Archive for December, 2016

Notable Netlabel Releases of 2016 (part three)

Wednesday, 12 December 2016

Hi, again, I’m C. Reider. I release most of my own music for free on the internet, and I listen to a lot of music by people who do the same. This is a list of free-to-download releases from 2016 that I liked a lot.
I’ve done lists like this for several years, here are previous years’ lists:
2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009.

These lists have been getting really long, because I listen to a lot of music over the course of a year, so for my sanity and yours, I’m going to break up this end of year list into several smaller lists. This strategy will also allow me to consider albums released late in the year, while still being able to raise the profile of cool stuff from earlier in the year. This is part THREE of the big list, I will post links just below this line of other parts as I publish them.

LINK TO PART ONE
LINK TO PART TWO
LINK TO PART FOUR
LINK TO PART FIVE, THE FINAL POST

The ordering of these releases is completely arbitrary, no ranking is intended, and none should be inferred. I like everything I’m listing here to varying degrees, but ranking is a silly activity that helps exactly no one form their own opinion about music.

I should clarify that by saying these are netlabel releases, I don’t necessarily mean they were released on proper netlabels, many of these albums were self released. To me, netlabeling is a community activity, involving releasing music online for free (or pay what you want)…
preferably (though not necessarily) with a CC license…
and EVEN MORE preferably (though not necessarily) with a CC license that allows for remixability and sampling. So I use the word “netlabel” even though the word is admittedly problematic. You could just see this as links to a bunch of free music if you wanted to keep things simple.

You can be notified when the next part of this year-end list gets published by either following me on twitter @vuzhmusic or by subscribing to the RSS feed for this blog’s “Recommended Listening” category:
http://www.vuzhmusic.com/blog/category/recommended-listening/feed/




Martin Rach – Late Autumn Quartets
https://martinrach.bandcamp.com/album/late-autumn-quartets
Martin Rach – Piano Attic
https://martinrach.bandcamp.com/album/piano-attic
CC BY NC SA (Derivs allowed! Remix / sample away! 🙂)
Self-released

‘Late Autumn Quartets’ sounds like a room full of automatons dispassionately hammering on dulcimers, a child’s xylophone and perhaps a banjo or two. Whatever setup Martin is using to strike and excite his sound objects is put to good use here, revealing a decent variety of tone colors, even considering the relative staticity of the strange-attractor rhythms. The second half of the 4 track album integrates electronics, with the third track somewhat inexplicably meshing the clattering machines with electronic dance music, failing interestingly.
On ‘Piano Attic’ the titular instrument is played such that no easily identified repeating rhythm or melody can be discerned. The very slow pacing of the beginning of track one is joined by more rapid, digitally spasms of tinkling keys. The second track is a sample collage of sounds recorded by bonking, or prodding, or poking various less audibly identifiable territories on the instrument.




Miquel Parera and Computer – nxI2016-06-30_04_56_08
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Miquel_Parera/nxI2016-06-30_04_56_08/
Miquel Parera and Computer – nxI2016-07-03_04_33_13
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Miquel_Parera/nxI2016-07-03_04_33_13/
CC BY NC SA (Derivs allowed! Remix / sample away! 🙂)
Self-released

If the code-like alphanumeric titles and co-credit given to his computer doesn’t entirely prepare you for the abstracted music collected on these two albums, then I’m not sure anything I say is gonna do the trick. Both of these collections have four tracks of consistent lengths, on ‘nxI2016-06-30_04_56_08′ each is five minutes fifty-nine, and on ‘nxI2016-07-03_04_33_13′ each one is seven minutes, two seconds. With this in mind, I guess we could claim that there is a discernable 4/4 rhythm on these two records! The buzzing soundscapes presented here do not signify meaning other than that of the math used to derive them, although they do seem to find some representation in the multicolored lattice-like tiles in the artwork to the two albums. If you need your music to have “soul”, then don’t look for it here. I’m so glad I don’t need any such imaginary thing.




Naoyuki Sasanami / Stabilo (speaker gain teardrop) – Immersive EP
https://stabilo-loadbang.bandcamp.com/album/immersive-ep
Copyright (No derivs! No sampling / remixing 🙁)
Self-released

The two composers achieve a kind of stylistic unity, even though it appears they worked on their respective pieces separately. A very open sounding, minimalist, ambient music of suspended, mentholated synth-tones. Pretty, but light in bearing enough to avoid being cloying.




Nate Scheible – Breezewood
https://natescheible.bandcamp.com/album/breezewood
Copyright (No derivs! No sampling / remixing 🙁)
Self-released

That tape loops are all the rage nowadays is okay by me. The waft and warble and fluttering cut-outs reflect a glitch aesthetic through the older technology, in this case augmented by noisey electronic effects and accompaniments. It’s a sort of shoegaze for tougher times than the nineties, (certainly a mopey decade, but not existentially threatening). Very impressive shit.




Noisesurfer – In Motion
https://archive.org/details/InMotiontafe-46
CC BY NC ND (No derivs! No sampling / remixing 🙁)
Tape Safe Netlabel

Somewhat gritty little (maybe modular?) synth sketches. Not a whole lot of development or complexity, but those aren’t things I always need in music. Some tracks are characterized by whoofing bass overloads and repeating phrases that are modulated slowly as they go along. Other tracks have drum beats that kinda just grind along on rails, occasionally having glitch hiccups.




Norah Lorway – Drone Bølge
https://xylemrecords.bandcamp.com/album/drone-b-lge
Copyright (No derivs! No sampling / remixing 🙁)
Xylem Netlabel

Always a composer to watch for, I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve heard from her up to this point. These are slow, airy drones with very sublimated tones that kind of threaten to break out into a larger, orchestral fanfare, but instead retreat back into reverb clouds.




Oscar Santis – Desde la Caja
https://pueblonuevo.cl/catalogo/desde-la-caja/
CC BY NC SA (Derivs allowed! Remix / sample away! 🙂)
Pueblo Nuevo Netlabel

This is some of the best noise music I’ve heard all year. Dense, complex clumps of noise, in varying grits of abrasive power, spin out in rapid twitches from sometimes identifiable sources, such as ultra-detuned guitar. Other pieces seem more purely electronic. There really is a lot of variety and dynamics within these tangled pieces, not something that I can always say about noise. Correspondingly, the fatigue factor is pretty low. If you like weird sounds at all, don’t miss this one.




φορέας – Annoyances
https://citrusounds.bandcamp.com/album/annoyances
Copyright (No derivs! No sampling / remixing 🙁)
Citrus Sounds

What do we call this now… Blade-Runner Ambient? A nice pile of short ambient pieces that are slightly neutral, slightly melancholy, slightly chilly, with sparse beats that occasionally butt-in and cause everything to get pumping-compression sickness.




Professional Flowers – Ars Botanica
https://professionalflowers.bandcamp.com/album/ars-botanica
Copyright (No derivs! No sampling / remixing 🙁)
Self-Released

Some very nice synth noodlings with hissy field recordings. Yeah, it’s impossible for me to find fault with it, it’s just simple, charming music.




Thuuooom – Aste EP
http://texturalhealing.blogspot.com/2016/07/thuuooom-aste-ep.html
Thuuooom – Kaiut
https://archive.org/details/thuuooom-kaiut-thump313
CC BY NC ND (No derivs! No sampling / remixing 🙁)
Textural Healing / Self-released

These are probably the most minimal things I’ll recommend this time. Drone music that permutates extremely slowly. Kaiut may be the more ‘progressive’ of the two, but not by so much.




tsone – The Earth’s Reply (tracks for Nagual)
https://tsone.bandcamp.com/album/the-earths-reply-tracks-for-nagual
CC BY NC ND (No derivs! No sampling / remixing 🙁)
Self-released

Looping ambient music going through a process of breaking out of some low-lo-fi distortion process. Loses a bit of the inherent tension once the music smooths out, but it’s still nice enough.




psph.S – {enter / reenter / out}
https://archive.org/details/eg0_163
CC BY NC SA (Derivs allowed! Remix / sample away! 🙂)
Eg0cide

Having all the ingredients of your standard harsh noise performance, (feedback, fast-tweaking of effect pedals, twitchy abuse of contact mics…) but adding up to something a bit more reflective than reflexive.


Notable Netlabel Releases of 2016 (part two)

Sunday, 12 December 2016

Hi, again, I’m C. Reider. I release most of my own music for free on the internet, and I listen to a lot of music by people who do the same. This is a list of free-to-download releases from 2016 that I liked a lot.
I’ve done lists like this for several years, here are previous years’ lists:
2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009.

These lists have been getting really long, because I listen to a lot of music over the course of a year, so for my sanity and yours, I’m going to break up this end of year list into several smaller lists. This strategy will also allow me to consider albums released late in the year, while still being able to raise the profile of cool stuff from earlier in the year. This is part TWO of the big list, I will post links just below this line of other parts as I publish them.

LINK TO PART ONE
LINK TO PART THREE
LINK TO PART FOUR
LINK TO PART FIVE, THE FINAL POST

The ordering of these releases is completely arbitrary, no ranking is intended, and none should be inferred. I like everything I’m listing here to varying degrees, but ranking is a silly activity that helps exactly no one form their own opinion about music.

I should clarify that by saying these are netlabel releases, I don’t necessarily mean they were released on proper netlabels, many of these albums were self released. To me, netlabeling is a community activity, involving releasing music online for free (or pay what you want)…
preferably (though not necessarily) with a CC license…
and EVEN MORE preferably (though not necessarily) with a CC license that allows for remixability and sampling. So I use the word “netlabel” even though the word is admittedly problematic. You could just see this as links to a bunch of free music if you wanted to keep things simple.

You can be notified when the next part of this year-end list gets published by either following me on twitter @vuzhmusic or by subscribing to the RSS feed for this blog’s “Recommended Listening” category:
http://www.vuzhmusic.com/blog/category/recommended-listening/feed/
–-




Eeem [eim] – Shades
https://eeem.bandcamp.com/album/shades
Eeem [eim] – Shores
https://eeem.bandcamp.com/album/shores
Eeem [eim] – Skylines
https://eeem.bandcamp.com/album/skylines-2
CC BY NC SA (Derivs allowed! Remix / sample away! 🙂)
Self-released

A triptych of pretty synth compositions that comes probably as close to what I’d call “traditional ambient” as I’m likely to enjoy. There are also plenty of kosmische inflections to be heard in the drift, especially little hints of Popol Vuh, Tangerine Dream and Ashra. I could see these having really wide appeal, they’re done very well.




Ela and PomPom – My New Music
https://thepompom.bandcamp.com/album/my-new-music
Jennifer and PomPom – Circles
https://thepompom.bandcamp.com/album/circles
Copyright (No derivs! No sampling / remixing 🙁)
Self-released

These two releases feature compositions and performances by people who live with cerebral palsy. Ela’s compositions have lo-fi-guitar + percussion + piano backings to her soaring, pretty vocals with mysterious lyrics. Sometimes her voice is draped in spacious reverb or spooky delay.
Jennifer’s works are a litte more spare, and feature her performances on (mostly) keyboard with the percussive pluckings of the PomPom group murkily cycling in accompaniment. This is utterly unique, lo-fi psycedelia that is moving and beautiful. Some of the absolute top music I’ve heard this year. I could see these recordings becoming very influential. Listening to this music makes me happy to be alive.




Eucci – In Marianne District
http://euc.cx/rive/073/index.html
Eucci – On Verdant Shores
https://sunhill.bandcamp.com/album/on-verdant-shores
Eucci – Land’s End
https://sunhill.bandcamp.com/album/lands-end
Eucci – Mimeotin
http://www.controlvalve.net/blog/index.blog/2359640/ctrlvlv061__eucci__mimeotin/
CC BY SA / CC BY NC SA (Derivs allowed! Remix / sample away! 🙂)
Self-released except ‘Mimeotin’ which is out on Control Valve

Eucci had a very productive year, here’s a survey of what I heard. ‘In Marianne District’ is a beautiful collage work of drones and field recordings and interesting sounds cut with sudden transitions and captivating juxtapositions. The style reminds me of some of my favorite work by the Hafler Trio, such as ‘Kill the King’ or ‘the Sea Org’.
‘On Verdant Shores’ is a spasmodic take on pretty IDM music, rough and unsettled, wriggling its ways through not entirely predictable tone lines.
‘Land’s End’ continues the trajectory laid on on the previous release, and refines it a bit. Drums are slightly more upfront here, maybe making it a bit more obvious that this is electronic dance music, perhaps? I mean, I’d love to see someone dance to it. Autechre is the obvious touchstone here, though I feel like a lazy reviewer by pointing that out, (but hell, not like I’m getting paid to do this!)
‘Mimeotin’ is where things get significantly thornier. This is noise music, but labelling it that way is probably misleading, and definitely feels nearly wrong when comparing to some of this artist’s blistering work under the artist name AODL. No, ‘Mimeotin’ takes a really dynamic approach, exploring the softly twitching rhythms and weird, labyrinthine tone lines heard on the two previous releases, but augmented with more abrasive sounds and squirts of complex noise events… nothing that outright pummels, but enough to certainly not pass by unnoticed.




Gregg Skloff – All Way Relay
https://greggskloff.bandcamp.com/track/all-way-relay
Gregg Skloff – Go Dead Aces
https://greggskloff.bandcamp.com/album/go-dead-aces
CC BY NC SA (Derivs allowed! Remix / sample away! 🙂)
Self-released

Skloff, whose main axe is bass (electric, double bass and cello) employs sitar for the two tracks of ‘All Way Relay’. The droning qualities of the instrument pairs well with his sensibilities as a composer, but he does use the melodic side as well. He neatly sidesteps any tacky attempts at ethnic pastiche, thankfully. The first track is couched in mammoth reverb, and the second runs the sound through a fuzz amp to get some feedback-harmonics.
It sounds like ‘Go Dead Aces’ is primarily a synth-based work, with long bassy drones that slowly ebb and wane, throbbing away while the upper harmonics swirl around. Very pretty stuff.




Gurdonark – Reflections on Self
https://gurdonark.bandcamp.com/album/reflections-on-self
CC BY SA (Derivs allowed! Remix / sample away! 🙂)
Self-released

There’s not a whole lot I could say about this album that I haven’t already said about Gurdonark albums that have come before. There is a certain inevitability that comes anytime he releases new work, you know it’s going to sound just like new work by Gurdonark. The happy thing is, I really like that sound, and so the stability of his style is something I find comforting in an odd way. His music is not quite like music by anyone else. His loping compositions for keyboard synth (using sounds that he’s sampled in himself) are simultaneously bouncy and ponderous. His albums are simple, musical, calming and ever-so-slightly oddball. Some of the pieces on this album, especially those toward the end, have a slightly darker mood, and some hints of avant-garde ideas. These are paired with such titles as “Regret” and “Conceit.” It seems this course of musical introspection does not overlook the parts of himself that may be harder to look at.




He Can Jog – Characteristics Associated With Unpredictability
http://music.hecanjog.com/album/characteristics-associated-with-unpredictability
He Can Jog – Nightsound
http://music.hecanjog.com/album/nightsound
CC BY (Derivs allowed! Remix / sample away! 🙂)
Self-released

A couple of very different releases from this artist, presumably making works using his own programming language Pippi. ‘Characteristics Associated With Unpredictability’ starts off with a kind of galactic random-number funk which swiftly slips into continually evolving scenarios of what sounds like a bunch of smiling DMT baubles yammering and chittering vigorously, while hopefully not overcooking your inner ear with radiation too much. Yeah, yeah, ok. I suck at describing music, especially when it sounds like a fusion reactor come to life.
‘Nightsounds’ is ambient music after the Eno model; tone plates shifting over and under one another, cloud-like with some tinkly nooding happening too. These two releases are pretty radically different in mood, but are pretty interesting to listen to back-to-back.




Janne Nummela – Level Crossing
https://archive.org/details/eg0_159
CC BY NC SA (Derivs allowed! Remix / sample away! 🙂)
Eg0cide Netlabel

A number of compositions, realized on computer, in various Modernist, avant-garde styles. A little more constricted and formal than what I tend to like these days, but it’s really very enjoyable.




Jonáš Gruska – Site Specific Resonances V
https://jonasgruska.bandcamp.com/album/site-specific-resonances-v
CC BY NC SA (Derivs allowed! Remix / sample away! 🙂)
Self-released

A sixteen minute long piece that begins with the sound of air ducts (I presume it’s the same system pictured on the cover.) A very loud set of ductwork that rattles and clacks together percussively fades out as some ambiguously sourced droning which sounds vaguely organ-like fades in. This builds, and later is joined by some really nice vibrating material sounds that resemble a low-pitched brass instrument like a tuba or trombone. I believe that materials from the space are activated by some vibrating mechanism by the performer(s?) to produce these sounds. The room’s reverb gives the buzzing and moaning drones a beautiful situatedness. The drone section culminates with a percussive climax.




Chinese Hackers – (wiretrap)
https://bedlamtapes.bandcamp.com/album/–2
Copyright (No derivs! No sampling / remixing 🙁)
Bedlam Tapes

Another solid release from Bedlam Tapes. This music really does come off in some ways as a very appreciative hommage to 1980s Industrial Music, with a very lo-fi approach using drum machines, over-saturated synths, people banging on 55 gallon drums in a warehouse, and weird, charged vocal samples clicking in and out of the mix. It could sit alongside early stuff from Controlled Bleeding or SPK nicely. Thing is, this album also integrates some vaporwave influences too, filtered through the same overleaded-four-track aesthetic. This leaves me drawing some (perhaps dubious) comparisons between industrial & vaporwave, both of which seemed to start off as an anti-establishment, protest music, and both of which rapidly ended up embracing the establishment and polishing themselves up to gain wider audiences. In the process each became something else entirely.




Linden Pomeroy – Ikiryo
https://pilot11.bandcamp.com/album/linden-pomeroy-ikiryo
CC BY SA (Derivs allowed! Remix / sample away! 🙂)
Pilot Eleven Netlabel

It’s that classic combination of guitar through a system of delays and reverbs. I guess I’m just a sucker for this kind of shit. It was one of the first ways I started doing ambient / experimental / whatever music, and it still never gets old.




Lingua Lustra – Slow Time
https://archive.org/details/Lingua_Lustra_-_Slow_Time
CC BY (Derivs allowed! Remix / sample away! 🙂)
Breathe Compilations

Slowly looping, filtered and strained musical phrases swaddled in disorienting effects. A very romantic melancholy pervades this album. Very beautiful stuff. “Phantasmagoric” seems like a good word I should use somewhere in this review, but I don’t know what kind of sentence to use it in, so you can make one up yourself if you like.




Linus Lemont – Marginalia
https://linuslemont.bandcamp.com/album/marginalia
CC BY NC (Derivs allowed! Remix / sample away! 🙂)
Self-released

Linus’ first album released with his new name (earlier releases came out under the name Jess Lemont, you may have seen a few recommendations from me for his earlier stuff). Linus is an immensely talented composer with deep jazz chops and some incredible moves on the drumkit, as well as seemingly every single instrument ever made. They have a gift for inventing new ways to splatter those sounds in weird new shapes. This is avant-garde as fuck… If you’re in the market for some extremely well done “difficult” music that never gets boring or predictable, do not miss this one.


Notable Netlabel Releases of 2016 (Part One)

Sunday, 12 December 2016

Hi, I’m C. Reider. I release most of my own music for free on the internet, and I listen to a lot of music by people who do the same. This is a list of free-to-download releases from 2016 that I liked a lot.
I’ve done lists like this for several years, here are previous years’ lists:
2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009.

These lists have been getting really long, because I listen to a lot of music over the course of a year, so for my sanity and yours, I’m going to break up this end of year list into several smaller lists. This strategy will also allow me to consider albums released late in the year, while still being able to raise the profile of cool stuff from earlier in the year. This is part ONE of the big list, I will post links just below this line of other parts as I publish them.

Link to Part TWO
Link to Part THREE
Link to Part FOUR
Link to the Final post, Part FIVE

The ordering of these releases is completely arbitrary, no ranking is intended, and none should be inferred. I like everything I’m listing here to varying degrees, but ranking is a silly activity that helps exactly no one form their own opinion about music.

I should clarify that by saying these are netlabel releases, I don’t necessarily mean they were released on proper netlabels, many of these albums were self released. To me, netlabeling is a community activity, involving releasing music online for free (or pay what you want)…
preferably (though not necessarily) with a CC license…
and EVEN MORE preferably (though not necessarily) with a CC license that allows for remixability and sampling. So I use the word “netlabel” even though the word is admittedly problematic. You could just see this as links to a bunch of free music if you wanted to keep things simple.

OK, let’s get into it:





Achnn – Fiare Vecchi
https://archive.org/details/Achnn-Fiarevechi
CC BY NC ND (No derivs)
Achnn Records Netlabel

Richly varied collection of abstract electronic music and acoustic sound sources. A constantly shifting sound environment that pays a lot of attention to space and structure. A lot happens, but well paced and spacious.





Biographical Error – ► Press Play
https://biographicalerror.bandcamp.com/album/press-play
CC BY SA (Derivs allowed)
Self-released

Tiny bite-sized chunks of saccharine 1950s pop-orchestral stuff slowed down and constrasted against longer pieces of highly filtered, somnambulent, dental suction noises. Sometimes things are slowed down to a near stop. The album has a really nice flow to it. Like it





Bonus Fruit – Dissatisfied
https://bedlamtapes.bandcamp.com/album/dissatisfied
Copyright (No derivs)
Bedlam Tapes

Dense collage sampletronica, with a large variety of moods and sound environments, from melancholy croon-scapes to completely bonkers beat-explosions where I find myself frantically trying to find my bearing while still nodding my head to the chaos beats.





Cinchel – Recesses of (Nature (part II))
https://cinchel.bandcamp.com/album/recesses-of-nature-part-ii

Cinchel – Silence of the oncoming train
https://cinchel.bandcamp.com/album/silence-of-the-oncoming-train

Cinchel – Sometimes Never is Soon Enough
https://cinchel.bandcamp.com/album/sometimes-never-is-soon-enough
All CC-BY-NC-SA (Derivs allowed)
Self-released

Pretty much anything Cinchel does is likely to get a mention from me at this point, because I think his work is fantastic. ‘Recesses of Nature’ starts off with a high pitched chiming sound that nebulously builds into a larger structure of pings & sustained tones. It reminds me of some of the classic, older Vidna Obmana ambient works. Later there are a variety of clusters of woody, insectoid clicks and solar-sail tones. This is Summertime riparian drone impressionism.
‘Silence of the oncoming train’ is a much darker affair: subdued, distantly menacing tones stalk the night forest. By pairing evocative titles with his drones, it seems like he’s going for a kind of minimalist drone-music storytelling in slow motion.
‘Sometimes Never is Soon Enough’ feels like a mediated space between the bright shininess of ‘Recesses’ and the darkness of ‘Silence’. The guitar drones here are soft, orchestral and sad.





Cloud City Cars – Magic Guard
https://lifelikefamily.bandcamp.com/album/magic-guard
CC BY NC SA (Derivs allowed)
Lifelike Family

Lovely, simple-tone synth constructions with a jaunty off-rhythms and a light, friendly (do I want to say “kid-friendly”?) feel, but from that starting point, they reliably mutate into weird, less predictable forms.





Coppice – Whiting Belt
http://www.notype.com/drones/cat.e/pan_097/
License not listed (No derivs)
No Type / Panospria

Experimental music from Coppice is always worth paying attention to. In this case the music was made with “custom handheld samplers, multi-material filter, transmitters, pump organ, tape processes, and plastic bladder with valve.” The first track is near silence, with the occasional flicker of quick, granulated, maybe-speech sounds. The second track is maximal in comparison, with warbling tape drones, rhythmic tapping and wavering hiss filtered through undersized microphones. That base layer is given to occasional eruptions of lo-fidelity noise crunches. The third piece retreats to small, quiet, highly distressed clicking and hissing sounds.





Daniel Barbiero / Ken Moore – Frequency Drift
http://www.panyrosasdiscos.net/pyr177-daniel-barbiero-ken-moore-frequency-drift/
CC BY NC ND
Pan y Rosas Discos

Works for double bass and tam tams (a gong that appears to be about 20-25 inches in the cover photo). The long, deep resonances seem expressive without being overt about what exactly is being expressed.





Dante Mars Ajeto ! – Celebrating Digital Artifacts
https://bedlamtapes.bandcamp.com/album/celebrating-digital-artifacts
Copyright (No derivs)
Bedlam Tapes

This has honestly been one of my favorite album releases across genres all year. Technicolor glitch-pop electronica formed from shards of pop-music samples. Huge, grooving, epic earworm-food. I reckon Dante Mars Ajeto ! has earned his exclamation point.





Dave Seidel – Hexany Permutations
https://mysterybear.bandcamp.com/album/hexany-permutations
CC BY NC SA (Derivs allowed)
Self-released

A long, stately procession of microtonal note clusters. Enter the bliss zone.





David Vélez – Fortore
https://plustimbre.bandcamp.com/album/fortore
CC BY NC ND (No derivs)
Plus Timbre

A captivating field recording-based release featuring a night chorus of crickets and bugs, a burbling stream and other activity. Electric and weird, full of motion and stillness.





Deiphix – Millenia
https://npcdeiphix.bandcamp.com/album/millenia

Deiphix – Ultra Suite
https://npcdeiphix.bandcamp.com/album/ultra-suite
Both Copyright (No derivs)
Self-Released

Blossoming synth sequences, circulating, synthetic, choral laments and ultra-chilled minimal-tek-house. Deiphix constistently creates unique atmospheres of smooth technoid space. Ultra-Suite is the more beat-oriented of the two releases, and overall, it’s my favorite thing I’ve heard from this composer. Millenia is a suite of thematically connected synth compositions.





Dirch Blewn – Capacity and Resistance
https://linearobsessional.bandcamp.com/album/capacity-and-resistance
CC BY NC ND (No derivs)
Linear Obsessional

One long piece that I presume (given the cover art and title) was done on a modular synth system. Several long sections divide up the 55 minutes, all featuring a variety of slowly swelling drones, clicks, buzzes and pops. Very calm electronic proto-ambient.





Duelling Ants – Reverse Seaworld
https://duellingants.bandcamp.com/album/reverse-seaworld-2
Copyright (No derivs)
Self-released

I was really into their 2015 release ‘Fauna.’ This one doesn’t quite hit the heights that that release did for me, but this pretty, low-key, laid-back instrumental music is still very nice. “Nice” is definitely the mood – and I can’t complain about that at all. Not many things about this year have been nice.


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