Unknown Surroundings

It’s that time of the week again. Another show has been and gone (soon to be uploaded on mixcloud) and it’s time to share some more music from down the side of the sofa. This time we have decaying piano loops, low end rumble, unidentifiable noises and plenty of hiss and static. 11 tracks of beautifully weird escapism.

Unknown Surroundings 4 will be broadcast on Basic.Fm Tuesday 3rd June.

Here’s the track list:

Black Thread- Leaves Falling iv (Leaves Falling, Turmeric Magnitudes, 2014)

Smut – Nature of the Beast (Vulgar Tongue, Wealth of Abuse, 2013)

Dead End Street Band – III (Black Christmas, Self Released, 2013)

The Zero Map – Halley’s 8 Foot Iron Mural Quadrant (Psychic Glass Dome, Sheepscar Light Industrial, 2014)

Star Turbine – Gravity Delay (Altitude, Sonic Meditation, 2013)

Lost Trail – Montague Summers (Chapter 19, In Which Lost Trail Faces The Year’s End, Jeunesse Cosmique, 2014)

Felss – Small Marks (Lagom, Self Released, 2011)

Tom White – Moredon Cooling Towers (In Poor Visibility, Hibernate, 2010)

The Stranger – We Are Enemies But Not Here (Watching Dead Empires In Decay, Modern Love, 2013)

Andy Stott – Submission (We Stay Together, Modern Love, 2011)

Hoff – To Belong (Hibernate, Handwriting Records, 2012)

Unknown Surroundings

Time flies etc. Seems like the weeks are rushing past as now I have another instalment of Unknown Surroundings for your ears. As always, there’s plenty of weird sounds and heavy drones to keep your brain juices flowing. I must point out, that Jazzfinger track is one of my all time favourite pieces of music. Every time I listen to it I get pulled into a world of decaying beauty. Simply fantastic. Enjoy.

Unknowing Surroundings #3 is being broadcast Tuesday 20th @ 2300 and Saturday 24th @ 1700. Repeated at the same times next week.

Basic.FM

Black Thread – Stay (Stay/Vale, Turmeric Magnitudes, 2014)

Jazzfinger – Freedom of Pollen (King Murnam, JK Tapes, 2008)

Torn birch – Blood In (Effigy, VAALD, 2013)

Ben Fleury Steiner – White Embers (The Places That Find You, Low Point, 2011)

Sindre Bjerga – Carved In Glue (Sinking Slowly, Dissolving Quietly, Foxglove, 2005)

Wanda Group – We Do Not Care (Get Involved In My Throat, Umbro G, 2012)

Ryan Huber – Track 3 (Abiff’s Gaze, Self Released, 2014)

Hex – _____ (III, Self Released, 2013)

KNYF – Freeze (KNYF, Dew Crux, 2014)

Unknown Surroundings

Unknown Surroundings episode 2 airing on basic.fm tonight at 1700.

Trans/Human – Whistle (The(UN)Expected, The Audacious Art Experiment, 2014)

Wölfbait – Streets of Fire (A Veil Of Phosphorous Rot, Self Released, 2013)
Synek – Fathom (Paradiba EP, Rano, 2012)
Secret Pyramid – Closer (Movements of Night, Students of Decay, 2013)
Maëror Tri- Part 4 (Hypnotikum II, Poeta Negra/absurd, 1998)
Yellow Swans With John Wiese – Evicted CDR (Portable Dunes, Helicopter, 2009)
Bridget Hayden – Breaking (A Siren Blares In An Indifferent Ocean, (K-RAA-K)³, 2011)
Dhow – Act of Grace (Dhow, Inam Records, 2013)

 

 

Dhow – S/T

January 17, 2014

dhowst

No idea where this came from. Can’t remember how I stumbled across it, but it sounds incredible. Rich, dense drones covering gentle guitars and heavy, industrial drums. A placid wave of noise flows over the entire record, bringing itself to the forefront whilst still letting other elements seep through. Behind the hiss, there’s some beautifully delicate and repetitive guitar lines mangled in with slow, pulsating drum beats. Sometimes you can hear them surfacing, trying to squeeze through the overwhelming drones, then they disappear again, sunken below the surface. A serene, ambient exterior starts off but then begins to develop and disintegrate into a harsher, more tense feeling as the songs progress. Stark, black and white images spring to mind. Brutalist buildings of the sixties feel somewhat similar as they’re beautiful in their own right but still manage to have a hardened exterior that people tend to feel uncomfortable around. There’s something I find so reassuring and relaxing about it all. Let the noise seep into your brain, let it play out loud while you romanticise straight lined buildings and harsh, concrete exteriors.

Out now on Inam Records.

Just got myself two new cassettes from Opal Tapes and I’ve been trying to come up with ways to explain how much I like the.

CIP

COIN’s Inside Palace starts of with a light meringue of wispy ambient notes floating around in a chamber of reverb. Forgive me for thinking this is some sort of instrumental Beach House track, I do like it though. From then on, the initially floaty sounds are stretched out into an abstraction of themselves. Pulled between arms like a fuzzy elastic band, remnants of that soft sound seem to blend in with the background, not wanting to stand out from the crowd. You can still see them though, just catching a glimpse before the blend in with the others. This is a hazy stroll along a beach. A holiday in a dream world. Opening your eyes to a blurry landscape that’s both beautiful but desolate, not quite knowing where you are but enjoying the experience nonetheless. Like the cover, you can feel yourself sat beside the monotone leaves, blown around in the gentle breeze. Inside Palace is an excellent piece of gentle ambience that I’m going to let guide me to sleep as many times as possible. I think this tape is sold out at source, although you can still stream it over at the band camp page.

LC

Lumisokea’s Contrapasso on the other hand presents us with a one track, five part mound of industrial rubble. Recycled beats ride alongside metallic soundscapes in a scrapyard of sound. Sounds rummage around, scraping against walls, banging into each other. A lone beat struggles to find air, stays afloat for a while then disappears into an abstract void, reappearing after it’s had some times to rest. Stark, black and white, depression ridden ambience. A perfect slice of post industrial techno.

opaltapes.bandcamp.com

cover

This arrived in front of me the other day and I’ve not stopped listening to it. It’s been a treat having it pumping through my headphones on a night time, enveloping my thoughts in a dense wave of sound. Sounds are stretched out of proportion, becoming an abstraction of their original form. Beneath the mass, you can hear slight nuances of the melodies that created the noise, but they disappear as quickly as they appear, back into the dream like haze from which they surfaced.

It’s a perfect soundtrack to a dream state, whether it be during the day or night. Recalling artists such as Tim Hecker and William Basinski, it’s just got that intensely heavy yet soft sound which I find so soothing to. Movements of Night is a very apt title for the record. There’s just a barely real, hazy feel to the sound that links in so well with dreams. The cover too seems like a strange abstraction of some bigger picture, almost space like in texture.

Stand out track for me is “Closer” which moved me in such a way that without knowing it, I’d listening to it 5 times in a row before breaking concentration. There’s just something I find so satisfying about listening to a melody that has almost decayed and fallen into itself, barely ever reaching fruition but still managing to be prominent. Highly recommended if you like your music beat free, loud and heady.

Movements of Night is out October 29th on Students of Decay. Apparently the first vinyl release for Secret Pyramid, which is always a good thing.

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Here’s the new offering from Liverpool based ensemble Ex Easter Island Head and the third instalment in their Mallet Guitars series. If you think of combining mallets and guitars, you have an idea of how it will sound. No, it’s not ultra violent and out of control, like you’d imagine it could be, but a more refined experiment in an alternative way of playing guitar. If it was me, the temptation would be too much and it would become maximalist, nonsensical string bashing, rather than thought out song structure. Guess that’s why I’m not in the band.

The four tracks here continue on from what came before, further exploring the dynamics of this simple sounding set up. Rather than just guitars and mallets, we have a diverse range of accompanying sound to envelop and hold together the centrepieces of the tracks. Highly rhythmical passages act as a strong contrast to the slow, dense drone that hangs in the backdrop. There’s an almost Reich-esque feel to some of the rhythms and I found it hard not to pretend I had my own mallet and guitar (hand and table) in front of me. The heady repetition of the rhythms seems to allow time to slow down, letting you sit in a daze as the music passes by. I like anything that makes me switch off from the world. I like Mallet Guitars Three.

A thoroughly different and enjoyable way to consume this traditional instrument. I’d suggest listening to Mallet Guitars 1 & 2 before the release of this, just to gain some perspective and see where the sound has developed from.

Mallet Guitars Three is out via Low Point Records on 21st October 2013

You can stream the album on the Low Point band camp ahead of the release.

The Holocaust Section

June 27, 2013

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A new electroacoustic/drone/industrial piece I’ve created. Looped, manipulated and distorted field recordings merged together to create anew composition.

Originally broadcast on basic.fm

deathrowradio – Yummy

June 25, 2013

deathrowradio, who many of you will know as d_rradio, have a brand new album out and it’s an interesting listen.

Previously the band created slow, ambient soundscapes which tended to focus more on the subtleties of the music rather than creating a great force. This time round, they’ve come from a completely different direction and it works to staggering effect.

It’s a strange mix of ambience, post rock guitars and repetitive drumming. The three elements, among others, feel like a massive step away from their past lives but also feel like a move in the right direction. I’ve listened to it a number of times now and I feel more drawn with each play. While before it was the gentle drones that sucked you into their world, this record focuses heavily on repetition, submersing you in an entirely different way. All seven tracks will eventually make you feel separate from the world around you, allowing you to completely zone in on the various other intricacies the music has to offer.

All seven tracks tend to have the same overall feel but each one also feels like a world of it’s own. Tracks such as ‘A Little Less’ start out sounding like they’ll develop into an alt rock cliche, but soon manage to brush off that implication when they completely change direction. While the riffs are simple, they’re used to great effect. They feel like a base line, a starting point, a guide that all of the other subtle nuances latch onto throughout the journey. It just shows that while sometimes a change in music direction can be a terrible thing, do it right and it’s going to sound great.

Yummy is out now on Distraction Records as a download and an LP.

 

 

Good news, there’s a new Blanck Mass 12″ coming out!

Benjamin John Power is Blanck Mass and also one half of drone duo Fuck Buttons. On his debut effort, he provided listeners with a slow, calming and incredibly deep listening experience. It was 10 tracks of long, drawn out drone music. It was quite relaxing, often hypnotic and always interesting. I saw him play live at The Cluny not so long ago and it was an incredible show.

However, on his new effort things have changed. Instead of the dreamy, sometimes frightening soundscapes, BJP has opted for a more upbeat style. Revolving around a repetitive and gentle beat, it still has the same feeling as that first record. It’s not overpowering, it’s not obtrusive but it is intriguing. Clocking in at just over 11 minutes, absent minded listeners may blow it off as boring and inventive but I find it quite the opposite. It’s the whole feeling to the music that why it works so well. That’s the whole idea of this type of music. It pushes melody and rhythm to the side and concentrates on the more cerebral side of things. It brings back memories of listening to The Orb and the ambient excursions of Aphex Twin. It’s not just a rehash of the past though, its a new take on things.

The White Math / Polymorph 12″ is out on August 21st through Software Recording Co.