Rounding the Fringes - March 8


Beachers - The endless endlessness of endlessness

Released: February 28


On his latest work, London-based experimental artist Beachers traverses a wide range of sounds and motifs that span from pure and soothing ambinet drones to the bizarre clicks and clacks musique concrete territory. Despite this variety, nothing feels out of place here and consistently reinforces an atmosphere of quiet loneliness and boredom. As each track plays on, you can hear the sounds of isolated ennui slowly grow throughout the runtime.


Opening up with a spacious ambient track that shares the title of the album, a scene of staring out a window listlessly is set. As the album continues, we are treated to the sounds of spoons being idly clanked and bubble wrap being slowly popped in the descriptively named tracks "Spoons, ashtray, glass and tape loop of spoons, ashtray and glass" and "I found some bubble wrap to pass the time." The whole album has the air of a frustration that has morphed into a form devoid of any energy. It is that type of boredom that finds you just playing with random objects and simply trying to pass the time as the days saunter on. It's beautiful in a somewhat sad way honestly.

 

Therapeutische Hörgruppe - Dance Tilt/Trance Tilt

Released: March 4


If I were to describe this latest entry in the Cassingle series as glitchy, I don't think I would quite be doing it justice. While this wouldn't be inaccurate, there's something more to it. Underneath both of the noisy tracks on this single, there is an interesting compositional element going on that keeps it from just being glitches. This is even more notable on the second track "Trance Tilt" in which we are given on oddly groovy bassline and rhythm section consisting of bongos and other hand percussion that keeps this moving in a slightly unpredictable direction that remains wholly minimal. This is in contrast to the first track which abandons all rhythm in favor of a chaotic yet composed mess complete with slightly off-putting vocals.

 

Willebrant - Cowwarr___

Released: March 4


After tackling several other projects, Austrailian ambient artist Karl Willebrant finally brings us the third installment of his Fieldwork Series with the release of Cowar___. With this entry in the series, we're taken to a location that few of us outside of Austrailia would know, though the ambiance of this environment is nothing short of breathtaking. A place where the plains meet the mountains, this world is full of life with the songs of many different birds and the gentle blowing of the wind with Willbrant's signature long epic drones accompanying this landscape.


While the album is divided into three parts, it is advisable that you listen to all three part in continuity. Each track seamlessly blends into the next without notice and forms an intensely serene experience. Along with the synth and bass drones that we expect, Karl gives us new and lush ear candy in the form of kalimbas and harmonicas to add to the experience of this haplacet most of us will never get to see. The FIeldwork Series represents peaceful adventures into the natural world and this entry fits splendidly within the canon.

 

SELVEDGE - THE REAL RIVER

Released: March 4


Created during the harsh winter of the midwestern plains, The Real River reflects a level of coldness in its presentation and delivery. Long and winding drone tracks sit atop on other without creating a sense of thickness but instead sweep through as if they were a frosty wind sweeping across an empty field. Listening through, I found it odd that this somehow doesn't convey a sense of loneliness. Rather, it feel all too much like home in a place that should feel inhospitable. There's a certain amount of charm that these wind wrapped drones have to them that is difficult to explain.


Furthermore, this album seems to have a definite arc to its runtime. Opening up with several serene and wispy tracks such as the almost angelic "Sense of Years" and the mysterious "Tree Ring," the album seems calming. However, this take a turn for the harsher starting with "Someday This Will All have Been Worth It" as the scene turns icier and even metallic. This new found harshness continues until the final track "Maps and the Hope for Travelers" in which we are reaquainted with the soothing yet almost hollow textures of the beginning, giving us a strangely cyclical feel.

 

Cyparissus - UNCOVERING I: We Scraped the Ozone Thin to Let the Angels In

Released: March 2


We Scraped the Ozone Thin to Let the Angels In represents the first in a six part series to be released throughout the year that explores themes of death and the end of the world. Compositionally, this single draws from some interesting sources including odd loops of what sounds like marbles rolling around and stuttered, broken tones that bounce around fiercly. There's a chaotic quality to the track that never feels too intense, but just wild enough to create an impending sense of upheaval. It is as if it means to be a sign of things to come - disorientation, disarray and confusion. It will be exciting to see what future entries on this series will bring.

 

The Central Office of Information - Shadow Work

Released: March 4


Several weeks ago, we covered a split album between The Central Office of Information and Hyacinth and now we get to hear something from COI's solo efforts. While the contribution from COI on the recent split album was much more atmospheric and brooding, Shadow Work sees a much more lively collection of tracks that draw from a wide range of influences including vaporwave, synthwave, early 90s house and tech, and other various techniques including spoken word segments courtesy of DJ Space Terrapin and Bob Fischer.


In the track "Online Ghost", acid 303 inspired bassslines meet with laid back rhythms and an airy lead that perfectly encapsulate the enitre motif of the album - shady government practices and a non-sensical bureaucracy that manifest in a spycraft style saga. Its a solid combination that finds its way into several other tracks such as "New Spaces" and "Isotropic Space." On the other hand, it is equally impressive to hear tracks in which COI takes a more ambient approach like "Things Go Bump in the Night" which opts against the slick rhythms and instead gives us a soundscape with tense pads and a gently pulsing synth that keeps a sense of apprehension until we return to the acid basslines of the next track.

 

VEIDRIK - VEIDRIK

Released: February 28


Intense and scathing soundscapes that avoid the pitfall of being little more than a crushing wall of noise, VEIDRIK's latest release is sonically varied in ways that are more than a bit surprising. I'm not sure exactly what the original sources of the sounds are but they go through a fine mangling through various effects that create odd results. At times, the result sound shrill and screaming but then moves seamlessly to sounding like someone kicked their Atari 2600 until it started crying out in pain. The whole EP straddles a fine line between chaotic pain and introspective ear candy that explores a world of waking nightmares with a distinctly digital edge. Headphones are recommended, but by no means required.






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