Thursday, 1 September 2022

Bandcamp Recommendations (Sept 22)

Bandcamp Fridays have finally returned! If you're looking for some inspiration for great experimental music to buy tomorrow - here's my latest roundup of recommendations...


Emilian Gatsov - MFPWNWFOI (2021) 

GENRE : ambient, electronic, drone, modern classical

Here's an album of dark beautiful trance-inducing night time music from Bulgarian artist/composer Emilian Gatsov whose mostly known for his soundtrack work for theatre and performance.

Based around the idea of eliminating all external stimuli and listening without distraction (something we should all do more often in this noisy modern world), this album lulls you into a nocturnal atmosphere of swirling ambient melancholy and drifting drones, right from the opening seconds. It sucks you in and makes you to turn inwards and concentrate. The music is delightfully meditative and ethereal. I also love how minimalistic it is at times, whilst maintain its depth and power. These electronic loops never get boring, predictable or tiresome. A truly immersive listening experience. Brilliant album.

Mahorka are a wonderful little label that specialize in all kinds of experimental noise and intriguing sound art. If you like this album, you should explore their Bandcamp page. 

Stream/Download the album here...


Le Morte d'Abby - I Am (2022)

GENRE : dance, techno, electronica, ambient, downtempo
RECORD LABEL : Triplicate Records

I am very picky and selective when it comes to dance/techno music. It needs to have a certain kind of emotional quality to it to stop me in my tracks and pay attention. I'm glad to say that this new album by Le Morte d'Abby does just that. It is truly sublime.

Le Morte d'Abby is the solo electronica project of Abigail Lentz. I previously did a write-up for her album, 'Is This Machine Recording?' which was a weird warped lo-fi synth affair.
In this album (her debut release for the inimitable alt-electronica label Triplicate Records) Lentz has created seven songs of sweeping dance tracks that are bright and vibrant, yet melancholy and downtempo at the same time. 
In these songs, shimmering waves of euphoric ambience drift over vast glistening ethereal soundscapes and infectious downtempo techno rhythms that simultaneously lift you up and bring you down.
There's an obvious sadness to it, which is probably why I like it so much. It reminds me of the melancholy dance music that I loved as a child. 
I don't know if this technically qualifies as techno music, and I don't really care. What I do know is that it's awesome. Highly recommended.

Stream/Download the album here...


Colonial Skyway - Evening on Earth (2022)


GENRE : drone, ambient, soundscape, minimalistic
RECORD LABEL : Submarine Broadcasting Co.

This is a slow brooding meditative drone album that I find simultaneously desolate and comforting. It's one of these strange yet admirable examples of music where not much happens...and you don't want anything to happen. It's great the way it is. You're content to just let its non-invasive sound drift quietly through the vacant spaces of your psyche, and help you on your merry (or not-so-merry) way.

Colonial Skyway is the solo project of Matthew Anderson. The songs that comprise this album provide an ideal soundtrack (and accompaniment) to a lonely peaceful walk through a small factory town after working hours. Its beautiful minimalism is wonderfully reflective, but at the same time quite cold and eerie. The gentle sounds of mechanization and industry constantly thrum away, causing a vague but undeniable uneasiness in the listener. Great album. I love the artwork too.

Stream/Download the album here...


Paweł Doskocz/Wojtek Kurek - npm (2021)

GENRE : experimental, improvisation, sound art, free jazz
RECORD LABEL : Czazska Records

This is an album of wild improvised free-form jazz jams from Polish collaborative duo Pawel Doskocz  (electric guitar) and Wojtek Kurek (drums). The music is intense and energetic, erratic and unnerving, unpredictable and fun. 
The unbridled shimmery dissonance of Pawel's guitars and the thunderous pounding and frantic clacking of Wojtek's drums ricochet wildly off the walls of the Beskid Maly summer house that these two seasoned experimental improvisers recorded it in, back in 2019.

Listening to this album feels like a procession of spiders scuttering across the surface of my brain, on their way to some strange unknown destination...but rather than horrify or disgust - this music is actually wonderfully immersive and trance-inducing. 
Kurek's drum patterns and rhythmical sensibilities give this album such a unique groove and bounciness, and there's enough melody from Doskocz's frantic guitar playing to avoid the sound becoming overly harsh or abrasive. There is enough beauty amidst the chaos and noise of these intricate jams to make for a highly enjoyable album. Rather than assaults - this album dances in fits of epileptic zeal. Brilliant stuff.

Stream/Download the album here...


Nikki Sheth - Sounds of Mmabolela (2021)

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

This is a hot and humid sound journey through the bushveld on the border of South Africa and Botswana. It was recorded by the internationally recognized sound artist & composer Nikki Sheth on a field recording residency in Mmabolela in 2017, and released by Flaming Pines in 2021.

This debut album of hers is dark, murky and mysterious, but also peaceful, serene and utterly alluring...with an array of ambiguous well-sculpted sonic abstractions and subtle murmured drones penetrating the collective voices of the natural world. In this wonderfully exotic soundscape I hear hippos, frogs, and a multitude of various insects and birds - singing, humming, squawking and screaming away in the trees, bushes, pools and rivers of Mmabolela. 

Despite the hot humid stickiness of (how I imagine) this particular environment to be,  this album has a lovely ambience that would soothe even the most savage beast. It's a delightful aural adventure into a part of the world where nature undoubtedly still remains supreme. Beautiful stuff.

Stream/Download the album here :


The Broken Cradle - You Are Here and I Am Yours (2021) 

GENRE : modern classical, ambient, instrumental, electronic
RECORD LABEL : self-released

This is an album of beautiful, delicate and touching piano-led pieces by Eric McLean (a.k.a The Broken Cradle) who lovingly blends modern classical compositions with ambient electronica to create lush meditative soundscapes that are reflective and comforting.

'You Are Here and I Am Yours' is an introspective and heartfelt album based around the themes of family, mortality, loss and the joy of life - a musical love letter from McLean to his children. The gentle and emotive piano playing is accompanied by soft swirling airy ambience that not only creates wonderful sparkly atmospheres and textures of their own - they also help elevate the central chords and melodies that drive these compositions. 

The overall effect of this album is tender and soothing to the ears and to the brain. Exactly the kind of music we need in times like these. Great album.

Stream/Download the album here...


Alessio Dutto - Solar (2022) 

GENRE : dark electronica, dark ambience, noise, drone
RECORD LABEL : Veinte 33 Records

This is a dark, dramatic and haunting electronic noise record from Italian artist/composer Alessio Dutto. In this album, Dutto has combined cinematic dark ambience, ferocious power electronics, foreboding Carpenter-esque synthscapes and tidal waves of sweeping fuzzed-out drones to create a highly emotional and wonderfully cathartic listening experience.

Despite the sheer power, brooding menace and full-blown malevolent fury in this music - it is also undeniably melodic and beautiful, and makes for a highly enjoyable and brilliant listening experience. Fans of Rafael Anton Irisarri, Tim Hecker & Ben Frost will love this one.

Stream/Download the album here...


Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites - Non-Lieux (2022) 

GENRE : experimental, modern classical, dark ambient, noise, field recordings
RECORD LABEL : Lotophagus Records

This album consists of one 50-minute long experimental noise piece by French artist Julian Wa - a.k.a Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites. 

The atmosphere of this music is dark, eerie, unsettling and ever-so-slightly sinister. It's an abstract merging of ominous sound art, dark ambient/drone and modern classical. The listener gets taken on a brooding ambling adventure through a strange twisted environment. A large part of the album is taken up by suspenseful electronic pulses and swells, but it meanders into urban field recordings and beautiful cinematic neoclassical segments - led by mournful piano chords and accompanied by yearning violin. A very long but very rewarding listening experience, if you give it the time and patience it deserves.

Stream/Download the album here...


Somnoroase Păsărele - 0RT0 (V​-​VI) (2022)

GENRE : experimental, abstract, sound art, electronica, noise
RECORD LABEL : Beach Buddies Records

This latest installment in the ongoing ORTO series by Romanian experimental artist SOMNOROASE PĂSĂRELE (a.k.a Gili Mocanu) is an intricate and baffling sound journey into strange and disturbing unknown territories. In this 2-song release, sound signals are transmitted through dark tunnels of time and space - unreceived and never to return.... 

Complex patterns of surreal and fractured electronic pulses mingle with fluttering waves of threatening noise to create an eerie and unnerving, yet intriguing and undoubtedly original listening experience. I also find this music very claustrophobic, but Mocanu doesn't keep you in this dark unsettling environment long enough for you to want to run to the nearest exit. It's just right. Wonderful noise art.

Stream/Download the album here...