Thursday, December 24, 2009
(1) Pillowdiver - "Sleeping Pills"
(2) Richard Skelton - "Landings"
(3) Seaworthy - "1897"
(4) Goldmund - "The Malady Of Elegance
(5) Richard Skelton - "Marking Time
(6) Nicola Ratti - "Esope"
(7) Lucette Bourdin - "Golden Sun"
(8) Le Lendemain - "Fires"
(9) Dirac - "Emphasis"
(10) Sylvie Walder and Entia Non - "Bewilderment"
Monday, November 30, 2009
The album, entitled 'Frozen Quarters' spans 14 short tracks that all feature recordings made in and around my locality in an attempt to preserve and capture my day-to-day environment.
I've recorded snippets from various household objects, sounds heard outside and some unusual ideas I've had along the way. The most unusual of these involved climbing into a huge empty waste-disposal skip to record instrument takes and picking up tons of natural reverb along the way...
I have completed an hour-long mix of all of the many recordings I made for the album and plan to release it on a netlabel as a precursor to the full album.
The melodic elements throughout 'Frozen Quarters' are mostly derived from various instruments I've acquired throughout the recording of this album. You can hear sounds of keyboard, zither, trumpet, piano, harmonica and guitar. I'd say around 95% of the compositions made with these instruments were done by myself through experimenting with different melodies and chords. This is an approach that is pretty new for Spheruleus, but one that I am becoming increasingly interested in. Although I do love electronic and synth based music, I am fascinated by how playing instruments to provide a sound-source for further electronic treatment can really add an organic warmth to my sound design. What's more, is that with the album concept being about preserving an environment to capture its essence, an organic and real experience has been lifted through means of these instrument recordings. Rather than create a synthetic representation of the environments, I have managed to actually been able to be part of the process through such instruments.
I would never normally refer to myself as a musician or instrument performer since I've never had any form of teaching. But my natural ear for sound and music has meant that I have been able to lift some interesting sounds and tone from this small collection of instruments.
Regarding the release of this album, not much is known or set in stone as yet. Although, I do imagine it shall be available in 2010. If it is too long for you to wait, you can check out four of the album tracks on the Spheruleus Myspace page:
Under The Spire is a British label set up this year by Christopher Edwards. The label and the artists that have released on it have had a solid year and for 2010, we can expect it to grow further with the inclusion of releases by some excellent artists, such as Ian Hawgood, Jasper TX, P Jorgensen, Ryonkt, Segue and many more...
The date for the new Spheruleus album is a while away from being confirmed of course but in the meantime, please check out Under The Spire and support this superb label:
Friday, November 27, 2009
The tracks are from my forthcoming album Frozen Quarters which will be released on a CD-R label next year. The album features 14 short tracks totalling an hour long and the four tracks featured on Myspace are:
More on 'Frozen Quarters' soon...including the label announcement and more on the album concepts.
THE LOWLIGHT MIXES - "Beyond This Window"
It is between two Ambient mix blogsites that I am to attribute my intense obsession with this mellow, relaxing and lazy style of music. One is The Hydrogen cafe and the other is Lowlight Mixes. Both provide long form mixes of sublime and gentle ambient music that got me hooked on this whole idea of Ambient music and made me want to find out more and eventually come to start writing my own material and exploring my own ideas. Mixes are a different experience to albums, E.Ps and tracks in the way they collaborate many different artists work together as a collage for the ears. The true talent of course lies within the individual artists' works, but the ability to assemble a mix of these works in a tasteful and ordered manner is an artform within itself. Here, Dave from Lowlight Mixes assembles his latest offering, including electro-acoustic pieces, drones dark and light, delicate piano pieces and underscoring field recordings. He's put together several classic mixes over the months and years but I think I shall be giving this a regular listen on long walks or periods of rest when I have time to soak into this wonderfully programmed listening experience. Download for free: http://lowlightmixes.podbean.com/mf/web/p59x58/beyond_this_window.mp3
HERZOG - "First Summer And The Running Dream"
As Resting Bell slows down its release policy, we have time to soak into an album of artsy electro-acoustics and sound design by Bill Bawden who has also released as Herzog on quality netlabels 12rec and Serein. Like quite a lot of Resting Bell's releases this is a short album, lasting just half an hour. Short albums are not a bad thing of course! Ambient music is designed for times of rest and introspective contemplation and often in this culture of chaos and business time for a full hour-long listen is restricted. So, 'First Summer And The Running Dream' features five tracks of varying lengths containing an array of melodic tones that are littered with gentle, dusty, glitchy noise. The word glitch often puts me off music when used to describe it, as it conjurs up thoughts of losing an eardrum thanks to a harsh noisy din rammed down my ear canal. Fortunately, when I have used the term glitch here, I can witness that this album's 'glitch' credentials are of gentle, much more ambient nature. Little crackles, reduced hiss and noise all add texture to these mellow soundscapes. The wonderfully titled closing track 'Lately I've Been Dreaming Of Drinking Sound From A Fountain' rounds off this half-an-hour perfectly.
Download for free: http://www.restingbell.net/releases/rb075-first-summer-and-the-running-dream
JASPER LEYLAND - "Sediments"
A shimmeringly beautiful release from back in 2008 here by Jasper Leyland is available for free download on the mOAR netlabel. Jasper Leyland is a North Yorkshire based sound designer who's real name is Jonathan Brewster and here with Sediments he concocts the perfect balance of mellow drones derived from acoustic instruments, field recordings and gentle instrumentation. This whole 6 track album is a window of mature sound design. Perfect balance is indeed the term for this project. There are occasional passages of near-silence, which as many know when done right, really add something to the overall pace of an album. The music slowly unfurls and reveals itself in new areas throughout this wonderful mellow set of tracks. Time stands still when listening to this album...Download for free: http://www.and-oar.org/moar_catalog_moarp32.html
PETER BRODERICK & MACHINEFABRIEK - "Blank Grey Canvas Sky"
Here we have a recent release by two highly talented artists. The mighty modern classical artist Peter Broderick meets prolific sound artist from the Netherlands Machinefabriek. The two masterfully craft this album of treated instrument passages and electronic sound manipulation into a collection of largely experimental abstract tracks. The two may seem an unlikely pairing but they have worked together before and here in 'Blank Grey Canvas Sky' it is evident that there is much respect for both artists different approach to recording ambient music. A fine balance has to be struck for two opposing artists to record a project together as one and you will hear, this ethos has been abided by for the recording of this album.
SEREIN "RE-INTRODUCTION" (Compiled and mixed by Huw Roberts)
This hour long mix by Serein label owner Huw Roberts forecasts a selection of forthcoming label releases set for 2010 and is blended with some familiar tracks from Serein's netlabel days. Most notably, there is a track 'Wheatstone' from the highly anticipated Nest album 'Retold', which is to be released on January the 31st 2010. The turn of a new year is always an exciting prospect for music enthusiasts, since a lot of artists and labels prefer to hold out for the end of a year and release their new material as the new year is upon us. And as you can see from the tracklisting, we're in for some treats from this label which has always been superb. I thoroughly enjoyed much if not all of the netlabel output in the past and I am certain to add myself to the customer list as the year turns and get myself a copy of Nest's 'Retold'. Expect a review too... In terms of this mix, it's been well assembled by Robert's - the tracks are placed perfectly and it's a very compelling, delicate listen. I had this on a few times in the evening, slumped back on the sofa with a cup of coffee. It's going to be a great 2010...
Download the mix for free:
Friday, October 30, 2009
RICHARD SKELTON - "Marking Time"
It has been a good while since I ordered any vinyl and in 'Marking Time', I've bought myself an absolute gem. This record is going to be a piece of vinyl I will never grow tired of for as long as I shall live. Skelton is an absolute master at recording multi-layered modern classical music. He runs his own label Sustain-Release and is responsible for putting out his wonderful work, packaged in stunningly beautiful artwork, created by his late wife. His music is haunting and often laced with melancholy. It gives you a sense of being transported back in time. I find his music, his approach and his ideas unbelievably inspiring. I'm working on a little something myself and although it sounds nothing like what Skelton writes, I would cite his work as the main influence on my new venture. This man is a genius!
This is a limited edition record though - you'll be hard pressed to find it anywhere! I've just taken a quick look at Juno and Boomkat, and it's sold out there unfortunately. It does come with my strongest recommendation this - if there is any chance that you're able to get a copy then do so!
A BROKEN CONSORT - "Box Of Birch"
Richard Skelton again...he produces under so many monikers and here as 'A Broken Consort' he's carved another masterpiece. Four pieces of powerfully haunting, melancholy music. It can be downloaded from Boomkat in either mp3 or FLAC at the following link:
SLOW - "Dual Box"
Resting Bell have recently released this new album by Russian composer Sergey Suokas and I have thoroughly enjoyed soaking into its many depths this month.
I have Slow's previous release 'Room Phive', also on Resting Bell but this record really does push the boundaries further. It's different to 'Room Phive' in the way that it is deeper, more loose and less electronically sequenced. It is much closer to being Ambient music than just electronica. Which to me, is what separates the truly talented artists in this field. My favourite track is 'Miracle' which features a bitter-sweet drone with delicate and playful instrument takes draped on top. This is such a beautiful album - I'm bowled over by it. I shall be keeping a very watchful ear on Suokas from now on...
Download your copy for free here:
MORGAN JENKS - "Sound To Activate Space"
Not everything I've been listening to is brand new - I don't always get time to give old albums that second or third listen and can occasionally forget about some records. I am guilty of doing so with these two longformers by Morgan Jenks, released on Test Tube back in 2008. Not an awful lot is known about Jenks - obviously you have a good look round for newer material when you discover an old album in your record collection you'd forgotten about! But I can't seem to find anything else by him. So, I am left to bask in these two stunning soundscapes he's crafted. The first 'Gemini' is full of shimmering tone that will leave you feeling still, calm and refreshed. The second 'An Anthem For The Bats And Their Prey' is different in the way that the tone seems to be derived from acoustic instrument composition and the field recordings tell the story given away in the track title. It's an excellent album on the whole. One of the best I've heard in fact!
Download for free here:
VARIOUS ARTISTS "The Hundredth Mantra"
Any netlabel that reaches its centenary of releases is to be commended, and this month it was Earth Mantra that was celebrating its 100th release. Many will of course be aware of the prolific Earth Mantra netlabel, but for those who aren't then this 4cd compilation will serve as the best introduction as you could possibly get!
Near enough every artist that has ever released on the netlabel has managed to get together a piece of ambient music to go on this excellent compilation.
The beauty of Earth Mantra is that it doesn't just release one or two styles of Ambient, it is passionate about everything from Electro-acoustic works to space music. So, this compilation is a huge cross section of all the different styles the label covers and represents all of the talented artists that have featured on it.
Of course, being a previous contributor to the label myself, I put a short track together for the compilation and it is entitled 'Five Dozen Centuries'. It's not necessarily a piece that sums up my production style, but when I wrote it I was inspired by the work of Tim Hecker. One of my favourite Hecker tracks 'October' features a melody that almost endlessly repeats. Buzzing away underneath it, there are feint harmonies and accents. And this is the approach for 'Five Dozen Centuries'...
Please download and enjoy this mammoth release:
dreamSTATE - "A Decade Dreaming'"
A real treat for us here - Ping Things have released this album of selected works by legendary Ambient outfit dreamSTATE to celebrate ten years of live performances.
The album features work with several collaborators and is a pleasure to listen to.
Download your copy for free:
Martin Dot - "For You"
I've recently been scouring back catalogs of all kinds of Ambient netlabels and burning CDs of those big releases I missed. This album, by Rain netlabel boss Martin Dot is an absolute joy to listen to. It has been downloaded over 10,000 times and is obviously a hit with those who have been listening to it ever since it came out - it is well commented on too! Somehow though, I missed it and have only just grabbed my copy this month. Dot's usual output is largely deep electronic drone based ambient. With 'For You' he demonstrates his ability to play the piano with such finesse. It's a beautiful album to stick on in the background - it feels cold, it feels warm - it's full of gently unfurling tone.
If you missed this one too, download it here:
ANDREY KIRITCHENKO - "Misterrious"
I've downloaded a fair bit of Kiritchenko's old netlabel output and I've always been impressed with his experimental projects. This month, I stumbled accross his work on Spekk and I am very impressed indeed...'Misterrious' is not to be filed under ambient music nor jazz, but it somehow sits between the two. The approach was of both music styles in equal parts and it is an extraordinary listen. It has all the credentials of Ambient music with its field recordings and tone. It has the credentials of jazz, with its instrumentation and composition. Somehow though, it is neither. Once you rid yourself of concern for classifying its genre, you can begin to thoroughly enjoy this delightful record. This really is a superb album.
RUDI ARAPAHOE - "Echoes From One To Another"
This record is simply sublime. I've had it for ages and I just never tire of hearing its playful, sometimes melancholy charm. It's absolutely full of different sounds, instrument takes and vocal musings and the overall feel for me is of medieval nature. It's a quirky album and one you will enjoy. You have to get to know it - lending it a few listens. My favourite track is Conversation Piece...
RYONKT - "All The Things Which I See"
I'm a big fan of Japanese sound artist Ryonkt. I've recently been listening to this release of his, on the Lunar Flower netlabel. I've heard that Lunar Flower are to stop operating as an active netlabel for various reasons - but at least we will be able to download the backcatalog. If you are unfamiliar with Lunar Flower, be sure to download yourself a copy of this album. It is so unbelievably gentle - it makes you feel completely still and at rest. It is indeed subtle, as the notes inform - but in all its subtletly is a wealth of shimmering detail. Download it here:
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
- A Hindered View
- Blurred Perspective
- The Redundant Filter
- Time Stands Still
- Time Fades
- A Silent Collision
Many thanks to my brother Stuart for providing me with the original guitar sample for the track 'A Hindered View'.
Friday, September 4, 2009
HAROLD BUDD & BRIAN ENO "The Plateaux Mirror"
This classic Ambient/neo-classical album from 1980 by two heavyweights in the genre is an absolute must for any fan of Ambient music. Budd's Mellow piano compositions resonate peacefully over Eno's sound design.
ROBERT RICH & IAN BODDY "React"
This is a varied Ambient/Electronic/Experimental live album that pairs multi instrumentalist Ian Boddy with Ambient heavyweight Robert Rich.
NEST - "Trans Siberian"
This is a track from Nest's self titled album that I've had on my iPod for quite some time. The whole album is one of the finest netlabel releases I've ever heard, and if you haven't already been enjoying this classic, then you'd be advised to head over to the link below to get a copy. Delicate piano compositions are draped exquisitely over some sublime sound design. Nest is the collaboration of trained pianists Otto Totland (Deaf Centre/Type Records) and Huw Roberts (Serein). Interestingly, Serein has just undergone a rehaul by Roberts, and you can check on his label's progress here: http://www.serein.co.uk/
DOWNLOAD (and enjoy) 'Nest': http://www.archive.org/details/ser013
NRVNET - "Music For Sunrise"
Quite often, I will scour the backcatalog of Nrvnet's Hydrogen Cafe blogspot mixes and listen to an hour of relaxed, introspective music. 'Music For Sunrise' has a wonderful earthy feel to it, fusing beautiful classical pieces featuring strings, piano and many other instruments. Having just moved into a new house, there has been much hard work needed - particularly in the garden. What better soundtrack to listen to than this, whilst removing unwanted foliage? DOWNLOAD: http://hydrogencafe.blogspot.com/2007/07/music-for-sunrise.html
SOLDIERS OF TWILIGHT - "Believe"
Despite having strong tendencies towards Ambient, experimental and acoustic/organic musics, I must never forget that my routes in music date back to Deep House music. Some days, nothing else will suffice. I will often flick through my many records, turn the volume up on my amp and listen to some excellent House records that I've collected over the years. And here, a true classic, Soldiers Of Twilight dates me way back to when I was a mere infant to the world of music. This has been an all-time favourite.
GOLDMUND - "The Malady Of Elegance"
What record collection could be complete without this timeless classic? 'The Malady Of Elegance' is Keith Kennif's (also known as Helios) finest hour thus far, in my opinion. This delicate piano soundtrack is so unbelievably beautiful. Glimpses of obvious piano melody are punctuated by eerie, playful drones and gentle noises that leave you hanging, longing for the next note. I've stuck this one on a few times in the background and just allowed it to fill my house with its pleasant yet eerie charm.
DARREN HARPER - "Time Forgotten"
Thanks to Earth Mantra, a label I am pleased to be associated for my projects as Spheruleus, we are introduced to Darren Harper, with this piece called 'Time Forgotten'. Earth Mantra have really cranked it up of late - churning out release after release of quality Ambient music, all under creative commons and we're approaching their 100th edition to the catalog. Number 94, 'Time Forgotten' lets you just sit back and float blissfully away, just as good Ambient music should. This one is special, and will likely feature in my list of top Ambient releases of the year - like many of Earth Mantra's material... DOWNLOAD:http://www.earthmantra.com/release-detail.php?id=94
ARTICOLOGY - "Eternal Now"
The last Articology release on Earth Mantra 'Haven', out at the beginning of this year has been featuring on my playlist ever since and has been a true classic for me. Now, with 'Eternal Now', Brit Dale Humphries has managed to keep things consistent and at this high level. This album is so shimmeringly beautiful - it is certain to become a true classic in my record collection and sit rightfully beside 'Haven' as an excellent follow-up. DOWNLOAD: http://www.earthmantra.com/release-detail.php?id=87
BROADWAY PROJECT - "Of"
Intelligent sound design fusing electronic effetcs, ambient drones and a gently epic piano composition make this track Broadway Project every bit a compelling listen. I've been listening to a lot of electronica featuring the piano of late, and this is certainly a stand out piece.
ANDY PARTRIDGE & HAROLD BUDD - "Through The Hill"
As I mentioned, I've spent much of the month looking through old classics and forgotten tracks. I am utterly ashamed to have forgotten this masterpiece! Partridge and Budd are in fine form here with this track 'Through The Hill'. It will have you sipping your coffee with a smile on your face, slumped back in your chair, in awe of this wonderful piece of music...just as I have been doing so over the last few weeks!
Monday, July 27, 2009
LUCETTE BOURDIN - 'Golden Sun'
Straight at the top of the list is this truly excellent double disc album released on Earth Mantra by Lucette Bourdin. I enjoyed her previous work 'Silver Moon' earlier this year on the same label, but this ambient offering will completely blow any fans of the genre away. It's masterfully produced ambient music, given away for free; an absolute must is this. Earth Mantra really have been consistent in providing some of the very best netlabel ambient music in the world - it is strongly advised that any fan of the creative commons scene or ambient music in general keep close tabs on this label:
MANRICO MONTERO & ALEXANDRE NAVARRO - 'Montero+Navarro Bootleg'
IOD on SEM Label occasionally releases short E.Ps of top quality Ambient/drone works. I often check back to the label to see whether anything new is out and fortunately this month, there is a stunning E.P of Montero/Navarro re-jigs. The Green Kingdom rework some of this project into their own lush Ambient style - delicate instrument notation arrangement, crackling field recordings and distant vocals will soothe your ears. Segue open their take with a loop repetition that builds into a wash of ambient chords. Offthesky open things with dischordant noise and field noise that gives way to those beautiful tones and intelligent sound design you come to expect. Finally, Fax provide a ticking electronic rhythm draped with warm Ambient drones and distant guitar echoes.
OFFLAND - 'The Commute'
It's been some time since I've downloaded any Offland, but I was very much drawn to the concept of this album released on the Resting Bell netlabel, since I have endured many a commute in my time. I am always intrigued by real-time recordings used to portray a scenario somewhere else in the world - it is fascinating to think that someone has actually taken the time to make these recordings and that each sound you hear actually took place in the ever moving wheel of another society. So that is what drew me to the album initially...these drones really do leave you slumped back into your chair and deeply soaked into the environment they create. Free download here:
LARRY HEARD - 'Fantasy'
Moving onto something more Housey - here is a superb Deep House track by the exceptional Larry Heard. I'm constantly re-discovering old works by him that for some reason I overlooked. I think with lots of Heard's work, the real stand out pieces are the ones with the vocals; they really are beautifully performed and that is why I have come to enjoy his work so much. Up there with Missing You, Deep Inside and DejaVu - this one will be a lifelong classic in my record collection.
JAMES MASON - 'Sweet Power (Your Embrace)'
Speaking of classsics, here is an awesome jazz/funk/disco track from James Mason's 1977 album 'Rhythm Of Life'. I first heard this piece a few years back on an old Gilles Peterson mix CD in the times when I didn't have an iPod. I'd take a bag where ever I went with a portable CD player and a load of CDs and get my late night music fix on slow, lazy walks home. This process meant that I accidentally misplaced or lent that mix CD out and have not seen it since...I'd even forgotten about this superb track and only recently have I tracked down a copy of 'Rhythm Of Life'. Much of this CD is not to my taste as it sways a little too far into cheesy disco territory for me. But 'Sweet Power (Your Embrace)' was fully worth the £10 odd that I paid for this CD. It is a superb track that is well worth tracking down!
MONODELUXE - 'Don't Ask'
Irresistably deep downtempo/IDM work here from Monodeluxe...superb deep keys, chilled beats, funky bass and subtle trumpet samples collide to make a late-night stew of electronic funk. Further into this short track, jazzy keys cut in to really round off a superb piece of music.
NUSPIRIT HELSINKI - 'Subzero'
In my huge rack of vinyl, I have a few old Nuspirit Helsinki records and so recently, I decided to see if I could download anything for iPod listening. This track takes a much deeper turn than the Nuspirit Helsinki sound I was used to - but this is an excellent piece of music that comes with strong recommendation. It's just so unbelievably deep!!
AES DANA - 'Forest Fish'
I've some unusual tribal ambience from the likes of Tuu, Jon Hassel et al and this track by Aes Dana runs along similar lines. I always find tribal ambience like this to be so unusual; almost otherworldy. Upon listening, you are transported to the deepest, most desolate of places. To begin with, the track takes more of a classic ambient drone stance, before giving way to vocal chants, delicate strings and tribal percussion.
HELIOS - 'Eingya'
This album comes with my highest recommendation. It is what is being described these days as post rock and it is a wonderful album of delicate instrumentation and melancholy texture. Lots of classic piano, guitar (both electric and acoustic) and gentle percussion. It is all arranged into a lazy soundtrack for cold winter nights, late walks home or introspective listening. Beautiful music.
SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU - 'Nuage III'
My first introduction to Chauveau is this track from a 'pop ambient' compilation on Kompakt. Given the very very dire state of the charts (don't even get me started!!!!!!), I was initially put off by the term 'pop' ambient. Since, how could a genre so deep, cultured and discerning be given a genre label associated with awful popular mass culture? I am glad I am a man who will think 'what's in a name?' from time to time...since this is far from what you would associate with the term popular! This is a short, largely classical affair that is very moody and would not sound out of place draped over an emotional scene in a movie.
I must bid you all farewell for now...I'm off to download more Sylvain Chauveau!!!!!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
This month, due to the lack of a chart for May, we have amalgamated the last two months particularly well-received audio into one list of ten. So the list still will still be ten-strong, meaning I will have to drop some excellent music that didn't quite make the list...This list really will be a chart of top quality discerning sounds. So if you are to heed the recommendations of any Audio Gourmet list , this should be the one. (That is assuming that I don't start to 'forget' to compile these on a regular basis...)
Enough babble and cover-up stories - here is ten albums/e.ps or tracks that I have particularly enjoyed over the last two months:
EXUVIAE - "Intrinsic Luminance"
We'll kick off with an excellent full Ambient album by the multi-directional Exuviae, recently released on Dark Winter's light-ambient spin of label, Endless Ascent. The sheer level of detail woven into this album is simply mesmerising. It is essentially Ambient music of classic drift format, the type you're supposed to just disappear off to a world of thought...that kind of music is typically of a stripped and minimal nature. This is something different - it is so very well produced and so very detailed. The track 'Lost in the details' completely sums up this album - it is incredibly detailed and intricate, yet still allows the listener to just soak into it and basque in its drifting beauty. I've fallen asleep to this album almost every night over the last two months....you can too, by downloading it from:
If you are intrigued by Exuviae's music, you can delve further on their website:
SYLVIE WALDER & ENTIA NON - "Bewilderment"
I've been raving about the sound design talent of James McDougall (Entia Non) since I discovered his work at the beginning of this year. I've downloaded all of his backcatalog spanning labels from SEM/IOD to Test Tube. James is a truly talented producer channeling a multitude of sounds and tones into a melting pot of drifting ambient sound. He has teamed up here with Sylvier Walder to create a sheer masterpiece. This four-tracker on Resting Bell will have you drifting off to another world in no time at all. It is so very detailed without becoming obvious and it will have you hanging on for those sprinklings of piano notes and instrument takes. My personal favourite has to be 'Le Petite Lac'; beautiful! I'm sure you will agree...download the full album for free here:
HENRIK SCHWARZ/AME/DIXON - "The Grandfather Paradox" (Mix CD)
Picked up this CD last month having been intrigued by the liner notes and the tracklist. It incorporates the genre-defying approach to DJing and music loving that I hold so dearly myself. As a mix CD, it doesn't stay to just one genre and the latest releases in it. It carries an underlying theme, spans several genres and the sound library has been truly opened up to more than just the 'Just In' section. I think as a DJ, you are in grave danger of playing just the latest releases for mere promotion purposes. You're not doing anything different to anyone else and you are ignoring an entire history of music. So for many reasons, this looked to be an excellent idea as a mix CD. Upon listening...it doesn't disappoint. All sorts of different sounds, textures and rhythms in this one - nothing over the top. Just a celebration of 50 years of good minimlaist music...
My pick of the bunch is the soulful 'Feedback' by Green Pickles.
JOHN MARTYN - 'Smiling Stranger'
One of the big joys of being a connosieur of music is having such an abundant collection, that you manage to forget and then 'rediscover' some fantastic records. I used to listen to this wonderful John Martyn track on repeat a couple of years back and I'd completely forgot I'd ever had it! Early leftfield music from 1977, drawing elements from several genres - rock, funk, folk, orchestral, jazz...this is a truly superb, if short piece of music that comes with my strongest recommendation.
THE LINKWOOD FAMILY - "Miles Away"
This has been a big big record for me over the last couple of months. I was going to buy it on 12" when it first came out, but just couldn't muster the funds at the time. So I am a bit late on parade with this one. But I eventually bought at the beginning of May as the sun started to shine and things began to warm up here in the UK. This is going to be the summer record that will forever remind me of 2009. Deep House, Jazz or Soul? Which genre sits best? Does it really matter...? This record is truly excellent. I love the way the moody jazzy opening gives way to a dubby Deep House rhythm and those excellent vocals by Joseph Malik.
PHILIP WILKERSON & TANGE - "Ege Denizi"
I've been downloading music by Philip Wilkerson and Tange ever since I first got into Ambient music. Together as a unit, the pair truly complement one another. I feel this is their best effort yet from what I've heard. Released on Earth Mantra records, there are four desolate mid-length Ambient tracks that are perfect for relaxing, thinking or sleeping. The drones aren't linear - they are detailed arrangements and compositions that are mastered perfectly, shimmering gently into one another. What really adds to any Ambient music releases, is a beautiful instrument accent to just sit on those flowing drones. Here, the lap steel guitar is played blissfully to accompany a wash of gentle Ambience. This is an absolutely top quality Ambient release and comes highly recommended. Free, as well...
KAI ALCE - "Ooohhh!" (Dubbyman Remix)
I've been a huge Deep House head for more than I can remember and it's a genre that needs to be done just right for it to have its desired effect. This E.P is good, but sounds a little flat in places...On remix duty for the track 'Ooohhh!' is Dubbyman, and this is a fine example of how to just make everything sound full; he brings the track to life! This is well worth the purchase! I've got quite a bit of his stuff and nothing fails to impress. I've a sneaky suspiscion that he makes use of an old Chez Damier sample for the remix...could be wrong.
CONJOINT - "A Few Empty Chairs"
Just bought a few tracks from this excellent album and it sounds absolutely magnificent. Jazz is something that is of fascination to lots of sound artists and many people interpret their own versions of 'new' jazz with use of electronica. Conjoint fuse tastefully crafted electronic sounds with smooth, languid guitar licks and subtle vibraphone tones and it makes for a very enjoyable listening indeed...
DUCCU - "Midnight Run"
I've been sifting through some Deep House numbers and music to walk and smile to as summer sets in. This one has that chilled out summer House vibe to it, through and through. Deep keys, short vocal sample, jazzy keys and a deep gritty bassline. Not much is known about Duccu, but this track was released for a compilation on Swedish label Dealers Of Nordic Music back in 2006. 79p in iTunes, you just can't go wrong for the summer if you like your Deep House.
LOCO DICE - "The Lab"
As most House heads will know, NRK have just released a Circo Loco mix CD that has been causing quite a stir. Loco Dice has compiled CDs that you can buy it either as a mix CD or as an unmixed compilation. There's a lot of good music in this compilation and like many, I've been listening to my copy ever since it came out. But for those that aren't familiar with this, it is well worth your money if you're into House music or have been a fan of the ever renowned Loco Dice. He seems to be really exploding on the scene with growing intensity, without compromising his choice of records or production.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
This collection is for those who enjoyed darker Audio Gourmet material from when we first started, to those who like weird, dusty Ambient elements and those who are keen on experimental soundscapes, field recordings and electronically treated instrument takes.
SUGGESTED TRACKLISTING AND BRIEF INSIGHT:
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I've decided, after having spent a very long time working on tracks, mixes, albums etc largely by myself, that I'd like to open the opportunity for others to contribute from around the world. So as from now, I shall be accepting submissions from other DJs/producers/artists with a view to having a feature dedicated to them on the site. This will obviously include a brief biography and more information on the contributor. Over the last couple of years, I've drummed up interest from accross the world and there is sufficient traffic for it to be of interest to my fellow music connosieurs. It's certainly not a global phenomenon as yet, but it is nevertheless an opportunity to get your work heard and store a download link/tracklist to it.
So, to clear just a couple of things up before I leave it up to you:
Firstly, since this is and always has been a hobby born out of sheer enthusiasm for me, there are no financial benefits involved. I certainly can't afford to pay anyone for their contributions, since this is not a music label per se; more a portal of free stylistic expression and experimentation...
Secondly, the music will have to adhere to a rough music policy. I'll give everything a willing listen, but I don't want to just accept anything and everything. Please don't be offended if I deem your work unsuitable for Audio Gourmet; just because one chef may not be keen on using certain ingredients in their cookery, it doesn't mean they aren't valid ingredients for others to enjoy!
A rough guide to the sort of styles I am after is as follows:
Instrumental Organic/Acoustic music
So to submit some material, whether it be a DJ mix, an album or otherwise, email me at Audiogourmet@gmail.com
Monday, May 18, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
There is an overall dubby feel to these tracks and they will be enjoyed by fans of the eclectic and the psychedelic.
002 Causeway (Lifted Drum Version)
003 Daddy Long Legs
004 White Gold
005 Street Rage
006 Accross Minds
007 Much Ado
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
001 TACKLEHEID - "Co Co Maca Stick"
002 CHRIS COCO ft. PETER GREEN - "Albatross" (King Britt Scuba Mix)
003 FURRY PHREAKS - "Lament For A Dead Computer" (Part Two)
004 BLU MAR TEN - "Numbers"
005 KARMASTRY - "El Chakra"
006 MOMENTS OF SOUL - "Delicious" (Dub)
007 SMOKESTACK - "Radio Chamber"
008 Q-BURNS ABSTRACT MESSAGE - "Innocent" (Magik Johnson Guilty Mix)
009 DADDY J & THE FACE - "Electric City"
010 ABICAH SOUL PROJECT - "The Young Are The Future"
011 ELITE FORCE - "Tribe Vibe" (Dub)
012 JOHN DAHLBACK - "Parkdancer"
For those that want to read the original blogspace notes from last-year's post, here is a direct link:
This mix here is 45 minutes of Tech-House/Techno and is packed with some B-sides, personal classics and recent purchases. Unfortunately, due to the fact that my mixer is ancient and less than adequate, a couple of the mixes are slightly off. What's worse, is that I've not quite worked out how to rid that dreadful feedback/hum that you can hear at the start...so that will be something I plan to work on for future mixes.
In the meantime, since I like the records in this mix very much and they are reasonably well put together, I've decided to include it as an Audio Gourmet CD release.
I do plan on making future CDs that are much tidier and of better quality, but for now here is something to get to grips with in the meantime:
001 Mountain People "Mountain 005.2"
002 C-Soul "Verbal Competition"
003 HippE "Chunky Tool"
004 Tigerskin "Push The Patton"
005 Kriece "Nozomi"
006 Martin Woerner "Sun Dried"
007 Dan Berkson and James What "Onika"
008 SLG "Sleepless"
009 Shlomi Aber "Sekur"
010 Kriece and Basek "Submission"
Friday, April 24, 2009
LUALLAN CARDONA & MATT BALZAN - Go Deep
I was drawn to this since I've got a bit of Balzan's material in my collection...and this one's something different from him as he joins forces with Luallan Cardona. It's more up-tempo than his usual work, deep dreamy synths swell over some simple House beats. The real treat is when it takes a break half-way through to reveal that lazy guitar section which is set at half-time...
KEMETIC JUST - Highways and Mindwaves
There was a small record shop that I used to frequent as a young lad, in Peterborough. On reflection it wasn't particularly brilliant, but given that it was only down the road and I was young and impressionable - it sufficed. There is not a lot of music I bought back then that I still listen to nowadays, since my tastes have differed somewhat. Yet this record here is something different; I've been listening to this soulful House cut since 2002 and still don't get tired of it! An absolute classic in my record collection.
OSBOURNE - Hydragilm Exit
I've been looking into the sounds of Osbourne, and much of it seems to be of a more 'electro' disposition - which is something that I tend to steer clear of, if I'm honest. This cut, however, is much, much deeper and is nice to listen to when the sun is shining! It's classic deep House music with a nod towards Larry Heard's style of production. So if Osbourne's likely to write anything else along these lines, I'd be very willing to hear it...
CARL CRAIG and MORITZ VON OSWALD - Recomposed
Picked up this CD since the concept seemed an interesting spectacle. Fusing music of organic and orchestral nature with synthetic electronic manipulation....a paradox that has provided a window of experimentation ever since electronic music began. Carl Craig, something of a techno master, reconstitutes this beautiful classical music with tasteful yet boundary-expanding craftmanship.
Well worth a listen, is this - particularly my personal favourite 'Movement 6'.
SUSUMU YOKOTA & ROTHKO - Floating Moon
Two big artists amalgamate to create sonic beauty, fusing electro-acoustic guitar work with intricate soundscapes. Rothko provides this guitar work and Yokota supplies the backdrop.
To someone that is more used to listening to popular music forms, the guitar sounds will rise to the foreground in this piece. And rightly so, as they set the mood and feel to the track. But if you try to push these to the background, you will notice Yokota's delicate soundscaping shine through and add subtle accents to further enhance the mood of the track.
NICOLA RATTI - esope
When I download netlabel albums, I usually have a subconscious list of labels to check. Some labels will have regular releases and others will not release for months. I've been checking back at Zymogen for months after I'd particularly enjoyed their Offthesky release. So I was extremely excited when I noticed Nicola Ratti's 'esope' became available to download.
And, what's more, it really doesn't disappoint. This is just how I like my soundscapes - field recordings, drones and instrumentation, delicately woven together as an untold story. I've listened to this a lot over the month - it is just superb. This release comes with my highest recommendation:
BLACKFISH - Pacific Harbour
This track was brought to my attention at a recent downtempo/funk/House set by Pat Unwin of Dig Deep. I remember him dropping this one early on, and it just filled the room with a nostalgic haze...It's just such a smooth, languid track and I just had to ask him who it was by... cheers Pat.
DIFUSION - Second Future
Deep broken groove here that's just perfect for those summer months. Lots of sounds to soak yourself into; funky bass, broken beats, deep keys, mellow flute, subtle vocals....excellent music! Whilst it's quite deep and dreamy piece, it's still funky and up-beat enough to spin at a party...
DORIAN CONCEPT - Two Hour Power
Dorian Concept's production style sees a unique style of instrumental Hip-Hop pushed towards experimental and glitch realms. Some of this wasn't really my bag, but this cut treads a slightly different pathway...Nice laid-back beats with a powerful synth sound over the top; it's simple but VERY effective!
TERJE PAULSEN - Twenty Feet For Buddha
A new Resting Bell netlabel release is always something of great excitement for anyone who is into the Creative Commons Ambient/drone scene...and this longform piece from Terje Paulsen doesn't let this excellent label down. It is a beautiful, gentle, meditative piece that is perfect for introspective listening or set at low-volume to induce sleep...enjoy:
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
One important note, is that given the software I used to mix the CD, it has not been beatmatched or blended as such. Despite the transitions being simple and quick, I tried to program them as smooth as possible and to the best of the program's ability.
001 Senseque "Days Like This" (Attic Tree Remix)
002 Paradice "Worry Breaker"
003 Domu "Message To Omar"
004 Flashbaxx "Voodoo Therapy"
005 Soulphiction "Used"
006 The Mighty Bop "Ride Away"
007 Mr Scruff "Bunch Of Keys"
008 Ameaba "Salty Tears" (Atjazz Remix)
009 Umod "Tromboline"
010 Nanami Togarashi "Orange Peel"
Please support these artists by downloading other works by them...
Friday, March 27, 2009
So I'm pretty chuffed to be able to feature a mix he put together at the tail end of last year on this blog.
It nods towards Francois K et al, towards the acid House movement and stays true to David's trademark House music sound...and of course, is impeccably mixed as ever!!
1) Mark E – Human (Original Mix) (Runnin Back)
2) Shur-I-Kan – 287 (Original Mix) (Dark Energy Recordings)
3) Ron Trent – Journeyn2u (Original Mix) (Futurevision Records)
4) Wipe The Needle – The Rhythm, The Drum (Vinyl Edit) (Deeply Rooted House)
5) Brothers’ Vibe – Like It Used 2 B (Altered Vibe Mix) (Mixx Records)
6) Franck Roger – Mind Illusions (Original Mix) (Earthrumental Music)
7) Dominic Martin & Hiro – Dom In Tha Groove (Original Mix) (Tronicsole)
8) X-Press 2 – Muzik X-Press (Original Mix) (Skint Records)
9) Franck Roger – Passages (Original Mix) (FR Productions)
10) Jack Coleman – Relax (LilRoj Remix) (Sub Sensory Recordings)
11) David Alvarado – Aurora (Original Mix) (Bomb Records)
12) Chez Damier – I Never Knew Love (Made In Detroit Mix) (KMS Records)
Again, no imagery for this! Perhaps David will grace us with a nostalgic image from the past? Would be great if he could dig us an old one from the days when we graced the same turntables....!
Here is a single, short piece of IDM/electronic 'music'. It has a sketchy, loosely defined rhythm and is loaded with an unusual arrangement of effects and samples. It took a while to make, but the objective was not to work it into anything too rigidly structured and to steer clear of tidy categories. It is designed with these media-dictated structures that inhibit stylistic experimentation in mind, and to rebel against them.
Once we rid ourselves of these over-marketed confines, we're able to be truly experimental as an artist...
This is an insight into the world of anti-pop:
"music designed for mass consumption is ditched in favour of a collection of noises that do not make sense, nor do they pretend to.Pure experimentation, rebelling against any rigid structures that are all to often assumed by the general consumer."
NOTE: Again, with my lack of any real design skills, this track goes without any accompanying imagery...if anyone has any ideas, let me know!!
I actually struggled to get a full chart written this month!!! I have of course, been listening to lots of music...but I've mainly been spinning old House classics and working on a mix CD. So in way of Ambient, experimental forms, it's been a quiet month. (Excuse the pun).
But! The few pieces I did get chance to listen to have been extremely pleasant on the ear, as you will learn....I've included a couple of albums from friends in the netlabel scene, so please support them!
ENNIO MAZZON - "Muffled"
First up is my friend Ennio from Italy, a keen netlabel artist. He sent me this album at the beginning of the month, which is out on Spanish label Audio Talaia. I've heard some of Ennio's material before; much of which is powerful Ambient and noisy drones. But this album induces moments of contemplative solitude and sheer desolation, yet still staying true to his classic production method. It's a very well put together album, which I'm sure fans of Ambient will love:
THE NATURE OF LIGHT - "Atropos"
Between Brandon Lewis of The Nature Of Light and myself, we've been chatting about our projects and the possibility of getting some material out as a unit for months. We've both been far too busy on our individual projects and have been struggling to get a chance to produce a collaboration. But here is what Brandon's been busy on: his album 'Atropos', a dense exploration of treated guitar work and gritty industrial soundscapes. It's a compelling listen, lightly straddling between the noisy and the plain beautiful. Enjoy it here:
LOW LIGHT MIXES - "Shadows At Midnight"
I've been downloading mixes from both The Lowlight Mixes and the Hydrogen Cafe for a couple of years now. Both blogsites offer tastefully created CD length mixes of a relaxed nature, done in a professional manner. Being an avid fan of jazz, mainly of a subtle melancholy disposition, I jumped at the chance to download this hour-long jazz mix! Very interesting listening music, is this:
MARKUS FIX - "Collection E.P"
I'll happily publicise the fact that I'm working on a deep/tech House mix CD at the minute, but I'm keeping the subject of which relatively quiet. Be assured, however, that a track from this Markus Fix E.P is to be featured somewhere within this mix! I'm a big fan of Fix's stripped back percussive style, which keeps from being too cluttered; just good House music put simply.
CAVALIER - "Ride 'Em E.P"
On the tip of the House E.P, here's a cracking deep package from Cavalier. My pick of the bunch would be 'The Beat', as it's exactly the kind of Deep House I'm into spinning; something similar to the sort of records Ray Valioso/Agnes would play too.
PAVONINE - "Pavonine"
Here on Webbed Hand Records, is wonderful dark Ambient music from Pavonine. It's so cleverly put together and is every bit the compelling listen. There's so much subtle detail to get to grips with, that it's easy to forget that you're actually meant to drift off to space when listening to this stuff!!!!
EMERALD ADRIFT - "The Blue Flower"
This album is available from the very professional netlabel, Earth Mantra. It is light Ambient with a new age feel and is a fantastic restful experience. Quite often stick this one on repeat as a sleep playlist and find myself waking up to it at 7am! It is well worth the download and is available here:
EREMOS - "Ubi Caritas"
After a month of retracing steps on the Webbed Hand netlabel, here is an older piece by Eremos. It's a collection of beautiful guitar pieces by the talented Mike Farley, patchworked together in an exquisitely delicate manner...
I listened to this album a lot when it first came out last summer, and as spring is emerging, I was out walking and listening to this again last week. I listened to every second of the album and it is excellent! The beauty of netlabel audio, is that it doesn't sell out...here's the link:
ELUDER - "Drift"
Drift is a word stereotypically associated with Ambient music. So does the title live up to the cliche? Absolutely. There are few albums that personify this word better than this release by Eluder on Archaic Horizon. It's perfect for a long walk in the outdoors, through fields and woodland. It's perfect for lounging around, restoring your strength. And it's perfect for low-volume consumption as you drift off to sleep...This is going to be a big classic for me.
GORDON EDGE - "Trumpet Funk"
As I've mentioned, this month has been about sifting through my many House records. Here's an old slice from excellent producer and trumpet player Gordon Edge. Nice deep keys, a solid beat and fantastic trumpet work!