Sunday, January 25, 2015

Angels in Black and White

Sonic images fly by the window as the limo pulls through the graveyard, spirits drifting past the corners of your eye. The music of Angels in Black and White by Isotherme evokes a cinematic experience, and the artist's description of "Ghost Ambient" is quite apt.

In sharp contrast to last week's analog romp Back to the Past by oddcommon, this album is thoroughly grounded in the 21st century. Glitchy sound collages meld in sync to synthetic drum tones and minor key drones. Never a thumping pulse, the percussion is reserved and works in the ambient setting. I found this experimentation greatly enjoyable, and sat to listen without doing much of anything else, rapt with attention.

Isotherme is always eclectic and interesting, since discovering Jeff's work last year, I've enjoyed seeing it as it comes out. This EP is a prelude to a larger work, Nail, which is due to be released on February 10th, and I look forward to reviewing as well.

Find Isotherme on twitter as @Isotherme, and on soundcloud.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Back to the Past

Transporting me, I found Odd Common's Back to the Past EP a fun listen. Well and crisply recorded, the analog tones pulse in mechanical time, haunted by vocorder vocals. I welcomed the variation and change in the compositions, as they bounced through the sequences. Very tight, as one would expect from this type of electronica, much of it was nostalgic, recalling synth greats of the past.

I'd recommend this to anyone, as I would for most of Odd Common's work, which is eclectic and varied. It is always filled with analog synth and fun sequences, and is often danceable.  Big arrangements from modest means.


You can follow Odd Common on Twitter as @oddcommon and also find him on soundcloud.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Shikantaza

When listening to  Shikantaza by Herr Absurd, sit comfortably, and be open to whatever comes. Although the name of this double length album is Japanese, the music in it is decidedly German influenced. Cited by the artist in the notes, the kosmische musik (more commonly referred to as "krautrock") inspired, it recalls experimental music, is decidedly electronic in origin, and has a few surprises tucked in here and there.

Unusual for Herr Absurd is the rare collaboration with other musicians. Valerie Polichar provided haunting vocals on several tracks, and Luke Clarke provided ethereal guitars. Both contribute positively to the tracks they are featured on, and provide an interesting character amid Herr Absurd's evolving  cinematic meditations. Sonic adventurism abounds.

You can find Valerie Polichar on Twitter as @Hugeshark, and her website. You can find Luke Clarke on Twitter as @fantasticbeard and his bandcamp page.