The Fringes - On the Radar - January 11

Ty Lumnus - Distinct Entities and Morphological Connections

Release date: January 14

Following up from his release What if They Trigger a Memory? on the Uk-based Bricolage label, modular synthesist Ty Lumnus brings us another small but wonderful collection of eclectic tracks, this time courtesy of Waxing Crescent Records. Truly, no two tracks on this EP are the same. Each track seems to have its own unique character that defies any type of predictability. It opens up with the vaguely dancefloor-ish "This Is Not My Current State" and slowly takes along a path of slowing down until it comes to its conclusion with the spaced-out ambient pads and blips of "Stubborn to the Sun."

Throughout the runtime of this release, we are treated to wonderfully complex soundscapes that straddle the borders of multiple genres including ambient, chilled-out house, and unclassifiable soundscapes. It is simultaneously a grab bag of tracks while also being an immersive and cohesive experience.

No pre-order is currently available, but you can follow Waxing Crescent Record on Bandcamp to be notified when it is available on vinyl, minidisc, and digital.

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nowhere wood - Vivid Dreams

Release date: January 17

After releasing several singles over the past several months, London-based guitarist nowhere wood is releasing his full seven-track album comprised of these previously released singles and a small slate of previously unheard pieces. The nature of this release is primarily based on his improvisational style of composition and production of highly reverberated and delay soaked acoustic-sounding textures. Each piece feels much like floating on a cloud; light and airy textures that only occasionally create clashes as they meld and merge into one another.

At times, it even sounds as though the various reverberations have created pads that the guitar peeks out over in various plucked and strummed flourishes that shimmer and shine. The atmosphere is serene and reflective of the name Vivid Dreams as it feels completely otherworldly and surreal while being peaceful and reflective.

No pre-order is currently available but you can follow nowhere wood on Bandcamp to be notified when it is available on digital.

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Sunwarper - Reminiscent Remnants

Release date: January 19

Coming roughly one month after the release of Future Fade, a project that was a year in the making with one track released every month, Reminiscent Remnants serves as the companion album to this year-long project by Michael Jackus (a.k.a. Sunwarper). Originally conceived as a collection of b-sides, this album comes across as a bit darker in tone compared to its counterpart. Regardless, beautiful subdued melodies perfuse into deep and spacious atmospheric pads with bits of soft guitar and bright synths.

The soft ambient guitar stylings that Sunwarper is known for really shine out on the track "Frostfall" as slightly cold atmospherics fill the space while gently plucked and strummed chords dance gently in the space created. Equally compelling are the soft arpeggiations of "Departure" that carry an otherwise pad-driven ambiance towards a serene conclusion to this album. If you would like to hear Jackus put it in his own words, you can check out our interview with him here.

The album is currently available for pre-order on Bandcamp and make sure to check out Future Fade as well, which you can pick up on digital and compact disc.

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Hyacinth & The Central Office of Information

Release date: January 21

This release makes for quite an interesting split album from two electronic producers who make seemingly quite different types of music that actually works together fantastically. First up on the album, we are treated to fourteen short, almost vignette-like tracks from Portland-based Hyacinth. Each of these tracks, while on the shorter side, have a slightly genre-bending quality to them with chilled out beats and a beautiful sonic quality to them that conjures up the influences of lo-fi hip hop and vaporwave all at the same time with some tracks being softer and slower such as "Always in my Own Lane" while others such as "By My Side" give us a bit more energetic vibe.

Near the end of the album, things take a turn that is almost unrecognized until a minute or two in as The Central Office Of Information takes over for three tracks that take us away from the chilled beats we've grown accustomed to and into a bit darker territory. Largely synth-driven soundscapes that are all but absent a beat take us into a dreamlike state that persists until we are awakened for the final five tracks that return us to the familiar beats of Hyacinth. Although, this time around, these beat-driven tracks seem to take a more dreamlike quality, now influenced by the soundscapes of the previous turn.

No pre-order is currently but you can follow Subexotic Records on Bandcamp to be informed when it is available on digital and compact disc.

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Bagaski - Dash

Release date: January 21

Continuing on the winter-themed releases from their label, See Blue Audio brings us a new release from Berlin-based ambient artist Bagaski. This two-track release is characteristically an intriguing combination of light and dark textures that is reflective of Bagaski's previous works that seem to be a bit more pronounced this time around. Deep pads and weary sounding tones are layered together in a manner that alternates between a sense of harmony and dissonance that never resolves itself fully to either side of this coin.

As these tones interplay with one another, faint sounds of distortion reveal themselves as the amalgamation of atmospheric tension rise and fall only to recede as smoothly as they came about in the mix. The result of all of this is a cold and introspective experience, one that allows itself to be both haunting and soothing at the same time.

Currently available for pre-order through See Blue Audio on digital only.

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Letters from Mouse - Tarbolton Bachelors Club

Release date: January 28

It is always a treat when an album is able to tell a story, even more so when this story can be told almost exclusively through its musical qualities. The newest upcoming release from Steven Anderson (a.k.a. Letters From Mouse) on Subexotic Records is a beautiful example of such a feat. In Tarbolton Bachelor's Club, we are introduced to the story of the club itself, a local society of sorts that was started for debate and discussion around the topics of the time.

As a bit of additional ear candy, bits of such discussions seem to make their way into various parts of the album with such a presence that it causes the listener to give pause and reflect for a short while until they are swept back into the delightful modular soundscapes, most notably in tracks such as "South Church Beastie".

The soundscapes have the signature brightness that Letters From Mouse is known for while also staying firmly on the ambient side of things. The final track, "A Man's a Man for a' That" leaves us with a rich monologue upon which to ponder the nature of what it is to a human in this world. It marks a poignant conclusion to this colorful trip through history.

No pre-order is currently available but you can follow Letters From Mouse on Bandcamp to be notified when it is available on digital

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Kuma - Hounds and Echo In Conjunction

Release date: January 28

If there were a single word to describe this upcoming release on Waxing Crescent Records, it would be low. As in deep below the surface of something yet still perceptible and present. Difficult to categorize, this album is a stunning journey through droning landscapes and toned-down melodic that just hover slightly above the drones that permeate the album. A perfect example of this aesthetic is the title track "Hounds and Echo In Conjunction." As I listened to this track, I closed my eyes and saw the droning pads as waves, not quite like water but close. As the waves moved slowly in time, a single sparse melody popped up above them but seemed to fight the whole time to stay above them. It was quite beautiful.

Contrary to what this description might lead you to believe, I didn't find this to be a dreary or despondent album by any means. It may be on the darker side of things but it does not languish in its darkness. Each dark element in this album is counterpointed stylistically by the small bits of brightness, faint as they may be. This creates an experience that plays out as a mysterious journey that intrigues and entices, rather than confuses or frightens.

No pre-order is currently available but you can follow Waxing Crescent Records on Bandcamp to be notified when it is available on digital and cassette.

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