Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bruno Bavota - La Casa Sulla Luna (Review)

La Casa Sulla Luna is an album by Naples, Italy based pianist Bruno Bavota which was released in February this year. It sits comfortably within the modern classical genre with the press release likening to artists such as Dustin O'Halloran, Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds. However, whilst Bavota's work fits comfortably alongside these talented musicians - his sound is perhaps less modern classical, in the sense that there is no electronic processing or experimental trickery. Instead, it strives for a purer sound with the piano obviously placed at the fore. Unlike the scratchy, scuffling textures to be heard on Nils Frahm's Felt or Goldmund's Malady Of Elegance, La Casa Sulla Luna is rich classical music.

A first glance at the album packaging, you will notice the tracklist is in Italian. and it also seems by little coincidence that the cover artwork is predominantly in Italian blue. La Casa Sulla Luna manages to retain the heritage and culture of the artist whilst also offering a universal tapestry of wordless recordings. The tracks are positive, filmic and breathe a sense of nostalgia, as if recalling long-forgotten day-dreams during hymn practice at a school assembly.
The album is presented simply, with Bruno's piano always in focus and at times, accompanied by cello and violin by Marco Pescosolido and Paolo Sasso respectively. The opening tracks are solo piano and gradually, the strings fade in and out as the tracks pass by. There is an undeniable sense of melancholy throughout this album, but somehow it avoids being maudlin. The recordings are also playful without being sickly-sweet.
For me, the album is at its best when Cielo Blu Notte comes in - a piece which begins slowly, with deep cello riding underneath the atmosphere before the violins drive the track home.

In terms of a theme, La Casa Sulla Luna means the house on the moon. Without researching further into translating the tracks from Italian and working from the album title alone, it hints at an otherworldly, out of this world encounter. However, the record feels like an inherently human, firmly earthly experience. Perhaps the house on the moon is a metaphor, to allow you to imagine your own living space becoming detached from the world. As if our daily struggles were left at the door so that our homes may float up into the atmosphere whilst we consider our earthly problems from an outside perspective; La Casa Sulla Luna provides the perfect soundtrack. {LISTEN / BUY}

Bruno has recently given further insight into his musical influences on Grounding Sounds and it comes as no surprise that O'Halloran, Arnalds and Helios are all included. There are many other interesting inclusions crammed into his show - check it out by clicking the Mixcloud player below

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sima Kim & Elintseeker - Café Air [Audio Gourmet]

As there are not quite so many free EPs coming out on the Audio Gourmet netlabel now, I thought that it would really make sense if I started posting links to them on this's the latest; click play above to listen or download, at your leisure! It's a pay-what-you-like download - so if you feel like donating, to keep everything ticking over then a huge thanks! Otherwise, feel free to grab it.


AGN071 Sima Kim & Elintseeker - Café Air

"Café Air EP is the result of a collaboration between Far Eastern artists Sima Kim and Fuzz Lee (Elintseeker) who hail from South Korea and Singapore respectively. Both artists have previously had material released via Somehow Recordings and Mu Nest and their differing approaches to sound art join as one in this EP. 

Both artists are used to performing live and this experience is not wasted on their combined studio effort, which uses the space sensitively. Café Air was recorded with Sima writing and arranging the piano melodies which were passed to Fuzz, who added guitar, field recordings and additional processing. 

A café is usually a meeting place, where conversation fills the room. Café Air strives to create an atmosphere familiar to anyone who has visited a small café alone to find it empty, as accidental sound fills the room and the vacated space gives way to empty thoughts. 

Throughout the three recordings, the delicate sound of the piano is gently cradled with atmospheric detail, allowing the mind to haze over into a day-dream state. The fifteen minute restriction imposed by an Audio Gourmet EP does little to force Café Air along its path at pace. Instead it lies unhurried; time stands on end, emptiness prevails"


released 18 June 2013
Written and produced by Sima Kim and Fuzz Lee
Artwork by Harry Towell

Flying Ibex - Habits [Bomb Shop]

Habits is London based band Flying Ibex’s sophomore album, released by the Bomb Shop imprint. It seamlessly blends exotic musical influences from African, Brazilian and Reggae with pop and indie-rock sounds. Habits is characterised by complex drum rhythms, licks of guitar fed through delay pedals and lead singer Barnaby Keen’s unique and unmistakable voice. 

From the offset, the warm and catchy Maracatu-infected vibes of ‘Two’ are a clear nod towards simple, playful Pop before the brilliant ‘You Dared Me’ changes tact with delay-drenched dub reggae. Throughout the record, the blend of styles and influences shuffles to the fore; each battling for the lead without ever throwing the music off its course.
As Habits negotiates its eleven tracks, you’ll note how bright the music feels without ever becoming saccharine, for this is a record that fits perfectly with summer and warmer climate. 

The tracks that stand out as immediately strong on first listen are ‘You Dared Me’, ‘Something Was Cured’ and the longer, more subdued ‘4th of May’. With no more than a couple of listens to the album in sequence, you may well find yourself hooked. The track order is arranged in such a way that the at first less obvious pieces become firm favourites and a thoroughly engaging listen from start to finish; always retaining your interest and attention.

You can check out samples of all tracks from the album and purchase either as a CD or download via the Bomb Shop: {LISTEN / BUY}