Tag Archives: ambient

Otherworldly Cello

Joan Jeanrenaud – Visual Music (Deconet Records, 2016)

Visual Music is an outstanding recording of cello music by composer and cellist Joan Jeanrenaud, who used to be a member of the famed Kronos Quartet for 20 years.

Joan Jeanrenaud delivers a set of solo cello pieces that range from captivating melodies and cinematic soundscapes to mesmerizing ethereal compositions and neoclassical pieces as well as experimentation using various layers and cello techniques.

There are truly fascinating tracks such as are the beautiful “Solo Prelude,” and the hypnotic pieces “Isola” “Moon Above” and “Ethereal Tree” where Joan Jeanrenaud ventures into deep space and other worlds, mixing her multifaceted cello with ambient electronics.

 

 

The tracks on Visual Music were originally made for Joan Jeanrenaud’s Dance, Theater and Art Museums.

The musicians on the Visual Music album include Joan Jeanrenaud on cello; PC Muñoz on marimbata, cajón and drum kit; William Winant on vibraphone; and Dohee Lee on recorder and electronics.

Buy Visual Music in Europe

Buy Visual Music in the rest of world.

The Ambient Guitar of Jim Matheos

Tuesday The Sky – “Drift” (InsideOutMusic, 2017)

Drift is the dreamy ambient and instrumental rock album by guitarist Jim Matheos (Fates Warning). In some tracks Matheos is closer to the repetitive, minimalist post-rock style. Other times, he moves toward the Brian Eno sensibility and electronic soundscapes.

Most of the album is pretty laid back, with repetitive, reverberating guitars and occasional drums, although Jim Matheos increases the intensity on several tracks, adding drums and guitar solos; and he even ventures into less interesting heavy metal on one track.

Guests include Lloyd Hanney on drums; Kevin Moore on keyboards; and Anna-Lynne Williams on ethereal wordless vocals.

 

 

 

Buy Drift

Alluring Etheric Anomalies

Pepe Maina – Etheric Anomalies (Pepe Maina, 2016)

Italian multi-instrumentalist Pepe Maina has recorded a mesmerizing instrumental double album titled Etheric Anomalies. He defines his music as ambient prog and this a very accurate way of classifying his sound.

Pepe Maina develops marvelous soundscapes. While sometimes the music is ethereal, it’s not syrupy new age. He adds soaring and sometimes fiery electric guitars, symphonic and world music elements that make his music entrancing and appealing.

Together with the electronic atmospheres and looped instruments, you’ll hear pastoral sections that recall Anthony Phillips; ethnic sounds that take you into terrain similar to Jade Warrior; early Steve Hillage influences; and much more.

Pepe Maina develops his music at his own workspace called Nonsense Studio. Maina plays synthesizers, samplers, flutes, guitars and percussion.

Etheric Anomalies showcases a set of finely-crafted music pieces that cross the boundaries of progressive electronica and world music.

 

 

Buy Etheric Anomalies

Contemplative Ambient Soundscapes

Steve Roach – Soul Tones (Timeroom Editions, 2012)

Innovative electronic music artist Steve Roach has explored many sound realms, from deep ambient to tribal and Berlin-style electronics. On Soul Tones he generates mesmerizing ambient music atmospheres that evolve bit by bit, creating a calm timeless sense of floating in space.

The album contains only two compositions, the 45-minute long Soul ones and the 28-minute Resolved.

Soul Tones delivers exquisite ambient harmonies by one of the masters in the genre.

Buy the digital edition of Soul Tones.

The CD is available from steveroach.bandcamp.com/album/soul-tones

Entrancing Southeast Asian Electronic Ambiance

Forrest Fang – Animism (Projekt Records, 2012)

Animism is a superb ambient album by American multi-instrumentalist and composer Forrest Fang. He’s well known for his brilliant mix of ambient electronic music with acoustic instruments from various parts of the globe.

I’ve seen Fang labeled as new age, but his music leans much more towards the progressive side than the usual easy listening new age.

Throughout Animism, Fang produces mesmerizing layers of electronics that revolve around the acoustic sounds of gamelans, various string instruments and flutes.

Forrest Fang’s music takes you into new sonic worlds resembling crystalline rain drops, trance-like metallic percussion, hypnotic drones that float across your room, and exotic Asian and Middle Eastern melodies played on Turkish baglama, flutes and other instruments.

On Animism , Forrest Fang plays synthesizers; electronics; acoustic and electric violins; Turkish baglama; Vietnamese dan bau; flute; Southeast Asian kendang (barrel drum); Turkish lavta; Southeast Asian kulintang (row of gongs); marxolin (small fretless guitar-zither); mandolin; Spanish bandurria; cane flute; and percussion.

Buy Animism

Mesmerizing Sounds for Real or Imagined Films

Zero Times Everything – Sonic Cinema (ZXE Music, 2017)

Sonic Cinema is a fascinating sound exploration album by Zero Times Everything. The three musicians create a magical world of cinematic sounds that draw influences from various progressive music genres.

The album opens with the industrial sounds of “And Now This.” It’s followed by “Events in a Field” a mix of ambient and minimalist electronics.

On track 3, “Led” Zero Times Everything plays a mix of hard rock riffing and progressive rock lines.

Next is “Accident,” where you’ll find a mix of ambient sounds, effects, drones and distorted guitar.

“Natron 40” presents mysterious mechanical sounds and progressive rock-style guitars.

The eerie track 6, “Ghost” reveals hypnotic enveloping sounds and odd beats.

On track 7, “Kapital” the influences turn towards Berlin and Dusseldorf, with trance like Berlin-style sequencers, symphonic passages and robotic voices.

“Vox Populi” features a cacophony of sounds and voices with underlying sequences and string synths.

Track 9, “Schizoid” introduces nightmarish sounds, child voices and increasingly high pitched psychedelic guitars.

The album concludes with “The Cathedral of All Saints” where you hear a childlike organ sound and reverberating synths that morphs into deep ambient electronica.

The lineup includes Richard Sylvarnes on Kaoss pads, loops, synths, rhythms, guitars, and vocals; Pietro Russino on guitars, loops, and violin; and Tony Geballe on guitars, synths, and loops. Special guest: Sønje Sylvarnes on vocals.

Buy Sonic Cinema

Richard Barbieri’s Intergalactic Soundscapes

Richard Barbieri – Planets + Persona (KScope, 2017)

Planets + Persona is a new album by British keyboardist, composer and sound designer Richard Barbieri. He’s well known for his work with a new wave band called Japan as well as his keyboard creations for Porcupine Tree.

Richard Barbieri creates remarkable instrumental soundscapes that have a cinematic feel, incorporating ambient electronic elements, ethereal jazz, distant voices, minimalism and other mesmerizing sounds.

Planets + Persona includes a piece titled “Solar Sea.” Barbieri has released a video of “Solar Sea” that has a 360° option, produced by Miles Skarin. To watch it in 360° you will need to view “Solar Sea” using the latest version of the YouTube app on iOS and Android. By moving your smartphone or tablet, you will be able to look around the 360 degree view.

To watch “Solar Sea” on a desktop or laptop computer, you will need the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Opera. You will then be able to shift the view by clicking and dragging inside the video player or by using the WASD keys. For the most immersive experience, a VR headset is recommended.

Buy Planets + Persona in the Americas and rest of the world

Buy Planets + Persona in Europe

Artist Profiles: EchoTest

EchoTest

Bassists Julie Slick and Marco Machera met the Three of a Perfect Pair Music Camp in 2011. They started collaborating in April 2014 to play a short series of concerts in Tuscany, after Julie’s European tour with The Crimson ProjeKCt.

Very instinctively, new songs were written during a few days of rehearsals. The spur-of-the-moment bass duets ended up being so satisfying and well-received that Julie and Marco ultimately decided to write and record more material together. They named their project EchoTest. The group’s live performances and albums include various acclaimed musicians such as Pat Mastelotto, Tim Motzer, Zach LoPresti, Ali Wadsworth, Ian Gray, and Greg Rosen.

EchoTest have reinvented the role of solo electric bass and superbly display the songwriting abilities of the duo, characterized by a mesmerizing combination of loop music, ambient soundscapes and interlocking bass patterns.

Discography:

Fourth Dementia (2014)
Slick Mix Vol II (2015)
Le Fil Rouge
Live in Philadelphia (2016)

website: echotestmusic.com

Soundscapes from the Sultana Sessions

Darshan Ambient – Fire Light, Music from the Sultana Sessions (Spotted Peccary, 2016)

Darshan Ambient is the musical project of American musician Michael Allison. This recording titled Fire Light contains musical pieces that were left out of the soundtrack of the Civil War era documentary Remember The Sultana.

On Fire Light, Darshan Ambient brings together dreamy ambient electronics, evocative cinematic orchestrations, mesmerizing minimalism and melodic piano and synths. Even though the group’s name has the word ambient in it, Darshan Ambient’s sound is more melodic than most conventional ambient music projects.

In 1992, Michael Allison started his solo career, composing and recording music that before long became known as Darshan Ambient. Allison’s discography includes Providence, The Zen Master’s Diary, Autumn’s Apple, re: Karma, From Pale Hands To Weary Skies, A Day Within Days and Dream In Blue. Allison’s music has been used in movies, documentaries and television commercials.

Buy Fire Light, Music from the Sultana Sessions