Dreamy soundscape. Fairytale forest ambiance, masterfully crafted.
When I first encountered this release over ten years ago, I did not like it right away. I just was not yet prepared to accept something this non-musical as background ambience. But if you accept that good background “music” does not have to follow a traditional song structure, you’re in for a hell of a ride. So, darken your room, lower the volume and do something else while this 74 minute track teleports you into an enchanted forest… Continue reading “Djinnestan –  Rain 1”
Vintage trip hop. Old music samples, forming auditory dioramas above contemporary beats.
Netlabel Dusted Way Kingdom is a reliable supplier of (instrumental) hip hop music. This release even leans towards trip hop sound (think: early Massive Attack), while not forgetting to sport slow, fat beets. Continue reading “Zifhang –  Two Worlds”
Recreational electronic beats. Unobtrusive chord patterns and subdued melodies.
Netlabel Discos Confort specialises in House music styles, featuring multiple artists and DJs. This release by Mexican DJ Bluevet is one of the more silent pieces. I wouldn’t call it ambient, but it does for some indie flavoured background music. Continue reading “Bluevet –  Believers”
Monotonic, minimal trance. Evokes unconscious head nodding; its creator calls it “hypnotic”. No experiments.
I usually only listen to trance music when doing something else, like programming or reading. There are no lyrics, no fast changes, nothing which would distract me. Yet I can notice the rhythm, the pace, which I find somehow relaxing. This release is a prime example of that type of music, released on Digital Diamonds. Continue reading “Floating Machine –  Convergence EP”
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 –  Awaken the Wolf”
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 –  Dark Blue”
Huge multi-genre compilation. Electro, dance, acoustic vocal pop, all represented in exquisite detail. A good year to choose from.
A Best Of album representing all free music released last year… that sounds ambitious. Phlow magazine tried it anyway. While I am hesitant that this monster of a compilation really includes all great tracks from last year, there are many tracks I would have missed otherwise. So as usual I selected some tracks which I think you should have heared. The complete release contains over 100 songs, so this selection by far cannot cover all genres. Continue reading “Various Artists –  The Best Creative Commons Music Moments 2010”
Take Nightwish’s voice, add a Cello played like Apocalyptica and mix it with a skilled hard rock band and – voilà – you can imagine how the Diablo Swing Orchestra sounds.
Their music is a wild mixture of (partially Symphonic) Metal, Rock, Jazz, Swing and Blues; sometimes they make me think of Mr. Bungle (another great Band, by the way), yet they always stay within the limits of melodic music. Continue reading “Diablo Swing Orchestra –  The Butcher’s Ballroom”
Excellent indie rock. From Lower Bavaria. Who would have thought?
One of the best moments during music discovery is the one when you hear an album the first time and instantly are addicted to it. To know that you will hear it over and over again, that after hours of mediocre or boring music you found a new pearl in the ocean of music.
The independent rock band Pandoras.Box from Lower Bavaria with their album Barriers gave me the last incarnation of such a moment. The album could as well be sold on CD, the quality of song-writing and production does not need to hide behind commercial releases. I would be surprised to not see their next release in stores. Continue reading “Pandoras.Box –  Barriers”