Browsing All posts tagged under »dark ambient«

Review Of The Year 2013: 12 Albums

December 18, 2013

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This is the fourth consecutive time I’ve written a review of the year’s albums, which is slightly scary, as I’m under the impression that writing about music is something that I’ve only just started doing. Still, as senility begins to work its erosional magic on the brain, the years do slip past without leaving so much cognitive residue, and as long as someone can confirm for me that I’ve been having a nice time, I won’t rail against it too much. At least I can look back through these annual articles, and although I’ll think it was someone else that wrote them and I can’t remember any of the music, I’ll know that a year took …

The Stargazer’s Assistant – Mirrors & Tides, Shivers & Voids (dark ambient)

October 21, 2013

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There’s no easy categorisation for this music, no recognisable stylistic tag that readily contains it, but it evinces a coherent, clearly-stated set of aesthetic and creative values, an imagistic approach to the making of musical statements, that produces much the same clarity and precision of expression that can be found by working inside an established style. It’s obvious from the start that there is a rigorous method and a fully formed creative language informing the sounds, and part of the music’s fascination is the partial unveiling of that broad artistic vision, leaving the listener at the end of …

Various Artists – Album Roundup

January 16, 2013

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Sufficiently independent not to sound ‘indie’, yet aesthetically straightforward enough not to sound ‘experimental’, Neurotic Wreck’s schtick is a pretty accessible art-pop stew; a predominantly electronic production mashes up trip-hop, electro, shoegaze and other downbeat sources, into a melancholy and and carefully textured soundworld, freighted with nostalgia and regret. The album is all about its songs, which is to say it’s as much about lyrics and melody as it is about production, but the creative textures and arrangements are a central part of the utterance; it’s moderately avant-garde, but it’s also furnished with a pop sensibility, and very well put together. It’s not party music, but it’s very listenable, and indeed re-listenable.

Mere – Mere (dark-ambient improvisation)

October 29, 2012

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Improvisation is a complex matter, and often a contentious one: some degree of musical freedom is usually identified with it, to the extent that freedom is sometimes regarded as its defining characteristic, its essence, or indeed as the thing itself. Thus some more partisan free improvisers would not really regard formulaic improvisation (improvisation within closely bounded harmonic and rhythmic parameters) as improvisation at all. I’ve never had much time for debates that centre on the definitions of musical styles or characteristics, but I guess that if you’ve staked your career and practice on a particular ideology of creative freedom the stakes might look higher than they do to me. Personally I think there are other parameters of improvisation…

Word Or Object – They Shoot Horses, But Why? (dark ambient/ drone)

June 17, 2011

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The cover of this release shows a dead horse still harnessed to the broken cart before which it met its demise. This is a different sort of horse shooting than that referenced in the title: this beast was (one presumes) executed for its usefulness to its killer’s enemy, or simply killed as a byproduct of its proximity to a human participant in armed conflict. Applied to such a scenario, the question They Shoot Horses, But Why? seems to question the cruelty of conflict: applied to the stories told in the novel and film entitled They Shoot Horses Don’t They?, asking ‘why’...