Ambient soundscaping and downtempo electronica.
Uncomplicated, unhurried, smooth and highly contemporary.
The music of Sync24 is very evocative and moving; introspective
downtempo minimalism with space to imagine. The album ascends
slowly from silence with crunching movements and silken light-drones.
In time a blunt pulse bumps into place, complementary arpeggios,
subtle and graceful rolling around the periphery. Finally
a distinctive, understated programmed beat begins a lulling
rhythm: a delightful forest dream. As the album unfolds, Daniel
explores themes both natural and artificial: night time visions
and semi-waking experiences; stories of dancing droids and
swarming nanites. The music often meanders in lazy eddies,
suggestions of speaking voices, natural sound snippets and
peculiar effects enlivening the sonic spaces. Beats are mostly
supremely laid back and deeply cool - confident constructs
of crunching hits, layered, muted patterns tightly entwined
around throbbing bass lines. Tracks like Comfortable Void,
Something Something and There Is No Spoon are delicate reveries,
transporting the listener - drifting, luxurious. Others such
as Dance of the Droids and Oomph have a more acidic nature
and mechanical meter.
Void is delivered in a beautiful, sleek digipack of three
panels. Natural olive green hues and velvet shadows act as
backdrop to twisting, curling stalks and bent stems that loom
in and out of bokeh haze. Outside, the creeping tendrils are
stark and heavily textured; within finer smoother grass-like.
Track titles are on the rear section, with little other information
on the sleeve itself other than essential credits and contacts.
The booklet is of sixteen pages and holds a page for each
track: associative photography, title, track time, writing
details and fascinating explanatory anecdotes of dreams, inspirations
and visions. The central double page spread is pure imagery
- gorgeous poppy seed heads in earthy russet. The final two
pages hold a portrait of the artist, thanks and photo credits.
is Swedish composer Daniel Segerstad aka Ringström
who will be well known to downtempo fans though his work
as one half of Carbon Based Lifeforms. Here Daniel releases
his second solo album and follow-up to the 2007 debut Source.
The ten tracks of Comfortable Void run one into another
forming a continuous listening experience with each section
lasting between around six to ten minutes. This powerful
solo project will delight fans of CBL as there are many
elements in common - a little less ambient perhaps than
their last release; it will also provide enjoyment for those
looking for a slight change of character, promotional material
drawing attention to what is "truly intimate and picturesque
album. " You can explore the album at the Ultimae
Records website or the Sync24
- Let The Stars Assume The Whole Of Night
Melodic brooding ambient with occasional beats.
Let The Stars Assume The Whole Of Night is not one of those
ambient albums of drifting, minimal drones or spacey expanses
and tribal beats. Actually Caul here reminds me of some of
the experimental music of the early 1980s on labels such as
4AD - individual in nature and quite personal; unfettered
by genre limitations; dark and mysterious; more guitars than
most ambient. Opening with mournful cello strains and strummed
chords, A Clear Eye Loves The Shadows As Well nicely sets
the tone for the album: melodic and harmonious yet restrained
and simple. Track two opens with a light beat and the kind
of baleful bassline that would be at home on many a goth-oriented
80s piece developed with delicate chiming tones, and lazy
electric guitar. At times prowling through shadows and cinematic
in scope; sometimes isolationist and bleak with haunting mechanics
and sonic disturbances; sometimes nostalgic and dusty with
reverb, sombre piano phrases repeating and evolving. This
is a unique album, carefree and confident in its expression.
The Stars Assume The Whole Of Night is a tidy digipack presentation
of two panels; disc held in a plastic grip on the rightmost
panel. Artwork is a grainy still life photograph of wooden
boards, folded drapes and thorny twigs cast upon with stark
shadows. A flat black border running horizontally along the
top crosses both front and back when opened out. The rear
mirrors the front cover in a more subdued, ghostly hue of
pale green. Track titles with times alongside are here. Inside
the left section provides minimal information: brief credits,
contact details and thanks. The inner imagery is of a more
abstracted nature - corrosive colours and ragged textures
- intriguing shapes.
has been around since the mid 90s delivering quite a range
of limited-number self-released albums as well as collaborating
with other like-minded souls. This latest offering is on
the Hypnos label and contains twelve shady compositions
of ethereal, ghostly beauty. The tracks are all relatively
short, most around the four minute mark. Titles well reveal
the tenor of the music We Are Like Heartless Shadows; She
Is Holy To Those Who Are Lost Or dead; Bells Ring Softly
In The Twilight Air... You can explore the album further
at the Hypnos
website and at Caul's own
official site - both offering sound samples and Hypnos
displaying the cover art both insdie and out.
Myselves - Ambient, Landscape and Space
Ambient landscape and space music.
As the title suggests, this album explores broad panoramic
audio vistas both earthbound and bound for the infinite.
There are vast landscapes where wide open skies stretch
forever and ever-changing cloud patterns twist and flow
over lonely horizons; there are immense galactic expanses
of dense darkness and evolving, colourful nebulae. Amongst
Myselves delivers an absorbing package that constantly changes
character: one moment the music meanders with sighing pads
and slowly heaving drones - smooth and open; then it is
dense, dark, faintly percolating with synthetic twinkles
and punctuating bird calls; then the drones take on a multi-layered
celestial spacey tone - a contrasting tribal beat of sonorous
electronic drumming reverberating among the stars; technical
computer sounds and electronic chatter; disturbing zones
of peculiar tension and unsettling shadow. Never settling
for long into a particular mood - this is an ambitious release
that boldly transports the listener from light to dark and
from warmth to lonely cold.
this album Steve Roberts is joined by with Bernard Haseloff
on guitar synth and Garry Roberts on electronic percussion.
The sound is accordingly colourful and varied: Shoreline
Fading fills over a minute with the sibilance of waves breaking
upon a shore; Interstellar Message is a fifty one second
stream of flickering blips and bright bleeps upon a mechanical
bed of noise; at almost ten and a half minutes, Up Into
The Air And Over The Edge (Between The Trees And Clouds
Mix) opens with a sonic stream consciously reminiscent of
air movement and proceeds to fly the listener through harmonious
cloud banks and brooding atmospheric regions. The darkest
passage on the album ventures into a cold place of alien
sound forms and abrasive textures - a punchy beat stabs
then thuds for a while before being shredded apart by distorted
bell tone and squealing noise. Possibly evocative of dank
subterranean caverns but equally suggestive of wet night
air and exposed insecurity. Rain and thunder, whistling
winds and the clank of untuned bells forms the main fabric
of Interlude - The Dark And Cold; strange disturbances and
disturbing strangeness eventually displacing the elements.
There passages of more structured music, where guitar textures
lazily waft or electro-beats clatter in time with ponderous
bass lines - a fresh terrain at every turn.
Landscape and Space is presented in a double disc jewel
case with a folded insert of three panels. The front panel
contains no text - just a section of a time-lapse rotating
light image that spreads across all three outer sections.
Titles are neatly confined to the transparent spine of the
case. When opened out, brief creation, mastering and contact
details are found on the central section. Flipping the insert
a second, soft focus version of the light rings form a backdrop
to a series of small performance photographs on the right.
To the left performance credits list the gear employed by
each of the contributing musicians. Track titles are on
the back cover.
Steve Roberts' Amongst Myselves project here delivers a
self-released twin package of DVD (with audio in both stereo
and 5.1 surround) and Audio CD. The DVD holds a morphing
visual presentation of attractive time-lapse movie footage;
grainy black and white statuary; vividly lit performance
recordings; moving viewpoint oil painting imagery and 3D
graphics. Roberts gathered the material over a four year
period collaborating with artist Bernard Haseloff to create
a seamless visual accompaniment to Amongst Myselves audio.
There are three new compositions here as well as remixes
of older tracks, all strung together into a single listening
experience. If you visit the Amongst
Myselves website you can explore the music and experience
a taster of the kind of visual material found on the DVD.
Steve designed and built the computer controlled camera
used in the videoing of Syene and Tales. It's also used
for some of the timelapse footage.
Description of moods created by Amongst
Myselves: quasi melodic landscapes to convey you from the
cold abyss of outer space to the distorted recollections
of your inner world.
Origin of Artist's Name: Track title from
Future Sound of London’s “Lifeforms” CD
Sanfilippo - Urbs
Experimental ambient and expressive field recordings.
This deeply evocative album centres upon carefully selected
urban field recordings gathered by Bruno Sanfilippo from
such diverse locations as churches, train stations, subway
platforms, streets and bars. Apart from sounds of Grand
Central Station in New York, the recordings were obtained
within the cities of Europe using just an iPod Touch. Not
just textures to add interest to the more crafted sounds
of music; these ghostly audio presences are the main forms
within these blurry ethereal soundscapes. The opening track
blends intriguing noise and dream-like musical abstraction
from the very start: delicate tonal swells, twinkles and
electronic burbles harmonise with soft footfalls, percussive
disturbances, metallic clatter and echoing human hubbub.
The second track The City Reflected has a somewhat harsher
sound for the first fourteen minutes or so than its predecessor
- distant voice fragments and turbulent movements hang among
dissonant bell tones and uneasy synth pads. The conclusion
softens into hypnotic harmony and leads comfortably into
Chaotic Order a twenty-five-and-a-half minute nocturne of
welling beauty and environmental sounds presented as if
refracted through a heavy veil of sleep. The relatively
brief end piece drifts in elegant meandering half slumber
- muted chimes and far-off social interactions beclouded
by sonic fog.
glossy two-panel digipack follows the current Hypnos format:
broad black upper border with expressive photo-imagery below.
Ambiguous urban abstracts of turquoise and red light patterns
fill both inside and outside spreads. Repeating fluid swirls
pool and flow in and out of shadow like a night-time city
in the drenched in rain. Cover notes reveal that the imagery
was "captured inside a bus in Berlin City." The
rear cover lists the four tracks against their respective
times with a quotation from Aristotle musing upon the relationship
of an individual to society. Inside, the right panel supports
the disc in a clear plastic grip; the left delivers recording
information; thoughts on the nature of the music and relevant
Sanfilippo plunges further and further into the abstruse depths
of ambient experimentation with this new release - leaving
his more melodic new age origins far behind. This is the first
release by the Spanish musician on the renowned Hypnos label
and a mighty introduction it is: bold, confident, luxurious
and expansive. Here Bruno Sanfilippo has softened his sound
palette into such subtle tones that it is pleasingly difficult
to define "the boundary between [musical] sound and noise."
The usually inexpressive noise of the city becomes another
instrument in the arsenal of this skilled audio-sculptor.
The four tracks are of fourteen minutes forty-one; twenty
minutes twenty seconds; twenty-five twenty-nine and six minutes
fifty-eight seconds respectively. You can explore the music
or the official Bruno
Ffordd and Oöphoi - The Martian Chronicles
The Martian Chronicles is based upon Ray Bradbury's story
collection of the same name. The opening track ascends slowly
out of silence like a swarm of dark, twisting air currents
rising from an abyssal chasm. The Long Years is an expansive
zone of shadow wherein musical tones are mostly subtle and
sparse. Passing through throaty voice-like textures, the tenor
of this piece shifts toward the latter section, warming somewhat,
drones taking on a harmonious nature like light penetrating
dense cloud. Subsequent tracks see sonic winds sweep and curl
across bleak landscapes, spacey effects echoing deep within
the turbulence; passages of tranquillity and sighing light
occasionally coming to the fore; amassing susurrations gathering
into dense banks; peculiar, alien noises thickly layered upon
evocative atmospheric environments; lustrous, heavenly pads
hinting at the sulphur and brown hues of the red planet. Tracks
segue one into another retaining a unified character throughout
whilst moving comfortably from tenebrous gloom to softly glowing
Martian Chronicles is presented in a twin panel digipack.
Sharp and glossy, the package is dark, looming out of blackness
on the outside; warmer within, streaked with amber and orange.
On the rear cover are track titles set against their running
times and a paragraph taken from Ray Bradbury's The Martian
Chronicles saga. Inside, opposite the plastic disc grip are
brief credits, recording details, a gear list, thanks and
Martian Chronicles is the first collaborative album from
Italian ambient drone artist and editor of Deep Listenings
magazine Oöphoi (aka Gianluigi Gasparetti) and Welsh
soundscape composer Seren Ffordd (aka Andy Benford). Released
on the renowned Hypnos Records label, the disc has six mid-length
pieces of around ten to fifteen minutes each plus the fleeting
two-minute-forty-nine End of a Changeling. The drawing together
of synthesizers, Oöphoi's treated acoustic sources
and field recordings with Seren Ffordd's sampling machines
and percussion has resulted in a rich sound of considerable
depth. You can hear samples and read further reviews at
Bruford Wakeman Howe - Live at the NEC 1989
Progressive rock archive concert.
Yes men Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman and Steve
Howe reunited back in 1989 following a series of band departures,
line-up changes, side projects and solo projects. With a vibrant
collection of new material that revisited a more 'traditional'
Yes sound, the four released a self-titled album and engaged
in a series of concerts under the name "An Evening of
Yes Music Plus". The live set captured here includes
plenty of unhurried soloing from each of the band members,
a number of tight live renditions of crucial Yes compositions
and five central tracks of Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe material.
The first track from the then new album is Birthright and
it follows directly after Bruford's solo performance with
its tribal rhythm and understated instrumentation. Disc two
begins with Themes which opens wide toward the end into a
rhythmically dynamic duet between bassist for the project
Tony Levin and Bill Bruford. As this section of the concert
builds to a crescendo Heart Of The Sunrise Roundabout and
Starship Trooper build into to Order Of The Universe highlighting
the fact that the ambitious early progressive heights were
still being scaled.
standard DVD plastic case Live at the N.E.C. comes nevertheless
with rich visual content: cover insert printed on both sides
and twenty eight page booklet. The artwork holds much of Roger
Dean's trademark imagery: bold graphic designs, intricate
lettering and absorbing paintings. All track titles are listed
on the rear, inside the cover is a page of information on
the Evening of Yes Music Plus. The booklet is huge, beginning
with the original tour dates and personnel. A comprehensive
band members 'family tree' traces the musical careers of the
quartet. There is a description of the project's inception
and development; photos of relevant curios and ephemera; performance
stills and promotional photography; brief biographical sections
for the players along with portrait imagery; Dean's cover
art and inspirational landscapes conclude the package.
set presents a concert recorded Live at the Birmingham N.E.C.
on October 24th 1989. Discs one and two are audio discs of
Yes classics and ABWH tracks with plenty of space given over
to virtuoso soloing: Steve Howe plays Clap and Mood For A
Day, Jon Anderson sings a medley of three favourites over
a single guitar accompaniment, Rick Wakeman delivers a passionate
rendition of a medieval influenced synth montage, Long Distance
Runaround provides a springboard for Bill Bruford to showcase
his considerable percussive talents as does Themes. The Julian
Colbeck video that fills disc three is an intimate monochrome
look at the band in informal backstage setting and pre-concert
rehearsals. In this way angles and details not easily found
in live performance footage are explored and lingered over.
Eventually, snatches from the concert itself are stitched
into a compact whole leaving the impression that the viewer
has shared something of the whole experience rather than simply
a recorded concert. All in all this is a fantastic opportunity
to enjoy this unique phase in the varied history of Yes -
a package with a sense of souvenir about it. The collection
can be ordered directly from the Gonzo
Multimedia website, where you can also find the DVD An
Evening of Yes.