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Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

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Revglow
9th Chrysalis

Ah I'm in my new spot. The sun rising over the ring road, a berry-covered Cotoneaster covered in bindweed as eye candy. On the stereo we have an album by Revglow which if you were blind or purposefully didn't look at the cover you'd swear was a new album by Conquering Animal Sound, so ...view item »

Capricornus
Halation

I'll take a step back into calmer pastures now. The ever-reliable Infraction have sent us a pile of new releases. Well, two. And because i've pulled a ligament in my leg and am chair-bound, i'm review king for the day. I'm gonna try beat my record and review anything that isn't nailed down in the office. But first I'll try Capricornus. What is l...view item »

Vincent Kuhner
No Minute Gone

Delving back into the drone/sound-art world I find myself with an enigmatic CD by this chaplet. I'm suddenly getting the sound of a compressed toy train ricocheting around my head, now some rustling and tinkering, some guitar drone that somehow resembles the beautiful sound of singing bowls...now I'm down into some industrial cesspit listening t...view item »

Brian Eno and the words of Rick Holland
Drums Between The Bells

His last album got a mauling by the egg-head brigade for being stuck up a tree meditating whilst wearing falafel and goat cheese sandals and a kaftan, all the while refusing to acknowledge 20+ years of electronic musical progress. I thought it were OK, a bit dull at times with the occasional promising excursion into deep moody sonic territor...view item »

Prop
Nebula

here is a 7" by Prop which is nice rhodes piano and questionable twiddling bass. The next track veers into miniature, sweeter Squarepusher territory. Final track funks a bit too much but has interesting sounds and beats. Nebula is 7" only on Inventing Zero records....view item »

Roman Ruins
Pastor/al

Everything on this label comes on coloured wax with download codes. That's because they care about you. Instantly you feel loved and that's no bad thing. This oranged up beast is one of the chillwave variety. Smothered in 80's synth washes and that acceptable cheese sound of chill wave I'm immediately thinking Washed Out and folks like Toro Y Mo...view item »

J-Walk
Another Lover

J-Walk has a new 7"/CDs out on East West called 'Another Lover' Now I can't really say anything about this record that may be of any use except that it's everything you've never wanted in your life....view item »

Simon Whetham
Velvet

This artist has had releases on Trente Oiseaux, Entr'acte, Install, Mystery Sea and Dragon's Eye Recordings amongst others. 'Velvet' is comprised of a single twenty-seven minute composition which was achieved through field recordings in South Wales. It's very difficult to identify t...view item »

offthesky
Hiding Nature

Offthesky next. After a conceptual dronework for the Tokyo Droning offshoot, Home Normal unleash another stuttering, meandering, "twinkle chirrup & glitch fest" called 'Hiding Nature'. It sounds at one point like pretty chimes and elements of fine glass percussion are being played with by an amorphous blob monster from the planet Nexi...view item »

Emphemetry
A Lullaby Hum For Tired Streets

Ahhhh close my eyes and I'm transported from this dingy office into green pastures as opener 'After Catalunya' evokes pastoral scenes with its delicate ambience and meandering almost folky guitar. This is the work of the talented Richard Birkin Of Derby who plays guitar, piano, loop pedals and also sings. You just get the feeling that an inc...view item »

Christopher Hipgrave
Slow, With Pages Of Fluttering Interference

Time to wrap yourself up in a warm ambient drone blanket courtesy of Christopher Hipgrave. This is Dan's 3rd album (is it OK if I call Christopher Hipgrave 'Dan'?) and here he continues his foray into all things ambient, drifty, click, crackly and droney. Most importantly this is one of the warmer enveloping ambient drone albums I've heard in a ...view item »

The Third Eye Foundation
The Dark

Aw man, the dark lord Matt Elliott is back with a brand new epic new album on Ici D'ailleurs. After a big hiatus from recording as the TTEF, filling in the gap with a few ace solo albums, he's back! It's fantastic too. In a nutshell it's full of swirling melodies laid over drum 'n' bass beats. It sounds like he's carried on with the orchestral b...view item »

The Doldrums
Mirth & Songs EP

This week we have 2 releases on the Make Mine Music label. The 1st one is by a chap called The Doldrums. Well actually he's called Dylan. The Doldrums would be a pretty silly first name for someone right (apologies to anyone who may actually be called that). The Mirth And Songs EP is quite a diversion from previous Make Mine Music releases. It ha...view item »

White Rainbow
New Clouds

On to White Rainbow, whose Prism of Eternal Now I can remember enjoying a couple of years ago. From my vague memories of that time I think I can say that since then the fellah's expanded his sound - as demonstrated on New Clouds - complementing the noisy psychedelics with hypnotic acoustic percussion, wordless chanting, guitars twiddling casually...view item »

Bio+Larkian+Les Poissons Autistes
Bio+Larkian+Les Poissons Autistes

Switzerland; home of awesome cheese, fine watches and apparently a vibrant underground experimental/ electroacoustic scene in Romandy. This disc was created by all three artists collaborating remotely through file exchanges. All sounds were recorded, looped and treated on laptop and various machines. Everything from Circuit bent toy keyboard, el...view item »

Taishi Kamiya
Spectra of Air

Apparently Taishi Kamiya makes his improvised droney ambient meat by slaughtering saxophone cattle with a laptop. Which is a pretty novel approach in the field, I reckon. In the press release Ian Hawgood mentions his worries over the choice of instrument - having 'associated it with eighties sex scenes in movies or something like that' - but upo...view item »

Nicolas Bernier
The Dancing Deer EP

No info on this person except I've discovered he's an electroacoustic producer from Montreal. The main track on this EP initially reminds me a little of an old glitch-y downtempo Planet Mu or Toytronic style track with a searching Orbital-style wibble that cuts through the tune like a longing searchlight. Then it goes all abstract and slightly d...view item »

Danny Saul
Kinison - Goldthwait

I knew I remembered the name from somewhere: Danny Saul did that Liondialer thing with Greg Haines a ways back. And I certainly know the name Goldthwait but I feel that I should make as little as possible out of the fact that I'm reviewing something which has something (however tenuously) to do with Zed from Police Academy because it's just ...view item »

Brian Eno
Small Craft On A Milk Sea

Warp Records have some great electronic music producers under their umbrella but this recent signing may well be their ultimate score for sometime, possibly even ever, for the man Eno has now joined their esteemed ranks. The man needs no introduction so onto the music. 'Opener Emerald and Lime' is a gorgeous way to begin with sublime treated pia...view item »

Ten
Lowlands

This 6 tracker is my first thing today and is quite welcome to my ears. A dusty low-down cello leads a melancholy waltzer of an opener with its slow thumping/chinking percussion bringing to mind a doomed jailbird having a final dance with a prison officer before the gallows have his damaged soul. A wistful chamber piece follows, strings & pi...view item »

Small Black
New Chain

I'm 38. My mum and dad are extremely proud I've lasted this long. I'm still bang up to date though - have just checked my Twitters and am listening to 'chillwave'. This is a movement of groups who sound like the best of the 1980's tail end of Yacht Rock put through some kind of digitized blender. I had a stand up row with a friend (aged 43) abou...view item »

Camaraderie
Camaraderie

First up this is insanely packaged in an oversized folder with a book inside which is stitched to the textured sleeve and inside there's a sweet nipple for you to house your CD on. Mmmm... It looks amazing and the 1st time I saw it (the packaging) I thought we want some of this baby. It brings together poetry and sound and design. The music is b...view item »

Harold Budd & Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois
The Pearl

I have several other Brian Eno albums, and this one fits right in with the rest. It is a beauty to behold. It is really relaxing and conjures imagery in your mind's eye. It tells a story, and you can tag along to see the story unfold. What you perceive is largely determined by your mindset at the time when you listen to it. If you are stressed o...view item »

Brian Eno
Discreet Music

For an artist that has helped shape the musical map since the 70's, and remained a sterling producer, and also has an album work rate to put most musicians to shame, it's truly surprising that Brian Eno, has so many absolutely essential albums to his name. One of the early masterpieces of ambient music, Eno's "Discreet Music" really defies descr...view item »

Brian Eno
More Music For Films

When I saw that this was coming out, I was immediately excited, since the original MUSIC FOR FILMS was such a unique collection at the time of its release. This latest version (and some of the tracks are just that -- versions of earlier releases) doesn't break any new ground, but fans of Eno will likely want to have a copy for their collections ...view item »

Cancelled
e

This is one of a few releases we have on this Swiss label, but fear not, there is no cheese to be found here, just some well executed electronics with some strange backwards sounds. I'm particularly enjoying 'No Bit, No Hit' which rides a sort of squashed hip-hop groove and and makes me think of an Autechre tune that I just can't put my finger o...view item »

Elian
Whispers, Then Silence

This is one of those that takes a few minutes before you're finally convinced that it's not a blank CD but once it kicks off there's loads going on.. Actually it's probably the most varied release I can remember hearing on the label to date. So far there's been subtle field recordings, twinkling Moondog-style kalimba (at least I think that's wha...view item »

Nightmares On Wax
Know My Name

Nightmares On Wax have a cracking discography behind them (him) however for what it is worth I reckon the period this track came from is the weakest link in that chain. The album Mind Elevation is far and away the most disappointing LP released by George Evelyn. I'm not knocking NOW, I'm a big fan, indeed ...view item »

Talvihorros
Music In Four Movements

Talvihorros is the work of one man guitar manipulator and ambient enthusiast Ben Chatwin. Currently residing in London and enjoying a productive period as a solo artist (we've had a number of releases in stock since I started work here last year including an awesome looking tape on My Dance the Skull) Chatwin appears to be hitting his stride wit...view item »

Tricky
Antimatter

Tricky has a new single out called Animatter. Yep that crazy dude from Bristol is back on Anti recs (offshoot of Epitaph). Led by lady vocals this has a rather upbeat and pleasant groove. Not depressing or morbid in anyway shape or form. Quite like this. On clear vinyl 12" or enhance...view item »

Jason/ Shinobu
Dispel Space Time Lust

Another week, another fine drone/ambient release, this one is from Jason and Shinobu through the mercurial Install. Slow waves of evocative drifting textures are randomly assaulted by sinister outbursts of grizzled fuzz, creeping up the sides of the stately walls like curious splashes of acid whilst someone in the distance metrononically taps a len...view item »

Susumu Yokota
Love Or Die

Susumu Yokota: Love Or Die (Lo Recordings) New twelve track opus with titles that sound like they've been translated literally from their Japanese origins, if they belonged to an British artist no doubt they'd be screams of pretentious. The music is nothing of the sort however, track two: A Slowly Fainting Memory Of Love Respect, and Hatred is a ha...view item »

Innerstare
From The Heavens

Finally from me before I go home and collapse in a heap of self pity and exhaustion is a CD by Innerstare who is a new name to us at the towers and by default you. This is a limited self released CDR in an edition of 100. The opener is lush! Warm drones throbbing all over the shop while some ethereal drifty vocals float over the top and tak...view item »

UNKLE
Where Did the Night Fall

This album has 11 excellent collaborative tracks that all feel natural, and they progress effortlessly. The three non collaborative tracks ("Nowhere", "Heavy Drug", and "Oblivion") of course feel natural and are great additions to the CD. I must admit, I do basically skip "Nowhere" and "Heavy Drug" every time listening through. "Heavy drug" alwa...view item »

Ethernet
144 Pulsations Of Light

This Ethernet CD on Kranky is well nice. Only a few minutes in and I'm some Gas riddled haze. You see it sounds quite a lot like Gas... It has that muffled stoned haze about it where you feel like you're outside a club off your arse on drugbiscuits. Mind you this is much more chilled out and laid back, but it has a really similar vibe to it. It's w...view item »

Shawn Greenlee
Nysa

The Shadow Orchestra
The Shadow Orchestra

Now I got the debut album by The Shadow Orchestra which has been 2 years in the making. I'm reading composer Chris Bang's press release here, and it says its a "sumptuous mix of electronica, folk, jazz and acoustic instrumentation." Its sounding very electronic to me and not like an orchestra at all. He's citing his influences...view item »

Aphex Twin
Selected Ambient Works Volume II

A pivotal album in the acid/ambient scene - truely unique and hauntingly beautiful this album bolstered the enigmatic Aphex Twin's reputation as an important figure in the electronica scene and in turn influenced many other electronic artists. Mainly unnamed compositions, each track has a minimalistic quality, a real breakdown of composite parts...view item »

Eliot Lipp
The Outside

Eliot Lipp continues to represent American electronic music with The Outside, which kicks off with some lo-fi electro-tinged IDM on the title track. Lipp keeps his beats on this side of straightforward hip-hop, though the layers of synths usually take over the tracks. "The Area," however, lets a hint of the Caribbean slide in at the start, and "...view item »

Formication
Redux

This CD is not a new release. It's actually from last year but it's the first time we've stocked it so it's worth a mention. The Nottingham duo of Alec Bowman and Kingsley Ravenscroft create some ace dark post industrial electronic soundscapes and rich sonic textures. 'The Line That Divides The Earth From The Sky' is an aquatic track with a genuin...view item »

Dani Siciliano
Slappers

Dani Siciliano's sophomore outing entitled "Slappers" is an amusing and creative concoction of blips, "everyday" sounds, synth riffs, unintelligle lyrics and siren harmonies that she and hubbie producer, Matthew Herbert are known for. This go round Dani ventures more into experimental territory especially on tracks like the opening "Slappers", "...view item »

Earl Zinger
Put Your Phasers on Stun

Ridiculous amounts of fun from Earl Zinger's debut. The humour comes to the forefront on "Escape From Ibiza," name-checking his downtempo-jazz-arch-nemesis, Rob Da Bank, (its sister track, "Got to Get to Ibiza" appears later), and on "Last Of The Great Bassline Hunters," which takes its topic only semi-seriously. There's also the excitement of t...view item »

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