The Fringes - On the Radar - November 29


Heavy Cloud - A O A

Release Date: December 2


This upcoming release from sound collagist Ryan Hooper under his alias Heavy Cloud is a unique exploration of the subject of dreams. Broken down into three distinct yet interrelated parts, Aesthetics of Alienation is a surreal experience that blends together spaces that can exist and those that cannot exist. The result is what can only be described as a very liminal quality that reflects its subject matter in an exemplary fashion. Soundscapes that encompass multiple sounds including distant voices, rattling textures, and musical portions of violin and keys are all combined together under a strange air of subconscious fog. While the elements are properly melded together, there is no clarity to be found here and these dreams are not of the lucid variety. These discrete pieces form a weird, vaguely comprehensible, and unclear journey that explores the reaches of the mind in ways that Freud or Jung could have only imagined being able to do. Pre-order is currently not available but you can follow Heavy Cloud on Bandcamp to be alerted when it is available for listening.


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The Vet’s Fetching - Our Time in Cryo

Release Date: December 3


In much of his work, The Vet's Fetching shows his penchant for warmly fuzzed-up guitar alongside spacious ambient texture, and his upcoming album seems to carry on in this manner. Inspired by the friends and the experiences that have helped him through difficult recent times, I daresay that there is a wonderfully hopeful and optimistic tone to this recent effort. At least this is what can be ascertained from the available preview of the title track of this album. A lush wash of reverberated ambiance washes over the soundscape as the delayed and slightly degraded guitar comes in to bring us a beautiful, if not slightly broken, sequence that slowly builds into a crescendo of passionate strumming only to fade away quickly. Described as a series of sketches, this track rings true to that format wonderfully. Currently available for pre-order with one track available for listening now.



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Night Gestalt - Thousand Year Waves

Release Date: December 3


Thousand Year Waves represents the first full-length album from Stockholm-based experimental artist in over two years and if there is one word to accurately sum it up, it would be haunting. The concept behind the album is the idea that waves can be predicted in terms of size and frequency, until one comes that you couldn't predict, shattering your notions of what you thought was possible. The album plays on this theme in various ways, including a surprising and captivating experiment in spoken vocals on "Primal Reasons." Of the available preview tracks, this one stood out as something ultimately extremely uncomfortable to me as I listened to short vocal snippets of people sharing fragments of thoughts, presumably on the state of affairs in the world, while the unsettling effects became more pronounced throughout the course of the track. It was... beautiful, in a difficult way. Currently available for pre-order with five tracks available for listening now.





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Various Artists - BFSC

Release Date: December 3


With this upcoming EP, Austria-based experimental label Xyleton Records gives us both a short recap of this past year and a quick preview of what is to come in the next. The first two tracks are current, with a guitar and modular synth-driven long-form track from gnaarf that stays just on this side of musicality with a mega fuzzed guitar that alternates between keeping some kind of rhythm and plucking along in meandering fashion as the synth hammers out all manner of warbles, scrapes, and various noises. For the second two songs, we are treated to the alternate versions of two songs that are still yet to be released. The contribution from Deludium Skies is sufficiently noisy but also seems to retain some manner of punkish stylings, although these stylings are pushed to their absolute experimental extremes. Is it an unusual move to release an alternate before the original? Don't care, I enjoyed it. Currently available for pre-order with two tracks available for listening now.



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Torpa - In Action

Release Date : December 3


In what appears to be the first full-length album in a little over a year (a double at that), UK-based ambient electronic artist Torpa has created something that is deeply melodic and just experimental enough to satisfy the desire to be different yet grounded enough to not completely scare off your "normal" friends. From what the preview track suggests, we have an album with beautiful harmonies, subtle melodies, and accessible rhythms that possess an ultimately futuristic and cinematic quality. When I say futuristic, I don't mean in the vein of dystopias such as the iconic Blade Runner. "Beat Love Down," our preview track for this release gives us something much more evocative of a cautious optimism combined with a gentle sense of mystery. If anything, this track sounds as though it would belong very fittingly on a soundtrack of driving through a brightly lit cityscape at nighttime. Currently available for pre-order with one track available for listening now.


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Survey Channel & Star Madman - Decisions

Release Date: December 3


Frequent collaboration seems to be the modus operandi for both electronic musician Survey Channel and vocalist Star Madman. So it naturally only makes sense for them to collaborate together once again for another single. This time, however, both step a bit out of their comfort zone and into the world of dub-influenced minimal tech, with both artists contributing to the composition as a whole. The result, while I guess you could call it danceable, seems much better suited for that small gathering of friends or associates rather than the dancefloor. Chilled-out rhythms carry the track onwards as slowly rising and falling pads eventually give way to the spaced-out yet prominent vocals of Star Madman. While the lyrics are simple, the variation in delivery makes for the most satisfying listening experience as they go from clear and focused to just above a whisper and drenched in wonderful reverb. Definitely a bit of a surprise from both artists, but a highly polished and enjoyable one. Pre-order currently not available but follow Survey Channel on Bandcamp to be notified when available.


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