Lucas – Kinder

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.

-Dan

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Raica – Makmba [Future Times]

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.

Erich

 

Dungen – Trollkarlen och fågeldräkten (Version 2)

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.

Dan

Brian Eno with Kevin Shields – Only Once Away My Son

This track seems neither celebratory nor mournful, but like a fly on the wall of the universe itself, the music is a simple witness to the happenings of nature; sometimes cold and heartless, sometimes triumphant and warm. We have yet to post any tracks by the father of ambient music, Brian Eno and there’s no better introduction than a fantastic piece like this, composed by Eno and Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine) released recently on Adult Swim singles. The vibrations throughout give the effect of the earth quaking some distance off, while voices spin about; some passing to their own destination, some coalescing to join the great singular noise of the song. Another breathtaking installment in a long line of Eno credits.

Erich

Shelf Nunny – I Should Have Known

It’s a subtle groove, just prominent enough to make its melodies known but calm enough to push some of the sweat off your forehead and I’ve got to admit I’ve been pretty impressed with the output of Shelf Nunny and their labelmates as of late. I tend to lean more to ambient and less experimental pop, but tracks like this “I Should Have Known”, from Shelf Nunny, have really been hitting the spot for me. The slight permutations made throughout the track are, again, loud enough to make the necessary emotional effect but not so loud that they demand any additional energy from the listener, and that’s a tough tightrope to walk. Well done.

Dan

HimeHime – Bath Texts

If you hear the intro to this track and think you’ve stumbled on a corrupt mp3, fear not. The song reaches a relaxing, hazy, feel beginning at precisely the 1-minute mark and this is where HimeHime shines. Whether you hear a tranquil jungle or maybe a calm, after hours shower, this track provides some aural ‘E’ that takes me places too fine to accurately articulate this early in the week. HimeHime does a bang-up job bringing the variety on his bath texts release which can be found the other side of the link above.

Dan