Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Glimmer & Glow

Evoking eighties power pop, big drums, and big reverb, The Glimmer EP by Hilliat Fields continues this eclectic artist's exploration of pop. The lyrics are poignant and well delivered. There are brilliant moments of the song sometimes nearly spinning off and out of control, brought back just in time as in "She Didn't Love You." The EP ends with "You're all Going to Die," a hopeless refrain, reminding us all that we are ephemeral.

Released concurrently with Glimmer, Glow is an instrumental excursion. Big cinematic environments recall the sound design of Glimmer. Both have a shimmering, and sometimes pulsing quality, which really comes to the forefront in Glow. In the past, one might release the two as a single album, one side of pop, the other of an instrumental and cinematic nature. But far from a side-B attempt, these pieces are subtle and interesting, as I would expect from the composer of Four Corners, reviewed earlier this year.

You can find Hilliat Fields on twitter as @hilliatfields and on Soundcloud

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Train à Grande Vitesse

Stuart Russell's new album Train à Grande Vitesse continues his exploration into improvisation with analog synths arranged via sequencer. 

Inspired by a trip via high speed train to Toulouse, the music reflects the rhythm of the rails. Images of stations whirring past, with open country between, evoking in climate controlled comfort.

The machines pulse through sequences adorned by simple improvisation for a human touch. Interactions between sequences change and provide variation. The sequences shimmer and pulse, evoking the clicking rails, sonic peals like signal lights streaming by. A plaintive squeal of steel on steel. It's easy to close your eyes and experience the journey.

This is also excellent music to do math by, or perhaps even write a blog post. 

You can follow Stuart on Twitter as @stuart_comp and on Soundcloud. Check his blog at stuart-russell.co.uk and you can read prior #scatterfilter reviews here, here, and here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Destroyed by Business

Few artists can approach the sensitive subject of toxic capitalism, but Wet Dentist does a fine job of it in his new EP, Destroyed by Business. From the scathing first notes spelling the word "destroyed" to the final word of medical insurance out of control, the works are filled with the angst of our modern life.

Very unique and interesting arrangements are constructed as well. Although fittingly harsh, the mix is very listenable, combining interesting effects and sound processing with a coherent beat. I like the direction this collection of music is taking.

I enjoyed the lyrics, accessible on Bandcamp, and the package is nicely put together with a bleak watercolour reflecting the themes of the EP by artist @Russty.

You can find Wet Dentist on Twitter as @wetdentist and on Souncloud.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Die Stadt Unter Der Stadt

The hum under the city resonates in the empty space, a server farm idling along apace. The memory of the servers, like the city above, fill slowly with the chaos of our lives. Impressions of smoothly running machines. Ghostly voices resonate, becoming percussion as they echo away in the cavernous cyber space. Dark and foreboding, relentlessly building, forming new patterns. These are the impressions offered by Die Stadt Unter Der Stadt by Kanal Drei.

These are very clean and rich soundscapes, pulsing along with a techo flair. Kanal Drei and company have produced a nice package as well, with a black CD and Tin available with download. The engineering is slick and clean, a tribute to 3dtorus's fine mastering.

You can find Kanal Drei on Twitter as @KanalDrei, and on Soundcloud.