Top 10 Albums For June

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After the success of her 3rd solo album “Driftwood”, multi-talented musician, composer, producer, and sound engineer Rena Jones has spent the last 18 months refining and mastering her unique classical take on electronic music, using her new found confidence and inspiration to tell the world a magical musical story in her new full length album: “Indra’s Web”.
In Buddhism and Hinduism, Indra’s Web is a profound metaphor for the structure of reality, representing the interconnectedness and interdependency of all things, describing a rich and diverse universe where infinitely repeated mutual relations exist between all its elements and entities. Through her composition Rena creates a musical metaphor of this philosophy, exploring a concept of repeated modalities similar to that of Stevie Wonder’s “the Secret life of Plants”, presenting different, yet interconnected themes that repeat themselves throughout the album, making it flow as one unique piece of modern classical electronic music.

As a classically trained violinist, cellist and composer, with extensive experience in sound engineering and digital sound design, Rena sets herself among the leading musicians / producers who are breaking the boundaries between live and electronic music. Skillfully taking full advantage of the capabilities of modern digital sequencing software to create complex and playful glitched out grooves, while transcending some of its limitations by using the warmth and depth of live analogue sound to create the mood and melodies, presenting an harmonious synergetic blend between both the organic and synthetic elements of sound.
For the making of this 4th full length release, Rena really turns things up a notch, from upgrading her studio and gear, to scoring and recording new string pieces with musicians of the Chicago New Millennium Orchestra, including Dominic Johnson, former violinist from the band Rachel’s, also known for other similar hybrid collaborations with IDM / Electronica producers Plaid and Hip-Hop Turntableist Dj Spooky.
Mixed in Justin Phelps’ analogue studio (Dresent Dolls, Amanda Palmer, Mars Volta) and mastered by Thomas Dimuzio (Matmos, Tigerbeat 6) this is a release with no compromises, set to please even those with refined ears who appreciate the subtler frequencies of both beauty and sound. Reaching across the realms of Ambient | Downtempo | Glitch | IDM | Nu-gaze | Folktronica | Psychadelic and Classical, “Indra’s Web” also sets the mood for the future sound of “Cartesian Binary Recordings” the newly born record label created and managed by Rena Jones.

FAR AWAY IN THE HEAVENLY ABODE OF THE GREAT GOD INDRA, THERE IS A WONDERFUL NET WHICH HAS BEEN HUNG BY SOME CUNNING ARTIFICER IN SUCH A MANNER THAT IT STRETCHES OUT INDEFINITELY IN ALL DIRECTIONS. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE EXTRAVAGANT TASTES OF DEITIES, THE ARTIFICER HAS HUNG A SINGLE GLITTERING JEWEL AT THE NET’S EVERY NODE, AND SINCE THE NET ITSELF IS INFINITE IN DIMENSION, THE JEWELS ARE INFINITE IN NUMBER. THERE HANG THE JEWELS, GLITTERING LIKE STARS OF THE FIRST MAGNITUDE, A WONDERFUL SIGHT TO BEHOLD. IF WE NOW ARBITRARILY SELECT ONE OF THESE JEWELS FOR INSPECTION AND LOOK CLOSELY AT IT, WE WILL DISCOVER THAT IN ITS POLISHED SURFACE THERE ARE REFLECTED ALL THE OTHER JEWELS IN THE NET, INFINITE IN NUMBER. NOT ONLY THAT, BUT EACH OF THE JEWELS REFLECTED IN THIS ONE JEWEL IS ALSO REFLECTING ALL THE OTHER JEWELS, SO THAT THE PROCESS OF REFLECTION IS INFINITE…

THE AVATAMSAKA SUTRA
FRANCIS H. COOK: HUA-YEN BUDDHISM : THE JEWEL NET OF INDRA 1977

www.renamusic.com

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Fluid Audio kick starts it’s catalogue with ‘Hope’, a compilation sprawling across 13 tracks from established artists, Digitonal, Hol Baumann, Ishq, Bersarin Quartet and James Murray, as well as up and coming producers, Field Rotation, Iambic, Snakestyle, Playb, Halogen and Ben Beiny.
As suggested by its title, ‘Hope’, embodies a concept of positivity and the alleviation of strife “through the creative translation of emotion into sounds sent to soothe [and] images formed to inspire”. Artists were asked to create compositions that reflected their interpretation of the term Hope, producing varied yet cohesive results with a profound resonance. 50% of the profits are donated to Toybox, a charity providing aid, shelter and support for homeless children in Latin America, the majority of which are estimated a life expectancy of around four years on the street.
Coupling all of this with the CD’s bespoke artwork and carbon neutral manufacture provides a consumable and tangible product that serves to aid a constructive cause through the medium of music….

Although we are living in a world of injustice – where the rich get richer, while those in need get left behind – there is often an inherent hope in those who suffer the most. Where people have the least they value more, the simple things that others take for granted. While some are disconnected from the true meaning of life, there are others who appreciate the beauty and awe of the world and what is has to offer. In these souls is a spark of light that no corrupt power can extinguish. Despite the negativity that we are all faced with in life, the human spirit can always overcome. Whether this is in the innocent laughter of a child, the compassion shown from one suffering human being to another, or through the creative translation of emotion into sound, the joy of life is communicated all around us – we need only be willing to open our hearts to it.

Track List:

1.Forever – Ishq
2.Hopeful – Snakestyle
3.Regenzeit – Field Rotation
4.Fingersand – James Murray
5.Turn The Seasons – Iambic
6.Was uns Bleibt – Bersarin Quartett
7.Acoustics Of The Piano – Playb
8.Sunriser – Halogen
9.Start Again – Ben Beiny
10.Flags – Iambic
11.We Three – Digitonal
12.Time To Change – Hol Baumann
13.A Part Of You – Ben Beiny (Digipak bonus track)

What The Artists Say:

Iambic:

My two tracks, Flags and Turn the Seasons, were intended to give the listener a blank canvass to paint their emotions of Hope on. It occurred to me before writing the tunes that each individual lives in hope for some thing or other, hope is what prevents many peoples lives from becoming mundane, or keeps them hanging on when times are tough. So my two tunes – both being quite different – represent each aspect of Hope.

Playb:

When I was asked to contribute to this compilation it quickly came to my mind to remix ‘Acoustics Of The Piano’ because of the special circumstances with which it was created. I was experiencing hard times, the kind when you feel that there is no way out though you cling to some kind of hope regardless of how difficult things get. Children who are born in disadvantaged situations stir up so much admiration within me. I see sadness in their eyes but at the same time a passion to live. I am proud to be associated with this project, and proves that music is a tool to make people aware of social injustice.

Field Rotation:

Regenzeit (German for rainy season) describes the meaning of rain from different points of view. In the temperate zone of the earth rain is part of the daily weather, nothing special. For millions of people in tropical and subtropical regions rain gives hope – the hope for a better life after the aridity, an efficient harvest and the end of starvation, the hope for enough rain to refill the fountains and riverbeds to survive the following dry season. Regenzeit is about all the people who pray and hope for rain.

Ishq:

Hope for me rests in a belief and remembrance that we are all eternal beings and live forever. When we die we do not – we awake into a new world and all we take with us is the love and essence of ourselves whether positive or negative. The false prophecy we call death is simply that – one of the root causes of mankind’s drive toward destructive selfish materialism and consumption. To ‘take’, ‘have’, ‘be’, ‘want’ NOW…..at the expense of others with no consideration for the whole or the future or the planet is the result of a hopeless belief in death which motivates many to build castles made of sand and seek unnecessary levels of wealth and power so in turn they may feel ‘protected’ from death. Fear fundamentally of death make humans greedy. Greed – the opposite from sharing is a result of a hopeless belief in death deep within us and breed into us and taught to us. We are told and taught a lie from birth….Fear creates greed which results in many living lives of hopelessness as others live like kings.
My hope is people will remember more ‘before’ this life and remember the eternal self which lives forever as this will help free us from the slavery of materialism and the selfishness which misleads us. We can build a world of equality where we all share and we all profit and all rise as one.
Its very simple – Share and we create HOPE and love. HOPE and faith in eternity leads to us to want for nothing more than to help others and so we may all evolve.
I hope we eventually realise this on earth and share and remember who we really are when the body is left behind.

Snakestyle:

With the music I make, I try to create something that gently catches your attention, hypnotises you, helps you think, and takes you to a place where you feel reassured. It’s great that there are people out there who genuinely believe in music and its ability to give people hope and make a difference. It inspires me to keep going, to keep doing what i do, and I hope that people find a sense of hope while listening to this project. Best wishes. Snakestyle

Some Facts:

An estimated 40 million children live on the streets of Latin America’s densely populated cities (unicef).

Observers from our partner in Guatemala say that street children there have a life expectancy of around four years on the street.

Unicef reported in 2004 that in Guatemala in the first 10 months of 2002, gangs or security forces killed 408 children and youths, but most street children were killed by drive by shootings.

THINK ABOUT IT!

www.fluidaudio.co.uk

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French composer Vincent Villuis, aka AES Dana, known for his participation to the H.U.V.A. Network band and co-manager of Ultimae Records, signs here his 4th ambient downtempo album and presents 10 immersive tracks of luminous darkness.
“For those who believe in them, Leylines are invisible lines of forces that connect centres of geomagnetic power to one another.”
Throughout the album, the artist builds upon the concept of connections that exist between various musical genres and influences, interlinks between the elements surrounding us, the feelings of life. Sound becomes organic matter, clay. Tapped, scraped, plucked, stretched, it transforms into rich rhythms, spatial acoustics, sustained harmonics, hypnotic morphing pads and profound basslines. The outcome is a granular journey of complex delicacy, fragmented and yet fluid.

Mastered by Magnus Birgersson at Studio Jupiter, Göteborg, Sweden.
Artwork by Vincent Villuis with photograms by Rodolpe Bessey

We decided to offer you the track “Adonai” in multi audio formats: MP3 / WAV / FLAC and OGG.
Download here

www.ultimae.com

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Jacaszek follows up last’s year stunning and critically acclaimed ‘Treny’ album with another long player of incredible depth and ambition. ‘Pentral’, which is Latin for ‘Inside, Spirit, Temple’, is a conceptual project attempting to describe a gothic church interior with sound. In order to realise this, Jacaszek set about recording ‘Pentral’ in three of Gdansk’s oldest churches. Divided into ten parts, it could be said that ‘Pentral’ is an uneasy listening experience, throwing the listener violently at times with almost overwhelming dynamic contrasts; what begins as a slow and tense build seemingly created from sample based recordings suddenly explodes into an unrelenting, shimmering wall of discordance, sounding like a hundred church organs screaming out. The compositions have all the claustrophobia of the nastier end of Scott Walker’s ‘The Drift’ arrangements, yet there does seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel – even in its most distressing moments there is, within the ethereal racket, something of an uplifting optimism. While ‘Pentral’ does contain passages of melodic beauty such as those found on ‘Treny’, this is a journey that is more rooted in atonal explorations. It has more of a ‘found sound’ source material feel, which in part comes from Jacaszek’s use and capitalization on accidental noises captured whilst recording in the church environments. “Part III” for instance develops into a absolutely jaw-dropping choral arrangement, all laced in background static and percussive, treated piano recordings, never overreaching, never trying too hard to overstate. Elsewhere we find pieces which attack with an intent to terrify; “Part VI” is a schizophrenic composition, frantically and without warning cutting between sparse, low-end tension and more pummeling organ clusters – the unexpected bursts of dissonance being on a parallel with the noise blasts of Sutcliffe Jugend and early Whitehouse. But this is not a noise album by any stretch of the imagination. Ghostly operatic voices and unexpected minimal use of percussion colour the low organ tones and treated sounds, mixing unsettling feelings with equal amounts of perplexity and intrigue. It’s as much about the silence in the pieces as it is the compositions; within its minimal moments, what comes through it the vastness of the church spaces, the slow decay of the sounds entirely owing to the environments in which they were recorded. It’s dark and it’s certainly desolate at times, but in other moments the pieces purvey a sense of these buildings’ strength and stability – these historic churches have stood the test of time. Gorgeous edition housed in a 6-panel digipack. The CD contains the ‘Pentral’ album, and the DVD contains a 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound mix of ‘Pentral’, and a documentary by Antek Gryzbek. – Boomkat Review

www.myspace.com/jacaszek
www.boomkat.com

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By now, Peter Broderick’s credentials need no repeating; his solo albums have quickly become among the most respected in the recent modern classical canon, but his talents stretch far beyond that, venturing into singer-songwriter genres for his Type/Bella Union outing Home, and stretching further beyond that for his contributions to the output of Danish post-rock band Efterklang. This latest set of recordings comes from Broderick’s score for a modern dance piece, commissioned by London-based choreographer Adrienne Hart of Neon Productions. The brief demanded a piano and strings-based score, and so Broderick sticks diligently to these instructions, creating a thirty-minute piece divided into seven sections. In keeping with works such as Float, Music For Falling From Trees is an album characterised by a languid, supine beauty that drips effortlessly from Broderick’s rich, melancholy arrangements. As modern composition goes this is all unabashedly under the thrall of romanticism, yet by no means is i t a one-dimensional affair: after the drifting loveliness of the first two parts, Broderick engages with a brisk, staccato section for ‘Part 3: Pill Induced Slumber’, giving a first real indication of how the composer’s agenda has been shaped by the quintessentially kinetic realm of choreography. The piece develops into a wild and noisy affair, revealing a real sense of energy and a brief glimpse of an anarchic streak as the music slips momentarily into discordance. Elsewhere Broderick dabbles in otherworldly drone on ‘Part 4: The Dream’ and goes on to showcase his potential as a more cinematically inclined soundtracker, fashioning a wonderfully expansive and evocative stretch of music for ‘Part 6: Electroconvulsive Shock’. It’s all at the highest standard, yet tantalisingly, you always feel that there’s much more to come from this artist as he continues to mature. Music For Falling From Trees is a very fine thing indeed, though as ever with multimedia projects like this, you inevitably crave access to the visual component. Nevertheless, Broderick’s music paints its own vivid and very opulent picture. – Boomkat Review

www.myspace.com/peterbroderick
www.boomkat.com

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Richard Skelton’s wondrous “Marking Time” was an easy inclusion in our top 10 albums of the year just a short few months ago, but we didn’t immediately realise that the artist was responsible for an absolute plethora of projects conceived, realised, beautifully packaged and self-released via his own “Sustain-Release” website over the last few years. It’s one of those things, you discover a new artist, get completely obsessed by their work and then discover that beyond the precious little nuggets of material you own there’s actually a world of music spread out in handmade limited editions owned by a lucky few individuals prescient enough to have found them in the first place. Out of all of the bespoke editions that we managed to get our hands on, “Box Of Birch” (recorded under the ‘A Broken Consort’ moniker) has been the one we have been most emotionally attached to, and its with absolute delight that we greet this new edition on the ever-impressive Tompkins Square label. If you’ve never heard this album before, or indeed any of Richard Skelton’s material, you’re in for quite a treat, he makes the most intimate and enveloping sounds imaginable from the barest of ingredients – bowed strings, field recordings, piano – and very little else. Each of the four long pieces slowly evolves and changes colour, with a profoundly moving, almost mournful undertone that never ceases to affect us despite having now listened to this album more times than we could possibly remember. Treat this as a second chance to pick up one of the great unknown modern classical albums of recent times – and if you ever see anything this guy is involved with – buy on sight. – Boomkat Review

www.myspace.com/abrokenconsort
www.boomkat.com

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Maps and Diagrams is back with a series of new limited 3″ cd ep’s. Each will be limited to 50 copies, we’ll have 40 to sell and once they’re gone they’re gone. They come lovingly created in a hand stitched cork sleeve and a (small) random selection will come with a free notepad. He’s spent some time on these buggers. They’re well nice looking but what would you expect from a label called handstitched? It’s good to see cork has more uses than clogging up wine bottles and stopping me from getting at their tasty juiciness. On to the music itself foel has 4 tracks and it sees mr diagram heading off in a more ambient direction. It’s not your boring ambience where not much happens for 20 minutes and then summat small happens like a hamster sighing. It’s got things going on…. things are happening. Yep things are going on. There’s clicks and cuts and weird noises over some delicious warm ambient drones and tones. Occasional guitars appear and I have to say it’s luch fanciful stuff which is soothing me after another 11 hour day here. Some nice fuzziness plops at times in ala Tim Hecker. It’s tops!! It’s much more experimental than his past works but it’s still supremely listenable. Be quick as these are gonna go in no time!!.

www.handstitched.net

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A most welcome return for one of the most intriguing creative partnerships in contemporary experimental music, UTP_ reunites Carsten Nicolai with Ryuichi Sakamoto for a special audio-visual performance in conjunction with Ensemble Modern, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the city of Mannheim. The title is derived from the notion of ‘utopia’, referencing the town’s design background – Mannheim was conceptualised as the ideal 17th century city. The music devised by Noto and Sakamoto for their audio-visual tribute deviates considerably from the formulae set out by their prior releases Vrioon, Insen and Revep, embracing not only the electronic and piano-based palettes of old, but also an expanded array of avant-garde chamber instrumentation and a host of natural timbres. The album that lies ahead is a restless and multilayered stream of ideas and beautifully realised composition. The two ‘Broken Line’ pieces find this project on its most instantly familiar ground, propelling ethereal glitching rhythms across ambient plains of elaborately fashioned electroacoustic static, but the ‘Particle’ tracks reveal a very new and arguably more far-reachingly exploratory side to this duo, all-but abandoning melody and rhythm in favour of outright texture. Recalling Carsten Nicolai’s Xerrox project, ‘Plateaux 1’ and ‘Plateaux 2 End’ take on a symphonic droning quality. If there’s more to come from this duo (and here’s hoping there is) this unprecedentedly grand sounding approach might make for an interesting new direction to pursue. For this album though, the interweaving of all the various styles on show lends itself to a more rounded – if somewhat fractured – listening experience than the two artists have previously delivered in their collaboration, and UTP_ is anything but a rehash of old ideas. Established fans of the duo’s output will find rich rewards in this CD and DVD edition: as well as the full audio of the performance, you’re treated to a concert film that captures both the musicians themselves and a digital visual score for the piece. A revealing behind-the-scenes film is included too, presenting rehearsal footage alongside various other stages of the creative process. If all that wasn’t enough, two booklets are thrown into the bargain, one of which features a David Toop essay plus various still images from the visual score, while the second features the complete musical notation for the composition itself. All this gives a unique insight into Nicolai and Sakamoto’s working methodologies, and the sheer meticulousness the two artists evidently bring to their music only reinforces our appreciation of their combined discipline and creative vision. An gorgeously presented, utterly luxurious package that just happens to also include 70 minutes of the most sublime music you’ll have the pleasure of hearing this year. Immense. – Boomkat Review

www.boomkat.com
www.raster-noton.net

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Shrouded in the mystery and the opaque, otherworldly quality we’ve come to expect from the consistently remarkable Miasmah imprint, this beguiling debut album has been wrecking our collective heads here in the office for some time. Pieced together from a plethora of unidentified samples, field recordings and found sounds, Kreng taps into a unique, almost indescribable corner of the musical universe that originates from, and proceeds to completely re-imagine, the world of music for film and theatre. The eleven pieces here were, indeed, originally made for a variety of theatre productions and retain that illusory quality that’s so often associated with arts-based music, but without any of the site-specific pretension or impenetrability that you’d think goes hand hand in with this kind of material. There’s an intensely overbearing darkness to this work, covered by a dense thicket of layered drones and fuzzy sound recordings, but as each piece progresses narrow cracks begin to emerge, letting in shards of colour and light painted through fragments of jazz and classical music re-painted in shimmering, luxurious colours. It’s very hard to think of any singular points of reference, but there are elements here that remind us of György Ligeti, Cliff Martinez, Moondog, Arvo Pärt, Arthur Lipsett, Deathprod, Bernard Herrmann and Dictaphone – while really sounding very little like any of them. “L’Autopsie Phénoménale De Dieu” is an incredible, utterly mesmerising collection of pieces that we have little doubt will entice, seduce and terrify you in equal measure and, needless to say, comes to you with our highest possible recommendation. – Boomkat Review

www.myspace.com/krengmusic
www.boomkat.com

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A selection of Italian ambient works, specifically composed for the release, compiled by Enrico Coniglio and Emanuele Errante. The album features music from internationally much-admired artists such as Netherworld (Glacial Movements label owner), Oophoi, Arlo Bigazzi (Materiali Sonori label), Alturo Stalteri, Luca Formentini, Illàchime quartet, Con_cetta, as well as other brilliant unreleased artists.
A stunning mix of beat and non-beat pure Ambient tunes, that shift between isolationist and glacial atmospheres. For fans of Pole, Biosphere…

www.psychonavigation.com

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