Ambient

Bloque del Sur, BVBEL, Kaschade, Samuel Bone, Fross – Small free download artists – Quick reviews

Bloque del Sur – Periferia

a0021724405_10Groovy easily accessible electro with samples and obscure voice clips. What would industrial be without voice clips! Periferia has both lighter and darker beats and melodies.

The artist describes Periferia as a fresh approach to EBM/industrial, taking elements from 1982-88 golden era and adding tropical bass influences. I’ll be the first to admit that the “golden era of industrial” and “tropical bass” are completely foreign to me. The band hails from Argentina which may explain the tropical but also why my girlfriend without knowing anything of the artist commented about the “weird latino music”! I honestly didn’t even hear the latino influence on Periferia!

Megaperiferia first appeared as a monotonous track but upon checking the video it started to actually benefit from the monotone atmosphere that welcomes new elements sparingly but interestingly. The starting Diagrama is refreshingly more polymorphous with all kinds of textures appearing in the first few minutes.

The subtle background melodies help a lot and affect spontaneous headnodding. Intercommunicador is refreshingly more exotic. I liked Bloque del Sur’s down-to-earth approach upon submitting the release and thus decided to share these few words.

In total an enjoyable small release which I’ve been listening the most of the 5 releases in this post.

Bandcamp:
https://pakapirecords.bandcamp.com/album/bloque-del-sur-periferia
Video of Megaperiferia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kZEyxEfsKI


BVBEL – PRDX2

Cover (1)Beats, the eternal problem. There’s great rap lyricists with lacking backgrounds, then there’s great backgrounds with lacking lyrics. Where does BVBEL come in then? He produces pretty damn stellar backgrounds, but unfortunately without any lyrics at all. Even though it sounds good there’s definitely the vocals missing.

For the most part the beats are pretty memorable. I see no reason why they wouldn’t be good enough for a rap release. The production values aren’t huge but there’s a nice glitchy atmosphere that makes up for the lack of booming. Some clever hooks like the 2nd track 不要 (English translation: Do Not). Most beats that I hear I end up liking a lot less than BVBEL’s. I could love this release with the right lyrical substance.

Free download: https://archive.org/details/siro792Bvbel-Prdx
BVBEL seems to be very productive as his bandcamp is filled with releases:
https://bvbeltrill.bandcamp.com/
On quick listen tracks like DV-useless show a lot of melodic potential: https://bvbeltrill.bandcamp.com/track/dv-useless


Kaschade – Performance

kaschade-entity-beHei, I heard you came looking for semi-improvised avant-garde saxophone electronic ambient noise, right? Grab Performance immediately! The rest of us, we might just want to take a peek now and then behind a safe distance. Listening 53 minutes in one go without finding other means of entertainment at the same time proved to be quite a task. Even with skipping the 8+ minute harsh noise closer, Golden Balls. But man, is the cover art beautiful!

I’ve had my chaotic noise phase but usually I dig structure. In semi improvised music there tends to be less of structure. But there’s plenty of sound to keep interest up in Kaschade’s Performance: cascades of whizzes, booms, knocks, scratches and most of all ambients. Usually there’s quite a steady beat or a coming and going melodic pattern or certain sound, so it’s not like there’s no structure. There’s definitely an underlying structural sense, but it’s in there deep. Also the organic saxophone adds plenty of value. It’s an interesting ride from psychological spacehorror to psychedelic intergalactic procession.

The spacey feel is ever so present; it feels there’s a vast blackness but it’s not overbearing. The tension is psychological, no sudden senseless loud sounds.

The description at the weblabel Entity’s site is very fitting: “Indeed Performance might well be the soundtrack to an imaginary film, perhaps in the style of film noir or a collection of surreal scenes, as experimental soundeffects produce a constant string of plottwists while spiraling through a wide range of lasting impressions.” If Alejandro Jodorowsky had ever finished his Dune film adaptation, the music could have been something similar to Kaschade’s Performance!

Bandcamp: https://kaschade.bandcamp.com/album/performance-2016
Direct zip download link: https://archive.org/compress/ntt084/formats=VBR%20MP3,JPEG,ARCHIVE%20BITTORRENT,METADATA
Entity Weblabel: http://www.entity.be/entity/


Samuel Bone – Fluctuous

A-SmallCoverFluctuous
marked as obsolete except in archaic usage.
a.
Watery (obs.).

b. Full of, or resembling waves, lit. and fig.

Urban dictionary:
Fluctuous
used to describe a nice ass.

Experimental electronic with solid rhythmic background. Beeps and twerks (not the butt-kind) keep appearing. Quite enjoyable really, some tracks are surprisingly quiet in the mix. Especially Hrathlemore really needs some volume finetuning by the listener to be enjoyable. Like water Fluctuous keeps spilling out of my hands listen after listen.

The release does bring watery substances in mind, first track Drool Cam starts with water burbling sounds.  The next track Chonie has the best melody with a keyboard sound that sounds to be coming from just below the water surface. Uhl is nicely relaxing when Kringle Kan Surplus is really a distorted affair nearing noise. Hrathlemore is quiet, so is the title track, Fluctuous but it is also less noisy, more rhythmic and nicely minimal electro. Quite pleasant really.

Free download: https://archive.org/details/siro793SamuelBone-Fluctous


Fross – Sombrio

a0453013625_10Fross, from Costa Rica brought some melodic dark ambient with misty woods and mountains to my e-mail box. In the start of his 2016 record Sombrio, there’s something that reminds me of Agalloch. Ilusión Distante also has a hint of low bitrate and minimal ambient in it’s gentle chords. Desolacion is still melancholy but as the album progresses further the last few tracks are quite oppressive.

In total Sombrio lacks depth though. There are some great somber passages like (Desvanecerse) En la Oscuridad. I can hear twinkling and gentle noises in the back that aren’t there but in my head they’d fit there so perfectly.

The use of organic instruments like violin and guitar is most welcome but it does not have much dramatic impact.

The first listen was surprisingly tense as I was waiting for the organic instruments to take the lead and on Petricor I was finally rewarded. The echoing guitar and background blooming sounds great but keeps minimal.

The tension keeps the listen interesting and mood surprisingly fluid. Dark ambient in its oppressive forms is not really my thing but luckily Sombrio is split into airy elements that work well as a gentle background.

Girlfriend’s comment on El Abismo: Submarines and death.

I picked Fross to review by random but also because I liked his approach, not demanding a review but asking if I happened to have the time!

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Salomè Lego Playset – So Much Was Lost In The Process Of Becoming

PrintWhen you pick a free download post-rock album from an owner of a weblabel who also released it, more the surprise it is to feel enthralled almost immediately. But when the second guitar melody of L’animale morente meanders in one can’t help but feel encompassed. If this is not enough, blissful saxophone comes in to complement this lulling tune.

Salomè Lego Playset’s So Much Was Lost In The Process Of Becoming is a dark themed lull headed by frontman Nicola Boari. It meanders in terrains that fit right into my Finnish melancholy conception. It visits experimental grounds as well, but mostly through field recording sounding ambient that adds to the atmosphere.

The quality of tracks does go down after the brilliant starting trinity L’animale morente, Heimarmene and Humanity and Paper Balloons. The next few still have some serious merit but are in professional terms a tad boring. The Fountain and Il Deserto e le Fortezze are dark as opposed to starting three are melancholic. After slow and solid start The Gorge yonders welcome variation as heaviness but is the saxophone a bit off-key?

The last track Dolce Mattatoio is hard to grasp with its 20 minute length and lots of field recording and noise elements. But it doesn’t bother the big picture as its the last track. I have a great affection to last tracks that end with 10 minutes of meaningless humming leading into a hidden track! Dolce Mattatoio cannot be called meaningless humming though, it is a vastly experimental track with a lot of noise and field recording stapled together with familiar instruments from previous tunes. All in all, quite a staggering piece and very much unlike the rest of album.

So Much Was Lost In The Process Of Becoming is a professional sounding indie record with satisfyingly crunchy and organic sounds. The vocals are very delicate but they work in bands favour.

The experience was deepened further by this heartbreaking official statement that Salomè Lego Playset released a few months ago:
“2011. 5 years have passes and they couldn’t feel heavier. Salomè dismantled and so has a part of me gone forever. I honestly can’t say what I’ve done in the past 5 years since. Nothing. This lies as testimony of what I once was and what I once believed in. How long will this go on for. How long do I have left. Should anyone notice, listen, that’s somebody else he will find.”

The statement describes some of the creation pains well and I can only say that Spettro records has seemed to publish quite a lot of albums in the past years. Most of us do not even release one great album in our lifetimes  ;).

8/10

Free download:
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Salom_Lego_Playset/So_Much_Was_Lost_In_The_Process_Of_Becoming/
or
https://salomelegoplayset.bandcamp.com/album/so-much-was-lost-in-the-process-of-becoming
Salome Lego playset info & discography:
http://www.spettrorec.com/index.php?/artists/salome-lego-playset/

Rainbow Valley – Antisolar // NMMREM XXVI

Dreamlike. Buzzing. Charming. Warm. Colourful. Aesthetic. Wandering. Mysterious.

Rainbow Valley is an English artist whose 17 minute low bitrate release, consists of only one track. When in a mellow and patient state, it is a superbly quick and joyoys task to listen. If the start minutes give away a bit of creep, Antisolar turns to an emotional and wavy bright ambient hymn. Typical lo-bit micronoises in the background fill the majestic atmosphere beautifully. Very full and all encompassing sound. Great for naturewalks or sunday mornings. Among my favourite lo-bit tracks, in-line with Moon by Covolux.

8½/10

Download for free:

http://archive.org/details/siro241RainbowValley-Antisolar

Paavoharju – Tuote akatemia / Unien Savonlinna EP // NMMREM XXIV

Paavoharju is a Finnish folk / ambient band / collective which has a truly unique musical style (something along the lines of freak folk). Their both full-lengths Yhä Hämärää (2005) and Laulu Laakson Kukista (2008) are enchanting pieces. They combine mysterious folk, lo-fi, ambience and surprisingly catchy elements, somehow usually avoiding to be artsy or annoyingly indie and getting to huge depths of natural feel.

Between the full-length albums Paavoharju released a largely unknown Free Download EP Tuote akatemia / Unien Savonlinna in 2006. It is a varied effort, mainly in good sense. The EP starts with a bang; two tracks that are among the best Paavoharju tracks of all time, forebodingly beautiful Nuo Maisemat and a live version of Kuljin Kauas. Usually live versions are to be passed with a shrug but Kuljin Kauas (Lepovaunu-05 Live) captures the live feeling extremely well. It adds so much raw-power to the composition, it competes side-by-side with the original album version. I didn’t know Paavoharju could be so heavy live!

Listening the album well over 10 times it is quite descriptive that a few months after the last listen, from the last 5 tracks I can only remember one, Pepe. Pepe is a left-over sounding Joose Keskitalo track, alike “Italialaisella laivalla” in Laulu Laakson Kukista LP (Joose Keskitalo is a Finnish singer-songwriter known of his Eponymous project). I do like Pepe and even had a short crush to it, but in my books, its quality is lower than nearly any track in first three Joose Keskitalo records (which are all near-masterpieces).

By no means is the end-album bad, it is just a lot less catchy and more of freaky ambient origin. Tavataan 12-7-2004 has some beautiful piano work. Mitä Sinä Et Ole nears worthlessness and is only saved by haunting female vocals. Tartu Tähän Hetkeen encompasses the Paavoharju ambient sound, but feels bit more raw and unpolished than most of the ambient pieces in their full-lengths. The last track Salatut Käyvät Julki is a melancholic pretty guitar and pump organ outro, very Rural-Finnish.

A good release with two extremely strong tracks and only one filler. Kudos to them for not trying to make money with a collection of oddities, but it really could have been a “real” release. It is almost as captivating and magic as their full-lengths, but not quite. If it wasn’t a free download I would not recommend it for Paavoharju beginners. But as it is, if you enjoy the pieces here you will for sure love the full-lengths.

8+/10

Free Download: http://archive.org/details/mia061

Joose: “Nimenomaan tonin laulua!”

Hyvämakuinen yleisönjäsen: “Hieno.”

Tarkasti analysoiva yleisönjäsen: “Tää on musiikkia.”

Pollux – My Beautiful Melancholia // NMMREM XV

It took a while to find another Pollux album I really like after the brilliant Offer Their Souls a few years ago. No, I haven’t tried them all, there are if not hundreds then dozens in between). Even though Pollux is a very productive artist, he still keeps a fine quality in his works. But the ones I’ve tried, mainly Abandoned Area, Lune Rouge and Wasteland have left me just quite pleasant aftertastes.

My Beautiful Melancholia which somehow has an enticing name, however leaves a very good impression. The varying beats give a lot of new grounds to the ambient of Pollux and make for a new interestspan. First track Absence (Blasted Version) even makes repeated hipsteresque background woman vocals work; without reminding of wool sweaters, MacBooks and instragram-jokes too much.

It is followed by Rain In Your Face & Stress In Your Mind (Loosening Version), which is rather a positive chillout vibe with nothing much happening except variation and growth circling around the same set of melodies. UAV Style (Plasma Version) continues the same but for me has a more complex variation. Not a huge amount of goosebumps but stellar progress and mild surprises.

Well, now with real eyes as well.

The real catch is the title track. Similar than Pollux’s track “Black Hope”, it is has a very Braid’ish melody; I can see the town in flames in the main screen in my soul’s eye. The effect is very pretty. Pollux really works best when associated with a certain mental image. My Beautiful Melancholia even has a sort of evil twist in it, but it entwined between the beautiful parts that it doesn’t bother like some evil horror ambient might bother. It just adds more to it.

One advice for even more enjoyable experience is to take any track from the all stellar Lune Rouge (lately i’ve preferred Espoir de Verre) and the intro of Wasteland “Fallout New Vegas – Goodsprings Wasteland, Day (Remix)” as the first and second track. Then you have an album that does last a bit longer and provides even a wider variety of welcome ambience. The darkness of Lune Rouge is brilliantly overtaken by pleasant ambient, beats and then My Beautiful Melancholia. As an outro the tense Corruption Eternelle is often my choice. It brings a nice, star-light eclipse wandering along the shining dust clouds in circles -effect to finish up the album, if you know what I mean.

As always, a free download: http://archive.org/details/siro416Pollux-MyBeautifulMelancholia

The nmmrem-extended album version as free downloads:

1. Espoir de Verre (archive.org)

2. Fallout New Vegas – Goodsprings Wasteland, Day (Remix) (bandcamp)

3. My Beautiful Melancholia (Whole EP)

4. Corruption Eternelle (archive.org)

Covolux – Paris // NMMREM XIV

As marketed for workplaces as a background music in an work environment

Covolux’s Paris is an ambient release which is most suitable for light office work with little to mediocre background noise. The test subjects found this release most worthwhile while listening as a background music two to three times a day. Positive aspect of this release is also that the listener does not need a good sound system to enjoy it, the sound flows nicely enough from laptop speakers and provides a rich soundscape for concentration. Beautiful melodies flow on but only rarely fully consume the listeners attention (electric shock devices to prevent this from occurring can be bought at a discount from our store).

The legend of certain ambient noise boosting the effectiveness of work is definitely not untrue with this release. 80 out of 100 test subjects from the extremely picky group concluded that Paris is good concentration music and also sets up the mood for work with beautiful ambient tones keeping the mind light and intact. Just where you as a corporate businessman want your workers mind to be. We at Sirona-Records are permanently offering all our releases for free, so you and your massive corporation can boost your work-effectiveness for free! Forever!

Download for free: http://archive.org/details/siro170Covolux-Paris

FluiD / John 3:16 – The Pursuit of Salvation

The Pursuit of Salvation is a split record of two very notable electronic musicians, currently surprisingly much under the underground. FluiD is a veteran presence, having released albums since the early 1990s. John 3:16 is a Drone/Industrial/Dark-Wave/Guitar-driven project from Switzerland, active since 2007. FluiD and John 3:16 produce a great split pair, both having similar haunting and enigmatic atmospheres which at times even become soothing. Artwork is also stunning, having only the webrelease I can only imagine how good it would look in my hands as the physical release 12″ Vinyl.

The intro Angels Pt II is particularly impressive – melodic ambient with lots of hooks. A very definition of a catchy intro escalating the atmosphere sky-high. The next two songs develop a more industrial sound but retain the hooks almost as well. Plague could be explained as a bastard-child of melodic dark ambient and industrial, when Forewarning rolls with a massive beat and vague soundclips, which provide more music than voice.

John 3:16 relies mostly on ambient touch similar to Angels pt II. Inside the two tracks there is a lot of variation and surprises. Compared to his earlier release Sinner’s Prayer which I described as “psychedelic gospel ambient” the two songs in The Pursuit of Salvation are even more ambient, melodics being less straighforward. God of Light fills up the continuum by progressing from rich soundscaping ambient to a very FluiD like industrial beat in the end. Toward The Red Sea evokes beautifully corrupted images of a deserted town with wind blowing through and deteriorated objects rattling in the wind to the sound of a distant gloomy church choir.

I can easily imagine both artists progressing to reach more vast audiences if they keep up the quality of their releases this high. The vast industrial and ambient soundscapes are truly thrilling to listen and most of all flow greatly together to form a compact release.

I do not know if Toward The Red Sea is an Isis reference, but having the Isis lyrics in memory I couldn’t help but noting how the last line of Isis’s – Red Sea quite suit the overall atmosphere of The Pursuit of Salvation.

The ocean spreads beneath the skin

Fluid fills blackened lungs

Tar seeps across the eyes

Away in the sea of red

– Isis – Red Sea (1999)




Overall Score: 8+