Electronic Reviews for Mid July and August, 2013

 

Artist: Liminal

Title: Creation I

Released: 2012

Label: Killing Moloch

Format: Digital

First of all, it blows me away that the folks running the label and making the music are so young.  None of them are over 20 yet.  Secondly, their goals and objectives are quite interesting. Scope out the label bio.  At any rate, the music on this release covers a lot of ground, ranging from darker electronic and almost industrial sounding jams with driving vocals to droning, dark ambient pieces.  Getting all of that together is quite impressive.  Every track despite the radical genre shifting is powerful and fits in perfectly on this album.  I really enjoyed this and will be taking a look at Liminal’s other works as well as the label’s other releases.  (4.8 out of 5)

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Artist: Ross Baker

Title: Wild Hares and Hummingbirds

Released: 2013

Label: (Self Released)

Format: Digital

The maven behind projects like Second Thought, Cat Pain Black Udder, and 2T, comes out with this groovy compilation of tracks.  It’s made up of a large pile of material from Baker’s discography (both from CDs and tapes).  So what musical awesomeness is on here?  It’s a sweet mixture of ambient, field recordings, acoustics and other fun bits, creating a rather comprehensive platter of sound.  Seriously, the ground covered here over the vast and endless musical landscape is amazing. In the span of three tracks, we’re moved from sublime ambience to an acoustic-noise-spoken-word track and then off to a field-recording-acoustic-organic downtempo pieces and hidden indie rock gems.  It’s amazingly diverse without and weak spots.  Yes, this may be a compilation, but, it feels like everything here belongs together.  With this release, this marks the end of all things Second Thought and marks the birth of Bullfinch Art and Tapes, a label not only for his material but for a large amount of artists and projects. I seriously cannot wait for that! (5 out of 5)

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Artist: TinyForest

Title: trtmnt

Released: July 15, 2013

Label: Dilated Time Records

Format: Digital

TinyForest returns with another sweet EP of retrofuturistic blissed out synth-hazy magical goodness.  Just what is this new genre…? It’s a hazy mixture of dub, techno, ambient, purple… and who the hell knows what else. Whatever this is, TinyForest makes it highly addictive. So here’s a six track EP that’s following up on the heels of his previous EP, pushing us ever further along this hazy and blissful trail of sound.  Samples and synth are mixed together like incense and good vibes, I’m in love with this EP.  I want more! (5 out of 5)

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Artist: Pure Evil

Title: A New Dawn

Released: July 29th,  2013

Label: Pyschonavigation Records

Format: CD (Limited to 100 copies)

Charles Uzzell Edwards has been a musical maven for almost two decades, dabbling in almost every genre imaginable under a massive array of aliases and in numerous groups.  He’s most widely known for his ambient jams with other artist including the late Pete Namlook on the FAX +49-69/450464 label through the 90s.  Needless to say, I was pretty excited to see this sitting in my inbox and finding out who was behind this.

This an odd mixture of guitar bits, electronic beeps, easy synth and dub/techno beats.  This is an album linking the early 90s of Edwards’s sound to the future of dub and techno and perhaps even house music.  The blend is very relaxing, I have to say.  It’s a big difference from his ambient pieces but this is a neat new phase.  Good stuff!  (4.7 out of 5)

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—and now, two new EPs from Replicants—-

Artist: Replicants

Title: Insignificant / Lonley Streets EP’s

Released:  2013 –August 12th and 17th

Label: Offshoot & Psychonavigation

The band, presumably named after the androids from Bladerunner, consists of four members from four different cities from different parts of the globe.  They make all of their music live and in a single take, so forget the idea of overdubs or edits.  The end results on these two EPs in a strange substance containing elements of dub, dub step, old school techno, house and trance.  No single element overshadows the other; everything seems perfectly balanced.  This is fairly surprising considering that everything was done in one shot. Think of early Chemical Brothers mixed with the finest sounds of Detroit techno with a dash of trance, house and a sprinkle of drum’n’bass.  Each EP features two tracks and the band plans to release several more EPs on Psychonavigation / Offshoot in the near future.  Keep your eyes peeled.  This is some sweet jams. (4.8 out of 5)

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Artist: Shammen Delly

Title: s/e

Released: August 19th, 2013

Label: Psychonavigation

Format: CD (limited edition), digital

Genre: ambient, experimental

From the North of Ireland comes this gem.  This is a warm and lovely record, blending sweet ambient styled beats with vintage sounding synths and harmonies. This brand of ambience is one of my personal favorites as it seems to take bits of what worked best from the 90s, combined that with futuristic beaets, off the wall vocal samples, filters and bits from other electronic music genres.  In a way, some parts of this album remind me of Boards of Canada while other times, it feels like a b-side from DJ Shadow’s early works.  Don‘t get me wrong, that description is really only the tip of the ice burg.  The album as a whole is unique, new and fresh and is a prime example of the growing ambient “scene” coming out of Ireland.  This is the perfect album for a listen anytime, though for me, this is a good soundtrack to summer or for when I feel nostalgic.  Thanks for this one!  (4.9 out of 5).

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Artist: Ben Bix

Title: All Of The Variations At Once

Released: August 12th, 2013

Label: Psychonavigation

Format:  CD (limited to 100 copies)

Genre: IDM, electronica, downtempo

Meltybrains? band member Ben Bix debuts here with an album that is one part organic and one part electronic, fusing together acoustics and the etherworld of IDM and electronica and songwriting.  This album, as a result, shows off quite a few talents.  Firstly, the organic instrumentation is amazing and leans on a lot of influences from around the world.  Secondly, this does not overshadow or drown out the electronic elements of the album.  Rather, it is worked well into the mixture, creating a unique flavor of IDM I’ve not come across often.  Ben Bix does well here to blend in his songwriting skills, adding vocals here and there without turning this into an indie rock album or a vocal techno record.  Actually, it’s hard to describe the end result of this… just trust me, it’s good.  This is a surprisingly deep album; it is very detailed, layered and well-crafted. Definitely check this out if you’re looking for something different. (4.8 out of 5).

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Artist:  Mytrip

Title Scattered I

Released: June 18th, 2013

Label: Worthless Recordings (USA) and Bigcartel.

Format: Cassette, digital

Bulgarian dark ambient gurus, Mytrip release this dark, dark, dark four track cassette.  I’m going to use the word dark a lot.  The music is comprised of dark drones, organic sounds that have been tweaked, manipulated and distorted; synthetic bits, and a plethora of other odd and mysterious noises.  The result is this hauntingly dark four track cassette.  It sounds like it would work as the soundtrack to a frightening post- apocalyptic video game with its brooding and mysterious nature.  Despite this release’s darkness, this is the one of the most accessible releases to come from this genre.  It’s not too noisy or too cluttered with distortion.  It has that perfect amount of edge to it.  Excellent! (4.8 out of 5).

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Artist: Schemawound

Title: Terraform Mars

Released: July 2013

Label: Xylem Records

This project as a whole is described as “being free from the restraints of genres” and this is fairly evident while listening to the newest album from Schemawound.  This is a fine piece of work, combining field recordings and synthetic elements to create something otherworldly. Calling this ambient or dark ambient or even organic wouldn’t really scratch the surface of what this is.  And musically, this fits the title well.  It’s the perfect soundtrack one would use while attempting to terraform Mars.  The structure here is similar to Herd’s “Tangents” series; many small pieces are woven together to make an elaborate tapestry and you really can’t tell where one ends and the next track begins.  In fact, Herd’s music might be the closest thing I could compare this too.  It’s dark in spots, noisy in others, calm here, distorted and frightening there… this is a WILD album.  (4.8 out of 5).

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Artist: Electrician

Title: That’s How We Do It

Released: August 3rd,, 2013

Label: (self-released)

Format: digital single

Genre: lo fi, electronic, indie rock, electronic rock

This is one very sad, sad song.  The lyrical style is like a mellower, sadder Mountain Goats track and there’s enough electronics in here to keep fans of Electrician content.  The songwriting here is very to the point, sparing no details on emotion.  It’s honest.  I like this a lot.  Seriously, this is a great, noisy track about a childhood friend who, by the sounds of it, had something pretty nasty happen.  I can’t wait to see what Electrician has cooking up next. (5 out of 5)

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Artist: Geodesics

Title: Geodesics EP

Released: July, 2013

Label; self-released, Graveyard Orbit

Format: digital, CD

Abstract, IDM electronic goodness.  Here’s some sparkling production, layered and textured tunes with some vocoded fun added in.  I know a lot of folks within the last ten years have been toying with vocoders but this isn’t like the rest.  It is used more like an instrument in the way it mixes gently with the harmonies of the instrumentation.  Think BMSR but gentler and more in the background.  This creates a whole new element to the music entirely.  This release features six tracks of electro abstract awesomeness and I would recommend this to folks looking for something lively, or something between IDM and experimental, electro-psyche and pop, or a dance and a trip.  Cool stuff!  (4.7 out of 5).  http://geodesics.bandcamp.com/

 

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About Nick H.

I'm a geek for music whether it be on vinyl, CD, 78 or whatever. My goal is to sniff out the greated music on Earth, specializing in the obscure. I make music myself as well, mostly ambient and sound collage (1 album out and a few remixes so far). I work full time as a professional mascot (it pays the pills) but will soon retire, i hope.
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