Fragments of Night
Ingenting Kollektiva make the kind of organic ambient drone that washes over your senses like a slow rolling fog, seeking to create an environment which reflects on the “quality of light, sound and atmosphere” explored in the films by Ingmar Bergman and Sven Nykvist. The four members of this collective, Diane Granahan, Kirston Lightowler, Tarrl Lightowler, and Matthew Swiezynski, weave two long-playing tracks (both at approximately 20 minutes), for this fourth catalog edition on Invisible Birds, a small label, co-founded by the above Granahan and Swiezynsski, publishing hand-packaged limited edition releases, based on the idea of “tiny feathered workers motionlessly charting immensity.” Fragments Of Night, however, creates a soundtrack to feathered fowls unseen. Acoustically effected instruments, such as cello, shakuhachi flute, bells, and even a bowed Tibetan prayer bowl, swim in a continuously churned cauldron of field recordings, 78-record snippets, and auditory documents of wild life. Fragments of Night is a delicate meditation on sound, unhurried and unapologetic in its flawless execution. Add to that a mastering touch by Taylor Deupree, and you’ve got a fantastic album for fans of Celer, Kreng, Black Swan and 36. Pressed on a beautiful limited edition vinyl, this is a record to be played late into the night until the sound drowns in dreamworld. Stay tuned for another album from Ingenting Kollektiva, titled Lost Beyond Telling, already promised by Invisible Birds…
With an artist name like [blank] you better hold up to my expectations of confidence. This type of self-indulgence may produce only two outcomes: either the music is total and complete drivel, or it will survive beneath my sharp dissecting knife. The good news is that it’s the latter, otherwise these words would not appear on this page. Sueño is actually a third full length album by this anonymous producer, released on Lyon (France) based F4TMusic. The kaleidoscopic and abstract transitions, slurp and swaddle the inquiring mind in a hallucinogenic and surreal trip. Sueño is a Spanish word for ‘dream’ or ‘sleep’ (similar in the way Russian electronic musician Ivan Pavlov, named his alias after a Cyrillic CoH). Inspired by Salvador Dali, and the overall surrealist cultural movement of visual artworks, [blank] explores the associations triggered in the omnipotence of dream through the auditory means of sound. “Sueño is an image from the world of dreams, where things are unpredictable and events unfold in the most chaotic way.” Indeed, the album would be a perfect score to your next red-eye flight, when your mind slowly slips in and out of wakefulness, grasping these bits of sound and mixing them with the ideas occurring involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. And while humans have still not figured out the purpose of dreams, at least we have a soundtrack for the occasional oneironaut. Recommended for fans of Future Sound of London, Herd, Secede, and the ambient side of Funckarma.
With the help of Josh Russell, Headphone Commute has previously covered an Acquiescence EP by the owner of the Non Projects imprint, recording under the name Anenon. The digital only EP was a precursor to Brian Allen Simon’s full length debut, Inner Hue, which is the subject of this particular Sound Byte. With this LP, Simon takes his live instrumentation of saxophone and Rhodes into new territories of subdued atmospheres, abstract narrative, and feel-good vibes. Accompanied by solid rhythmic textures, the album reminds me of sunny days, convertible drives, and shady picnics. With definite traces of Los Angeles music scene, Simon incorporates cinematic progressions into head-nodding home listening sessions, from thumping bass drops to ambient lullabies. “Throughout the record, electric piano timbres remain prevalent, with raw, elegant and lucid tone colors embossed onto a tangible audio field. Seductive and ruminating melodies run rampant, in shifting counterpoint with luxuriant and ageless textures, always with a corporeal melodic yearning.” Having graduated from Red Bull Academy, and voted in the Top 5 Live Acts, Simon has been propelled onto the music scene. If you have an opportunity to attend the upcoming Decibel festival in Seattle, be sure to catch his live performance there. Meanwhile, if you aren’t familiar with Anenon, I recommend you check it out if names like Tycho, Sun Glitters, Emancipator, Helios, Boards of Canada and Ulrich Schnauss appeal to your taste.
My Sad Captains
This is a very different sort of release from what you’ve come to expect from Daniel Land (Modern Painters, Engineers, riverrun). Rather than dream pop or deep ambient, this is a collection of piano sketches. Some of these are very early works from Land, composed while he was still in school and dreaming of a career in cinematic composition. Land recorded these at various locations around the UK, with help from some of his many friends. The songs are lovely, and reveal a contemplative side to Daniel that I really enjoy. They bring lots of images and good memories to mind as the chords skip along like a skiff on a wind-tossed lake. “Bennyjack” is reminiscent of riverrun with its watery reverb, almost like one is listening to a concert underwater. Sonic waves soothe the soul as its peaceful passages move me further into this release, ending the first section called “Falling In.” The second series of sketches, entitled “Separate Rooms”, is more troubling, revealing an uncertain spirit pervading these pieces. They are all very brief, providing only tiny dabs of paint on the canvas of Daniel’s life. The final movement called “Dancer From The Dance” opens the window a crack to let in a tiny ray of light. The music is slightly more hopeful, though one is drawn back down on “Jack the Lad”, which is both pensive and sad. The album’s final moments are more cinematic, and definitely hint that Land could add soundtrack composer to his palette if he so chose. Recommended for anyone who enjoys ambient piano soundscapes.
“Fragments of Night”, “Sueño”, and “Inner Hue” reviewed by HC.
“My Sad Captains” reviewed by Elizabeth Klisiewicz.