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Tuesday, 6 May 2014

△ - Everyone wants the man who is still searching to have already reached his conclusions.
[Click on image for official △ website]

Country: Australia
Composer: Daniel Thompson
Released: May 2013
- Tracklist -
1. I wasn't listening, I watched the light that was reflecting off the water shine on to our faces
2. All the memories of the summer-were kept in a faded book at the bottom of my draw
3. The hot pavement hurt our feet so we dived in, Felt the Cold Water on our Skin, the Sun Shone off our Backs
4. The Summer Quickly Changed and we found ourselves again in the routine of Winter
5. I couldn't Stand-I couldn't Focus-Every Hair on my head stood up like a Ball of Needles-My whole body and the room was vibrating
6. Each Person was like a droplet of rain on a puddle of water. The image was vivid in our minds.
7. Everything Moved so slowly, your hair was weightless, I could see every detail on your body
8. We woke up in the very early morning, We didn't speak, just Fingers playing lightly on our skin 
9. I was Dreaming that in a theatre, on the screen my whole life played backwards
10. We Both knew the consequence at the time of making the decision
11. I took a bath, Held my Breath, Pulled my head down under the water and laughed
12. I hadn't slept for so long, I had too long been by myself
- Review -
With a band name like that and song titles reminiscent of Red Sparowes (this though may be overboard), you know this is going to be a good album. The complete obscurity of this project has driven to take a dive into the newest release.
And I've come out surprised at the level of professionalism within this work. It's the correct dosage of good Ambience, that balance of enough atmosphere but without choking the music (unless deliberately) and a sound production that gives all layers of sound a chance to be heard. This is not ground-breaking, but I really enjoyed this album for what it gives, it does so well. It can compare it easily to the amazing visualised soundscapes of Martin Stig Anderson (Limbo soundtrack) or the earthy yet chilling music of Northaunt. Daniel has been heavily influenced by urban landscapes in this case though.
Its a long album too, so the quantity of music here is more than enough to sate any appetite. But each piece has it's independent personality (some albums work well as a whole, some as individual songs) so it's possible to get a fulfilling experience without listening to the full album, which sometimes can be hard for artists to achieve.
This is a good album and I am a bit disappointed I didn't know of it before. I hope to share this with all you out there, it's not so often I get to review albums from my homeland.

Wastelanders - Cosmic Despair
[Click on image for official Wastelanders website]

Country - America
Composer - Dean Costello
Released - May 2013
- Tracklist -
1. The Beginning
2. Abstraction
3. Cosmic Despair
4. Expanding Mental Universe
5. The Crossing
- Review -
 Cosmic indeed. This is dark and ethereal.

Listening through the album, it doesn't seem ground-breaking, everything here is tried and tested techniques, but that doesn't mean it is a bad album. There is certainly that slight fuzzy, 'cosmic' (might as well call it that) atmosphere lingering within each song, not so much that it's choking, but the release doesn't sound hollow either.

For a debut this is solid, varied song lengths and some good experimentation (such as the hand-beaten drum & stick sound in 'The Crossing'). But I feel it could be that touch tighter, I find myself skipping into the songs a bit, each song takes quite a while to build up to a climax of some sort, this may be due to the mellower, slower pace that Ambience generically offers, but for the album to be completely outstanding, it can have more.... oomph, but without losing that mellow edge.

I'm not saying this is a bad album, it is a good listen. But it won't give you too much that you haven't heard already.