Browsing All posts tagged under »experimental music«

Skåglörds – Korea (doom/ electronica)

November 10, 2013


I don’t know what this has to do with Korea; no more do I know why doom metal (or sabbathcore as it was amusingly described by the label when Korea was submitted for review) represents the north, and electronica the south. I like some enigma in my music, so it’s not keeping me awake at night, and I’m reluctant to ascribe any definitively programmatic meanings to the music. What I think is really interesting about this album is that it juxtaposes two quite distinct creative approaches, and presents them as a single artistic utterance. Whatever meanings the listener might conclude are central to the work must …

Cyberchump – Flutter And Flow (ambient rock)

July 4, 2013


Cyberchump, according to their website, ‘is an electro-organic duo that explores aural soundscapes of rhythm and moment’. While my rarely dormant inner pedant is keen to learn what other kinds of soundscape might exist, this gives a fair sense of the textures to be heard on Flutter And Flow. The music is far from ambient; it has a strong skeletal structure, but it is clearly directed at the exploration of atmosphere, rather than the articulation of narrative, or the erotic power of groove. There are plenty of signs of instrumental agency remaining in the music, which risks an audience …

Tim Risher – The Cracked Chimes (ambient)

July 3, 2013


Ambient music is usually associated with a certain set of characteristics; although dance music producers became interested in ambient as a source of inspiration, and whole stylistic zones have arisen around the combination of different dance genres with ‘ambient-type’ sounds, even to the extent that the term is frequently used unadorned to refer to such music by those unaware of its provenance, one thing it often lacks is an overt beat. When Tim Risher suggests we might hear his music as a ‘mix between ambient and techno’, I guess we should take his use of the latter term as a…

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

June 17, 2013


What I know about Alun Vaughan is limited: I reviewed a very nice solo bass performance album of his, and an EP in a similar vein, and I gather he gets up to quite a lot of jazzy malarkey. This short EP bucks that trend just a little bit. The dominant sound is a raw, punky rhythm guitar, but it gets put to a fair old variety of uses. The opening (title) track is a brief hardcore thrash, punctuated by the ‘Clumpville Borstal Boys Choir’ shouting the title (the only vocals on the EP) and some entertaining instrumental breaks. ‘2013’ retains the instrumental timbres, but it’s much more of a modern prog/math rock affair, with tricksy rhythmic interstices, and plangent lead guitar melodies. ‘Heart Shaped Bruise’ opens with more lead guitar prettiness, against some upper register bass chords…

Various Artists – Album Roundup

January 16, 2013


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.

Paragaté – Spaceflight Pharmacology (ambient)

January 6, 2013


Possessed of a melodic simplicity that invokes naïvety, and a harmonic rhythm that deploys some erudition in the service of fairy-tale inevitability, ‘Friendship’, the brief G. Cook piano piece with which Tom DePlonty opens Spaceflight Pharmacology, is a scene setter. Quickly succeeded by a piece that might more readily be associated with Paragaté’s established interest in ambient music, it serves notice to the listener that they should have their ears open, and that their critical responses should be held in abeyance until they have heard the entirety of this hour long utterance. Many of the pieces that follow are more aurally discursive than is common in ambient music, and although atmosphere is clearly a concern throughout, with a sense of…

Sven Kacirek – Scarlet Pitch Dreams (tuned percussion)

March 11, 2012


This is a record that sounds good. It is serious, experimental, creatively rigorous; it is the audible trace of a man in pursuit of an uncompromising artistic agenda, that makes no concession to the market. And yet, it is an unaffected expression of sheer pleasure in sound, easily as much an act of jouissance as it is a linguistically structured utterance. Kacirek’s love of timbre is powerfully evident in the sophistication with which it is deployed, in the lengths to which he is prepared to pursue its effects, and the intellectually contingent effects of listening to his music are accessible only through the bodily experience of the sound.