Funky vaporwave. Essential genre entry, while avoiding most (not all) clichés.
I am internally divided about what to make of the genre vaporwave. On the one hand, it is the clear over-exaggeration of the 80’s revival trend that has drowned the independent music scene in endless covers of the good old synth sound of better times. On the other hand, I find some mellow comfort in those strange yet familiar tunes that fake old, low-fidelity production techniques, drowning in tape artefacts and surreal depictions of consumer culture totems of the 90’s in a visual style that borders on graphic design necrophilia. But back to the music. I chose this release to introduce the genre to this blog because it avoids most clichés, while staying true to the core formula of vaporwave: slow-paced production, heavy sampling, simple synth song structures. And then Ezhak adds plenty of groove on top, making the result unusually enjoyable; not bad for a style that otherwise can only be enjoyed satirically or at least ironically.
Continue reading “Ezhak –  Cold Sky”
Classic ambient IDM from Kahvi. If you like frosty but soft electronica, look no further.
Kahvi is one of the most reliable labels, both in terms of style and quality. IDM and cold electronica is their theme. This release is no exception: with only 5 tracks, this EP still clocks in at over half an hour of music.
Continue reading “Acrilic Colors –  Thing From Another World”
If you like the two rather ambient sample tracks, also try track 2. Groove o’clock for a more dynamic impression.
Straightforward trance. No-frills, no female vocals, just beat, bass, synth and simple melodies.
This one is from the good old days of Jamendo attracting thousands of aspiring artists and thus churning out albums in popular genres left and right.
Before, the free music scene (at least in my impression back then) had been mostly dominated by experimental artists. With discovering Jamendo, that impression changed dramatically.
In short, expect very conventional trance music, straight from the rulebook.
Continue reading “2Invention –  In Aeternum”
Essential experimental IDM. 3 discs, 51 tracks of IDM à la Sutemos are an earful to chew on. Bring popcorn!
This compilation series by netlabel Sutemos is a little bit like vegetables: they are good for you, but they might not taste good at first. This release contains many different flavours, musical vitamins, experiments in sound design, genre-branching dubstep, IDM, cerebral techno, and lots of electro goodness in general. But, the sound is often outside the realm of “standard” harmony, often even completely devoid of it. Like these sentences, it takes some time to wrap one’s head around. So, if you are looking for easy listening while coding, please move on. If you want to enrich a late night party with an eccentric musical backdrop, give it a spin… Continue reading “Various Artists –  Intelligent Toys: We Make Music”
Frosty ambient IDM with class. Very versatile EP with fully ambient to almost danceable tracks. A real classic, published at Kahvi.
Back in 2009, I started this series of reviews with Coax’s The Ice Garden. Ever since, I was hesitant to write another review on the same artist. But I have done so multiple times over the years now, so it’s time to finally break the spell and give Coax their second review. Their music deserves it, after all: frosty, ambient IDM, released at the notorious Kahvi netlabel, well known for delivering quality electronica by truck. Continue reading “Coax –  Aeons”
Excellent ambient compilation. Many artists collaborate in this long-standing series of relaxing electronica albums.
With Vol. 13 having been released in 2016, I might be a bit late with pointing to this release, but I’d rather point you to some old friends of mine rather than to new acquaintances. This compilation features artists like EugeneKha, one whose solo albums I have reviewed here already some years ago. Continue reading “Tunguska Electronic Music Society –  Tunguska Chillout Grooves, Volume 7”
Post-rock jazz vibes. Musical equivalent of a good, strong red wine. Becomes better the more you taste it.
I cannot pronounce the album title, but the music is a great mixture of post rock and jazzy improvisation. Special feature: non-verbal improv singing! If you have one hour to fill with sophisticated, well-produced music, have this a go with your speakers. Continue reading “GRENADE SURROUND Experience –  Свободнее Птиц”
Old-school techno meets IDM. This gem from long-standing (active since 2001 and running) netlabel Kahvi offers an interesting blend of 90’s techno sounds and 00’s more refined approach to Electro. While the beats and bass synth lines sound almost retro to my 2017 ears, melody and harmonies sound fresher. Continue reading “Dream Generator –  Glazed”
Calm and clean, cinematic IDM. What would relaxing lounge music sound in the Tron universe? Pretty much like this. All-electronica sounds, straight from digital synthesizers, soothe your ears. Four tracks in total span about 30 minutes. Two picked tracks and the download link follow below. Continue reading “Mikael Fyrek –  I Step Into the Advent”
This ambient release from Kahvi contains over 80 minutes of relaxing background music. No spiritual, new age enlightenment tunes with water effects. But only clear and calm electronic music. I like this kind of music for programming, reading or just relaxing. Like usual, I present two tracks to pull you in, too! Continue reading “Workbench –  Zoo”