remote_ thoughts | contemporary electronic

Haruki – Snowed In Food Shelter – Klanggold

Posted in Reviews: Organic, Uncategorized by remotethoughts on May 26, 2010

Haruki - Snowed In Food Shelter

Artist: Haruki

Title: Snowed In Food Shelter

Label: Klanggold

Cat No.: KG008

Format: CD

It’s fair to say that I rather like Haruki’s work. Having thoroughly enjoyed both of his recent releases on The Land Of and Hibernate I was excited to hear this new album on Germany’s Klanggold imprint.

Using a range of digital and acoustic sources the most immediately noticeable aspect of this work is the way it portrays a more gentle side of his character. The other releases I’ve heard definitely tended more towards a wide range of sonic elements with, dare I say it, a more playful overall style. This, however, remains tightly focused and concentrates on certain instruments as motifs, the piano and guitar for example, that recur from track to track.

It’s a deeply introspective sounding piece of work, from the tender touches of melody to the haunting and decidedly melancholic layers. It had me looking inwards whilst listening to it and I think it really is supposed to imbue the listener with a tangible feeling of sadness. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know.

The delicacy with which the piano refrains are played and processed is beautiful and it almost reaches into William Basinski territory at times with a hypnotic flow and grainy sounds. But instead of staying static it uses the gentlest of movements to guide the tracks along.

A hint of bassoon here, a reversed chord there, acres of space for the sound to swim around you, a cunningly unstructured sounding style that I imagine is actually painstakingly put together… all of these things combine to make a very personal album that fans of the quieter side of contemporary ambient electronic music should really enjoy.

Subtle, deep, lovingly crafted. An album of substance from this excellent artist.

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Taylor Deupree – Snow (Dusk, Dawn) – 12k

Posted in Reviews: Electronic, Reviews: Organic by remotethoughts on May 25, 2010

Taylor Deupree - Snow (Dusk, Dawn) - 12k

Artist: Taylor Deupree

Title: Snow (Dusk, Dawn)

Label: 12k

Cat No.: 12K2016

Format: 3″ CD – Edition of 63 copies

Taylor Deupree’s latest release in the limited 12k offshoot series is a beautiful work, both aurally and visually, that never gets bogged down in the intricacies of being too conceptual. The premise is simple – using expired Polaroid film he took a series of 63 photographs then swiftly scanned them at different stages of decay before they faded completely to black. Each copy of the album comes with these prints as well as the original Polaroid so every single edition is unique.

The idea of being transient is particularly pertinent as Deupree’s love and study of nature have an obvious link to the idea of change. As ever the music that accompanies these images is deep, delightfully melodic and full of a natural sounding warmth.

Snow (Dusk, Dawn) concerns itself with gentle movement and layering of sounds that shift almost imperceptibly throughout, yet have a steady flow which is rooted (and I use that term deliberately) to the underlying sounds. Much like nature itself there’s an ever present sense of something being there, even if it’s only glimpsed occasionally or at certain times.

Using analogue and digital sources the friendly ambience here is never anything less than beautiful and his uncanny grasp of melodic texture and depth shines through the entire 18 minute piece.

Although a relatively expensive work I think it’s something that’s more than worth seeking out bearing in mind the love and time which has gone into its production. If you can find a copy I have a sneaking suspicion that you’ll find it to be one of his most gorgeous low-key works.

Ryonkt – North Small Town – Hibernate Recordings

Posted in Reviews: Electronic, Reviews: Organic by remotethoughts on May 24, 2010

Ryonkt - North Small Town - Hibernate Recordings

Artist: Ryonkt

Title: North Small Town

Label: Hibernate Recordings

Cat No.: HB14

Format: 3″ CDr – Edition of 100 copies

A lovely new release from Hebden Bridge’s finest label. This dinky 3” CDr sees the very highly regarded Ryo Nakata delivering a signature series of four untitled tracks using his delicious penchant for gentle guitar processing and manipulations.

There isn’t much to separate the pieces style wise as they’re closely linked thematically, but they each give you a slightly different meditation on that mellow, almost pastoral ambient sound that’s so pleasing to the ears.

With subtle builds and layering he transforms what comes from his fingers into a tender and emotive journey that will enchant you if you’re a fan of the label or artists such as Ian Hawgood. Each moment seems to capture a blissful, yet somewhat melancholic feeling that will, ultimately, leave you feeling at peace and (in my case certainly) very relaxed. The unforced melodic element always captures me with his work – the understated way he takes the mundane parts of life and turns them around aurally. You can feel his sympathetic and loving relationship with the guitar in every lick that transforms into texture.

This form of music is so very ‘now’, yet so timeless and Ryo has added yet another beautiful work into the pantheon of organic electronic music.

With only 100 copies produced I’d head on over to Hibernate and grab one before its too late.

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