Ambient and glitch music comes in all forms. Most think of large sweeping arrangements that push you into a proverbial cosmos of sound. The other side to this is where Australia’s tilde (real name Rhys Channing) comes in. With his record Æsthēsis, the composer creates a smaller scale of sound that is almost like traveling through an endless hallway. The hallway is filled with complex rhythmic and melodic overlapping, as well as countless multi-dimensional sound effects. If you jumped into a wormhole, somehow I imagine it would feel much like how Æsthēsis sounds.
Get your copy of Æsthēsis at https://tonelist.bandcamp.com/album/sth-sis
Calm. Introspective. These are the words I would use to describe the music of electronic composer Luis Gabriel Aguilera’s newest album A New Approach. Intending to evoke “the audio expression of the composer (and really the individual) spiritually and emotionally” becoming awake; A New Approach is a minimalist and ambient journey that accomplishes its goal. Every synth effect, piano line, orchestral instrumentation and so on, brings the listener through the composer’s mind. It’s a worthwhile journey.
Get A New Approach at https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/luisgabrielaguilera2
The music of London-based wombat_army (real name Martin Webb) has had a welcome presence at MixolydianBlog for quite some time. As far as electronic artists go, wombat_army is probably one of my favorites in the past decade. You can imagine my excitement when I was sent the link to his newest record circling.
Present in circling is the signature looping effects and melodic lines that come from electronic sampling, synths, and of course cello we know wombat_army for. The minimalism in this record is used as well as ever, with beautiful melodies being placed over a myriad of rhythms and sound effects.
You can tell that wombat_army has gotten more adventurous on this record, as it feels more experimental than previous endeavors. For me this is a great step forward and I hope Martin continues in this direction. The music is a journey that is enjoyable from beginning to end.
Get your copy of circling at https://assemblyfield.bandcamp.com/album/circling
The way the French electronic artist NHOVA describes their music gives great insight into your eventual listening experience. “Halfway between electro-mystical and delicate atmospheres” with trip-hop, industrial and ambient music shown as prominent influences gives a clear representation of their self-titled record.
The synths are dark, brooding, and also soaring with melody. Each track is meticulously constructed with peaks and valleys that bring you a multi-faceted listening experience. Overall NHOVA isn’t just good music, it is an invitation to explore your own mind as you listen. The range of emotions you feel can be existential dread to wonder, and all are valid responses during the time this record plays. You will never experience the same feeling or though twice when listening to this album, and that is a great achievement.
All in all, any fan of complex electronic music should give this a try.
NHOVA can be found at https://nhovaworld.bandcamp.com/album/nhova
As a musician I have always felt that the best music just happens. You train your mind to be one with your instrument and its capabilities, then throw it into improvisational situations. Music that is improvisation based takes many forms, and the record Inner by Nunun is one of them.
Nunun is a project consisting of Italian musicians Cesare Discepol (guitar, effects) and Massimo Discepoli (drums). It is deemed to be an album of introspection, experimentation, and as alluded to before, improvisation. The musicianship of Cesare and Massimo cannot be overstated. They understand their craft down to its most minute details.
What really shines here, however, is the compositional acheivements of the group. You are brought to realms of profound groove, ambience, and beauty that flow seamlessly from start to finish on this record. I feel like this album is an intersection of the free jazz philosophy of Ornette Coleman and the grandiose (yet inward-looking) nature of the David Gilmour-led Pink Floyd era.
When Inner releases on March 15th, I suggest you head over to https://acustronica.bandcamp.com/ and pick up a copy for yourself.
Ambient music comes in many flavors, but it is often most associated with a pleasurable dream-like state. I love this type of ambient as much as anyone, but I also love when people explore the darker potential that this music has.
Enter Iranian composer Mehdi Mahmoudabadi and his EP Time is Addictive. In this record, we see the looping minimalism that ambient music is well-known for, but there is a massive twist. The tones, samples, instruments, vocals, melodies, rhythms, and harmonies all give off an experimental and dark vibe.
Try to imagine Trent Reznor in his Downward Spiral period making a record with Brian Eno and you get an idea what this record sounds like. The fact that Mehdi is so young (20 years old) and able to make music that has this much unique character is a real testament to his talent.
Time is Addictive can be found at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/time-is-addictive-ep/id1174937966
One of the greatest sources for inspiration among ambient composers is space. The vast, ever-expanding nature of our Universe is a brilliant jumping-off point for countless pieces that explore our own “galaxy” of imagination.
This is evident in Robert Scott Thompson’s record Pale Blue Dot. With each track evoking space travel in name (like “Perigee,” “Apogee,” and the more obvious “Slow Rotation of Stars”) and sound, it is only natural to imagine oneself in orbit while listening.
The music is haunting, beautiful, and meticulously put together in such a way that you feel a complex set of emotions continuously. Some ambient music is meant to lull you into a trance, but Pale Blue Dot is constantly changing the tonal script, never allowing you to put the music into the background.
As a trained music academic and celebrated modern composer of the experimental; this record only further adds to Robert Scott Thompson’s innovative reputation. The self-described “musical alchemist” does not disappoint.
Pale Blue Dot can be found at https://robert-scott-thompson.bandcamp.com/album/pale-blue-dot