Rounding the Fringes - March 13

Simon McCorry - The Failure of Accuracy

Released: March 4

For this latest release from McCorry through the Shimmering Moods label, the title itself is a comment on the process of creation rather than the end result. Each track is a single take with little editing done afterward. These stoic soundscapes ring true to the nature of creating music and art - that the more interference and overthinking occurs in the process, the more the soul of that art is obscured and what you end up with is polished but ultimately lacking in the raw feeling that spawned its creation.

For this foray, McCorry takes through six soundscapes that span a range of techniques and sounds including the thick and lustrous pad textures of tracks like "Another Life" to the heavily reverberated guitar washes of "Daydream as the Rain Gently Falls" and "Ripples." Despite the improvisational nature of the entire album, nothing feels out of place here. Rather, it all feels quite perfectly orchestrated and all ties together quite neatly. While specifically trying to avoid perfection, McCorry has given us something quite wondrous.


Envelope Muse - Burn Us to the Ground

Released: March 1

A dark and minimal track that relies on subtly creepy textures, Burn Us to the Ground is a slow and seething track. There is the near-constant presence of icy pads and a slowly grinding noise that resembles that of fire slowly crackling away at whatever it is consuming. this combines with the sounds of a wavering breeze that drifts in and out of the mix to make for a truly unsettling atmosphere. It is almost as if you wandered through the forest for some time until you stumbled upon a group standing around a fire but dared not get close enough to see what was going on.


The Howard Hughes Suite - High & Lonesome

Released: February 18

Having grown up thoroughly exposed to country/western music, I am always fascinated when ambient and experimental composers are able to integrate these motifs into their work and High & Lonesome hits exactly all the right notes in this respect. As deep pads swell, the sound of gently plucked and bent pedal steel soars above, creating the atmosphere of the slowest and saddest country ballad - one that never fully starts.

Nowhere on the album is this dynamic more present than "Transcendental Medication," a fully soothing track that ebbs and flows gently with each rise of the pads and subtle twang of pedal steel taking the listener away into a firmly ethereal place that remains somehow grounded. The abstract and completely realized tone marks this album as one of the absolute best executions of this uncanny blend of genres.


Warren ‘Kaninen’ Rasmussen - Rædsel Fra Månekatten

Released: February 28

On his most recent release brought to us by Difficult Art & Music, Rasmussen spans a wide variety of synthetic textures and unusual combinations of sounds through twenty-one tracks. There is the piano-driven yet heavily affected track "Martas tema" but there are also some more difficult to pin down tracks such as "Mr. og and Mrs. mord" with can't seem to ever decide on a single tempo at which to operate and instead switches jarringly between fast, slow, and somewhere in between without any warning. While initially off-putting, this track grew on me very quickly.

Another favorite of mine here is the almost whimsical sounding "Her kattekilling, kattekilling." But when I say whimsical, I don't mean that it's a happy-sounding track. Rather it gives me much more of an early Tim Burton movie feeling with things being weird and uncomfortable but presented in an almost non-serious way. To constrast this, however, Rasmussen also gives us wholly atmospheric ambient tracks such as "Der er nogen i huset " with its slow-moving airyness that quickly resets one's expectations. It is quite an album with a stunning amount of variance throughout its entire runtime.


Sensitizer & Man From Mars - Interstellar Ruins

Released: February 25

A stunning collaborative single, Interstellar Ruins is a track that hits the exact mark it was looking to. Deep and reflective pads set the scene of a desolate yet breathtaking unexplored corner of space as captivating and eerie female vocals sound in the distance as if it is calling to travelers to come near. Slowly, deeply reverberated plucks join in and give the full picture as we travel through the vast emptiness. This is the sound of deep space, of the yet unexplored and what could be.

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