Brilliant Days by Michiru Aoyama

Michiru Aoyama | Brilliant Days Mirae Arts (LP/DL) Broken into two untitled pieces that run just under twenty minutes each per side comes Brilliant Days from Japanese musician/producer Michiru Aoyama. Through and through this is a jewel-toned ambient record with a pace that rings of other traditional music from Japan, mostly meaning that it takes time and care to unfold, to blossom. These are guitar string manipulations that sound like a harp, and may as well be chimes and static as the sounds emanating are powerfully induced by an austere softness that quenches the tired mind. After about ten minutes the piece … Continue reading Brilliant Days by Michiru Aoyama

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Stereo by Spill

Spill | Stereo Corvo Records (LP/DL) Spill is a Berlin duo made up of Magda Mayas (piano) and Tony Buck (percussion) and here are their latest full-length improvisations, Stereo. On this record they lay out two twenty minute plus tracks, Magnetic Island and Sway – one per side. They start with an abstract, sporadic arrangement where all is quite pared down. Some is structured beforehand, they also utilize pre-recorded elements intended for a live setting, presented in layers for output through multiple speakers. You can imagine a space where the sound is coming at you from multiple angles, almost sneaking … Continue reading Stereo by Spill

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Offen by Modelbau

Modelbau | Offen Barreuh Records (CS/DL) Frans de Waard is a tireless creative, having produced countless recordings under a dozen or so monikers, solo and collaborative, and this past season alone, as Modelbau, four recordings have emerged on various imprints. Offen (in an edition of only 27 tapes) stood out to me for its tight programming and subtleties. Here are four pieces starting with Open Out, which is luxe ambient with strokes of Asian gongs, a melancholic melody and crickets. My only criticism is its over just as I am losing myself within it, though there is barely a second lost … Continue reading Offen by Modelbau

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The Next by MAAT

MAAT | The Next Pacific City Sound Visions (LP/DL) MAAT is an archival nugget from the early 90s, a solo project by Hamburg artist Dörte Marth (Xyramat) – and what a strange delight it is. On wax, this’ll be limited to a total of 280 copies (on Bandcamp it lists as only 100), so if you dig real surprises from the past, that sound like something from the future, I urge you to check this platter out for reasons beyond my understanding – but I’ll try and make a case. That is aside from the fact that she recorded Hunde I, a … Continue reading The Next by MAAT

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Das 7. Siegel by Hans Castrup

Hans Castrup | Das 7. Siegel Submarine Broadcast Company (CD/DL) A document of a 3-channel electroacoustic sound installation at Museumsquartier Osnabrück by musician and visual artist Hans Castrup. Das 7. Siegel (aka The 7th Seal) is based on a print by Albrecht Dürer from 1498. The piece runs for over thirty-six minutes, opening with a soft smouldering drone. A dragging clang and whistling wind enter. The atmosphere just drifts, that is until a series of what sound similar to the magnitude of computer dial-up penetrates the peace. And suddenly its whispery winds once again. This cyclical channeling of pitch is … Continue reading Das 7. Siegel by Hans Castrup

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Robinson Out Of Context by Dirk P. Haubrich

Dirk P. Haubrich | Robinson Out Of Context Quanta Records (12″/DL) This is my introduction to both Paris imprint Quanta as well as to German improvisational composer, Dirk P. Haubrich who has been known to collaborate with choreographers and other artists. This is his debut recording which includes two works, 7 to 8 and the title track, Robinson Out Of Context. From the top this latter piece wastes no time making its presence with a tweak of electronic noise right into a melodic, elongated drone. A repeated intermittent glitch breaks the fluidity, but only along its surface. The floating silky … Continue reading Robinson Out Of Context by Dirk P. Haubrich

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Petrification and Strife by Philip Sulidae

Philip Sulidae | Petrification and Strife Hemisphäre の空虚 (CS/DL) Australian composer Philip Sulidae has released a delicate minimal work titled  Petrification and Strife, encompassing two lengthy pieces for the imprint he manages, Hemisphäre の空虚.  Like other label releases, the simplicity is in pure black and white, like the uncomplicated cover art that spells out its contents. With open mic in hand this is a survey of surfaces, of in-situ found object play, with small twists and crackle along the way. I feel as if I am sitting in the crook of a tree limb that is vaguely swaying in the … Continue reading Petrification and Strife by Philip Sulidae

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