Monday, December 22, 2008

MDAC002 Monthly Discerning Audio Chart, DECEMBER 2008

With my ideas for the direction of the Discerning Audio Chart posts in their infancy, I've been giving some thought on where I'd like to develop them. So, for December, I shall be continuing the theme of publicising the ten 'stand-out' tracks of the month. Also, I shall add the year of release for each track, and extend the description a little. Where applicable, I shall provide direct links for downloading netlabel releases too...

I'm still going to keep the chart free from any rigid criteria. It's quite simply a 'what have you been listening to lately?' list. The charts will contain styles from accross the board, from Ambient, Dark Ambient, Prog-Rock, Post-Rock, Downbeat Electronica, Trip-Hop, Jazz, Funk, Acoustic, Neo-Folk, Tribal/Ethnic, Deep House, Tech-House, Minimal, Techno
Anything goes!

(in no particular order)
J.ARIF VERNER 'In The Colour Of Air' [2005]
"Beautifully pleasant light Ambient here, with sounds of feint distant guitars and unfurling synth washes. It's the kind of Ambient music that makes you feel that sadness that is accompanied by an awe-struck smile."
NrvNet 'Music For Stargazing' [2008]
"My attention turned towards Ambient music fully since downloading some mixes from this very site in mid 2007. Here, NrvNet creates an excellent follow up to his previous Music or Stargazing mix. The first volume has been a regular on my night-time playlist ever since I discovered it over a year ago...This well selected blend of Ambient is punctuated by gentle field recordings. Don't be put off by the size of the file; the space it takes up is worth every kilobyte!"
download the mix here:
IGNEOUS FLAME 'Oxana' [2004]
"I seem to be discovering artists that are new to my music collection all the time, and I can't believe I hadn't stumbled accross this earlier! These are a collection of murky ethereal soundscapes with occasional glimmers of light, serving as an excellent sleep album."
SAWAKO 'Tears' [2006]
"This is a very unusual piece of orchestral Ambient. The whole track has a quirky arrangement throughout, transporting the listener to times gone by. Mysterious whispers have the listener feeling on edge, and transported back to time gone by...before giving way to a much lighter compositions of acoustic guitar strums with accompanying sound effects and female vocals. With an overall feeling of melancholy, this track effortlessly moves between different moods and tones."
MARCONI UNION 'Distant' [2006]
"It's rare that I buy every track all in one go from an album. I very seldom buy the whole package, unless I get the feeling that the work as a whole is going to be a lasting 'classic' in the playlist. This album however, is one of those scarce few. Not only do the shimmering washes of electro-acoustic sounds and delicate nuances amount to a compelling listen, I am also very keen on the thought provoking writings and loose concepts behind the album. It's material that could amount to an essay of my own personal speculation and discoveries, but I think it's best left for the listener to ponder for themselves..."
TUU 'Shiva Ascending' [1995]
"This is an old piece I stumbled accross, and it's an ethnic tribal affair. I'm not overly familiar with the artist, but I dowloaded a few tracks from them and shall be reading up on them.
It's nearly ten minutes of soundscape, which starts of with a constant ohm style drone, punctuated by metal clangs, clicks and bangs before giving way to the most eerie of instruments. The drone more or less stays constant throughout, but it's that special instrument that will really attract your attention..."
CHICK COREA "Inner Space" [2005]
"Moving away from a largely Ambient month, here's an excellent piece of Jazz I purchased. My Jazz collection is quite small, as I have a highly selective attitude towards it. For me, Jazz is best appreciated live, rather than walking down the street, through my iPod headphones. But the pieces of Jazz I do have, I enjoy a lot. For me, finding jazz that is listenable at home/on my iPod is a slow but very rewarding affair...and this track is certainly one of those that will feature prominently in my Jazz playlist for years to come."
OFF THE SKY "Dwelling Spells" [2008]
"New on the Zymogen netlabel, Off The Sky's Jason Corder has conjured a small collection of beautiful Ambient pieces. I've downloaded most of Jason's netlabel stuff, and would class myself as a big fan of his work. This release features tones and melody that could have been derived from an old music box, draped gently over the usual excellently treated field recordings."
download the album for free:
MICHAEL TROMMER "Tree Line" [2008]
"I tend to listen to this one late at night, as after the first delicately crafted drone, Trommer blends a vast array of exquisitely detailed field recordings into minimalist artistic soundscapes - all of which lures the listener into a mild pre-sleep trance. I rarely listen to it without falling asleep within 10 minutes, but my mind's subconscious looks at the disc with much delight!"
download the album for free:
LEIF "The Benrhos Dubs" [2008]
"This is the only piece of House/Tech that is included in this chart...but I thought it deserved a mention, especially as I have been spinning Leif's Trimsound cuts over the last couple of years. Not only that, but I cannot believe that House music as forward-thinking and professional as this could be released as a netlabel E.P!
Netlabel projects are usually ventured for pure non-profit experimentation, making new contacts/friends and to gain feedback. So anyone into proper House should certainly take full advantage, and provide the artist with feedback where it's due.
download the album for free:
So completes the month's list of sounds I've particularly enjoyed. There's been plenty of stuff I've left out mind...but those ten certainly have grabbed my attention for this calendar month. Who knows what the new year will bring!?