Reviews: ambient

(ambient / soundscapes / ritual / drones)

Slomo – The Creep

Slomo is Chris McGrail and Howard Marsden, and I believe this is their first release together. ‘The Creep’ is a single track that runs for over an hour in length. In praise of Slomo, this hour can feel like days.

VA – Subterranean Ways of Thinking

This compilation on Avatar Records brings together some of the finest names in the ambient/drone scene. Desiderii Marginis, Troum, Inade, Schloss Tegal… I could think of a worse line-up for this type of music.

Reutoff, Pawel Grabowski, Tarkatak, S.Q.E.

It should be no secret by now that Drone Records is specialized in drone / dark ambient music, produced on limited 7″ records with special packagings. This review describes 4 ‘Drones’.

Tor Lundvall – Empty City

The new Tor Lundvall album “Empty City“ once again shows that he understands how to work with illusions. Again he is able to create this unique mood, slowly fading thru the colours of his pictures and again it is very beautiful.

Remanence – a Strange Constellation of Events

Remanence from the USA left a good impression with their previous releases. After a few years of silence, they returned in 2005 with the album “a Strange Constellation of events”. As before, Remanence brings us lovely organic soundscapes and a beautiful packaging.

Herbst9 – : Enenylyn :

I felt the need to obtain more material of this dark ambient duo from Leipzig. Therefore I was quite happy to find this single with two tracks from Herbst9. As always with Drone Records, this is a limited 7″ assembled with a lot of care.

Maeror Tri – The Beauty Of Sadness

Maeror Tri has obtained a legendary status in the field of drones and ambient. Tantric Harmonies recently reissued one of their last cassettes, The Beauty Of Sadness from 1996.

Contemplatron – Antarabhava/The Six Realms

The sound structures of this cd are inspired by “The Tibetan Book of the Dead”. On their debut album Contemplatron offers us a deep ambient sound which is far from shallow.

Flesh:on:Steel – Notausgang

Flesh:On:Steel is a French project creating ambient music, released by the new label Archetyp. Their music resides somewhere between dark-ambient and death-industrial.

:Golgotha: – Icarus EP

:Golgotha: first came to my attention with the ambient cd-r “Waste Land’. On this Icarus e.p. the German project shows to be interested in a wider musical spectrum with some neofolk songs.

Predominance – Dark stars unfolding

This release is a must have for fans of dark ambient in general and of Predominance and the Loki label in particular. The digipack of “Dark stars unfolding” contains two discs: one with rare material like outtakes and compilation tracks, the other with live material from two German festivals in 2000 and 2001.

V/A – The Walls Are Whispering… Vol. III

The third and final part of the trilogy “The walls are whispering…” has recently been released by the Belgian label EE Tapes. This compilation series is devoted to ambient, drones and other experimental sounds.

Tho-so-aa – Dying reveal

Drone Records keeps on producing limited singles with interesting drone / dark ambient sounds. One of their latest protagonists is the obscure German one-man project Tho-so-aa, which has assembled two soundscapes that are rightfully described as “just dark…”.

Hasler + Inami – Transmit

‘Transmit’ is a collaboration project between Werner Hasler and Sunao Inami. Making this collaboration rather interesting is the fact that the two live in different continents- one in Bern, Switzerland, the other in Kobe, Japan.

Atrium Carceri -­ Kapnobatai

Atrium Carceri already impressed me with some intense and very dark ambient music. Therefore this new album was a release I was looking forward to.

Sephiroth -­ Draconian Poetry

In 1999 Sephiroth made a big impression with the album Cathedron. Quite some years passed until a second album saw the light. Now there is the sequel entitled Draconian Poetry.

Ashley|Story – Standing / Falling

This collaboration starts out warm and calm, like a soundtrack to weightlessness in a pleasant area out of time. And it remains to evoke this kind of mood.

Axon Neuron/Vagwa – Documents 1995-2005

In the ten years of its existence, Axon Neuron, later Axon Neuron/Vagwa, has achieved somewhat of a cult status. "Documents 1995-2005" is not a typical ‘Best of’, rather a collection of rarities. Both cd’s are filled to the brim and last over 75 minutes, offering 25 tracks in total, with an excellent sound quality.

Kostnice – Finsterfelden

Kostnice is the solo project by Sofia E.R. from Wermut. She already released some music from this project on cd-r on Gigabrother. Finsterfelden is the first vinyl release and a major achievement.

Dead Eye – A lick is good for the soul

A spooky, uncanny openingstrack really fetches my attention immediately, as I play ‘A lick is good for the soul’. The track is called ‘Spook is now’ and it is probably created out of manipulated electric guitar.