Review: Following on from the excellent "Scene In Mirage" reissue that broke O Yuki Conjugate to a whole new crowd, Emotional Rescue return to the archives over-looked Nottingham 'dirty ambient' outfit. Their second LP "Into Dark Water", originally released in 1987, is just as powerful as the first - a hypnagogic journey fuelled by a global stew of sound, feeding into elegant, evocative pieces. Fans of classic Jon Hassell will find much to enjoy here, but equally those appreciating the exotic post punk undercurrents of 23 Skidoo et al will easily find themselves drawn into the likes of "Ba-makala". Stunning, borderless musings from a hidden treasure of the UK's post-industrial heritage.
Review: Lovers of Move D & Benjamin Brunn will know it's been a long time coming since we've heard new material for the ambient house loving duo - no that we expected it! In this poetic display for Smallville it brings back haze, smells and memories from a time when we associated the label Smallville with STL's At Disconnected Moments and Songs From The Beehive, the duo's incredible second album. The pair's concept pushes even further into ambient pastures this time and you can expect baths of warm, think and heavy floating basslines being graced by waving pads, soft arpeggios and the pitter patter of spaced out, glitchy pops of percussion. Ambient house at its finest.
Review: Out of Australia Andy Hart's Voyage label has been drawing up a new picture of exotic new age and electronic sounds since 2014 with a highlight of releases from Uluru, Albrecht La'Brooy, and most recently Rings Around Saturn. The label now introduces the sweet, sublime and subtle ambient sounds of newcomer Huerta in what could be considered a crowning release of the label so far. This superb debut album presents a swathe of sweet, twinkling synths and mellow undertones of warms pads and smooth leads that dive into an unknown world of wildlife flitted with sketches of house, breakbeats, percussion and tribalistic dub. Take a trip into the undergrowth a new age future music.
Review: Following fine EPs from Healing Force Project and Mesak in 2017 and 2018, On Board Music flips the script on its release since then. "Point A" is the Berlin-based label's first mini-compilation and it's well worth a listen. Lanoche kicks things off via a spot of ultra-deep dub techno/ambient techno fusion (the wonderful "Love Fall", before Yugen doffs a cap towards the hypnotic, synthesizer-driven sound of late 1970s Krautrock on the suitably cosmic "Phantom". Serena Butler's "Fertile Fancy" is an immersive drift through enveloping ambient, Estrato Aurora's "Icnita" a bubbling deep techno epic and Vera Logdanini's "Vplanet" an acid-flecked trip into locked-in electronic hypnotism. In other words, this is a very fine collection of cuts.
Review: Since the dawn of the decade, A Winged Victory For The Sullen has delivered occasional albums for Erased Tapes that effortlessly blur the boundaries between ambient, electronic experimentalism and emotion-stirring neo-classical music. "The Undivided Five" marks their first appearance on mighty British independent Ninja Tune, and as a result seems a little more grandiose in scale and ambition than some of their earlier outings. It was recorded in eight different studios around Europe, with the pair combining atmospheric orchestration and traditional instrumentation with occasional glimpses of modular electronics. It feels like a stunning soundtrack to a movie we've not yet seen - unsurprising given that they have previously composed a number of scores - and genuinely gets better with each successive spin.
Movement 1-3: In The Beginning / Toto, I've A Feeling We're Not In Kansas Anymore / Wherever Two Or More Are Gathered - (23:08) 159 BPM
Movement 4-6: Life In The Gravity Well / As The Earth Kissed The Moon / Something's Moving - (22:01) 158 BPM
Review: Emotional Rescue is honoured to reissue the benchmark in new age ambient music, Michael Stearns epic Planetary Unfolding album. Out of press on vinyl for over 30 years, here is Stearns masterful electronic symphony in 6 movements, recorded using his Serge modular synthesizer at the Continuum Studio in 1981.
The culmination of years of exploration in "space" music, Stearns journey, to the album's release, was one of learning and application. Involved in music since his teens, he graduated from guitar bands in the late 60s to an increasing interest in the principles of electronic music synthesis and the physics of musical instruments.
He moved from Tucson, Arizona to Los Angeles in 1975 where he performed live during movement meditation classes at the Continuum Studio. He released his first cassette album in 1977 before going on to record 7 albums during this formative period.
With Planetary Unfolding, the musical ideas that Michael performed on the Serge developed into this 52-minute masterpiece of music, six movements, three on each side of the LP. Based on the idea that the universe is made of sound held together through resonance, where atoms, cells, oceans, plants, animals and humans, all are part of a complex orchestration - the Earth as a being of sound.
Having first approached Michael in 2013, his uncertain response that the album could be rereleased in a way that the music would be given justice via vinyl, the idea was never forgotten. Gaining discovery, appraisal and prominence when "As The Earth Kissed The Moon" appeared in edited form on the "I Am The Centre" box set from Light In The Attic, this excellent window into the world of Private issue new age music, superbly compiled by Douglas McGowan, further increased the interest in Michael's and others, such as Laraaji, music.
With the likes of Matthewdavid's Leaving Records and Jonny Nash's Melody As Truth pushing the ambient curve beyond a post club, chill out fad, classic albums can rightly sit alongside this 'new age of the new age', so that ambient music again has a gravity and place of it's own. This specially re-mastered version by Bob Ohllson features the original artwork by Leilani Bost, liner notes by long-term friend and fellow musician, Gary David, as well as the photography of Ron Peterson, together bringing this wonderful album to life once again.
Review: Yagya (AKA reclusive Icelandic producer Aoalsteinn Guomundsson) doesn't release very much, with four studio albums and a lone single the sum of 12 years productivity. However, what he does release is usually top notch. Sleepygirls, his fifth album and first for Delsin, is predictably good, delivering warm, sensual, melodious, dub-inflected techno and undulating, ultra-deep house. Grooves shuffle, electronics drift between speakers, melodies bubble and chords float off into the ether. It's the kind of album to stick on while the sun's coming up, or as you're easing yourself into the day following a heavy session the night before. Any many ways it's as sleepy as the title suggests, but in the most beguiling way.
Review: Music From Memory has a reputation for doing the unexpected. It would be fair to say that few would have predicted the Dutch label's decision to release a collection "electronic and contemporary music from Brazil". As usual, the Red Light Records affiliated crate-digging crew has done a superb job with Outro Tempo, which was compiled by label affiliate John Gomez. Musically, it's predictably varied but always beautiful. It mostly focuses on tracks that fuse traditional Brazilian instrumentation, percussion and musical ideas, with elements of electronica, ambient, jazz-fusion and Reich style minimalism. The accompanying liner notes do a great job in putting the collection in context, explaining how the music was often inspired by political changes within Brazil during the 1980s.
Review: Ever wonder where Music From Memory founders Abel Nagengast, Jamie Tiller & Tako Reyenga got the name of their label from? The answer is obscure New York musician Vito Ricci, whose diverse and quite stunning discography of private press releases is compiled on this wonderful retrospective I Was Crossing A Bridge. Active during the '80s musical heyday of New York, Ricci description as "one of the unsung heroes of New York's downtown music scene" is fully qualified on this 18 track double LP release, which contains such a dizzying array of musical styles it's tempting to call him a musical genius. The three strong suite of "Inferno" tracks in particular could easily be mistaken for the work of Container, and that Ricci was capable of that as well as some tongue in cheek coke boogie like "I'm At That Party Right Now" means Music From Memory should be applauded once more.
Review: We've come accustomed to Marc Romboy delivering fine, full-length excursions that join the dots between techno and house. Voyage De La Planete, though, is something totally different: an intergalactic exploration of ambient, electronica, and seductive downtempo compositions. It's a blueprint that guarantees hazy, head-in-the-clouds thrills, from the Nils Frahm style piano motifs of "La Lune Et La Etoile" and dark, clandestine throb of the Black Merlin-esque "Phenix", to the Namlook style bliss of string-drenched closer "Nocturne" - with its gently undulating beats and sweeping orchestration - and picturesque, break-of-dawn sumptuousness of "Atom De Danse". We're not quite sure why Romboy has decided to go in this direction, but we have no complaints: fundamentally, Voyage De La Planet is a superb set.
Review: Fans of A/V pioneer Amon Tobin were thrilled when he broke a three-year silence with an exclusive Record Store Day release of Dark Jovian last month. However not everyone was able to get their hands on the luxuriantly packed double vinyl set, so now a digital version has surfaced to keep everybody happy. It's a stunning five-track cosmic soundtrack inspired by Tobin's obsession with space exploration movies and an attempt 'to interpret a sense of scale, like moving towards impossibly giant objects and planets turning'. Also included are haunting reworks by Lee Gamble, Logos and Eprom!