Dark 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.

Video of Megaperiferia


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:
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

marked as obsolete except in archaic usage.
Watery (obs.).

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

Urban dictionary:
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!

Ars Sonor – 124C 41+ // NMMREM XXV

Ars Sonor is a project headed by Laetitia Schteinberg. Laetitia has lately become a bit of an internet sensation following the news of her being forced to leave Sweden back to Russia. Her being a transwoman it is causing a serious threat to her well-being (http://www.change.org/Petitionen/save-laetitia-a-transwoman-being-deportated-to-russia).

Musically her main project Ars Sonor is some sort of industrial ambient project. Tracks have lucid ambience but also steady beatwork and often vary between ethereal and ethereally sinister sounds. I love the fact that Dmitry Vlasov from Meklabor makes an appearance in two remixes as these two go together like peas and carrots.

124C 41+ has been released by three weblabels in 2012, Sirona-Records and Sounds From Inside Out as a free download webrelease, and the now defunct Dark Meadow Recordings as a CDR. The title of the album is likely taken from an influental Science Fiction novel Ralph 124C 41+ by Hugo Gernsback; wordplay from “One to foresee for one another”.

The album consists of 10 tracks. Some tracks have just ambience and some have hypnotic beatwork to go with it. The beats are used tastily, only Hold My Hand picks up tempo to technical beats. There are whiffs of dark ambient dubstep too, The Shed is a clear cut example of it (don’t expect any pop hooks). Three of the 10 tracks are infact the same track The Saints remixed. However, it does not really matter as two of those remixes sound entirely different and the third re-uses the elements freshly.

124C 41+ is a good and smooth album, though not all too memorable or catchy. But occasionally it stands out; usually that is when there is a hypnotic beat on effect. Best examples are Disintegration, Hold My Hand and The Saints [New Flesh Mix]. Also The Saints [Oil Mix by Meklabor] has very stylish melodywork. All of these influence spontaneous head nodding.

CoverI’ve been pairing 124C 41+ with a horror novel and it is a good symbiosis, definitely not for the faint of heart. In fact, 124C 41+ works too good with a horror novel, I’ve had a few nights of constant anxiousness because of this combo. I just stopped the album before the finisher cause I need to relax. Also lovely background music for nightly bunker exploring!


Free download:


http://sfio.bandcamp.com/album/124c-41-lp (name your price in case you want to donate)

Master Toad & Pollux – Offer Their Souls // NMMREM II

Narrow-minded Metalhead reviews experimental music – II
Master Toad & Pollux – Offer Their Souls

Dark Ambient with a sense of melody

However clicheicly titled, this free to download ambient release is a real jewel in the weblabel rough. It was released in 2010 by TRASHFUCK Records and Kitty on Fire Records as a webrelease and a cd-r. When an album is co-released by two such brilliantly named weblabels it cannot be all bad! In fact, it turned out to be one of the best Dark Ambient records’ I’ve listened and one of the ones that really got me in the genre, along with NOTHING (best known as a side project of JWW from Agalloch).

All the songs are freely listenable and downloadable from last.fm which is linked to the title of the track when first mentioned. For whole packet, scroll to the bottom of the review.

Master Toad starts the split with 4 tracks, and 3 are instant hits. The vaguely hearable I Stood Upon The Beach of Lost Souls has a scary atmosphere and an unexplainable dark tower vibe, somehow still manages to stay interesting. If I was you I wouldn’t tune up the volume, as Dark Insects of the Catacomb whirrs right in with a dark egyptian atmosphere about 20DB louder. Extremely solid and gloomy, and fitting to the title! Curiously, the track delivers an atmosphere alike Mythological Cold Towers’ release The Vanished Pantheon. A massive doom record that has been on my regular playlist again lately. Similar atmosphere continues with Frail Raft Through The Rivers of Hell and if possible, it fits its title even better. A grim journey, but stays pleasant by growing up to a wonderful guitar melody in the end.

Unicorn Dreams finishes up the first half with a lighter tone and a beautiful melancholic melody.

What stands out in Master Toad’s side is that is so organic. As nighttime music goes, it is hard to top tunes that combine an interesting Ambient wall with a tangible story and as a cherry on the cake, a guitar melody.

Pollux’s side is less organic, but it still delivers great melodies. Black Hope has a big Braid -vibe. As Braid happens to be one of the best indie games of all time, this is very pleasant, though again, quite unexplained. Blue Hope is, if possible, the best track on this album with a light piano and very pleasant pulsing soundwave. The album finishes up Ghosts (Eternal Version), which is an interesting dark ambient wall, with a similar scary vibe than I Stood Upon The Beach of Lost Souls, concluding this album in fitting manner.

In free download weblabel releases, you rarely hear such well crafted passion and skill packed in a compact packet without any fillers.

Overall score: 9+/10

Golden Cloud & O.S.I.S. – Split // NMMREM I

Narrow-minded Metalhead reviews experimental music – I
[Siro195] Golden Cloud & O.S.I.S. – Split

An emotional drone/ambient/dark ambient release by a Polish artist Golden Cloud and Swedish O.S.I.S., whose other projects include for example The Musk-rat Cult. Luckily the savvy title “Split” doesn’t indicate that the music suffers from a lack of imagination. Both tracks succeed well in creating a specific atmosphere, but unfortunately for a listener wanting a full journey rather than individual listens, there is a big gap between the two counterparts.

Starting Golden Cloud track Clearlight flows brilliantly combining ambient with a steady bass beat. The ambient flows between noise and melody so effortlessly it has a severe relaxing effect. On first listen it even promises to become a vast explosion into brightness, but it never reaches that. Listening further I become quite satisfied that it doesn’t have a genuine peak, its strength is the flow and the balance.

Some of the peaks for me are the 12 minute 20 second pleasant noise waves electrofying and fastening and the ambient in the end which almost transforms into a distinctive melody but stays distant enough to not quite reach you. The constantly varying background noise produces many similar satisfying effects and keeps you alert the whole time. Strongly recommended for headphone listening while falling asleep and strongly not recommended for hitting the freeway on a 70s’ bus.

The O.S.I.S. Trismegistus, doesn’t reach the emotions or beautiful melodies Clearlight does. On the other hand it isn’t supposed to as it weaves it’s path with grim atmosphere instead of brightness thus being a lot harder to listen upon. Also very hard to review as i’ve never liked too gloomy pc-games, and this kind of silent hill-esque horrorsound reminds me of just those. Very psychotic, has even a small background melody among the drone/dark ambient wall, but it doesn’t blossom, being more of a murky wind chime. The track nears harsh noise but even more it is pure horror.

It’s name Trismegistus is likely taken from the ancient Greek god Hermes Trismegistus who lead souls into afterlife. The O.S.I.S interpretation hints that the afterlife isn’t a very pleasant place, or at least the way there is murky. If you feel like trying having a crack at your future afterlife (before it hits you) or just enjoy hellish tortures in general Trismegistus might be your kind of thing.

As stated previously, the split is pretty hard to listen in one go as it really turns out two sides of a coin. Clearlight is a bright track and Trismegistus a dark voyage. However both have enough length to be long enough listens on their own.

Overall score: 8/10

Download the release: http://www.archive.org/details/siro195GoldenCloudO.s.i.s.-Split