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Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

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Mac-Talla Nan Creag
The Sorrow Of Derdriu

We were a massive fan of Firecracker's first Mac-Talla Nan Craeg release, a record that curve-balled our expectations on the label to release good house bangers via an archaeological dig of Scotland's ancient landscape. One can only assume that participating artists Hoch Ma Toch, Other Lands and Lord Of The Isles have been up on the highlands drinking more whiskey as they've now got The Sorrow of Derdrilu to give us, another sound collage created through found sound, synths and traditional song study. They claim this one is more narratively driven, based on particular ancient tales rather than inferred from simply hanging out in the countryside.

Gavin Miller
Shimmer

Yorkshire-based experimentalist Gavin Miller - one-half of worriedaboutsatan - is back with a new EP Shimmer, his first outing on the Greek label Sound In Silence. Reverb heavy guitar and piano work is for the most part placed centre-stage, surrounded by ambient sound design that makes the minuscule feel seismic. This is a limited vinyl run of only 150 hand-numbered copies, each coming with a download code and handmade packaging.

MIS+RESS
Dispellers

The sophomore record from Brain Wenckebach’s MIS+RESS project arrives courtesy of Sound In Silence (yndi halda, The Gentleman Losers). As it was with 2017’s eponymous LP, Dispellers is a collection of delicate and delightful compositions. This is ambient music that pulls from several of the style’s sub-genres - foggy drones, squiggly electronica and post-rockish loops all crop up across the album. As is always the case with a Sound In Silence release, Dispellers is beautifully packaged.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Rev Magnetic
Versus Universe

How does music that ranges in sound from Abba to Vaughan Williams via My Bloody Valentine grab you? If you like the idea then perhaps you should try Versus Universe by Rev Magnetic. A Mogwai-approved wide ranging mix of sounds from This new Scottish four-piece who feature former Long Fin Killie frontman Luke Sutherland could possibly claim to be the world’s first post-rock-R&B-shoegaze band. On Rock Action.

Thelema
Entrance Totrance

Entrance Totrance by Thelma is and album of modular synthesizer soundscapes designed for the listener to get lost in. To be entranced by, to induced into a trance by. The artwork, created by artist Trevor Naud, is also part of the dazzling experience. On Klangschmiede Norikum.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Solo Andata
In The Lens

Solo Andata (the Aussie duo of Kane Ikin and Paul Fiocco) assembled this one, their third for 12k, by mixing newer recordings with a whole host of old materials recovered from hard drives, email threads and the like. They got thirteen discrete pieces out of this process, so there’s a lot to digest. Acoustic instruments, acoustics and electronics go in; various pleasant atmospheres come out.
  • Label(s):
  • 12k

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
Twine

Twine is the second instalment in Marcus Fischer’s collaboration with Taylor Deupree. It’s a pretty minimal creature, with the backbone of the music formed from just 2 manipulated tape loops, then augmented with acoustic instruments. Subtle sonics that put the listener right there in the studio with Deupree and Fischer: an impressively effective little set. On 12k.
  • Label(s):
  • 12k
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop
  • Label(s):
  • 12k

Amplifier Machine
Her Mouth Is An Outlaw

Amplifier Machine’s indie rock tendencies seem to have completely disappeared on their latest album, Her Mouth Is An Outlaw. The three-piece of James Dixon, Seth Rees and Alex Jarvis, all solo artists in their own right, have made and album of atmospheric post-rock, seemingly at odds with their back catalogue. It seems they’ve done a pretty good job of it, though.
  • Label(s):
  • 12k
  • Label(s):
  • 12k

Tor Lundvall
A Strangeness In Motion: Early Pop Recordings 1989-1999

Ambient musician Tor Lundvall is prolific as anyone. If you need proof consider A Strangeness in Motion, a collection of some of the more poppy tracks in his early work recorded between 1989 and 1999. These tracks bring to mind the likes of New Order and The Human League without ever losing the deftness of texture Lundvall is known for.

Suso Saiz
Nothing Is Objective

The Suso Saiz-Music From Memory link bears more fruit. After 2017’s Rainworks, the Odisea compilation and an LP from Saiz’s group Orquesta De Las Nubes, Saiz delivers another full-length for the label in the form of Nothing Is Objective. This is a gorgeous set of Balearic-influenced ambient electronics, one that slots neatly into a Music From Memory catalogue that also includes releases by Dip In The Pool and Jonny Nash.
  • Vinyl Double LP (MFM 040)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop
  • Label(s):
  • !K7
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Alexander Carson
Ellipsism

Wooden Arms leader Alexander Carson strikes out on his own with an EP for Round Table Records. Ellipsism is an ambitious set from the singer-songwriter, one that takes in everything from sky-scraping post-rock to In Rainbows-era Radiohead to ambient singer-songwriter fare in the Perfume Genius/Susanna And The Magical Orchestra vein. The amber-suspended ‘Forgotten’ is particularly gorgeous.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Benoît Pioulard
Sonnet

An intimate album of warm melodic droning. Benoit Pioulard started the process of making this album by recording unexpectedly musical tones from animal or mechanical sources (eg. extractor fans), and then transposing those sounds to his guitar. Released on almost-identically-priced vinyl and CD by the ever-loved Kranky label.
  • Vinyl LP (KRANK193LP)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Ian Hawgood
Impermanence

Sir Ian Hawgood (he's not actually been knighted but maybe he should be for services to electronic ambient music) is back to tell us all about decay. Using reel to reel tape recorders and other ephemera he has here embraced tape hiss and other side effects of the recording process to bring us nine slowly unfurling electronic pieces to aurally soundtrack what is also happening to our bodies.   
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Snow Ghosts
A Quiet Ritual

Following the first phase of their career, which saw an incredible nine records in a little over three years, Snow Ghosts return with yet another studio album, A Quiet Ritual. Their entrancing and weighty blend of electronica and post-rock this time encompasses a number of unusual instruments, including an Iron Age horn excavated from a site in Scotland. 

Justo Bagüeste & Suso Saiz
Inducing The Pleasure Dreams V2

Inducing The Pleasure Dreams is an album with high aims: it wishes to bring the listener into a dream state, but only in a good way. Justo Bagueste and Suso Saiz were asked to perform the 1995 original album in 2016, but chose instead to create something new within the same mindspace, with a few samples supporting a suite of fresh meditation. V2 is released by Geometrik.

Tor Lundvall
A Dark Place

Tor Lundvall's 'A Dark Place' comes over a decade since the release of his previous album, and is a remarkably open work of sincerity and emotional expression. Dealing with themes of loss and the passing of time, it's also inextricably linked to the passing of his father. An honest, darkly beautiful piece of work.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Gidge
Autumn Bells

Gorgeous electronics from Swedish duo Gidge. ‘Autumn Bells’ is a reissue of their 2014 record, an album of ambient beauty, subdued beats, and neo-classical composition, blending these styles seamlessly with contemporary chopped up vocal samples. It’s quite the place to get lost in, never a dour moment throughout this double LP, which comes to us via Atomnation.

Suplington
After Life

Suplington returns to Youngbloods (Boy King Islands, Sontag Shogun) with new LP After Life. As with its predecessor Repeating Flowers, this album is another gorgeous set of instrumental vignettes that blur the boundaries between ambient music, contemporary classical composition and drone. The record’s calm flow recalls Luke Abbott. After Life features flautist Nadiya Darling and two members of the excellent Archie Pelago.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Stubbleman
Mountains and Plains

Stubbleman is the ego of Pascal Gabriel who has done literally everything in music including writing the Theme from S Express and worked with Dido, Kyle Minogue and Can amongst others. One thing he hasn't done is write an ambient album so this is what that is, using cinematic sounds and live piano to create a panoramic album inspired by a US road trip.     
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Arovane & Porya Hatami
C.H.R.O.N.O.S.

Arovane & Porya Hatami continue to average an LP a year for Karlrecords (Konstrukt & Keiji Haino, Fanu & Bill Laswell). After 2017’s Organism and 2018’s Organism_evolution, 2019 sees the pair deliver C.H.R.O.N.O.S.. Rather than presenting the sort of ambient/concrete vignettes they've become known for, C.H.R.O.N.O.S. is comprised of five lengthy tracks that are generally richer and prettier than what Arovane & Hatami have come up with in the past. Recent records from Suplington and bvdub spring to mind.

Swoop And Cross
Stories Of Disintegration

Time Released Sound finally get round to releasing some vinyl. Their CDs looked nice enough so just imagine what they'll do with the bigger format. Their first release is by London based Portuguese composer Ruben Vale who has produced an album of soothing music with dreamy piano motifs and a cinematic air.  
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Julien Boulier
A Film Not Yet Made

Julien Boulier’s new album is a fittingly-titled piece of highly-cinematic romantic grandiose miniatures: captivating stuff. A Film Not Yet Made is available in regular CD and LP editions, as well as a box set version that Time Released Sound themselves describe as ‘over-the-top’... red vinyl in a vintage box, with vintage 1860’s magazine cuttings, vintage french architectural plans, dried lavender, and a handwritten score. Well.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Francis M. Gri
Decays

From the music to the packaging, Decays by Francis M. Gri reflects decay in a number of ways. The music goes in cycles, building and falling, growing and decaying - beautiful sounds smothering less beautiful sounds and vice versa. The packaging shows moral decay in one version being way OTT, whilst another version is packaged to show physical decay. Only 50 copies of each on Time Released Sound.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

David Allred
The Cell

David Allred is a Canadian songwriter that tackled themes of human fallibility and frailty on his first album, 'The Transition', and elucidates on this theme on sophomore record 'The Cell'. He has the same timbre of voice that John Martyn has, like a soft saxophone played in chocolate. If single 'Nature's Course' is anything to go by, 'The Cell' looks like a textured, beautiful, and, at times, grand album. I would also encourage you to watch the live version of 'Ahoy (1+1=X)' on YouTube, like a modern Arthur Russell; wow. 

Ryuichi Sakamoto
BTTB (20th Anniversary Edition)

Milan deliver more splendid material from the one and only Ryuichi Sakamoto, this time in the form of a twentieth anniversary reissue. Hitherto elusive outside Japan, BTTB (a.k.a. Back to the Basics) mainly consists of solo piano pieces of an artful and generally gentle contemporary classical persuasion. There’s a bit of prepared piano and what sounds like a hydrophone recording as well.

Louis Sterling
Adisceda

Second in what I will assume be 99 releases on David August's 99CHANTS. Louis Sterling is a 21 year musician who is wise beyond his years. Adisceda takes the form of an act of remembrance, and all the joy and sorrow that can bring. Gloriously deep ambient electro-acoustics that you can get lost in.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Mark Peters
New Routes Out Of Innerland

Remix album of Mark Peters' 2018 album Innerland. On New Routes Out of Innerland Peters offers a number of other musicians to apply their perspectives to his instrumental explorations of the north-west. Features the likes of Ulrich Schnauss, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and Olga Wojciechowska. On Sonic Cathedral.

Erland Cooper
Solan Goose

Prolific multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper—also of The Magnetic North and Erland and The Carnival fame—defies genre categorisation, his eclectic sound ranging from electro experiments, lilting folktronica and evocative poetry set to classical tropes. This vinyl release, out on Phases, explores his Scottish origins, each track named after a bird familiar to his native Orkney. 

Cocteau Twins
The Pink Opaque

A nice new pair of Cocteau Twins reissues from 4AD, remastered anew using the original analogue master tapes. The Pink Opaque compiled choice cuts from the group’s early work in order to break them to the American market in 1986, and the selection of material still stands up today. Pressed to 180g vinyl.
  • Label(s):
  • 4AD

Equal Stones
Below Zero

The latest release from Equal Stones - a.k.a. Dutch electronic artist Amandus Schaap - Below Zero evokes the endless frozen wilderness of the permafrost, with thick heavy textures moving almost imperceptibly slowly. Italian ambient label Glacial Movements makes a perfect home for Schaap’s new music. 

SineRider
Seconds Minutes

SineRider is one of those shoegazey / post-rocky ambient projects that somehow also manages to fold some IDM into the mix, but chief SineRider Mr Devin Powers has the additional twist of being a Berklee College Of Music composer. No surprises then that Seconds Minutes is an excellently detailed suite of music. CD released by Sun Sea Sky Productions.

Olan Mill & Keung Mandelbrot
Seismology


  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Noam
Overdramatic

Noam is a new project from a certain Kentaro Togawa, who you might know from Hopeless Marching Band or The Retail Sectors. Overdramatic features ten tracks of explorative sonics. This is a very affordable CD release: and you even get a postcard thrown in too! Courtesy of the Symbolic Interaction label.

Ex Confusion
I Remember When

Ex Confusion is Atsuhito Omori’s project devoted to hazy melancholy ambience, and sixth album I Remember When maintains the sound, style and quality of the project’s output to date. It’s a very particular sonic formular, but boy does it deliver. Includes a track in collaboration with Benoit Pioulard. On n5MD.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

The Chi Factory
The Mantra Recordings

The Chi Factory are a Dutch group who love to get really deeply ambient, ideally for multiple sides of vinyl at a time. The Mantra Recordings is a great instance of their work, inspired by poet Robert Lax and his chosen Greek island, Patmos. Four vinyl sides of lush, atmospheric music, ideal for spacing out to. Released by Astral Industries.
  • Vinyl Double LP (AI-12)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Visible Cloaks with Yoshio Ojima and Satsuki Shibano
FRKWYS Vol. 15: serenitatem

Oregon electronic/ambient duo Visible Cloaks in a Transpacific partnership. Joined by Japanese modern ambient composers Yoshio Ojima, from Kankyo Ongaku fame, and Satsuki Shibano, this quartet has created a beautiful album packed with mallets, rich synthesizers, and lush pads. Beautiful intercontinental collaboration to stretch your ears.

Justin Wright
Music For Staying Warm

Writing on the first properly snowy day on the English south coast for some years, I heartily endorse the importance of staying warm. So Justin Wright’s new album, titled Music For Staying Warm, is a very welcome listen. These nine pieces for string quartet is brimming over with lush resonance and harmonic drones, filling any space you play them into with comfortable fireside feelings. On First Terrace.

Julia Kent & Jean D.L.
The Great Lake Swallows

Guitarist and tape looper Jean D.L. trades some threads of thought with the esteemed experimental cellist Julia Kent and a whole album comes out. You lucky lot. A gorgeous timbral juxtaposition sees The Great Lake Swallows become a unique soundworld of its own, one combining crystalline guitar, aching cello and acousmatic sound. Gizeh rule!

Marcus Fischer & Simon Scott
Shape Memory

Simon Scott is, of course, the drummer in recently reconstituted shoegazers Slowdive. He has though had a long, separate career as a master of ambient bliss-outs, and here returns to Taylor Deupree's esteemed 12K label for a collaboration with friend, fellow ambient explorer and multidisciplinary artist Marcus Fischer. Although the pair discussed the album and shared sound sources beforehand, the bulk of the work was recorded on a spare day on Slowdive's whizz through the USA. Utilizing cassette loops and a plethora of additional sounds, samples and instruments, the results of the collaboration are an immersive series of deeply rich sonic textures.    

Stephen Vitiello & Taylor Deupree
Fridman Variations

Music gliding outwards from a loose knot of guitar, modular synth and tape synth - that’s what cheerful collaborator Stephen Vitiello and 12k godfather Taylor Deupree bring you on Fridman Variations. There’s a live recording made at New Ear Festival at the Fridman Gallery in New York followed by two immaculate studio variations on the setup.

Aluben Noiro
Levitate State

Trying to reach that Levitate State but struggling? Aluben Noiro is here to help. On their debut album the producer seeks to create a sense of a calm and a controlled euphoria. The album shares an intensity and singularity of vision with Manuel Göttsching's E2-E4 and Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. On Basement Jax's label Atlantic Jaxx.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

JAWS
The Ceiling

Jaws are back with album number three, The Ceiling. The Birmingham dream pop band get lumped in with the Digbeth B-Town scene - a scene that supposedly revolves around The Twang, Swim Deep and Peace, although they deny existence of such a scene. The band are popular with Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens. LP and CD on JAWS.

Galerie Stratique
Faux World

Quebecois ‘sound-hunter’ Galerie Stratique (Charles-Émile Beullac) initially released Faux World back in 2008. If this record reads like a fever-dream, that’s no coincidence - Faux World was inspired by a trip to Indonesia in which Beullac both immersed himself in new musical cultures and also fell rather ill. The tracks here are psychedelic sound-hazes that invoke Beullac’s mental state at the time. Think Four Tet and Jon Hassell. This new edition of Faux World has been slightly edited.

Luke Abbott
Music From The Edge Of An Island

Luke Abbott puts away his modular synth and electronics collection for a little while in order to create something for Piano Day 2019. Using VST software to simulate a piano, Abbott’s work here still retains a slight MIDI-ish computer tinge to it, which actually lends an interesting extra flavour. Music From The Edge Of An Island is released by FLOAT.

Abul Mogard
And We Are Passing Through Silently

Abul Mogard does great stuff with his synthesiser(s), and And We Are Passing Through Silently presents a particular corner of his practice: his elaborate reworkings (to call them ‘remixes’ doesn’t feel quite right) of other people’s tracks. Aisha Devi and Becoming Animal are two of those who get the Mogard treatment, and the results are lush. Out on Houndstooth.

Neel
One Instrument Sessions

One Instrument have just launched their One Instrument Sessions, a space for musicians to place to experiment with just one (1) instrument. The first release is from Neel, who here uses an E340 Cloud Generator and a Roland SH-01A for the two tracks to create deeply contemplative ambient music that betrays a deep familiarity with his tools.
  • Vinyl 12" (ONEINST002EP)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Deaf Center
Low Distance

Eight years after Owl Splinters the Norwegian two-piece made up of Miasmah records head Erik K. Skodvin (Svarte Greiner) and Otto A. Totland (Nest) return for their third full length album. Comparatively stripped back they once again show their skills at weaving mysterious and captivating electronics and ambient soundscapes which can both enthral and unnerve.
  • CD (sp 028-cd limited)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition
  • Last copy

Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm
Loon

Another installment of the intimate improvisational collaboration series between Erased Tapes figureheads Olafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm. The material on Loon came about from a couple of days spent with some new synthesisers and a few effects units. The results are delicate, beautiful and explorative. 12” on Erased Tapes.
  • Vinyl 12" (ERATP072LP)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Roger Eno
Dust of Stars

The press release manages to write several paragraphs about Roger Eno without mentioning his brother. We will though. It's our Brian's brother. But really he should be seen in his own right as a composer of note and here collaborates with producer Youth (Killing Joke, Embrace etc) where Roger's spectral piano combines with Youth's cinematic soundscapes.  
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Masaya Ozaki & Kaito Nakahori
Mythologies

Nobody brings the ruckus quite like the Japanese. IKKII records invited Masaya Ozaki & Kaito Nakahori to join forces with visual artist Erwan Morère to create a hazy landscape of distorted violins on one of 2017’s most trying ambient noise efforts. Mythologies is limited to 300 copies, all fitted with beautiful hand-made artwork. Highly recommended for those who love drones in all colors of noise.
  • Vinyl LP (IIKKI 004)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Ellis
The Fuzz

Ellis is an indie rock/slowcore/dream pop singer/songwriter from Hamilton, Ontario. The Ellis name is play on her own initials: Linnea Sigglekow - L.S. Her debut EP is called The Fuzz. If you’ve invested time and money into fellow Canadians Alvvays or perhaps Mazzy Star or Berkshire’s shoegaze heroes, Slowdive, then Ellis may be the artist for you. 6-track 12” on Fat Possum.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

The Cinematic Orchestra
To Believe

The Cinematic Orchestra do not work with haste. To Believe is their first full, proper studio album since 2007’s Ma Fleur, and its title track (with gorgeous vocals from Moses Sumney) has been circulating as a single since 2016. But now, when they are good and ready, they present To Believe in full! Guests include Heidi Vogel and the great Roots Manuva, and this one promises to be another deep classic. On Ninja Tune.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Drekka
No Tracks In The Snow

Delve into the early days of Mkl Anderson’s long-running Drekka recording project, with a selection of late 90’s / early 2000’s tracks. No Tracks In The Snow is full of highly personal moments and memories, expressed through industrial ambience and a cinematic scope. Released by Dais Records.
  • Vinyl LP (DAIS128LP)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Loscil
First Narrows

First Narrows was the third Loscil album to be released and, now over a decade old, it certainly deserves its first outing on wax. The album is a wonderfully polite work of gentle computer sound, processed acoustic instruments and beats that are alarmingly hypnotic, perfect for drives, late nights and subdued social happenings. Check out “Sickbay” for a great case in point, which wraps layers of soothing, wide pads over skittering rhythms and soft syncopations of smokey keys. Lush.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

William Basinski
On Time Out of Time

New solo work from big drone man William Basinski! On Time Out of Time was developed to accompany a Berlin art exhibition, and it features the sounds of actual real black holes in space(!), pulled into the unique soundworld of Basinski. The CD and LP editions have some different material, so think carefully about your preference… On Temporary Residence.

Simon Scott
Soundings

Simon Scott recently got back into his old role, as drummer for the freshly reformed Slowdive, but he never stopped with his more abstract work. Soundings was put together in many hotel rooms during tours, and mix together evocative field recordings with all manner of electronic sounds and processes. Soundings makes for a properly Touch album.

The Gentleman Losers
Permanently Midnight

Sentimental Helsinkilaiset The Gentleman Losers (Samu and Ville Kuukka, aka Lessons) return after seven years of attention directed elsewhere. True to the meticulously-produced analogue texture and post-rock lounge style of previous releases, Permanently Midnight sounds like a snug, wintry log cabin recalled from a dingy Route 66 motel. Artfully presented by Grainy Records.

Bowery Electric
Lushlife

Bowery Electric’s third and final LP gets reissued via Beggar’s Banquet. Lushlife was originally unleashed in 2000, and boy does it sound it. This one’s got that real Moby/Mr. Scruff/Saint Etienne vibe to it, all mushy old film score samples and crackling breaks. It’s a pleasingly atmospheric listen and worthy of the re-release.

Light Conductor
Sequence One

Light Conductor is a pair of modular synthesis dudes, one of whom, perhaps surprisingly, is Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes. Sequence One covers a lot of interesting ground, and feels like more than just modular jamming. A sense of bright meditation, spaced-drone textures and occasional fizzing fuzz blasts. Vinyl release by Constellation.

Mahbunzi Nahgo Pihndi
D Ebando

Brian Close, using the moniker Mahbunzi Nahgo Pihndi (which we’re told means as much as All the Healing Green Leaves of the Forest), imports a crazed soundscape from Gabon, based on the sounds of Fang Bwiti rituals. D Ebando is a cut and pasted collection of Mougongo melodies, esoteric, fragmented, and hypnotizing. A-side Awating has a haunted abstract soundscape feel to it, and b-side Bwicoming lays out a trancy, meditative ambience that slowly developes a pulse. Great stuff for all your ibogaine rituals.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Tomas Nordmark
Eternal Words

From Sweden, its Thomas Nordmark. Mr Nordmark is something of a minimalist, but he makes use of the full array of electronic sound sources and processing tools now available. Eternal Words feels very large to the listener, implying wide stretches of land with its sweeping synths and slowly-cycling patterns. Out on Valley Of Search.

Various
VA Compilation #5

A lovely compilation from Assembly Field, a label who specialise in that three-way intersection between electronic, ambient and experimental. For this, VA Compilation #5, they've tapped the likes of Slow Clinic, teto SHINDA, and (courtesy of Domino Records) Bill Ryder-Jones. Fourteen tracks of thoughtful and patient yearning.

Luke Howard / Nadje Noordhuis
Ten Sails

For Ten Sails pianist and composer Luke Howard recruited trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis and Nils Frahm’s Berlin piano. Together these artists make a delicate and minimal neo-classical music that borrows from ambient music as well as traditional chamber music forms. This vinyl LP on Hobbledehoy Recordings is a limited pressing and also includes a download code.

Phantoms vs Fire
WLDLFE

Phantoms vs Fire takes as his core theme here the destructive relationship that humanity has with our natural environment… with beats! WLDLFE is a lush but dark listen, with synths that have a beautiful but melancholy shine to them and evocative melodies. WLDLFE is released by Blackjack Illuminist Records.

Benjamin Finger
Into Light

Somber composer Benjamin Finger’s latest takes a turn for the darker. Into Light hosts four compositions, two of which are more than 15-minute affairs. The strings sound like Godspeed You! outtakes, set to minimal electronic backdrops, and the vocal loops create a dissociative bleakness. LIYL: pondering existence while staring out over grey buildings.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Tourist Kid
Crude Tracer

Aussie upstart Tourist Kid is here with his first release for Melody As Truth, a stuttering digital romp that takes in serene, glassy ambience, delicate piano and fetishistic instrumentation. It's a beautiful record; spacious, nuanced and heart-wrenching, complete with broken vocals and plaintive, delicate pulses. 

Tim Stebbing
The Atmosphere Factory (1985​-​1991)

The Atmosphere Factory (1985-1991) is a compilation of tracks by Leeds-based bedroom-synth practitioner Tim Stebbing. He was little known at the time but this collection should change that as his compositions foreshadow Boards of Canada whilst comparisons have been drawn to Manuel Gottsching and the soundtracks of John Carpenter. LP, limited to 300 copies on Ceres Motion.

Chasms
The Mirage

With The Mirage, Chasms find themselves entrapped in the world of dub. On this, their second album for Felte, the pair process change and sorrow by slowing things down and turning the reverb way up. The use of space is powerfully evocative, giving us a direct line to the frame of mind The Mirage was created in. 

Snow Palms
Everything Ascending

Everything Ascending is the new 12” from Snow Palms. The usual electronic sparkles and icy glockenspiels are backed-up by modular synths, tapes experiments, pianos and vocal lines that may give this record its name. If you like Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Steve Reich or Midori Takada, then the pair of epic tracks may be for you. 12” on Village Green.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

XVARR
Honeymoon With Solitude

Honeymoon With Solitude by XVARR is the second release on Twin Womb, the label set up by XVARR and Egypte Erotique. It follows 2018’s Aeons Revolve 12”. It’s mainly synthy soundscapes that could soundtrack a late ‘70s or early ‘80s dystopian film. Some nice retro sounds. Cassette, limited to 100 hand numbered copies.

Massive Attack
The Spoils

Two massive tracks from Massive Attack. The Spoils is a soft and string filled ballad that gets under the skin, featuring the haunting vocals of Hope Sandoval. And on the flip side Ghost Poet channels Spaceape over a lunging bass driven half time track with a pluck string melody. Presented on coloured vinyl and in stunningly printed sleeves.
  • Vinyl 12" (VST2142)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition

Aukai
Reminiscence

Fresh EP from Markus Sieber’s project Aukai. Careful and minimal instrumental pieces that accompany Sieber’s Ronroco (a kind of mandolin-esque instrument) with numerous other great musicians using harp, cello, violin and more. Short pieces that linger in the mind, highly considered but free-feeling. On aukaimusic.

Dolphins Into The Future / Lieven Martens Moana
Songs Of Gold, Incandescent

Dolphins Into The Future, aka Lieven Martens Moana is a closely thought-out project that expresses its creator’s experiences through field recordings and songs, each presented with a varying degree of treatments. These pieces, first available in a myriad of other ways, are here compiled onto a private press LP in an edition of only 170.

mattimatti
tomrum

What do you get if you cross a Matti with a Matti? Answer - a mattimatti. This Swedish-German meeting-of-Matt’s conjure a sound world on tomrum that lives up to its atmospheric cover artwork. These gently lilting instrumental numbers draw from drone, new age music and contemporary classical composition in a manner that makes you wonder what Olafur Arnalds could do if he wasn’t always chasing the next big payday. tomrum is out on Agogo (Blay Ambolley, Sola Rosa).
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Methyl Ethel
Triage

Australian art-rock combo Methyl Ethel enjoyed some success with their second album, Everything Is Forgotten. They matched dark lyrics with sparkling melodies and songs such as ‘No.28’ and ‘Ubu’ were among some of 2017’s best moments. Now they’re back with a follow-up, Triage. It finds the band in a more contemplative mood than usual.
  • Label(s):
  • 4AD

SRSQ
Unreality

Unreality is a phoenix from the flames. SRSQ is the solo project of Them Are Us Too’s Kennedy Ashlyn - the same Them Are Us Too who lost collaborator and dear friend Cash Askew in the 2016 Ghost Ship Fire. This LP is the sound of Ashlyn coming to terms with the grief. Sonically these tracks are pitched somewhere between Zola Jesus, The Cocteau Twins and White Ring. Unreality fights its demons in real time, and is all the more affecting for it.

Elder Island
The Omnitone Collection

The Bristolian good-times crew that is Elder Island at last present their debut full-length, following many a party over the years. The Omnitone Collection overflows with lush keys, bouncy rhythms and soul-filled vocals, all primed to help you have a nice time. The smoothly-produced Omnitone Collection is released by the band’s own label.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Andrew Chalk & Jean-Noël Rebilly
L'état Intermédiaire

Four years worth of on-off recording and live performances together have resulted in Andrew Chalk and Jean Noel Rebilly completing an album together: L’etat intermediaire. This suite of pieces features a number of acoustic instruments as well as field recordings, all handled with a delicate touch to create quietly potent music. Released by Faraway Press.

Billow Observatory
III: Chroma/Contour

III: Chroma/Contour is the third album from Billow Observatory, the now long standing ambient collaboration between Jonas Munk (who has worked with Ulrich Schnauss) and Jason Kolb. This is a sparser minimalism than they've ever attempted, whose power lies in it's willingness to suggest rather than shove the answers in your face. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
On The Echoing Green

Cutting his teeth with groups such as Portraits, The Alps, and collaborating with Liz Harris (Grouper) as Raum, San Francisco based multi-instrumentalist Jefre Cantu-Ledesma has been releasing albums consistently since. On The Echoing Green is full-on elation and uninhibited emotion. Through hazy tape fuzz and glistening guitar, a pop joy shines through and then washes away through a crackling hiss without really taking form, But it's not quite drone, just distant songs...

Andrew Wasylyk
The Paralian

Andrew Wasylyk spent five months in remote coastal Scotland on a residency. The resulting album, The Paralian, contains a great many instruments, and indeed field recordings, but the core of the album is a restored Erard Grecian harp from the 1800’s. The tender plucked strings of that harp sets the tone for a plaintive, rich and subtle suite of pieces. Out on Athens Of The North.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Tim Linghaus
About B. (Memory Sketches B-Sides Recordings)

If you enjoyed Tim Linghaus’s Memory Sketches album, than you are bound to enjoy About B. (Memory Sketches B-Sides Recordings) as well. This collection is a mixture of ambientish reworkings of tracks from that album, along with plenty more small tracks, full of small sounds adrift in a sea of warm crackle and electronics. CDr release on the Sound In Silence label.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Kryshe
Hauch

Ambient artist Kryshe returns to Welsh imprint Serein (Hauschke, Hidden Rivers) to release new disc Hauch. The tracks here are spiralling vistas of sound drawn largely from guitar, keys and voice. Occasionally an instrument will cut clearly through the dense textures - see the saxophone meditation that makes Hauch’s title track. Lovely stuff.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Pilar Zeta
Moments of Reality

Moments of Reality is the debut album by Pilar Zeta. Released on Ultramajic, the album is a inspired by Japanese new age from the 1980s and post-modern art. Made using '90s synths, the album is a candy-pop haze which wafts between PC Music's riotous manipulations and a conceptual art refinement.   

Michael Beharie & Teddy Rankin-Parker
A Heart From Your Shadow

Michael Beharie of Zs and Teddy Rankin-Parker (a cellist who has worked with Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros and the like) have known each other for years, but this is their first collaboration, and what a well-considered treat it is. Energetic and intricate music, mixed by the big man Jim O’Rourke. A Heart From Your Shadow is released by Mondoj.

Max Ananyev
Water Atlas

Russian ambient instrumentalist Max Ananyev might just be one of those guys who will cite obscure philosophers at your dinner party. Luckily his music has the same qualities of endlessness, carried by meandering pianos and expansive soundscapes, without the dreariness. On 2018’s Water Atlas, you'll find nothing but peaceful tidings of gentle ambient. Of course, you can also listen to the music in combination with aforementioned dinner-party exposition on youtube.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

White Lies
Five

Five is the er….fifth album by London three-piece White Lies. The facts Normanites might like to know is that it was produced by Ed Buller (Suede, Boo Radleys, Pulp etc) and mixed by Alan Moulder (JAMC, Ride, NIN etc) and renowned producer, Flood, plays synth on it a bit too. LP and CD on PIAS.

Various
Salaam for Yemen

Hibernate and DRONARIVM team up to drop a compilation that offers both friendship and financial support to the people of Yemen. Salaam For Yemen features some great music - from the ethereal drones of Hannu Karjalainen to Snow Palms’s dainty ivory tinkling, this is an album that holds up extraneously to the good cause it supports. 100% of the profits of Salaam For Yemen will be donated to War Child.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Red Stars CPR
Earth Is Heaven​ /​ Heaven Is Hell

Earth Is Heaven /Heaven Is Hell is the paradoxically named EP from Red Stars CPR, a collaboration between Red Stars Over Tokyo and CPR where they found unity in their difference of approach. Warm and uncanny loops bleed into something more sinister and darkly psychedelic. Earthly and heavenly and hellish. On Testtoon. 

Leighton Craig
Diamond Eye

Leighton Craig lives in Brisbane, Australia. He makes lo-fi keyboard instrumentals that vary in their complexity. At times he drops in samples from his vast cassette library of noises. Diamond Eye is his latest album. Another thing he does is draw straight, descending lines as shown on the cover to this record. LP on Bruit Direct Disques.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Kid Koala featuring Trixie Whitley
Music To Draw To: Io

The second of Kid Koala’s Music To Draw To LPs arrives via Arts & Crafts. Anyone expecting some of Kid Koala’s trademark scratch-symphonies needs to leave that at the door - as with 2017’s Music To Daw To: Satellite, Io is a record of ecstatic ambient compositions. Trixie Whitley guests on a third of the tracks here, and her bluesy coo gives numbers like ‘All For You’ a bit of a Susanna And The Magical Orchestra flavour.
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

Grouper
Grid Of Points

Portland's Liz Harris AKA Grouper is one of only a few artists who consistently melts our collective hearts. Her 'Grid Of Points' album (like her previous record on Kranky, 'Ruins') is more stripped-back than her earlier work, with a greater emphasis on songwriting and delicate piano compositions. What was previously submerged in effects resonates with a newfound clarity; what was previously obscured is foregrounded, offering a clearer window into the heart and mind of the artist and revealing previously unheard details within her meticulously crafted, gorgeous compositions. And yet, there's still enough mystique surrounding her songs and fragile, ghostly, ambient soundscapes to make her work as intriguing as ever.

Stray Theories
All That Was Lost

If you like ambient music then you'll probably like this third record from Stray Theories called All That Was Lost. When Templeton-Wolfe isn't busy writing and composing material for other musical ventures, he gets time to release gold like this which will appeal to fabs of Hammock and Eluvium. Available on vinyl LP and CD and released, proudly must I add, on n5MD. 

Dedekind Cut
Tahoe

Named after the mountain lake town he now calls home, 'Tahoe' is electronic producer Fred Welton Warmsley III’s latest journey into immersive and synthetic music taking in pensive mists choral melodies, field recordings and drone pieces taking in both classical and contemporary influences. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Ambient / Downtempo / Dreampop

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