This month we find ourselves unintentionally focused on the more experimental side of things.
When it comes to music, experimenting can take many forms. It becomes a very broad umbrella terms for sounds that are created with “less-than-commercial” intentions.
Experimental does not necessarily mean complex. Nor does it mean the sounds need to push the boundaries of creation. While these things commonly happen simply given the nature of experimenting, they are not necessary conclusions.
To experiment with music means to create without boundaries or limits. To create with self-satisfaction as the only goal in mind. Creating and manifesting sounds that provide pure pleasure to the creator, and sometimes the listener as well…
At least that’s the definition we follow here!
How do you feel about the experimental process in music and art? Do you find it makes the underground landscape less accessible, or perhaps more interesting? Let us know in the comments, we would love to hear from you…
I use the word “satisfying” often when writing about music to help describe a fulfilling feeling without necessarily having a genre or emotion to assign. Yet again I return to that old well to tell you that Pessoa by Distant Animals is a truly satisfying listen.
Pessoa is a longform textural drone composition – a dense and hearty soundscape, populated with peculiar residents. Over the nearly 40 minute track, the listener traverses this alien world, gravitating towards and floating away from points of interest as they crest the horizon.
Hyperbole aside, it’s a carefully thought-out piece of atmospheric ambience. Sometimes dark, occasionally harsh, but overall presenting a mysterious atmosphere of agoraphobia and anticipation. Perfect for adding texture to your immediate atmosphere, or throw on the headphones and lose yourself in a vast expanse of sound.
Forward-thinking experimental electronics peppered with free-jazz – TEEN SMOKING goes all out in this mini album Moist Jazz.
Released in October 2020 – Moist Jazz is a 6 track project that is hard to pin down. Drawing from experimental corners of sound creation such as plunderphonics, harsh noise and freeform jazz. Synths flicker with lo-fi charm, poised against churning atmospherics and occasional flourishing rhythms and melodies.
The album sits at a nice, relaxed pace. Tracks like Atlantean Fight Song and Machine Wash provide a mellow, downtempo experience – breaking up the manic acid-jams. It never gets too hectic, but it is a few active steps away from ambient, despite the very atmospheric nature of the songs.
For fans of plunderphonic vaporwave and experimental ambience – you’ll find this one a unique and rewarding listen. Maybe if we’re lucky it will get a tape release! In the meantime, you can stream and download via Bandcamp.
Such yummy and thoughtful beats from experimental duo laundry – smellophone is a unique and fun collection of tracks. Dark and fuzzy like a juicy plum, it is waiting to be bitten into!
Sometimes the sounds get quite avant-garde, but they are all grounded in delicious lo-fi beats drenched in dank atmospherics. The realm is hazy and shredded, as if viewed through CRT goggles – ripping and morphing the content as it passes through.
It’s dark yet playful – dwelling mostly in mellow and melancholy vibes while maintaining a lighthearted spirit! Even when approaching it’s most experimental (which it does get quite interesting~!), there is always a subtle thread of innocence tying things together.
The 10 tracks wander between harsh noise walls and lofi beat experimentations quite seamlessly. Impressively bridging the gaps between different genres and sounds, it’s a lovely listen and highly encouraged for a nice sonic expedition.
laundry were kind enough to grace us with some download-codes for the album! Grab a code below and head to the download page to get yourself a copy and support the artists!
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!
Gorgeous assortment of selections, compiled by SV1 and Umenos for the Hong Kong Community Radio show POST APOCALXX. This particular mix is #3 in the series, and features a mind-bending variety of sounds from alternative ambient to deconstructed club, with all sorts of delicious electronic experiments in between. Nearly 2 hours of music in this one, perfect for creative mornings or late-nite productivity sessions. This is actually my first time hearing a mix in this series, I am excited to explore what episodes 1&2 have to offer!
You can stream the show for now via Soundcloud, or for when they need to make room on the SC, listen directly via the HKCR website.
Beautiful experimental vapornoise, brought to us by Vacuum Noise Records. 2 tracks drifting around melancholy dreampunk drones, slushy vocals resting ontop of plump, fuzzy and cavernous atmospherics. A brief yet satisfying study of sounds, headphone listening highly recommended! Especially getting into the second track, devolving into nearly musique concrete tonal wandering as things become stretched around the listener in 4 dimensions.
This morning we have some very interesting and satisfying sounds from UK project Not Quite So – with this 6-track experimental sound collage project 37 minutes. The 6 experimental tracks hover between dark ambience, neo classical and spoken word sample mashing – resulting in a very unique semi-narrative experience that is potent and moody. Beyond the elevated concept and production, it’s always quite enjoyable hearing a British accent, almost more-so when it is open ended like this – casual free form poetry. All in all it’s a big vibe – enough words already without needing to write anymore, just press play…
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.
Deliciously lush and atmospheric new noise from Brazilian artist Nacional Erudita, brought to us by Infinite Sync Studios.
This Side A/Side B of sorts is warm and inviting. Tape sounds being utilized heavily to the point I felt as if I were in a duplication or processing facility – and I loved it. The therapeutic nature of the fuzzy analogue drones does well to build an atmosphere in less than 20 minutes of sonic storytelling. Ominous howls and scraping percussion dominate the first track, like some strange ceremony being dragged-along a few rooms down the hall. Track two is pure dense tape magic, packed with complex and satisfying subtleties.
Available digital only it seems! Head over to the bandcamp page to support! 🌿