Gailes - Seventeen Words


Rafael Anton Irsarri and Benoît Pioulard previously combined as Orcas, in somewhat unexpected fashion with an accessible, gentle ambient post-rock sound - Benoît's soft voice floating on top of dreamy piano pieces and the distant plucks of distorted guitar strings. Rafael and Benoît's newest collaboration moves them deeper into more recognizable textured ambient territory as Gailes

Rafael is known as a great manipulator of sound design, sometimes creating pure ambient tracks from just one guitar; slowly degrading, stretching, looping sounds, and then manipulating some of the many pieces of analog equipment found within his studio in the woods of New York. 

Benoît's music isn't too far from this either. Gently shifting colors and static, create a warm press of hands on your shoulders as you slowly immerse yourself in the warmth and degradation to emit from his processed guitars.

Together, Seventeen Words is their masterclass in creating new worlds. The depth and detail felt across the four tracks is a new subterranean level they've yet to reach by themselves. Often with humble beginnings, each track will go on to unveil finer detail. In album opener Requiem For An Airport Television Newsreader, it's the choral wash of vocals wrapping around mountain peaks. In Surface Variations In The Snowfall, it's the dramatic growth and swells of ambience against an unsettling guitar shuffle.

The last track, On Distant Fields, puts a gentle lullaby in the foreground, like listening back to an old country and western tape, as the hiss and textures try to distract you from the heartbreaking string melody and slowly emerging vocal-cry. 

This is music for watching clouds slowly shape-shift. Music for watching ice-sheets slowly disintegrate into the blue abyss, and mountain avalanches in slow-motion. 

Available on 12" and digital through Badabing Records.


Loess - Pocosin


In May of 2015 we managed to persuade the Loess duo of Clay Emerson and Ian Pullman to come out of hiding and put together an isolatedmix. At the time, they acknowledged new material was in the pipeline, but with eleven years since their last full release, it could've easily been another five before we saw anything hit the table. They've become one of those infamous early electronica projects that set in motion a cult following, then went off radar. People still admire and lust over Loess' recordings (albeit when reminiscing over a rare copy of 3D Concepts Part 2, secretly wishing their was more to come...)

Those fine folks over at n5MD must have some serious persuasive power (or more than likely, artists just want to be on an awesome label run by the very best). Not only did the label welcome Arovane back into the fold after a nine year hiatus, but now Loess return to n5MD with another full length, presented on  a choice of vinyl colors, no less. 

Absence has done nothing but make Loess' productions missed even more. Those slow, crunchy, stabs adorned in washes of recognizable Loess synthesizer sounds are back and punchier than ever. If anything, Loess have done what Boards of Canada did upon their return, Tomorrow's Harvest, and go a little darker, maybe even a little more sinister - the apocalyptic rumblings on Kype and the hollowed ambient tracks, Fens, and 17P13.2 seem to signal so.  

The clarity and purposefulness of each production has always been Loess' strength. Similar sound palettes can be heard throughout, but the subtleties; refinement of sequencers;  bass; washes of ambience; tiny clicks; scrapes and micro-clangs of metallics always sound new and innovative when wrapped up this way. It's a style that sounded amazing when we first heard their ST album in 2002, and going by their latest on Pocosin, won't be getting old any time quick. 

Available on n5MD


Alejandro Bento – Ripples Remixed


After releasing his beautiful modern-classical EP, Ripples in late 2016, Alejandro Bento has followed up with seven new takes on his three emphatic solo piano pieces. 

Recruiting a wide range of delicate remixers, the Ripples remix EP keeps a very strong attachment to the original melodies and comes together as its own threaded piece through varying ambient textures and more electronic takes. It's a remix album with plenty of care and consideration put into the contributors, and that consideration is heard throughout. 

Souns (aka Michael Red) adds drama and atmospheric depth, followed by LCC (Las Casicasiotone) who's echoes bounce the original piano piece across slow driving beats. The track doesn't travel too far, but instead creates a pensive backing to the striking smattering of keys.

Berlin's Leeward, continues the progression, with accentuated crackling beats, holding the piano at the forefront of the composition, slowly adding guitar and percussion to form a well-rounded take on Mar

Memotone features twice on the album, with the tropical-house infused remix of Heartbeat, and a beautifully drawn out, heartbreaking ambient take as the Regolith Remix; perhaps my favorite of the release as it twists and turns over the three distinct sections.

But there's of course a special place for any Christopher Willits take; layering the original pianos to create an orchestral, epic feel to the original fast-keys in Heartbeat- the perfect curtain-closer.

The surprise on the album however,  is Alejandro Bento's own take under his more electronic alias Axel Toben, turning Mar into the kind of driving electronica you're more likely to find from the likes of Kiasmos, or Gidge. 

Stream Ripples Remixed in full below.  Available here on Subtempo Feb 14th.




Lav & Purl / A State Of Becoming - Now Available

“When we bring our full attention to the act of listening, new worlds emerge that we wouldn’t even notice if we were just passing by, distracted by thoughts”
— Lav & Purl

Developed around intricate sound recordings, A State of Becoming is an otherworldly and spiritual take on nature and being. Organic landscapes turn into ethereal scenes of movement and life across six expansive and immersive recordings, from the hearts and minds of Sweden's, Lav & Purl.  

Featuring stunning custom artwork by Noah M / Keep Adding. Now available in digital and 2LP dusky pink vinyl over on Bandcamp.

PLEASE NOTE. The final delivery of  the vinyl has been delayed. You can still secure your copy of the vinyl at Bandcamp, and it will ship when it arrives - currently expected in March, potentially earlier. You can also sign up to be notified when Juno will receive their (150) copies here where they have cheaper shipping to Europe and ROW.

Read more on the album and its inspiration here.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the album so far and a special shout to Mary Anne Hobbs of BBC Radio 6 who has been giving it some amazing airplay.


#NoBanNoWall Bandcamp recommends


Today, Bandcamp are donating all of their profits from sales to ACLU. Read more about this great initiative here. To help with your splurge, here's 10 recommends you can purchase to contribute to the greater cause. 

Touched - Covert II EP (Touched)

Do double good in the world, by grabbing Touched's latest mysteriously produced IDM monster. The producers behind these records remain anonymous - but if it was Plaid, BoC or Aphex, I wouldn't be surprised. Proceeds from Touched go toward Macmillan Cancer Relief. See past Touched reviews here.

Jonathan Fitoussi - Imaginary lines (Further Records)

One of my favorite records from the always dependable Further Records, also donating their profits. Some great melodic, analogue wizardry - and two LP's remaining at the time of writing. 

Specta Ciera - Signal Return (Energostatic)

This album's set as name your price, so don't go entering '0' - in fact, you never should, as it doesn't add an album to your Bandcamp collection for other people to explore. So find some $ for this great dub-techno album by Specta Ciera.

Faru - Through Darkness Comes Light (Silent Season)

Buy it, if nothing, for its optimistic title in times of darkness. But hey, if you're not superstitious, you'll love the depth of this debut from Faru on our friends Silent Season. I fell asleep to this album last night and 'Sunrise At Bratan' should be enough to persuade you.

Crisopa - Transhumante (Self)

Crisopa  (n5MD alumn) hasn't popped up on these pages for a while now, but his new album dropped just this week. Don't let the artwork fool you into thinking this is anything other than some unique, melodic and intelligent electronica we've come to love - start with 'I am the lord of these ruins'.  Again, name your price, so be kind.

Ben Woods - A World Without Color (Self)

Ben's been creating the kind of emotional, modern-classical/ambient/post-rock music that the likes of Helios, Hammock, Rhian Sheehan etc have made very popular. Ben's latest release is much more raw than many, more instrumental and attached, perfect for daydreaming and window watching. 'Endless Lines of Infinite Light' is my fav from the album. Name your price so be kind. 

1-Mile North - Awakened By Decay (Self)

If you like your guitars and lean more into the post-rock side of ambient music a-la Explosions In The Sky, this album may be your cup of tea. There's also a lovely 2xLP up for grabs. 

Steve Roach - The Early Years (Soundquest Music)

This has been on high rotation for me in recent weeks. This digital-only bonus, entitled The Early Years, features two amazing long-form sequencer pieces circa 1982. Steve Roach's music is a rabbit-hole of original synthesizer work, and this is as good a place as any to start. Name your price, so be kind.

Fourtet - Randoms (Self)

You're a fan of Fourtet in one way or another, even if you don't know it. Not only did he create a 'Banned country' playlist, but he's embraced Bandcamp like no other, and whilst also giving away profits, homes exclusive albums like 'Randoms' on Bandcamp. People like him help get efforts like this off the ground. And that 'Gillie Amma I Love You' track is just magical. 

Composure - Ambient Techno For Japan (Labyrinth)

Lastly, this compilation is from 2011, and was originally set up for the Japan quake-relief. However, it's one of those gems that needs to be in any ambient/techno fans collection, and probably just sits in your wish-list right now, waiting for when you've got a spare $20 to drop... change that and buy it. The CD is folklore, but the digital is here just for you...

If none of those got your cash out, then check out my full collection on Bandcamp here.