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”

M-PeX – [2017] Carianae

Portuguese electro ambient guitar. Excellent mostly instrumental guitar and contrabass, just with a tiny bit of electronic ambience in the background. The release for me has an incredibly intense cinematic touch. Highly recommended for headphones to capture the subtle effects. Already a modern classic, I would say. Continue reading “M-PeX – [2017] Carianae”

Mr. Bitterness And The Guilty Pleasures – [2017] Songs From The Surveillance Age

Coming to save alternative rock. Wow, what an excellent production. It’s rare to be blown away by so “little” happening on the surface, while so much falls all into the right place in the background. Electronic effects left and right, used in subtle ways for great effect make this a well crafted release. Continue reading “Mr. Bitterness And The Guilty Pleasures – [2017] Songs From The Surveillance Age”

Bralitz – [2017] Bralitz

Beach folk grandeur. Sounds a bit like Newton Faulkner. Vocal guitar folky pop, with violin strings for effect. If you are more into “self-made” sounding music rather than overproduced electro-pop, you’ll very much like this small EP, published at blocSonic in their maxBlocs release cycle. Continue reading “Bralitz – [2017] Bralitz”

Eva & Manu – [2011] Still Traveling EP

Acoustic vocal indie pop. This gem from French-Finish duo Eva & Manu has unfortunately been de-published by the creators from the original sources, but the archive.org mirror is still up. And thanks to the nature of Creative Commons license, I can be sure that it remains legal to download the original EP. Four songs long, it contains at least two hits.

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Dream Mechanics – [2009] Screensaver

Casual ambient soft rock. This oldie (i.e. published last decade) is a perfect mental “screen saver”. According to the release notes on Bandcamp, the artists were called a “Russian Massive Attack” for their psychedelic, trance-inducing sound. Judge for yourself what you make of it.. Continue reading “Dream Mechanics – [2009] Screensaver”

Candlegravity – [2013] Junpei

Trippy glitch electronica. This album leans more towards the experimental side. It might need some time to be heard in total. But it might yield some exceptional moments in return. I better let the artist explain:

All of the other songs are from personal experiences both good and bad and the making of this album is the process I turned to, to help me deal with them. It’s my hope that perhaps someone having had a similar experiences, might identify with one of the songs and perhaps find comfort in that process.

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Hermelin – [2008] Hermelin

Straightforward post rock. Hermelin is 4 guys from Hanover in Northern Germany, performing at least since 2008. On April 1 this year they have released their newest album called Tüdeltüt. While their newest work certainly has increased in terms of production (sound quality, mixing), their first full-length release has its charm, too. Continue reading “Hermelin – [2008] Hermelin”

Stephan Siebert – [2012] 10 Songs of 28 Years

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Beautiful, easy listening Jazz. While there is no single smashing hit among the 10 songs, this release offers a consistent listening experience for almost an hour. Instrumental pieces, ranging from piano solo to a richly orchestrated saxophone jam. Only occasional hums are the only vocal parts. Recording and mixing are excellent, and is for my untrained ears up to par to excellent live recordings of Jazz concerts.
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North Hive – [2015] Gaia

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Detailed ambient treasurebox. If you are easily offended by non-musical “noise” in your music, give this release a try anyway. While North Hive heavily uses field recordings for its compositions, the results often sound quite musical. This album was released at Enough Records. Continue reading “North Hive – [2015] Gaia”

The Easton Ellises – [2012] EP Two

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80’s Pop with New Wave. Having proven their disco-suitability with their previous release (review of The Easton Ellises – [2011] EP One) at netlabel Enough Records, this sequel comes as a pleasant surprise. Without deviating from the success recipe, this EP delivers danceable music by truck. Continue reading “The Easton Ellises – [2012] EP Two”

Crepusculum – [2009] Sing on in Silhouettes

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Ambient guitars. Many of them. Strange, uncommon harmonies that sound uncannily familiar. Multiple acoustic guitars, all recorded by Fred Baty (aka Crepusculum), create a rich soundscape. Rhythmic chords and melody patterns render percussion unnecessary. Continue reading “Crepusculum – [2009] Sing on in Silhouettes”

Nic Bommarito – [2009] Harp Fragments

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Melancholia shoegaze in beautiful cinemascope. Think Ennio Morricone’s classical movie soundtracks, but in today’s style. The same deserted emotions, but mixed with modern post rock. 7 tracks, released at netlabel 12rec, brilliantly show that post rock can be so much more than guitar effect avalanches. Continue reading “Nic Bommarito – [2009] Harp Fragments”

cantaloup – [2006] tonight it shows

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Acoustic post pop. Airy sound scapes made from guitar carpets and synthetic strings, mixed with mellow vocals make for a soothing ambient album. If these 8 calm tracks are not enough, have a look at cantaloup’s Bandcamp profile, where he has released several albums since. Continue reading “cantaloup – [2006] tonight it shows”

entertainment for the braindead – [2008] hydrophobia

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Acoustic dilettante post-something. At least that’s how the Julia Kotowski from Cologne describes her exquisitely melancholic songs. Honest, without fancy effects, simple and heart-warming is her music. This album is a collaborative release by the two netlabels aerotone (out of business, unfortunately) and aaahh-records (up and rockin’). 2 of the 10 songs await you below. Continue reading “entertainment for the braindead – [2008] hydrophobia”

Endlos – [2007] Kein Grund zufrieden zu sein

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Instrumental electronic downbeat jams. Oh, my, jeeez! So relaxed, so flowing, yet so rhythmic. It’s hard to describe the dry, yet warm sound of Endlos from Leipzig. The more I can recommend you to lend them you ear for a minute… Continue reading “Endlos – [2007] Kein Grund zufrieden zu sein”

The Sleeping Tree – [2008] Leaves And Roots

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Dreamy acoustic guitar folk pop. While writing this review, I realised that I already have reviewed praised a track by The Sleeping Tree back in my review on the 50th release compilation by 12rec. and compared him to Bright Eyes. Like then, melancholic voice and acoustic guitar are enough to create mellow impressions. My two picks after the break… Continue reading “The Sleeping Tree – [2008] Leaves And Roots”

Spit Rusty – [2011] Underwhelmed

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Punchy hard rock from Denmark. Loud, very loud. And fast. And LOUD. Erm… what else? Oh yeah, they have cool guitar riffs, excellent drum patterns, transitions. Head-shake-inducing chorus lines. Cannot. Write. Long. Sentences. Must. Move… Read on for my two favourite tracks and the obligatory release link…
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Frau – [2010] Starlit Carousel

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Soft Vocal acoustic pop, slightly eccentric. Piano and voice are the weapons of choice of Indonesian artist Frau. From scarce notes and harmonies, a strange magic unfolds that reminds of old and traditional songs, though being contemporary compositions. The lyrics speak today’s language and tell beautiful stories. My two picks – as usual – after the break… Continue reading “Frau – [2010] Starlit Carousel”

Lockerbie – [2010] Lockerbie

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Icy post rock from Iceland. Lockerbie know the recipe for a delicious post rock album: interesting sound effects, lots of guitars from calm to loud. Long, really long intros and endless repeating of the same chords over and over again. The result makes for some epic background music with punch. Continue reading “Lockerbie – [2010] Lockerbie”