Cause Without Effect, by Information For The Blind

Raw and wandering post-industrial ambient techno from Information For The Blind (SeisMoGraph).

Cause Without Effect is a beefy 2-track project that certainly feels more like a full EP given the breadth of sonic exploration occurring within the 16-17 minutes of music.

The title track – nearly 10 minutes in length – bounces between dark ambience and experimental electronics with ease, guided by interesting vocals and vocoders. Structures and built up and deconstructed, chugging along to a dark and ominous end.

Meander Patterns offers a more unified vision, opting to solidify itself in a single atmosphere – rhythms and accents swirling around to provide steady progression.

Certainly an interesting listen that you may find yourself returning to. Stream it now on bandcamp or take advantage of the name-your-own-price download.

Flow State, by Zvrra

The recent EP, Flow State by Illinois based techno producer Zvrra brings us minimalist, driving techno that instantly puts us into the state of, well, flow promised.

The opener, the eponymous Flow State, is crisp, punchy and brittle in equal measure. We’re night-driving through a deserted strip-lighted tunnel in search of some warehouse rave that will never emerge.

Flow State II follows, taking things to an even more minimal place with subtly skittering beats and a menacing bass riff slowly-but-insistently driving us forwards.

Track 3, The Gift of Dexterity, sees a glimmer of albeit-still-quite-icy synths breaking cover over the sparse horizon. The track’s title hints at Zvrra’s ability to deftly introduce new elements to their compositions that keep us hooked whilst never breaking us out of the titular flow state we’re locked into. 

This EP’s closer, The Curse of Dexterity, flips the tone of the first three pieces, introducing a harder, more submerged soundscape with a rapid bass kick and the future-kitsch chirruping of computer systems fluttering in the background.

Zvrra’s ability to keep techno fresh and exciting whilst staying true to its minimalist hypnotic essence makes their music an essential addition to your sonic world.

Opera Mauve, by Tektra

Opera Mauve by Tektra Album Artwork

Somber atmospheric lo-fi from Tektra, brought to us by No Agreements as part of their Digital Series.

The tracks are tasteful and unique – claiming to have been produced entirely in one weekend, there is a cohesive energy that flows throughout the project. Despite touching all over the electronic music spectrum, Tektra manages to keep grip on the reins, taming the sounds to suit their needs.

Continue reading “Opera Mauve, by Tektra”

Water Flowing and Birds, by Heavenchord & Infinity Dots

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.

Pick up the Digital Release via Secret Domain’s Bandcamp page – and be sure to explore the catalogs of both Heavenchord and Infinity Dots!

Microcosmos, by Heavenchord

True, pure dub-techno vibes brought to us by the crew at Hello Strange – this fresh full-length from Heavenchord is pulsing with fresh energy and signature mellow tone. Wandering across 7 tracks and 2 remixes, we are greeted by deep and round bass, steady rhythms and lush chords (as one would expect!). It’s quite a relaxed listen, with a very nice flow both overall and within the individual tracks. Microcosmos 3 is a favorite with a definite old school dub techno vibe sounding straight out of the early 2000’s with those echo’d hits and laid back yet excited pace.

Tigress, by Coppice Halifax

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The incredible output of Coppice Halifax continues with this wonderful double-length LP – Tigress. This commissioned 2-hour double album has an interesting story (please read via the bandcamp page!), and we are certainly lucky to have it available publicly! Aside from the unique intent and concept of the album, it’s packed with lush and warm atmospheric synthwork. Tracks built with heavy ambience, evolving into trip-hop grooves that would satisfy any Boards of Canada fan. It’s a wonderful record to throw on and get lost inside…

another effect, by 2D

Delicious techno deconstruction presented to us by the gang over at Engram Recordings – we have another effect by 2D. Lush and contemplative, 2D takes the listener softly by the hand, leading us through a vibrant yet subtle jungle of sound. Lots of ideas woven together, chillhop grooves, resonating synthetic noodling, techno concepts dismantled and reconstructed into almost a pastiche of modern experimental electronics.

I found myself listening to this one over-and-over again, with repeat listens only deepening my respect and enjoyment. Land Scape 2 and Fiona are hands-down my favorite tracks from the record. Though it is only 7 tracks long – shy a long player but a bit beefy for an EP – the tracks are thick and substantial, hovering around 5 minutes a piece. The combination is actually perfect, I found myself replaying the entire record several times after listening through.

You can download the record now at Name Your Own Price via Engram Recordings Bandcamp page.

Cornflower and Camelia, by Thomas Carmody & Altone

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New dub-techno sounds from Lithuanian label Cold Tear Records , home to some favorites like Vytis, Joergmueller, Slownoise and Heavenchord, we have a nice and mellow 4-track EP collaborative effort from Thomas Carmody & Altone – Cornflower and Camelia. It’s a tight and pleasant collection of tracks with lots of atmospheric play and subtle sound evolution. Hearty in length, the producers don’t rush the movement – building around slow and steady changes. Repeat listens will only leave you more satisfied than before.

Introduction to Docetism: Trees & Saints

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There seems to be a churning energy happening all over the underground music scene currently, and in an interesting way it all seems to be tied into impressively large projects! Here we have presented by polish Ambient/Dub label Nichts 2-20 track collections of Docetism tracks from the past 7 years. DAUNTING?! A little bit, but it’s equally as delicious and delightful.

Docetism – who has released projects across some of my favorite labels in the past (Silent Season, Rohs! Records) is no stranger to the dub techno scene, boasting a sprawling catalog of full lengths, EP’s and singles. It’s no wonder long time label partner Nichts would aim to give listeners a crash course per-say. As stated on the releases bandcamp page, for a new listener it’s “A good place to start”.

The sounds themselves are pure dub-techno bliss. Docetism presents a distinct voice and flavor however, often utilizing much more movement in chords and progressions than others working in the genre. Raw musicality blends perfectly with the subtle palette of sounds and instrumentation, especially on tracks like Hedera Helix [Golden Bough] or Requiem [Armenia].

Tracks leap in and out of textural ambient and modern classical ideas, all very much welcome in context, eventually leading the listener back to a healthy groove. Out of the two collections I would say I have listened to “Trees” more, but there is plenty of quality to be found in both albums. The kicker? Nichts is offering these both at name-your-own-price, so if you want a nice place to start your dub-techno collection look no futher!

Subtraktive, by cv313

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Echospace kicks back into action this year with an amazing remastered and reimagined project – subtraktive by cv313. A healthy detailed explanation regarding the history of this piece can be found on the albums bandcamp page – recounting the original incarnation from 2007. Subtraktive is a massive atmospheric exercise in dubby ambient techno, with the release highlighting 4 different angles of the same energy. Including unique segments culled from live performances, creating some very enjoyable longform tracks.

The project is available digitally as well as an impressive CD set containing the standard release along with 3×3″ minidiscs.

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