Categories
Discovery

Gigi Masin & Charles Hayward – Les Nouvelles Musiques De Chambre Volume 2

Les Nouvelles Musiques De Chambre Volume 2

Genre: Electronic
Style: Experimental, Ambient
Year: 1989



Side A is a masterpiece of piano and ambient music; one of Gigi Masin’s best works. I could list favorite tracks but it really is incredible from beginning to end. Side B is a haunting drone piece by Charles Hayward, and while I do appreciate it and its themes, it’s completely overshadowed by the brilliance Gigi Masin pulled off on the other side.

Review By windcollector
Categories
Discovery Recommended

Gaussian Curve – Clouds

Clouds

Label: Music From Memory ‎– MFM004
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: Netherlands
Released: 2014
Genre: Electronic
Style: Ambient, Downtempo


It’s been a while since I listened to a album that got my attention so hard than this one.

It’s beautiful. It’s dense. It’s well made.

Hard to say but somewhat hard adjectives for today’s ambient music.

My favorite track is Impossible Island.


After reading a few negative comments about both pressings, I decided to pick up the 2016 repress anyway (the back cover differs slightly with an extra date added in bottom right corner). My copy sounds great with any slight noise/pop/crackle from the pressing being mostly unobtrusive. Red Light is perhaps the only track where it draws my attention a little as the track itself is very sparse so any defects are very clear. I am only posting this to let others know that the whole repress is not poor quality. You can certainly enjoy this beautiful music on vinyl!

Comment by Pistachios on this page
Categories
Discovery

Muslimgauze ‎– Sandtrafikar

Sandtrafikar

Label: Staalplaat ‎– Muslimlim 011
Series: Muslimgauze Subscription – 011
Format: CD, Album, Limited Edition, Numbered, Digipak
Country: Netherlands
Released: 11 Nov 1997
Genre: Electronic
Style: Ambient, Experimental, Tribal


So, so good. I have by no means heard everything Bryn Jones released, his earliest stuff being a bit of a black spot for me in particular – I’m getting there, though! Having said that, I have been listening to his stuff for close to 15 years now and this, for me, is his best work.

The Muslimgauze material I love the most is the stuff that really conveys an exoticism and otherness. Keyboards that drift like a Saharan wind, Middle Eastern percussion, electronic pulses, sudden bursts of distorted drums and voices. And, of course, those vocal passages, either from the passionate tongues of Arab and Persian peoples, or in English. Sandtrafikar has this all in abundance and it is executed in the most intoxicating way.

The two versions of the title track are so well balanced, almost restrained. One uses a primarily electronic rhythm to underpin it, while the other uses more acoustic percussion. Both, however, feature the same brooding keyboard line, touches of what sounds like an Iranian santur and the recital of lines from some unidentifiable, deep-voiced speaker of Arabic. What’s he saying? Who knows? But it sends a chill down your spine whatever his words are.

The two versions of Baku Oil Field use more electronic trickery, employing phased drones and bleeps alongside the blasts of hand percussion. The tension builds as the noise rises. Shards of an oud-like instrument spin out without warning. Someone intones without emotion, and in American English, that there is damage to the optic nerve of some unfortunate individual. A war casualty? A victim of a workplace accident at the titular oil field? Again, no context is provided and it makes it all the more mysterious.

With the looped interlude tracks providing short breathers and a churning Rootsman remix at the end, this is a highly recommended release. Not sure if it’s one to start your Muslimgauze journey with (maybe try something like Vampire of Tehran for that) but you could soon graduate to this truly epic and deeply satisfying entry in the mammoth Bryn Jones back catalogue.

Review by AllyKarate

Categories
Discovery

The Leisure Society ‎– The Sleeper

The Sleeper

Label: Full Time Hobby ‎– FTH081CDA
Format: CD, Album
Country: UK
Released: 2009
Genre: Rock
Style: Folk Rock, Indie Rock


It’s real easy to be cynical about The Leisure Society is the wake of the unexpected Ivor Novello nomination – it’s a quiet album, wrapped in its own world without ever directly engaging the listener, and it’s one that doesn’t deviate much (if at all) from a pattern it establishes within one track.  ‘Learn some more instruments’, ‘lighten up a bit’, and ‘pay someone else money to record and produce it’ would all be pretty valid suggestions to make.

To take that attitude, though, would be to completely ignore the charm this album has.  Like all the great lo-fi albums, it gets you on its side – you can’t help but notice that you’re listening to an underdog, and you can’t help but root for him, whether the forces he’s up against are the music business or an ex-girlfriend.  Nick Drake comes to mind for the intimacy you start to feel with the voice you’re hearing, although Nick Hemming hasn’t quite achieved that level of mastery yet.

“The Last of the Melting Snow”, for the record, is lovely.  It’s difficult to see why it was plucked from obscurity for the nomination, because it doesn’t really rise that far above anything else on the album, nor is it the absolute stunner you will probably be hoping for.  It is, however, very good.  Considering what else has been nominated, it might even win, and might even deserve it.

Review by Iai