Tapes and Topographies - Modalities
Release date: May 3
For their fourteenth release, Tapes and Topographies bring us another ten tracks of deeply emotive and haunting drones that solidify their long-establish sound and style. The album itself is atmospheric through and through with lush layers of ambiance and beautiful harmonies that peek out from under the thick fog created by the droning soundscapes. "With That Being Said" presents us with a thoroughly harmonious track that lulls the listener in and "The Worn Surface of the Heart" takes this same motif and amplifies it to some extent bringing in soaring distorted synths that add that little bit of ear candy to remind us of the overarching theme of Modalities. Currently available for pre-order for digital download and on compact disc.
Serpent Moon - Blood and Semen: The Complete Meditations
Release date: April 26
Coming up from Misanthropic Vendetta is something that stands between the edges of ambient and noise - Blood and Semen: The Complete Meditations. There seems to be something quite unique about this release with its long-form drone track that are highly reflective of the labeling as meditations. From the first track, "Like a Widow Hates the Sea," this motif shows up as pounding percussion begins to build up behind a wall of distorted tones playing out something that eerily resembles an old and warped melody. Though there are only two tracks available right now, this motif is solidified further by the other, "St. Anne's Episcopal, Wednesday at Noon" with it sparser percussion but that same intense and driving feeling below a haunting sea of surprisingly melodic noise. Currently available for pre-order digital-only through Misanthropic Vendetta and vinyl through Serpent Moon’s Bandcamp page.
Audio Obscura vs Black Sonar - A Scream From Outwr Space
Release date: April 29
Within the first minute of this album, I was treated to the unexpected line "In 1977, when NASA sent two Voyager space probes on a mission..." that sets the stage so succinctly for what is to come that it quite literally stunned me. A Scream from Outer Space is a beautiful retelling of the story of the Voyager space probes from the time they were launched until the moment they crossed into interstellar space, never to be seen by humanity again. While it may seem like a sad affair, the album is reflective of the hope and mystery surrounding its mission with unexpectedly bouncy basslines on "The Asteroid Belt" and driving synths and guitars shrouded in an ever so slightly tense atmosphere on "Towards Interstellar Space." The balance that this album strikes between being playful and being serious is honestly quite amazing and works beautifully in the context of the overarching concept. Pre-order not currently available but follow Subexotic Records to be notified when available.
Pluhm - Cazoni Di Buio E Luce
Release date: April 29
Cazoni Di Buio E Luce occupies a comfortable and serene spot in between ambient and neoclassical sensibilities in a seamless and intuitive way. Upon first listen, hearing "Dentro me c'è la pioggia" brought me to believe I had just received a competent and serene classical ambient album. That is until I was treated to one of the most incredible switch-ups with a tight bit of electronic percussion near the very end. Such a wonderful surprise to hear and took the composition to a new level. The other two tracks I was treated to didn't have this fun bit of subversion but the twinkling little pianos of "A piedi nudi nell'adolescenza" are positively enchanting alongside the fullness of the strings and pads while the organ-driven soundscape of "Sacrale, Memoria" strikes a haunted tone with an oddly driven bass under it all. Pre-order is currently not available but you can follow Subexotic Records to be notified when it is released.