Nhung Nguyen – An Ordinary Narrative. 

Nhung Nguyen is a Vietnam based musician and sound artist who from 2011-2015 recorded as Sound Awakener and appeared on labels such as Soft (“Belonging to the Infinity” with Linear Bells), Unknown Tone Recordings (“Here cones the Acoustic Season” with Gallery Six) and Flaming Pines (Tiny Portraits – “Nocturnal Scenes”). Since 2015 she has been recording under her own name.

“An Ordinary Narrative” started with recording beginning in January of this year just after the release of “Nostalgia” and uses her standard upright Yamaha piano and a variety of out of tune pianos in public and private settings.

Nhung describes the Ep as for “the little moments in our lives. Bold, repetitive and simple are three suitable words to described the material…this Ep is the representation of my everyday life – a narrative which is both real and surreal. Seven piano pieces with a touch of soundscape are processed with a minimal level of editing to create a sense of imperfection. The raw quality in these pieces carry my honest and sincere feelings toward life, memories and music.”

“After Spring” has a lo-fi feel that gives it the impression of time and distance. There is a feeling of hope in the music mixed with a tinge of sadness that fills out the second half of the track. The difference between the themes of the two halves of the track are clear with a slight overlap in the middle.

“Memento” begins with lush ambient effect laden piano with stark notes matched with shimmering keys of which both fully fill up the sound so that there is no space, it is awash with sound. The tone of the shimmering keys is uplifting and is perfectly placed on top of those emanating ambient waves.

“Ode to Simplicity” returns to the lo-fi nature of “After Spring” (possibly recorded at same time or conditions) with the addition of a brief section of field recordings and has a melancholic but positive feel to it. The feel of the piece is like you are at a recital.

“An Ordinary Narrative” is the longest piece of the album and utilizes space with the opening being slowly paced, gently building up and being slightly melancholic. It is easy to see the reason behind the album sharing the title with this track. There is a lot of chance for the music to breathe. The use of out of tune pianos gives the track a bit of a hazy feel. There are several sections that make up the piece which make it not easily predictable to listen too, for instance towards the end is quite different to the start before the final reprise.

“Bittersweet” seems to be quite a random track, which I am not detecting a feel or motif. There are washes of field recordings that come in and out and the track ends rather suddenly. There are elements that are repeated, but it comes across, to me like an improvised track, which is rather different to the other composed ones.

“An End” is a short piece full of lo-fi natural sounds and is a gentle piece full of reflective playing. You can imaging Nhung sitting at the piano and early morning light shining in, it has that feel to it. Could be also nice at twice the length.

“Summer ’14” while the piano is the focal point there are enough effects on the recording to be more than just the some of the parts. There are drones and the piano has an icy feel to it, almost like stabbing sounds that work with the drones as they build up before quickly fading. Much like “The End” it is over before you know it. It would be interesting to see it extended with more electronics and even subdued beats of some sort as it has that quality to move across genres.

“An Ordinary Narrative” is available now.

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Dominique Charpentier – Esquisses. 

Dominique Charpentier is a self-described “French indie minimalist musician and composer” who also is self released. His latest release is “Esquisses” which will be released via his Bandcamp page on June 23. “Esquisses”  features the artwork of artist Anna Salzmann who has just collaborated on a release with her partner Gareth Broke on 1631 Recordings. In the past he has composed for the short film “Genova” and computer games such as “Grim War” and released a CD called “Passages“. All his other releases are digital only.

For “Esquisses” he set an experiment for himself in that he would compose each track in less than two hours and to edit and mix in less than one. The idea being to test his creative process. Listening to the results you wouldn’t think that such pieces were the created in such a short time frame.

“Esquisses” means a rough or preliminary sketch, which listening to these tracks the feeling is quite the opposite. More like the tracks are well fleshed out. Coming in at a hardcore record length, these 5 pieces are over in 12 minutes and 12 seconds.

“Esquisse I” opens the ep with a romantic feel to it. The undercurrent is well paced with a frantic piece over the top that starts off mid paced before increasing in its intensity before matching the slower relaxed pace as the piece draws to a close. At a little over 2 minutes in length it is a piece that sets the tone for the ep and would be even more of a delight if it was three times this length.

“Esquisse V” is the first track to add in extra instrumentation with the addition of mournful strings that compliment the piano, which has a more ambient and abandoned set of sound, as if it was recorded in an empty room. Ambient waves of synth replace the string part towards the end and add an extra dimension to the track.

“Esquisse IV” is a slow rolling delicate piece that has a crystalline piano sound with light keys which is joined swirling Synth ambiance in the background before a darker bass tone takes over and the Synth takes equal center space with the piano. Neither instrument blocks the other and they coexist perfectly, complimenting each other and making it equally a Modern Classical and Ambient piece.

“Esquisse I” sees the more frantic undercurrent running piano keys compliment with higher notes that exist in both minimal and maximal spheres and provide great melody and structure. The beauty of just the piano recording is you can hear the instrument rather than just the keys, like the hammers and the pedals. The track has an interlude at the half way point before the track starts up again slowly building steam and while not reaching the same intensity, ends on a satisfying bass note.

“Esquisse III” sees the return of the strings which are a highlight of this all too brief a track. A slow to mid paced track for something so short, 2 minutes and three seconds, its quite epic in stature. The chords of the piano would suit some vocals lines (not unlike Nils Farm’s “Hammers”) to add icing on the cake.

It would be easy to see this ep as something more than it is. It could easily be part of a soundtrack to a feature film. The length of the tracks are perfect and make great little vignettes. For an artist that is used to being self released, he could easily slot into the roster of say 1631 Recordings.

Totally Recommended.

Vargkvint – Brus.

Originally self released late last year, the French micro label Soft Recordings, run by David Teboul aka Linear Bells, on June 10 released a physical 6 panel Digipak version with two bonus tracks and amended artwork in a limited edition of only 70 copies.

It is fairly easy to see why Soft re-issued this and fits in well with their stable of releases that have included Darren Harper, Kate Carr, EUS and of course Linear Bells. This release is just simply one of those that come along and captivate you from the start and you hope that more than a limited audience gets to experience it.

Drawing inspiration from forests, oceans and folklore, VARGKVINT is Stockholm based solo musician Sofia Nystrand who plays piano, vocals,  harmonium,  musical saw, zither, kalimba,  glockenspiel and is joined by Jakob Lindhagan (who’s “Skörheten” Soundtrack reissued by 1631 Recordings will be reviewed in a few weeks time) on synthesizer and Linear Bells on the track “Varg”. The name Vargkvint translates to “Wolf Fifth” and comes from the dissonant interval in ancient tuning systems.

The label describes the album as a “highly evocative collection of songs, built haunting melodies and minimal lyrical fragments sung in both English and her native Swedish. Combined with playful arrangements and unexpected instrumentation , it results in something that most closely and we described as a soundtrack to artist John Bauer’s dark fairy tale paintings – as if the celestial tunes of the Icelandic pop music scene had been drenched heavy proportions of Swedish melancholic mindset.”  I couldn’t agree more.

The opener “Utåt” which translates to “Outside” starts with a field recording of an impending storm which is best heard at volume to appreciate. A slightly mournful minimal piano melody comes into picture, delicately played with the occasional sound of the hammers. It is joined by a slight siren-esque sound followed by wordless vocals before it makes a retreat to leave the piano unaccompanied.  This lasts for a short while before the squall and all the other elements return this time with layered vocals which all together build up and are joined  presumably by the harmonium.  The elements are then taken over by the squal and for a brief period of silence the piano and vocals (this time singing in Swedish) return. Before you know it the track is over, but it has whetted your appetite for more (indeed just hearing this track made me contact the label for the full album).

“Midsommer” opens again with storms and an almost nautical sound of parts of a boat crackling and swaying in the storm. A Minimal piano looped rhythm meets muted vocals and with a similarly styled kalimba melody that gives it a whimsical feel in contrast to the darker piano parts. The track is nice and concise in its 2 minutes 47 seconds length.

“Natten Kryper” which translates to “Night Creeper”  starts off with Harmonium and the first singing of the album in Swedish. The track also features layered vocals to great effect that work together with the humming sound of the harmonium. Squal like electronic loops spiral around oh so subtly in this finely layered piece.

“Corners (of my mind)”, blame growing up in the 80’s for my disdain for vocals in music. Overblown vocalists ruin the art of singing. Thankfully artists such as Sofia (and the likes of Chantal Acda) breathe life into vocals with a subtlety and nuanced performance that a track like this can be based largely on the vocal performance and shine. The track opens with a reverse loop, a short bright drone and kalimba (although to be honest it could possibly be glockenspiel as I find it hard to differentiate the two) before Sofia’s vocals (in English this time) come in. The recording of them is so vibrant that you feel that she is in the room right next to you. Doubled vocals on the words “Mind” and “Hide” emphasise the chorus and for a section the vocals have 3 layers which add more melody to the song.

“Dimma” which translates to “Fog” is a piano piece which is quite melancholic with heavy bass notes,  layered shimmering vocals that glide in and out, zither and kalimba before Swedish vocals accompany the piano. The piano is precisely timed to give the track a rhythmic beat. My only complaint is that it could be longer as it seems to end just when it starts to get really interesting.

“Brus” which translates to “Noise” starts with storm field recordings, minimal vocals, musical saw, what sounds like a need report with a male speaking in Swedish, zither, electronic loops likes those from “Natten Kryper” and other electronics is probably this most experimental track on the album. It comes more across as a sound collage compared to the other tracks and lives up to the name of the track.

“Varg (with Linear Bells)” which translates to “Where” is a collaboration with Linear Bells who is one if the finest drone exponents in my opinion and it sounds like the track is started by David with layered piano, Sofia’s vocals and drones and what sounds like synthesizer added. Effects are added to the vocals adding depth and making them part of the drone palate. This track sonically has most going on in it which makes it stand out from the others, but also compliments them as it comes after “Brus” aka “Noise” and builds in it. It is also a nice counterpoint to the way the album starts so minimally. The track ends with a winding down sound and silence for the last 30 seconds.
Overall this is a fine debut (the second time around) that I can’t recommend enough for people to hear. If I do the trend of what blogs do with a “Best Of ” list at the end of year I can see this easily making the list.

The original release artwork:

wp-image-1925340535.

Endurance x 2 – The Invincible / The Vacant Coast.

 


Having a moniker is a tricky thing for a musical project. What sort of idea do you want to give to the audience? With a name like Endurance, Japan based Canadian Researcher and Translator Joshua Stefane (who uses volca keys, volca FM, Op-1,SI Evolver, Saucillator App, effects pedals, field recordings, tape recorders and others) could be making extremely challenging hard to listen music. Thankfully this is not always the case. Recent releases have been on the cassette and digital format with imprints such as Polar Seas Recordings, Pyramid Blood, Other Worldly Mystics and others. The latter two labels are responsible for the releases covered in this review.

The Invincible released on Pyramid Blood in an edition of 50 cassettes, is a concept album of sorts and is seen as an unofficial soundtrack to Polish Sci-Fi writer Stanislaw Lem’s 1964 story of the same name. In the story “A very powerful and armed interstellar spaceship called Invincible lands on the planet Regis III, which seems uninhabited and bleak, to investigate the loss of her sister ship Condor. During the investigation, the crew finds evidences of a form of quasi-life born through evolution of autonomous, self replicating machines, apparently left behind by an alien civilization had inhabited the planet a long time ago. The novel turns into an analysis of the relationship between different life domains, and their place in the universe.”

“Regis III” starts off the album with minimal electronics, aquatic like ambient sounds and melodic synths drones that combined give a feel of a SCI FI film and the landing of the Invincible on the planet Regis III. There is a feeling of hovering over something with the swirling ambiance reflecting desolation and the feeling of being alone.

“The Lonely Shore” combines low-level field recordings of water slowly flowing in and out alongside glacial synths drones, with siren like drones entering the sound as if the shore is being explored and someone is approaching something. There are some mechanical like sounds or effects that are added which gives to the fact of the story featuring evolved mechanical lifeforms, like the explorers are being watched.

“Cyclops” is a short track that  features a darker pulsing drone with industrial playthings breaking down and pressurized wind sound added and could be an aural representation of the surface of the planet.

“Necroevolution” is a reference in the book of evolution of non living matter. The track starts with two layers of mechanical sounds before a long drone comes slowly in and is joined by a whirring noisy drone that builds while it turns and some vocal like howling sounds loop in and out. If this is the evolution as stated above, it is shown by the growth if the track as all this elements keep getting bigger and end up swarming the track, before chimes and electronic bell-like sounds round it out.

“The Cloud” references the micro-machines in the story and their ability to form a swarm and travel at high speeds. The track has a long melodic drone with a slightly high pitch which has a lower pulsing drone underneath it which is punctuated by the occasional noisier swarming sound to imitate the sound of the “cloud” as it travels at speed.  Later the track has a sound that appears to be like a sound of elevation (like an aircraft). This is longest track, but seeing how in the book the people from the Invisible battle these micro-robots and their ability to form swarms to battle the and overpower them, it makes sense that this track has the longest length.

“This Realm of Perfected Death” is awash with classic synths stab drones which give off a feeling of calm or resignation. You can imagine it in a 80’s sci-fi film walking through some sort of desolate abandoned area. There are at least 3 different types of drones that are fluidly rolling over each other, phasing in an out and going in a circular fashion. The drones fill the sound of the track while it builds and builds until it fades away to nothing.

File Under:  SCI-FI Ambient/Synth/Drone .

The Vacant Coast released on Other Worldly Mystics is another concept album of sorts as this was based on the found photographs of 1960’s Japan that make up the cover art and the inner sleeve. Central to the album are water sounds.

“Low Season” starts with chime like sounds that make up a melody, field recordings before rumbling of possible rain and impending storm roll in and scattershot sounds appear in the foreground, before retreating to the background. These elements repeat before the field recordings start to take over, bird sounds appear and the storm increases before fading out. The chime like melody that is looped is the center of the sound of the track.

“Ornamental Grasses” carries on with field recordings and as suggested but the title involves the rustling of vegetation, while a very subtle Synth melody appeared that is not to unobtrusive to be ignored, nor to forceful becomes the focus. Almost half the way in it is joined by an almost orchestral section which provides the ambient counterpoint to the other sounds.

“Weaker by the Day” Synth melodies of a semi random feel make for an off kilter sound with added field recordings and reverb coexist before a storm of sound threatens to engulf them all towards the end.

“Motions Overhead I” returns to coast with the sounds of water, distant gulls squawk and we see a return of glacial synths before the weather turns bad and noise descends in a storm that produces rain , while “Motions Overhead II” sees layers of Synth drones from the like glacial ones to ones with melodic overtones gliding over a repetitive alarm like loop before the water sounds appears. If “Motions Overhead I” is the sound of a storm, this track is like the calm after the storm.

“Adjacency to Water” features a powerful drone augmented by churning water sounds and ebbing and flowing frequencies that provide a focal point to the maelstrom underneath before they are overwhelmed by the field recordings.

“Uncertain Sources” a low slightly ominous humming drone coupled with field recordings of birds and waves crashing on the shore are joined by melodic synths drones that give the track light and make the track stand out from the others. There are additional synths bleeps and blips that remind me of the previous album.

“Coastal Geography” shimmering electronics with glitch like loops mark this track like the previous as sounding like “The Invincible”. Synth drones abound with no sign of field recordings, just layers and layers of Synth loops and drones.

Since these two releases Endurance has also put out a cassette on the Polar Seas Recording label called “Echoic Architecture”   and a sold out cdr on Sea of Clouds called “Enlightenment Interface”. If I had to choose between the two releases I would choose “The Invincible” as it has more variance in the sounds and I feel follows the theme of the album perfectly.


Bill Seaman – Erasures And Displacements.

Bill Seaman returns to the fictitious island of Eilean with “Erasures and Displacements” (Eilean 78) his first since 2015’s “f(noir)” (Eilean 33) and is joined by Owen Sidney Richardson on Contrabass and Electric Bass Library,  Craig Tattersall with Synth Bass Library, Robert Ellis-Geiger on Trumpet,  Cornet and Flugelhorn Library, and Jonas Braasch with Horn Library for the track “The Sea’s Enfolded Signatures”. Seaman who has released on the Cotton Goods label and collaborated with Craig Tattersall on The Humble Bee & Players and The Seaman and the Tattered Sail could be, as hinted in the press release a musical librarian than a musician solely.

“I often work by making libraries or asking people to contribute a library. With the contributed library I often give the players simple verbal instructions, or sing notes I am interested in including. With the piano, I sit down and do a series of improvisations. I then go though these and edit my favorite parts, building a series of fragment libraries, some with little or no abstraction, some greatly abstracted with Ableton Live. To make the library I basically “erase” most of the recording, and “displace” it by building up a new set of musical relations in Live (hence the title of the album) [although there are many readings to these two terms]. I compose in a very sculptural manner with Ableton, dragging things in from the libraries and trying things out often exploring chance related juxtapositions. I build up structures, cut/copy/paste complex layered sections, erase sections that are not working, loop things, and slowly construct a track going though many iterations. I often later cut away at the built up tracks, and edit the piece down, further articulating a structure. I often finish with having between 30 and 50 tracks. In the final set of passes I fully articulate the psychoacoustic space, working with panning, eq, distortion, abstraction, and reverb. I further edit and structure the parts that begin to “work”.”

“Erasures and Departures” is a double CD that clocks in just under 85 minutes over its 14 tracks. Expertly mastered by label boss Mathias Van Eecloo, the release is a lush piece of work which covers many genres and sold out it’s label stock of the limited (180 copies) in 3 days of pre-order availability. 
“A Visual Record of Scratches Reflecting on time” features emotive piano playing, multi layered glitches, drones, microsounds samples, washes of sound and on some way has a slight feel of The Necks, I guess in Seaman’s piano playing and the use of space. Even there are a decent numbers of elements going on, they don’t cloud or pile over each other. The piano, drones and glitches compliment each other while having their own space.

“A Structured Removal, The Balance of the Pulse” follows on in a similar vein with the construction of the track. The multi layered glitches are the focus of that is piece with layers of sound underneath, such as drones, piano, percussive sounds. Sounds whirl and pan left to right and the emotive drone ends out the track. Due to Seaman’s editing and redefining process the drones could be from any of the libraries such as Synth Bass or Cornet. The standout feature of the track is that despite the various different elements the coalesce into one quite nicely. 

“Collections of Relational Introspections” starts off highly edited with backward pieces of sound, glitches, drones, layered piano and the sounds of machines whirring and breaking down. The track is rhythmical, but not in the way that any loops or parts of it are repeated in such a way as to be predictable and timed. 

“Altered Instruments, The Removal of Time” starts with sounds of decay. Chimes, Glitches and Drones contribute alongside mournful piano to a sound of things breaking down. Rhythmic loops with the complex highly edited music of unknown source (maybe Seaman himself would be the only one to identify specific sounds?) make for a post apocalyptic sound with some some sort of Eastern feel which reminds me of some of Dead Can Dance’s instrumental tracks.

“Entering the Library of Collapsed Moments” features metallic glitches, Distorted Cornet, Piano and despite its name doesn’t fall apart. There is a lot of space in this track which allows it to breathe and evolve slowly with each instrument unwinding clearly and pleasantly with not one element overpowering another.

“The Somber Space of a Word” has affected Cornet that phrases in and out, Piano and drones that are joined with an almost orchestral sound, possibly elbow guitar. Unlike the earlier glitch tracks this is the first with a filmic sound to it. The track has a sinister suspenseful edge to it with a feel of noir. Some of the sounds  are punctuated with a percussive edge. The layering of drones and piano makes the track.

“Watching from Within The Library of Melancholy Gestures” sounds like a continuation of the previous track  with some of the previous elements with what sounds, in sections, electric bass. The piano with elbow guitar driving on top of it, the hiss and the drones continue in the filmic vein. For someone who works with piano improvisations,  they come across as well planned, but this could be the art of the editing.

“A Circulated Compendium of Machinic Thoughts” sees the decaying glitches return with a rhythmic clock like loop, sounds crawling over each other and fall apart. Sharp soaring drones cascade and screech while the machine breaks down.

“The Lie of the Perfect Empty Seat” sees low level wind noise accompany piano, before drones and multi layered orchestral like pieces come in, electronic pulses flitter in and out. The parts come in and out, just when you get a grip on the track it changes. The electronic pulses become semi percussive and leads the track out with drones and a final piano stab.

“Slow Motioning Through Scattered Reflections” sees the horn library come to the fore with piano and drones accompanying the horns (presumably the Flugelhorn) making for a mournful track. Layers of instruments come in an out and sections can be quite minimal , while others can be full of sound. Ebow darts in amongst piano stabs, while drones hover. The horns created almost vocal feel as if someone is singing and work well with both the piano and Ebow guitar.

“The Reflections Inherent To A Chosen Room” sees Cornet blow over a minimal beginning with low level hiss/glitch and piano while highly processed loops scatter about and field recordings fade in and out. This is one of the more experimental and improve like of the tracks on the album. 

“The Machinic Exhale” begins with piano, drifting drones, glittering glitches, shimmering Ebow and has a somewhat beat less post rock theme to it. The elements work together smoothly and the track doesn’t wear out its welcome and could be enjoyably longer.

“The Sea’s Enfolded Signatures” harmonic drones starts off with field recordings, foreign vocal/speech sample, piano and glitches with Jonas Braach’s Horn Library being used and giving a haunting long lasting drone that curves around the other elements and also giving a counterpoint to the piano that punctuates the track.

“The Illusive Space of A Thought” begins with rattling glitches, cornet, mechanical sounding loops, field recordings, broken electronics, plaintive sound and panning scattershot sounds. 

This album is not one that can be easily pigeonholed.  Is it Ambient, Drone, Glitch, Experimental or Electroacoustic?  It is all these things, but not all at the same time. With 14 tracks and 85 minutes there is alot to take in. Some tracks work  better than others (“The Somber Space of a Word”) coming to mind as a highlight), but all are worth repeated listening to get all the layers, textures, nuances and effects.

While it has sold out at the label, it will be available through Experimedia (July) and Stashed Goods (later in June).

Pleq – RE:COMPOSITION. 

The Dronarivm label has been around for 5 years now and label curator Bartosz Dziadosz aka Pleq sees his first release since 2012’s split cassette with Philippe Lamy on the label he has steered (not forgetting his tracks  on the compilations “Aquarius”, “Past Disappears”, “Into the White” and “Illuminations”). Pleq is no stranger to remixes and collaborations with releases such as “The Seed” with Segue, “Perceiving Perspective” with Lauki, “The Prelude to” with Guilio Aldinucci to name a few as well as releases like “Good Night” Ep (Basses Frequencies 2010), “Good Night Two” (Progressive Form, 2011) as remix releases. “Re-Composition” sees various releases that he had been a part of remixed by artists that have also been a part of the Dronarivm catalog. The original tracks were released from 2010 – 2016, with some original tracks being recorded as early as 2008 (“The Seed”).  The artists who remixed the tracks include Christopher Bissonnette, Segue, The Green Kingdom, Olan Mill and others. They are remixing either Pleq tracks or those he has collaborated with others.

I have decided to compare the tracks contained on this collection to the original versions. (Note: links to the original releases are included. Where possible they go to the label’s bandcamp pages, all others go to Pleq’s).

As with all remix collections the interpretations are all with the artists take on the original track. It’s interesting to see where the remixers take the track. Do they focus in an element or elements and expand from there. Or do they radically alter the track to bring it to a completely different light. On this collection I feel the remixers have been very faithful to the original tracks of Pleq and his collaborators. The one that stands out the most is Segue’s remix of an Offthesky and Pleq collaboration and for me as the best remix, closely followed by The Green Kingdom. That said, all the remixes are good and this release is a worthy addition to Pleq’s catalog.

The album starts with Christopher Bissonnette’s remix of “Sans Titre Une” (originally on “Sans Titre”  by Pleq and Philippe Lamy on Pocket Fields) and is a take on glacial ambience with deep waves, almost industrial soundscapes and ever-growing hiss which adds to the glacialness giving an Antarctic atmosphere at dusk. The original is a glitch track, but with the darker glacial elements in it,  it is interesting that Bissonnette has darken the darker elements of the original and worked on it to be the feature, but to also modify it so it’s not as dark.

“Gap in Time” remixed by Autustici (Originally on “Absorbed by Resonance”  released on mAtter records), Autistici’s remix takes the track in a post industrial/ drone/glitch vein. The original had a metronomic beat with looping tones and repeating chimes and crunchy glitches. With the Autistici remix, elements such as the looping drones, crunchy glitches and metronomic beat are sped up with other elements added like a sample of a laughing/ crying female saying “Do you hate me?”.

“Delicate Exit” remixed by Segue (Originally on “A Thousand Fields”  by Offthesky and Pleq on Infraction Records), the original features a mournful violin from an unnamed source which is laid over a melodic drone giving a feeling of nostalgia. Segue takes the track in a more rhythmic almost dub techno direction with the repetitive loop of the violin as a percussive like instrument with a clicking underlying beat, what sounds like swirling field recordings,  beats and synth stabs and is an equal match to the original and an early standout for best track on the album.

“Momentum” remixed by Guilio Aldinucci (Originally on “Momentum” by Pleq and Philippe Lamy on DataObsura), the original is a field recording based drone track with microsounds and muted drones best heard through headphones for all the layered textures and sounds. The remix by Aldinucci comes across like a theme to a suspense movie. Ominous waves of drone, swirling almost screeching synths, what appears to be ghostly vocal sounds all envelop the track.

“Good Night” remixed by The Green Kingdom (Originally on “Good Night Two” on Progressive Form), the original is a slow looping meditative piano based track that would normally be classified as Modern Classical if it wasn’t so cloaked in ambiance. The Green Kingdom’s remix (which to my tally is the 19th released remix of this track) takes Pleq’s ambiance, stretches it out and in true The Green Kingdom quality, enhances the melody of the original. Guitar parts are added which sound like its the same piece that the piano was playing in the original. A nice subtle glitch like beat is added.

“Calm Coolness” remixed by Offthesky (Originally on “The Seed” on Databloem), the original appears built with looped backwards sounds, drones, static, noise of an impending storm. Offthesky adds piano, what sounds violin, but keeps the elements of the original on the static and impending storm feel and towards the end gives the track an almost violent feel, like it would be perfect on some sort of slasher film.

“Ashes of America” remixed by Olan Mill (Originally on “A Thousand Fields”  by Offthesky and Pleq on Infraction Records), the original features dark drones, chimes that build up, with synth like screeches (almost like bicycle coming to brake suddenly), field recordings, repetitive pounding in the distance and orchestral overtones. Olan Mill’s remix sees a rumbling track with the chime sound still present, the orchestral sound is still also present and is complimented by synth drones and is a light to the shade of the original.

“Middle Point” remixed by Legiac (Originally on “The Prelude To” by Pleq and Guilio Aldinucci on The Long Story Recording Company), the original is a drone track with scattershot sounds of what appear to be field recordings, swirling noise and synth ambiance. Legiac’s remix takes the swirling synth and ambience of the original, but augmenting with keys and giving a classic synth driven ambient second half before fading out.

“Absorbed by Resonance” remixed by Aaron Martin (Originally on “Absorbed by Resonance” on mAtter Records), the original is surrounded in silence with glitches, microsound loops,  industrial noise,  super low-level drones, before louder drones become the central theme of the track accompanied by the loops. Martin’s remix cuts the length of the track in half and keeps the microsounds loops and adds his trademark emotive violin to the sound pallet. The loops and glitches provide a good base for the violin to soar above.

“Witch Hunt” remixed by Elegi (Originally on “Witch Hunt” by Pleq and Hiroki Sasajima on Taalem Records), the original is a slow burning piece over 24 minutes with microglitches, what sounds like compressed air, field recordings of water sounds and dark ominous drones which are inspired by the theme of the track. Elegi’s remix is exactly what you would expect to hear with a title such as this. Ominous music of a dark feel leads this track in a more experimental dark ambient sphere. Harsh noise, what sounds like scraping metal, eerie noises, disconnected glitches and industrial feel.

“The Seed” remixed by Tomasz Mreñca (Originally on “The Seed” by Pleq and Segue on Databloem), the original which is one of the collaborative tracks on the album could be described as dark ambient, but not in the traditional wall of sound of that genres. Percussive elements clang, the sound of something scraping along metal, industrial sounds and drones make for a claustrophobic track. Mreñca’s remix starts off eerie with glitches, the metal sounds come in and synths and drone envelop the sound. The track builds up and with the glitches, field recordings of someone shuffling around reaches a crescendo in the final part when Mreñca’s jagged violin is added and everything fades away to the shuffling feet.

This release,  limited to 200 copies is another fine Dronarivm release and would appeal to those that like either Pleq and his collaborators,  or the  remixes and also those that like detailed thought out music.