Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972

Not all ambient artists are treated with the reverence usually shown Tim Hecker, but then, his music is much more than just ambient in nature. It is difficult to ignore, not only because it feels so harrowing, but also because it's so physical when played at normal volume, full of tactile textures and warm, low-end rumble. When the recent news … [Read more...]

Christopher Willits – Tiger Flower Circle Sun

Guitarist, improviser, multimedia artist, and software aficionado Christopher Willits has returned with a follow up to his 2006 album Surf Boundaries. That album took his experimental guitar processing techniques, which up to that point were usually pretty if somewhat small and academic sounding, and developed expansive structures and environments … [Read more...]

Coltrane Motion – Hello Ambition

If there's one thing which Coltrane Motion inspire, it is adjectivity. The Chicago duo's press variously describes them as: Lo-Fi, Laptop-Folk, 60s Psyche and inevitably, Shoegaze (amongst various other descriptive terms) and whenever I hear of a band provoking its commentators into ever increasing reliance on their Thesauruses, I mark this as a … [Read more...]

Fenn O’Berg – In Stereo

Sometimes it takes a release like In Stereo to make you realize how much you’ve changed. With their last album coming nine years ago, laptop trio Fenn O’Berg now sounds like an almost completely altered beast. Gone is the anything goes pastiche and incongruity of Magic and Return, replaced with a more cerebral and settled mood which sounds both … [Read more...]

Loscil – Endless Falls

Under the name Loscil, Scott Morgan has spent the last ten years exploring the borderlands between ambient and ambient techno, never quite falling all the way into one or the other. Over the course of his first four full-lengths, he consistently found a place where melody, sonic motion, and glitchy, barely-there rhythms coexisted, bouncing and … [Read more...]

Sparklehorse + Fennesz – In the Fishtank 15

Almost one full decade into the new millennium, and indie rockers and laptop sound artists are still strange bedfellows. While over the years there has been minor seepage of electronics into indie rock, usually in the form of electronic beats or synth arpeggios, and similar seepage of MBV-esque, shoegazer gauziness into software-based sound art, … [Read more...]

Rich Johnson – Up the Turret Mil

Jazz? Perhaps. The central category on New York–based trumpeter Rich Johnson’s mysterious Up the Turret Mil isn’t so much genre as atmosphere, conceived in the broadest sense and filtered through all those qualities sound isn’t supposed to claim: texture, flavor, color, and so on. Johnson’s minimal, processed compositions give onto whole scenes, … [Read more...]