Powell has been making music for about five years, including a small amount of EP’s and singles but for those who haven’t been able to check them out, 11-14 (Diagonal) is the best place to begin. The album is a compilation of 18 songs, running at 92 minutes, where new fans are able to discover his fascinating electronic music sounds like compositions in the making, but there aren’t spots where any of the perceived gaps sound wasteful. There are portions of these songs where he gets into a bit of a minimalistic approach due to how he gets into moments of repetition but it becomes passionate drones that are easy to get caught up before you realize you too are a part of his music. You’ll want to hear more projects from him in the future, and then imagine hearing him in any project to your liking. I’d love to be able to see/hear where he goes with this.
Pyre is the name of a new EP released by Black Thread, one song divided in two that was recorded on cassette, but it sounds as if they were not only recorded on old caseette tapes, but done on an old cassette deck, perhaps why it may sound like “crumbling tape residue”. As one person put it, it’s “really nice wrinkly-textured music created from old cassette decks. Fans of Philip Jeck or William Basinski will enjoy this.” It may sound abstract and perhaps unconnected, but unconnected to what? If it’s with nothing, you listen to it and try to find something to link to it. You may listen to the tracks and download it for free, but please use the “Name Your Price” option to show support. It will be pressed on new c20 cassettes as well by request.
The moans of minimalistic drone is explored in a new 2-song EP by Seirmon. Titled Strandheem ’92, the cover is based (if not stolen) on classical records while the music is very much the kind of sounds that you’ll want to zone out to, or it will zone you out as you meditate through its waves. The 17-minute EP is available for free.
An interesting project here by Robert Turman from the Cejero label out of Denmark. Turman recorded the music of Three Parts back in 1991 using a 4-track cassette recorder, but remained in his collection for years, for no one to hear. Now, this 29-minuet track will surface and it’s being released on vinyl. Only 500 copies of this is being pressed, and it features a cover with a drawing done by Dutch artist Henri Jacobs. As for the music, it’s described as consisting of “layers of mystical tones winds in and out of each other in off-center patterns, creating a simple, yet spatial and truly unique atmosphere. It’s very avant-garde and minimalistic, definitely something that will take you into a trance without you realizing it.
Europeans can pre-order the album by going to Cejero Records’ web store. North American audiences can order it directly from Robert Turman.
If you picked up the Virile Games release last spring called Wounded Laurel (Hospital Productions) (my review of which can be read by clicking here), maybe you purchased it digitally or on cassette. Maybe you obtained it through other means but were hoping for a vinyl pressing. Nine months later, Hospital Productions have answered your requestss for one. Copies are now available directly from ForcedExposure.com for American customers, or from Boomkat.com for European customers.
Roger Smith and Heather Chessman are a wife and husband duo who as a group call themselves Juice Machine. Their new album is called Gratitude Flows and like much of their work, everything is improvised and performed live. Three tracks of insane drone glitch stuff, and it’s ready for your listening pleasures. To download the album, head to ControlValve.net or to Archive.org.
The title of this short 4-song album is called 51°37’35″N8°42’05″E, which suggests we are meant to punch in those coordinates and figure out where that is. I found it to be east of the city of Dortmund in Germany, but whether that is meant to be what it refers to or something that is only found in videos games, I can’t answer that. What I can answer is that Leaf has created an album called 51°37’35″N8°42’05″E and it is my mission, our mission, to find out where he plans on going with the sounds provided.
The tracks are a mix of ambient tranquility with segments of down tempo grooves and minimalism. Some portions of this would sound perfect for dramatic scenes in movies or even video games, where things are meant to seem surreal and mysterious. The songs don’t have actual titles, alhtough since they are called “Part I”, “Part II” and so on, I would assume “51°37’35″N8°42’05″E” is the title track. “Part III” is something that almost borders on the serene feel of Portishead’s works, except Leaf tends to go slightly off-tempo at times so it’s not as super tight as the Portis-folks. “Part IV”, the album closer, is a song you may not want to listen to down a dark highway at 2:42am, it may lead to thoughts of horror, even though the sporadic synthesized rhythms may be sexy to some (and it can be if you allow your mind to go that way). Most of the album is about creating a feeling, an aura, and the funky moments are isolated to where you really have to listen for it if that’s what you want. 51°37’35″N8°42’05″E is an album you could also meditate to, but it may take you somewhere unexpected, perhaps the coordinates will lead the way.
Ron Morelli has made music as one half of Bad News and Two Dogs In A House but for Spit (Hospital Productions) he is taking the lone route and goes exploring on his own. Morelli creates the kind of electronic music that would have been greatly welcome in the late 60’s and early 70’s, I could name a string of artists that he sounds similar to and a few will say, after hearing this album, “oh yes, this definitely sounds like” him and her and her and him but what makes this album work is the willingness to create mixtures of old and new styles and techniques in the modern day. His exploration may not sound like much and there are moments where he will get into some nice lo-fi minimalism but concentrate on how he does it and it’s very fascination, to me at least. Other moments are when he just creates avant-garde sound paintings, sometimes it will have a rhythm and other times it is just rhythmless but it feels good. Then there are tracks that sound like some great house music that was made in a basement directly onto a reel-to-reel or two cassette decks and a dream, and Morelli’s dreams become reality, at least through the eight tracks here.
Friends: I have to make a confession. I was this close to posting a new mash-up I found involving a new Miley Cyrus song and an older hit from Bruno Mars. I had the cover graphic, had the embedded code but it was the inner pressure that moved me to move the post to trash. I couldn’t do it. Instead, I continued my search for something that was better, which wouldn’t be too difficult but I came across this. The artist named moved me first, and being a Harsh Mellow in 2013 is not something you hear a lot. Anyone can harsh their mellow but are they? Anyway, I clicked on “Pleasant Control” and it was some nice and relaxing electronica that I got into, with a hint of minimalism. Thus, it is here, saving you from the Ciley Myrus doldrums. You’re welcome. To hear more music from this British artist, click to Harsh Mellow’s Soundcloud page.
C.J. Larsgarden and Julien Louvet have returned as Yrsel, and their meditative sounds are back with their new album, Abraxax. From the outside, it sounds like these songs are constructed out of what would be considered intros and outros to songs, where something trailing in or out becomes the entire song structure. One might here this and wonder if there’s any more to it, if there might be any “action” involved but its ambient vibe is the action in question, you just have to listen, pay attention, and allow it to move you at its eerie pace, or eerie non-pace. “Asat” features vocalist Alice Dourlen and together, it sounds like some kind of artful performance from Bjork, and I’m sure she would get a lot of praise (and balanced ridicule) for doing something like this. What I love about the song is the amount of time between vocals, where you want Dourlen to sing but you’re drenched in the walls of sound vibrating, maybe sacred, maybe unholy, maybe there, maybe not. On other tracks, it’s synths causing eternal drones and long echoes as guitars are plucked and placed into the mix with the volume control. It’s almost inhumane, or that you assume the sounds are not being created by man or woman, and the only person you have to interact with the sound and what you’re hearing is yourself. Abraxas sounds wholly internal but it could be a celebration of everything that exists in the external. Or all. Or nothing.
(The vinyl and CD pressings of Abraxas can be purchased from Europe via The Tuguska Label or 213 Records. Digitally, you can stream & listen and/or purchase below via Bandcamp.)