Void 1 by Jurko Haltuu is a great rolling blur.
With a title like, “Songs for guitar”, you would be forgiven for initially conjuring up thoughts of a beginning guitar student touching a steel stringed instrument for the first time with high hopes of a step-by-step guide on how to recreate the tune. Such alacrity would be short-lived of course, considering there’s no discernible instrument at any point in this track. The seeming misnomer is of course intentional.
There’s no clear starting or stopping point. No clear interpolation of instruments. Nothing firm to hold on to. And yet, this gives the feeling of stream-of-consciousness in one’s brain.
Proper Ambient from Ohio, US based genius Steven Kemner. Also check out this brilliant new piece from him on Bandcamp: https://stevenkemner.bandcamp.com/track/dolomites
If we were to take a brain scan of a flâneur walking through ivy-covered classical ruins and translate that scan into an aural readout, I imagine it would sound something like Carlo Giustini’s “La persona che ti veste”. Said tourist would sense in their mind an ancient world hidden in the graffittied, architectural scrapyard and envision it at the height of its decadence with lively music, purveyors of pre-industrial goods, and street-faring ancients of every background. As conveyed in the heavy reverb of what sounds like classical instrumentation, this imagining would be still blurred by the veil of modernity, often overpowering it in the form of an intelligible beat or guitar, still keeping it from rising to its original state in the flâneur’s mind. To the credit of the artist, his flâneur attempts to blend the two harmoniously but never seems to get them to fully harmonize. He exits the ruins and returns to the real world.
Glasgow-via-Finland artist Cucina Povera, aka Maria Rossi, is a shining beacon for bedroom ambient pop creators and connoisseurs. The intimacy found on these pop-click laden lo-fi tracks feel like a private window into Rossi’s emotional state. Other unsettling but lovely highlights include: “Joutsenet / Ikiliikkuja” and “Anarkian kuvajainen”.
Peaceful isn’t typically our MO for sharing music on this blog but this track has the right blend of serendipitous flavorings, field recordings, percussive instrumentation which makes me feel comfortable on this February Saturday. Mårble is Saint Petersburg artist Anton Glebov, and from the sound of his other works, he likes the combination of traditional African percussion, saxophone, field recordings, and soothing pads. More here: https://marble-music.bandcamp.com/
The most intriguing thing about this track to me is its refusal to fully resolve or to point to any obvious emotion. Its ceaseless levitation between solid classifications is what makes it so repeatable to my ears. On a sonic level it has quirky and trippy sounds with a modicum of ambient going on.
P.S. Dan wanted to add: “Feels a bit like N64 Goldeneye lounge music, you know what I’m sayin’?”
This enticing beat feels like the AI in your keyboard demo suddenly became self aware and is frantically trying to free itself from its own programming, leaving the owner to look on as it goes radically haywire. This beautifully amorphous beat is rapidly rearranged and never fully lands, save for a stint of silence a bit past halfway. Brain treats taste nice.
A slow growl, steady noise, and a reed organ that gives way only to a dulcimer (or possibly a similar stringed instrument) is what’s makes up this lonely ambiance track. Eventually the dulcimer meets up with a steel string guitar and the two dance together, parting often in their shared confusion; trying to make sense of their world. There are no stops just a straight 6-minutes of swirling, which provides a complimentary soundtrack to these times of daily confusion.
Oftentimes in music, among many other things in life, simple repetition with subtle variation is the key to soothing a weary mind. This track finds that balance quite well and it’s those subtle variations poured lightly over the synth-arpeggios that coalesce into an aural healing experience. Mirko’s title for this piece, “Night City Landing”, gives us an image of a near-future dystopian relaxation process, also evocative of our current preoccupation with post-apocalypticism and the need for solace in the inevitable place.
We haven’t included a “Pop Offerings” track in quite some time and this is a perfect balance between the otherwise ambient tracks normally found here and the slick pop tracks we indulge in from time-to-time. “Digital Sleep” is a grooving, vocal heavy, exercise in hypnotism ending in just under 3 minutes and providing enough psychoactive material for a smoke filled evening or, a drug free uber-ride. You name it