Welcome Home Morning Star – [2018] Nimrod

Cold as steel cinematic post rock from Portugal; calm sound yet strong atmosphere.

Steel guitars, long stretches of calm arpeggios, loud culminations in 5-7 minute long tracks; this EP by this Portuguese post-rock project knows how to satisfy genre expectations. Particular is their focus on airy, spacious sound and melancholic harmonies. So, if you crave something to accompany a chilling autumn season, there’s some auditory flavouring; as usual, found through a netlabel back catalogue (active and kicking Enough Records, in this case).

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Various Artists – [2008] The Silent Ballet, Volume VII: Có Vẻ Như Trời Sẽ Ngớt Mưa

Carefully crafted slightly experimental ambient post rock or drone tracks, with tender vocal tracks throughout.

This marks my fifth review for one of the Silent Ballet compilation entries. This series is – or rather was – centred around ambient post rock, with a focus on experimental artists around the world. This entry is no exception. Mostly calm, slow tracks are featured on this instalment. See which two tracks I after the fold:

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PeerGynt Lobogris – [2011] The Edge of Forever

Varied showcase of versatile artist from prog rock over downtempo to classic piano.

This Spanish music producer probably is one of the most active members on music licensing platform Jamendo: exactly 60 releases ranging from 2007 to 2020. Guitar centric progressive rock is his staple, but he does not like to limit himself to a single genre per album. Note to self: review more of his output, this stuff is good!

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Stikleader – [2013] Melody of the Clouds V2

83 minutes of uninterrupted instrumental laid-back techno. Easy on the ears, late night compatible.

Calm beats and uninterrupted synth backdrops await you in this movie-length continuous mix. Released at apparently defunct Spanish netlabel surrealfreak, the artist chose some 16 tracks. A track listing can be found on Russian site Techno-Locator, in case you want to hunt down the original artists.

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Lavoura – [2019] Ayizan

Exotic future jazz fusion with groovy inserts left and right.

This release is exceptional in that it differs quite a bit from the typical roster one would expect to find in netlabel Bump Foot’s roster. But to be fair, a Brazillian future jazz ensemble would stick out in just about any artist listing. What a pity that this release is only two tracks long. Dont’t dare to miss any of those, though. Influences from Brazil and Africa, mixed with contemporary fusion jazz, these standards deserve a place in your playlist:

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King Shi – [2018] Red (LP)

Expertly produced fusion of instrumental hip hop and trip hop. Groovy, yet downtempo goodness.

Netlabel Dusted Wax manages to stick close to its signature sound, which sometimes can become boring for a treasure hunter like me, always curious for a new sound experience. This release is such an experience: familiar flavour, but new spices added left and right, and the result is all the better for it: delicious beats, served with specially recorded instrument tracks, and electronic effects on top.

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Alex Mason – [2020] Dark

Rich field recording soundscapes combined with creepily dark ambient drones.

Content warning: this album could be the soundtrack to a yet to be released dark pyscho thriller playing in the woods Norway or Canada. Suspense, excellent use of string instruments from bass to violin make this an experience to behold. Best served with headphones late at night. Shivers guaranteed! And the obligatory reminder: if you like what they give away for free, consider supporting the artist financially (e.g. via Bandcamp).

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Chico Correa & Electronic Band – [2006] Chico Correa & Electronic Band

Unique blend of latin flavour and electronic sound. Great vocals on top make this a rare find.

For this review, I had to stick on plenty of genre tags. Both jazz fusion and electronic IDM seem fitting descriptions. Then there’s a downtempo or chillout influence. And finally the world and latin tags to locate the music style geographically. And all that back in 2006, released on notoriously good (and still active) netlabel Bump Foot. And if you want to check out more recent stuff by the artist, find them on Bandcamp (latest release from 2020).

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Code Therapy – [2018] Scape From Reality EP

Icy tech house with beats and style. Monotonic bass lines included. Bring headphones or subwoofers.

When listening to tech house, I am always drawn between two opposite judgments: cool music, but boring structure. No harmonies to speak of, no tempo changes, simplest rhythms, only beats, bass, buildup, some more, wait, DROP, and once again. Why does this even work?

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Various Artists – [2006] An Hour Of EMCradio

Sour popsicle assortment of fruity music ranging from dance to weird.

Wow, this one’s old. And good. A treasure trove straight from the (now) good old age of netaudio. Leaning into the eclectic and slightly experimental, this compilation gathers a colourful ensemble of unique styles, from accessible and groovy to outright bizarre. Yet all tracks remain digestible to the uninitiated ear. If you are in for a one hour of very creative yet edgy music, give this release a go.

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