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Category Archives: Drone*Noise*Ambient

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When injected with melancholy, deftly placed space and a smidgen of pathos, dance music (at the lack of a better term) describes places dripping with a syrupy sepia; like hazy memories, ancient summers shot through super8 with the comforting ambiguity only such textural, instrumental music can lend.

Most cite Burial as responsible for propagating such elements amongst the delicate skipping rhythms and inky black bass of 2-step/dubstep/whatever but for me it all slotted into place with Ramadanman‘s ‘Blimey’ – the faint swelling pad and distant chattering voices rising amongst the woodblocks, creating similar colours to golden(i.e. Pause)-era Fourtet.

Whilst Ramadanman has (for me) failed to follow it up with anything to match it in terms of scope, Pangaea has quietly risen to the fore with tracks such as this, on Scuba‘s Hotflush. Just listen to that sound that starts to blend in at 1:50 – as mournful as a sighing processor…

Fast-forward to now for the hyper limited ‘Memories’ which takes the idea behind Skream’s diva-step anthem remix aka The Biggest Tune In The World (You know which one I mean), completely ignores it, buries it under 3 feet of clay and crafts something infinitely more nuanced and ultimately satisfying. Grab it now, if there’s still time.

Finally, grab his March mix which features above track at the very end. There’s still enough dubs there for you ‘spotters and top marks for the SL2/Acen/2 Bad Mice inclusions. Old skool hardcore FTW.

DOWNLOAD: Pangaea – Reprise Agency Mix

Tracklist:

01. SL2 – DJs take control (XL)
02. Martin Kemp – Bowser (unreleased)
03. 2 Bad Mice – Hold It Down (Moving Shadow)
04. Ramadanman – ??? (unreleased)
05. Micky Pearce – Innami (unreleased)
06. Luke Envoy – Uptown (unreleased)
07. Badawi – Lost Highway (unreleased)
08. Acen – Trip II The Moon (part II) (Production House)
09. Guido – Tango (unreleased)
10. Tempa t – Next Hype (Brackles remix) (unreleased)
11. Untold – Anaconda (forthcoming Hessle Audio)
12. Peverelist – The Blues (unreleased)
13. Joe – Rut (Hessle Audio)
14. Untold – I Can’t Stop This Feeling (Pangaea remix) (unreleased)
15. Pangaea – Memories (white)

Tim Hecker – An Imaginary Country (Kranky)

It’s been almost three years since the complex grandeur of Tim Hecker‘s ‘Harmony In Ultraviolet‘, an LP which commanded the same awe as a celluloid shot of mountainous terrain. Towers of melodic fuzz built from looping samples and mystery instruments shifting into moments of deftly controlled distortion. A shoegazing laptop-jockey, emoting with the skill of a scientist.

This offering feels more steamlined, fewer disparate sonic elements but the ones that remain filling the space left – Tim crafts with more confidence, letting chord sequences shift and evolve without always heading for a Spector-esque wall of noise. This confident, more delicate approach edges his music closer toward the neo-classical grace of Oren Ambarchi or Stars Of The Lid (mighty artists in their own right), although by refining he loses some of the chaos that makes his music so breathtaking. It seems flatter, somehow more ‘safe’. There’s less of the mountain range, more of the airport and I want a little more noise to temper the beauty and give it life.

But this is coming from a fanboy, you try pleasing a fanboy.

Off  ‘Harmony In Ultraviolet’…

15106569

Aidan Baker & Tim Hecker – ‘Fantasma Parastasie’ (Alien8)

As the nights draw in to a seemingly infinite extent and the frozen land brings all life to a stilted shuffle, hi-fi noise maestros Aidan Baker and Tim Hecker provide suitable respite. This current environment provokes the need to be swaddled by music, by a record you can hide and lose yourself in.

Tim Hecker’s 2006 pinnacle ‘Harmony In Ultraviolet’ (Kranky) was an absolute revelation – the most widescreen, structured and at times emotional approach to the ‘nu-ambient’ or ‘neo-classical’ movements of now. A ‘cathedral of sound’, as Oxford shoegazers Ride were once tagged. Primarily a guitarist, Aidan Baker has perfected his amp-worship, ambient doom-metal epics with the highly regarded duo Nadja (with Leah Buckareff). Tracing seams of melody through the deftly woven feedback has rarely been such a joy.

The prospect of Hecker’s stunning architecture meeting the Arctic expanse of Baker is an appealing one indeed. Presented in the vintage/occult style so favoured by metal concrète artists like Sunn O))) and Earth, one is primed for a drone noir experience – bleak, uncompromising and frequently abrasive.

Subtle emotive twists seep through the ink, reassuring the listener with a gentle hand on the arm. Elements such as the clock in ‘Dream Of The Nightmare’ and the fluttering guitars in ‘Auditory Spirits’ touch on the physical, welcome moorings to prevent travellers from drifting out into the ether. The entire recording is steeped in darkness, but it’s an unintimidating black.

Enveloping with a human touch.

http://www.myspace.com/aidanbakermusic


http://www.myspace.com/rainbowbloodx (for Tim Hecker)


http://www.alien8recordings.com

Growing – All The Way (The Social Registry)

What do you want from sound? It is easy to vacillate wildly between air-punching light-headed triumph, gentle reassuring familiarity and exquisite sensory masochism. Most worldly offerings exist in the cradle of their peers and inhabit the regular vehicle, but sometimes the perpetual hum of background noise fades away – a gentle deceleration. Music with the soothing clarity of total silence.

Neither narrative tales nor atmospheric maps, this is direct from the amygdala – the brain’s ancient primal core. The soundtrack to a thought in it’s initial unrefined state, before it is lashed to language or moulded by conflicting emotions. Pure, raw and at times nebulous.

Ostensibly ‘drone’ music, the tag feels increasingly limited and irrelevant when applied to Growing. The hypnotic, layered arrangement may at first suggest the label but the dour, grandiose bluster many other such acts exhibit is absent. Here we have mellifluous euphoria, a celebratory dance performed by the handfuls of elements making up the cast of each track. At times more movement between the component parts, but with an overall feeling of central stillness.

An uncommon treat, cutting through the static and blooming gently.

http://www.growingsound.com

http://www.myspace.com/growingsoundnyc