To See Without Eyes
Cursed Monk Records
TBR: Feb 28th
Hailing from the subconscious gathered within the vibrational manifestation of matter which is Ruairi O'Baoighill, a distinct flavour of Irish ambience is collected and scored. The artist explores deep within his shadow self, meditating and absorbing the subtle reflections of spirit which linger in the darkness. With this inspired wisdom, music flows like a spring bubbling up from within the mountainous realms of personal emotivations. With six other titles released in just a short period of time, To See Without Eyes makes up part III of the seventh, the Rueayn trilogy. Unlike other works, the Rueayn trilogy is solely composed by O'Baoighill.
As the album begins, a timeless chorus of subtle yet distinctly resonant sounds begin to delicately churn and twist through a string like motion around a single key. Deep, throaty pangs wriggle up from the undergrowth and chime like heavy rusted gongs. Textures of lichen and dark fallen trees knit themselves in the imagination as the persistent and twilit beauty permeates the airwaves. The muffled effects masking peaks of sound elevate the hair-splitting variations that create an ever shifting tide of backgroundal radiance. Seed feels like we are perhaps thrust into the damp and boggy soil, and as we become saturated with the nutrient rich waters, something holding us within bursts open.
Sudden scratching urgency pins the sound down to one key phrase, alarming yet intriguing, a drum adds a regularity to the surfacing sensations. Pitch changes in awkward directions increase the oddity which the drum continues to pound and gather momentum. Hill Witch is a short number, striking and invigorating. The prickling energy is soon joined by Offering, perhaps something intended to calm the raging storm. A tribal and communicative drum begins to pound its message through the thick night air. Deep groans from symbolic onlookers enchant the walls of the drum-room with magical spell-craft before the trance takes hold. Forming a cushioned seat within the mind, a skyscraper of sound sits on foundations built on our collective soul memory.
Void enters with a melody, aptly slow and ghostly. A vast emptiness is drawn by the pencil of sound which opens out into eternal corridors of shimmering unrealness. A new sound finds a moment to reveal itself like the scratching of a partially woken foot on a rough surface, a dreamer walks further into an actuality of poignant nothing. A charm glistens like solitary beams of sun, highlighting the sharpness and edgy feel of the graceful and sliding passage of musical time. Illumination in the darkness brings warmth and a spine shivering knowing that we are among the shadows of great forests. The journey into eternal nothingness brings a sensation of being at peace, aware yet unable to reach further than the dream.
An addition of air is added to the mixture as avian like calls hurdle across the stereosphere. Consistent with the theme of the record, more layers of drone and sonic tapestry is threaded between the carrying sounds. Mindful and resonant, tinges of magic and mystery dress Scryer like twinkling robes. Looking into the crystal to see images and forms, the music brings distance to the foreground, travelling through time and space in order to place the jigsaw of intent together in ethereal lines and layers. This lengthy number inspires a dreamy journey through archaic shapes which kindle flames thought long gone out.
The Grand Rite begins, a windswept gort opens out before us as we're invited in to observe the sonic dance about to be unravelled. Angelic and earthly combine in a dual harmony of pitch, which slowly spirals in the middle section of audibility. Layers of gongs chime in disparate echoes that climb up from the vines of choral droning. Delicately placed bells give way to a snowy drama which gently scatters across varying sections before a culmination of intensities and pressures bring the track to a climax. A horn brings in the beginning of the next track.
Evoke is a shorter number, consisting of a shrill and epic wind instrument framed by pounding tribal drums. The breath rhythm in the percussion brings on an organic sensation and as the shrill pitch of the horn climbs on the shoulders of the pockets of air beneath it, vibrations trickle down from the sky. The herald of something greater in the air, a majesty of cosmic amplitude which hides invisibly behind the rain and mud.
As the album draws to a close with Seer, the memory of each track sits in the mind like rafts on a pond. The mixture of flare and colour which sublimely decorates each piece come together in one work of musical art that slowly fills the mental faculties with grains of glowing and interesting sand. We're taken to a place inside the depths of an old Irish soul, clawing at the modern day with wide eyes and a hunger for self realisation.
Must see amazing t-shirts. Type BLINK for a discount (ends 1st March)
TBR: 16th March
This third alias EP release from Scuba deepens the journey of sound already explored and mapped. By allowing experimental influence to provide conjecture and direction to a greater extent, Engineered Morality tells more in the continual story of disastrous climate change in the past, caused by some kind of glitch. Pressed on his own imprint, Hotflush, Paul Rose aka Scuba/SCB is making huge waves in the electronic music scene by not only producing fresh and inspiring material but also promoting it from others as well. All the while with regular tour dates for each fresh wave of music, the new title is one more step in the direction of artistic permanence.
Intelligence Fetish begins with a retro distorted synthesiser riff, taking easy steps down a short scale. Soon accompanied by a subtly eerie undertone of bass notes, crackle, and a distant muffled hum, the holistic effect is one of anticipating tension. It's fun and psychological, and when the drum sounds begin to crash in like raining shells, the whole track is rocked by their intensity. Ripples seem to form in the mixing as the slow but ferocious drums shatter various pools and stills which have been quietly enjoying the scenery. Industrial clangs and crashes form a wholesome and industrial noise-factory while the more delicate notes remain calm and true to their melody.
With the second number, a much quicker drum begins the track. A fast kick and shuffle mix is joined by a glassy rhythm which feels organic in origin. Doubled up by cymbal hits, the rhythm becomes hypnotic as bass and melodic drums add their flavours to the infusion. The bouncing step in the track is joined by a transient tone which sweeps from side to side, marking an opening for further thrusts of intensity. Precise Incision is a much darker and rhythm based number than the first, it builds and flows with repeating loops and sprinkles of sound that adorn like dramatic garnish. Oscillation style beats snake in and out of the main pulse of the track as new injections of melody and rhythm continually layer new phrases to the multi-tonal material.
Final track Fishbowl returns to the slower and melodic atmosphere that the EP began with. Playful synths score their paths along a musical field in abstract but aesthetically pleasing lines and geometries. As the drums begin, the pace is upbeat but lacks the intensity delivered before. A much more laid back sensation follows as the music peaks into its main section. Snappy drum claps show us how to move before a strange and distorted bass melody chirrups through the undergrowth. It creates an air of mystery and intrigue among the orderly and danceable beats underpinning the tune.
A great fifteen minute mover with depth and energy, inspiring and novel with elements of the traditional. Electronic fans pay attention.
Pre-order/buy Engineered Morality on Amazon UK
and Amazon US
This massively anticipated repress of the classic album from 1994 reminds us how electronic music evolved. Distinguishing itself as ambient, separate from the jingle jangle of new age music, the sonic peacetime sounds radiate like sunshine and moonlight. Technical ability frames this release as Jonah Sharp aka Spacetime Continuum merges with his technology to produce sounds as if extensions of his own biology. Transferring from the legendary Fax 49-69/450464 label onto Psychonavigation has given this monumental artwork a second wind and a fancy new CD, extending the life of this worthy and highly sought after production.
First track, Pressure, opens the album with a drone which builds into a multi-tonal imagination. Rhythm enters after a select few bars of sensory beginnings, while speckled sounds dance around on top. Layers break over one another, shifting focus from one end of a sonic spectrum to another and illuminating various corners of experience as they go. Drawing on unique and fresh injections at practical moments, the exploration evolves into experience as new sounds are continually invited in. Evolution into dance and slow moving yet upbeat compositions break the mould of contemporary ambient music, soothing beats and delicate flow swoosh across the mix.
As the progression swells down into abstraction, allowing space to absorb the fantastic journey that has already been undertaken, a seemingly borderless transition into the next track takes place. With an elemental feel to a percussion headed intro, bass adds a new flavour that has perhaps been saved for this later time. Bubbling pace gradually climbs to a plateaux and a subtle energy of vast space glistens from behind the minimal layerings of sound. Echoes of a distant voice call out over the distances crafted by repetitious yet sonically nutritious electronic drums. Subway has an eerie sensation, yes it's fluffy enough to not be dark. Melody in the drumming and happy cymbals balance the breathy effects and swooping low drones.
A revolving beat made up of piping digital tones sets off a motion of bells and whistles which culminate in the entrance of the next track. Chimes begin a wistful embrace of the gently frothing drumbeat, odd notes spilling over like bubbles from a boiling pan. Delicate additions of synth craft the adjacent angles in perspectives that glide across the scenery in fresh and interesting ways. For Voice of the Earth, we're drawn down into a lush environment, with mild tropical air and wildlife chirruping in the background. Tones from string synths draw lines in the sky that sing with shimmering silver notes. Slowed down beats jostle for slouching room in an amply spacious area of relaxation and intrigue.
Melting bass notes droop over stocky drum loops while swirling and singing pitches stick out from the top in splendid directions. Thoughtful phrases of music sit within expanses of sonic space, where the music depicts the fabric and not the objects within it. The album takes a turn into something slightly more magical with the next chapter. Fantastical sounds and the sensation of mysticism greet the airwaves as a prelude to a throbbing bass tone which snakes its way through a broken down arpeggio. Floatilla takes a cosy edge and sits contently as it drifts the room into a soft and rich atmosphere. Pitch bending synthesis into new areas give the track a surreal and experimental feel which rides well with the general scope of the whole record.
A selection of answerphone messages play out over an emotive melody, knowing this was made two decades ago gives the voices an extra layer of spectral inner focus. Ghostly voices banter alongside building rhythms and blippy tones which eventually grow to phase out the playback. A heartbeat sonar pings in the distance while tapping notes score lightly on the upper surface. The familiar synth from the first section returns, and with the new layering, the culmination of energy peaks as new slices of rhythm are intersected and included.
A truly interesting album, full of fascinating twists and turns, Sea Biscuit takes us further than the ocean, and further than the cosmos. It takes us somewhere inside ourselves that rarely gets visited. Some dreamy place where nothing is light or dark and nothing is meant to last for longer than a minute or two. As an artwork, it demonstrates that music need not be chorus and verse based, it shows that electronic music doesn't have to be made to dance to, and it shows us that digital sound can tell a story much like the composers of old would do.
You can get the limited CD and the download from Bandcamp.
Brame & Hamo
Brame & Hamo Records
TBR: February 19th
Following the momentum and warmth of Trants, their first release on the self-managed label, the Irish twosome unveil Club Orange. Another triplet of house and analogue floor fillers barge their way to the front of the picture like Donald Trump at a photo op, but this time it's on the back of their own merit. The A-side first course is served in honour of one of Ireland's most famous faces, footballer Roy Keane. Named after the Manchester United trophy winner and international hero, the track asserts itself as a high energy people pleaser, full of bounce and moving rhythm.
The introductory two-stepping beat piles in with a happy tempo, as chords in the middle ranges prepare to begin their build-up. The progression evolves at a faster pace once it has begun, every layer meeting a high-point which becomes a standing stone for something new. Before long, string melodies are gracing the top while a dancing and funk worthy beat pushes the music home. A smooth disco-esque vocal line greets the pinnacle of the track as a neatly arranged topping of flavoured cream would. Happy energy of willingness to dance at full expression saturates the feel of the six and a half minute mix.
A lower tone reveals intent from the silence in between the first two tracks. An emotive harmonic vocal line, reminiscent of Groeni, shimmers on the gently pulsing surface. As the track shifts gear, a high energy percussion section adds its quick time flow to the already building pressure. Analogue sounding synths jostle around in arpeggio style flutterations, granting a space-age direction to the otherworldly feel already mustered by the choice of vocalist and sensations. Playful high end twirls sparkle on the off- beat to culminate the astronomical arrangement, bouncing from the offshoots of tribal infused beats which underscore the work.
Final track, Club Orange, lends its name to the single. Although listed as a B side, it is immediately apparent that this momentum building track deserves its position. Chiming melodies breach the rhythmic bass drum within interesting loop structures, before a synth and vocal hit the scene with all the glitz that the newly arrived funky bassline allows. A sampled energetic crowd fills odd spaces and good feels synthesiser shines as the notes between the notes. We all want to be at Club Orange, it sounds fun, tropical, and full of all the right kind of people. This track takes us there, in chapters of differing but equally as imaginative surges through the story of a good time.
Pre-order/buy Club Orange from Amazon UK
And Amazon US
TBR: 16th March
Head of Dirt Tech Reck, Waajeed slams down four banging tracks on the Planet E label. The Detroit based soundsmith has worked alongside great names in the business including Theo Parrish, Amp Fiddler, and Mad Mike Banks. With a recent residency of the touring nightlife sensation of the Detroit Love Party during 2017, Waajeed has managed to craft a superb and original direction from everything achieved so far. It's a long way since the days of Bling47 and Slum Village now has a soul of its own. Times have brought mountains to climb and Waajeed has taken them all in his stride.
A playful brassy beat melody cracks open the case with a fruity dance-with-me vibe. Some rhythmic chords fill the spaces before guest vocalist Steffanie Christi'an enters the scene with a sauntering layer of voice. Looped fluctuations of her vocal begin to form part of the underlying track while jazz inspired lines continue to add fresh feels. The mix is a head mover, grabbing a well liked part of our consciousness and giving it the inspiration to dance inside. Mental poses in busy bars with brightly coloured drinks spring to mind, a sensation only certain music can manifest. The catchy riff from the first bars re-enters the central point of listening and with the extra progressions running smoothly alongside, the song is brought to its peak.
Blaktony makes an appearance for the second number on this four track release. A minimal sound gives way to vocoded lyrics, shimmering behind a digital gleam. Light-headed melodics tip tap on the funky scales as an insistent cymbal track gives everything an illuminating rhythm. A drive through dramatic insinuations and scored orchestration gives the mix an atmosphere of cinematic quality. Progressions and builds pile on the story-line of sound as subtle shifts in tone evolve the direction around twists and turns in the road. Self similarity like the city streets is jostled by the gradual change in intention and emotion that ride through each section. An interesting synth breaks the track down ready for something new.
A slinky metallic drum melody begins a tempo suitable for partying. A buzzing synth waves in with a building pulse melody before a breakdown creates the yolk in full form. Dancing melodies swivel around like loose pebbles on a runway while a resounding bass beat kicks everything up into clouds of dust. Breaks and interludes force the gears up one by one in ample doses of forward facing sound. Progress is fast and new original layers always insist on being delivered, taking turn to see how a revolving door of effect and mixing techniques alters their subtle tints. Catchy beats underpin this shifting and turbulent mosey through waveform and entertaining rhythms. Blippy and twangy sections merge with bass driven thumps and fat sub-tunes which create a whirlpool of ever changing sound.
Final track, Frances, takes on a digital sounding flurry while mood laden hums and drones simmer gently in sustained chordish notes. Sensual drumming worms its way through the initial business to calm the track down to something more tangible. Retro inspired synths craft a sensation of sitting back in an easy-chair, listening to the chit-chat of likeable and interesting people. Wobbling tunes on the bass notes create a loaf of fluffy cushioning for sharper and more spicy high end compositions to evolve and progress gradually over the top. The mood of the EP remains relaxed through-out and with elements of excitement and energy to enjoy during the moments of inspired direction, a well worked energy sits comfortably in each bar. Dancing music with a slice of lemon and fizz gives us room to take it easy, enjoy the sounds, and find a flow somewhere in between moving and not.
Check out Waajeed on Amazon UK
and Amazon US
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
Thanks for supporting the documentation of underground electronic sounds.
Please consider supporting this website with the following links:
Amazon Daily Deals
Amazon UK Daily Deals
Like and Share, show you care!
Want free cryptocurrency? Explore these crypto faucets.