. The songs are structure-less and free-form. The music can be quite challenging and difficult at times (a.k.a utterly hideous!)...but there's also moments of fleeting melancholic beauty and sweetness in there, along with all kinds of weird demented ebbs and flows, if you're patient enough to listen through these pieces. The whole performance is constantly on the verge of total collapse, and sometimes it does... A strange and wonderful improvised masterpiece that begs for repeated listens.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Lalén Ríos Luna - Like A Memory Lost (2022)


GENRE : avant-garde, experimental, drone, abstract ambient
RECORD LABEL : self-released

This album is a calm and somber affair from avant-garde experimentalist Lalén Ríos Luna. It's full of sorrowful audio murmurs and dark rumbling tones that stretch across the empty soundscapes like a soft sea on a dull winter's day... 

Compared to some of Lalén Ríos Luna's other releases, this album is pretty minimalistic and bare... but it's certainly no less powerful or unique. In fact, it's probably one of my personal favourites of his. The titles of the four pieces that comprise this album are taken from a John Clare poem titled 'I Am', and the music is as evocative and melancholic and beautiful as the titles suggest. 
Sonically, the album mostly consists of low-end frequencies and funereal drones that beg to be listened to through earphones or powerful speakers. Musically and artistically, it remains abstract and baffling... but it's also peaceful and serene, and a wonderful aural antidote to the hectic, noisy and overcrowded world in which we live.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Andrew Heath & Seigo Aoyama - North by North East (2022) 


GENRE : ambient, drone, modern classical, field recordings
RECORD LABEL : Shimmering Moods

Gorgeous reverberated piano drifting gently upon a glistening sea of swirling cinematic ambience...

'North by North East' is the beautiful and fascinating collaboration album of British ambient artist Andrew Hearth and Japanese musician/composer Seigo Aoyama. It was inspired by the seasons and native topology of their native landscapes, which is very evident as you embark upon this splendid aural journey of an album.

Throughout these eight songs, the plaintive piano melodies and flourishes gorgeously complement the haunting swells and undulating electroacoustic drones within these vast expansive dreamscapes. The music is full of light melancholic airiness and ghostly whispers. Ethereal ambience and fragmented and manipulated field recordings lay the wonderful sound foundation for the piano to rest and drift beautifully upon, tinkling gently and dreamily along...

A great album. Highly recommended. If you're a fan of Ryuichi Sakamoto & Christian Fennesz's collaboration album 'Cendre' - you'll very likely dig this.

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Ali Murray - Spectral Birds (2022) 


GENRE : ethereal folk, dream pop, psych folk, ambient pop
RECORD LABEL : Dead Forest Records

This is the latest album from shadowy Scottish songwriter Ali Murray. It's a dreamy mixture of dark alt-folk, psych-folk and ambient pop, striking a beautiful balance that is intimate and soaring, peaceful and haunting... a perfect soundtrack for walking through grey barren fields or dark rugged coastlines.

Anyone who's already familiar with Murray's immense body of work should be well-acquainted with his signature amalgamation of sorrowful alt-folk, ethereal ambient dreamscapes and existentialist pop. It seems like he's on a constant pursuit to unveil the sad truths of this world. 

This particular album is very organic and stripped-down, with the central focus of the songs being Murray's plaintive breathy tenor and raw acoustic guitar... but it's subtly and beautifully accompanied by dark ambience, soaring strings and psychedelic electric flourishes in all the right places. 

'Spectral Birds' is a lonely grey dream, a melancholy journey into the unknown, and a wonderful winter treat of an album that I'll be listening to a lot in the days ahead. Highly recommended.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Anna Yarbrough - Sojourn EP (2021) 


GENRE : modern classical, neoclassical, minimalist, solo piano music
RECORD LABEL : Rhodium Publishing

Here's a short EP of soft delicate piano compositions from musician/composer Anna Yarbrough. Recorded in her apartment in not-so-ideal circumstances during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown, the three songs that comprise this EP seem to encapsulate a certain tension and longing that was prevalent in the artist's life during the time of its making and recording.  

The music is gentle and fleeting, intimate and comforting, poignant and sweet...full of incidental room sounds and natural reverb which adds to the wonderful atmosphere and immediacy of the recordings. The dampened felt piano notes swirl slowly and dreamily in the air, before landing softly in quiet resignation. 

I'm a sucker for solo instrumental piano music, and this little EP (and the rest of Yarbrough's work) seems to quench the particular thirst I have for it. Find a window with a nice view to look out of, and let the quiet delicate beauty of this EP envelope you entirely. 

Stream/Download the EP here...

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Dane Law - blue forty-six (The Map Room) (2022) 


GENRE : experimental, acoustic, lo-fi ambient, sound art
RECORD LABEL : Blue Tapes

This is an album of beautifully crafted acoustic guitar music that's been deconstructed and meticulously rearranged on a computer in a way that makes it sound digitally programmed and ''unplayable by human hands'', in the most wonderful way. The sound is minimalistic, fragile, and gorgeously evocative.

Dane Law is the solo music project of Adam Parkinson who is a sound artist, lecturer & musician, and this is his debut release on the gloriously eclectic and experimental Blue Tapes label. Inspired by literature of polar exploration, Parkinson has crafted an album of glistening harp-like notes, dancing icicle-like melodies, swirling melancholic beauty and minimalistic cold desolate atmospheres. Ideal soundscapes for dreaming, fantasizing and all kinds of introspective wanderings. Fantastic album.

Stream/Download the album here...

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socool - Ephemera (2022) 


GENRE : lo-fi electronic, ambient, drum & bass, trip-hop
RECORD LABEL : self-released

Here's some beautiful moody ambient trip-hop music to immerse yourself in. It sparkles and drifts, it shimmers and shifts....it floats through the ether slowly and dreamily, lodging itself firmly into the quiet corners of your mind.

This album is fairly minimalistic, allowing all the individual instruments and components to breathe at their own pace, and fill out the ever-expanding glorious atmospheres that the artist has created with such delicacy and finesse. The sound is ethereal and airy, combining ambient soundscapes with instrumental dream-pop, IDM and trip-hop. Even though the music is generally beautiful and calming, there's also a subtle yet noticeable tension and dark unease that taints the album, giving it a certain unique and mysterious quality which is wholly welcomed. A wonderful album to drift away to... 

Stream/Download the album here...

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Henry Dagg and Evan Parker - THEN THROUGH NOW (2022)


GENRE : avant-garde jazz, experimental, electronic, abstract, noise
RECORD LABEL : False Walls

Here is a strange and mesmerizing hour-long improvised performance by Henry Dagg (composer, improviser, sound sculptor & builder of experimental musical instruments) and Evan Parker (tenor/soprano jazz saxophonist & improviser). 
In this collaborative album, Dagg & Parker bridge raw organic earthiness with abstract avant-garde electronica - beautifully captured in this live recording. For this particular performance, Parker plays the soprano saxophone while Dagg experiments with a new electronic instrument he developed called 'The Stage Cage'.

The stark minimalism of this music and the emptiness of the room in which it was performed makes for an eerie and unpredictable performance. The notes, melodies and harmonics resonate and ricochet off the walls of the venue, and lay scattered across the confined soundscape, shimmering in their own broody dissonance before disappearing entirely... 

'THEN THROUGH NOW' is an intriguing and immersive listening experience, and the backstory and description of this performance makes for interesting reading. See the Bandcamp link below...

Stream/Download the album here...

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Heavy Cloud - atal mor (2022) 


GENRE : sound art, noise, sound collage, musique concrete
RECORD LABEL : Falt

This is an album of four beautifully immersive sound collages of scratching, thumping, bleeping field recordings, found sounds, fractured street noises and whooshing watery textures, accompanied by bizarre and delicate segments of broody abstract ambience.

Heavy Cloud is the musical project of Ryan Hooper, and if you're wondering - 'atal mor' is the Cornish term for ''flotsam and jetsam'', which describes the feel of this album very well. 
The entire listening experience is like sifting through the mundane debris of our existence, holding onto the interesting stuff and discarding the rest. No particular moments of this album last long. There are constant abrupt changes in the atmosphere and tension of these pieces, highlighting their fleeting effect, and also the absurdity of the collected sounds of everyday life when artistically compiled and collaged. 

This is gorgeous sound art, and another brilliant release from tape label Falt. If you like this kind of music (or ''non-music'') you should definitely explore the rest of their catalogue.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Karen Vogt - I've Been Waiting For The Longest Time (2022)


GENRE : ambient, drone, shoegaze, vocal ambience
RECORD LABEL : Superpang

Here's a gloriously mesmerizing EP of quivering drones and slow rippling ambience from Australian-born/Paris-based musical artist Karen Vogt. The two long pieces of live improvised music that comprise this EP are plaintive shimmering dreamscapes of floating synth pads, post-rock guitar and ethereal voices that spread and swell throughout these immersive environments in which they solely exist. 

This music makes me think of the slow changing of the seasons, and the passing of time. I personally don't think that there's enough ambient EPs out there in the world, so this is definitely one to cherish and revisit again and again. Beautiful stuff.

Stream/Download the EP here...

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black_ops & The Creeping Man - Dust EP (2022)

GENRE : experimental, noise, drone, field recordings
RECORD LABEL : self-released

This EP is an enticing collaboration between two dark wizards of the underground experimental noise scene. It is an introductory release to their musical amalgamation, with their forthcoming full-length album due to be released next Spring on Wormhole World.

'Dust' is an EP of grainy textures, growling industrial black noise, pulsing machinery, atonal dark ambience and abstract electronica. The sound whispers and blows, and at times erupts into frightening yet fleeting cacophonies. Its overall effect is eerie and unsettling, yet the artistic intent and purpose remains unknown. It lingers inside your brain long after it's over, like a vague ominous dream. A great little EP, and a good indicator of what's to come next.... 

Stream/Download the EP here...

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NV-9 - Any Glow EP (2022)


GENRE : ambient, abstract, improvisation, drone, soundscape, dark ambient
RECORD LABEL : Drale Records

This is a stunning debut EP of minimalistic ambient dreamscapes from NV-9. It's a simple, subtle and quietly captivating work of art... beginning with warm gentle fuzz and slowly evolving into more dark and intricate territories, layered with rippling tones of serene beauty. 

These immersive ethereal drones are perfect for early morning wanderings, hazy reflections and late night introspection. For me, it conjures up images of shimmering deserts, still lakes and sleeping cities. I really admire the restraint that the artist has shown in regards to constructing this music. There is no overcrowding or desperation. Its delicate tones and dreamy atmospheres make me want to listen to it over and over and over. Beautiful stuff. Highly recommended.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Sunday, 30 October 2022

Bandcamp Recommendations (Oct 22)

Here's my latest roundup of awesome Bandcamp recommendations. If you like what you see/hear, please consider buying these albums and supporting these wonderful artists directly.

I'd also really appreciate it if you could share this post on social media, or wherever else you feel may be fitting.

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The Lonely Bell - Kingdoms of the Deep (2022) 


GENRE : dark ambient, drone, noise, shoegaze, modern classical, post-rock
RECORD LABEL : Shady Ridge Records

Let's start off with some deep dark oceanic ambience album from a cold little Scottish island. This is the long-awaited new album from The Lonely Bell (a.k.a Ali Murray), and the first full-length release since 2015. 

'Kingdoms of the Deep' is an epic underwater adventure down into the unfathomable depths of the sea. It's an album of deep dark murkiness, subsonic watery rumblings, muted rippling tones, funereal drones, with moments of sweet liquid dreaminess to break up the unrelenting coldness and terror of this watery wilderness.

In this album, Murray has masterfully constructed enormous sprawling soundscapes of impenetrable darkness and aquatic wonder that evokes both the terrifying vastness of the ocean and the loneliness of existence. Musically, it's a dark ambient/drone album...but some other styles are mixed in there, like shoegaze, noise, modern classical, sound art and post-rock.

Just like all of Murray's music - this album is frighteningly lonely and laden with a profound sorrow. It's the soundtrack to slowly sinking into a cold hopeless abyss with no hope of rescue... yet it's oddly comforting and undeniably beautiful. A deep dark oceanic masterpiece. Highly recommended.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Sulk Rooms - Viewers (2022) 


GENRE : electronica, dark ambient, techno, soundscape
RECORD LABEL : Werra Foxma

This album is a dark panopticon sound journey through a dystopian sinking city in ruins - an undeniably relatable metaphor in this present time. 'Viewers' adopts the concept of eyes, lenses and screens being used as observational surveillance within this haunted apocalyptic dreamscape. 

Sulk Rooms is the solo music project of Yorkshire-based artist/composer Thomas Ragsdale.
In this new album of his, we drift slowly through ominous buildings of unknown purpose, dark eerie passageways, haunted corridors, strange airless rooms and all other kinds of vacant spaces - devoid of human presence, or joy.

The atmosphere of this album is stifling, suffocating and riddled with anxiety and paranoia. Dark shimmering drones fill the soundscapes like shadows drifting through vast empty theatres. 
Listening to this album from start to finish feels like blindly and desperately navigating your way through creepy smoke-filled passageways and murky abstract environments, not knowing if you're ever going to make through to the other side...while feeling the ominous and invisible presence of the watchful eye.

'Viewers' is haunting and unnerving, but it's also melodic and beautiful, and a pure joy to listen to. Great album.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Mt Fog - Spells of Silence (2022)


GENRE : art pop, electronica, folktronica, synthpop
RECORD LABEL : self-releasedGhost Mountain Records

Seattle's foggy art-pop princess returns with a new album of delightful synth-pop folktronica songs to blast away the dusty cobwebs and open up the dark pathways to the heart. 

In 'Spells of Silence', Mt Fog (aka Carolyn) successfully weaves her weird and wacky magical spells upon the unexpecting listener with her unique blend of psychedelic art pop and minimalistic synthscapes. This album is a surreal yet fun journey through haunted places and impossible spaces - full of ups, downs and everything in between. 

The music is haunting and sweet, dreamy and joyful, infectious and absurd. Her vocals and words paint vivid images of mystical landscapes, full of strange wonder... and her sparing use of violin flourishes help elevate and add a nice richness to the songs. A great alternative pop album. Highly recommended.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Kayla Painter - Planet 9 (2022) 


GENRE : electronica, ambient, bass music, experimental
RECORD LABEL : self-released

Here's some celestial electronic ambience to transport you to a strange distant planet beyond the stars - a sweet and baffling musical journey through otherworldly atmospheres and surreal terrains.

Soft glitchy dub techno beats, rippling ambience, wavering dreamscapes, floating swelling textures, snippets of fragmented voice samples, fuzzy synth basslines, and various other tinkles and twinkles comprise this delicious slab of minimalist experimental electronica from Fijian/British artist, musician, producer & lecturer Kayla Painter

In 'Planet 9', Painter has created a unique and complex sound palette of mesmerizing rhythms, ethereal synthscapes, fractured field recordings and minimalistic synth melodies that dazzles, intrigues and allures. A wonderful album. Highly recommended. 

Stream/Download the album here...

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Cindytalk - Subterminal (2022) 


GENRE : experimental, noise, electronic avant-garde, post-rock
RECORD LABEL : False Walls

Cindytalk are a Scottish experimental project that dates back to the early 1980s, and has existed ever since then, both as a band and as a solo project of Cinder - the only permanent member of the group since their initial formation. 
Cindytalk have had a strange and colourful career that have taken them all around the world. Cinder contributed guest vocals to This Mortal Coil's debut album 'It'll End in Tears' and the 1983 EP, 'Sixteen Days/Gathering Dust', and has shared stages and bills with the likes of Ray Davies (The Kinks) and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth). In more recent years they have been based between the UK and Japan. 

'Subterminal' was recorded between 2020-21 upon Cinder's return to Scotland. This album consists of four long-form compositions - four abstract sonic meditations that magically blur the lines between everyday mundane reality and surreal hallucinatory dream worlds. 
Musically, it's a strange but satisfying amalgamation of electronic avant-garde, industrial noise, psychedelic ambience, abstract sound art and subtle/minimalistic post-rock.  The arrangements are sparse, and melody is used very sparingly amidst intriguing sound collages of birdsong, falling rain and synthetic noise. 

A very unique listening experience and a brilliant album from this legendary experimental music group that a lot more people should know of.

Stream/Download the album here...

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RUBBISH MUSIC - Upcycling (2022) 


GENRE : sound art, drone, field recordings, experimental noise
RECORD LABEL : Flaming Pines

This is Rubbish! Garbage! Crap! Total Waste!!! Ugh sorry, I couldn't help myself...

RUBBISH MUSIC is the collaborative duo of sound artists Kate Carr & Iain Chambers, and this is their stellar debut album - full of foreboding atmospheres, thick with unbearable tension and dread... which is very fitting for its theme of the detriment and destruction of the planet through our carelessly discarded waste. Our own ignorance and apathy about matters of waste will ultimately destroy us in the end, but let us concentrate on the music for now...

In this album we hear the rustling of plastic bags, the thumping of hollow containers, the draining of stagnant water, the squeaking of toys, the crackling of food waste and the rattling of various household items, which are used to create a glitchy animated sound foundation, over which drifts dark sinister drones and experimental electronics. These soundscapes are claustrophobic and haunting, grim and unnerving, yet at the same fascinating and strangely enticing. 

This album may be rubbish, but it's certainly not crap. A wonderful debut album from this talented and unassuming sound art duo.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Blanket Swimming - A Quiet Vision (2022)


GENRE : ambient, drone, soundscape, field recordings
RECORD LABEL : Cruel Nature Records

Here's an album of softly flowing drones and mesmerizing field recordings, swirling and drifting through peaceful dreamscapes. The music breathes slowly and deeply, enveloping the listener in its sweet poignant sound. 

Blanket Swimming is the solo music project of prolific Nashville artist/musician Nicholas Maloney. In this album, he has used improvised electric guitar loops and manipulated field recordings to create three wonderfully minimalistic long-form ambient pieces...with the emphasis being on the shimmering textures and harmonic tensions within the soundscapes, as opposed to the actual melodies or compositions. There's a dreamy innocence about these pieces that is alluring and captivating, and deeply immersive.

'The Quiet Vision' is an album of subtle beauty and peaceful introspection. It is impressionistic ambient music in which you must build your own thoughts and extract your own meaning from. It encourages a sense of calm contemplation. Something we all need to do more of in this mad world. Glorious stuff.  

Stream/Download the album here...

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Jo Bled - The Metallic Industrial Other (2022) 


GENRE : experimental noise, sound art, drone
RECORD LABEL : Histamine Tapes

This album by percussive artist/improviser Jo Bled is a one-take organic recording of a Balinese gamelan nipple-gong, enhanced by some subtle digital manipulation. The artist began assembling and working on this gong during his time in rehab, preparing the instrument with bells and chimes, and exploring ways of playing it to reach altered states of consciousness - free of drugs and alcohol.

'The Metallic Industrial other' is a fascinating and meditative piece of experimental sound art, blending hypnotic tribal rhythms with deep resonant drones that takes the listener on a strange and compelling aural journey. For a single percussive instrument, the sound and dynamics of this piece is deceivingly large, dramatic and complex. Making it all the way through this mesmerizing musical journey is a rewarding and cathartic experience. A brilliant album.

Stream/Download the album here...

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NRV - Blue Roofs (2022) 


GENRE : ambient, drone, downtempo, electronica
RECORD LABEL : See Blue Audio

NRV is the ambient/drone music project of Sendai-based Japanese musician Nerve. This album consists of two captivating long-form ambient pieces of whispery drones and softly floating dreamscapes. The title 'Blue Roofs' refers to the blue sheets used as roofs on the houses in Sendai that were devastated by the 2011 tsunami, and the music itself is a poignant reflection of the sadness and beauty of life that followed the tragedy.

The delicate airiness and sweeping melancholy of 'Blue Roofs' instantly conjures up memories of driving through the Japanese countryside - past hazy mountains, rice paddies and blue sparkling rivers. And like these rivers, this music ebbs and flows slowly and gently towards an unknown horizon, with subtle shifts and changes to the atmospheres and melodies along the way. 
This album is a beautiful mixture of light and dark, hope and despair. It is reflection of sadness and hardship, but also an expression of a deep appreciation of life. Great stuff. Highly recommended.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Glacial Anatomy - Northern Peace (2022) 


GENRE : dark ambient, drone, soundscape, field recordings
RECORD LABEL : self-released

Glacial Anatomy is the dark arctic ambient music project of Greg Nunn, and this is his latest album. It's a freezing cold dark drone album based around the concept of all the skeletal remains of abandoned man-made structures that lay scattered all around the Arctic. A very intriguing idea, and the music certainly does not disappoint.

This album is filled with the sounds of cold ambient noise, darkly drifting and sweeping over vast frozen expanses, devoid of human activity or civilization, other than the grim derelict wrecks that are left behind - hollowed out and abandoned to the natural elements, inevitable decay, and the harsh and unforgiving winds of time. 
These dark and engulfing noisescapes are wonderfully immersive - ideal for walks or drives through long stretches of barren land. An excellent album that will scream out to the world of dark ambient fans and noise enthusiasts.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Hiram - Immersion (2022) 


GENRE : sound art, ambient, field recordings
RECORD LABEL : Home & Garden

Here's an album of ecological ambient sound art by Minnesotan experimentalist Hiram. The main focus of this project is to help promote the development of personal connections to water and the natural environment around us. Composed over the summer of 2022, these intriguing recordings capture a live outdoor performance one Saturday morning, in a beautiful shared public space.

This album is a meditative and serene listening experience. Various microphones and recording techniques were used to capture the deep and intimate sounds of moving water, which is the central focus and theme of these long-form sound pieces. It drips and gurgles and flows in its natural element, peacefully reminding us of its sheer beauty, and its importance.
Around these immersive watery centerpieces we are lulled and serenaded by gentle flourishes of ethnic wooden flutes, shimmering abstract drones, melancholic synth ambience, subtle soothing electronica, the whooshing of cavernous wind-like noise, omnipotent cricket chirping and sweet birdsong - all drifting and resonating within these gorgeous tranquil soundscapes. A great album, and a wonderful watery sound journey.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Peter Gilroy - Light Dreams (2022)

GENRE : psychedelic folk, cosmic country, guitar music
RECORD LABEL : Perpetual Doom

Here's some gorgeous cosmic folk guitar music for slow aimless wanderings through hazy cornfields and sleepy meadows. This album from Californian artist/musician Peter Gilroy is full of mesmerizing melodies, dreamy acoustic arpeggios, contemplative whispers, psychedelic soundscapes and rural field recordings - backed with some subtle and tasteful flourishes from accompanying instrumentation.

The gentle and minimalistic atmospheres of these songs are quiet and contemplative, meditative and dreamy, weird and wonderful...while the performances themselves (and the overall sound) is very organic and raw. You can hear the creaks of the wooden guitar, the soft breathing and humming of the artist, the echoes of the recording room...and it all makes for a calming and immersive listening experience. Beautiful stuff. Fans of Robbie Basho and John Fahey will surely dig this album.

Stream/Download the album here...

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Hydra Transmitter - The Birds (2022) 


GENRE : experimental noise, electronic, industrial, improvisation
RECORD LABEL : Anticipating Nowhere 

An album of electroacoustic improvisations performed on keyboard and guitar, surrounded by wailing walls of creepy unsettling sound textures and abstract atonal noise, and strangely interspersed with field recordings of birdcall and other miscellaneous nature sounds. 

Hydra Transmitter is the solo music project of Karl Pelzmann. These raw improvised instrumental pieces of his ring out with a dark dissonant beauty amidst the menacing atmospheres and unnerving abstractions that shudder and shift around them. The feel of this album is claustrophobic and suffocating, yet at the same time meditative and serene. An interesting juxtaposition, and a wonderful listening experience. Listen to this alone in a dark room, or when you're setting out on a long drive in the early morning gloom. Brilliant album.

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Blush To The Snow - Nightfall / The Golden Hour (2021) 


GENRE : ambient, drone, electronic, soundscape
RECORD LABEL : Not Yet Remembered

This is the perfect soundtrack to the come down after an intense psychedelic experience. It's got that hazy surreality of the feeling you get when you've been up all night long, and you find yourself alone in a strange yet familiar world. You witness the first glimpses of daylight break through the thick darkness of night, and hear the first sweet birdsong of a new dawn...and you struggle to adjust to the idea of the day that lies ahead.

This is a gorgeous minimalistic ambient/drone album from Blush To The Snow (a.k.a William Creason) - an excellent artist whose body of work is well worth exploring.
In this album, bare (yet deceivingly complex) synth chords ring on and on throughout the entirety of these songs - some short and fleeting, some long and drawn-out. 
Dreamy textures shimmer and drift through lonely barren soundscapes, slowly lulling the listener into a introspective trance-like state. It is simultaneously haunting and calming, like a lot of the best ambient music. An excellent album.

Stream/Download the album here...

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