28 November 2007

Xurba - Music from the Clear Channel

here at hiddenplace music, we tend to feature music which comes free of charge, so when a commercial release recommendation comes a long, you know it must be something special. this release from Kahvi Commercial certainly fits into that category. it may seem presumptuous in the netlabel world of free downloads for a new-comer to restrict his release to paid downloads, but to be honest, every one of the artists i've featured on this blog deserves some support for the excellent music they create. the intricately detailed ambient idm cinematics of the full-length release 'Music from the Clear Channel' by Xurba is certainly a work of audio art created with copious care and attention.
admittedly, this is not music for everyone. the melodies are very abstract-- atonal, even. the beats are fractured, constantly shifting and and heavily processed; the atmospheres lush, deep, yet claustrophobic- and at times unsettling. but fans of intelligent experimental electronica will find much to explore here, and those with adventurous ears will be delighted at the precise mixing and incredible attention to detail. i particularly enjoyed the abrupt shifts in mood between tracks, as if the film editor has made a sudden jump cut to the next scene. even though the music drifts along at an unhurried pace, the constant twists and turns create a feeling of movement, as if we are being hurried to an unknown destination. throughout the trip, we are constantly held in rapt attention; even at the nearly one-hour playing time, the textures are combined in an endless variety-- never repetitive, always providing more to explore and enjoy. at the abrupt end of the LP, we awake from the dream and realise that the meaning was not in the destination, but the never-ending landscapes experienced along the journey.
Music from the Clear Channel will be available for purchase as high-quality mp3 downloads from Beatport on 1 december, and on iTunes in february. expect a little reminder from this blog when it becomes available.

22 November 2007

petite&jolie - Pantoufle Tagada

a new netlabel has appeared, with a very interesting array of artists contributing to their debut 'various artists' compilation. charmingly named petite&jolie: a place for cute people, and presenting a fascinating collection of electro-acoustic glitch pop and avant-garde sound art, id say the netlabel is off to a very promising start.
the netlabel curator has labeled the style 'cutetronica' which is certainlly fitting, however i found it to be cute in the way the film 'city of lost children' is cute-- there is quite possibly something dark and sinister lurking behind all the major chords, happy chimes and high-pitched voices...

shoutout to INQ for the news on this one

21 November 2007

Le Mépris

today i offer a delicious and delictate selection of minimal piano ambience from one of my top-ten netlabels, aerotone. although the label is just over 2 years old now, Le Mépris is only aerotone's 11th release, proof that this is a label with the most discerning of tastes. if the words eno, budd, and airports ring a positive note, you will almost certainly enjoy this release.

20 November 2007

Proviant Audio - Welcome Wilderness EP

my latest addiction is surfing through the mad bloggings of Phlow Magazine, and i've come accross another great release thanks to our favourite german listening machines! 'Welcome Wilderness' from the long-silent Aquavelvas netlabel, presents slightly bizarre, slightly campy collection of sampledelic cutup elektro-jazz which will make a perfect addition to your afternoon chillout playlist. the release starts out chilled and low-key and develops into trippy freaked-out breakbeat/disco beats. insane catchyness!

14 November 2007

The Incognito Traveller EP

here at hiddenplace music, i normally like to keep a nice variety of music between posts. however, in searching through the aforementioned No Copy Protection netlabel, i came across a release which was so fantastic i had to feature it.
anyone else who has played with ACID or other loop-based recording software knows how easy it is to make bad loop-based music. but every so often, there comes an artist who knows how to spin the loops with just the right mix of flavours. jazz drums, latin percussion, muted trumpet, antique piano, and even an charming french language song make up The Incognito Traveller EP, providing some of the most listenable sample-based music i have heard in a while. prepare to be whisked away into the world of smoky cafés and lazy cobblestone streets, tinged with the mystery and intrigue of a classic spy movie.

13 November 2007

Flux and Vega - Believe EP

downtempo/triphop with female vocals is one of my favourite types of music, however it can be difficult to find quality vocals in the netaudio world. some netlables, such as kahvi collective, have even adopted an unofficial rule of not releasing anything with vocals. other fans of electronica with vocals will be delighted by 'Believe EP' from the No Copy Protection netlabel. the short selection of tracks provides a pleasant and sunny selection of [mostly] spanish-language female vocal-fronted triphop, along with a few electro-house flavoured remixes. for me, these tracks really work because they avoid the temptation of overly processing everything with excessive electronics and fx. here the vocals and arrangements are quite charming and effective in their relaxed, unassuming style.

this netlabel, previously unknown to me, provides an intriguing (and attractively designed) catalogue of releases. i will definitely have to investigate further..

shout out to the new english-language Phlow Magazine blog for pointing me in the direction of this release.

06 November 2007

The Silent Ballet

i would like to take a moment to spotlight another interesting compilation series which i stumbled onto a while back: The Silent Ballet compilations, a collaboration from the indie rock website of the same name, and the Lost Children netlabel. breaking the electronic mould of most netlabels, Lost Children features [mostly] instrumental indie/shoegazer/post-rock from a host of bands around the world. there are quite a few gems to be discovered here. unfortunately, Lost Children could use a bit more quality control, as there are some rather awful tracks in the series as well. however, fans of heartfelt soft/loud emotional energy (queue references to bands such as explosions in the sky, mogwai, godspeed you black emperor, m83 etc) will find much to be enjoyed in The Silent Ballet series. in my opinion, the most recent installment of the series is the strongest yet. it starts out slowly, with a very long introduction of two minimal guitar-based ambient tracks. however, in the later tracks the energy slowly builds to the exploding crescendos we expect. in my opinion, many of the tracks never quite reach their full potential-- i am frequently left wanting more, but all in all, the bands and the netlabel show some real promise, and there are some quite breathtaking moments to be enjoyed here.

05 November 2007

Intelligent Toys 4 (Sutemos019)

hiddenplace music newsflash: for those of you not on the Sutemos email list, the 4th part of their frequently brilliant all-star idm compilation series was just released. clocking in at 2,5 hours play time, and featuring such favourite artists as Sabi, Esem, Sense, IJO, Machine Drum, and Sleepy Town Manufacture, this compilation is a must-listen. "It's listening time now."

03 November 2007

Moosefrog - Come EP

on a recently tram ride home, i re-discovered a chillout netaudio gem: the first release from the great little netlabel lo-kiwi. if you enjoyed the downtempo/instrumental hiphop of Mr. Moods which i featured a couple months ago, 'come' from chillmasters Moosefrog will tickle your ears most pleasantly. looped jazzy guitars, soft rhodes and synth chords, groovy brushed drums, a few gritty turntable samples and creepy filtered spoken word samples make for a super-chilled evening listening session.

as with most good eps, this release is a bit of a short listen, so make sure to check out lo-kiwis' back catalogue, such as Moosefrog's Adrift, which includes two songs featuring vocals by Chillcast hostess Anji Bee.