Sunday, March 22, 2015

Infamy #RPM2015

Composer Chrissie Caulfield's RPM 2014 Challenge  Things was a musique concrète  venture into new sonic realms full of unexpected sonic manipulation.  This year's  entry, Imfamy is as adventurous.

A surprising melding of analog synth and strings, providing a mix of novel tones throughout it. There's a lot of range in this music, over 30 minutes in length, cinematic and interesting. Certain moments are again created that evoke new vistas. It's a fun and dynamic sonic palette.

You can find her on Twitter at @Chrissie_c  and Chrissieviolin.info. She's also on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Urban Fairy Tales

Interesting play with samples and synths haunt this instrumental album from Nystada. Urban Fairy Tales is adventurous and experimental, subtle and subtly disturbing. There's something going on in the margins of these songs, something in the corner of your eyes that you can't quite focus on. Like an urban legend, these cinematic pieces recall the things we don't know, and codify it for our limited perceptions. They evolve in subtle ways , whispering along to our subconscious.

Musically these pieces are technically interesting as well, utilizing contemporary engineering techniques and lots of ear candy from Ableton Live. The compositions inspire ideas and create sonic spaces that are sometimes soothing, sometimes a little menacing.

What is that respiration  in Breath? Who is living though the thunderstorm in Gewitterregen? These little vignettes inspire mini-movies, a twilight zone to imagine. Lots of fun. Again, Mobius Spin continues to produce an interesting experimental piece in this Nystada album.

You can find Nystada on Twitter as @nystada and check their website nystada.com. Find more Mobius Spin on Twitter and  mobiusspin.com.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Invenium Viam #RPM2015

Contemporary electroacoustic composer Stuart Russell's Invenium Viam RPM 2015 Challenge work is an epic 72 minutes of music, for your listening pleasure. An isolation pervades these lonely landscapes. The compositions end satisfyingly, and are inventive, often possessing a cinematic quality.

Surprising moments are found in Amundsen  / Ellsworth 25 and Andrée 97 / Nobile 28, where some of the tones become almost sirenlike, reverberating across the ice as the airships go majestically down. The album is filled with fun tones. Growling square and saw tones create repressive and claustrophobic moods.

You can follow Stuart Russell on Twitter at  @stuartr_comp  and check out his page Stuart Russell Composer. You can also find his blog at http://www.stuart-russell.co.uk/.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Oscillator Theory

Rainer Straschill is a prolific musician and composer that I've been following for the better part of a decade. I always find his music interesting and decidedly different. His latest effort Oscillator Theory is no exception. Put out for the first time on another label, Mobius Spin, this album is a meticulous exploration of musical symmetry and a cohesive concept.

The album consists of three tracks and is entirely electronic in composition. Schumann Resonance begins it, with a journey into Dark Ambience, with clean drones and lots of ear candy for headphone fun. It has a nice long length, sustaining the darkness through almost fifteen minutes.  The second track, IMPATT NDR is a glitchcore short, stuttering through three minutes of often surprising glitchy music, and is a lot of fun. It finishes with Wien Bridge, a techno epic almost thirteen minutes in length, which bleeps and bloops along happily, subtly evolving as it goes.

I had fun listening to this effort, and it goes well alongside the other two reviews of Rainer's work on this blog, Vershluckbare Kleinteille and Eclectic Blah.

Find Rainer Straschill on Twitter as @moinlabs, on Soundcloud, and on his website moinlabs.de. Find more Mobius Spin on Twitter and  Bandcamp.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Amygdala

Like a voyage across the Sea of Storms, Amygdala by MicrotuneX begins with a stately progress. The simple two part structure is elegant, an arpeggiator pulses in interesting harmonic variation, while a saw wave lead soars overhead. The trip is relaxing, yet engaging at times. Unlike previous efforts by this artist, such as 2014's Selene and Point of No Return, the album consists of a single track, almost 38 minutes of music, which evolves in a continuous stately fashion.

Produced as simply as the structure of the music, MicrotuneX offers simple  and pristine sound design. Low Pass filter sweeps and lots of tonal work are a delight of subtractive synthesis, recalling the best of the Berlin school, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. Plenty of variation is performed throughout, and the evolution of tone is a very sweet progression.

I found myself listening to this often since I downloaded it. It's a wonderful soundtrack to computing, and helps me focus in the way that Mozart or Beethoven might. Not ambient, but occasionally pulling my mind to attention, so that I can get back to the task at hand with renewed vision. This is excellent math music.

You can find MicrotuneX on Twitter as @MicrotuneX and on Soundcloud

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Nail

The much anticipated new album from Isotherme does not fail to impress, this morning I'm reviewing Nail, which I've been listening to all week. Once again, as in the precursor EP, Angels in Black and White, the music produced uses all the toys of modern music production well, while venturing into new musical territory.

Lush and big, the sound design is unique, varied from pristine simplicity to complex polyrhythmic compositions. Sound is celebrated here, and is used playfully in interesting ways. There's layers to explore for the intrepid audionaught, and influences of jazz play with contemporary trap based music. The experiment is a success.

It's really no wonder that Isotherme's music has a growing popularity. I'm never sure what to expect, but my ears find pleasure in his sensibilities.

Certainly worth the download. You can find Isotherme on twitter as @Isotherme, and on soundcloud.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Four Corners

I was privileged to have a listen to the latest EP from Hilliat Fields this week, Four Corners,  a compass point themed collection of soundscapes.

I'm always pleased when listening to his work. Hilliat Fields manages to find very anodyne combinations of tones, and when dissonance is used, it is effective and sits well in the mix. I found no dissonance on this EP, however, and the mesh of sound is crystalline and pure. Piano tones and strings play amidst glassy synth tones. The result is quite listenable, and would be an excellent cinematic score as well.

Often I'm hopeful that one of his beautiful vocals will appear on the works I'm able to review, but again this was not the case as when I reviewed Black Dog Blue last year. I've been thinking of doing a past work or to review a retrospective to include his brilliant pop work. There is much already released, and the artist is prolific. I am happy to review these soundscapes, as I return to them often, and they provide a gentle backdrop to a quiet Sunday Morning.

Find Hilliat Fields on Twitter as @hilliatfields on Soundcloud,  and on his website Hilliatfields.com.