Since the ‘Vibrant Music’ label always has been a favorite of mine and since Naono has been heavily involved in the very same label from the start. This 2010 Archaic Horizon release enticed great hopes when I found it and let me tell you straight away it does not disappoint!
For even more cross-reference it was actually Ten And Tracer’s ‘You’ll Be A Hero Soon, Speaker’ that directed my attention to the label in the first place unknown to me up till then. Furthermore both Milieu (who’s fantastic ‘A Warm Wooden Hollow’ 2008 album on Infraction has yet to be written about here) as well as Electricwest have releases on the very same label.
‘Sleepy Pebbles’ is excellent in it’s entirety, it’s lush, programmed and executed with expertise. It’s hard to comprehend that a full 8 years have passed since Naono’s debut ‘Slope Drifting’ was released on the aforementioned Vibrant Music.
In total there are 7 beautiful tracks on ‘Sleepy Pebbles’ which by the way has cover art to match the musical quality. The album starts off with ‘Healing Process’ in a as soothing as it is well sounding mood. It flows on towards ‘Hobo The Hermit’, which is filled with rich texture as well as structure (beats). ‘Ocean Tapes’ is liquid and contains some perfectly devised watery samples. Apart from being a really good title ‘Random Lullabies’ features more of the warmth and lushness demonstrated thus far. ‘Sellotape Unicorn’ is my favorite track the percussion, bass, dub elements and down toned drama is simply sublime. ‘Tender Telescope’ and ‘Untitled Merrow’ conclude this excellent release by Naono.
And then you play ‘Sellotape Unicorn’ just one more time, especially if you happen to be on a headphone commute. Available at the Archaic Horizon label site.
Aitänna77 is far from being a stranger here at resurface and it’s lovely to once again encounter his musical output. This time around on the (by the look of things unstoppable) Portuguese Test Tube net label, currently racking up 247 something releases the past 8 years or so. ‘Night Loops’ is number 246 and it is an in all aspects excellent four track release; featuring the patented quirky little melodies, the varied instrumentation, the electronics and the skilfully treated lo-fi production. The tale-tell chimes in ‘Empty Pool, Summer Girl’ and you simply have to love the outrageous bass line and aggressive hand-clap featured in ‘Dreams Or Memories’. It is a delicate as it is excellent! Available at the Test Tube label site.
On ‘Walls Have Fears’ we hear Inigo Kennedy pursuing the path struck in his early 2011 ‘Distant Circles‘ release. As expected it’s well-produced, clever electronic music that is decidedly and firmly rooted in Techno. Very big drums, yet delicate and always with the unmistakable IK touch. ‘Cautum’, ‘Squirkle’, ‘Sentinel Four’, ‘Nocturnal’ and ‘Speechless (feat. Laska)’ all possess the aforementioned qualities. The big drums in ‘Cautum’, ‘Squirkle’, ‘Sentinel Four’, the distinct hand-clap in Nocturnal’ or the delicately constructed beats and accompanied vocals in the concluding and mellow ‘Speechless (feat. Laska)’. This is an excellent techno release complete with a funny title and a down-tempo number as conclusion. It is readily available in digital format at the Inigo Kennedy run Asymmetric label site.
Another offering from the friendly ‘Plastic Sound Supply’ label operating out of Denver, Colorado in the USA. ‘Covalent States’ is a four track release featuring two artists. One of them is closely associated with PSS, namely Scaffolding, who was featured alongside Heft on the very first PSS release ‘We Will Diminish’ in 2008. ‘Covalent States’ is a nice sounding and rather traditional take on electronic music, and time-less in a sense because it could have been made a couple years ago, making it somewhat generic. That being said you do get solid musical workmanship, nice melodies and ample of bass. Keeping it short: it is a nice listen and it’s available at the Plastic Sound Supply label site.
On Saturday, 26-11-2011, the well known ambient club Flim returns to its urban dwelling in Stockholm.
The line-up includes live performances by:
LUDVIG ELBLAUS (LIVE) + CURRENT CURRENT (Visuals)
ROMAIN TARDY aka AALTO (Visuals)
as well as DJ sets by:
SIMON HAYDO (DJ)
JOHAN ÖSTMAN (DJ)
HENRIK MÅRTENSSON (DJ)
CURT LUNDBERG (DJ)
Be sure to take part in the continuous Flim tribute to beautiful sounds, sights and winter nights at Nordic Light Hotel on Saturday 26th of November. More information at: Flim Stockholm
This week the 18th – 23rd October 2011 you have the possibility to visit the Sound of Stockholm festival in Sweden.
“Sound of Stockholm is a new festival for improvised, new and experimental art music. The festival takes place a week each autumn. It is artist-driven and organised through a collaboration between 9 independent presenting societies along with EMS and the Swedish Musician’s Alliance.”
The week is filled with performances by well-known and not so well-known artists. The hub of events is the glorious Kulturhuset in the very centre of Stockholm. This Saturday, 22-10-2011 you should direct special attention to Ludvig Elblaus solo performance: King Of Infinite Space, pt 3.
The first part was performed at Audiorama during the Kulturnatten event in Stockholm and the second at the Flim Open Air Festival in Vinterviken this summer.
The project is based on one composition that is presented in three different ways in three different contexts. At Audiorama the original composition was used in a shortened but otherwise unprocessed form. At the outdoor Flim festival the original composition was multiplied and superimposed thus creating a compact, dense mass of sound. In the third and final part being performed at Kulturhuset; the original components will be disassembled and processed in order to construct a new integral piece.
Ludvig Elblaus’ set is one of three presented by Fylkingen on Saturday night. The other two sets are performances by: Axel Dörner / Jassem Hindi and Andrea Belfi.
An intriguing new release and solid record (some pun intended) out on New Speak by the founder and owner Ola Bergman. The label was activated the same year as Electronic Desert and that would be Anno Domini 2002 (wait a year and it’ll be an even move of ten). The latest New Speak recording was 2009’s ‘Recast’ CD compilation featuring an array of talented electronic musicians.
‘Quizzical’ is actually a two part album and this is indicated by the first part’s subtitle ‘issue 1’. The four-track 12-inch has an equal distribution of tracks and makes for an enjoyable meeting with Ola Bergman’s musical world. And it is in every aspect an electrofied, heavily analogue, melodic and danceable encounter.
The opening track ‘Fearcast’ (which simply must be a play with words of the 2005 ‘Forecast’ release and track) is a piece of well-crafted, slightly nostalgic and all around nice sounding music. The drum machine on ‘Radiosonde’ is as solid as it has got pedigree and it is accompanied by a gentle melody, yet it still manages to be a definite dance floor adept. The B-side features ‘Pollination’ and ‘Crescent Nebula’ and both the tracks are sound wise more steadily focused on the shores of America rather than Europe. ‘Pollination’ also incorporates processed vocal elements.
‘Quizzical’ is another top quality release on New Speak and if you like New Speak and Ola Bergman’s music I strongly suggest you get a copy fast. The release is limited to 100 hand printed copies and they will not last.
Reportedly ‘End of an Era’ is Jon Elliott last release using the name Polestar and given that his first release ‘Camplex EP’ on Boltfish Recordings was reviewed in 2005.
It now only seems as fitting as it is sad that Polestar’s last release also is a Boltfish one. At the time of his debut release I wrote the following among other things:
‘The flawless programming of beats, lush sounds, heaps of that all important bass and the overall warmth characterising this particular label’s sound is demonstrated to the fullest by Polestar on this his four-track debut release.’
The exact same thing could be said of the six tracks on ‘End of an Era’ that represents the closing chapter of the musical acquaintance that has been: Polestar.
‘Drawn and Quartered’ sees Deadbeat returning in form on his newly started BLKTRZ label.
The four-track album is packed with e-dub of the highest order and the production techniques are perfected. The tracks are all generously stretched to the 10 minute marker and beyond.
Like I’ve said many times in the past, some like it and some don’t. I think it’s simply masterful!
The Swedish based net label El-Ljud tenth release was Plakto’s ‘The Ninth Snail’ and it preceded the excellent thirteenth release ‘Soul’d Out’ by the same artist.
The categorisation is solid E-dub, excellent production and plenty of bass to go around. The 8 tracks on ‘The Ninth Snail’ are a treat and there’s enough complexity for a truly enjoyable and recurring listen. Did I mention the ample amounts of bass, fused with the exact amount of glitch and echo?
‘The Ninth Snail’ starts off exactly like described above; ‘Western Flab’ has a hypnotic bassline and excellent melody. In short a great track. ‘Misplaced Mom’ and ‘The Reset Chair’ are somewhat dubbier in nature, in the classical sense; ‘Artificial Cherry’ is short but sweet, whereas ‘Hypnotoad’ and ‘Satanic Cat Standard’ combine the bass content with some definite techno treatment. To summarise the 8 tracks on ‘The Ninth Snail’ all leave you feeling warm inside and wanting to play them again.
It is an excellent album and the workmanship of a truly talented producer. ‘The Ninth Snail’ and 13 other interesting releases are available as download on the El-Ljud website. Get them now!