30 December 2008

Scott Sherk - Icelandic Air

one of the first podcasts i regularly listened to was One Minute Vacation from sound designer aaron ximm's website, the quiet american, which i discovered thanks to NPR. there is something very evocative about the natural sounds of an environment recorded in high quality and listened to on good headphones. the simple sound has the power to transport you to a place in a temporal way which is not communicated in photography (another favorite medium of mine).
one such collection of field recordings is Icelandic Air. Iceland is certainly a visually stunning landscape but it hadnt occurred to me that the aural environment could be so fascinating as well. the pure field recordings presented here whisk you away to the frigid coastal terrain of icy wind, mountain streams, snow-covered hills and serene lakes, with the human and animal inhabitants making brief appearances as well. a short but refreshing excursion into an exotic locale.

21 December 2008

Motionfield - absolute zero

sometimes some of the best albums are hidden away as buried treasures, released in relative obscurity on an artist's own website. one such treasure is 'absolute zero' which is presented on an unassuming page in motionfield's homepage without even a tracklist or description.
motionfield has already released several brilliant albums on stadtgruen, test tube, and autoplate, as well as an especially excellent commercial release (available for full streaming and for purchase on somnia records) , creating some of the best quiet, introspective ambient idm you're likely to hear. 'absolute zero' is no exception. desolate soundscapes of spacious pads peppered with subtle, indistinct environmental sounds and delicate, glitchy percussion grow and evolve with a sensuous, breath-like rhythm. fractured, wandering piano melodies float in and out on gentle digital breezes. supremely chilled organic electronica for thoughtful moments...
EDIT: it seems the download link has been removed. but hiddenplace music has heard from an inside source that this album is slated to be released on thinner some time in the near future. stay tuned!