Psychonavigation – Tranquillo – Offshoot Records Jams Summer 2015

Psychonavigation, Tranquillo, Offshoot summer 2015

New Composers & Brian Eno – Smart

It’s about time these two collaborated. Not surprisingly, things are quite stunning. Piano tracks, ambient gems, soundscapes and some hints of jazz and classical compositions all get a mixing here to create the album I am sure a lot of you have been waiting for. It gets pretty retro in spots, with a few tracks leaning, believe it or not, on 50s rock, and others on 60s jazz. It’s an odd style choice and yet, here, it works. In fact, it may only have ever worked on this release. Some folks may find the blending of these genres on an electronic album as a bit jarring or too mismatched but honestly, it’s not as far fetched of a concept than it sounds. It’s playfully bold, engaging and well composed. In summary, it was a surprisingly varied album but nonetheless a good one. (4.6 out of 5)

Fallen – Secrets of the Moon

Ambient, modern classical, space ambient and melodic drones come together on this album, building a dreamscape of sorts, leaning on the influences of Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Temple and others. And the end results come of fairly close to those inspirations. It takes the best of the older, more adventurous sounds that made those bands great and takes it into a bold, dreamy and somewhat dark direction without losing any excitement for the journey to continue. It’s rather captivating. Obviously, fans of the aforementioned acts will dig this. I kind of wish this was on vinyl. (4.7 out of 5)

Lorenzo Montana – Vari Chromo

For an ambient album, this is quite rich in accompaniment and composition. Things have clearly evolved here, but let’s start at the beginning. At this album’s foundation is elements of ambient music, in particular, stylings that resemble ambient music’s first big peak in 1994. In fact, it almost borders on IDM a bit, referencing a bit of FSOL and Plaid. Building on to that, we have classical elements, glitches, soundscapes, hints of acid and darker electronica, so perhaps leaning a tiny bit on Aphex Twin, µ-ziq, Redeye, and perhaps Autechre. And then go a bit darker. Add a few dashes of dark ambient and some darker yet playful electronica and some leanings on analog and things really get cooking. This is a nive retrofuturistic jam; completely sweet from start to finish. (4.8 out of 5)

Nymphalida – Loghi

Containing just five tracks, this album has a lot to convey. Perhaps the darkest of the set of music I’ve reviewed thus far, this pieces together drones (some melodic, others more like distant whispers or other sounds), synth whispers, classical elements of string and piano and heavy bits of ambient. The notes say it describes humanity’s relationship to place, and that can easily be seen here as each piece draws upon a landscape built on sound and how you react as the listener. This is a rich piece of work despite being fairly minimal in spots. This is my first introduction to this artist and I am curious to hear more! The closing track for me is the highlight but every track on this was superb. Very well done! (4.8 out of 5)

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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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