Calm and collected ambient from producer Colonial Skyway
Landline is an album built from 6 long-form drone tracks that, for the most part, dwell in the realm of subtle darkness and brooding nostalgia, drifting occasionally into warm hopefulness. There is an atmosphere of intimacy to the songs – often invoking imagery not dissimilar from the albums artwork – wide open fields, sprawling and epic – yet alone. Churning, fuzzy synths are abundant – leading the listener into a realm that is organic and expansive.
This one is perfect for ambient listeners who want a bit more of a passive experience – whether to fall asleep at night or have a soundtrack to your morning meditation. Be sure to check out Colonial Skyway’s other projects on their bandcamp page – and pick up the album for yourself, pay what you want style!
I was recently introduced to Brazilian producer OLHO’s creations – I am so happy this release found it’s way into my submission inbox, because I have fallen in love.
OLHO’s body of work dances between atmospheric dub, ambient techno and experimental sounds. 1:1 itself is a 2 track study of interesting washed out energy – saturated yet delicious. OLHO manages to create an expansive and massive atmosphere with a relatively minimal palette of sounds. Utilizing soft reverberating pads together with the flickering resonance of plucking synths to create a dense and dynamic world. The limited yet tasteful use of vocal samples only increases the ethereal nature of the pieces….
Now please pardon me while I explore more of OLHO’s offerings. With most of their releases on Bandcamp being only a Track or two long, I highly recommend picking up the Discography at a little discount! Very interested to see what is next on the horizon for this producer…
The gang at Vivarium Recordings in collaboration with the self-proclaimed Brone Hivemind present us with a collection if bizarre yet satisfying drone and ambient tracks.
Brobient is a unique concept in itself – ambient and drone tracks created and constructed from love-hate realm of Bro-Step. For those not familiar with the style, it sits in between oversaturated modern dubstep and overproduced EDM. You might be thinking HEY that sounds like a weird place to trawl for ambient material – but all the producers involved in this project were quite up to the task.
The thick 11-track playlist brings the listener on a strange and wandering journey through harsh noise, atmospherics, and general deconstructed sonic sensations. Though the sounds are stretched and manipulated, the raw energy of the Bro-Step shines through, with ripping oscillations shredding through the mix. It’s all got an atmosphere of mysterious dankness, wrapped up and delivered hot-and-ready to your earholes via drone delivery.
Big recommendation on this one if you’re looking to spice up your ambient playlist – or if you need something less structured to start your day. Definitely explore Vivariums page for the album for links to all the artists, and to learn more about the Brone Hivemind…
Ethereal and atmospheric dub ambience created collaboratively by Heavenchord & Infinity Dots, released by Russian label Secret Domain.
Blending together a pleasant balance of stripped down classic ambient, subtle synthetic atmospherics and field recordings – the duo craft a selection of incredibly relaxing tracks. Perfectly suitable for morning meditations or lulling yourself into the embrace of a good night’s sleep. Each song has plenty of room to get lost inside – Water Flowing and Birds features a marvelous environment created with a satisfyingly minimal palette. The birds chirp on as you float down the Quiet River, a narrator from high above the clouds peppering his two cents about the situation.
All in all it’s a very fulfilling listen, touching lots of different concepts – breaking them down and extrapolating upon. Doing that wonderful thing that brilliant ambient releases do, providing just enough dynamics to make for an interesting listen – without being obtrusive….Perfect for either active or passive listening.
Brought to us by the ever-amazing Bogus Collective, we have a lovely full-length classic vaporwave album by Fester’s Quest titled FANCY FEAST (blue label). Now – was I attracted to listen to this album simply because there was a cat on the cover art? Yes. But as anticipated the sounds within are clever and enjoyable – utilizing a very classic and traditional flavor of vaporwave, FQ takes the listeners hand gently and guides us through the fuzzy haze. The project is overwhelmingly instrumental, lacking the pitched-down and chopped vocals one would expect in such vaporsounds – instead opting for melodies and riffs on the guitar. The result is quite nice, making this record great for background listening where you want just a little more interesting flavor in your ambience.
Classic and satisfying dub-techno sounds from Docetism, brought to us by the amazing Nichts records of Poland. Walking is a 5-track EP with each track taking aim at a different angle of dub-techno sound. Perhaps you could call it a master-class in this genre, just because the style and essence is boiled down appropriately from track to track. Deep pulsing sub-bass, echoing and pulsing plucks, all wrapped up in lush crispy atmospherics. It’s a clever little collection of tracks, and will find a nice home in any collection…
Somewhere inbetween the tops of clouds and the beginning of the starry sky exists “Dream Mediations” – an album by Covolux released by Earthrid Records.
Beautiful ambient-drone compositions with a big emotional injection. Often such ethereal productions can lean in one direction or the other, being steeped in nostalgic melancholy or otherwise totally void of humanity opting for a more studious view – here in Dream Mediations I find a wonderful balance of the two.
With the bulk of the sounds being triumphant and compassionate, Covolux lulls the listener into a comfortable state – the perfect de-arming to swoop in and take control of our minds, steering us around the landscape and showing us personal highlights. Atmospheric turns into a too-good descriptor, as I found each composition instilling me with a sense of flight, as if I were in a waking dream – able to launch off and glide above my surroundings at any moment…
Overall the album is a very relaxing listen, and would be quite at home during a personal meditation session or calm rainy mornings. Blissful drones give way to more energy and movement in tracks such as “Acts of Kindness”, which fully embraces the orchestral instrumentation of the project and steers head-on into modern classical territory – while slightly out of place with the rest of the tracks, it’s turned into one of my favorites!
Supremely satisfying sonic experiments from xas abra – brought to us by Engram Recordings.
Surgical is a 10-track album, curiously with each track weighing in at exactly 4 minutes and 34 seconds. Is there an underlying purpose to this? Does it signal that these sounds are perhaps generated, or trimmed from larger improvisational recordings? It’s all quite curious and, in the end, it really does not matter, as the sounds themselves are deeply interesting and engaging to consume.
From fuzzy lo-fi glitches to off-kilter synthetic shredding, xas wields a sonic toolkit of extravagant diversity and force, as layer upon layer of textural waves overlap and merge again and again. With the heavy rhythmic elements added to what could have easily been a pure-drone experiment, the tracks float into “deconstructed club” territory as the warbled synths are consumed by powerful hissing percussion. Don’t underestimate this one as it’s a dense and delicious project!
Luscious atmospherics and hyperchill beats from the ever-ethereal Usagi Acid. Wandering between strange atmospheric rhythms, textural drones and stacks on stacks of dense surreal sonic imagery. Blissful and ambitious while remaining relaxed and content. So much diversity packed within 3 tracks it could almost drive you to madness! But alas, it does not – its a lush and supremely satisfying listen that has left me wanting more and more! Luckily you can explore the whole discography for a wealth of amazing creative projects.
Dawn of Claymation is a new 6-Track synth project by Zach Dolin brought to us by Ingrown Records. Hovering somewhere between chiptune soundtrack of your childhood favorite video game and long-lost solo project of *insert 70’s Prog Rock Keyboardist name here* – and the result is quite satisfying! Utilizing the Roland SC-88 Pro, Zach taps into the tones of the late 90’s, manifesting a strange world of freeware monster sprites zooming around the listener. Combined with the suggestion of “Claymation”, it is not hard at all to imagine these songs bumping behind some earthworm-jim-esque PC platforming. It’s triumphant and wholesome, with just enough substance to entice listen after listen. Giving this one a massive recommendation – you can pick up the digital version of the album via Bandcamp.