Sunday, April 26, 2015

021/100 - “Earthlight” by Horizon Fire



“Earthlight” by Manchester-based artist Horizon Fire is a Sunday afternoon kind of album, seriously mellow with deliciously warm synths and languid rhythms that lull you into a fuzzy dream state. Think Boards of Canada but without their trademark glitchiness or a slower Ulrich Schnauss and you will get the gist.

If you need an album to help you chill out, this is it: “Earthlight” is a melodic downtempo delight from the start of “Asimov” to final refrain of the title track “Earthlight”. It is rare to find an album with this level of consistency.





Why only 100 words?



Saturday, April 25, 2015

020/100: All We Are



I’m not sure how I stumbled upon All We Are but I am glad I did. Their self-titled album is a wonderfully uplifting sugar rush of sound.

Categorised as “Psychedelic Boogie” on their Facebook page, the trio from Liverpool have an alt. pop, indie disco sound that is utterly captivating and very, very funky … think new wave crossed with 80’s post-disco and you’ll get the gist.

Their track “honey” reminds me of early Prince with a male falsetto that will delight the ears and a guitar that make you move.

All We Are are worth your attention.



Why only 100 words?



Friday, April 24, 2015

019/100 - "A Day In The Park / For Silencia" by The Soft Ensemble



Moving from "Valtari", we have a 22 minute longform piece, released by Twice Removed, entitled "A Day In The Park / For Silencia" by The Soft Ensemble.

The Soft Ensemble are L.J.Wegrzyn and G.Bojanek who made some music together for a release that never happened, and F.Appel who breathed new life into this music. Together they mixed found-sounds, field recordings and guitars to create an intriguing longform soundsculpture.

Whilst I found the field recordings to be inviting, I really liked it when the acoustic guitar makes its entrance near the end ... it hints of what could be from this collective.





Why only 100 words?



Thursday, April 23, 2015

018/100: "Valtari" by Sigur Rós



Billed as ambient, "Valtari" by Sigur Rós is definitely atmospheric. It is, however, more than simply ambient: there are stunning post-rock dynamics at play along with subtle orchestral moments, exquisite vocal harmonies and wonderfully ethereal choral pieces that stir the soul; all these factors gently temp this album out from the background.

I think the involvement of Jónsi's partner, Alex Somers, is apparent. There is an elegance to this music that could be lost if attention isn’t wholly given. The band, with Somers, have a remarkable understanding of sound that pervades every one of Valtari’s 54 minutes.

Truly magical.



Why only 100 words?



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

017/100: "Kveikur" by Sigur Rós



Sigur Rós are one of my favourite bands and their seventh studio album, "Kveikur", has become a destination when I am looking for something upbeat and loud.

"Kveikur" is their first album as a three-piece, recorded after the departure of Kjartan Sveinsson, and it really gives me hope for the band’s future.

Each Sigur Rós album has its own idiosyncrasies, and "Kveikur" is no exception: it is a broad, vibrant, wall-of-sound; with Jonsi's rather unique vocals contributing to the overall ambience exceptionally well.

From the opening of “Brennisteinn” you know you are in for an outstanding ride.



Why only 100 words?



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

016/100: "If You Wait" by London Grammar



I think it is too easy to label music as belonging to your preferred genre of disdain and subsequently ignore it. When we do this, however, I believe we lose out.

I could have easily dismissed "If You Wait" by London Grammar but I didn't. I gave them a go and, in doing so, discovered a wonderfully rich, powerfully immersive musical experience from the trio of Hannah Reid (vocals), Dan Rothman (guitar) and Dominic 'Dot' Major (keys & drums)

London Grammar create emotive soundscapes that revolve around Reid’s distinctive vocals. Her voice is rich & utterly beguiling, complementing the music so completely.




Why only 100 words?



Monday, April 20, 2015

015/100: "Twilight Kingdom" by Lisa Gerrard



There is something unmistakable about Lisa Gerrard's voice ... it is otherworldly and timeless, ethereal and magical;

I have followed Gerrard's work since her involvement with Hans Zimmer on the score for Ridley Scott's epic, "Gladiator". I subsequently discovered "Dead Can Dance", the exceptional band she co-founded with Brendan Perry.

Gerrard's album, "Twilight Kingdom", is a prime example of her ability as a musician. Her voice is stunning on this release: a deep, robust, mournful contralto; an emotive voice heard by the heart as much as the ears that, when matched with the engaging orchestration, creates a truly masterful album.



http://www.lisagerrard.com



Why only 100 words?



Sunday, April 19, 2015

014/100: "If You Leave" by Daughter



“If You Leave” by Daughter is an astonishing album, one that somehow always seems to catch me off guard whenever I put it on my hi-fi.

I find the combination of Elena Tonra’s exquisite voice and the cinematic walls-of-sound from guitarist Igor Haefeli, drummer Remi Aguilella and Tonra herself on bass to be utterly intoxicating and deeply intriguing.

Daughter’s music can easily fill a room and sometimes that's all you want. Their indie soundscapes have a presence worthy of 4AD.

I am entranced by the intricate details presented on “If You Leave”, details that reward your attention.



Why only 100 words?



Saturday, April 18, 2015

013/100: "How I Live Now" - music by Jon Hopkins



I have a thing for Jon Hopkins' music just now and I am rather taken with his soundtrack for "How I Live Now", a film that portrays a war-torn England and stars Saoirse Ronan as the main character, Daisy.

The soundtrack opens with a powerful track from Amanda Palmer then goes on to showcase Hopkins' exceptional soundscapes: short, emotive ambient pieces that fill me with joy and wonder.

This soundtrack is very much Hopkins ... two further vocal tracks are present: from Daughter (remixed by Hopkins) and from Natasha Khan (with Hopkins) ... and is richer because of his inspired direction.



Why only 100 words?



Friday, April 17, 2015

012/100: "Solo" by Nils Frahm



Nils Frahm recently released "Solo" on "Piano Day", a day intended to celebrate the piano as an instrument.

"Solo" is an emotive delight: delicate, nuanced, mature; just Frahm & piano using the space between the notes with as much precision as the notes themselves. The album was conceived from eight improvised pieces recorded in one sitting on the world's tallest piano: the Klavins 450. Situated in Germany, the 450 weighs 1.8 tons, is 3.7 meters tall, and was built for Piano Day.

"Solo" is lovely: the outpouring of a talented individual ... something I will cherish for a long time to come.



For more, got to http://www.pianoday.org



Why only 100 words?



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