Saturday, March 23, 2013

Some thoughts on Naal's Wilderlands

Naal's "Wilderlands" is an interesting proposition. Post-rock, ambient drone, guitar drone and even growling metal are all explored on this release … but rather than bring all these parts together he explores them separately … which makes for a rather odd listening experience. Please don't get me wrong, it is a delightfully odd experience and one that points to great potential for the future.

Naal is a talented musician and he certainly demonstrates this talent on "Wilderlands", a five-track 49 minute self-released album.

His opening track - "Through The Glades" - is the utmost in post-rock perfection. It is one of the most gorgeous of guitar-led soundscapes I've heard in a while … very Lowercase Noises-esque.

We are then taken on a long drone journey entitled "The Halls Of Waiting". This is a full-on drone … not a post-rock 'incidental soundscape' that finishes a track … but seriously long-form ambient soundscape and I like it ... albeit I'll admit I needed to be in the mood for it.

The third track - “The Gate” - is another slice of deliciously instrumental rock music ... less post than the first track but as good, if not better. The track really stands out as a result of the infectious melody and upbeat movement that sits to the fore. I really like this track. There is something about it that really connects with me.

The penultimate track - “Wilderlands” - is a fuzzed-out, sludgy rockfest of a track ... really guttural but with a utterly delightful guitar piece that complements the main rhythmic grunt ... a melodic counterbalance to the grungy guitar. This track really works for me and it is rather disappointing when it finishes.

Albeit it doesn't *really* finish but moves into an 18 minute guitar-fuzz laden drone piece entitled “Under the Mountain” which features, in places, some additional commentary from Naal (I think). To be honest, I think this track is the weakest on the release ... it doesn't really do anything to what is an otherwise tight EP. I love drone but this doesn’t do anything for me.

All in, I really liked this release - I see real promise in Naal and look forward to hearing more from him. My advice to him (if I may be so bold) is to stick to the post-rock / metal soundscapes ... these are very, very good ... and take it easy with the drones, they aren't to everyones taste.

Please take the time to have a listen (below) and, if you can, support truly independent music by buying the EP.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Seven questions with ... Rune Trelvik aka A Veil Of Water

My apologies to Rune Trelvik aka A Veil Of Water for not posting his interview sooner ... but life got in the way.

That aside, "Reminder" is an album that has entranced me. I love it and am without doubt that it will appear well placed in my end-of-year album list.

I was pleased when Trelvik responded to my request for a wee interview ... here is what he had to say:


1) Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Rune Trelvik, the sole member of A Veil Of Water.

2) What are you working on at the moment?
I just released my debut album "Reminder". Besides working on promoting the album, I'm currently playing around with some ideas.

3) Who inspires you?
- Name an artist who has inspired you.
Even though it doesn't reflect through my music, I would have to say Nine Inch Nails. I can't explain why, but I've been listening to them for almost two decades and they've played a huge part in my life.

- Name a place that has inspired you.
Home. I live in a really isolated village in Norway, devoid of cities and masses of people. I draw a lot of inspiration from the solitude that home brings, allowing me to connect with the nature and silence that surrounds me.

- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.

4) What drives you to do what you do?
My love for music. Also, expression, being able to fully communicate my passions and feelings into a project that I completely manage myself.

5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
I don't particularly have any values that I wish to express with my music. Frankly, I just want to express my feelings, my thoughts, and my passion.

6) What role does community play in what you do?
I'm very grateful for all the promotion and help I've been getting through various social media sites as well as through Hidden Vibes. Oleksiy Sakevych (Endless Melancholy) has been very helpful getting my release known and out there. So, a big thanks to him!

7) What is next for what you do?
Right now I'm playing around with various ideas, and experimenting with different sounds. I will definitely be releasing another full length at some point, but until then, I'm working on an EP. But I have no idea in which direction it will go.


Have a listen below ... I hope "Reminder" entrances you as it has me.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Loving ... Mark Blood's mix for the DBS Netlabel Podcast

This podcast will set you up for a fab Friday night or a super-special Saturday morning ... it features some seriously sweet dub techno and was mixed by a friend of mine.

I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I have.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I love it when my daughters send me videos ... Isaac's Live Lip-Dup Proposal

Thanks Dayna!

What I am reading ... (well trying to)

I love books and I love reading. Unfortunately I am the worlds-worst for (a) stockpiling books that I never read and (b) read so slowly that I can’t get through all the books I want to.

Here are some of the books I want to read and am slowly working through ... starting with “Drawn in”.

“Drawn In: A Creative Process for Artists, Activists, and Jesus Followers” by Troy Bronsink is a fascinating book where the author highlights the creative process and how it can help look at God’s creative endeavours in a new light. I'm working through it and am certainly drawn into it.

“Create: Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff” by Stephen Altrogge is another book that sits in the intersection of the Christian faith and creativity. It is short and practical, and I can’t wait to get into it. I believe in its central premise - that we are all creative - and look forward to soaking up its advice and encouragement.

The title of the next book instantly grabbed me - “APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to publish a book” by Guy Kawasaki & Shawn Welch - because I want to publish a book. I am not a writer in the same way that I am not a musician, but I am a facilitator and I would love to help up-and-coming writers get their work “out there” in the same manner as I do with the music I help surface on my netlabel. Kawasaki is a legend and anyone who get’s Seth Godin’s vote gets mine too.

“Sketchnotes Field Guide for the busy, yet inspired, professional” by Binaebi Akah & Charlene McBride is a short workbook that I read in one sitting (it must be short) that discusses a topic that has recently captured my attention - Sketchnotes. Sketchnotes is a form of note-taking that involves more visual elements. It's not just about the words, rather it is about how pictures and presentation can be used to enhance the notes taken. It's about creating artefacts that can clearly articulate the subject matter. I'm a big mind-mapping fan and I see this as the next level, so if you see me scribbling into my may Moleskines please ask to see what I'm doing ... I may have a Sketchnote to show you.

I am a huge fan of Leo Babauta’s writing and couldn't resist picking up his booklet on his GTD (Getting Things Done) hack: “Zen To Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity System”. I practice GTD in my work life and personal endeavours using my Moleskines and apps like “Things” almost religiously. The thing is, however, that I'm always up for making better and believe, from Babauta’s other writing, that he’ll have some valuable lessons to teach me.

“Editing By Design: For Designers, Art Directors and Editors, the classic guide to winning readers” by Jan White is a classic for editors and designers and, since I'd like to improve my editing skills, I picked it up to read. It is a good read and I am slowly working through it, soaking up White’s practical tips.

I'm not a big ’Self-Help’ book fan but “How to be Remarkable” by Colin Wright grabbed my attention and for 77p I couldn't say no. Wright is a prolific author and all-round interesting person, and I figured his advice would be worth considering. We’ll see.

David Ursillo Jnr’s brand of “quiet leadership”, as described in his book “Lead Without Followers: How to save the World by Radically redefining the Meaning of Leadership”, really got me curious. I'm not one for political books but believe his ideas will transfer into the spheres of my life. Again ... we’ll see.

That’s me for now. What are you reading?


Saturday, March 09, 2013

One more release on waag - "Ghosts That Dance (waag_rel018)" by Mystified

Back to a more normal release schedule with our 25th release - "Ghosts That Dance (waag_rel018)" by Mystified.

This is a more upbeat, dance-y electronic release ... something to get you moving. Have a wee listen below and, if you can, support independent music:

For more ... go here ::

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Three recent releases on weareallghosts in celebration of our first birthday

To celebrate weareallghosts first birthday on the 3rd March ... we brought forward the release of Cousin Silas' third dronescape.


Jack Hertz created a 16 minute drone entitled "a haunting we will ghost (waag_rel017)".


And Wolfgang Merx brought forward the release of a delightfully deep and progressive 'double a-side' single entitled "Heavy Dekonstruktion + Ten Thirty (Paul's Mix) (waag_sng001)"


Loving ... "Reminder" by A Veil Of Water.

"Reminder" is the debut album by multi-instrumentalist Rune Trelvik, under the moniker A Veil Of Water. It is an album that arrived with little fanfare in my in-box. It has however, in the short time i’ve had it, caused quite a stir. The neo-classical inspired piano-orientated tracks have caught my attention and I've struggled to listen to anything else ... which, for someone with a number of albums to review, is a problem.

I find this album utterly captivating and beguiling ... it seduces me in a manner that leaves me helpless to its whims. I think it is mostly to do with the way Rune Trelvik plays the piano ... his self-taught style is hypnotic ... his style is simple yet never simplistic ... he places a great deal of emphasis on melody and it shows.

The majority of tracks on “Reminder” are piano-orientated pieces ... solo piano expressions in both texture and execution ... very cinematic and deeply immersive ... almost Satie-esque in nature.

Trelvik does, however, break from this mould with tracks like "Nostalgia", “A Promise Of Hope” and “Stepping Stones” which are all subtlety flavoured with soulful, ambient guitar ... or the closing track “Ad Infinitum” with its strings and percussion.

He lets loose on the track “Retrovailles” ... bringing some seriously chunky guitars and meaty percussion to the fore after a deceptive dose of Satie-esque piano-playing. This track is remarkable - jump-up-and-down remarkable - and I love it. I’d go so far as saying it is my standout track because it highlights the range and mastery of Trelvik. I'd look for more from him in this style. I like it when he rocks out.

“Reminder” is a fab album ... one for fans of solo-piano and neo-classical ambience. As such it is highly recommended. Please have a listen below and do what you can to support independent music of this calibre.



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