Thursday, April 16, 2015

011/100 - "And Silence" by Colbets

"And Silence" by Japanese duo Saitoh Tomohiro and guitarist Kari Takemoto, collectively known as Colbets, is another sterling release from Gavin Catling's Twice Removed microlabel.

The release consists of 61 minutes of the very best and most engaging ambient soundsculptures: 5 tracks that take me, as the listener, on a compelling journey into Colbets' beautifully nuanced and expertly handcrafted aural world.

I am really rather taken with this release: it has an unforced intentionality to it that I find appealing, particularly after a long and busy day in the office, a restful nature that gently persuades rather than forcefully demands.

Why only 100 words?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

010/100 - "World Music" by Goat

Psychedelic has become a buzzword in alternative music circles. Some bands, however, deserve the title. One such band is Goat, the experimental rock band from Sweden.

Their album - "World Music" - is worthy of anyone's attention with its Afrobeat styling, hypnotic rhythms, and vocals that use repetition & combined unison to great effect. It is a swirling, floaty, psychedelic smorgasbord of sound that is expertly sequenced for maximum pleasure.

"World Music" feels like an authentic addition to late 60s / early 70s psychedelia and yet it is from 2012. I love this album and can only imagine what their live shows are like.

Why only 100 words?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

009/100: "Soma" by Audio Mainline

I regularly receive music from musicians and labels who appreciate my thoughts on their latest offering. One such gift was the "Soma" from a new group called Audio Mainline, on Invisible Agent.

"Soma" is reminiscent of the output from San Francisco's seminal downtempo & house label, Om Records, with its chilled electronics, delicate rhythms and exceptional female vocals. What sets Audio Mainline apart is their choice of guest vocalists, each with their own unique voice and expression.

I particularly enjoyed “evolving” with its captivating otherworldly vocal or the title track with its laidback elegance.

This is a truly magical EP.

Why only 100 words?

Monday, April 13, 2015

008/100: "Glider" by The Sight Below

One of my favourite sub-genres of electronic music is techno. I love deep, expansive, synthy soundscapes married to the trademark 4-4 beat ... I find can easily lose myself in its beautiful expression.

I was therefore delighted when I found out about “The Sight Below”, an ambient techno project from Rafael Anton Irisarri. His 2008 release - “Glider” - on the seminal Ghostly International label ticks all my boxes: exquisite ambience from manipulated guitars rather than synths ... combined with the familiar techno rhythm.

I find the ambient and techno elements of “Glider” work well together to provide a truly immersive experience.

Why only 100 words?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

007/100 - “Amazing Tales of Time and Space (waag_rel067)” by Cousin Silas and Kevin Lyons

I love visual music. I have always been drawn to ambient music that paints pictures in my mind, music that conjures up the places and spaces that I can only read about in sci-fi novels and weird fiction.

“Amazing Tales of Time and Space (waag_rel067)” by the enduring partnership of Cousin Silas and Kevin Lyons transports me to alien landscapes and disreputable townships, the kind imagined by visionaries such as Lovecraft or Aldiss; It makes for captivating listening albeit not entirely restful if one is gifted with a vivid imagination.

This is an exceptional release from two inspired musicians.

Why only 100 words?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Circumambient 030 is now up on Mixcloud


After a short break … circumambient … an exploration into all-encompassing and immersive independent music is back with a mix intended to showcase some exceptional music that was released in the first quarter of 2015.

Music from my netlabel, weareallghosts, features prominently … bolstered by soundscapes from Colbets, Valiska & Zenjungle, twincities, Hessien, and Federico Durand; the mix is brought to a close by a wonderful track from Bruno Sanfilippo’s new album “Inside Life”.

Here’s to the rest of 2015. Dive deep!




For the iTunes link or the links to each of the albums, follow this link > circumambient 030

006/100 - "Europe" | a compilation from A Strangely Isolated Place

Compilations are another means for me to find new music. Like a good mix they delight and educate through the selector’s intention. “Europe” is one such compilation.

Curated by Ryan Griffin, the driving force behind, “Europe” is very special: a compilation that embraces multiple genres such as ambient, modern classical, and electronic with great effect; creating a soundtrack based around inspiration found within Europe.

One highlight for me is Dextro’s “Heaval”. Initially based around layers of acoustic guitar and piano with an euphoric backbeat, to my delight it morphs into languid ambience. Two tracks for the price of one.

Why only 100 words?

Friday, April 10, 2015

005/100 - "Dilate" by Vessels

I’m not sure how I got into Vessels but, from the many times I have enjoyed “Dilate”, I am glad I did.

Vessels play an expansive form of rock-infused techno. Not the cliched view, however: a solitary chap in Detroit pushing buttons in his bedroom ... far from it. Vessels are a quintet from Leeds who shape their particular form of atmospheric dance music together.

Coming as they have from post-rock, it is their exemplary use of both layers and sound that makes the album stand out. “Dilate” has a crafted, intentional feel and is, as such, a delight.

Why only 100 words?

Thursday, April 09, 2015

004/100 - "Read, Write, Execute" by Wired to Follow

Billed as "soundscape rock", I cannot think of a better way to describe the music from Wired to Follow on "Read, Write, Execute".

This release, like the EPs before it, contains driving, bass-heavy, instrumental rock music juxtaposed with thoughtful ambience; it captivates the heart, and ears, with its techno-inspired presentation.

Take “Dealing Lightning With Both Hands”, an exemplary track that begins as a delightfully ambient soundscape before morphing into a full-on, euphoric expression that can only lift the spirit. It is a real scene-setter, one that sits nicely as the first track on my gym playlist.

Why only 100 words?

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

100 days | 100 words - an introduction ...


I need to learn to be concise. 

Even that sentence is too long, too inflated, too full of unnecessary words. It should read “I need to be concise”. Yes, it is something I need to learn but, more importantly, it is something I need to be.

Not that I am really being concise here. I like to chat when I write ... I like to tell stories and take people on a journey into the “why” of why I think a certain way. It is how I set the scene. The problem is, however, that these tools, these means of communicating, are the antithesis of conciseness. 

Life is busy. Folks are busy. You are busy. You don't have time to read my scene-setting and storytelling, or endure my chat. You just want the facts. In and out. “Just the fax, ma’am” as John Mclain once quipped in a Die Hard movie the number of which I forget. 

So to aid me in my quest for conscious and subconscious conciseness, I have started a thing on here called “100 days | 100 words”. Inspired by #The100DayProject put forward by Elle Luna & The Great Discontent my intention is to write an album / EP review of approximately 100 words each day for 100 days.  

“Basically, if you can dream it, you can do it. The only premise? Participants have to do the same action every day for 100 days, and they have to document every instance of 100. Sounds totally cool, right? That’s what I thought when I first read about this project on Design Observer. Not only were the projects clever, but they also offered an opportunity to grow in one of the ways my friends and I were craving: discipline. The great surrender is the process; showing up day after day is the goal. For the 100-Day Project, it’s not about fetishizing finished products—it’s about the process.”
I have had a creative dip lately ... my creative mojo flatlined if I am truly honest ... and have come to realise that I need to learn the discipline of showing up day after day after day. I need to surrender to the process. I need to switch off the TV and Facebook, and just write. 

100 words isn’t a lot but it is more than enough to get the point across. I take too long getting to the point ... as evidenced here. That is what I need to learn - that's what being concise is - I need to get to the point. 

So here we go. 

Oh and I started two days ago.

Double oh and it took me until today to nail 100 words on the dot. It isn't as easy as you’d think. 


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