Ryan Summers – F51.01

Marshfield, Wisconsin-based producer and musician Ryan Summers has been working on various projects for the past two decades, more recently as part of the Americana collaboration Midwest Soul Xchange with his friend and Arizona-residing musician Nate Cherrier. This year Summers decided he needed a change of pace, so has created and released an … [Read more...]

Scatter Factory – self-titled

As it begins, the opening track of Scatter Factory's album "Catatonic Voyage" seems as if it could take nearly any musical direction. The atonal and metallic first twenty seconds might lead into some clubby drum and bass electronica, a country-psyche guitar number, or even a full on prog rock anthem. In the event, "Catatonic Voyage" does none of … [Read more...]

Annie Ellicott – Lonesome Goldmine

For the last five years Tulsa’s own Mark Kuykendall, musician, producer and filmmaker, has overseen a stream of consistently high quality and highly varied ambient/electronica releases on the delightfully below the radar Unknown Tone Records. The Oklahoma polymath’s recent meeting with adept jazz singer, Annie Ellicott, has led to something of a … [Read more...]

Michael Tanner – Suite For Psaltery And Dulcimer

A son of Dorset, the now Sussex-dwelling Michael Tanner has for over a decade been releasing a steady stream of high quality, emotionally engaging and subtly structured ambient-orientated music. An acoustically-wise soundscape artist, best known under his Plinth guise, he has also periodically shapeshifted into The Cloisters and is a member of the … [Read more...]

Cyril Secq / Orla Wren – Branches

I’ve previously opined on these pages (in my review of the Vic Mars’ excellent album, The Land And The Garden) that ambient is, by and large, in the doldrums. “There’s way too much of it and it all sounds the same,” goes my old-geezer grump. What once took ingenuity and was the product of well-considered aesthetic  choice has been neutered by the … [Read more...]

Interview with Joseph Sant

Brookyln-based dream-pop singer-songwriter Joseph Sant graciously replied to the following interview questions a week before the release of his project’s debut EP, Sea White Salt, on January 14th. It’s so good to catch up with you right before the release of your debut EP, Sea White Salt. How are you doing and how are last-minute preparations … [Read more...]

Vic Mars – The Land And The Garden

All the (doubtlessly tiresome) ‘Dad’ stories that you may have heard about how, in the glory years of vinyl, we would recklessly purchase an album based entirely upon the merits of its sleeve art are scandalously true. Band unknown, we heedlessly cast our pennies upon the record shop counter sure in the knowledge that ‘album cover good equals band … [Read more...]

Ummagma – “Lama”

Canadian-Ukrainian dream-pop duo Ummagma is set to release its drifting and uplifting Frequency EP November 13 on Raphalite Records.  Shauna McLarnon and Alexander Kretov are partners in music and marriage, and together they have forged an engaging union of electronic, synth, and guitar-based pop that captives with Shauna’s delightful light and … [Read more...]

Offthesky – The Serpent Phase

The Denver-based experimental sound artist Jason Corder (AKA Offthesky) has, over the last fifteen years, released no less than fifty albums. This presents any but the most Offthesky dedicated reviewer with something of a conundrum. Whereas any release that is separated from its predecessors by (say) eighteen months can sensibly be regarded as a … [Read more...]

Premiere of atmospheric “Down The River” single by The Virgance

U.K.-based ambient artist Nathan Smith is no stranger to the mind-expanding sounds of the shoegaze and beautiful noise genres, having played guitar in the indie band Ripley in the 1990s and subsequently having been involved in the noise-rock trio Loveless in the 2000s.  Nathan took flight as a solo soundscaper with the release of his debut album … [Read more...]