Sunday, 2 October 2022

Bandcamp Recommendations (Oct 22)

Here's my latest roundup of Bandcamp recommendations from this past month...


Mollbury Medical Research Centre - The G4 Project (2022)

GENRE : experimental, dark ambient, drone, sound art, noise art, field recordings
RECORD LABEL : Sensory Leakage

Mollbury Medical Research Centre is a top secret medical facility that's situated in an undisclosed location - somewhere in the middle of nowhere. It's an eerie and ominous-looking building that sits in an otherwise desolate stretch of wilderness. Or perhaps it's located on the outskirts of some quiet little town - right under our noses, hidden in plain sight...I don't know what it is, but Mollbury Medical Research Centre remains to be one of the most baffling and intriguing music projects out there.

'The G4 Project' is the second album by MMRC. The debut album was actually one of the first albums I wrote about in this blog - a great album, but this one (released through the great experimental tape label Sensory Leakage) is even better!

It's a creepy, unsettling and mysterious affair. Musically, it's a troubling yet wonderful amalgamation of organic medical lab sound samples, ominous drones, dark ambience, glitchy demented electronica, anxiety-inducing noise walls, creepy voices (both human and non-human) and field recordings of other strange miscellaneous sounds, which is blended together in such a cohesive and brilliant way. 

This album is full of sounds of medical equipment being rattled around, devices bleeping, erratic electronic pulses, paranormal suggestions, waves of white noise, empty corridors and various vacant spaces within this mysterious facility. Brilliant experimental sound art - full of mystery and intrigue. Highly recommended.

Stream/Download the album here...
Buy the tape here...


 Post Doom Romance - Aggregate (2022)

GENRE : sound art, experimental noise, abstract, soundscape
RECORD LABEL : Somnimage

This album is full of restless ghosts - spectres that slowly rise from the earth. You don't see them, but you know they're there. You feel them...

Abstract audio manipulation, dark rippling tones of ominous ambience, haunting waves of static, unsettling dread-filled soundscapes, unnerving frequencies, pulsating subsonic vibrations, ghostly murmurs, unbearable tensions and quiet unease...

Post Doom Romance is the experimental sound art duo of Mykel Boyd and Sea Heikes (a.k.a seah), who are both exceptionally gifted sound/visual artists in their own right, but together make conceptual noise art that explores the inner and outer vibrations of the landscape we inhabit, and are a force to be reckoned with in the sound art world. This album is pure sonic desolation and auditory engulfment. Highly recommended.

Stream/Download the album here...


Conducive - Hidden Canals EP (2022)

Intriguing experimental sound artist Conducive is back with a fantastic little EP consisting of four abstract sound collages, specifically inspired by the dark undercurrents that exist in large European cities - the crimes, the dangers and all the ominous menacing things that are hidden in plain sight.

Although 'Hidden Canals' is shorter and a bit easier to digest than its full-length predecessor, it is by no means softer or lighter in its delivery. It is in fact incredibly dark, noisy and unsettling. It makes me feel like something awful is going to happen in the midst of ordinary mundane existence and loud busy places.

The entire EP is alive with the abstract mingling and merging of French voices and busy street sounds, dark rumblings, ominous forebodings, melancholic drones and frightening squalls of fierce noise. It makes for an incredibly strange and unsettling yet wonderfully captivating EP from an exciting and shamefully unknown sound artist. 

For those who may not have had the patience or endurance to make it all the way through Conducive's sprawling debut album 'Global Makeshift Wounds', this follow-up EP would be a great place to start.

Stream/Download the album here...


Elizabeth Crompton - A Warning EP (2022) 

GENRE : songwriter, modern classical, electronica, ambient
RECORD LABEL : Werra Foxma Records

Here's an EP of dark and delicate balladry from Manchester-based electronic artist/vocalist Elizabeth Crompton. 

The four songs that comprise this little EP are minimalistic piano-led compositions backed by soft glitching ambient electronica, laying a fitting sound foundation for Crompton's stunning voice to rest upon, and soar over... 
These songs are dark and dramatic, heartfelt and fragile, stripped and bare, dreamy and haunting... They drift slowly and sadly through the ether of the mind, evoking all kinds of deeply buried feelings and emotions - revealing ugly scars and sad truths, but also exposing a stark vulnerable beauty.

The title track 'A Warning' is taken from Crompton's forthcoming full-length album, 'Problems of Other Minds', which is out in November on the wonderful alt-electronica label Werra Foxma Records. If this EP is any indication of the quality of the full-length - we're in for a glorious treat.

Stream/Download the EP here...


Floating Shrine - Growth And Decay (2022) 

GENRE : ambient, drone, noise, soundscape
RECORD LABEL : Decaying Spheres

This is the deeply mesmerizing and engulfing debut album from Australia-based artist Floating Shrine. I don't know anything about this artist, but I always look forward to any music that Decaying Spheres puts out into the world, and this latest offering is certainly no disappointment.

This album is like a hazy bleary-eyed reverie. Expansive cinematic dreamscapes shimmer and ripple and pulsate - over which enormous swells of fuzzy plaintive noise and sweeping melancholic drones expand and contract, almost like the music is breathing... 

'Growth and Decay' is an intense and emotional affair. It clutches at the heart and squeezes tightly. The juggle and balance of emotions portrayed throughout these six songs is breathtaking. The music itself is warm, affectionate, luxurious and euphoric... but at the same time it's undeniably introspective and lonely. This whole album feels like someone desperately moving towards a distant horizon that's way out of a deep longing for things that are not of this world. Powerful stuff.

Stream/Download the album here...


Karen Vogt - Little Pink Fluffy Clouds A (2022) 

GENRE : ambient, modern classical, female vocals, minimalist
RECORD LABEL : self-released

This is a beautiful, hypnotic and trance-inducing album of improvised vocal performances from Australian artist Karen Vogt. Soft and soothing, delicate and dreamy, wispy and wonderful - the thirteen pieces of ethereal choral singing that comprise this album gently float through one's psyche like a succession of clouds. Hence the title.
These songs are minimalistic and intimate, yet they conjure up images of celestial dreamscapes and majestic skylines, stretching infinitely before our eyes.

This album is the first in a four-part series of 'Little Pink Fluffy Clouds' albums that Vogt is planning on releasing over the next few months. All vocal improvisations (layered, looped and sampled) that she recorded for her radio show. 
This music is a soft soothing balm for the weary and troubled soul. If the rest of the series is of this caliber, we are in for more delightful treats ahead. Beautiful stuff.

Stream/Download the album here...


Lalén Ríos Luna - Bateyes (2022)

GENRE : avant-garde, abstract, sound art, electronica, musique concrete
RECORD LABEL : self-released

Delving into the vast discography of Lalén Ríos Luna (Porous Collective) is like entering a strange hallucinatory dream world of broken jaggedy avant-garde sound art, fragmented electronica, free-from improvised jazz and all manner of bizarre sonic abstractions that both baffle and intrigue the human brain.

This album consists of eleven fragments of one long winding mysterious whole. The gurgling darkness rumbles and shifts in the background, while the foreground is busy with the frantic activity of mysterious unknown lifeforms - scratching, pulsing and bleeping away, desperately fighting to get to the surface of this strange abstract environment that they find themselves trapped within. 

The atmosphere of this album is haunting, menacing and confusing...but within the walls of these demented dreamscapes are fleeting moments of melancholic beauty and peaceful serenity. The best way to enjoy music like this is just to surrender yourself completely to its complex and alluring flow.


Precenphix - Off-Axis (2022)

GENRE : electronica, techno, cinematic, industrial dark ambient 
RECORD LABEL : Not Yet Remembered

This is an anxiety-ridden and anxiety-inducing dark trip through an intricate web of glitchy techno, fragmented brooding electronica, abstract post-industrial noisescapes and distressed ambience. It paints the picture of a maddening maze of mental instability and frustration. Errors and warning signs flashing in every direction.

Precenphix is the solo electronic project of Ben Rabenold. This album is at times eerie and subdued, and at other times demented and frightening... However you want to describe it, this is powerful industrial techno music - full of tension and suspense, shrouded in a thick heavy blackened atmosphere that's consistently shifting shape and form. And there's even a couple of songs with vocals in them (by Nicholette Hope) which adds some nice intimate yet ethereal beauty to the mix. Although many of the individual sounds contained within these songs are disjointed and erratic, the album as a whole is a cohesive and emotional musical journey. Great stuff.

Stream/Download the album here...


Lee Baggett - Anyway (2022) 

GENRE : psych rock, cosmic folk, indie rock, Americana
RECORD LABEL : Perpetual Doom

Sometimes I love a record so much and feel so attached to it that I'm fearful and hesitant to check out the artist's other works, in the chance that it doesn't live up to my expectations, or disappoints me entirely.
This is how I felt upon approaching this new Lee Baggett album after being so sentimentally attached to his wonderful lost (and eventually exhumed) classic record from the 70s - 'Just A Minute'.  

It took me a long time to summon up the strength to listen to this new album, but I'm so glad I finally did, because it's a thoroughly enjoyable record. It'll undoubtedly appeal to those who loved the style and sound of 'Just A Minute' whilst treading on some new delicious territories. 
Right from the opening seconds of the album, the listener is treated to Baggett's signature blend of lethargic beach rock, jangly guitar pop, cosmic Americana psych folk and wistful balladry... over which drifts his unmistakable raw apathetic drawl. 

Musically and sonically, it's really difficult to avoid comparing Lee Baggett to On The Beach-era Neil Young, or 70's Bob Dylan...but it's fully justified in this case. Fans of 70s Neil Young, Bob Dylan and psychedelic folk/rock will love this. It's raw, dirty, mesmerizing and melancholy... and fun as hell.

This album is a gorgeous slice of gnarly world-weary beauty, and a brilliant comeback for Mr Baggett. I highly recommended this...though I do suggest you check out Just A Minute first.

Stream/Download the album here...


The Gateless Gate - Primordia (2022) 

GENRE : ambient, kosmische, new age, post rock, drone
RECORD LABEL : self-released

The Gateless Gate is the solo music project of prolific Canadian artist/musician/novelist Allister Thompson, and this album is his latest offering...

'Primordia' is an album of deeply meditative and vast sprawling ambient soundscapes, influenced by early 70's German kosmische/krautrock. It's delicate and mystical, raw and rampant, dramatic and haunting, peaceful and elegant...

The serene breezy whistle of the mellotron, the soft dancing swirl of the organ, the trance-inducing psychedelia of drifting synth melodies...punctuated now and again by the gentle tinkle of piano keys. It's a great album to allow yourself to sink deeply into... a wonderful aural antidote to the persistent and depressing uncertainty in this increasingly stressful world we live in. A beautiful journey of deep contemplation and self-reflection. Highly recommended.

Stream/Download the album here...


Una Lee - From B With L (2018)

GENRE : sound art, field recordings, spoken word
RECORD LABEL : Plus Timbre

In this album, Korean-Irish sound artist Una Lee takes us on a narrated soundwalk through an unknown city. Throughout these ten sound pieces, we are aurally guided through busy shopping malls, dark narrow alleyways, footbridges and various crowded public areas... but this is not just a soundwalk, nor your average album of collected field recordings - it is also a spoken sound letter to a friend...a relationship that (I assume) has grown distant and sad.

Lee's spoken narration is a mixture of the mundane and the profound. It's a beautiful poetic blend of everyday observations, personal confessions and intimate anecdotes. Lee tells us what she sees on her walk around the city, and how these things make her feel - both in connection to herself and to the distant friend she's addressing. Her voice is soothing and dreamy to listen to, and the field recordings are captivating - instantly transporting us to these particular places. A fascinating and engaging listening experience.

Stream/Download the album here...


Taavi Suisalu - Noisephony of Lawn Mowers (2021)

GENRE : sound art, experimental noise, field recordings
RECORD LABEL : Staalplaat Records

This album is a score for lawnmowers - yes...that familiar, mundane and ubiquitous noise that most people know so well (and many despise) turned into an experimental musical score of sorts. 

'Noisephony of Lawn Mowers' is divided into two parts. The first part is exactly as the title suggests - it's a cacophony of chugging, humming, buzzing, rumbling and vrooming away. Combustion engines and spinning blades making their all-too-recognizable intense racket. A strangely alluring sound study of  mechanized noise.
The second part is a more abstract and unsettling sound collage of subtle vibrations, drips of liquid, scattered beats and miscellaneous clacking and clanging. A very interesting sound experiment. The noise of lawnmowers has never sounded so fascinating to me. I can smell the grass as I'm listening to this.


Boban Ristevski + Philippe Neau - 21 (2021) 

GENRE : experimental, noise, sound art, industrial, drone

Thunderous rumbling, atmospheric birdsong, ghostly drones, eerie hollow field recordings and damaged glitchy audio make up the fabric of this distressing noise art record from Boban Ristevski & Philippe Neau.

It's an unsettling and unnerving listening experience...but it's also really captivating and utterly engulfing. I found myself completely immersed in its haunting soundscapes filled with dark drones, industrial noise, fluttering frequencies and broken audio abstractions. Excellent stuff.

Stream/Download the album here...


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