Ballpen – [2010] The Dreams Trilogy

Dreamy friend of electro acoustic experimental sounds, akin to Crepusculum. Sleepy weird well crafted.

If that text blurb threw you off a bit – that was intentional. This album has the same effect on me. While it is clearly expertly crafted, the songs never seem to “start” for me. Yet, they make perfect backdrop material for me writing this very text, so apparently they do something right. And from the praise it has drawn back in 2010, not all can be pure hype, can it?

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Various Artists – [2008] Breathe 02

Essential listen for downtempo enthusiasts. Different artists cover wide range of styles.

Breathe Compilations is a (former?) Mexican netlabel that – surprise – specialises in releasing compilations, active between 2008 and 2018 (as of 2020). Although the label’s back catalogue (92 releases) has not seen an addition for almost 2 years, its Soundcloud profile buzzes with activity. So I don’t fully call off any hope for a comeback. But in the meantime, I could as well review one of its earliest releases:

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Klangwald – [2012] Tolerance & Courage EP

Calm and deliberate electronica backdrop. Not fighting for your attention, earning it just the more for it.

Not much has been written online about this nice & short EP. All tracks feature their own catchy main theme, which then develops into about five minutes of slightly derivative pleasant background music. There are no excited guitar solos, dramatic bass drops or seductive vocals. Just plain, good, honest electronica straight from the producer.

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Everlasting Dream – [2011] Echoes From the Future

Cinematic downtempo electronica. Could be a sci-fi soundtrack, just lacks a movie.

Movie soundtracks fall into a nice niche between classical and ambient music. This album adds a bit of electronic finesse to this formula. If you want to add a bit of cinematic splash to your musical diet, give this album a try. Emotional string sections meet orchestral and electronic beets. The occasional clicky-bleep sounds add to a slightly futuristic vibe.

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Planet Boelex – [2010] Raja

Majestic ambient electronica. Slowly building soundscapes with deliberate beats like pillars.

I have already praised Planet Boelex much in an earlier review about their 2009 album. One year later, they put out another EP, both illustratively (cover art) and acoustically (songs) high above the clouds. Unlike last time, this is a solo release without featured vocals.

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Acrilic Colors – [2007] Thing From Another World

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.
If you like the two rather ambient sample tracks, also try track 2. Groove o’clock for a more dynamic impression.

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Daizy – [2011] The Daizy Factory

Laidback easy listening. Simple ambient tracks with distinct flavour.

Another entry from prolific netlabel Enough Records, who have been releasing over 400 albums and EPs since 2002, and are – unlike many others – still active. This weeks album features guitar-based trip hop served on top of ambient synth sounds. A bit too busy for coding, this album makes for a great pool party backdrop (not that I had a pool to test this). Continue reading “Daizy – [2011] The Daizy Factory”

Tunguska Electronic Music Society – [2011] Tunguska Chillout Grooves, Volume 7

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 – [2011] Tunguska Chillout Grooves, Volume 7”

Mosaik – [2004] Minutes

Classic netaudio electronica. Still sounding fresh after well over a decade.

Kahvi does what kahvi does best: introducing us music addicts to obscure but resourceful artists out there. This classic only slipped through my earlier release schedule because there was (and still is) no MP3 version of the release available on archive.org. But now that all browsers (yes, I’m looking at you, IE/Edge) support OGG natively, I can include this three track EP here without fear. Oh, yes, the music was worth the wait: Continue reading “Mosaik – [2004] Minutes”

Graham Castronovo – [2012] A Cry Into The Cosmos

Space’y lounge trance. Spacious synth walls, filled with slow beats.

This release has probably similar roots as the more well known music project Symphony of Science, which releases tracks and remixes focused on scientific topics. (Note to self: queue a review for that.) Where was I? Ah yes, this release focuses on pulsating synthesizer sounds and soft percussion. Some songs go a little overboard, but on balance the tracks are well behaved. Judge for yourself with my two favourite picks: Continue reading “Graham Castronovo – [2012] A Cry Into The Cosmos”