Daniel W J Mackenzie & Richard A Ingram | Half Death Midira Records (CD/DL) Half Death is at its most impressive when it’s at its quietest. The album feels to be an exploration of the quieter side of melodic composition, with pianos and synths and fizzing arpeggios accompanying the sort of reverberant scapes that seems […]

David Rosenboom | Brainwave Music Black Truffle (LP) Derived from his 1970’s experiments in biofeedback, Brainwave Music is both an academic exploration of a compositional system, and somewhat of a novelty. The last few years has seen a renewed interest in biofeedback and its utility in synthesis, so it is perhaps fitting that Black Truffle have […]

Mariska Baars & Rutger Zuydervelt | Eau Self-released (CD/DL) Rutger Zuydervelt and Mariska Baars latest collaboration – and their first since 2008’s Drawn – is a swirling tapestry of affected vocals, an emergent sea of abstract utterances that is as beguiling as it is restrained. The album revolves around a single theme, perhaps even a […]

Iain Chambers | The Eccentric Press Persistence of Sound (DL) The Eccentric Press occupies that middle ground between classical composition and Musique Concrete – a deftly arranged series of non-musical sounds that nonetheless are treated, from a structural perspective, with a resoundingly musical sense of timing and pace.  It is not exactly novel, nor does […]

Zahn / Hatami / McClure | Ypsilon N5MD (LP/DL) One curious aspect of collaborative efforts is the degree to which the potentially diverse styles and approaches of those involved can lend themselves to a unified outcome or, as is often the case, instead proffer an award juxtaposition of incongruous voices.  By prioritising their existence as […]

Valiska | NumbersTrouble In Utopia (CD/CS/DL) Good news – I have completely failed to do my homework and have no idea what I am reviewing. The folder on my computer is labelled simply ‘Valiska’, and contains 4 tracks numbered 1 through 4. The WiFi is down, so I have no more info to go on […]

9T Antiope & Siavash Amini | HarmasticeHallow Ground (LP/DL) Harmitice is the second vocal-based album Siavash Amini has been involved in just six months, and it is testament to his ability as a composer, and collaborator, that it is so remarkably different than its predecessor. Whilst the aforementioned Second Shift used spoken word fragments to sign-post a […]

Rod Modell | Captagon Tresor (CD/LP) With Captagon, Rod Modell offers up some more of the minimal, dub-inflected techno for which he is known. Fans of his prior work will no doubt recognise the mode in which he’s working – a faintly gloomy electro-work-out mushed together with a liberal coating of compression, such is the […]

Lau Nau | AmphipodaRimbarimba | Sea, Shore, See, SureLongform Editions (DL) Longform Editions styles itself as a ‘collective for deep-listening’, which admittedly sounds a lot cooler than a ‘label that releases quite long pieces of music’. The range of artists they have on board is impressive, consisting of a plethora of both the well-known and […]

Photo Credit: Ashkan Noroozkhani   In an little over 7 years, Siavash Amini has managed to cement himself as one of the most articulate experimental composers of his generation. Releasing music on revered labels such as Hallow Ground, Opal Tapes, and Room40, his particular take on granular synthesis and post-classical composition has resulted in what […]

Photo: Giorgia Fanelli Mary Jane Leach is an American composer, who has overseen an impressive and diverse output since the 1970’s. Working primarily with small classical ensembles, as well as tape manipulation, her work explores the phenomena of difference, combination, and interference tones, often overlaying several voices or instruments to create rich sonic textures. Her […]

©Pieter-Jan_Minnebo Under the alias Machinefabriek, Rutger Zuydervelt has made a name for himself as a diverse and experimental composer and improviser, whose work exists equally in areas of ambient, noise, minimalism, drone, field recordings and electro-acoustic music. Over little more than a decade he has amassed an almost inhumane amount of recordings, collaborating with an […]

Marja Ahti | Vegetal NegativesHallow Ground (CD/DL) There is something wonderfully structured about Marja Ahti’s emotive ‘Vegetal Negatives’. A warm and organic tableaux that courts both the familiar and the strange, each of its elements appears rendered with a loving and meticulous hand, an approach that feels on the surface as if it should be […]

Ludwig Berger | Inumaki, EsuzakiVertical Music (CS/DL) I have previously described Ludwig Berger as a field recordist with an unusual interest in apparently dull sounds, and as if to prove a point, he presents us here with a recording of a tree.  Not a lush, bustling forest, nor a windswept gully, not clever things being […]

Oyvind Torvund | The Exotica Album Hubro (LP/CD/DL) It may seem initially surprising that a record like ‘The Exotica Album’ is doing the rounds of experimental music websites, not least because it is not, by any conventional measure, the least bit experimental. This caveat aside, however, Oyvind Torvund has constructed a work that rests upon […]

It is entirely indicative of the calibre of those involved, that Trondheim EMP manage to do something that is so often done terribly, so remarkably well.  Regardless of a listeners’ particular fondness for the types of sound they produce, there is no denying that the group is comprised of an extremely proficient membership, a fact […]

Fennesz | AgoraTouch (CD/LP/DL) I was exactly 18 years and 1 month old when Endless Summer was released, and as such Fennesz, for better or worse, has been with me my entire adult life.  Such was the omnipresence of that album, and at such a formative point in my life, that it is hard to […]

Hans Castrup | Heterogeneous Cell InformationKarl Records (LP/DL) It’s hard to know quite what Hans Castrup was hoping to achieve, such is the multi-faceted and confusing canvas that is ‘Heterogeneous Cell Information’. There are some immediate and obvious reference points – the album flirts with musique concrete, or a contemporary subset there of; it alludes […]

Robin Hayward | Words of ParadiseEdition Telemark (LP/DL) The power of a strong concept – as opposed to the mere thematic novelty that many press releases fruitlessly attempt to propagate – is a thing often sadly overlooked, even within the world of so-say ‘art’ music. With ’Words of Paradise’, however, Robin Hayward succeeds in not […]

Lorem | Adversial FeelingsUndisclosed Recipient / Krisis Publishing (BK/SD) There is something really quite unpleasant about ‘Adversial Feelings’, an album that invokes a feeling of digital sickness, a fashionable but misguided vapour-wave hell. Lorem has concocted the sonic equivalent of watching The Lawnmower Man on an endless loop, replete with the same fascinating but appallingly […]

Ludwig Berger | CargoCanti Magnetici (CS/DL) Field-recording is a curious art. It is a discipline of many modes, many temperaments, and one marked by a fundamental dichotomy – it is when it flaunts its purest, most authentic form, that it is at its most amorphous.  ‘Cargo’ is ostensibly a recording of nothing. The world it offers […]

Donna Regina | TransientKaraoke Kalk (LP/CD/DL) It is no doubt, bad form to admit it, but despite having released 13 albums over the last three decades, I had never heard of Donna Regina before. Despite the ignorance this betrays, such a position allows me to review ‘Transient’ in isolation, uncomplicated by any past legacy.  The […]

Siavash Amini and Matt Finney | Second ShiftOpal Tapes (CD/DL) Three albums into their collaborative series, Siavash Amini and Matt Finney have developed a reputation for concocting thematically and aesthetically dark worlds that meld awkward characters with oft punishing soundscapes. Although Second Shift’s spoken narrative certainly points to this being a fair assessment of their […]

Ellen Fullman & Okkyung Lee | The Air Around HerSkivbolaget (LP/CD/DL) The Air Around Her is a collaboration between two already highly prolific artists – Fullman, she of the infamous Long String Instrument, and Lee, who has teamed up with everyone from Steve Beresford to Mike Ladd.  The album is, presumably, an improvisation – both […]

Cruel Diagonals | Pulse of IndignationDrawing Room Records (CS/DL) Cruel Diagonals is the musical output of Megan Mitchell, who is described as a field-recordist and vocalist – though it is the latter of those two disciplines that seems to take precedent here. I am not familiar with her work, however Pulse of Indignation appears to […]

Beni Giles and Colin Alexander | AddelamBig Ship (CD) Comprised of composers Beni Giles and Colin Alexander, Addelam offers a series of site-specific cello-based compositions that both eagerly point to some notable and challenging reference points, and succeed at enouncing their ideas in a novel and exciting manner.  Although in no way replicating such luminaries, […]

The Corrupting Sea | godlessCathedral Transmissions (CDR/DL) Listening to The Corrupting Sea, I am struck immediately by two-things. Firstly, it’s composer, Jason T. Lamoreaux, has constructed a nuanced and often charming take on the ambient/drone genre, channeling a certain raw and unpolished gravitas that is highly effective. Secondly, the album – and it is perhaps a […]