Sound Bytes : 36, Dromberg, Tegh & Kamyar Tavakoli, and Federico Durand

Sine Dust
Coming on the heels of the outstanding Dream Tempest, Sine Dust concludes a very productive period for Dennis Huddleston and his 36 music project. Inspired by the journey of the Voyager I spacecraft, which will take 40,000 years to reach the nearest star beyond our sun, it is melancholy and introspective on a cosmic scale. “I wanted to make an EP that had a strictly defined sound and theme, which continued from beginning to end, using a limited array of instruments to tell the story. All tracks are sequenced in the order they were made. In some ways, it’s the most minimal record I’ve made. The sounds are soft, muted and the notes are played with a gentle intensity that hopefully reflects my passion for the stars. Listening back, I find it quite an inspirational, almost-romantic record, yet one which remains undeniably melancholic.” Sine Dust links back thematically to Sun Riders, Huddleston’s earth-bound meditation on the dream of space exploration, even including a “Part II” to the title track of that EP. Through “Drift Orbit”, “Beyond the Heliosphere” and “Sine Dust”, the listener becomes a passenger on this lonely journey through the vast cosmos, with the ethereal voice in the latter a reminder of the human origins and aspirations behind it. In addition, there is a companion EP called Sine Dust Versions, with extended remixes of each track. This can be streamed on the 36 bandcamp site, but is currently only available for download to those who sign up for the subscription option.

Notes From The Ocean Floor
Notes From the Ocean Floor represents the modern classical and electroacoustic interests of Futuresequence. The artist is Drombeg, an alias minted by Kerry based musician Thom Brookes for his instrumental, ambient leaning music. The evocative title of the record has a significant meaning to Brookes and communicates a little something about how it was created: “There are times in my studio when I am so deeply involved in the process that I completely lose my sense of self. As listeners we swim so deep into sound that we forget where and who we are. And when we manage to come up for air we are breathless but cleansed, like deep sea divers. These songs are my recollections, my notes from the ocean floor.” Having demonstrated himself a capable singer who can come up with a great hook, Brookes shows he is equally at home in this more languorous, intuitive, and improvisational style of creation. Not only at home, but sounding as if he was born to make this sort of music as he offers impeccable atmospherics on the opening track “Girl From the Rewrite”, introspective, unobtrusive ambient on “Horse”, heart-tugging cinematic crescendos in “The Way Love Emerges”, and a satisfying guitar-driven outro on “Jeremiah Holding Hands”. It is enjoyable on the first spin, but offers many layers to pull apart and appreciate on repeated listening. The EP comes with digital liner notes, photos from the artists’ studio and surrounding landscapes of Kerry, Ireland.

Tegh & Kamyar Tavakoli
Through the Winter Woods
The burgeoning electronic music scene in Iran only seems to be getting more vibrant and shows no signs of slowing down. Through the Winter Woods is a new three track EP by Shahin Entezami (aka Tegh) and Kamyar Tavakoli. The duo have recorded together before under the name Artirial, but this album is a departure from the shimmering, glitchy ambient guitar driven IDM of that project into much denser sonic landscapes. The transition is not a tentative one. The sound of Through the Winter Woods is ambitiously expansive, strikingly bold and comfortably assured. To its credit, the record has been mastered by an artist who is very compatible with the cavernous aesthetics involved, none other than Lawrence English. The album begins with “Hollow” which grows from a funereal, rumbling drone to a roaring apex, just short of cacophony. The emotion is visceral and palpable. “Fractal” has a more mechanized feel, driven by spiny oscillations that rise to an intensity that nearly disintegrates before ebbing to a conclusion. The final track is the haunting “Disappeared Stratum” in which manages to sound simul-taneously immense and ethereal before fading into an outro that counterbalances the earlier dynamics with rich, unadorned guitar tones thus ending the album in a reflective mood. Through the Winter Woods is available as a digital download or in a handmade 3” CDr package limited to 60 copies.

Federico Durand
Música para Manuel
Federico Durand has been somewhat prolific of late, putting out several solo releases in 2014 and ending the year with a new Melodía record (a collaborative project with Tomoyoshi Date of Illuha and Optiope). He begins 2015 with Música para Manuel, an album he has dedicated to his grandfather who lost his parents as a child and who Durand cites as being a very important presence in his life. The first two tracks were recorded last year and sold on cassette while Durand was on tour in Japan. Now he has added three new tracks and hibernate is releasing it as a full length album on CD, a decision fans will meet with gratitude as the cassettes have long since been sold out. Those familiar with Durand’s music know what to expect – delicate constructions of gossamer thin sounds wrapped around field recordings, subtle electronics, and simple melodies. There is an elegant stillness in his music not unlike a well kept garden. With all the tracks simply titled by consecutive Roman numerals, Durand lets the music do all the speaking here. Soft hisses like gentle breezes, music box tones, pastel drones all become sounds of memory, gratitude, shared grief, and loving reflection. The new material is a welcome addition. The tracks fit seamlessly and naturally, with III and V being especially lovely. Música para Manuel is available as a digital download or in a standard CD digipak limited to 200 copies.

Words by Brian Housman of Stationary Travels
Additional editorial by HC