I have well and truly mentally cashed out when I announced the end of this blog. A big weight was removed from my shoulders and expectation has gone, somewhat. However, it would be remiss of me not to at least highlight some releases between now and Jan 1. So let’s start with…

The Stereoscenic label gave us the Awakened Souls release and also released the three following releases (and a few more after them). Each has their own personality with a core essence between all the releases is the concept of Ambient music. Sure, it might be strange to state that in a blog like this, but each release fulfils what for me is an essential element of the genre – a calming soundtrack for you to explore and distract you from whatever you are dealing with at present. While all three are recommended, I have a soft spot for Jeannine Schulz’s “Ground. The Gentle”.

“I remember quite often the stillness of the sea. There were times when the waves didn’t even break on the shore. The calm and the buzzing of the boats transferred me to a dimension of peace and freedom. From sunrise to sunset, swimming through crystal clear waters in the company of crabs, conches and white shells. Looking forward to the arrival of summer to go to my aunt Soledad’s house on the beaches of El Palo, in the company of my cousins ​​and brothers, friends from the neighborhood and old fishermen who greeted me every morning with an honest and friendly smile. Without a doubt, these are my best and repeated memories.”

“This album is deeply inspired by the Norwegian nature and is an attempt to convey some of its beauty and magic.“Skogsro” is a word for the calmness you can experience in the forest”

Phil Tomsett aka The Inventors of Aircraft had a big 2020 either under his own name or his nom de plume of choice. The releases included “The Sound Of Someone Leaving” for Fluid Radio, “Last Things ‘ a split identity release from his two known names (on Wist Rec) and “Velatore” on Whitelab Rec. Not to forget he also had the previously covered “Home Diaries – Twenty Third of The Third” release also on Whitelab Rec early on the midst of the pandemic. Quite clearly a productive period in Tomsett’s output marked by the fact that the material covers some depth within each project/release and the sheer wealth of it allows you to dip in and out whenever you desire safe in the knowledge that whatever track or release you happen to ‘lucky dip’ into is going to hit the spot. Whether it be the more minimalistic side of things as seen/heard in parts of “Last Things”, the more metallic or organic sounding drone of “Velatore”, through to the epic beauty that makes up the rich hauntilogical explorations of loss which defines “The Sound Of Someone Leaving”, you are not going to be disappointed on any of the thirty plus tracks that make up these releases.

“Absence is powerful… ‘The Sound of Someone Leaving’ is Phil Tomsett’s response to absence. Where there should be life, there is disquieting silence.

Emptiness…Known for his output as The Inventors of Aircraft, Tomsett has found his music appearing on a variety of stellar labels, including Time Released Sound, Rural Colours, Home Normal, and hibernate. The Sound of Someone Leaving announces his return to Fluid Audio. Accompanied by Aaron Martin, who provides a beautiful, stirring cello, this release is a reflective and hard-hitting work. Tomsett’s music is ethereal and wisp-thin, on the verge of disappearing completely.

One can feel the pain of absence as the music flows through a series of light, ambient-touched tones. The music seems to defy gravity as it hovers in the air, the vocals echoing distantly, remembering her voice. Synths, strings, and choral vocals are intertwined in a careful way, and Ian Hawgood’s reel-to-reel analogue mastering is crucial to the music’s delicate, paper-thin tonality, while also enabling the sound itself to exist beyond the fabric of time. No matter the decade, the story of loss and newfound absence is repeated – looped, one may say.”

“Another elegant addition to our jackdaw-style series, this 3 disc set is partly inspired by the novella “In the Country of Last Things” by Paul Auster. Journeying from a chaotic and poisoned metropolis to the foreboding loneliness of the countryside, “The Last Things” presents a personal struggle through hum, thunder and dread. The collection plays out as if the book itself has been buried deep in the ground and unearthed many years later, the soil having transformed the words into fragments of sound.”

The “Velatore” project began with the idea of strings emerging out of static noise. It was very much inspired by the kinds of landscape in which the artist had been walking and being very aware of distance, how far the eyes could see, how the shape of the land became more abstract the further back it went, which gave dawn to the eventual theme, on how time, space and memory blur together.

Different moments in time occupy the same physical space and these moments stack up on each other from ancient history, present day and into the future. When these moments are particularly resonant, they give a place an atmosphere which we can sense when we are there.

Velatore” uses layers of strings, static and slices of experimental ambience to depict the past, present and future, as the moments play in unison. A sense of place is achieved through monolithic compositions which are accompanied by the artwork imagery of ancient rocks and crumbling ruins.”

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