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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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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Lueur by Bjarni Gunnarsson

Bjarni Gunnarsson | Lueur Tartaruga (LP/DL) Icelandic composer and sound artist Bjarni Gunnarsson has just released his latest album, Lueur, four electroacoustic tracks, on London imprint Tartaruga Records in an edition of 200 copies (silkscreened by Luke Twyman, 16 ways). First up is the isolationist Prisme, which is quite chilling and sparse at first, but slowly dropping into the mix are granualized effects, and other abstractions. These pops and twists sound like a contortionist trying to undo a tight situation from several angles. Many might hear this initially as something topically atonal, but there are actually a whole lot of pieces … Continue reading Lueur by Bjarni Gunnarsson

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Fragments of Scattered Whispers by Endless Melancholy

Endless Melancholy | Fragments of Scattered Whispers Dronarivm (LP/CD/DL) Ukranian sound artist Oleksiy Sakevych’s Endless Melancholy project is a long running exploration of piano and, more recently, tape manipulation. His new album on the Dronarivm label is full of plaintive piano musings nestled in the warm hiss of tape loops and minimal synth melodies. Just as the days are getting shorter and the shadows longer, this music seems entirely appropriate. Sounds to add warmth to your surroundings. “Prologue (For A Broken Tape Recorder)” is a gorgeous album opener, soft distortions and crackles adding grit to a beautiful synth line. “Postcards” … Continue reading Fragments of Scattered Whispers by Endless Melancholy

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Selva Oscura by William Basinski + Lawrence English

William Basinski + Lawrence English | Selva Oscura Temporary Residence (LP/DL) Two new lengthy tracks on wax by a pair of the most gifted sound-based artists of our era, William Basinski + Lawrence English. Opening with Mono No Aware, a fluted drone permeates the space in soft modified tones. The vibration rises into your head and stays there like a dense fog, and with a title derived from Dante’s Inferno there remains this gestural quote between the divine and the lurid.  The works here also are “dedicated to Paul Clipson, a close friend whose work celebrated the wonder that is … Continue reading Selva Oscura by William Basinski + Lawrence English

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Igitur Carbon Copies by Reinier van Houdt

Reinier van Houdt | Igitur Carbon CopiesHallow Ground (LP/DL) Reinier van Houdt’s Igitur Carbon Copies is not so much one album as two – what is ostensibly a somewhat heavy-handed exercise in gothic aesthetics, hides beneath its surface a nuanced exploration of compositional structure that, like many complex works, only reveals its true beauty with the application of patience and time.  At first listen it might be tempting to write it off as an emulatory album of gothic aficionado – and in many ways it is – yet there is far more at stake than it initially seems. Reach past … Continue reading Igitur Carbon Copies by Reinier van Houdt

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