Intriguing and satisfying lofi noise tapes by Directives, released by Colorado-based label Aubjects.
Protenomaly is a fascinating, psychedelic project – knit together from eclectic plunderphonics and harsh, washed-out guitars. The depth of audio exploration displayed here is breathtaking – with truly intense and complex compositions gracing both sides of the cassette.
As the sounds pass by – the listener is exposed to very unique and visceral samples, structured and presented in a way that guarantees a connection or reaction. There’s thick tape nostalgia in everything from the soaked tone of the mix to bouncing ribboning of guitar experimentation.
Passive percussion accompanies most of the pieces on Side A, though it’s role in the compositions is less about tempo and more about grounding the sound. Pitter-patters of miscellaneous hand drum elements are scattered here and there, offering a pleasant juxtaposition to the rest of the production.
Side B begins with some truly avant-garde plunderphonic arrangement – with aliens gathering together with distorted angels to deliver stuttered spoken word while taking the worlds longest celestial bong hit. The project continues to revel in its experimental and exploratory glory for the remainder of the playtime, indulging in fragmented guitar riffs + noodling as well as delving even deeper into the dark atmospheric ambience presented on Side A.
Protenomaly can be considered a multisensory aesthetic experience – being divided over 3 mediums. First being obviously the audio portion of the project, which can be purchased or streamed via Aubjectsbandcamp page. Secondly there is a limited run of 66 handmade cassette tapes, each with a unique handmade presentation. Third and certainly not least is the visual portion which manifests as a full video interpretation of Side B.
Haunting beauty and academic-level ambience finds us in this most unique release from Mollbury Medical Research Centre titled The D7 Project.
Shrouded in a thin layer of mystique – The D7 Project is an avant-garde album that draws inspiration from many different subgenres, swirling them together into something interesting and new. Layer upon layer of intriguing sound is laid down in the foundation, paired with dissonant wisps of digital wind and a cart of medical tools being casually unloaded.
For the level of sonic experimentation going on here – the album is quite easy to listen to. Pulsing bass and strategically placed tidbits fuse to create this unique atmosphere. This haunted musique concrète soup dominated the compositions in the best way possible.
The D7 Project – though slightly dark and off kilter – manages to be quite relaxing and peaceful for the first half. By the time the listener reaches Brain Activity it’s a different story altogether. The listeners, or patients perhaps, have clearly already gone through the necessary procedures before this mad brain surgery. The album finishes off with a brilliant yet strange modern classical number with big Twin Peaks feelings laced into the synthetic strings, only deepening the sense of discomfort and intrigue.
For fans of experimental ambient, or for anyone who just need a replacement soundtrack for their next Silent Hill playthrough. After this very powerful and brooding debut, I am very excited to see what the future holds for the Mollbury Medical Research Centre. Stream the album yourself or pick up the digital edition from Bandcamp today.
Watershed by Dao De Noize is a contemplative and brooding ambient project presented by Wormhole World Records.
The 5 tracks are lengthy and expansive, conveying potent feelings and visuals throughout the playtime. Amidst the avant-garde synth work lurks an ominous energy that is sprawling yet not rushed. Stylistically speaking, the album occupies a space in between atmospheric ambient and soft industrial. Mellow enough to be relaxing but imbued with deep emotions that lend to the darkness and a sense of urgency.
Watershed explores some longform concepts as well, including the 5th and final track which clocks in at a whopping 32 minutes. These longer tracks allow Dao De Noize to really find foothold in the sounds, slowly churning and evolving as time ticks on. Macrostudies in ambient-techno and fuzzy radio waves gliding across the landscape.
For fans of Dark Ambient and Industrial, Watershed will be a deeply satisfying experience and likely will be on rotation for several years thanks to both its listenability and ability to challenge the listener. Watershed was created by Ukrainian artist Artem Pismenetskii aka Dao De Noize – all proceeds will be donated to Ukrainian support charities. While the CD is sold out already, we can still enjoy the digital edition via Wormhole Worlds Bandcamp Page.
Whimsical yet melancholy ambient explorations from Canadian producer krzyzis – dusk eater is a pleasant long-form 7 track album of nostalgic soundscapes.
The central element of this release is pressure and tension. Each track forms around a drone backbone, eventually spurring into more abstract and avant-garde directions. Sudden harmonic dissonance, the occasional plucking of strings, a distant siren crying – all swirling together to create a sound that is somehow both relaxing and exciting.
There is something very grounded about this project as well. I am not sure what it is, but it harkens back to the days of Windham Hill albums – ambient with a purpose and a deep emotion associated with it. Perhaps its the ‘movement’ within each piece – krzyzis does a wonderful job not allowing drone/ambient to become stale or stagnant.
This one is good for mellow late nights or as the perfect soundtrack for whatever book you are currently reading! The album is available now digitally via the artists Bandcamp page.
Kayo Dot are a shape-shifting experimental band from Brooklyn led by the inimitable multi-hyphenate Toby Driver. Over the course of the band’s history the group has recorded and performed music ranging from neo-classical chamber music (‘Blue Lambency Downward’) to neon-drenched synthwave (‘Coffins on Io’) and sprawling progressive metal (‘Hubardo’).
With ‘Moss,’ Toby has invoked a spiritual connection to Kayo Dot’s previous form, the experimental death metal group Maudlin of the Well. Bolstered by the soaring lead guitar of former Maudlin guitarist Greg Massi, the songs on ‘Moss’ take on a particularly epic scope, an expansion of the proof-of-concept of this style from the group’s previous album, the excellent and underrated ‘Blasphemy.’ Driver handles most of the other instrumentation, laying down rhythmic bass lines, flighty and progressive drum grooves, and layers of synth pads to create a dark, hazy, and foreboding aura that envelops the listener from track one. His vocal performance is once again stellar, crisscrossing between soaring clean choruses (‘Void in Virgo’ contains one of his finest) and piercing death metal howls (everywhere else).
This sense of eclecticism, coupled with a blurry production that doesn’t do the music any favors, make entering the world of Kayo Dot a daunting supposition, but it is well worth taking the plunge into the ether for the rewards buried within.
Thomas Jacob Jr is a Producer, Composer, Singer-Songwriter, Music Educator and Digital Artist currently based in Arizona – Bringing us rare and interesting selections from his extensive Vinyl collection! For more content follow his vinyl-dedicated Instagram account
Fascinating electro-acoustic experiments from the duo of Greg Nieuwsma & Antonello Perfetto, brought to us by Hreám Recordings.
Supremely textural and appropriately dense – Asylum is a long form improvisational ambient session that swirls together the best aspects of avant-garde drone and pure sonic experimentation.
The sounds are playful and scattered. Crisp crackles and muted plucks crumble and churn against articulated percussion and semi-random strums. The wholesome tones of zipping steel strings and subtle cymbal pattering ride the line of organized chaos.
For fans of the uniquely avant-garde or anyone interested in having their brain tickled with some interesting tones. The album is available both digitally and on delicious looking cassettes via the labels Bandcamp page!
Intriguing electro-acoustic experiments from avant-garde outfit Tunnel Speeches.
This debut collaboration is a very interesting listen – weaving it’s way between lofi beats, plunderphonic ambience and post-rock.
The interaction between Drums and Guitar are molded together with the help of strangely satisfying samples and atmospherics. Dissonant at times, in the best way possible.
Gritty choppy percussion sits as the foundation for these tracks – stretched over 11 improvisational jams – Tunnel Speeches are not shy with mixing styles together with quite a pleasing outcome. Avant jazz collides with dark ambient and lo-fi hip hop.
Overall it’s a great listen that’s had me coming back again and again – lucky for us it’s available on Cassette tape for now! Snag it or the digital version from the official Bandcamp page today.