Wednesday, February 27, 2013


New releases currently sending me off to dream-land:

Ambient-Hypno-Drone mix, containing bits of:

Nac/Hut Report's new album "Angel​-​like Contraction Reverse" is a swell follow-up to their debut we reviewed here a few years ago, and these Europeans continue to do the impossible: make noise sexy.  Brigitte Roussel's husky vocals add both melody and sensuality to the drum-less industrial sound-layering (and I use the phrase "industrial music" in it's original sense, not meaning funkless-disco-for-goths). Pick hit: "Greetings Blue, Summer 98," a fantastic mélange of electronic pulsing percussion noises, sharp shards of guitar, and languid vocals. They've made available two free songs, one off the album, and a b-side: 

Nac/Hut Report  “Junkstarrr/Bright Future” (streaming)
Nac/Hut Report “Junkstarrr/Bright Future” (download)

Avant composer Michael Gordon of New York's popular Bang On A Can ensemble has a spectacular album that consists of nothing but drumming on wooden planks. Yep, no other instruments, just the six-man Dutch percussion group SlagwerK Den Haag going to town on 2x4s cut to different lengths. Minimalism so spellbinding that nothing else is needed. AND the CD comes in a snazzy wooden box. Buy/listen: "Timber" 

Andrew McPherson's new album "Secrets of Antikythera" is a (mostly) solo piano album for people who don't like solo piano - the piano is "prepared," not in the Cage sense, but by using magnets.  "Sound is produced without loudspeakers using electromagnetic actuators to directly manipulate the piano strings". I don't know exactly what that means, but damn it Jim, I'm a doctor, not an experimental instrument technology explainer guy! (Check the video below for all that.) I can tell you that, following a couple violin pieces that didn't do much for me, it is some blissed-out  instrumental loveliness, commencing with the ghostly drone tones of "Prologue: Mystery", giving way to tracks like "Creation3" that sound increasingly piano-y.

Hanetration, a London artist I've written about before (I really liked his previous EP 'Tenth Oar') has a free 22 minute slice of sublime ambient drone now available. "Nae Troth" consists of nothing but looong sounds that start off chilled, but gradually intertwine, growing more complex and ominous. Electronic sounds build until, finally, they start to relax and drift off into the mist. I can imagine Brian Eno listening to this, nodding his head, saying: "Niiiice..." 

Hanetration "Nae Troth"

Gel Nails is an intriguing Canadian project whose Bandcamp tags pretty much tell the story: "experimental ambient electronic noise weird Edmonton." Yes, but subtle vocals also enter the picture at times. Their tumblr page has a number of free download releases that I quite liked once I asked how to download them: "if you put your cursor on the image, say the h.n.w. album cover, you will see 4 little icons appear in the top right corner. Click on the icon that looks like 2 links of a chain. Scroll to the bottom of the new page and there you will see a mediafire link." (But you knew that.) Or dig this name-your-price EP:

Gel Nails "H.N.W."

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