Chaika – Inspirations From Jacques Offenbach

Chaika is a one-man project from Russia, organized by Nikita Soldatenkov, who was greatly influences and impressed by the music of Offenbach and Stravinsky. This fact gives an exhaustive explanation to how he entitled his album, released on INQB8R netlabel: “Inspirations From Jacques Offenbach”, and I think, it is a worhty homage for this remarkable composer. The album consists of three tracks, the first of them – “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” (The Tales Of Hoffmann), named so in the name of Offenbach’s opera, which is based on stories of E. T. A. Hoffmann – here the project Chaika intented to unbosom his own vision. It starts with murmuring noises, gradually passing into stable drone with some repeating reversed vocal phrases. The sounding is rich and dense, as if it is a rock mass, though it is rather movable; also it has a distinct structure with introduction, the proper body of the track and conclusion – everything, characteristic of classical music. “Le Mariage Aux Lanteres” (“The Wedding By Lantern-Light”) also refers to Offenbach’s creation, and here Mr. Soldatenkov shows his specific approach – through vibrant layers of drones, soft sweeps of noise, which after the middle of the track turn into slightly vocalized fluxion. “Le Papillon” (“The Butterfly”) begins with some mechanical sounds, or maybe hyperbolized representation of a butetrfly’s flapping, alternate with a dog’s barking; later it leaves space for a flying ambience, where that mechanic knocking turns into some kind of chaotic breath-like sounds against the background of peaceful and majestic drone. Well, in general, this album leaves a great impression, and I hope, that ambient lovers will enjoy these inspirations.

Official release page

Meczûp – Hanging from the Purgatory’s Pendulum

Now you’ll have a unique opportunity to listen to a Turkish musician Cihan Gülbudak, whose experimental project Meczûp and his album “Hanging from the Purgatory’s Pendulum” is based on the sounds, produced with the use of termenvox – a musical instrument, invented by Léon Theremin at the beginning of the XX century. The album starts with “A Tale For Lancinant Screws” – with its gentle and tragic mewing sounds, sinking in infinity; the author succeeded in creating a very mournful atmosphere, which sets the tone for the rest of the work. It should be noted, that an oriental kind of notes’ selection is obvious here and then  – it is an evident oriental music. “Kwaidan” continues the line, which began in the first track, developing the tensity and the depth of the author’s feelings. In the last half of this piece a supporting background appears, increasing the effect of estrangement. “Puriest Morning Of All Times” represents a movement from the night darkness into the first rays of the sun, which is supplemented by a crystal drone, closer to the end – as if it is vesiculated by some kind of flickering gas. “Blossom In Cemetery” depicts the coexistence of the dead and the alive – in spite of the same tragic mood, you can hear some shades of everlasting Being – nothing and nobody dies, the life is endless, though it may be not happy sometimes. “The Ribald Genie” is a case of using distortion effect for a termenvox – you can find this phenomenon between the 5th and the 7th minutes of the track – it truly shows, that musical creation has no borders. “The Bridge of Khazad-dûm”, is a less melody-orientated thing on the album, as the sounds are long-drawn and they are more alienated and of low-tone. So, enjoy the termenvox revelations by Meczûp.

Official release page

Meczûp on MySpace

Marta Kubišová – Modlitba Pro Martu (A Prayer For Marta)

For the first time on Agniworld a piece of music, which doesn’t officially belong to experimental music, is reviewed. It is a song by Marta Kubišová, a Czech singer, which flew to the open world in the hard 1968, at the time of the so-called Prague Spring, when the whole world froze in fear of the beginning of a new armed conflict, or even a new world war. This song became an anthem for this period and that generation of people. I won’t go deep into this, as the History will tell this story much better than me. In this article I will pay attention to some certain music and sonic features, which made such a strong and heartfelt song. At first, the voice of Marta – it is perfect and it is unquestionable. Here – I want to accentuate the organ sound, which appears to be the decisive element of the composition – I think, that many musicians can envy this rich and profound sounding. As you can notice, the song consists of three parts, all of them have different moods – in the first part the organ is turned into the “church” mode, then comes some kind of a “jazz” mode, and, at last comes the “psychedelic” mode with cloudy vibrato and wider projection. These parts are different, but their difference doesn’t inerfere with the entire unity – they represent a very successful case of compositional harmony and the harmony of moods – though they [moods] are interflowing into one – as for me, I’ve got very complicated and versatile feelings, when listening to “Modlitba Pro Martu”, but I can confirm, that these feelings are not simply full of light – they ARE light! I’m not surprised, that this masterpiece managed to inflame many thousands of hearts during such indefinite, stirring and hard events, which happened in 1968. Those years and those events are behind, but I believe, that this Prayer is able to become a sonic Prometheus nowadays, it is able to inspire to find inner peace and to seek for the outer peace. Three minutes of this song contain a big dramatic situatuon in the past and the faith in the Better Future. So, let’s join Marta’s Prayer.

Listen to “Modlitba Pro Martu” and watch some slides on Youtube

Marta Kubišová’s unofficial site

Marta Kubišová’s official site

Akinesia – Each Flower Is Love

Now let’s proceed to one of Akinesia’s albums, which has a very poetic and philosophical title – “Each Flower Is Love”, released on DNA Production netlabel. The album is represented by one track, with total duration of almost 23 minutes – it may seem a little bit short, but it is rather enough to realize the beauty of this ambient creation! Swelling like the light of the rising sun, the first sounds are an indistinct drone, but some seconds later you are sure to recognize the succession of liquid loops, which then are supported by a covering fire of a linear atmosperic sound layer. Somewhere between the 8th and the 9th minute you’ll hear the transition to the music of another characteristicts: now the ambience has diminished its frequency – it is like breath, and this ergonomic rhythm brings you into a condition of comfortable suspension. From time to time you can discern some accompanying sounds of strings, which carefully lead the whole somposition to the outcome, when the initial liquid loops are rolling again.  This single track seemed to me analogous to the flight of the airplane – with its takeoff, the very flight, and the landing. By the way, at the “landing” of the composition you hear a vague female voice, telling us something about the sense of the whole idea of the album – I can’t recognize the words exactly, but first the voice uses the English language, and then comes to maybe Latin American languages, and maybe French. Then, the track abruptly finishes, leaving a small tail of residual echoes or reverberation. The whole work is quite in accordance with its title – it is a real sound flower, which, in its turn, is love. Truly, if we use the metaphysical approach to the title, we can agree, that in some way the growth of flowers is closely connected with such a high notion, as love; flower, and any other plant – is the earth’s attraction to the sky – it is the realization of their deep feeling, combined with their beauty and openness. So, make some observations of love in the nature with Akinesia’s album.

“Each Flower Is Love” on DNA Productions netlabel

Akinesia on MySpace

Tile Shore – Tile Shore

Starting with flanging sounds, as if some kind of transport is sweeping past you, the album by Tile Shore, with the same title, opens the slightly interrupted thick layer of ambience – the track, called “Orpheus”, saturated by succulent noises of different shades. The commencement is then replaced by “Exosphere”, the bright mass, full of whale-like howling and other sounds of unknown origin and belonging. Undoubtedly, this track reveals space of colossal volume, corresponding to the title of the track, “Exosphere” is the uppermost layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, which becomes to be the first to meet far away radiation and guests from unknown corners of the Universe – it is the first stage of the border between our planet and the outer space, and the track perfectly depicts this absorbing and soaring feeling, the discrepant feelings of maximum rarefaction, weightlessness and proximity to the planet. “Tile Blog” is represented by the complete system of sounds – from irregular and movable – to almost static or slowly gliding. I would say, that it is a sonic cocktail, constituted by wind rushes, hovering massive clouds, flickering patches of sunlight and inconceivable flows of flower fragrances. “Shades Of Drafts” as if continuing the previous mood, supplements and develops it – into a certain state of celestial cerenity, with its imposingly approaching and flying away rags of gentle sounds and sudden, but not irritating ringings. “Swamp Smoke” reminded me of the ambience, which could exist during the ancient times, when extincted animals were living – like dinosaurs, gigantic dragonflies and so on – because of the chirring and fullness with strange voices, which initially (in the process of recording) could be the human voices, but later the authors changed them out of all recognition, so that they become like voices of huge reptiles. Though, of course, I can be wrong with this association. The completion of the album, “Outflow” is a pleasant smooth ambience, which is interlaced with some field recordings of something metal, light-heartedly tinkling in the beginning of the track, giving a way to the main vibrations. Tile Shore is a Russian ambient project, consisting of two members – Anton Berkov and Serg Alexeev, who felicitously combined the music with a nice set of photographs to each of the track. The cover literally reflects the title of the album – it is the sea shore, divided into tiles, which are black-and-white in the peripheryand almost the whole picture, and coloured in the center. So, find time to enjoy this magic place, “Tile Shore”.

Tile Shore On Liminal RECS netlabel

Occurrences In Rain – Climbing Ladders Into Falling Objects

It is great, that nowadays creating music became available to lots of people, who truly are capable and like to write it. More means of creating, recording and extracting of sounds are opened for us. And I’m glad, that the project Occurrences In Rain used this oportunity. Now, we shall proceed to its fresh album, called “Climbing Ladders Into Falling Objects” – a very abstract title, which makes us imagine some kind of a Sisyphus, who tries to climb higher, but as the top of the ladder is tending down, he stays on the same place. The title track, which occurs to be the first one, is represented by widespread mild drone, presumably of string character, with slight changes in its run, but in spite of this minimalism, the track exposes rather picturesque mindscapes, giving a start to a meditative listening, conjugated with deep thoughts. The next track, “Suppressed Panic Upon Approaching The Kuiper Belt”, suggests, that here the author narrates about a long travel in space. As in the case with the albums of the project Kalte, here I also had to consult the Internet regarding the Kuiper Belt, which appeared to be a large asteroid belt beyond the Neptune orbit, so I clearly understood, why the “suppressed panic” should come while approaching this region of cosmos, because asteroid clusters are no good when flying on a space ship. The whole track is of low-toned drone, having some oscillations and damped slow pulsation; at the end of it you can hear a distant melody, with blurred structure and irregular composition – but it is evident, that it symbolizes relief – maybe the passing through the Kuiper Belt finished without any loss. The next track, with the title “As Velocity Increased Time Slowed Then Passed In Reverse”, with its swelling rush of a bass drone, tells us another part of this voyage, when the wanderers came across some phenomena, emerging at a speed of light, and some new phenomena, up to now unknown to the modern science. This album is like a science-fiction story or even a novel with a plot, which, however, assumes freedom for a listener’s imagination. Thus, I won’t decipher the rest of it, because everyone must get his own story. Anyway, this is a very nice and educative album for an ambient lover – so, enjoy it!

Enjoy this release on Bandcamp!

Sinexoid – Mute

Sinexoid – is a project of Alexey Rodin (also known as Adaptcore, Hydrocore Wise, Human Terminal), a musician from Moscow Region, Russia, whose albums emerged on such labels, as Dark Winter, Benekkea, Rec72 and NoiseKoncept. His newest work, called “Mute”, which will be reviewed here, Alexey released by himself, and, as it can be understood from the listening, he really knows what to release, what to present to the listeners.  Starting with soft piano attack of “Awakening” with its pure and weightless substance, “Mute” opens its doors, but the first thing you can see after awakening is “Melancholy”. I must admit, it is not a black melancholy – it is a rainbow feeling, full of airy sounds. Maybe it is also a preparatory track for a listener, because in a melancholical state you can perceive more sides of Existance, than you can, being in euphoria – because you are opened for impressions and thoughts of opposite orders. Then comes “Time Of Dissolution” with its a little bit brittle rhythm, though good preserved by tranquil melody and mild riffs. Listening to “Avoiding Me”, I saw some influences of maybe Ulrich Schnauss, in “We Have No Choice” – influences of Boards Of Canada, and on some other tracks. We often are afraid of this notion – “influence”, but in some cases, to which Sinexoid belongs, we must be proud of such influences – just because they are good and beneficial. Of course, I can be wrong in defining those influences, but I can’t do anything with my subjective approach. Now, let’s make a jump over some tracks and come to “People Are Fragile”  with its considered architecture and atmosphere. For me this track seemed a sum of the means and ways, used in the entire album – it is evident, that the author put the larger part of his creative mood into this piece. It isn’t very powerful as some previous tracks, but its power is hidden inside and in its title, I agree, that people are fragile. But it is wonderful, that some of such fragile people can make such great music.

Sinexiod’s official site

Download and enjoy “Mute”

Aeroshell – Lighthugger Single

For the first time on Agniworld a single-release is reviewed – it is the almost 7 minutes track “Lighthugger” by Aeroshell. This piece of music is not as long, as the works, reviewed earlier, but it is distinguished by the fact, that the artist managed to put so much of his inner force, imagination and to create a very magic and peculiar atmosphere, that these 7 minutes will be definitely enough to fall in love with this music. Actually, the style of this Aeroshell’s item of creation belongs to IDM-line, which is closely connected with ambient. Here you can find all traditional features, characteristic of this style – pleasant, but stable and forceful rhythm, deep and penetrating bass, and, of course, airy and imponderable ambient piece – the fundamental and determinant factor, which gives the whole thing a very unique colouring. “Lighthugger” is presumable derived from two words – “light” and “hug”, and together these two meanings create rather a placid and benigh concept and feeling of of either being hugged by the light or maybe hugging with the light. So, join the comfort of Aeroshell’s “Lighthugger”.

Self-release page (Bandcamp)

Mystified – Bone Drones 3

Thomas Jackson Park, aka Mystified, goes on pioneering the virgin depths of ambient experimental music, setting a nice example through his devotion to the genre and his prolific releases; and today we shall discuss his new album, released on Webbed Hand Records, which is called “Bone Drones 3”. This four-track album is represented by thoughtfully and fancifully processed sounds, initially generated on trombone. Even though the sound was processed, it preserved its naturalness and the warmth of life, breathed by the artist himself in its direct and figurative sense, because aerophones are silent without human exhalations. The first track, “Bone Drone 11” turns out to be the airy and pleasant cushion of sound, which firstly seemed to me the work of an orchestra, as well as the other tracks.  However, getting some information from the official release page I learnt, that all these enveloping and monumental substances are the result of Mystified’s keenness of wit, who has the sharp feeling of space, time, music and mood; he knows how to turn the sonic fluction into the right way. So, let’s sink in the atmosphere of Mystified’s “Bone Drones 3”.

Official release page
Mystified’s official site

Mark Hakonen-Meddings – Vapaa

Today Agniworld’s eye is pointed at another Somehow Recordings release – an album by Mark Hakonen-Meddings, which is called “Vapaa”, and contains 5 tracks, beginning with the letter “V”. It starts with “Viiva” – a drony set of pleasant and thoughtful piano flashes against the indistinct and blurred ambient background. The next track, “Vilja”, is more soothing and atmospheric, it has a fine-grained and glimmering structure, as if it consists of unknown radiant substance, producing some kind of spiritual relaxation and inner cosiness. “Virta” is predominantly bound to low level of sounding, also having fuss in between. It is more like a sudden break in the middle of the album, a time out for further acoustic experience. “Veri” is distinguished by its pulsing warmth and tenderness, bringing the listener closer to inner peace and solitude; luscious chords, smooth transitions and overall feeling of mental transcendence surely will lead you to balanced and quiet state of mind. “Voima” represents the logical conclusion for the album, resembling a kind of awakening from a soft and magic trance, giving us the evidence of the fact, that this music belongs to meditational art, where both the artist and the listener are engaged into this mild abyss of fantasy. Here you can hear guitar sounds together with synthesizer, that together create a strikingly bizarre soundscape. I think, that everyone will carry his own peculiar things out of this album – listening to such works of this kind will definitely benefit your imagination and perception of the world. So, join the meditation of Mark Hakonen-Meddings with his album “Vapaa”.

Somehow Recordings Shop

Allessio Ballerini – Me And

“Me And” is the album by Allessio Ballerini, released on Somehow Recordings, and which is sure to conquer your hearts. It starts with the track called “Half Water”, built of rainy and fresh-aired field recordings and heavy, but tender and smooth bass blows, increasing their strength with the lapse of the piece; also here you can hear a flickering background drone – a radiation of comfort, kindness and serenity. This “entrance track” politely and thoughtfully involves you in the rest levels of Ballerini’s atmosphere. The next track, which entitles the whole work, is probably a result of guitar processing with gradual succession of gentle chords and permeating soft noise. The third piece, “Movement Two”, is likely to be connected more with air and wind, because it has features of blowing, rather than flowing – it has another nature of motion – it is ethereal and tenuous, which is more characteristic of gas condition. Track number 4, “In All Of Us”, is represented by 7 minutes of low drone with subtly manifesting changes and oscillations. “Sun Of Venere” has some kind of lo-fi design, though it still has brilliant and pleasant sounding; you find here different textures – plain drones, splash-likes squeaks, and powerful wall of sound, enveloping all of your essence in a layer of warm and light cloud. “Movement Three” has some kind of vocal inclusions or something resembling them, embedded in water-like sounds and slow waves of drones. The concluding “You” is constructed by the layer of soft noise and subtle ambient melody, obscured by the noisy fumes and trying to make its way through this dense and white barrier. The whole impression, made by this album is really great and unforgettable – it lets you experience new dimensions of sound and see new horizons of imagination. So, have a listen to “Me And” by Allessio Ballerini.

Official release on Somehow Recordings’ Bandcamp page

Kenichi Oka (Yamaoka) – Warm Colours

It starts with portions of soft wooden tickings, against the background of mild droning soundscape, winding up the bizarre mechanism of the album “Warm Colours”, written by Kenichi Oka – Yamaoka, and released on Somehow Recordings. Listening to it you are sure to agree with the album’s title, as the entire sounding emanates warmth and limpid comfort. The second piece is represented by presumably artificial ringings, resembling a bit telephone sounds, but in the concept of this track, they acquire new features and possibilities – of creating strange atmosphere and mysterious moods, as if in some science fiction film, when a hero makes hiw way through the blinking corridor of a spaceship, saving himself from an unknown form of life, which penetrated the cosmic vehicle (but these are only my own associations). The third piece contains some indistinct mumbling, subtle noises, maybe based on radio broadcast or something else, and excited looped bass arpeggio, which phases along the whole composition. The fourth ambience is built on muffled arpeggios, and some other drone layers, again creating a science fiction picture. Well, I won’t dismantle the rest of the tracks, for I want to share the pleasure of imagining the the listener, and to let him submerge into this magic underwater on his own – it is really an unforgettable experience. I must also remark, that the album seemed to me having a slight old-world flavour, linking back to the electronic music of the past decades, and making the album gentle and just great. So, see the “Warm Colours” of Kenichi Oka.

“Warm Colours” on Somehow Recordings

Saito Koji – Dreamers

“Dreamers” is an album by Saito Koji, which was released on Somehow Recordings, and today it turns out to be the subject of Agniworld’s discussion. The tracklist organization of this work is quite simple and clear: it consists of two exactly 20 minutes length tracks, which represent the sphere of drone ambient. As I learned from the off-site source of information (Norman Records), this album was written during the Fukushima disaster, and indeed, realizing it, the perception of Saito Koji’s music changes cardinally. Without knowing this, I felt, that it is just a set of serene and pleasant ambiences, but after learning the circumstances of the author’s creation, new sides and new corners became visible. The first track introduces the listener into some kind of prostration and a slight hint of agitation by accordion-like drones, which don’t change a lot during the whole piece, for me it resembles the static gaze into the distant area without an intention to discern anything. Just a prostrated and a little bit trembling gaze. The next part of “Dreamers” is of lower-tone colouring, and if compared with the previous one, it is warmer and calmer, though it continues the former tendency to be static and to have low quantity of audible changes – it is a smooth and stable layer of drone, which, however has some subtle pulse – tardy and measured, as if the space echoes in a blurred way through the dense suspension of glowing particles. I must admit, the both tracks seemed to me a kind of psychic drawing, a steady building of certain moods, as if the music was created when the author’s heart and head were directly connected to the recorder, being the only musical instruments at his disposal. And I think, this connection is rather successful and worth listening to. So, join the “Dreamers” of Saito Koji.

“Dreamers” on Somehow Recordings

Agniworld is hibernating

Agniworld has now fallen into hibernation. The moment of awakening is indefinite, though it will be.

Saåad – Pink Sabbath

Today I bring to your attention a brutally atmospheric and esoteric self-released album “Pink Sabbath”, which appears to be the creation of Saåad, a mysterious and newest (for me) project, run by Romain Barbot. As I can understand from the sounding of this work, it is represented by processed sounds of Tibetan ritual instruments – huge horns and maybe some other. The opening track, “Pink Sabbath” is introducing you to the Saåad’s sacrament of vibrations, ringing and brain-exploding massive drones. The sonic contours are blurred and obscured, as if located in the far away distance, but through the flooding light of it you distinguish different elements. The tracks are smoothly passing one into another, so the whole album may be considered as a single track, though having various parts and moods. For me the most striking theme is the last, called “Southberry Tower”, with its majestic and strong radiance, which as if reveals the power of the Himalayas, where the mythic (or not mythic, who knows?) land of Shambala is situated. The music is rather energetic and purifying – you can feel some kind of takeoff, detachment from the physic level, rushing into the roasting depths of Light. So, join the “Pink Sabbath” of Saåad.

Self-release page on Bandcamp

Found at Deleted Scenes Forgotten Dreams Blog

Saåad on MySpace