Tag: ambient music

New Video: Beach Ready Shares Dreamy and Meditative “Gili”

Christopher Cordoba is a London-based instrumental solo artist, composer and session musician, whose career started in earnest as a member of Jack Adaptor, a band formed with The Family Cat’s Paul Frederick. As an instrumental solo artist, Cordoba has released a series of critically acclaimed, eclectic efforts that has seen him collaborating with a an equally eclectic array of artists and producers including Robert Wyatt David Watson, The Associates’ Billy Mackenzie, Phil Vinall, Propaganda’s Claudia Brucken, Robyn Hitchcock, Pascal Gabriel, PJ Harvey’s Terry Edwards, Audrey Riley, Alex Thomas, Charlie Winston and a list of others.

Cordoba released his sophomore Beach Ready Archipelago was released earlier this year through Snow in Water Records. The album’s material is darker in texture and more extreme than Cordoba’s self-titled Beach Ready debut while still being centered around Cordoba’s guitar work and penchant for atmospheric soundscapes. The album also sees Cordoba incorporating drone, glitch, Frippertronics, industrial, New Wave and New age to create a unique sound collage that imparts an urgent ambience. Fittingly, the album thematically focuses on destruction — an all too present theme in our seemingly pre-apocalyptic moment.

The album’s latest single, the meditative “Gili” is a shimmering and slow-burning dream built around glistening, reverb-soaked guitars, gently glitchy electronics paired with jazz-like percussion. It’s a dreamy bit of nostalgia, heartache and peaceful longing that seems like a bit of a respite in a mad, mad, mad, mad world.

Cordoba explains that “Gili” “is a shimmering and romantic call to keep the Archipelago (the Gili Islands in Indonesia) above water so that its beauty can be treasured for generations to come.”

The accompanying video is time-lapse footage shot in Lower Manhattan and edited by Jon Sadlier. Fittingly, the video evokes the unending passing of time and cycling of the seasons.

New Video: NYC’s Content Blocks Share Lushly Textured and Eerie “IMDS”

Emerging New York-based electronic music outfit Content Blocks — Ian Campbell and Matthew Hord — features members, w ho have collaborated and participated together for years in various musical endeavors and events. Their near-decade of shared experiences crafting, programming and operating the electronic instrumentation in acclaimed industrial act Pop. 1280 has further informed their journey deeper into hardware experimentation — and their latest collaboration together shows the results of their experimentation into ambient abstractions, dance floor deconstructions, and fractured pop tropes into darker realms.

Campbell’s and Hord’s Content Blocks debut “IMDS” pairs off-kilter, repetitive and propulsive percussive patterns with glistening, reverb-soaked synths with reverb-drenched, ethereal yet disaffected vocals coming out like a feverish haze. While sonically seeming to channel Rival Consoles and Noble Rot, “IMDS” simultaneously manages to evoke the late night return home from the club with the music and the entire night reverberating in your head and soul — but the rest of the world may well be asleep.

Conceived as an audiovisual experience, “IMDS” is accompanied with a video created by the duo’s longtime collaborator Scott Kieran (ESP TV) that starts off focusing on an accelerating centrifuge interspersed with frames featuring cell death and electronic feedback and 3D imagery that orbit around a lone figure dancing or using a complicated elliptical-looking device. It’s fittingly eerie and trippy.

New Audio: Montañera Teams up with Bejuco’s Cankita and Las Cantadores de Yerba Buena on Dreamy and Meditative “Santa Mar”

María Mónica Gutiérrez is a Bogotá-born, London-based singer/songwriter, musician, who during the course of her decade-plus long music career has established herself as one of the most unique and intense voices in the contemporary Colombian scene — as a member of bands like Suricato and Ságan and as the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed solo recording project Montañera.

As a member of Suricato and Ságan, Gutiérrez has toured across Europe, the US and Latin America, and has played at The Smithsonian Museum, The Kennedy Center, SXSW, Lollapalooza and Festival Estéreo Picnic, and MaMA Festival among a list of others, as well as a live session aired on KEXP.

Gutiérrez’s third Montañera album, the Rizomagic-produced A Flor de Piel is slated for a November 17, 2023 release through Western Vinyl. Thematically, the album is reportedly a meditative journey of self-discovery across oceans, time and the traditional confines of genre. Gutiérrez began the album as a way to explore her identity after a difficult move to London for school left her feeling untethered and alone in a strange new place. Understandably, the 5,000 mile journey across the other side of world and across a seemingly endlessly ocean imparted her with a new understanding of herself as a human and as an artist.

The album also reportedly sees the Colombian-born, British-based artist examining the immigrant — and migrant — experience through a rich soundscape inspired by and drawing from disparate sources, including traditional Colombian and Senegalese music, contemporary ambient and experimental production and whalesong from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Pairing skillfully restrained synths and electronic textures, A Flor de Piel sees Gutiérrez re-contextualizing traditional sounds and sentiments into something fresh, urgent and vital. And for the Bogota-born, London-based artist, it’s a fitting representation of her personal struggles, while echoing universal truths, as she summons the strength and wisdom of past generations. As she describes it, “The album has accompanied me through inner journeys of finding myself in a new territory — of redefining myself, of remembering who I am — in a strange place.” 

A Flor de Piel’s latest single “Santa Mar” is the only album on the track that features percussion, as well as Cankita, Bejuco’s marimba player and Tumaco, Colombia-based traditional vocal group Los Cantaadoras de Yerba Buena. Built around Cankita’s twinkling and percussive marimba, atmospheric synths and electronics serving as an ethereal and dreamy bed for Gutiérrez’s yearning vocal paired with the expressive harmonies of Las Cantadores de Yerba Buena. The result is a song that evokes a deep, mediative sense of peace and mindfulness — and at a time when we all could use it.

“It’s a song that talks about peace in Colombia, specifically with the afro pacific women,” the Bogotá-born, London-based artist explains. “The lyrics were inspired by them after investigating their musical practice for my master’s studies. Understanding their personal and collective healing processes within the peace-building process of the country. I want to portray the importance of womanhood for peace-building in their territory and the song talks about the forces of the sea to cure and the sea as a female saint, of how these women have the power of the sea in themselves. The marimbas are played by the amazing Cankita from Bejuco, who is very close with the Cantadoras de Yerba Buena, he calls them his “aunts”, his masters. It’s a true honour having the voices of these elder women in the album, they have such a strong life story and nevertheless, so much vitality, strength, and drive in life, a true inspiration for me.”

New Audio: Brazil’s Belagio Shares Vibey “Caldo È Pra Tomar”

Marcelo Altenfelder is Brazilian singer/songwriter musician and producer, who has played with Four Tet and dabbled with post-rock before starting his own band Holger back in 2006. And sine then Holger has become one of his homeland’s most influential indie rock bands.

After spending close to two decades with Holger, Altenfelder began recording a series of sparse, instrumental tracks that saw him blurring the boundaries of post-rock, dub, electronic music and ambient. The result is the acclaimed Brazilian artist’s solo recording project, Belagio.

2023 has been a busy year for the acclaimed Brazilian artist: He has released two albums Nuvem 9 and the recently released, Entradas Para Sair. Entradas Para Sair is a sonic departure from its immediate predecessor, with the album being a blend of ambient and post-rock with Altenfelder playing and recording all the instrumental parts himself, employing the use of analog instruments for an organic aesthetic.

Clocking in at a little over two minutes,. Entradas Para Sair‘s latest single “Caldo È Pra Tomar” is breezy composition built around looped handclaps, wobbling and glistening synth arpeggios and brief bursts of supple bass line before quickly evaporating into the ether. Sonically, “Caldo È Pra Tomar” brings L’Eclair and JOVM mainstays Mildlife, with the vibey composition possessing a similar lounge and club friendly groove.

New Video: Tomorrow’s Child Shares Melancholic “Spectres of Summer”

High Wycombe, UK-born, Cornwall, UK-based multi-instrumentalist and electronic music producer Tomorrow’s Child creates music that draws from a broad spectrum of influences, surroundings and experiences — in particular, the ugly concrete buildings and garages old his hometown, the sense of failed potential and lost futures it all evoked, and the dystopian themes of a number of ’80s films and TV shows.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you might recall that the rising British producer and JOVM mainstay’s full-length debut, Beach Ghosts thematically touches upon his father’s death back in 2015 and his relocation to Cornwall, where he went to study popular music.

Gradually evolving from a singer/songwriter and guitarist to an electronic music producer, he found a much-needed outlet to express his grief and to process the major life changes he had just gone through.

So far I’ve written about two album singles:

  • Great Western Railway,” a cinematic and brooding track informed by his father, who was a stream-train enthusiast: His father grew up with the Great Western Railway trains passing his classroom windows. Sonically, “Great Western Railway” brought John Carpenter soundtracks and Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk to mind: Thumping, industrial clang and clatter paired with train whistle-like synth lines help to evoke a train roaring down the tracks to an unknown destination. 
  • Ruination,” a haunting and ambient composition that brings Brian Eno and Autobahn-era Kraftwerk to mind as its centered around atmospheric synths and skittering beats before closing out in a slow fadeout. According to the British multi-instrumentalist and producer the composition reflects “the journey of Cornish mines from once thriving places of industry to ghostly monuments to the past haunting the landscape.”

Beach Ghosts‘ third and latest single “Spectres of Summer” is a brooding track meant to evoke the summer nights with a hint of autumn chill centered around layers of glistening synths, tweeter and woofer rattling thump and industrial clang, clatter and acidic scorch. While the song is a a melancholic ode to the end of summer, it’s possess a subtle — but still noticeable — hint of hope and uplift.

The British artist explains that the track references the vibe of trip hop artists like Goldie, Massive Attack, and Moby, as well as genres like Future Garage and Witch House.

The accompanying video features footage and stills shot at sunset in Gwithian, Cornwall UK, Redruth, Cornwall, UK and Chania, Crete, Greece and Sougia, Crete, Greece. The video evokes the inbound chilliness of autumn and the increasing darkness of long winter nights in a way that’s hauntingly beautiful.

Tomorrow’s Child is a High Wycombe, UK-born, Cornwall, UK-based multi-instrumentalist and electronic music producer, whose work draws from a broad spectrum of music, surroundings and experiences — in particular, the ugly concrete buildings and garages of his hometown, the sense of failed potential and lost futures it all evoked, and the dystopian themes of a number of 1980s films and TV shows. 

His full-length debut, Beach Ghosts thematically touches upon the death of his father in 2015 and his relocation to Cornwall. Going on to study popular music, Tomorrow’s Child evolved from a singer/songwriter and guitarist to electronic music, which provided a much-needed outlet for him to express his grief and to process the major life changes he just went through. 

Last month, I wrote about the album’s first single, the cinematic and brooding “Great Western Railway.” Informed by his father, who was a stream-train enthusiast, who grew up with the Great Western Railway trains passing his classroom windows, “Great Western Railway” simultaneously brought John Carpenter soundtracks and Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk to mind: Thumping, industrial clang and clatter paired with train whistle-like synth lines help to evoke a train roaring down the tracks to an unknown destination.

Beach Ghosts‘ latest single “Ruination” is an haunting and ambient composition that brings Brian Eno and Autobahn-era Kraftwerk to mind as its centered around atmospheric synths and skittering beats before closing out in a slow fadeout. According to the British multi-instrumentalist and producer the composition reflects “the journey of Cornish mines from once thriving places of industry to ghostly monuments to the past haunting the landscape.”

New Video: Immersion Team Up with Laetitia Sadier on an Atmospheric Yet Uplifting New Single

Malka Spiegel and Colin Newman are a husband and wife team and the creative masterminds behind Immersion. Although they’re individually known for their acclaimed and influential work with Minimal Compact and Wire respectively, their work in Immersion provides an outlet for their ongoing fascination for crafting enthralling, unique musical soundscapes through five albums and three EPs released between 1995 and 2018.

er, run by Speigel and Newman, alongside writer, broadcaster and DJ Graham Duff and promoter Andy Rossiter. The night features a range of influential and cutting edge acts but the unique aspect of it all is that each show ends with a one-off collaboration between Immersion and that night’s headliner: with one notable exception, the songs have been written and recorded in the studio a few days before the show.

we had these recordings” Malika Spigel adds. The recordings have been since further developed with Speigel and Newman heading up production duties. The end result may arguably be the duo’s most unique yet beautiful albm to date. “I think the really interesting thing is how different everybody is,” says Spigel. “Both as people and creatively.”

Nanocluster Vol. 1 sees Immersion collaborating with some of the most acclaimed left field artists of our day — Tarwater, Laetitia Sadier, Ulrich Schnauss and Scanner. The album’s latest single “Riding the Wave” sees Spigel and Newman collaborating with Laetitia Sadier. Initially making a name for herself as a member of Stereolab, Sadier has since become an acclaimed solo artist, who has created a number of applauded solo works. Centered around atmospheric synths, a sinuous bass line and shimmering and spidery guitar lines, “Riding the Wave,” features a plaintive lead vocal from Newman on the song’s verses and a sunny vocal delivery from Spiegal and Sadier on the song’s uplifting chorus, which finds them singing “Things have a way of working out.” Considering how uneasy everything in the world is at this moment, the slow-burning and atmospheric song may unexpectedly be the anthem — and mantra — we need right now.

The accompanying video for “Riding the Wave” features some gorgeously shot footage shot in what appears to be the English seaside and countryside — and while beautiful, the visual is imbued with the bittersweet reality that all things pass.

New Video: Old Man of the Woods Releases a Gorgeous and Meditative Visual for “Dissolve”

Miranda Elliott is a Richmond, VA-based singer/songwriter, producer and creative mastermind behind the lo-fi, ambient pop project Old Man of the Woods. Elliott describes her creative process as the alchemy of shit into sustenance, deriving the project’s name after a dark, scruffy mushroom that survives by — well, turning shit into sustenance. Interestingly, Elliott’s Old Man of the Woods debut, last year’s Dissolve EP according to Various Small Flames’ Jon Doyle “blurs the line between the personal and the natural world, conjuring a vivid and sometimes eerie soundscape as damp and rich as the woodland floor.”

Elliot’s forthcoming Old Man of the Woods’ full-length debut is slated for release later this year. In the meantime, the Richmond-based artist has managed to be rather busy; her Dissolve Remixed EP marks the first time she has collaborated with others: Richmond-based artists monad and OK HUNNEYS, as well as Totally Real Records labelmates SUPERORDER contribute remixes of Dissolve EP material.

Along with that she has collaborated with Roman Betanzos and Gabriel Güieros, visual effect artists based in Vancouver and Montreal on the video for Dissolve EP’s title track “Dissolve.” As for the song, “Dissolve” is a slow-burning and meditative track centered around Elliott’s plaintive vocals and atmospheric synths that — to me, at least — seems to evoke mist gently rising in the forest.

The recently released video can trace its origins back to when Betanzos and Güieros reached out to Elliot through Bandcamp, detailing how “Dissolve” to them sounded like the coastline of British Columbia. Interestingly, the video follows a humanoid wisp of mist through a lush and damp forest landscape, much like the ones seen in the Pacific Northwest. For Elliot, it reminded her of a surreal hike in Berlin, where she had actually forgotten that she wasn’t in Virginia and took note that “all woods feel like home.”

New Video: London Duo Tullamarine Releases a Haunting and meditative Visual for “Then Billy Said”/”What Billy Said Next”

London-based electronic duo, Tullamarine — British-born writer/producer Adam Young and Kiwi-born, London-based writer/producer Joss Arrmitage — features two accomplished artists, who have been friends for over 20 years, but who have long created separately — until 2015 when the duo formed their latest, collaborative project through the fog of late-night conversations and half-formed ideas.

Inspired by Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies, the duo’s initial idea behind the project was to creatively push each other through experimentation and remote collaboration, with the hopes of bettering their respective music. Sharing two, four or even eight-bar snippets, and never working physically together in the same studio, the duo saw ideas gradually form and organize themselves into symbiotic designs of experimental production. Interestingly, they had no prearranged agenda, no pre-determined style; they went where each track took them in an intuitive fashion.

The duo’s intuitive process shouldn’t be surprising: Young, who’s an expert int twisting and shaping audio found and Armitage, whose style is defined by a deep and abiding love of synths quickly found a natural fit that came together through a shared production and writing approach. Initially. tracks were guided by Young or Armitage, but rarely both. But by the time the released And So We Followed Her Blindly Into The Sun EP there was a marked shift in their creative process, with the duo collaborating much more while revealing influences from the likes of Nils Frahm, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and a lot of nights at The Barbican.

With the October 20120 release of the three-song Stratosphere EP, Young and Armitage firmly established their sound, one that’s an assertive, melancholic soundscape. Continuing where Stratosphere EP left off, the emerging British electronic duo’s 17 track album Frequency, allows listeners to further experience their complex and unique soundscape, which evokes memories of clubbing, to more expansive and meditative material, interspersed with beat work that brings 90s alternative hip-hop and IDM. Interestingly, Frequency’s latest single “Then Billy Said”/”What Billy Said” is an expansive track with a meditative piano-led introduction before quickly transforming into a trance-inducing section featuring skittering beats, shimmering synth arpeggios that slowly builds up tempo — but while being an exercise in tense restraint without release. Adding to the eerily cinematic feel of the song, get composition focuses on Billy, a bewildered fictional character, created by the duo’s Joss Armitage, who had conflicted relationships with women since his mother died when he was a young boy.

Directed by WIlliam Glass, the recently released video for “Then Billy Said”/”What Billy Said” is an achingly nostalgic dream that stars Lilly Ashley as a sort of distorted and romanticized image of someone’s late mother. Throughout the video, Ashley’s mother-like figure holds a fish balloon, which the duo and the video’s director explains is meant to embody both the child and childhood. Of course, at some point, the woman eventually decides to let her balloon go. So the video alludes to the innocent and playful mother, and to death — with the tacit understanding that death is a part of it all.