Various Artists – [2010] Intelligent Toys: We Make Music

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 – [2010] Intelligent Toys: We Make Music”

Ryukau – [2015] Muryoku

Minimal bleep sounds. Very experimental science fiction movie backdrop.

Sound samples and single notes from vintage science fiction movies, put together. I would expect to encounter this a) in a over-the-top artsy Scifi movie on ARTE, or b) in a museum for modern art, next to a… interesting piece of metal or unwatchable video montage. Still here? Great, because those tracks are very well put together. Let me give you two samples: Continue reading “Ryukau – [2015] Muryoku”

Edgeist – [2016] Septentrion

Electronic noise something. Odd saw wave sounds over irregular beats.

“Not fun, but effective.” That’s the note I made to myself when adding this release from Portuguese netlabel Enough Records to my review queue. This 5 track EP is from the “power noise” genre, so do not expect Disco, but industrial sounds. Continue reading “Edgeist – [2016] Septentrion”

SEA OF ÅLAND – [2017] Extended Play One

Dark ambient drones. Clearly experimental two-track EP, delivering dark soundscapes direct to your brain.

If you have occasions where “proper music” would be too distracting, but “proper silence” to silent or boring, really ambient music, based mainly on long, drawn out ambient sounds, also called drones, fill a very handy niche. This representative of that genre adds a little rhythm to spice things up, and the end result sounds like you could read The Call of Cthulhu to it. Continue reading “SEA OF ÅLAND – [2017] Extended Play One”

Various Artists – [2017] Dark Of Winter: Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Exceptionally broad movie soundtrack. Cool credit punch songs, mystical and disturbing ambient tracks live side by side.

Netlabel blocSonic again manages to surprise me by the breadth of their roster. This compilation, a soundtrack (you may have guessed), covers a wide range of genres from rock to experimental ambient. If you are not looking for dance music, but an exceptional release to feed to your ears, look no further than this. Continue reading “Various Artists – [2017] Dark Of Winter: Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”

Psilodump – [2005] The Night I Lost You All You All

Netlabels come and go, artists stay. This gem of a release was originally released at now defunct label Candy Mind. Its site is offline, domain gone, yet thanks to archives, we can still enjoy its original releases. In this case, though, the artist has salvaged their releases on BandCamp (and added many more over the last years). It contains 8 quirky, yet highly musical tracks: Continue reading “Psilodump – [2005] The Night I Lost You All You All”

Luis Marte & Roger Delahaye – [2017] MOVIL/INMOVIL

Piano meets glitch electronics. Hybrid sound of live recording and studio production.

This is more on the artsy side of the spectrum I am reviewing here, but some broccoli from time to time is good for the taste buds, or so I heard… but sketchy metaphors aside: this release won’t make you dance, but instead tickle your musical senses where they are rarely touched by radio music. Continue reading “Luis Marte & Roger Delahaye – [2017] MOVIL/INMOVIL”

Ramacod – [2017] Fang

Digestible microsampling. Hundreds of millisecond-long snippets, beautifully arranged, form a danceable melange.

This artists knows how to create a distinct sound, that you will be able to recognise, even after just hearing it for once. I guess that producing these arrangements, made from hundreds of tiny sound samples, must be quite laborious. But the effort pays off in a discernible, groovy end result that you certainly won’t forget. Continue reading “Ramacod – [2017] Fang”

Wings Of An Angel – [2016] Vain Crescent

Excellent quiet ambient.

There are times you need punchy beets, strong rhythm, catchy tunes and a sing-along chorus. This album has none of these. Instead, it features lack of beats, only subtle rhythm, uncatchy, drawn-out tunes and no chorus. In short, this music is not intended to be listened to as a primary activity. Rather, it is perfect to accompany situations in which most other music would be distracting: concentrated reading, meditation, or — now that I think of it — writing blog posts… Read on for almost two hours of such music Continue reading “Wings Of An Angel – [2016] Vain Crescent”

Djinnestan – [2004] Rain 1

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 – [2004] Rain 1”