30 March 2008

bubblegone - somewhere between summer and winter

in late February, the netlabel world mourned the loss of the beloved netlabel kikapu. after 100+ releases, the netlabel quietly announced its closing with a Walt Whitman poem. thankfully, their entire back catalogue is still available for free download, thanks to the wonder of the internets.
one notable release came to me by way of a recommendation from Bazooka Joe at Solipsistic NATION. 'somewhere between summer and winter' is an hypnotic, slow-motion exploration of of the interplay of field recordings and deeply reverberating electronics; layered, processed, re-processed and stretched to infinity. the experience of listening to these infinitely echoing tones while travelling through the city with headphones on makes one see the world with new eyes...

09 March 2008

(val)liam - early reflections e.p.

i didnt intend to write about so much ambient music at once, but i tend to listen to a lot of ambient during the dark, quiet days of winter, and i have found a lot of really great releases lately that simply must be shared.
early reflections e.p. by (val)liam is not a particularly new release but it just recently came to my attention thanks to Pete from bleepshow. unfortunately ambient music as a whole lacks suitable adjectives and sub-genres to sufficiently describe it, so i'm placing this one in what i call the 'soft ambient' category-- music that is quiet, peaceful and melodic.. soft pads, gentle echoing guitars, periodic hints of flutes or natural environments.. music which could be placed under the hated 'new age' label, but is not at all cliché or annoying. if you enjoyed the previously featured artists Altus, Algol, or Janne Hanhisuanto, or artists such as Jonn Serrie, Chuck Wild (Liquid Mind) or David Helping, then you will certainly want to add this beautiful release to your collection.

04 March 2008

Bosques de mi Mente - Trenes de Juguete

the experimental/noise netlabel Clinical Archives surprised me recently which a beautiful minimal ambient piano release entitled Trenes de Juguete (Toy Trains).
fans of the wistful melancholy piano of Yann Tiersen's Amélie film soundtrack will certainly enjoy this release, which combines simple lilting piano compositions with occasional gently strummed guitars and mysterious radio samples and other found sounds. it becomes a little repetitive at times, but makes for a perfectly relaxing accompaniment to light morning work or an afternoon tea break.
as the dark winter clouds begin to occasionally break with patches of sunlight, we are reminded that spring is approaching..