Heather Woods – A Call for Distance

This is an older one but it slid so gently into my mind this afternoon when I rediscovered it in a lost playlist. “A Call for Distance” is exactly that. The song proper doesn’t really start until 1 minute and a half in and feels ‘right’ when it hits. It bounces around between Visible Cloaks 80s-synth and a percussive jazz number for a party-becomes-eccentric event without ever becoming an overwrought spectacle. Woods ability to retain quality comes clearly from her strength in balance.

Erich

Kleefstra | Bakker – Ut Har Eagen Bliedzje

Usually it’s brothers Romke Kleefstra and Jan Kleefstra who are the minds behind the Kleefstra sounds but they teamed up with Anne Chris Bakker in the past and apparently it went well because they’ve reunited to release some more great new music. This track here is called “Ut Har Eagen Bliedzje” which translated from¬† arcane Western Frisian, a rare, West German dialect, means “from her eyes”. The subtlety in the well crafted sounds in conjunction with the words from a lost language truly makes this a unique experience and conjures an interesting kind of loneliness. The German label Midira, who I’d not heard of til recently, has quite high standards in the realm of ambient/noise music; I recommend perusing.

Dan

Pop Offerings: Mac DeMarco – On The Level

Pop Offerings: Mac DeMarco – “On The Level”. Now over a week old, this track is finally reaching Polishdownpour, feeling fresh, and yet as old and timeless as any well loved vinyl. The lazy slithering of the vocals is characteristic of DeMarco yet the soundscape is new. The chords, synths, tempo, virtually everything about this track gleefully harken back to any given track from seminal Air album Talkie Walkie, and with great effect. Similarly, the song never reaches an ultimate high or low, much like the inner-rumblings of the speakers mind.

Dan

Machinefabriek – Crumble

I wanted to include this piece in conjunction with the previous post as a musical counterpoint from the same artist. The tie that binds the two is simply the absolute other-worldly destination they both bring you to with very few instruments. The clear difference is the type of worlds they inhabit. Once again I recommend delving deeper in Machinefabriek, pen-name of Netherlands musician/sound artist and graphic designer Rutger Zuydervelt.

Erich

Machinefabriek – Halfslaap II

With great force of imagination, one can imagine,¬† a couple of performers playing and tweaking sounds over a looper, a synth, a violin, and other instruments, but the fascinating thing is, upon first listen, that’s the farthest thing from my mind. I hear houses collapsing, entire civilizations screaming out, and a lone violinist standing in a rubble heap; all from two sound artists working their magic to cohesion on this piece. If you can believe it, this piece is a recording of a live performance from famed Machinefabriek, pen-name of musician/sound artist and graphic designer Rutger Zuydervelt from the Netherlands. The only thing that breaks the spell is the applause at the conclusion. If you’re unfamiliar with Zuydervelt’s work, now is a great time to introduce yourself by following the above soundcloud link.

Erich

An eastern inspired, synth-meets-sax piece by US artist Spencer Doran, delivers simultaneously smooth and sharp edges in a palatable and surprising manner. It seems to me Doran intermittently adds these abrupt spots to help us listeners avoid a loss of interest and to more highly value the smooth tranquil malaise masterfully crafted here. The release this track is taken from, Reassemblage, is equally stunning and worth the listen.

Erich

Visible Cloaks – Music Interiors Vol. 2: Interni Italiani

Feeling totally ‘wowed’ by the huge array of artists and instrumentation heard here on this Spencer/Visible Cloaks’ mix. It’s hard for me to grasp completely how this was all consolidated but I’d like to share the statement they’ve attached to this album on their soundcloud:

“DJ Mix of Italian ambient/minimalist/avant-garde music, mostly emanating from institutions supporting the visual arts in cities like Milan and Rome: theatre production soundtracks, video installations, and architectural studies. Ethnographic plunderphonics, post-Battiato spiritual minimalism and hypnotic FM patterns, flowing with Mediterranean fourth world currents throughout.”

I know we’ve never once, and probably never again, shared a DJ mix, but this was a special case. I am filled with joy at the soundscapes collected here and wanted to share.

Dan