remote_ thoughts | contemporary electronic

Sublamp – Wickerships – Ahora Eterno Records

Posted in Reviews: Electronic, Reviews: Organic by remotethoughts on November 30, 2010

Sublamp - Wickerships

Artist: Sublamp

Title: Wickerships

Label: Ahora Eterno Records

Cat No.: AE003

Format: CD

Another delicious cocktail of sound here from Ryan Connor under his Sublamp guise, and a superb introduction for the Ahora Eterno label from Argentina if you’re not already aware of it.

Wistful drones and melancholy drifts of sound combine to make a compelling, enchanting and deeply beautiful collection of earthy organica. Similar to his previous and outstanding work for Dragon’s Eye this has a knack of sounding imperfect, yet perfect at the same time… the occasional hint of dissonance, a clashing note here and there, but always with a melodious feel that swathes everything in a very human warmth.

Sometimes guitar-based, sometimes electronic, the music is often accompanied by natural sound recordings and, in fact, my highlight of the album is the utterly magnificent ‘The Hauntingshell I’ which features a heavy dose of field recordings. Wind and clattering metal meld together to create a mini 5-minute narrative that allows the imagination to run riot picturing exactly where the recordings were taken. I favour a desolate arctic environment, although I could equally imagine a desert-scape with windswept dunes and rocky crags.

Whatever you picture in your own mind, be sure that this album is a refined, tightly honed object lesson in expansive, yet subtle sound design.

Beautiful and at times stark, this really is a majestic piece of work.

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Celer – All At Once Is What Eternity Is – Taâlem

Posted in Reviews: Electronic, Reviews: Organic by remotethoughts on June 3, 2010

Celer - All At Once Is What Eternity Is

Artist: Celer

Title: All At Once Is What Eternity Is

Label: Taâlem

Cat No.: ALM64

Format: 3″ CDr

It’s always a pleasure to hear new Celer material. It has as much power as it ever has done and will always be a rare treat for these ears.

Taâlem has given us another exquisite example of why Will and Dani’s music has remained such a steadfast fixture in my life and, coming as it does on that most excellent of formats – the 3” CDr – it’s instantly something I feel completely at home with.

All At Once Is What Eternity Is sets its stall out early with a lone wind chime sound and flowing water being joined by some signature classically inclined chords – a beautifully melodic feel that is built upon in a wonderfully subtle way throughout. Although it initially seems like the chords remain static (a trademark of their sound at times) you’ll discover that they actually move gradually through a series of progressions. It’s this gentle movement and flow that gives the piece such a rich and rewarding sound. When the field recording elements creep slowly back into the mix from time to time they really accentuate the gliding, dreamlike musical content to the fullest degree.

It’s a Celer release through and through and if you have any love for ambient drones and soundscapes written from the heart then my advice is to get yourself over to the Taâlem site immediately as I believe these may well be limited.

22 minutes of gorgeous, timeless and utterly enchanting music.

Mnortham – Automnal 2003 – and/OAR

Posted in Reviews: Electronic, Reviews: Minimalist by remotethoughts on October 15, 2006

Mnortham - Automnal 2003 - and/OAR

Artist: Mnortham

Title: Automnal 2003

Label: and/OAR

Cat No.: AND/23

Format: CD – Limited Edition

And/OAR continues to impress me as a label with its varied, original and extremely high quality release and it’s clear that owner Dale Lloyd takes a great deal of care over every single release. As such it’s always a pleasure to hear a new CD from such a quality imprint and this release from Mnortham is absolutely sublime.

The three tracks that make up the 55 minute CD are audio snapshots of three different locations in time and reflect the ideas and feelings the artist had whilst relocating around the globe thirteen times in the just two years, culminating in his arrival back home in Autumn 2003.

Prepare to be soothed and engaged by the work on offer here as there’s a tangible sense of difference between the pieces, even though the approach is roughly the same each time with processing of location recordings and found sounds forming the main structures.

‘Glacier Du Trient, Switzerland/France’ is a light, breezy, yet discordant piece that lifts you up with its high end drone sounds and insistent clicks in the background which force you to pay attention. It’s hard tune it out and you’ll find yourself listening to it in depth and discovering more and more resonant frequencies existing than you imagined at first.

‘Eagle Creek, Indianapolis’ has a heavier, more oppressive tone and bears a similarity at times to some of the work of Wolfgang Voigt under his Gas moniker. Combined with the sound of cicadas in the background the organic tone that drives the track forward gives you a palpable sense of a wide open space inhabited by creatures of the night.

The final piece ‘Ils Grosbois, Montreal’ is the most haunting of the works here. A mid/high-frequency drone that works with discordant layers resonates at just the right level to create a sense of dislocation, gradually adding in subtle static sounds and scratchy, gritty tones into the background. Again this give the track a real sense of movement, driving it ever forward.

And it’s this sense of moving and never settling in one place that permeates the whole CD… a feeling of transience captured for eternity on a piece of encoded plastic. That’s the magic of music and it’s certainly where the magic of this CD comes from. A delightful, beautiful and very personal piece of work.

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