Another not the best ambient and space music of the year post

by Dave Maier

Sometimes I think I should post new mixes more often; but one advantage of doing them only twice a year is that I have no shortage of really excellent material. (Actually that’s always true, so so much for that excuse …). Nothing of my own this time, but in recent months I have obtained some amazing tools, with another on the way in December, so next year could be quite interesting in that regard, once I figure out what I’m doing. Stay tuned!

Star’s End Annex 9/19 [direct link if widget fails]

FernLodge – a brief time [Hjemve]
En – Elysia [Already Gone]
Halftribe – Virus [v.a./Illuminations II (The New Year 2018 charity compilation)]
Jarguna – Garden of the Gods [Fusion of Soul]
Knivtid – Paus I [v.a./the opposite of aloof vol. 1]
Noveller & thisquietarmy – Reverie 3 [Reverie]
Ann Annie – delicate landscape [Cordillera]
Beaunoise – Forst, 1975 [Buchlaworks, Module 1]

We’ve seen a couple of these artists before. FernLodge is this guy Joe from Canada, whose music is (as is all of this music actually; follow the links) available on Bandcamp. However, while most artists, even when giving their music away for free, allow you to “name your price” (which in turn allows you, if your price isn’t zero, to put that music into your Bandcamp “collection,” available to download whenever you want), Joe simply sets the price at “free” (which means you can’t put it into your online collection even if you want to). As you can tell by listening, Joe is being way too modest, as Hjemve in particular is excellent, his best yet. Incidentally, one of the instruments Joe used on this record (a Ciat-Lonbarde Cocoquantus 2) is now in my possession, as earlier this year I traded him some Eurorack modules for it. If I ever do anything with it as good as Hjemve, I’ll be very happy!

En we have also seen before, and we may do so again, as they are criminally unknown as far as I can tell. We hear here about two thirds of a lovely long wonderfully drony and reverberant track (which gets a bit gnarly towards the end so I cut that part out; forgive me guys!)

Halftribe I don’t know much about, but this is a really good anthology well worth your time. There is a synthesizer called a Virus, but I don’t know if that’s what the title refers to.

Jarguna is Marco Billi, part of an amazingly broad and talented ethno-experimental ambient music scene in Italy, the most well-known exponent of which is Alio Die, much of whose music, like that of Jarguna, is available here on the Projekt label. Get on their mailing list and be informed when releases like this one (and others, including some by Steve Roach) are made available as “name your price” deals.

As with Halftribe, so with Knivtid; this time from a different, equally good anthology.

Noveller is Brooklyn guitarist Sarah Lipstate and thisquietarmy is Montrealer Eric Quach, also a guitarist. Each is mostly a solo artist, but they do have this one collaboration, about which, on the Bandcamp page, we read:

Empty architecture, luminosity, rocks and deserted zones. Somewhere between Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point and Tarkovski’s Stalker, there is a walk, a wait and an epiphany. 

It happened. You were not there. You just read it. Or maybe it’s the synopsis of it. It’s written on the back cover of a corned paperback that girl with the golden cap lost in the train you were just in. She was on hurry. You’ll never know its end, you just have to stick to the rocks and to the music. Tomorrow is another day and tonight might be the night.

Ann Annie is Eli Goldberg and thus, as it turns out, not an example of the increasing female presence in ambient and electronic music. That’s okay, this is still a fine record, using mostly Mutable Instruments Eurorack modules (of the sort I traded to Joe, in fact). Check out Ann Annie’s Youtube channel as well.

Beaunoise is Beau Sorenson from Berkeley, California, and as the name of this record suggests, we hear here the characteristic “West Coast” sounds of Buchla synthesizers (200e and Music Easel), the details of which we can put aside for now (okay, frequency modulation and waveshaping rather than Moog-style subtractive synthesis). The title of this piece alludes to the music of the great German electronic duo Cluster, and indeed it evokes that glorious era very nicely, which is why we hear all 15 minutes of it (the piece, not the era).