The world is a blur especially the musical one. Releases come at a rapid rate that not all can be processed in time for their release dates. As I try to balance the older and newer releases, here are some released in February which I cast a brief look over.
“Ammil” started as a series of improvised sketches experimenting on the use of polyrhythms. Deconstructed and recaptured within a 13th-century church. The sketches focused on the use of a modest selection of instruments, electronics and found sounds. The catalyst of the project was a journey into the paradoxical nature of the natural world. Natures complex systems give rise to our perception of simplicity & beauty. “Ammil” attempts to mimic this understanding by creating complex rhythm that give birth to subtle melody.”
Ishmael Cormack is a new name to me who has also appeared on the Handstitched* label as well as self releases. I would hate to make a statement about his work based solely on a single release, but the pieces on “Ammil” have qualities that you may find on labels such as 12k or Home Normal. There is a balance of acoustic meets ambience meets micro glitch that you can find within releases on those labels catalogues. The pieces on “Ammil” are understated and spacious with a hint of barely anything going on. The tracks highlight Cormack’s desire not to over complicate the sounds, by doing so he creates this fragile and dreamy/hazy feel to his material that is noticeably multilayered. This is the type of release that is perfect for laid back listening.
“Ammil” is available on CD and Digital
““Boke” is the Japanese word for saying blur and mental confusion. In 2013 a person very close to me was diagnosed with what I call the memory disease. Unfortunately in these long and struggling years I could see every step of this disorder. So, I decided to record this album to find a sort of relief in my soul and to make people aware about this painful disease. Each track is a degenerative phase of this malady that in 2020 has no cure and is becoming every day more widespread. Our mind is a recorder that makes us react to the impulses of life. We are the sum of our days spent and without memories we go back to being a blank page. Interruption of memory is a collision between our dreams and what we are….”
KrysaliSound boss Francis M Gri returns to releasing music himself since his “B/ue” release of June, 2019. “Boke” has a ghostly presence mixed in with distant melodies. It is the type of soundscape that comes to mind when you think of music that is centred around the theme of memories. All four tracks are ten minutes and seven seconds in length with titles that reflect back to the theme such as “Loneliness”, “Void”, “Lost” and “Disappearing”. I would be curious to know if the length has a special meaning to the life of the person that inspired the pieces. In some way this album is the perfect pairing to the above Ishmael Cormack album due to the subtleties involved, but you can definitely feel the anguish within the music without it being morose. It is an unfortunate situation that has inspired this album, but the result is one that is contemplative and a soundtrack to a form of deterioration.
“Boke” is available on CD and Digital.
“Bergen” by Alexander Eldefors is the first release from the Swedish label Vintermusik in close to five years. In the past they have released music from the likes of The Frozen Vaults, Peter Broderick and Machinefabriek to name a few. The only thing I know about the artist is that he is a freelance mixing-engineer, producer, artist and composer based in Sweden. He also is a member of The Seed Coat, Lejonsläktet, Nonn and creates music as Yellus and Ideell. As for the instrumentation or any overall theme to these pieces, It would be pure speculation as if it were say, a travelogue inspired by the Norwegian city of the same name. It would appear that the releases I have chosen to cover in this post seem to be of a similar style. Despite having a slightly more experimental / sound art sort of feel to the pieces, especially considering the exploration of tones, there is a minimal/subdued feel to the pieces that aligns it somewhat with the above pairing. Distance, depth, chimes, electronics, drones and field recordings make the bulk of the sound sources and styles of the album and while it fits within the Ambient parameters, it is more so found at the fringes of that genre.
“Bergen” is available as Pay What You Want Digital release.
“Akira Kosemura scored American TV series “Love Is __” which premiered on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in 2018. Drawing inspiration from creators Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil’s own relationship journey, the series explores the highs, the lows, and the magic of falling (and staying) in love. Mara had been listening Akira’s music when she was writing the script, that’s why the collaboration is realised.”
“Love Is___” is the latest release from Japanese pianist and label owner Akira Kosemura. Not his first foray into soundtrack / scoring with the likes of “Embers” and “Dr. Gibson” already in his catalogue. The thirty nine pieces (seventy two minutes in total) contained are largely vignette style in length, some of which appear to be transitional pieces such as “Presage”, “Check The Message” or “Confusion”, but like everything Kosemura does, they are not throwaway or fill in pieces of music. As a fan of the artist I am naturally drawn to the work as Kosemura explores his piano pieces as well as his electronic side while maintaining the film composer mindset rather than a traditional modern classical one. Pieces like “Unexpected Event” are so tantalising that you hope he will revisit it them at another time and expand upon them.The longest piece on the album “Knew Who I Was Going To Hurt” is also one of the high points where Kosemura imbues his piano playing with a warm ambience.
“Love Is ___” is available Digitally.
“How “The World Outside” was conceived and recorded:
Laptop’s were all off. Mobiles were all off. Tv and radio were off all day long, but curtains were all open allowing to light to get in. I spent the entire week closed down a mountain home, composing and recording more than 1 piece per day without interacting together with the world outside the door (doing the same indoor as well) in any possible way, thinking to my childhood, thinking to my teenage time, thinking to the man I am, to who and what I became in the last few years. A suggested experience for everyone, especially if you need to relax and free your mind from modern living. We simply cannot hide from the cruel world we live in, but we can surely find a temporary shelter where our hearts and minds are able to find real home.”
The first of two releases by Lorenzo Bracaloni aka Fallen came out in February on Organic Industries. Each release Bracaloni does is autobiographical in some way. They are either inspired by events, stories or personal experiences. He internalises these experiences or emotions and then filters them musically outwards. While still having some of the more gritty/noisier soundscapes that appeared on albums like “ást” and “Tout est Silencieux” the pieces on “The World Outside” (with the exception of “The World Outside” and “6:30 AM”) have more of an ambient core and sound like the most vibrant works I have heard of his. I am not sure if musically I am getting the concept behind the album as the pieces aren’t obvious in their hint of memory, sadness or joy, but what I do get is the constant evolving of Bracaloni’s music and the opening of different styles (especially more synth/electronic ones) that he employs on this release.
“The World Outside” is available on Limited Edition CD-R (50 copies) and Digital.
“This is a short story of a man who tries to realise if the life he has fought for is really what he was looking for. So, one morning he decides to take an 8-day break from the everyday life, to reflect on what he has become, cause what he really wants as a human being, is just a little infinite shiny ray of true warm serenity.”
This second release for 2019 comes on the ROHS!/Lontano Series label and once more comes with a theme attached to it. Much of which I said above could be equally copied and pasted here. In the past I mentioned about the use of the gritty/noisy elements that he likes to incorporate that are not really my thing. To a certain degree they are still here, but what we are getting in totality is an artist that seems to be hitting his stride with his music. Some ambient releases can be fairly one dimensional, but on these two Bracaloni has expanded his vision and his use of elements to create widescreen, more open pieces that are epic in nature. All bar one track exceeds six minutes in length which allows Bracaloni to explore his music and make it more filmic. Again the sound is highly impressive, with mastering and mixing done by the artist himself and you won’t find better sounding releases.
“Of Memories And Hopes” is available on limited CD (60 Copies) and Digital.