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.
Cartoon Forest II is the second full-length project from experimental trio Cartoon Forest – released on Crash Symbols in May, 2022.
Recorded live in 2018 – the tape basks in a raw beauty that is both refreshing and intriguing. Cartoon Forest II is a wonderful blend of experimental ambience and psychedelic drone with a touch of post-rock. It’s quite easy to become lost in the hazy, distorted soundscapes – laying back on the gritty foundation before letting luscious, morbid riffs wash over you.
I adore the sounds used in this project – often morphing between semi-acoustic to ethereally ambiguous. By track 4-5 you will start to peel back and realize the true experimental and progressive nature of the album. There’s no holding back from the trio as the dive deeply into incredibly unstable and emotional territories – embracing soft distortion and semi-dissonant waves amidst the already established landscape.
Cartoon Forest truly exemplifies the experimental group format – demonstrating the benefit of weaving together the threads of several avant-garde minds. This tape is a blissful journey dense with ideas and riffs that you don’t want to miss. I’ve only heard the digital version myself but I can already tell these tracks will benefit from being heard with the warm process of cassette ribbon passing through a tapedeck.
I am not sure what is in the air that has compelled people to start unearthing and releasing long-lost creations, but I am certainly loving the trend!
From 2014 we have the Cold EP by Vasko the Pig (Fwonk, Webelotrax and beyond) – a hazy and glitchy little experience drawn out across 4 lengthy tracks.
Vasko really flexes their signature “industrial yet melodic” style all over this project, with sweeping pads and buzzing synths engulfing the listener as if we are witnessing some bizarre sonic ritual manifest. The beginnings of harsh shredding sounds ripping through dimensions eventually settle into both rhythmic and melodic clarity.
Described by the producer as “Noisy and Weird. Messier than the stuff I do now” – however you could have fooled me, as tracks like Quarantine Zone (an interesting title indeed!) are focused, polished and intriguing.
For fans of drone, post-rock and ambient vaporwave – there’s a little something for everyone in here. You can stream + download the EP directly from the artists bandcamp.
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.