Geotic – [2009] Hearth

Minimal guitar drone ambience. Soothing instrumental music based almost completely on subdued, soft, echoing guitar melodies.

It is surprising how much can be accomplished with only long, soft chords, without any percussion, in terms of structure and rhythm. While most artists that employ these drone tones work without a discernable short-term rhythm, Geotic succeeds in giving his bars a certain punch. Interesting! Continue reading “Geotic – [2009] Hearth”

Triplexity – [2008] Live in Triplex City

Non-cheesy world lounge. A striking balance between combining multiple music and ethnic styles, and producing a coherent musical release.

I am usually sceptical of loungy world music attempts for being shallow, flat listen-and-forget experiences. This album defeated that suspicion thoroughly: not only do all tracks have more than enough depth, they all seem to have their own inspiration. Continue reading “Triplexity – [2008] Live in Triplex City”

Timezone LaFontaine – [2017] Soul Night

Very musical vocal hip hop. Serious musical loops and very rhythmic lyrics give this rap release a very distinct feel.

In contrast to instrumental hip hop, which skips vocals completely to celebrate the loopy nature of its groovy background tracks, this release puts lyrics in the center. While I usually don’t enjoy rap that much, this release can bridge the gap by offering me almost sung lyrics, bundled with carefully produced instrumental tracks. The combination is striking! Continue reading “Timezone LaFontaine – [2017] Soul Night”

The Nuri – [2009] Masquerade

Excellent progressive hard rock with strong female vocals. This is one of the early prominent examples of professionally produced, Creative Commons licensed albums out there.

Early listeners on Jamendo equivocally praised it to be one of the best submissions on the platform. While the free music scene has exploded with thousands of artists, this release for me has stood the test of time. The title track made into one of the early Free Music Contest 2010 compilation conducted by Musikpiraten, an association dedicated to making known high quality Creative Commons music. But back to this album: Continue reading “The Nuri – [2009] Masquerade”

Golden Grey – [2016] Awaken the Wolf

Glitch-craft ambient. Beautiful electro sound, aiming at the space between C148’s Minecraft and soft, minimal synth quirkiness.

More than a year after I received this public review suggestion on my blog’s About page, I finally got into the right mood for reviewing this quiet gem. If you search for uplifting power pop music, stop right here! If you seek a calm and subtle delight, read on. Continue reading “Golden Grey – [2016] Awaken the Wolf”

Tony Mahoney – [2013] Dark Blue

Faux antique trip hop. Twenty songs, over one hour of vinyl samples, including dust specks, enhancing the faux antique sound, replaying against the backdrop of subtle modern beats. Great instrumental hip hop with trip hop influences. The tracks are loopy on the surface, but the repetitions slowly evolve time, new samples fading in or out throughout. Continue reading “Tony Mahoney – [2013] Dark Blue”

Lorenzo’s Music – [2017] Cool ships and heat exchangers

(Un)conventional alternative rock. With netlabel blocSonic, it’s hard to not be impressed. I adore how they keep publishing consistently solid to exceptional albums and compilations year after year. The word conventional is meant as a compliment. Although it is not strictly correct: the use of brass instruments and synth sounds clearly is an exception to the rock band formula. Continue reading “Lorenzo’s Music – [2017] Cool ships and heat exchangers”

stockfinster – [2009] Dead Line

Carefully crafted electronica. This is a gem from now defunct netlabel Sutemos, back from 2009. Artist stockfinster, whom I have reviewed in this blog before, is a household name in the Creative Commons scene, and for a reason. His productions occupy a quiet, warm corner somewhere between New Age ambient and IDM electronica. I like it there, so his tracks end up in my playlist regularly. Here I present two of the 13 tracks this release contains. Continue reading “stockfinster – [2009] Dead Line”

Antethic – [2017] Ghost Shirt Society

Electronic post rock greatness. We probably all have heard those drawn-out, long, boring post rock extravaganzas with minutes of continuous distorted guitar sound carpets without sense or measure. This not one of those…

Instead, the genre is enriched by upbeat tracks, careful addition of electronic effects and ornamentation. In short: it sounds pretty fresh! Read on for my two representative picks: Continue reading “Antethic – [2017] Ghost Shirt Society”

Triplexity – [2008] Between Light and Shadow

Diverse trip hop lounge world jazz… did I say diverse? Oh my gosh is this album diverse. The common theme is laid-back background music, but otherwise all bets are off. Just listen to the three picks I have selected this week and decide for yourself… Continue reading “Triplexity – [2008] Between Light and Shadow”