sobota, 22 stycznia 2022

anthéne - maritime (2021)

Brad Deschamps, a well-established ambient artist and curator of Polar Seas Recordings, released a fantastic album last November (curiously, through the Ambientologist label). And maritime catches attention with the subtle but ever-changing soundscapes that rush the audience into a dreamy trance.

Mastered by Ian Hawgood, the album is said to be unique for the artist as it "shift[s] from his usual expansive, time-stretching soundscapes" into "something altogether more grounded, more focused". The tracks don't feel particularly rushed, they present well-developed, delicately noisy soundscapes that seem to represent an open gate to the land of dreaming. Melancholic drones and peaceful mood really feel like invitation to a trance. Perhaps one less comfortable composition the audience can find in what the night will bring with its slightly more danger-sounding vibes in the synthy backgrounds, but maybe it's just autosuggestion. 

maritime costs 8 EUR.

Check: what the night will bring 
Country: Canada
Genre: dreamy soundscape
Label: Ambientologist

czwartek, 20 stycznia 2022

Neonach - II (2021)

Craig Douglas debuted with his project Neonach only a year ago and he managed to got back with a follow-up album already in the final days of the last year. I love how unique and fresh the artist's music feels while still deriving the best parts from established music genres of shoegaze and psychedelia.

The uniqueness of Douglas' music is bound to the use of electronics means to achieve an unbelievably fun and smooth flow in his music. The songs seem to slide from one to another like people dancing on ice. And it doesn't matter that the follow-up album seems to be heavier than the debut, it's still the same, immersive and inviting atmosphere. There are moments of shocking noise (like in my favourite A Dream that sound almost like something taken from dubstep but melted in the ethereality of this music) or even metal-like galloping pace (in Human) but even they are so fantastically catchy thanks to the use of ethereal choirs and synth-like backgrounds. As well as the particularly distorted vocals that may feel like taken from older psychedelic rock records but feel very well fitted in the modern music the artist creates.

II costs 7 USD.

Check: A Dream
Country: Massachusetts, US 
Genre: electronic psychedelic rock

środa, 19 stycznia 2022

WE​.​THE PIGS - WE​.​THE PIGS (2021)

It's been already 6 years (!) since the Swedish band WE.THE PIGS' debut EP I posted about on this blog back in its beginnings. The musicians finally (!) released their first LP and, fortunately, I can safely say it was wort waiting for as the self-titled album shows a lot of noisy and dreamy magic.

Their noise pop is characterized with lo-fi, bedroom recordings quality and it directly influences the haziness and mystery surrounding the melodies. To dig through the noise and the whole fog of imperfect sounds to reach the airy vocals and lofty tunes is a fantastic experience. And very rewarding too as songs like Drift to Sleep or Curtains show how beautifully merged the ethereality and catchiness are here. It goes without saying that the airy vocals and ballad-like compositions boost the ethereal atmosphere that is thick and moody from the album's beginning to its end. Not to mention the melancholic, city-based and emotional lyrics. And even when the band steps on it and gets more indie-rock powerful in songs like Fuck Your Songs or Vi striker, the overall blanket of haze and dream-like atmosphere swiftly reappear to provide more airy vibes for the audience.

WE​.​THE PIGS costs 12 EUR.

Check: Drift to Sleep
Country: Sweden
Genre: lo-fi noise pop
Label: Dreams Never End Records

wtorek, 18 stycznia 2022

Hemelbestormer - Collide & Merge (2021)

Hemelbestormer is one of the bands that define the heavy music scene in Belgium, one that never disappoints fans' expectations when it comes to the overwhelming guitar noise compositions. Three years after their third album A Ring of Blue Light, they are back with immersive and absolutely massive Collide & Merge.

This extremely long album (physically existing as double CD/LP) is filled with long and slowly developing (or even developing and diminishing and then developing again within one track) very much guitar-oriented compositions. They seem to last forever while the storm of guitar noise comes and goes, making this feel nature-like epic. There are traces of electronica here, but the focus is solely put on what can be achieved with a wall of guitar noise - and the results are so impressive! The blizzard of sound they can generate is fantastic with the noise parts in Collapsar (or rather somewhere within Collapsar's complicated soundscape), the first seconds of In Praise of Sun and in my favourite Void that constitutes almost a quarter-of-an-hour-long love letter to loud music.

But there's more to this music than only the crushing quality of noise. There's a lot of space for moody atmosphere building, drone ambient-like passages as well as for skillful guitar riffs. I love those mysterious spoken word/whispering bits in Quasar as well. In general, the whole album sounds like it was carefully designed to reflect what's the best in instrumental guitar music.

Collide & Merge costs 6 EUR.

Check: Void 
Country: Belgium
Genre: massive post-metal
Label: Ván Records

piątek, 14 stycznia 2022

Saáadon - мреть (наутро ночь) (2021)

That's a great story on itself: two music projects Sádon (a Russia-based duo) and Saåad (Romain Barbot from France) came together to make music so they called this collaboration Saáadon, I think it's brilliant. Their album is called мреть (наутро ночь) which translates to "Die (in the morning night" which makes it clear that its content is going to be dark and poignant.

And the opening notes of heavy organ-like keys are certainly an emotional treat. The very slow soundscape the artists create have those heavy qualities, it's clear for the audience that the music i made to overwhelm and make them feel things. It's noisy, it's tear-jerkingly beautiful and, to top that, there are dispersed vocals that are based on Sádon's Donat Mavleev's poetry. They talk about "the end of time, its horizon and beyond" - quite bombastic themes but also, for ambient music, this is the most grandeur-invoking music you can get, especially thanks to the organ-like parts that make me think of Anna von Hausswolff's collab with Godspeed You! Black Emperor - similar dark and sacral vibes here.

мреть (наутро ночь) costs 8 EUR.

Check: Явь
Country: Russia/France
Genre: heavy soundscape
Label: Cyclic Law

czwartek, 13 stycznia 2022

Fragrance. - Salt Water (2021)

Matthieu Roche, a.k.a. Fragrance with a dot, comes from France and creates very unique blend of heavy club music with extremely airy vocals. His music is both moody and catchy so I couldn't miss the opportunity to post about his second album called Forevermore.

His music, in many ways similar to what another French artist, Hante, does, creates this peculiar feeling in the audience: the urge to dance and to sink in the melancholic atmosphere at the same time. The basses Roche creates are deep and the compositions very much club-fitting, but there's a touch of darkness in them as well. Darkness that is obvious when you listen to his vocals - airy, smooth and whispering-like, a true dream pop way of singing. This surprising and exciting marriage of genres is only more so when the music becomes full front dance-inciting in Bind Me Up with Your Flesh. This depressive dance feeling is so well explained in my favourite track on the album, Crisis: "You will dance your pain away/ You will dance it anyway/ Now the crisis’s back/ Intertwining dark". Easy - you're in pain but you dance anyway, like all of us.

But the true value of the album is how the tracks are both dreamy and extremely catchy at the same time with songs like Covered in Gold (with those fantastic backing vocals!) and Crises are simply speaking pure music hits and it's only fortunate that they, in some way, belong to the dream pop genre.

Salt Water costs 7 EUR.

Check: Crisis
Country: France
Genre: dreamy dark electronica
Label: Synth Religion

środa, 12 stycznia 2022

Oka Sun - Twin Flame (2021)

Oka Sun is a musical duo (or "the love child between two long time friends" as they adorably state on their Bandcamp page) from California. Previously known as The New Tenants, the band consists of Yoshi and Mandy and a lot of lovely, artistic pop released on their debut album Twin Flame.

As the intro in The Storm suggests, the album is all about beautiful compositions on piano and violin. Their chamber pop or art pop songs are based on melancholic vocals that sometimes sound more dream-pop-like, sometimes like some kind of indie folk. And so the lyrics they write are very fittingly about finding home, feeling lost in life and tons of melancholia ("Endless seasons/ Growing weakness/ Somewhere I’m sleepless/ Reckless and restless") - a perfect marriage of indie pop/rock/folk and the dreamy genres. And so is the music in the backgrounds with the sad guitar/violin/piano combination that is so moody and atmospheric. But the artists prove they can navigate through various music genres like in the album's finish in Twin Flame where their music turns into very moody post-rock, and, I have to add, I dig this ending.

Twin Flame costs 7 USD.

Check: Twin Flame
Country: California, US
Genre: dreamy indie folk
Label: Old Press Records