THe morning after the night before: arc rae – Primitive #IDM #Ambient #Electronic

•June 18, 2021 • Leave a Comment

For anyone who follows Northern Ireland yesterday was a bit of a day.

A deal was done to keep the Government running in the early hours. The First Minister was nominated at lunchtime despite a vote against within the DUP. The leader resigned come the evening after a vote of no confidence but the First minister is still in place. But for how long and who knows what comes next?

I’m assuming that there will be some sore heads this morning, so I’m recommending you have a listen to arc rae’s new album Primitive and consider your next move carefully.

arc rae is a Berlin-based electronic artist and sound designer. The album is available on stream, download and vinyl. It opens with Honest Mistake, an ambient tune of IDM glitches and crackles. Despite the electronic noise it’s also a tune of Boards of Canada like warmth and feeling. Wistful and melancholic. This is followed by Atlas, a track that more consciously stumbles amid the xylophone sounds and burbling beats.

Pick Your Poison is an album highlight. It offers gentle dub techno beats and throbs alongside an IDM glitchiness. It has little shards of guitar and a deliciously dangerous swirl about it that envelops you. Spirit Animal hums away in ambient fashion before Body Language takes over with slow woodblocks and Rhodes ripples.

Fossils allows more guitar into the picture in an almost ne age moment. Life Cycle brings the electronic back to focus with a track of held tones and an almost drone feeling. It’s all waiting on the shore until exquisite strings arrive to give voice to the emotion held within. The album closes with Wasted Time, a hazy wavy melancholic, downbeat ending. Just perfect.

Arc rae has delivered a beautiful album of quiet ambient and IDM moments for contemplation of life’s uncertainties and vagaries.

Back to the old school with: Kokko Perelli – Forse #House #Eighties #OldSchool

•June 15, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Delivering an old school track is a tough ask. How does it sound contemporary but still evoke the sounds of days gone by? Kokko Perelli has the answer on Forse.

Kokko Perelli is Chilean DJ/Producer, Cristóbal Peña Perelli who was born in Santiago, 1993. His work takes classic house and disco grooves and turns them into something new. Forse is a perfect example of that apporach.

Forse is built around two elements. First some soft piano chords with that old school house vibe. The second is a perfect 80s disco funk bass with a real sense of elasticity. This is all rounded out with some bassified samples. Kokko explains that, “The samples used in this track are part of and old Pino D’Angio interview.” I must confess I’d never heard of him. But Wiki explains that, “Pino D’Angiò (born Giuseppe D. Chierchia, August 14, 1952 in Pompei, Italy) is an Italo disco artist. He is best known for his hit 1980 song, “Ma Quale Idea”, which sold over 2 million copies in Europe.”

Forse delivers both ends of the 80s working together from the early 80s disco bass and the late 80s piano. This tune grooves the discotheque with its shirt unbuttoned to the waist. It’s a glitterball swirl of a track. Has a slinky and sinuous grace with the Italian samples giving it a bit of sultriness. Beautiful music for beautiful people.

Dances with Aliens on: Artefact by Johan Agebjörn & Mikael Ögren #Techno #Ambient @johanagebjorn

•June 14, 2021 • Leave a Comment

A new album from Johan Agebjörn & Mikael Ögren takes you on a journey to explore space and space techno in all its dimensions from ambient to a more retro-futuristic harder edged version.

The album is called Artefact and is inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s 1973 novel Rendezvous with Rama. According to Wiki, the story involves a 50-by-20-kilometre (31 by 12 mi) cylindrical alien starship that enters the Solar System. The story is told from the point of view of a group of human explorers who intercept the ship in an attempt to unlock its mysteries.

The album opens with the ominous IDM space rumble of Extravehicular Activity before coming to the ambient wonder of Passing The Gates. This moves on to alien strangeness and awe on The Plain and then The Storm That Passed. In Flight Over The Sea there’s a cavernous slightly echoed opening before light retro synths get an elastic outing.

Static Air offers the first vestiges of humanity with the astronaut element amid anticipatory synths that bobble around. Octapod marks a pivot in the album, where the spaced elements give way to an edgier, more frantic and paranoid set of bass ridden sounds. Threats and pleasures lurk around every corner. There’s more of the latter in Monitoring the Zooids, a track that tinkles away with optimistic synths and sounds.

The album’s penultimate track the rather wonderful and best thing on the album Space Travel. This is a lovely space techno tune with a bit of retro-futurism and even builds itself up to some late 80s / early 90s wide-eyed Beltram feeling. There’s an accompanying comedown on the joyous Final Sight.

Do take this journey but whatever you do don’t miss out on Space Travel.

Also available on CD and d/l

Ambient Sunday: At The Psychedelic Circus – Kala Nag #Dub #Ambient #IDM #Experimental

•June 13, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Ambient Sunday returns with something more challenging than usual in the form of At The Psychedelic Circus’ experimental IDM. There’s shades of The Orb but on a bad trip.

At The Psychedelic Circus are an audio visual collective from Utrecht, Netherlands. Their mission statement is, “We bring you atmospheric psychedelic electronica. A fusion of the wandering human mind and our electronic reality.”

The track is Kala Nag. I’m assuming given the video that the title comes from the elephant in Toomai of the Elephants by Rudyard Kipling (of Jungle Book fame) albeit Kala Nag translates as Black Snake. But this is no Disneyfied track. It’s takes the essence of freedom and confinement for the elephant in the story through to the sounds. It’s a swirling psychedelic set of sounds and samples of India but set against an ominous low bass ridden thudding of dubbed beats. A slow stately march into the jungle. It’s danceable but in a paranoid way whilst wading through treacle. This is a dangerous trip to see the elephants dance that’s worth the experience.

Get your techno groove on with: Ias Ferndale – Zawbiea (Extended Mix) #MelodicTechno #ProgHouse

•June 12, 2021 • Leave a Comment

All too often these days tracks are two minutes or so. It’s therefore a delight when some thing big and bold hoves into view confident enough to be approaching nine minutes. That’s what Ias Ferndale has delivered on the melodic techno groover Zawbiea.

Ias Ferndale is from Berlin, Germany and that’s about all I know. Zawbiea, however, is his second single. The title means زوبعة which translates as whirlwind. This is a massively confident track. It uses an uplifting prog house template but restrains it with a bit of techno darkness.

It opens with throbbing sounds and a bit of wailing that isn’t too obviously Middle Eastern. And that’s a good thing to stop it slipping into cliché. It maintains a taut tempo and atmosphere as it starts to wind itself up. There are airy synths that give it a rippling, furling sound.

The track oozes self-confidence, even to avoid a traditional break. And yet it maintains tension, anticipation and a rolling, galloping pace through to the end. There’s a shorter six minute edit on Spotify but the get the full effect, stick with the Soundcloud version. Superb whirling, swirling, grooving prog techno joyfest.

Are you an owl or a lark? Listen to Project AER – Lark Rise #Chill #Downtempo @ProjectAER

•June 11, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Are you an owl or a lark? I’m a lark usually. But this morning I’m up early but struggling to stay awake. Project AER’s Lark Rise is lulling me back to bed with its downtempo charms.

Project AER is the new project for the UK’s Alex Reade who has been making music for a decade now. His current venture is described as a, “blend of ambience and guitar-driven beats.” And Lark Rise pretty much fits that description.

Lark Rise is the first single taken from forthcoming album Motions which is out in the middle of next month. It’s a two and a half minute swirl of the most exquisite chill. Opening with a slow piano line and a little tinkling anticipation it rises with the day and some wood block beats. Rosy fingered dawn is here. A guitar line comes snaking to give it the central melody to face the coming day. There are ethereal washes that keep the stresses and strains of reality at bay. Time to sneak back to bed with another cup of coffee before I face the in-box.

Big bad boom bap with: Joe Nora – Far Out (feat. G Mills) #Chill #HipHop #StudyBeats

•June 10, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Pre-Friday vibes are ready for some head nodding to get through a hectic day. Joe Nora is along for the musical accompaniment with a big bad boom bap chill track.

Joe Nora’s explanation for his name is rather sweet. He says, “The backstory of my name is that before I was born my parents decided they would call me Nora if I was a girl and Joey if I was a boy. Not wanting to know until the day of, they called me Joey Nora up until I was born and they found out I was a boy. It is the kind of balance that I liked about it, the sort of yin and yang of my name and of me.”

Far Out is taken from his Rainfall EP, inspired by the only week of rain in LA this year. He should be so lucky. The track starts with a little surface noise and some jazzy smooth Rhodes chords before the live beats (courtesy of G Mills) come in. They’re allowed to be on the heavy side and roll slow. Gives the whole thing a really slowed down vibe. All you can do is slowly nod your head to the beats as the chords wash over you and in so doing wash away your cares. Surrender to the unhurried beats and draw solace from the Rhodes. Everything else today can just wait a while. Tell the world you’ll be back soon.

Downtempo ethereal music from: Rohne – Phase #Electronic #Chill #MelodicTechno

•June 9, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Midwesterner Rohne (Keenan Branch) returns with a new chilled track that takes something from ethereal chill and something from melodic techno.

He’s originally from the mountains of the Pacific Northwest but is now in Portland, Oregon. Here’s the title track from his new Phase EP. This opens with wind washed sounds before letting in some clicky clattery beats. But behind all this are melancholic held tones that gradually occupy more of the experience. It’s all a bit wistful and a little ethereal. It’s wandering in a deep house vastness, warmed by melodic techno beats. It lifts you up and then pulls you down. A bit like life really. This tune is whole of the solitary human experience.

You gotta live right. You gotta chill right: Human Centerpiece x Thèmemoir – The Collision (Bastelbande Remix) #Chill #Electronic #Downtempo

•June 8, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Chill turned all the way up to 11 by Human Centerpiece x Thèmemoir in a remix from Bastelbande.

Back in 1999 I was travelling for work quite a lot. Meant too many evening in unknown cities across the UK with nothing to do. Eating alone in a restaurant’s never been my favourite thing so I used to trawl record shops where they were open late. Moby was someone who’d been around for ages but never really done much for me. But I’d heard his fifth album was supposed to be ok. In the absence of anything else to buy I bought it.

Play was the album and it got played over and over again for the next 12-18 months. I was obsessed by its gentle chilled sounds, organic house style and the floating old vocals laid on top. That may seem like a bit of a formula now but it felt so fresh then. But I then reached the point of saturation and it went into a cupboard never to re-emerge.

The Collision as remixed by Bastelbande connected to all those lost feelings from 20 years ago. The track is by Human Centerpiece x Thèmemoir from The Sum Of All Destruction (Remixes) EP. Bastelbande are originally from a small town near the border of Berlin, and comprise producer duo André Meyer and Mathias Wilhelm. The track has that yearning old gospel-ish vocal element allied to a mournful piano line. The beats are crisp and precise giving the track a strong centre. That allows the melancholy to swirl around it. A trumpet line gets added later for that woozy lost-in-the-moment feel. Quite delicious.

Study Beat Monday: YourFavourite – Count On You #StudyBeats #Chill

•June 7, 2021 • 1 Comment

Back to work for me after a week off. Calls and emails starting early but trying to resist getting sucked back in by taking the time to have a bit of a chill with some study beats from YourFavourite.

YourFavourite is from Sibiu, Romania and describes themselves thus, “Y.F.G.P – Your Favorite Ghost Producer” Count On You is the featured track. It’s taken from the three track Time Keeper EP. Unusually for me, this is built around some disembodied ethereal vocals alongside a classic low slow set of beats. Synths are equally unusually kept far in the background giving the whole thing a sense of keening ululation. Really rather head noddingly beautiful.