30 December 2008

Scott Sherk - Icelandic Air

one of the first podcasts i regularly listened to was One Minute Vacation from sound designer aaron ximm's website, the quiet american, which i discovered thanks to NPR. there is something very evocative about the natural sounds of an environment recorded in high quality and listened to on good headphones. the simple sound has the power to transport you to a place in a temporal way which is not communicated in photography (another favorite medium of mine).
one such collection of field recordings is Icelandic Air. Iceland is certainly a visually stunning landscape but it hadnt occurred to me that the aural environment could be so fascinating as well. the pure field recordings presented here whisk you away to the frigid coastal terrain of icy wind, mountain streams, snow-covered hills and serene lakes, with the human and animal inhabitants making brief appearances as well. a short but refreshing excursion into an exotic locale.

21 December 2008

Motionfield - absolute zero

sometimes some of the best albums are hidden away as buried treasures, released in relative obscurity on an artist's own website. one such treasure is 'absolute zero' which is presented on an unassuming page in motionfield's homepage without even a tracklist or description.
motionfield has already released several brilliant albums on stadtgruen, test tube, and autoplate, as well as an especially excellent commercial release (available for full streaming and for purchase on somnia records) , creating some of the best quiet, introspective ambient idm you're likely to hear. 'absolute zero' is no exception. desolate soundscapes of spacious pads peppered with subtle, indistinct environmental sounds and delicate, glitchy percussion grow and evolve with a sensuous, breath-like rhythm. fractured, wandering piano melodies float in and out on gentle digital breezes. supremely chilled organic electronica for thoughtful moments...
EDIT: it seems the download link has been removed. but hiddenplace music has heard from an inside source that this album is slated to be released on thinner some time in the near future. stay tuned!

23 November 2008

hiddenplace music mix 3: pontchartrain

Download mp3 (160kbps, 75MB)
*this mix is currently unavailable for download. contact me if you want to hear it!

this time, an eclectic mix of darker music for autumn and winter..
i've been putting off posting this mix for a while, partly because i hadn't found time to record VOs. so i decided to just post it without any talking, since it seems many people prefer just music anyway.
this mix features some quiet indie rock, some downtempo & triphop sounds, and even some jazzy acoustic pop. something a little different form the electronic music i usually feature...

[00:21] Emily Haines - Reading In Bed
[03:06] Kira Lynn Cain - White as a Dove
[06:39] Anna Ternheim - Lover's Dream
[10:32] Björk - I've Seen It All (feat. Thom Yorke)
[15:46] Mika Nakashima - Hitori (endroll ver.)
[20:44] Goldfrapp - Pilots
[25:09] Elsiane - Vaporus
[28:44] Karen Matheson - The Dreaming Sea
[33:19] Jars of Clay - Frail
[40:11] L'altra - There Is No
[44:08] Ida - Moves Through The Air
[49:27] The Cinematic Orchestra - Breathe (live on KEXP)
[54:29] My Brightest Diamond - Goodbye Forever
[58:19] Vienna Teng - Pontchartrain


17 November 2008

Beyond Absence - Complacency

released on the netlabel Webbed Hand records, Complacency is a collection of quiet, contemplative acoustic jazz pieces by Beyond Absence. the duo takes a very peaceful, thoughtful and simplistic approach to their music- slow, minimal improvisations for acoustic guitar and piano, with some occasional subtle percussion and keyboards. perfectly warm music to shelter from the darkening cold outside.

02 November 2008

Tertium Auris - Vox Stridens

on Vox Stridens italian composer, conductor, and vocal researcher Marco Tonini aka Tertium Auris presents a startlingly beautiful album of dark abstract ambient pieces composed entirely of vocal samples. hundreds of carefully edited samples of his own overtone singing, choirs, an opera singer, and other experimental vocal techniques are mixed and processed into deep, sonorous soundscapes of fascinating complexity and chrystaline beauty. at once peaceful and unsettling, somber yet angelic, this brilliantly produced album comes very highly recommended for fans of all types of ambient music.

28 October 2008

Lokua - Trails

Trails has quickly become one of my favorite instrumental hip-hop LPs of recent months. chicago artist Lokua deftly combines a myriad of samples- distant voices, echoing pianos, cutup jazz records, even native flutes- into a smoothly cohesive LP filled with ambient textures and head-bobbing beats. the mood is chilled yet vibrant and alive.


04 October 2008

general fuzz - soulful fulfilling

soulful fulfilling finds general fuzz in an especially quiet and contemplative mood. for this album, he has created an absolutely beautiful set of quiet, introspective [mostly] instrumental music.
as he did on his previous album "coolaborations" general fuzz collaborates with several live musicians, adding violin, cello, guitar and vocals to compliment the general's soft keyboards, subtle sequenced percussion and careful production.
this album, along with several other quality full-length albums, can be downloaded for free from general fuzz's website. there is also a fascinating and detailed making-of page explaining the process of the album's creation, along with a custom-build mp3 player with loops and elements from each song.
the peaceful and positive vibe may cause the style to venture a little too close to the 'new age' category for some listeners, but the music is brilliantly produced and supremely chilled, and comes very highly recommended.

22 September 2008

Meso - Island Versus City

i made a realisation lately- the meaning and impact of music can dramatically change depending on the environment in which it is listened to. this realisation may seem self-evident, but i find that certain music really comes alive when listened to in the right surroundings.
Island Versus City by Meso is perfect music to listen to while walking through empty city streets at night. the subtle, contemplative ambient idm moods are strongly enhanced by an environment of deep shadows, distant sounds and glowing lights...

08 September 2008

Alexandre Navarro - 1001 EP

i had intended to feature some groove-oriented 'summer music' at some point, but the continued cold, overcast and rainy weather of this summer has kept me in the mood for quiet ambient music. and thankfully i have found a lot of great ambient music lately to share with you, my blog readers.
i recently discovered the 1001 EP by Alexandre Navarro on the experimental/noise/field recording netlabel Mandorla ('1001' can be found under audio releases/mandorla net label 006). most of the stuff i have found on Mandorla is a little bit too abstract and 'experimental' for my tastes, but having heard some of A. Navarro's work on the spacemusic podcast, and on the archipel netlabel, i was eager to listen.
the 1001 EP presents a carefully mixed sound collage of field recordings, processed textural noise, and slow motion synths, with very subtle minimal techno influences. long sound fields fade in and out, cascading notes float and spiral above, supported by a slow pulsing undertone. quiet, rainy music for an overcast afternoon, or a damp evening where fog hangs like a ghostly shroud and streetlights become luminous orbs...

05 September 2008

Northcape - Some Bright Valley

another treat for those who enjoyed the lush, delicate atmospheres of the last features: the Some Bright Valley ep by UK artist Northcape, put out by the monotonik netlabel. like a pleasant summer's walk through nature, a variety of sensations float through the air, stimulating your senses and relaxing your mind. a bed of long pad and string notes mixed with subtle environmental sounds is accented by almost organic-sounding synth leads, and held together by smooth basses and steady grooves. the short playing time is cause for repeated listening; drifting away on the sound, into a world of light filtered through leaves, gentle rain, and deep reflective pools.
the warmth of summer is not yet completely gone, and Northcape helps it to hold on a little longer...

01 September 2008

Planet Boelex & Lisa's Antenna - Little world

my vote for best netaudio release of this year goes to the first release from a humble new netlabel called soft phase: an ep entitled 'Little world' produced by none other than finnish artist planet boelex. last year, planet boelex released a brilliant extended ep called 'suunta' which i gushed about in an earlier post, also lauding it as the best release of that year. that release contained a collaboration with swedish vocalist Krister Linder, and this time, mr boelex works with another swedish singer/songwriter known as Lisa's Antenna. and he has outdone himself once again, creating exquisite, beautifully sequenced soundscapes around Lisa's lovely vocals and and minimal piano chords.
the usual planet boelex elements are here: infinitely reverberating pads, precisely filtered percussion and thick basses.. but planet b has scaled back the sequencing dramatically, providing a subtle, evocative backdrop for lisa's delicate vocals to soar over. truly good vocals and song writing are unfortunately rare in the world of netaudio, but this collaboration finds a rare gem in Lisa's entrancing songs. from time-suspending stillness, building to rapturous crescendos, and fading back into contemplative silence, this beautifully formed Little world provides the perfect peaceful refreshing escape from our own hectic and stressful world.

23 August 2008

hiddenplace music mix 2: early in summer

Download mp3 (160kbps, 66MB)

on sites such as last.fm, japanese music seems to inevitably get labelled as 'jpop' - especially if it features female vocals. but there is of course a lot more to japanese music than the sugary, high-pitched, heavily produced sound that is jpop. on this mix i am showcasing an eclectic mix of moody, ethereal, and atmospheric music from japanese artists: bedroom dreampop, delicate ambient, and deafening shoegazer postrock.
the sound of the seasons changing-- spring turning to summer turning to autum...


(00:22 ) Caroline - Bicycle [trr97] emusic itunes
(04:05) sabi - yello sand back [mtk088] +playlist
(05:44) sabi - johdo [mtk088]
(08:24) sabi - uki 3 2 [mtk088]
(11:03) Akira Kosemura - Catnap [mtk167]
(16:30) Piana - early in summer [hap003] emusic itunes
(22:04) Anoice - Glitch [LostChildren051] itunes
(28:34) Asobi Seksu - Red Sea [ASBSK05] emusic itunes
(36:13) Salyu - Landmark (live)
(44:10) Mono - The Flames Beyond The Cold Mountain [trr98] emusic itunes

cover photo by ZaNuDa courtesy of stock.xchng

10 August 2008

Nunc Stans - Land

i was quite pleased to discover some excellent ambient music from a new netlabel exploring abstract, ambient and experimental sounds called ping things. for his release Land, Nunc Sans draws influence from the stark, expansive landscapes of northern canada. long pad notes and subtly blended atmospheric sounds evoke a mood which is melancholy but not dark, sombre and subdued but at times hopeful. a 40-minute drift into a landscape of stillness...

01 August 2008

Kahvi Collective - Robot Dreams

the kahvi collective, still one of my top netlabels, has put out another excellent commercial release. as i have written before, all the artists i feature on this blog deserve your support for their hard work, and this is a perfect opportunity to 'show some love.'
Robot Dreams, released as part of kahvi's 10-year anniversary(!) celebration, is a massive compilation with 23 tracks in all. nearly all the kahvi all-stars are here, along with some artists who i am not familiar with, and they have all submitted great music. i found it actually quite difficult to pick favorite tracks, because each piece is really excellent. even a couple artists whose previous releases i wasn't particularly fond of surprised me with some really nice submissions (i wont name any names here, but lets just leave it that its an excellent compilation all around)
the tracks are naturally held together by the signature kahvi sound: bright, glittery electronics with a penchant for wide, expansive soundscapes. the mood ranges from delicate and chilled to intense and cinematic, some tracks are more beat-oriented, some less.
one standout track is certainly KiloWatts' Foothold Herald's Summit View, an epic 12-minute journey through thick, frantic, idm-esque beats and bloops (which is practically a mini-ep on its own). also for the idm-heads, there is the vocoder funk of brioskj's oxegen, the furious, pulsing, lead-driven Beneath a Steel Sky by kahvi curator 4T-Thieves, and the glitchy chimes and cruchy beats of AngelFace by Aaron Jansinski.
those in a more chillout/ambient mood should certainly check out the quiet piano+nature atmospheres of Moon Kiss by Acrillic Colors, the scifi spacemusic of the title track by coax, or the warmly pleasant go inwards by general fuzz.
other standout tracks include WindsOfNeptune by introspective, workbench's euphoric track ascent, and the densely layered Summer's Gold by Xurba.
as of this posting, the compilation is available only beatport.com for 1,99€ per track (perhaps rather unfortunate for my american readers, but still worth purchasing at least a few tracks, imho..) it should be available on other digital outlets shortly. appropriate purchase links, along with info about all the artists are available here.
*edit: Robot Dreams now available on emusic!

28 July 2008

gate zero - coded dream ep

the intentional use of noise is can be a powerful expressive tool when used effectively. an exceptional example of noise-based music which i recently discovered is the coded dream ep. gate zero has been a favorite artist of mine, with releases on thinner and stadtgruen, as well as other excellent releases under his other moniker, spaceTourist (such as last year summer).
his 'coded dream ep' was apparently put out on the now non-existent belladonna records. thankfully it is still available for download directly from his website (.rar download). on this release, gate zero masterfully blends layers upon layers of gentle noise beds which breathe, crackle, ebb and flow. quiet tonal elements, cutup guitar notes, contact mic sounds, and field recordings of natural environments eloquently fade in and out, holding the listener in hypnotic suspension. this is perfect music for listening to with an open window on summer evenings, when the deep noise layers blend seamlessly with the environment around you.

25 July 2008

abel okugawa - magic cuts

one of the things i like about music blogging is that it can be interactive, instead of only one-sided. its great when i occasionally get recommendations, and its even better when i actually like the music which is sent to me!
Abel Okugawa wrote me a while back to tell me about his own music, which he thought might fit my style. he was right on! on his mini-album Magic Cuts, Abel serves up a tight collection of beats and samples, with that laid-back but moving style thats perfect for warm summer weather, just about any occasion. sampled hand drums, horns, keyboard atmospheres, turntable cuts, and even a few catches of female vocals give this great little EP a fresh and spicy flavor.
Magic Cuts, as well as his album 816 Mix, is available at several outlets, including CD Baby, iTunes, & emusic. get the full list and all the appropriate links at Abel's own page! for more previews of his music, be sure to check his myspace page as well.

09 July 2008

The Silent Ballet IX

i wrote about The Silent Ballet compilation series in an early entry on this blog. since that writing, a few new volumes have appeared, and i wanted to take a moment to spotlight the latest addition to the series, which really caught my ear recently. The Silent Ballet series (in collaboration with the Lost Children netlabel) has featured a lot of excellent artists, but in the past the series has suffered from some inconsistency in both musical style and quality. not so with this edition-- there is not one misplaced track on this compilation. The Silent Ballet IX is an absolutely beautiful collection of tracks which delicately combine strings and orchestral sounds with minimal electronics in a quiet post-rock sensibility. the compilation maintains a very cohesive, classical-inspired sound; each carefully selected track is an exquisite composition on its own, which also perfectly compliments the others. from the repressed intensity of the Bersarin Quartett, to the plaintive strains of Redhooker, to the soaring violins and piano arpeggios of Bosques de mi Mente, this is dream music for your nights and days.

29 June 2008

hiddenplace music mp3 mix #1

Download mp3 (160kbps, 54MB)

things have been a little quiet around here lately because the wizards at hiddenplace music have been preparing something really special: the first official hiddenplace music mix.

sometimes simply listening to the music is the best way to discover and share it. i find a lot of my favorite music through podcasts and dj mixes, plus i really enjoy putting together playlists and 'mixtapes.' i hesitate to call this a 'podcast' because that implies that i plan on doing this at a semi-regular basis. unfortunately time and my obsessive-compulsive tendencies dont permit that, but i have several mixes in the works and i plan on putting them out here as often as possible (ie whenever i feel like it).

at hiddenplace music we like free music, so nearly all of the tracks featured on this mix can be downloaded cost- and guilt-free at the links provided. each release represented is full of excellent music and is most definitely worth your time. enjoy the music!


(00:00) hiddenplace intro
(00:19) Makunouchi Bento - Two Mechanical Snowghosts [pj001]
(02:01) My First Trumpet - Takt Short Takt [aer009]
(03:56) Endlos - Ich bin Dur [1bit028] +welcome
(09:31) The Lymbyc Systym - Astrology Days [live 18 Apr 2007]
(14:01) Re'sequence - Interview [es28]
(17:55) Implosion Quintet - For Sesselja [diginet011]
(21:40) Mr Moods - Variations [DBR005]
(25:24) The Incognito Traveller - Chaleur [konfort016]
(29:42) Owltree - Head Swirlin' [lokw-010]
(32:57) Jah Free - beatcontest (amuses-bouches complete album download)
(37:58) Sel/Reechad - Masterplan [iD.037]
(42:01) Saine - Absent Minds [Imagine This] +tracklist

extra: hiddenplace music on solipsistic NATION

27 June 2008

Budabeats netlabel

one of my favorite discoveries lately has been the Budabeats netlabel out of Hungary. so far they have put out three releases, all with a very similar style-- a fun mix of hiphop breakbeats with turntablist cuts & retro samples. freestyle sounds in a similar vein to the classic masterpiece of netaudio, instrumentally ill by aphilas, and this song.
perfect party music for the start of summer!

16 June 2008

iqtu - embarrassing triangle

a little something more for those who enjoyed the previously reviewed release by kaneel- the 'embarrassing triangle' LP by iqtu. this time the sound is a little more straightforward and less abstract, but still containing plentiful cheerful 8bit melodies, grooving cutup beats, and glitchy, glittery chiptune-esque soundscapes.
this release comes from a netlabel called II, another music portal with a charming 8bit aesthetic. often i find that such lo-fi, heavily processed music lacks the creativity and variety to sustain a full-length album (or it just becomes annoying after a while) but iqtu infuses the sound with a lush and organic feel that is wonderfully listenable and immensely enjoyable. i will definitely be coming back to it for more repeated listens...

30 May 2008

Kaneel - I've sketched it a while ago

french artist kaneel, curator of the petite&jolie netlabel (and owner of a particularly fetching website), has released a fascinating and original work on the super-exclusive Apegenine Recordings. entitled I've sketched it a while ago, this album is particularly remarkable in the post-techno electronic music world because it features almost no bass frequencies at all! besides this curious fact, it contains a plethora of clicks and cuts, skittering frenetic beats, and chimey chiptune-style melodies. admittedly, its not music for everyone-- the endlessly frantic pace can sometimes become a bit of a sensory overload-- but connoisseurs of post-chiptune music, and those who appreciate music of the playfully weird and wacky variety will find the album this album very charming and unique.

with plentiful high frequencies and carefully-constructed details, this sort of music is certainly best enjoyed at full uncompressed cd-quality. and so, this album may be purchased at the aforementioned Apegenine Recordings shop (worldwide shipping available).

as a preview, a fitting music video for a track from the album can be seen here:

27 May 2008


the lads of the russian band Uniquetunes have been steadily honing their skills with a series of live recordings released on the ElectroSound netlabel. on their latest, self-titled studio release (as always, freely downloadable from ElectroSound) their endless hard work is in full effect, and listeners are rewarded with an extremely tight set of indie progressive jazz jams. so-called 'jam band' music can often fall into boring, self-absorbed repetition, or pointless technical showing-off, but Uniquetunes hits just the right balance of technical mastery and artful composition, while laying down some seriously deep funk in the process.
the album begins with several seconds of random radio noise. for me, this was the only negative point on the release-- the intro seems rather pointless and a bit annoying if you have to download the tracks individually! but after the intro, Uniquetunes launches into 7 tracks of some of the best psychedelic jams available. according to the release page, the album was recorded without the use of computers, and it sounds great. as with most new releases from the netaudio.ru family of netlabeles, it is offered in 192kbps streaming, as well as 320kpbs mp3 & flac downloads, so the sound quality as well as the musicianship is really stellar. pleasantly chilled grooves, melodic sax solos, lush swirling delays and tight precision drumming make this a perfect release for a warm & active spring evening.

30 April 2008

Fiktion - Morfint

mournful guitar and gently sequenced electronics are the recipe for the album morfint by swedish musician fiktion aka Gustaf Erik Lundh (available for free download on his website and on Frukt Records). this release is more proof that a simple formula, when well-executed, can be simply sublime. no need for an overly-wordy description here-- this release is best when simply downloaded and enjoyed in peaceful and quiet moments. besides it was already written about in a few other quality music blogs. however, as a service to my own readers, i wanted to make sure it didnt go unnoticed.

03 April 2008

Prologue - Prologue

i have to admit that lately, i had begun to get the impression lately that netaudio is burning out. several of my favorite labels have closed or simply fallen silent, and it seems that its becoming more difficult to find the good quality musical art that we expect here at hiddenplace music. it was just at the right time, then, that a release came on the scene with such stunning originality and inspiration that i can once again say that netaudio is most definitely alive and well.
netaudio.ru is one netaudio collective working hard to keep the scene fresh and interesting. operating with a podcast and three separate netlabels with a balanced mixture of accessible and experimental sounds, along with high quality artwork and sound fidelity, netaudio.ru is becoming one of my favorite destinations for intelligent music. and they have outdone themselves with an absolutely brilliant album by the moscow collective Prologue.
upon listening to the first two minutes of Proluge's self-titled release, my sometimes stormy love affair with russian music was instantly renewed. delicate yet expressive female vocals floating over gentle piano, strings (yes, real live strings!), flute and muted trumpet, peppered with gritty downtempo beats and melancholy yet passionate russian language(?) raps. there are many diverse influences here; naturally trip-hop and downtempo music are the dominant flavors, but theres also touches of film music, debussy, berlin-stlye rap, russian folk, jazz, and drum n bass-- all perfectly melded into a cohesive whole. obviously a huge amount of talent and work has gone into this incredible release; there is simply nothing else quiet like it in the netaudio world.
im tempted to give a run-down of every track because each is so remarkable and has its own unique qualities, but the best way to enjoy this album is to find a quiet place, listen to it all the way through and discover every nuance for yourself. and when its over, sit for some minutes in stunned amazement, then press repeat and dive once again into the beautiful melancholic world of Prologue.

30 March 2008

bubblegone - somewhere between summer and winter

in late February, the netlabel world mourned the loss of the beloved netlabel kikapu. after 100+ releases, the netlabel quietly announced its closing with a Walt Whitman poem. thankfully, their entire back catalogue is still available for free download, thanks to the wonder of the internets.
one notable release came to me by way of a recommendation from Bazooka Joe at Solipsistic NATION. 'somewhere between summer and winter' is an hypnotic, slow-motion exploration of of the interplay of field recordings and deeply reverberating electronics; layered, processed, re-processed and stretched to infinity. the experience of listening to these infinitely echoing tones while travelling through the city with headphones on makes one see the world with new eyes...

09 March 2008

(val)liam - early reflections e.p.

i didnt intend to write about so much ambient music at once, but i tend to listen to a lot of ambient during the dark, quiet days of winter, and i have found a lot of really great releases lately that simply must be shared.
early reflections e.p. by (val)liam is not a particularly new release but it just recently came to my attention thanks to Pete from bleepshow. unfortunately ambient music as a whole lacks suitable adjectives and sub-genres to sufficiently describe it, so i'm placing this one in what i call the 'soft ambient' category-- music that is quiet, peaceful and melodic.. soft pads, gentle echoing guitars, periodic hints of flutes or natural environments.. music which could be placed under the hated 'new age' label, but is not at all cliché or annoying. if you enjoyed the previously featured artists Altus, Algol, or Janne Hanhisuanto, or artists such as Jonn Serrie, Chuck Wild (Liquid Mind) or David Helping, then you will certainly want to add this beautiful release to your collection.

04 March 2008

Bosques de mi Mente - Trenes de Juguete

the experimental/noise netlabel Clinical Archives surprised me recently which a beautiful minimal ambient piano release entitled Trenes de Juguete (Toy Trains).
fans of the wistful melancholy piano of Yann Tiersen's Amélie film soundtrack will certainly enjoy this release, which combines simple lilting piano compositions with occasional gently strummed guitars and mysterious radio samples and other found sounds. it becomes a little repetitive at times, but makes for a perfectly relaxing accompaniment to light morning work or an afternoon tea break.
as the dark winter clouds begin to occasionally break with patches of sunlight, we are reminded that spring is approaching..

29 February 2008

Solipsistic NATION guest mix

hiddenplacemusic is very proud to present an hour-long guest mix and short interview on an excellent podcast, Solipsistic NATION (episode 79). full playlist with links available on the SN homepage. artists include hiddenplace favorites such as planet boelex, muxu, iambic², lé mepris and nest, as well as some excellent artists who i havent had a chance to review yet.

a very warm welcome to listeners of SN who have taken the time to check out the blog. i have some great releases lined up to review in the coming weeks, but in the mean time, feel free to check out the archives or the 'in the queue' list to the right. enjoy the music!

25 February 2008

Algol - Deep Thoughts About Universe

one of the greatest pleasures of internet audio 'crate digging' is finding an obscure netlabel, downloading a few releases with low expectations, and being surprised with some really good quality music.
one of my recent discoveries, Enough Records presents a dauntingly long list of releases by artists nearly all previously unknown to me, but 'Deep Thoughts About Universe' immediately caught my eye because of my endless obsession with space and space music. Siberian composer creates deep, expansive electronic spacemusic which incorporates a myriad of influences, yet never sounds derivative. longform tracks with endless layers of electronic sounds and effects are expertly mixed, constantly shifting and changing, always holding the listener in rapt attention, even through 10 minute+ long tracks. Deep Thoughts would make a perfect soundtrack to a retro chic sci-fi film, a brilliantly composed modern take on classic electronic spacemusic.
the full release can be downloaded on scene.org, or archive.org.

16 February 2008

Janne Hanhisuanto - Padmospheres

readers of this blog may know that i am a fan of gentle, floating beatless ambience. as with many forms of art, this style of music sounds deceptively simple, and yet is surprisingly difficult to produce with just the right proportions of sound. most 'ambient' works found on various netlabels veer heavily in the experimental direction-- perhaps interesting to listen to intellectually, but usually not pleasant to the ears.
'Padmospheres' from finnish musician Janne Hanhisuanto is certainly the exception to the rule, and a rare treasure among the vast collection of netaudio ambient. deep floating pads, quiet field recordings and found sound drenched in reverb, delicately simple piano passages, all mixed to perfection... and yet compelling and original enough to not fall into the cheesy 'new age' category. with 4 excellent long-form ambient compositions and beautiful artwork, i gladly add this release to my sadly short list of masterpieces of ambient netaudio.

09 February 2008

El zoológico - The Jungle & The Aquarium

at the beginning of the year, i began to lament the lack of interesting netaudio being released, but in the last few weeks have seen an explosion of potentially good releases. as always, see the 'queue' box to the right of the blog page for a sampling of what sits on my mp3 player awaiting a listen..
today hiddenplace music features the second release from the intriguing new netlabel petite&jolie. a very special double ep, The Jungle & The Aquarium is the first 2 of 4 planned eps from puertorican musician el zoológico. here he presents a challenging and captivating collision of electronic and acoustic sounds, bouncing from playful organic glitchyness, to melancholy indie- and electropop, and of course a heavy dose of petite&jolie's trademark 'cutetronica.' its an eclectic & exotic combination of sounds which shouldnt work, but somehow does. enjoy your tour of the zoo!

31 January 2008

Crisopa - Medicamentosa

expansive ambient downtempo idm today from spain. in the first track of 'Medicamentosa' Madrid musician Crisopa combines samples from NASA TV with gently unfolding melodic ambience & subtle rhythms. electronic music has no shortage of obscure vocal samples, but i found the choice of sampling NASA's streaming video station to be the perfect compliment to this music. the spacious ambient sounds of this release are artfully enveloped in a field of noise and interference, evoking the experience of watching NASA TV-- the low resolution and high compression partly obscuring some of the most breathtaking images of our planet i have ever seen. a fitting soundtrack for a flight of the mind through innerspace..

10 January 2008

Josh Elliott - These Stars, Our Flame

Josh Elliott writes music for the explosive climax of the next psychological thriller film; epic and cinematic are the key words here. Josh plays guitar in the emo/screamo band April Dead, so its no wonder that his recent full-length, These Stars, Our Flame is replete with non-stop blistering emotion. one is sometimes left exhausted, wishing for a few more moments of calm amongst the endless soaring climaxes, but the intricate song structures and excellent production values make for a thrilling 30 minute's listen.
for a shorter trip through more keyboard and guitar-laden soundscapes, dont miss Josh's debut on Lost Children, In Light Passing.