Release date: 20th October
A fruity bass and catchy drum loop open this EP, eerie tones dwell on fabricated dapples of sound and the rhythms attempt to grab and draw us in. Because the tracks are based on the percussion and only the slightest touches of melody garnish the work, the listening experience is enriched by the quality in the mix. A spherical envelope sonically encapsulates us with multi-directional progressions and colours of sound.
Title track “Hessdalen” takes the A1 position, the EP is marketed with 2 A2 tracks to the one A1. Perhaps the Icelandic Volruptus wishes to draw particular attention to the drum work and percussive mastery within the short and snappy number. The duo of A2 tracks delve into strangeness without letting go of the core element of beat, hypnotic rhythms generate interest and slow moving atmospheric orchestrations fill the spaces with stimuli. Touchy rhythmic tones make an appearance in the bringing of directional progression, spacey and crooked notches in sound drift along with the ever present drum.
What comprises the following two B tracks, begins with a shift from the cosmic side of music to a more earthly and grounded exploration of some tribalesque patterns with a more organic twinge in the synthetic instrumentations. “Time Travel” perhaps makes use of some older style electronic music paraphernalia to generate a modern sounding but lightly out of the way curve around some much loved methodology. “Alien People” makes use of some odd sounding phonic effects to emulate the possible background conversation of an alien species, in time to the cleverly disguised drumbeats of course. It's a bit of fun but the initial pleasantry manages to be a foundation for something actually interesting and musically worthwhile.
As of yet Hessdalen is unavailable but you can find the previous Volruptus EP (and this one in the future) on Amazon and Amazon UK.
Release date: 30th October
On this sixth release from the Dark Matters label, a mysterious STL showcases three sparkling tracks which explore dark synthesised atmospheres in delicious stereo quality. It opens with a swirling space-age dissent into abstraction and digitalised sonics, full of subtle effect and panning wave-peaks. The title, “No More Words” aptly describes this mindful swish through delicate rhythm and miniature crescendos. A wavering dreamlike quality is stitched through the intent of this record, as new sounds build from the long exposure mixes, fresh visual aspects are born in the mind as each progression of this tranquil but almost dangerous background flows from the last.
Second installation, “Smooth Selector”, opens with a somewhat shifty tone, matched with a rumbling percussive flurry in the background. Before the emptiness sets in, a foreground melody begins to jangle in a slow dance around the tapping hi-hats. The feel is lifted up a notch with this injection of tune in the otherwise murky depths of sound, a gentle stretch for the mind which is taken in stages as more builds gradually increase the density of the flow. Slender kinesis brings the simmering thickness down to a silky film and as the track draws to a close, every section fades to nothingness.
Nonzero Sonics changes trajectory with the final piece of this trine of recordings. An ambient techno groove is plucked from the afterglow left behind from the previous numbers, softly throttling the pulse with a cosmic downbeat radiance cupped by a graceful addition of looped beats. The dream landscapes are given new colours and form with this shorter and more catchy rendition. “Out Of The One” closes the three track E.P. with a thirst for something more, we can press repeat or go and find what else is out there by STL.
Due to the illusive quality of this artist, the only link I can give you is the record label's Facebook page. Dark Matters on Facebook. Enjoy!
Release date 13th October
Sleek tones open this compilation mix, moulded by the sound craftsman that is the legendary German digital composer, Roman Flugel. Slicing beats comes naturally to this artist, and when producing a DJ mix of tracks, the flow is as consistent as anything else by Flugel. Genesis P-Orridge & Psychic TV open up with a housey progression through light touch rhythms which adjust bar by bar into deeper feels, and then a seamless transition into realms of atmosphere and mood brings RiRom with RoRic. More swift transitions bring track after track, mixing melodies and rhythms from each into overlapping flowing floor filling musicality.
Vocals from Joe Goddard and Tuff City Kids move the zone into a more humanist stance, ready to roll out the number created by the mix master himself. Flugel's Troubled Mind makes an appearance, ending the first chapter of this twenty two track record. Tangents of sound stick out from an amalgamation of spherical intentions, throws of pulse and tune drift around in orbital motions, every track adjusting the trajectory slightly, allowing for a graceful curve.
As a drumsmith, a keen percussionist since childhood, Flugel has always been drawn towards the art of beat and timing. Finding the genre that most suitably fits his passion has been an exploration for him. With many projects under his belt, each with variations of alignment to the scene, it works well to throw everything together in this Fabric mix and show how developed and well rounded this artist has become. Since the early 1990s, Roman Flugel has been instrumental in the evolution of the German and European electronic music scene. Working with various labels over the years, with a back catalogue of well received minor classics, the name fits ideally onto the Fabric label which has been illuminated by several big names in the past.
This Fabric release is a cosy romp through several choppy and movement inspiring numbers which are stitched in such precise ways that it requires the listener to check the readout to determine if the next track has started. At first with subtle over-layering, each number builds up from the previous one into a crest of sound which reluctantly draws in again to give rise to something else. Everything takes about three minutes to revolve, and it gives us plenty of time to feel each groove but keep us on our toes too.
Preorder/Buy Fabric 95 Now.
Pieces of Juno
Release date: 29th September
Down town echoes dress the silence in garments of alluring and drifty shimmer as an orchestrated buzz of sound builds from initially ghostly audio. Sauntering vocals swagger over a delicious and funky tempo that simmers over a slowly bubbling lower heat. A jazz element is woven through the flesh of this record, and from the onset with “Wild Flower”, a fun and captivating piece with short and snappy intentions, to the final “Wash it Away”, we're brought through a sometimes turbulent but familiar and human soulscape.
There's a subtle darkness which occasionally sweeps over the calm and cool attitude which drizzles the bars in glitzy emotion. “Tuck Me In” plays out like a cinematic drama, with melancholy mood sleeking over the finely tuned music playing in a minor key. A powerless in the face of love perhaps draws the string of this bag of feelings, a feminine touch has given a definite air of sensuality however its not clear if it's intentionally sexy.
Deep and fascinating songs give a relaxing and interesting rationale to this record, it's fairly short as a whole with a second album also, making a pair, the direction is smooth and collected. Pieces of Juno has crated the Northern Noir sound to a great extent herself, and that dark but attached and enticing element is very catchy. Getting the mix of sounds right in experiments like this makes a world of difference, and this has a world all on its own. Inspirational and groundbreaking.
An eerie atmosphere manifests straight away with digitally synthetic tones which begin to sweep alongside a subtle mixing of melody. At one point, a shrill and piercing tune escapes from the amalgam to make a path for a musical fill that sounds like the opening of a brilliant door. Shadow Play takes the album into many realms, although not disjointed, the track moves from place to place with effortless ease. It is a little disorientating but for what this album represents, that works perfectly.
Mysterious tones and crisp sonics decorate ambient and abstract soundspheres, the sculpture of sound is diverse and yet tranquil. Little waves of variation occasionally merge to form a convergence of intent which rides along its momentum until more undertones and rhythms bring themselves up and over them. With dynamics of beauty and mystique, subtle chills in the spine, and a slow and unchallenging rhythm, the music drifts from its source and comfortably sits in a less than awkward position.
Sounds from the East bring a layer of extra clarity in the direction we are to look, and orchestral fills add Western glamour to the soulful and deeply enchanting spaces filled with sound. Delicious voices of synthesiser and gently vibrating tempos interweave with delicate interludes of organic sound and tradition to craft an album that journeys and strides across genre and boundary with one foot always in the ambient field. This giant is a merry one, there are dark and gloomy patches where the enormous shadow is cast, but the soul and face is one of joy in music.
Get Light Pillar Phantasmagoria on Bandcamp. Name your price.
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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