Ambient Sunday with: Ziino, oZoio, and Tommaso Vargiu x Giacomo Mureddu #Ambient #Chill #StudyBeats

•February 21, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Ambient Sunday is upon us again. Let’s creep quietly into the day with soft sounds from Ziino, oZoio, and Tommaso Vargiu x Giacomo Mureddu.

Ireland’s Ziino is back with Vinyl Dreams. This is a spaced and spacey bobble of a track. Synths blip around against the hiss of the air lock in this almost weightless and initially beatless track. It’s all so deliciously fragile. Beats arrive eventually, slightly apologetically and try to stay as far back as possible. It’s a winsome moment in time and all too soon gone. Should be longer. Much longer.

I’ve no idea what the deal is in the oZoio household but oZoio is a project of a Brazilian family from the south of the state of Rio de Janeiro. They say that, “together with our children, we explore our musicality looking for inspirations in ambient sounds, at home, on the streets and anywhere else that motivates us to create.” Can’t quite get my head around it. But they insist it’s true.

What is definitely true is that Waiting the Bus is a lovely and gentle downtempo track. It opens with some found sounds, bird calls and a lovely repeating keyboard riff. The beats are a bit synthetic but that doesn’t really matter as the piano takes the strain here along with the sounds of children. It’s all so delightfully domestic and homely and warm. They explain that, “it was actually born when waiting for the bus and the sound of birds gave rise to the melody that permeates the song.” Go give your loved ones a hug right now.

To Italy for today’s final track. This is a collaboration between Tommy Vargiu x Giacomo Mureddhu. Tommy Vargiu was born and raised in Cagliari, Sardinia, 28 years ago. He says, “I love my land, its perfumes, its colors, but I also love to travel and get to know new realities, new perspectives that give me the opportunity to reflect and develop new ideas.” And Giacomo Mureddu is his cousin.

The track is a surface crackle with piano rippling lightly across the top. Electronic washes come and go. Then a sax comes for that lounge feeling. Beats have a lovely lazy flow. But what really takes this track to another level is the vocal sample all the way from Manchester and the gentle burr of the voice as it remembers days gone by. Selling papers and wounded soldiers. I wouldn’t normally post stuff under 2:00 but this was too beautifully delivered not to do so. Perfectly chilled.

Something for a chilled Saturday from Good Lee, and PORTYL #Chill #Downtempo #Electronic

•February 20, 2021 • Leave a Comment

How was your week? If it was busy or challenging in lockdown have a chilled escape with Good Lee, and PORTYL.

Austria’s Good Lee returns with a new single for 2021. It’s the Eastern influenced Panda Journey. He says, “I wanted to make something that is fun, uplifting, dreamy but also invites you to move and to let this chilled animal friend take you on a trip that hopefully might bring you some joy and a smile during these times.” It’s a lovely calming track that manages to have a gentle house sound to the beats, what I guess tends to get called organic house. That’s overlaid with chiming synths, some flute and a dab of ethereal vocal. It’s all very drift off into the heart of the ancient bamboo forest. Magical.

It’s a first time here for PORTYL (Tyler DeMartino) from Saratoga Springs, New York. The featured track is Fika from the Blind With Colour album. It’s a sweet, sweet track with the accent on higher end sounds. This accentuates the ethereal element to the track. Beats are slow and occupy the background. The foreground is a mix of jittery high end beats and hi-hats with synths that are reaching for the stars and unearthly wordless vocals accompanying them. It’s all hazy like sunlight filtered through trees. Blinded by the light.

It’s Friday, let’s bibble with IDM from Gregory Paul Mineeff x Kick Bong – Beyond #IDM #Electronica

•February 19, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Limping a bit towards the weekend so here’s something perky and IDM but not too experimental from Gregory Paul Mineeff x Kick Bong.

Gregory Paul Mineeff x Kick Bong is an Australian / French collaboration. Kick Bong (Franck Jousselin) is from Paris, France and has been making and releasing music for over 20 years. Gregory Paul Mineeff is composer, multi-instrumentalist from Wollongong, Australia. Both of their work has a chilled factor.

The featured track is Beyond from their Beyond Borders EP. This is a track of textures. There’s wandering backwards sounds that give the essentially chilled track a light dusting of IDM awkwardness. That lifts the track to a higher plain. The music has something from the 80s, 90s and through to now. The bass has an alt 80s feel while the synths revel in mid-90s chill. It’s all rather analogue loveliness and has that feel of real instruments perfectly blended with electronic ones. It has a lovely light, almost weightless, air of effortless soaring. A dandelion clock of a track. Blow gently and watch it all disappear on the breeze. Lovely.

Driving techno with: Whispering Wires – Turbulence #Techno #DeepHouse

•February 18, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Let’s accelerate towards the end of the week with some driving techno from Whispering Wires.

Whispering Wires is musician, composer, and producer, Rhett Williams, from Vancouver, Canada. His new EP is called Quarantine. And as so much else these days it’s Covid related. Did you know that the word quarantine comes from quarantena, meaning “forty days”, used in the Venetian language in the 14th and 15th centuries. The word designated the period during which all ships were required to be isolated before passengers and crew could go ashore during the Black Death plague. Back to Whispering Wires who says of the EP, “It’s a snapshot of processing the pandemic early on – the tension, dissonance, insomnia, and crushing silence.”

Turbulence is the featured track and it’s a brilliant tune pitched between melodic techno and deep house. Starts with a dark and menacing bass that rushes towards you. And then it’s offset by the gentlest synth chord. All fragile and naked. And then everything starts to settle into place. There’s a perky optimism in the melody despite the ongoing darkness. I love the balance that the track delivers. This is properly excellent motorway music. It has that effortless sense of speed and power but with great subtlety.

Midweek downtempo wth Lake Suburbia – Leap #Downtempo #Electronic

•February 17, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Tricky moment hitting midweek. Accelerate towards the end or think it’s all too difficult and slow down. If you need a bit of a lift check out Lake Suburbia’s cheering downtempo electronica.

Belgium’s Lake Suburbia, is Ghent-based multi-instrumentalist Sander Mangelschots. His work is mainly in the electronica vein so Leap is squarely in that ambit. It’s a lovely chilled but rippling track. It has a rather widescreen and very slightly epic air. There’s a pleasing contrast between the slowly unfolding keyboards and the pacey ripples of sound. Gives the track a welcome tension and serves to lift your spirits. A proper midweek shot in the arm.

Rainy days deserve IDM cheeriness from: Kiskadee – _DOWN #IDM #Electronic #Downtempo

•February 16, 2021 • Leave a Comment

OK, so it’s good that the weathers not so Baltic but did that have to mean a return to rain? I’ve had enough of that this winter. Waterlogged parks meaning even less to do in lockdown. As a cheering antidote to all that here’s Kiskadee with some chipper IDM.

Kiskadee is Jack Chown, a producer and composer based in London. His biog rather sweetly says, “I collect sounds and turn them into bittersweet beats and electronic soundscapes.” And there’s going to be a fair bit of comparison to people like Bonobo, Four Tet and the like in pieces on him. Not unfair either but also not telling the whole story. There’s a lovely attention to detail here and a rare way with offbeat melodies that means it’s no tame copyist at work.

_DOWN is the track and it’s a delight. Despite the annoying use of underscore in the title the clever use of “Your request to being a life cycle has been approved” gives the track a vocal quirkiness to the opening that the music enhances. There are crystalised beats and parping sounds. It’s a rich palette in which all the elements blend together into a single coherent whole. And yet in so doing don’t crowd each other out. It has strangely uplifting air about it. A bit of a ‘I know this is weird but weird is good” Welcome home indeed.

Warming House music with: Bergmönch – Terminal Ö #House #LoFiHouse

•February 15, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Something warming to start the week. A bit of lofi House from Bergmönch.

Bergmönch claims to have only started in 2020 after purchasing his first vinyl turntables as a quarantine hobby. He’s done well is all I can say. There’s a polished sheen to his tracks and a warming love of early house and disco.

Terminal Ö is the featured tune. The essence of the track he says, “is a reflection on the separation caused by the worldwide pandemic.” There’s a crowd sound at the start with some light tom toms. He says, “I sampled the sounds of a busy airport terminal to reflect on times when crowded spaces and travel were normal.” The track then develops with some early house beats and a super supple bass line that weaves its way sinuously through the crowd. It’s a disco house smoothy happy to trammel lines from disco, to house, to deep house. Lofi in its approach but sophisticated in delivery.

Ambient Sunday with Five Minutes More, Walter Mmari, and Khaligo #Ambient #Chill

•February 14, 2021 • Leave a Comment

A triple crop for your Sunday morning ambient experience from Five Minutes More, Walter Mmari, and Khaligo.

Five Minutes More is an Italian multi-instrumentalist producer based in Milan. The track is the super chilled Underwater. It’s filled with liquid guitar and the whisper of woodblock beats. Keyboards are set in the far distance to leave the guitar languidly centre-stage. This is music by and for lockdown. It’s extraordinarily well produced for something that aims at a lofi style. All the elements are in perfect balance. The mood is a bit sombre and sober. Such a beautiful track.

South Africa’s Walter Mmari makes a welcome return moving at 299,792,458 meters per second with the Speed of Light. He says of the track, “A little known secret is that time slows down as one approaches the speed of light. With this in mind, the faster we move, the more we do, the more we create, the longer our time on this Earth will be. It’s not the most talented that win any race, it’s the most persistent, disciplined, and the ones with the most grit that are remembered. Put on some speed in everything you do and watch the miracles start happening all around you.”

The track opens like a rapid deceleration with time skidding to a halt. It’s taken forward by some chiming riffs and a doom laden bass piano. There’s chill but this is like chill at the end of the world. It has that sort of apocalyptic vein to it. When your dealing with such fundamentals the beats can afford a softness that leaves them rather sitting on the bench watching the end of the world go by. A two minute Book of Revelations. Properly Biblical.

From the Netherlands comes Khaligo, a composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist based in Rotterdam. He says that his work is an “expression of what’s happening around me.” That sort of conceptual approach could be a bit austere and mannered in lesser hands. But this has an organic richness that invites you in to make your own meaing.

The track is Exit Lane and is the last track on his new five track Travelogues EP. Of it he says it is, “about how it feels to be on the road. It’s about the coming back after a long journey, and slowly winding down as you’re driving back to your home.” It’s a rather lovely track pitched somewhere between ambient and IDM. There’s soft synth chords of homeward longing pitted against insect crawling burbling breaks. The track gently throbs with a sort of anticipated yearning. Despite the IDM jitter there’s a central calmness to it that gently inspires. It ends with a gradually swelling set of strings and ascending electric piano to offer ultimate fulfillment.

Dreamy progressive house from Nik Alevizos – Breathless #ProgressiveHouse #House

•February 13, 2021 • Leave a Comment

After week of techno a step back from percussive beats into something a bit more ethereal from Nik Alevizos.

Nik Alevizos was born in Greece then moved to Australia at a young age. His biog says that “his style can be described as “Melodic” and “Emotional”.” And that’s very much what you get on Breathless. It starts off in a beatless fashion with a bit of vocal keening. It’s all very otherworldly. Beats arrive but nothing too hard. It could almost veer into dream house but the beats have enough presence to avoid that. Nonetheless, there’s a continuously dreamy drift to the ascending synths which occupy the foregound. It’s all very sunrise or sunset music. Slack jawed at the beauty of it all.

Spanking new #Acid from: Forest Little – The Grind #Techno

•February 12, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Let’s end this techno week and blast our way towards the weekend with Forest Little.

Forest Little is from the Netherlands and the track is the box fresh, just released, acid techno frazzle of The Grind. He describes is as, “a 90s dance beat with a touch of acid.” This track has a raw sound. It has that breathless feel of something just completed and played at the club that day. The beats have an insistent buzz about them. Everything piles into everything else. It sounds a glorious mess of a track but it’s much more skilfully constructed than first appears. Hardly the artless track it might otherwise seem. But boy what a superb rush.