SINGLES CRUISE 01.18.19

HARK MADLEY - "EMPATHY"

Madley layers waves of vocal drone and crystalline synths gently atop a slowly pulsating percussive core on the single edit of “empathy” leaving gossamer tracers or reverb and the human voice in its wake. On “empathy” Madley deftly leaves enough space between each layer of sound and calls attention to each movement, making this minimalist piece stand out when so many others have the tendency to blur the lines too much, creating less dynamic monoliths of sound.

RIK RONNER - "MAYA (FEAT. RAJ MOHAN)"

This telescoping, tempo-shifting electro-acoustic track is taken from the EP titled Aghori, which itself is the soundtrack to a conceptual dance piece of the same name which narrates the rituals of ascetic Hindu sadhus. “Maya” represents the concept of the creation of a sensible world. It’s difficult to find an anchor in this track, distorted, low-end scraping electronics signal tempo shifts and additions of new passages which range from plucked stringed instruments, heavily arpeggiated electronic percussion and synths, strings and brass. Legendary Geet/Ghazal/Bhajan/Pop singer Raj Mohan lends his vocals to create longform melodic shadings and deep-throated gesticulations. It’s an opening into an EP well worth exploring.

MEG BLUMBERG - "WADING"

This latest single by Meg Blumberg from her upcoming EP is an expressionistic, yet structurally intact piece, that thoroughly explores Blumberg’s talents as a composer and ability to wring every drop of emotion from the track through tiny flourishes and embellishments. Blumberg’s piano is joined by lilting strings about halfway through the composition, drawing a thin line between melancholy and tepid hopefulness.

CEDRIC ELISABETH - "MOTION"

“Motion” tracks a slow-mo ascent of a track that accrues more and more of a sense of movement as it ascends. Placid drones give way to washes of synths, buried horns, pulsating tones that peel away and return like intermittent solar flares. The Denmark-by-Paris composer has created a track that is easy to sink into. Like being suspended in warm water it becomes difficult to draw clear lines between sensory perceptions.

CLAIRVOYANT CHASM - "WITHERING"

“Withering” is excellent shoegaze that captures the effusive textural shadings and blurred inputs of the best of genre and includes a solo towards the end of the track that pushes the genre’s other thrilling tendency – exploratory and ambitious guitar playing – into the red. It’s a studied and subdued track that belies the age of the producers.

MÜNE - "CANOROUS"

The Indian producer has created an infectious chopped-vocal track that contains a moving emotional core – recalling work by REIGHNBEAU or Gold Panda – but one that retains a pull to the dancefloor, marshalling it’s 4-4 beat right in time for the track to bloom into a mid-tempo dance track. The chopped vocals, perhaps the most endearing feature of this track hold sway and are incredibly riveting and inviting.

TRIO RAMBERGET - "D MOLL / DUR - IS"

The Swedish trio – comprised of bass clarinet, double bass and trombone – create eliding, lyrical passages over sustained, breathy drones that register from pure, clairvoyant blasts of unfettered tone, to ragged scrapes and jabs. Their ability to create a lovingly aching noise floor of bottomless sound flattens what in other modes could be jagged compositional peaks and valleys into pastoral rolling hills that are easy to lose a few well-earned gazes into.

MARIA GRÖNLUND - "JUNE AND ME"

The world of solo piano palatable for cross-over appeal seems to pull from a select group of instrumentalists – Olafur Arnalds, Jon Hopkins, Max Richter, Ryuichi Sakamoto, etc… The Swedish composer and pianist’s latest “June and Me” does not stray too far the path – delicate melodies overlapping each other with crafted tension between sentiment and technical prowess. It’s evocative enough to ignite an inner warmth while staring out of an office window at the doldrums of winter, while astute enough compositionally to never run the risk of fading into background music. I hope to see Grönlund’s name mentioned among that small pool of popular composers.

AKIYOSHI YASUDA - "GRACE"

Centered around a sparse melody and plenty of open room reverb, this solo piano composition by the Ichonomiya, Japan based musician is processed to create ghostly, doubling effects of itself as it passes through each permeation of its somber phrasing. Paired with very, very subtle percussion that never quite catches up with the track, “Grace” extends into a gentle roar by the end of the track before leaving with a slight coda as it vanishes the way it came in.

AGYZERAX - "CLOUDS OF DOOM (FEAT. MATEUSZ JACHYM)

On the aptly named “Clouds of Doom” The Polish noise artist pushes his spastic soloed guitar lines, harsh electronics, feedback and cauterized electronic beats well past the red into some purplish-noir of noise-as-punishment territory. While it certainly contains multitudes of layers upon layers of caustic tones fed and looped back into self to create a Gollum of seething unease, Agyzerax is able to create warbled dynamics by creating passages of ramping and deescalating intensity.

V/A - PATTERN ABUSE COMPILATION 2 - NORDIC AMBIENT

Serving as a pastiche and summary of this compilation’s 11 artists and tracks, Pattern Abuse features ambient artists from all over Scandinavia and its surrounding envrions. Featuring new work by Inuti, Cedric Elisabeth, Jens Paldam, Claus Poulsen, etc…these tracks run the gamut from droney and dreary lo-fi compositions full of pulsing tones, to gorgeous ambient washes of pure tone, to tracks that skirt the blurred edge between ambient music and neo-classical work. Soundtracking the cold nights and short days of a Scandanavian winter, these inward turning tracks offer solace and surrender to the winter bleariness.

RYUICHI SAKAMOTO - "ENERGY FLOW (20TH ANNIVERSARY REMASTERED VERSION)"

Serving as a pastiche and summary of this compilation’s 11 artists and tracks, Pattern Abuse features ambient artists from all over Scandinavia and its surrounding envrions. Featuring new work by Inuti, Cedric Elisabeth, Jens Paldam, Claus Poulsen, etc…these tracks run the gamut from droney and dreary lo-fi compositions full of pulsing tones, to gorgeous ambient washes of pure tone, to tracks that skirt the blurred edge between ambient music and neo-classical work. Soundtracking the cold nights and short days of a Scandanavian winter, these inward turning tracks offer solace and surrender to the winter bleariness.

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