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.
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.
Plakto’s ‘Soul’d Out’ is the thirteenth release on the until recently completely unknown (to me that is) Swedish net label El-Ljud. They already have some 14 releases to their credit so I for one have obviously missed out on something great. The thirteenth release ‘Soul’d Out’ by Plakto has overall impressive qualities. It is solid E-dub*, excellent production and plenty of bass to go around.
The 8 tracks on ‘Soul’d Out’ are a treat and there’s enough complexity for a truly enjoyable long recurring listen. Did I mention the ample amounts of bass, fused with the exact amount of glitch and echo? The build-up and beats’ handling in ‘Wasted Basket’ or the up-tempo yet dubby ‘Off Course’ are awesome. It is the workmanship of one talented producer and the list just goes on throughout the all the eight tracks of the mini-album. ‘Soul’d Out’ is available as download on the El-Ljud website. The strong recommendation is, to get and play it right now!
And after some more listening to the catalog it is just not possible not to name the rest of the artists’ exquisite releases on the label and if for no other reason so just for the sake of simplicity. And the artists are: Nacho Monetto, Maschinenschlosser, Node, Psonikadia, Foudish, Pliir, Plaktogen, Switchcraft. It’s not impossible that a text or four related to El-Ljud will surface right here in the near future, excellent stuff!
*After re-listening to both El-Ljud 013 and 010 I see myself forced to introduce a genre, new [Sic!] to resurface and that genre would be ‘dubstep’. The reason for this is simply that Soul’d Out is in part just that, a really well executed and highly personal take on the dubstep genre.
A very competent and well-executed album released on the relentless and yet very friendly Boltfish Recordings’ label in 2010.
This 15 track album opens up with a classic take on electronic beats born on the other side of the Atlantic and may not be groundbreaking for 2011. However, the workmanship is most definitely there and it continues on with more lush US references and in a very good form at that.
Track four ‘Screaming Bulb’ is nothing short but excellent, effective; warm yet mildly complex, very nice build-up and nice processed vocal based melody and stretching 10:19 to boot. The Sabi remix of ‘Mano’ is more than good, it brings out the sun and beach in an instant and in all its straightforwardness it is simply put a beautiful piece of music.
I don’t know much about who Sabi is, however the talent is obvious and so is the display of knowledge of the output of contemporary electronic music the past decade or so. Not excluding Boltfish and the nearby musical surroundings, the reason for making that comment is that there are more than one or two unmistakable influences in there, it is a very well executed album nevertheless.
For more information please visit: Boltfish Recordings.
Lackluster, what can one say? This entity (human) embodies the very essence of what contemporary electronic music is all about. This human has been producing music of the highest quality imaginable for a decade (that’s more than 10 years mind you) and possibly even longer, it is impressing to say the least and even more important it is reassuring.
In the ‘Aeration EP’ a two-track release on Two Circles you get more than merely two tracks of expertly composed contemporary pieces of electronic music, supposedly free of charge, then again the question immediately rises, why would the supposedly best be free of charge? And the answer it is not free of charge of course, because time is always time and as any sane person would know, time is anything but free…). That aside, if you like two tracks of expertly put together contemporary and nice electronic sounds and beats then investigate otherwise the strong suggestion is to move away quietly.
And finally in the dying end of 2010, please answer me this simply question: why is the best offerings supposed to be for free? You can download the Lackluster Aeration EP here.
After the release of Pq debut album ‘You’ll Never Find Us Here’ and following a period of quietness. This surprising second album appears on Expanding Records in 2010. It was released just a mere month or so later (AUG2010). As would be expected (it’s Expanding after all) it is another excellent debut album, this time around it’s entitled ‘Soundtrack Work 2004-2008’ and it’s written and produced by: Teho Teardo. He is half of Modern Institute and in 2006 they released the ‘Excellent Swimmer’ album on Expanding Records the other half of Modern Institute is fellow musician Martina Bertoni.
On ‘Soundtrack Work 2004-2008’, which also happens to be a very descriptive title of the album you’ll find expectedly crafted soundtrack tracks, a selection of Teho Teardo’s compositional work related to cinema. On the album (compilation) the sonic work included in five movies is included. Given that the origin is the same, that is, the same person has written the music there is a theme of sorts and listening to the album end-to-end is a gratifying experience. It soothing music with a lot of warmth, in some sense transparent and with nothing but a cinematic feel.
I usually try very hard to refrain from making references to the general or the concept of the general when writing about music, but when it comes to soundtracks, then it becomes really hard not doing so, because they, the soundtracks that is, do seem to have a general trait and would appear to be sharing something that is a common and mind you, this is not necessarily a bad thing. That being said, ‘Soundtrack Work 2004-2008’ is one beautiful collection of music, put together with great care and it caters for a nimbleness listen and to sum it up it’s another great release from the pursuers of excellence: Expanding Records.
R1 is a live-set by Ludvig Elblaus and it was recorded in 2010-12-03 at R1. The venue R1 (Reaktor 1) used to house the very first Swedish nuclear reactor and it is situated 20 meters below the ground in the firm bedrock under the vast KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The venue is spectacular to say the least and so is the Ludvig Elblaus R1 live-set!
During the years that have passed since the album debut Flannel Poet in 2003, 2004’s critically acclaimed New Speak EP Furious Styles and the sadly delayed 2006 Electronic Desert Recordings’ Trials album, Ludvig has been busy exploring and deepening his understanding of the core of music making and that is meant to be understood in a literal, actual and very precise sense.
And as would have been expected the elements that used to be somewhat unconventional in his previous musical output have now become refined, amplified and finalised in a sense. There are carefully crafted soundscape and drones, pure sound construction, that is was what comes in mind, but also the freedom obtained of breaking loose from preconceived formats such as album etc. in other words the directness of the live setting. The space that sound naturally occupy as well as the necessary reminder that music is very much a physical thing as well as a spiritual one.
R1’s 22 minutes and 16 seconds say it all really…
The live-set also spawned the idea of branching out the activities of resurface to incorporate contemporary music as download in combination with the texts. Consequently R1 is available as a 320VBR MP3 ZIP file with artwork for download here at: resurface.se.
The cover photo was taken by Axel Hammarbäck and is used with kind permission by the photographer.
This is RESUSE001 enjoy!
After being quiet for a period of time a new release on Expanding Records finally arrives (JUN2010)! And it is another debut album and it is as many times before a high-quality piece of music. Reflecting the undeniable and dramatic changes in the near past, this is appears to be a CD release only (no vinyl this time around, a pity, but not all that surprising). Once the unquestionable beacon of well-thought-through purist electronic music, Expanding has adapted its position in order to stay in front. And with the years’ that have past and especially looking back, Pq’s debut album is not a turning point for Expanding. I dear to say that it happened some albums ago and I also think that in even that aspect Expanding was ahead of their time. ‘You’ll Never Find Us Here’ is excellent and it seems to have a longevity factor to it (mind you 2010 hasn’t ended yet). It might be because of its production, it might be of its enticing beauty, it might be because it ‘s an Expanding release, it might or it might not be because the majority of the rest of the contemporary releases just doesn’t sound as good. Honestly, who can resist a solitary un-damped piano track? For sure it is not electro, and it is not all that electronic, but then again this is not the year 2000. Expanding Records manages to surprise once again… I strongly suggest you make up your own mind.
The well-known artist Monoceros, producer of high-grade electronic music and releases on such prestigious labels such as Expanding Records and Fueradeserie run imaginary Nonexistent Records. The mini-album (8 tracks) in question ‘A Glorious Afternoon’ is a direct continuation of Monoceros’ earlier work. It is warm, melodic and extremely well produced and in my mind, for being a 2010 release, ‘A Glorious Afternoon’ is exceptional, simply because it is completely devoid of ‘genre’ nervousness surrounding too many of the electronically inclined releases this year. It does not fall into any given newly invented category, on the contrary it is just good electronic music and I guess, in the end, that is what Imaginary Nonexistent Records is all about. Download or CDR is available at the inrecs website.
No question about it, this is an excellent piece of music! Deep, bassfilled crystalline soundscapes, beautiful in a mesmerising and melancholic way. I feel compelled to say something more about the bass, it’s excellent handled and nothing less than hypnotising. Depending on your set-up you might go for the headphones (if your neighbours are away this does not apply you and especially not if you go by the name of Jaques Lueder).
Imaginary Nonexistent Records goes for the Drone and those so in style! With three simultaneous and somewhat connected releases, but nevertheless by three different artists. Neuron’s opening track ‘Olace’ has to be commented on since is one of the best tracks I’ve heard in some time and the album Planet Fendor in its entirety is highly recommended. However, it also comes with a caution, watch your bassbins or maybe your headphones, excellent low frequencies present on this one! Very, very, well done! Download or CDR available at the inrecs website.