August has been a month that has posed a heavy restriction on my ability to source new or previously undiscovered music for my listening pleasure. I have just moved into a new home and establishing internet access has been somewhat difficult, to say the least! So this month, the chart will be themed largely around tracks I've had in my collection for some time and around new CDs I've ordered online. As is often the case of late, I'm pressed for time...so slightly shortened reviews/blurbs will accompany each piece!
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!