Various Artists – Gudelnaya Polyana – Solar Systo Togathering 2020

Good music and good new labels are easy to find if you apply yourself.  Zhelezobeton is not a new label, per sé, but a lot of the bands they work with will be new to listeners who don’t normally follow what is happening in the Russian sphere of influence. This compilation is three hours of …

Various Artists – Unexplained Sounds Group – 7th Annual Report (Mid Year Edition)

Our dear friends at Unexplained Sounds Group release consistently good ambient, post-Industrial and noise music compilations.  As we have reached the mid-point of 2021, Raffaele Pezzella and company have released what they (rightly) deemed to be the best of the year to this point.  From their Bandcamp site: Unexplained Sounds Group 7th Annual Report (Mid …

RHaD – Metamusic

It’s one thing when you’re the impresario of a record label who consistently delivers astoundingly good quality.  It’s quite something else when you make music yourself that is as solid as any of the releases you so lovingly curate. RHaD (Research for Historical Audio Documents) is a side project of Raffaele Pezzella (better known as …

Zacharivna Pisnya Ensemble – Petropavlovka: Songs of Ukrainians from Kyrgyzstan

The Zacharivna Pisnya Ensemble are made up of ethnic Ukrainians who reside in the republic of Kyrgyzstan, and have existed as a group since 1902.  Though some of their names have been Russified, they maintain their cultural ties to Ukraine via song. Antonovka Records have done astounding work documenting such ensembles throughout Russia and Central …

稷廬 / jì lú – 山與客聽 / Mountain, Traveler, Listener

The Sichuan, China-based Jì Lú (稷廬) are a new project that has connections with one of China’s most innovated bands, Raflum.  The instrumentation on this album is sparse, but it makes for good listening, as bamboo flute and guitar seem to blend pleasantly. Some notes regarding the release: When talking about landscapes in the traditional context, it’s mostly about reclusion.  Although true recluses are rare, the mountains and rivers are always there.  Ironically,  the real landscapes are actually “horrible nature” instead of some leisure place.  The traditional landscape paintings are a kind of “tame nature,” which were described as “To observe with meditation, and lie down to experience” and “Sitting in the forest and spring instead of go to banquet” by ancient Chinese poets.  It emerge at North and South Dynasty, then become a game of finding the essence during the Five Dynasties and the Song Dynasty, and finally stuck in the static self-development after the Ming and Qing Dynasties.  The development of landscape paintings are just like how people detach with the nature and entering urban life.  This album is the continuation of this thesis.  In a time when the virtual reality are replacing urban life, we attempt to reinterpret this cliche with improvisation that based on the topic of “landscape.”  We also naming the songs by minutes and seconds instead of the traditional way of titling the songs, which is based on its imagery.  That creates interactive between the “teller” and listener, and reflects the beauties for individuals due to their own aesthetic experiences.  At this time, the distant, outmoded, cumbersome and vague image of landscape might leave a huge space for “starting again.” Instrumental by Liu Zhu (bamboo flute) …

Stijn Hüwels & Tomoyoshi Date – 遠き火、遠き雲’ ​(​A Distant Fire​,​ A Distant Cloud)

laaps Records is a French label releasing quality ambient music.  This one seems to be their latest, a calming wash of sounds composed by Belgian composer Stin Hüwels in collaboration with the Brazilian-Japanese composer and sound artist (and emergency room doctor!) Tomoyoshi Date. The music is a mix of organic and electronic sounds, gentle plonking …

Jeff Gburek with Ilaria Boffa – Reifications // Minimal Animal // Reanimations

Another Akashic Records masterpiece.  This imprint never fails for me. Jeff Gburek works with Italian composer, researcher and poet Ilaria Boffa to make a hazy, deeply psychedelic piece of musique concrète.  The three works on this album are sonic storytelling, layering voice on voice, and  is perhaps the best way I can describe this release.  …

Lance Austin Olsen | Terje Paulsen – Nattinsekter

Though I am familiar with the great experimental musician Terje Paulsen, I have not yet heard the works of Lance Austin Olsen, and I’m impressed with this pair’s use of field recordings and instruments into one organic whole. From Lance Austin Olsen’s Bandcamp site: Nattinsekter (night insects) developed from my ongoing graphic score A Night …