"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Monday, 31 January 2011

Keep a Weather Eye Open

A Gareth Hardwick post pushing current Low Point releases listing Ben Fleury-Steiner forthcoming: prompted harking back to and digging out of lamentably overlooked gem from last year (March 2010 release). Ben's Keep a Weather Eye Open on the estimable Infraction got an ‘Also outstanding’ in LMYE’s Festive 50, but there's been barely a peep from anyone elsewhere on this accomplished bit of ambient-drone gear. Good pretext for bigging it up a bit.

Ben F-S lists among his ‘influences’ "Gavin Bryars, Robert Rich, Celer, and Mystery Sea," and his ‘sounds like’ as “A swell of broken and breaking emotion: beautiful shipwreck.” Sounds about right.

What the label says...

“From the inset, "Tender is the opaque morning" the scene has been set on 'Keep a Weather Eye Open' into a Bryars-esque dip into the sunken Titanic. Gently clattering china on a slow drop to the bed of the ocean, faint light filtering through. The band plays on, the notes become submerged & eventually a hymnal drone emerges repeating over and over in slow cycles. This is not the end however, as unlike the ill-fated Vessel of Sleep, this work re-emerges to the surface and into hazy light. Roughly 2 years in the making for release on Infraction - KAWEO is presented in a digipak with a 12 page color booklet in an edition of 900 copies. In addition the first 250 copies will receive a numbered, bonus 3" CDR, "Vessel of Sleep" (INFX 041) which contains 3 additional unreleased tracks, housed in a 6 panel cardstock folder. KAWEO was mastered by Robert Rich. "...from aft came the tunes of the band..... The ship was gradually turning on her nose - just like a duck that goes down for a dive. I had only one thing on my mind - to get away from the suction. The band was still playing. I guess all of the band went down. They were playing "Autumn" then." - Harold Bride, 1912.”

(What Norman Records says)

Audio samples retrievable “Feedback of Day : Sunlit in Stop Frame - Part 1” and “Vessel of Sleep – Part 3”

Keep A Weather Eye Open is dedicated to Danielle Baquet-Long.

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Do You Dream in Colour?

Enjoyable out-zoning to the droning of Saffron Slumber, whose Somnogen is gifted by Resting Bell (discovered thanks to disquiet). Good enough for Low Point, or Hibernate, or maybe Under the Spire? You decide.

Resting Bell blurb: “Kevin Stephens has been writing music under the name of Saffron Slumber since 2004. Originally started as a project to explore ideas in ambient music, the project has continued to evolve over its lifespan to include aspects of noise, drone, and other forms of experimental composition. Former releases could be found on Pocket Change Records, Skrow!Media, Zenapolae, Luxus-Arctica Records International, and Circlesandlines Recordings. "Somnogen" consists of 6 tracks and has a complete duration of 36 minutes. The first five tracks are three to five minutes long. Beginning with the noisier "Möbius Thought",

Möbius Thought by saffronslumber

it becomes more calm and droning with the following three tracks. Fragile melodies are woven together with meandering, droning sounds and glimmering organic patterns. "Onyx" returns to the noisier, darker ambiance of the beginning and serves as a bridge between its melodic predecessors and "Oneiric Sun" - a massive 18-minute track, slowly breathing and evolving from a dark and mellow foundation to a burning star and back again.”

The best of the Resting Bell catalogue feels too good to be free, and Somnogen is definitely one of the best.

More Slumber of a Saffron hue is freely available elsewhere:

The White Tower

Glass Variation by saffronslumber

Red Etude by saffronslumber

Walk Through Doors

Of Ice, Water, and Steam by saffronslumber

Of Minerals by saffronslumber


Cascade III by saffronslumber

Myth of the Near Future (split with Carl Sagan’s Ghost and Specta Ciera)

Part 1 (Myth of the Near Future) by saffronslumber

At Dawn’s Harbor (split with Carl Sagan’s Ghost, Specta Ciera, and Ehrler Vogel)

Winter Poem by saffronslumber

Piano Drones 1

Part 1 Drone 2 (excerpt) by saffronslumber

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Check Pleq

For all his digi-fidgety clicks’n’cuttings, Pleq is clearly a Proper Musician. Pleq’s effects come from felicitous juxtaposition of chilly and warm, sharp and delicate, warped and winsome, with a penchant for the addition of a peculiar or plangent ingredient. Bartosz Dziadosz, for Pleq is he, has been active only since 2008, but prolific enough to have accumulated a small pile, incl. releases on u-cover, Databloem, dataObscura, October Man, Basses Frequences, and Impulsive Art. Pleq's style is self-designated “Glitch & Melancholy,” which, however shorthand, effectively identifies - sonically and emotionally - much of what he’s about. His stock-in-trade is basically atmospheric minimal electronica, though with the addition of something somehow off-kilter, malfunctioning, be it a clunk, a pop, or some other errorist artefact.

Most recent offering, Sound of Rebirth (Impulsive Art) is in some ways a case study in contemporary post-digital stylistics. “Black Dog (feat. hiiro-tent)” sets the tone with a sulky and sultry combo of lounge-noir piano, wisps of smokey vocal, against which woody clunks and bits of digital grit rub up nervously.

PLEQ & hiiro-tent :: Black Dog (excerpt) by Impulsive Art

This Pole may or may not know of Pole, but seems to like to traffic in a similar studied junkshop strategy of recycling of studio effluvia and offcuts of digital detritus to create spidery webs of percussive matter; these feature heavily as he ramps up his early patter into clatter in the slithery Autechresque machine-funk derivative, “Hackneyed Words.”

PLEQ :: Hackneyed Words (excerpt) by Impulsive Art

No, young Bartosz is not the cheeriest of souls, as the presence of titles like “A Very Gentle Death” will testify, and his signature sound is largely a glum downbeat affair, though undeniably enlivened with pared-back jazz-inflected tropes, queasy ambience and spectral pulse. The title track is an excellently evocative creation, ripe for plucking for a poignant film scene, plangent synth motif and sad piano (D minor?), lightly stroked and stoked by cymbaline infusions and digi-fizz:

Pleq - Sound Of Rebirth from adnojse on Vimeo.

Re: previously mentioned juxtapositional sleight of hand, see how the sweet and tuneful colludes with the glitchy’n’scratchy in an eerie’n’inky ambiance with crepuscular keys (ft. haunting femme vox) on “Raindrop”:

PLEQ :: Raindrop (excerpt) by Impulsive Art

The album is given a sunburst finish with well-wrought remixes by Tapage, Nebulo, and especially Spyweirdos:

PLEQ :: Raindrop - Spyweirdos Remix (excerpt) by Impulsive Art

Before that, though, there’s the resonant cadences of “Swell Bliss (Downtempo Edition),” which takes its unsuspecting ‘downtempo’ tag and bypasses any headnod chillout areas to throw it into a drowning pool with a weighty ballast of sorrowful strings in Murcofian micro-mope mode:

Pleq - Swell Bliss (Downtempo Edition) from Pleq on Vimeo.

Teaser from forthcoming album, Ballet Mechanic, on Basses Frequences:

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

We Can Be Beat

Lest any of you had got the impression that we here at Earslend Towers are too shy to shake a leg, too timid to toe tap, or even too hung up to head nod, this is to serve notice that LMYE approves the use of beats. Below are beaty products we recommend use of - in moderation, naturally, between consenting adults, or with the guidance of a qualified person, these contain just the right blend of dub-infused, noir-ish, or filmic properties to provide ambient relief when combined with judiciously administered beat matter. Approved manufacturers include: Marcel Dettman, T++, Kangding Ray, Deepchord Presents Echospace, Raime (Regis version), The Sight Below, Pantha du Prince, Sven Weisemann, Kontext, Delta Funktionen, and Milton Bradley.

KM 017 A1. Marcel Dettmann- Factory Report 1 by KONTRA-MUSIK

T++ - Voice No Bodies by subraw

A1 Pruitt Igoe - part 1 (rise) by Kangding Ray

Burnt Sage by modernlove

This Foundry (Regis Version) [SHORT CLIP] by Blackest Ever Black

The Sight Below - Burn Me Out From The Inside by Surfing on Steam

Es Schneit by GvsB

Sven Weisemann - Placid Love / Essays 003 D Snippet / Sole Exception EP 2x10" by Essays

To save you the trouble of procuring, an LMYE-prescribed beat mix - '20beatsfrom2010' - has been compiled and uploaded, streamable from there or below (WARNING: not to be taken by those allergic to techno).

20beatsfrom2010 by albient

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Spectral convolution

Three reflective, subtle Stephan Mathieu pieces - melancholy but not morose, & precisely the right soundtrack for a bitter-sweet day.

I was already listening to his fine new A Static Place a lot. One new year's resolution: work through the rest of his huge & hugely impressive output...

"A recording of realtime processed piano...it is spectral analysis and convolution."

NB: portrait at top by Oliver Huz

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Static clouds

"You're wearing red. I'm wearing red. Coincidence? I don't think so." Three exceptional new pieces surface in SoundCloud within minutes of each other - leaving me musing idly about a Jasper TX/Erstlaub/John Chantler supergroup (a prog crime that I seem willing to tolerate, even laud, in more experimental contexts).

While that liaison seems remote, even if each other's differently dark aesthetics were negotiable, here's the next best thing - this trio of talents back-to-back. JTX builds with blobby restraint through a shoe-storm & releases again back down the other side. Erst brings thrumming clicks & gloopy chords to bear on some wind-gusting shore. & Chantler brings it all home in a kind of mod synth take on freak-folk...

Photos by leontjew

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Sleepy shepherd

No, I don't know why Sam Landry should be The Shepherd either. Sam Shepherd, perhaps? Probably not.

No matter. The new self-release Everything is Everything Else* (which coincides with the dextrous remastering of his earlier De fe'kun.dus ad salus & Sounds of the Sleepless Sam Vol​.​I) marks a further deepening & a definite darkening of his outstanding Le Berger project ("ambient textures & tonal ventures accomplished with primitive means and scarce source material") - a thrilling discovery last year recognised recently with a place in LMYE's Festive 50 - or so - albums that particularly mattered to us in 2010.

Everything's highlight & centrepiece is the 40-minute Phone's Ringing Dude.../...Thank You Donny pairing. Hear the great Kenneth Kirschner (specifically, his 2-hour epic July 17, 2010 - also a Festive 50 pick, by the way) in their glassy, skittering protraction? Impressive company to keep (or at least suggest)...

The pair clearly sit alongside & develop earlier, somewhat blissier ultra-long workouts like De fe'kun's Salus & Sounds' 0007 [Thanks to Bobby the Navigator] - stream both below (NB: SoundCloud's are pre-remastered versions - see Sam's comment & compare with the updated Bandcamps). These lambent, languid pieces are strikingly self-replenishing. As they unfurl over time - much, much time - their affecting themes gather serious force, growing ever more potent with each ravishing breath-pace cycle.

Not everything in Le Berger's flock is measured in 20-minute blocks, though. For that matter, not all of it is in blissy, tranquil mode - even before Everything.

One unmissable example: the refreshingly kinetic Gnascor Encore & Core a Corps (also from De fe'kun). Strongly craving more of this 'constructivist' grid-like & geometric version of Le Berger. Let it be shepherded (ahem) out to us before too long.

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Afternoon in Ueno

Witness a striking new outpouring from Celer's Will Long - five languidly unfolding but gripping pieces already this year, two dated & uploaded just yesterday, from an apparent sojourn in Japan. Even by Celer's standards, that's pretty epic output.

These ears especially appreciate the long, faintly rasping sweeps of Blue Morning For Your Evening &, less prominently, 1/8/11-2. All Apparent, and Hue's looping shimmer & 1/8/11-1's slo-mo counterpoint are notable too.

More at Will's SoundCloud.

NB: photos by Will.

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Call off the search

Call off the search. Well, not quite - but two slots in LMYE's Festive 50 for 2011 can be confidently reserved for Tim Hecker's Ravedeath, 1972 (kranky) & Deaf Center's Owl Splinters (Type). Stream a hugely compelling first slab of each - Hecker's belligerently blissful organ swirls, DC's beautifully stately insistence - below...

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Old cassettes

Set sail into a Seaworthy quartet - four contrasting tastes of Cam Webb's always-beguiling & increasingly location-rich (see his Environmental Sounds blog with Two Lakes partner Matt Rösner) 'project', for want of a better word. Some of the contrast comes from Webb's relentless collaboration, clearly - besides Rösner, the pieces & streams here also feature post-jazzers Pollen Trio (the new Triosk?) & the great Italian space meister Fabio Orsi.

But at least as much seems to come from a restless, quicksilver aesthetic that flits from bucolic six-string delicacy & "birds, frogs, wind and water" to skittering impro, languid drones & metallic buzz...

"Cleaning up over the summer holiday and trying to organise a bunch of old cassettes and minidiscs I came across some old recordings. This track is a rough sketch using a short sample of the 4-track guitar recordings cut up and processed through bits and pieces on audiomulch. If you like it, please pass it on."

(from Seaworthy & Matt Rösner - Two Lakes (Spotify; some streams via 12k too)

Seaworthy & Pollen Trio > Untitled 1 (from Untitled, hellosQuare)

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Impromptu interference

A pair of reverberating, churning 'impromptu' collaborations between Fennesz & Festive 50er Rafael Anton Irisarri last July & September - the longer, more recent one eventually gushing out into a floodplain of partial resolution. The two emerge as Irisarri (a key part of one of LMYE's shows of last year, though he's too modest to acknowledge it...) makes a 'pay what you want' album of compelling live performances available via his Bandcamp.

While the London & Seattle shows were SoundClouded earlier (coverage here & here), the Milan & Krakow appearances are new - & striking. No bowed guitar judder, no lush swells - instead a lulling, crepuscular delicacy.

Fennesz + Irisarri > Live at Decibel Festival

Fennesz + Irisarri > Live at Interferenze Festival

Bonus (rated by Irisarri as one of 2010's best shows):

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Festive illation

The last of three playlists celebrating our 'festive 50', a half-century of albums that particularly mattered to LMYE in 2010 -featuring Celer & Yui Onodera, Chris Abrahams, Clouwbeck, Erstlaub, Koen Holtkamp, Listening Mirror, Pantha du Prince, Piiptsjilling, Preslav Literary School, Rose and Sandy, Shinobu Nemoto & Thomas Koner.

All are also represented in two new mixes by alan - one for each of our halves of the 50:

0:00:00 En-“Biezumd”-The Absent Coast [Root Strata] 0:04:08 Sandwell District -“Immolare (Final)-Feed Forward” [Sandwell District] 0:05:10 Sigha-“Early Morning Lights”-Scuba - Sub:Stance [Ostgut Ton] 0:07:58 Jefre Cantu-Ledesma-“Womb Night”-Love Is A Stream [Type] 0:08:50 Keith Berry-“Part Three”-The Cartesian Plane [Elevator Bath] 0:12:45 Clem Leek-“Greylings Manor”-Holly Lane [Hibernate] 0:17:31 John Roberts–“Lesser”-Glass Eights [Dial Records] 0:21:23 David Tagg-“Pentecost 1”-Pentecost [Install] 0:25:52 Demdike Stare-“Repository Of Light”-Triptych (Voices of Dust) [Modern Love] 0:29:51 Lovesliescrushing-“Shemerr”-Crwth (Chorus Redux) [Line] 0:33:33 Simon Scott-“She Came From The Sea”-Traba [Immune] 0:37:19 Shinobu Nemoto-“Trip 2”-Melting Loop Trip [Moufu-Rokuon] 0:42:15 Jefre Cantu-Ledesma-“Star Garden”-Love Is A Stream [Type] 0:43:34 Grasslung-“Scarred Hands We Drift”-Sincere Void [Root Strata] 0:47:37 Pjusk-“Vidde”-Sval [12k] 0:55:16 36-“Home”-Hollow [3six Recordings] 1:00:14 Senking-“V8”-Pong [Raster Noton] 1:05:00 Rafael Anton Irisarri-“Deception Falls”-The North Bend [Room40] 1:10:09 Kyle Bobby Dunn-“Small Show Of Hands”-A Young Person's Guide To Kyle Bobby Dunn [Low Point] 1:14:04 Scott Cortez-“Part I”-Twin Radiant Flux [Line] 1:17:04 Listening Mirror-“Sartre's Memories”-Rin [Somehow Recordings] 1:21:30 Pausal–“One Watery Lens”-Lapses [Barge] 1:26:53 Pantha Du Prince-“Welt Am Draht”-Black Noise [Rough Trade] 1:33:50 Thomas Köner-“Firn”-Permafrost [Type] 1:39:01 Sandwell District-“Track 11”-Feed Forward [Sandwell District] 1:40:00 Celer-“Who Feels Like Me, Who Wants Like Me, Who Doubts Any Good Will Come of This”-Panoramic Dreams Bathed in Seldomness [Basses Frequences] 1:45:06 Andrew Thomas-“Hazer”-Between Buildings and Trees [Kompakt]

0:00:00 Philip Jeck-“Twentyninth”-An Ark For The Listener [Touch] 0:02:00 Keith Fullerton Whitman-“Generator 6”-Generator [Root Strata] 0:03:45 Oneohtrix Point Never-“Stress Waves”-Returnal [Editions Mego] 0:09:10 Shoeb Ahmad-“Blossoms (part 1)”-Blossoms [hellosQuare] 0:10:11 Rose & Sandy-“Play Cat's Cradle”-Play Cat’s Cradle [Moving Furniture] 0:14:40 Le Berger-“Duo not Dao”-De fe'kun.dus ad salus [self-released] 0:18:43 Sohrab-“Pedagogicheskaya Poema”-A Hidden Place [Touch] 0:21:28 Oval-“Locria”-Oh [Thrill Jockey] 0:22:24 Scissor Lock-“Broken English (Part 1)”-Broken English [hellosQuare] 0:25:27 BJ Nilsen-“The Invisible City”-The Invisible City [Touch] 0:28:37 Nickolas Mohanna-“Thin Ice”-Transmission Hue [Low Point] 0:32:43 Moritz Von Oswald Trio-“Nothing 1”-Live In New York [Honest Jon’s] 0:37:45 Fabio Orsi-“Part 1”-Winterreise [Slow Flow] 0:41:19 Clouwbeck-“Come The Aegir”-From Which The River Rises [Sustain-Release] 0:46:55 Christopher Hipgrave-“Heavy And Pulling You”-Slow, With Pages Of Fluttering Interference [Low Point] 0:48:48 On-“A Tardy Admission That The Crisis Is Serious”-Something That Has Form And Something That Does Not [Type] 0:52:54 P. Jorgensen-“Fissures (remix by Chris Herbert)”-Soundtracks Remix [Under the Spire] 0:57:38 Mark Templeton-“Horizon”-Ballads [self-released] 1:01:26 Preslav Literary School-“In Fractals”-In Fractals [self-released] 1:05:24 Piipstjilling –“Ferware (worn down)” Wurdskrieme [Experimedia] 1:09:25 Chris Abrahams -“Bird and Wasps”-Play Scar [Room40] 1:13:17 Machinefabriek/Kleefstra-Bakker-Kleefstra/Liondialer-“Instuif (audio version)”-That It Stays Winter Forever [White Box] 1:18:08 Koen Holtkamp-“In the Absence of Gravity Please Note the Position of the Sun (edit)”-Gravity/Bees [Thrill Jockey] 1:22:44 Kenneth Kirschner-“071710 (edit) ”-071710 [self-released] 1:27:12 Keith Fullerton Whitman-“Generator 3”-Generator [Root Strata] 1:28:16 Shoeb Ahmad-“Blossoms (part 8)”-Blossoms [hellosQuare] 1:29:03 Erstlaub-“Sleepwalking Into The Underworld”-Sleepwalking Into The Underworld [Highpoint Lowlife] 1:34:15 Philip Jeck-“Thirtieth/Pilot Reprise”-An Ark For The Listener [Touch]

piiptsjilling > wurdskrieme (preview: re-up)

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.
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