1:1, by OLHO

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…

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!

Transcription of Headstones, by Nonconnah

The ever-delicious dronegaze ensemble of Nonconnah is back at it with a sleek 4-track project titled Transcription of Headstones. The EP in itself is a microcosm of the Nonconnah sound and aesthetic – perfectly packaging lo-fi melancholy mood that their songs so often dance within. Featuring a plethora of lush atmospherics paired and layered with sublime string noodling, the sounds draw the listener in, beckoning them to stick around a while…..

And if you’re like me, 4 tracks just isn’t enough – and thankfully it does not have to be! Nonconnah has a thick and delicious back catalog that is worthy of exploration and appreciation. Do have a poke through their bandcamp and support when you can!

The Glimmering Plane, by Field Lines Cartographer

Fresh and wonderful modular ambience from UK producer Field Lines Cartographer. The Glimmering Plane does exactly what it sets out to do – self described as “62 minutes of long-form electronic music intended to be an immersive, transportive experience” – FLC hits the nail on the head. By the time you are halfway through the listen, it’s easy to find oneself inside this fabled Glimmering Plane, looking casually out the window as the landscape unfolds below. Massive sweeping synths coat the tracks in ethereal joy, peppered with rhythmic melodies. Touching darkness but not bathing in it, there is a expert balance of mood and emotion, letting the listener fill in some gaps regarding expression and intent. A very solid long-player perfect for rainy Mondays….

Sedative EP, by Heavenchord

Brand new from Russian label project Secret Domain is a lovely EP from ambient-dub producer Heavenchord. I have become a big fan of Heavenchord this past year, I must say the alias truly suits the music, lush and heavenly tones and beautiful chordal arrangements are integral to the producers atmospheric and relaxing style. Leaning towards the ambient side of dub-techno, the featured players here are definitely the round pulsing synths and bubbly expansive pads. When percussion does enter the scene, it is far from overwhelming, imitating the rhythm of the current under a calm stream.

These 5 long-form tracks might as well be considered a full length album instead of an EP given the playing time. Regardless, the tracks are expansive and curious, full of places to explore. Healthy use of textural flourishes to accompany the ebb and flow of the synthesizers is a common theme, utilizing field recordings in quite a satisfying way.

Much as the title of the EP suggests, you may find yourself sedated by these tracks – track 2 I found especially hypnotic, turning my casual listening sessions to an introspective self-guided breathing meditation. Ultimately this is a great relaxing record, it embodies some of my favorite aspects of this kind of music – mellow enough to throw on in the background, but very rewarding when you take a closer more considerate listen.

If you hear something you like, be sure to check out Secret Domain – they have been curating a wonderful platform of atmospheric dub-techno music, with plenty more Heavenchord tunes to satisfy your craving for more…

The Autumn Elegy, by Glowing Swords

The Autumn Elegy

Incoming drone goodness via collaborative project Glowing Swords, consisting of Zachary Corsa (Nonconnah, ex Lost Trail) and Scott Cortez (Astrobrite, Lovesliescrushing). The Autumn Elegy brings us 10 tracks of soaring, fuzzy noisescapes that are both lush and withering. A thick haze forms over each track, at some points obscuring the senses entirely in pieces such as Calrn which seem to be performed in some otherworldly etherial cavern, then broadcast to the countryside over AM radio. It’s musty and dusty and I love it.

What really grips me about this album is the hidden melodies my brain finds. There is a very therapeutic and rewarding quality to the blissed-out leads that seem to drift in and out of the mix.  It’s often right when I am beginning to succumb to the world the track is building, the moment disbelief is suspended, that these melodies creep onto the canvas and introduce a whole new vibe! These gems are what make this album a good repeat listen in my opinion; being an album that can be enjoyed both subliminally and intellectually.

You can download the album via Bandcamp or purchase a Deluxe CD edition via Wist Records which looks so cool! It’s got tons of additional goodies

Tint, by Rhucle

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Fresh from Lillerne Tapes out of Chicago, Tint is a gorgeous ambient album by Tokyo producer Rhucle. The project is a beautiful collection of 7 relaxing tracks, all of which do a great job painting a sonic picture as blissful and relaxing as the Album Artwork.

Rhucle does a magnificent job blending sweet melodies with natural recordings. The result is meditative and relaxing. At this moment, you can still pick up the project on Cassette Tape, or download the Digital Edition via Lillerne Tapes Bandcamp.

I first heard of Tokyo’s Rhucle through 2015’s Summer Candle CS via Oxtail Recordings. The perfect mixture of natural sounds and outdoor field recordings set against quietly drifting synth melodies struck a chord immediately and I was hooked. Tint is another reflection on the power of these natural elements and recordings in relation to the emotive and soothing musical accompaniment floating nearby. These are intricate compositions made with great care and consideration—both humbling and cathartic at the same time. Edition of 50 pro-dubbed Type II/Chrome cassettes with full-color, double-sided artwork.

Be Whole, by Sound Awakener

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Another one here from Sound Awakener, Be Whole is a 3 track project of harsh noise and wave experiments. These fluttering drones lead you here and there, and some points taking on an animal-like quality, other times more comparable to the sounds of the environment. It breathes in and out, hissing and sputtering its way from start to finish. Highly recommended for Noise fans, gentle enough for Ambient minds.

Favorite Track: 2. Chapter II

Chapter I with fragments recorded in 2012, reworked in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Chapter II first recorded in 2014, reworked in 2015
Chapter III recorded in 2015

released 01 July 2015

All tracks produced by Sound Awakener

Cavade Morlem, by Olan Mill

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DRONARIVM brings us this deep ambient masterpiece. Calming, soothing, this is a fantastic choice for a relaxing afternoon with a cup of coffee…

Favorite Track: 8. Somimes 

“Writing and recording ‘Cavade Morlem’ was one of the smoothest experiences I’ve had producing an album. The tracks were originally created to be played at a handful of concerts throughout the end of last year. The shows were performed using processed guitar, violin and some pre-recorded samples of voice and organ. I was joined by Mike Jessop on violin for many of the songs and his contributions are sampled at various points on the record.

I spent the beginning of the year reworking recordings from the live sets and trying to piece together something coherent. The resulting album is a far calmer experience than the original performances and I hope listeners find a state of mindfulness while experiencing the work”.

– Alex Smalley

released 13 July 2015

Mastered by Porya Hatami
Cover art by Lena Lello
Curated by Bartosz Dziadosz (Pleq)

Nourish, by Inner Travels

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One of my favorite ambient-producers Inner Travels brings us this beautiful 5-track project of soothing sonic atmosphere.

released 25 June 2015

Music & art by S. Targo

All music recorded in The Corner Room, Lake Geneva, WI:
– During the “Garden Music” sessions (1)
– Between October 2013-January 2014 (2 & 3)
– During the “First Light” sessions (4 & 5)

Cover photo taken 6/12/15 near the Roosen Dam, Lake Como, WI