Aptly named ‘The Marble’ evokes abandoned monuments and forgotten deities; spirits still lingering in the sacked cities of Rome, or possibly, craters on another planets. What strikes me is how smooth ‘The Marble’ is. There are no sharp edges or visible fraying heard here, passing from emotion to emotion with seamless erudition. This devastatingly eerie release from German based Miasmah, is not for the feint-of-heart and listening should be ventured while knowingly in exploratory mode.
The saxaphone and minimal house beat are anything if not strange bedfellows and how they weave in and out of odd tonal modes is puzzling beautiful. The only unremarkable thing is that this artist’s place of origin is the very Nordic country of Norway.
In a world of undying proselytism, sometimes the ambiance of pads and samples can overwhelm the fact that life is, indeed, a pop track. But that same dizziness we all experience is why we can all relate to AAL’s re-imagining of modern love and modern experiences on “I Never Dream”; channeling a feeling of fast-paced disorientation, and enjoying the fact that it is simply part of the human experience now.
A moody piece from etherealist Jake Muir which evokes a unified group expressing their desire to their “greater power”. Whether Muir means to have this be a sincere “prayer”, by a struggling working class, or an overwhelming, unwanted one, by a group in opposition to his cause, remains to be seen, but the copious uncertainty felt in either reality is present in this track. And like most good music, the beauty of it is its interpret-ability. A bit like the illusion: “Do you see the beautiful young woman or the old woman’s face?”
Ah yes, sometimes you find just the right track for your “high-snobbery”. Northwesterner Lucas takes a page from both lo-fi acousticsm and progressive ambiance to make this track here “Kinder”. The title itself is the German word for “children” and is directly reflected in the music. A slow and maiden first step which is gradually built into a larger whole with backing keys and vocal additions. Clocking in at a mere 2 minutes and 4 seconds, this track is smart in its brevity, saying exactly what it needs to; no more, no less.
Chloe Harris, or Raica as she is often known, finds a certain balance difficult to possess for most ambient artist; she keeps the ideals at the heart of ambient music while maintaining a consistent groove throughout her tracks. This single “Makmba [Future Times]” is a prime example of the slow swell and ambient feel present in all her work, but also the consistent tempo and rhythm that helps keep us attentive to her every move. Having been a DJ for over 20 years, she’s quite adept at weaving seamless sounds and still keeping that pioneering spirit alive in what she does.
Happy Xmas Merry Holidays, etc. I was out earlier this evening and witnessed the colossal lines and traffic jams at shopping areas here in Central California and it was a bit overwhelming. This 9-minute off-beat groove from Dungen feels strangely in-step with the hustle and bustle of the ceaseless Holiday purchasing and is cathartic in a way for me. Have a great Holiday everyone and don’t get down about materialism; when Dec 26 comes around, it’ll all evaporate, just like Frosty.