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”

Frenic – [2011] Lessons From The Past

Melodic instrumental hip hop. Soft beats and beautifully aranged samples make this album a very special and very seductive entry into the instrumental hip hop genre. The tracks are not completely free of repetitive arrangements, but they have less repetetive arrangements than this sentence contains repetitive arrangements… 😉 Continue reading “Frenic – [2011] Lessons From The Past”

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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JT Bruce – [2005] Anomalous Material

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Instrumental progressive rock at its best. This over 10 year old album by JT Bruce contains just over one hour of meticulously produced music. No lyrics, but attention to detail throughout the 16 tracks. If you like this classic, you might also enjoy his 2015 release Vandal of Fortune (Jamendo). Continue reading “JT Bruce – [2005] Anomalous Material”

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”

Just Plain Ant – [2009] Dig Deep

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Fresh hip hop. I don’t listen to a lot of rap music. In fact, this is the first review to populate the tags hip hop and rap here. This album has it all: opulent instrumental tracks, multiple vocalists, detailed music backdrops. It shows what hip hop can be like: fresh, so fresh… Continue reading “Just Plain Ant – [2009] Dig Deep”

Skaj Da Waidah – [2013] The Most Epic Chillout Album Ever! (EP)

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Loopy funk grooves. If you ever wished during a rap song for the rapper to stop talking over the lovely background music, the Bulgarian netlabel Dusted Wax Kingdom is just for you. It specialises in that groovy sound sometimes called instrumental or abstract hip hop. This short 5 track release is an especially funky example of this craft. Continue reading “Skaj Da Waidah – [2013] The Most Epic Chillout Album Ever! (EP)”

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”

XOC – [2005] Super Mario World

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Analogue reinterpretation of a legendary console game soundtrack. With almost 400,000 downloads from the Internet Archive servers), this release is of the classic gems of free music. Multi-instrumentalist XOC took the effort of precisely reproducing the original score for the SNES game Super Mario World, instrument by instrument, track by track. By using real instruments instead of an old sound chip, the sound changed from bleepy synthetic to a wooden, used aesthetic. Hear for yourself: Continue reading “XOC – [2005] Super Mario World”