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.


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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.

Stream/Download the album here...


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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