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Tuesday 3 December 2013

I'm hiring.

I've been thinking lately about the direction of this website, and the future it holds, I know that it can do well just as it is, but I want for of it, I want to expand it. 

At the moment, it is simply a site where I review albums within the Ambient/Electronic genre. But I really want to expand it to become a business venture. I am interested in it becoming a record label, and a music management company. 

I want to hire another one or two people to help me write more reviews, it's a beautiful job, basically listen to an album before going to sleep (this music actually has a tendency to make you sleepy) and write about the experience afterwards, no bad reviews, just good ones. I don't want to clutter the site with negative reviews.

I want to keep the site local at the moment, so any Australians interested send me a message. Once expanded, I will hire internationally.

Please please do this for me, music is a passion for me, help me grow this passion.

If you have any questions just inbox me, I'll be happy to answer.

My email:

Thursday 3 October 2013

Heinali - Useless Music

[Click on image for official Heinali website]
Country - Ukraine
Composer - Oleg Shpudeiko
Released - April 2012

- Tracklist -
1. Useless Music 1
2. Useless Music 2
3. Useless Music 3

- Review -
What a short but powerful piece of composition, and at the end I'm left wondering why it simply stops at three songs. However, this album doesn't need an hour long play to drift in your head, these three simple piano pieces are enough to send you into your dreams.

And yes, there is nothing complicated about this, just a talented young composer on a piano, no fancy sound affects or electronic wizardry. The recording is raw as well, you can even hear piano pedals at work. This simplicity gives the music breathing room, it flows and feels lighter than compared to contemporaries. It is not overburdened with any extra layers, and honestly the sound of that piano is so uplifting.

This is a gorgeous little album that takes straight to the heart, get it. It is a warm, enjoyable sound, it is not 'dark' ambient at all. It not even ambient yet still deserves a special place on this blog.

Saturday 14 September 2013

XUN - Frameworks

[Click on image for official XUN website]
Country - Germany
Composer - Phil R.
Released - July 2011

- Tracklist -
1. Glassworks
2. Ember
3. Clastic
4. Morbid
5. Spinal
6. Solar
7. Clockworks

- Review -
As I listen to this album, I am constantly reminded of Atrium Carceri. The gritty industrial tone is certainly here, along with its own special something, which I'll try to figure out during this review. But welcome to XUN, take a seat, because you'll be blown away.

First of all the phrase 'more is less' certainly is one of Phil's favourites, each of these songs dares to shed layers for a much more isolated atmosphere, yet none feel paper thin. The distortion and grain behind each track simply gives that extra solidity, a blank canvas if you will, upon which this talented musician spreads his ideas. This slight distortion gives a special edge to the rest of the composition too, some of the music can seem abrupt, but never razor sharp, and I absolutely love this little element. It seems like it's coming from an old analog radio, it gives it a sense of age.

Each and every song is amazing but there are three that I want to talk about together, 'Ember', 'Clastic' and 'Morbid', and this is where I see an Atrium Carceri influence. The atmosphere in these three is just electrifying, it's spine-tinglingly dark. This is proper Industrial Ambience done without hundreds of layers stacked on top of each other. I can pick out about four or five, and that is probably the most layers in a Xun song (either that or they're so subtle and well-fitted I can't pick them out)

Overall this is an album that has completely terrified me; the music has so much grip and traction it almost feels like its crawling along your skin. It's deep, very deep. You like quality Ambient? I urge you to get this album.

Monday 26 August 2013

Interview with Robert Sun (KoldVoid)

Name - Rob
Country - Romania

The very first interview I have ever done, so my skills at questioning may seem a little rusty at times, but hopefully this will give you an enjoying read about the life and thoughts of a great ambient musician. Many thanks to Robert for being such a good sport too.
- Questions -

1. I wish to talk to you about how Koldvoid came into existence first, what got you into ambient music?
Rob: I am not sure what got me into ambient music, I guess since the very early ages of my existance when I came in contact with music, besides rock music, I got an injection of meditative stuff like Pink Floyd, Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre, than later in early 90s Angelo Badalamenti, Dead Can Dance, Ennio Morricone. I also have grown an attraction for movie soundtracks. All these influences made me experimenting with sounds and textures which years later, in 2008 culminated in the ambition of recording and releasing this style of introspective music under the name of KOLDVOID. I had hours of recordings earlier, but only by the year 2008 I could finally put up all the puzzles from my head and start making it more serious, if I can say so.

2. You have certainly evolved your sound since your first release Touching the Void, is this evolution from acquiring new equipment, or from new ideas?

Rob: Both of them. I was/am always searching for new methods of writing and recording, but I also bought new instruments.
3. Can you give the readers some insight into how you record your music?
Rob: Most of the times I am trying to catch on synth, or piano or on any other instrument a melody I have in my head. This is why KoldVoid is more musical and less noisy than other ambient/industrial music I guess. I try to catch a mood and melody on acoustic guitar, or a piano, this is from where the songs always starts. I use also a metronome or a basic drum, which later I remove from the mix, just to keep up the tempo. After the main melody and chords are recorded, then comes the other instruments, which colours it all up, then I mix it and there you have it. Sometimes I also use also field recordings, sometimes I sample monologues/dialogues from movies, to make it more interesting.
4. Are there any outside inspirations other than music (such as urban life or nature) which help shape your music?
Rob I think music is just one of the inspiration channels. I never start to record something just because I heard an album I like. Most of the times I record after longer periods of non-creative times. Both nature and urban life is an inspiration, some people said that KoldVoid is somewhere on the border between urban feeling and nature. I live almost in the forest, near the city, so there you might be true.
5. I wish to talk to you about how you feel about the Dark Ambient genre as a whole. What do you think defines it as a genre, or, do you feel that it covers a range of unusual but similar styles of music?
Rob: I think of Dark Ambient mainly as a genre or sub-genre. For me Dark Ambient is the music for the mind, not for the body, so it’s a meditative music, most of the times evoking feelings of melancholy or sadness, hence the tag "Dark" Ambient.  A music with an electronic base derived from the industrial scene of the 70s and 80s and later combined with a lot of other influences, ritualistic, noise, tribal, new-age, post-rock, etc, but I think for most of the times Dark Ambient doesn't cover all those similar styles or sub-genres.

6. Are you satisfied with how the genre is received in the public? How is your own project received?
Rob: Depends on what do you think by "received". I think dark ambient is exactly where it should be. Underground. The biggest names like Lustmord, Raison D'etre, etc, can hardly sell more than 2000-3000 copies of their albums, so that's the economical fact. You can go whatever country you want and you will not see more than 200-300 individuals at a Dark ambient show, or festival, but that’s OK for me. I make music as self-therapy, some people buy the releases, that’s all, it’s enough for me. Koldvoid got for more than 90% only good and very good reviews, I never read actually one really negative one, so I guess the dark ambient underground likes it.
7. What is in store for the future of Koldvoid?
Rob: I am currently writing and recording a new album, which may appear in 2014, we'll see.  The working title is "Complete Annihilation of Joy". It will be more electronical and more experimental, but with "real" songs, not only textures...I am trying to find also people to work on some videos. Not much besides this.
8. Any finishing words for the readers?
Rob: Thank you James for the opportunity and the interesting questions. May the Dark lights be with you!






Thursday 8 August 2013

Martin Stig Andersen - Limbo Soundtrack

[Click on image for official Martin Stig Andersen website]
Country - Sweden
Composer - Martin Stig Andersen
Released - July 2011
- Tracklist -
1. Menu
2. Boy's Fort
3. City
4. Rotating Room
5. Sister
6. Gravity Jump
- Review -
Limbo is one of the most beautiful games released, giving side-scrolling puzzle game with surreal minimalist design (I urge you to play it). And if you have played it already, you may or may not have noticed the music. The reason you may have not even known there was music is because it blends so well into the atmosphere of the game.
This is another one of my favourite albums, really professional Ambience all throughout, from the less-is-more approach on 'Menu' and 'Gravity Jump' to the industrial tinged 'Boy's Fort' and even the completely terrifying 'Rotating Room'. What makes this even more surprising is none of this music is really digital at all, most of it being composed through analogue instruments and equipment, giving it a much cleaner, much more earthy appeal than Martins digital counterparts.
Limbo relies very heavily on the atmosphere created within the game, and would not exist as it does without Martins contribution. It is equal the other way around too, as the music co-exists with the game, and is actually a reaction to certain points in the game. So neither could exist without the other, however the soundtrack only still sounds so special.
This is an album everyone should get, the atmosphere feels so right, so real, this is beyond just Dark Ambient, there is no words for this music, this amazing listening experience. Even if you don't want the full album, I urge you to at least get the song 'Menu', which is definitely close to being my favourite Ambient song ever.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Deep-pression - Nieskończone Morze/Vegtelen Tenger

[Click on image for official Deep-pression website]
Country - Poland
Composer - Arthur Burns (A.K.A RH-), ky, Harley Lethalm (A.K.A Dhampyr)
Released - November 2012
- Tracklist -
1. Intro
2. Syreny
3. Tam,Gdzie Martwe statki Jęczą...
4. Nieskończone Morze
5. Głębiny
6. Nadejście Zimowych Chmur
- Review -
The very first Deep-pression song I heard was "Grim Reapers Hand" from the split with Koldvoid, and I immediately loved it, and the piece has become one of my favourite Ambient tracks. So I have decided to review DP's newest full length album, released for free as Nieskończone Morze, or bought from Valse Sinistre records as Vegtelen Tenger.
Both names relate to the idea of an infinite sea, an ocean stretching for miles out to the horizon. And DP has been able to convey this image quite well through their music. Lush soundpads mixed with ominous guitar work, topped off with whispered vocals in the local language. It is quite drawn out and does not rush at all, instead keeping a slow steady pace and holds a calm atmosphere, much like the theme. Of course being stuck in an endless sea can be quite boring, and at some times the same can be said for the music.
The music does what it does best, convey a vivid melancholic image, and whilst it can get a little monotonous at times (which I guess is a trait in this genre), it can still carry the listener into another world, and then drop them into the middle of a freezing ocean.

Monday 5 August 2013

Grzegorz Bojanek - Constraints

[Click on image for official Grzegorz Bojanek website]
Country - Poland
Composer - Grzegorz Bojanek
Released - July 2013
- Tracklist -
1. We Are All Red Green and Blue
2. Three is Enough
3. My Mind Between the Walls
4. That Day Remained in my Mind
5. All Four Seasons
6. Alone
7. One Hot Day
8. Garbage
9. Drops
10. My Garden
11. Listening to Birds
12. Warm Autumn
13. Violet World
- Reveiw -
Another one of those gems found whilst wondering the ever evolving fields of Bandcamp, Grzegorz Bojanek has given us not only a solid ambient release with Constraints, but also a conceptual artpiece in itself, just from how this noise is given to us.
I won't into too much detail about the sound given here, it would take forever, but Grzegorz has included some familiar sounds, field recordings simply from around home, and it gives such a warm sense that this noise can be made from simple objects. It lets the album breath easily, given its DIY style, not to be wrought through the professional studio wringer. This album is still beautifully produced don't get me wrong, but it the production is not overdone, so that it sounds artificial.
There are of course sweeping synth and orchestral elements to go with the noise, and again this is not overdone either, rather giving the music a polished edge, and sometimes you may not even be able to hear this. Now Grzegorz could have just stopped here and given us a great album, but what stands out for me on this release is the acoustic work, this just gives the music a whole new level of atmosphere, catapulting it into ethereal, almost dream-inducing atmosphere.
This album could be an incarnation of harmony, as all elements play equal roles, and would not work at all if one was lower or missing.
Favourite songs include 'Three is Enough' because of it's melancholic chime work, and 'Listening to Birds' for, like I said before, flawless acoustics.

Monday 29 July 2013

Atrium Carceri - Ptahil

[Click on image for official Atrium Carceri website]
Country - Sweden
Composer - Simon Heath
Released - February 2007
- Tracklist -
1. Quarantine (feat. Antonia Simonovic)
2. Entrance
3. A Place to Call Home
4. Observatory
5. Memory Leak
6. Reincarnation Chamber
7. A Path Through Remembrance
8. Static of the Kapnobatai
9. Reborn
10. The Council of Seven
11. Meltdown
12. Inside the Womb
13. End Titles
- Review-
It was just a matter of time until I reviewed an Atrium Carceri album. This will be the first of hopefully many, so I will start on my personal favorite AC release, Ptahil. I've always felt this was a masterpiece of Ambience, it seems grittier than AC's other releases, not saying that they are not good (oh no far from that), but Ptahil was primarily the album that got me into this genre (good start hey?).
Where to start...
Compared to much of AC's other releases I feel that Ptahil is much more experimental and  conceptual. The music covers a wider range of styles from seamless industrial ambience ('Entrance'), beat driven dark electronica ('Meltdown') and even a little bit of , and i am just guessing here, middle-eastern folk ('Quarantine').  Captured sound is stringent through the thick layers, leaving no gaps in the music. The virtual sound is distorted enough to give an almost grungy texture to the music and the reverberation also helps give a fuller and thicker wall of sound.
Simon I know has put so much effort into this album, and I feel that Ptahil is his opus.

Virlyn - Man Asleep

[Click on image for official Virlyn website]

Country - Belgium
Composer - Frédéric Vanderlynden
Released - April 2013
- Tracklist -
1. Cephei
2. Ran
3. Lilith
4. Dawn
5. Mirror Pt. 1
6. Kristal
7. Swan
8. Descent
9. Lorelei
10. Cult
- Review -
I been wanting to review this album for quite a while now, this is like a diamond-in-the-rough find such as that Brambles album I reviewed a while back, Something I would have never found if it wasn't for my virtual best friend Bandcamp.
Virlyn seems much more ethereal than most projects, It isn't thick with atmosphere, but it still pushes down on the listener. It seemingly has a lighter airier tone, like floating within the stratosphere kind of atmosphere. The music seems to flow easily throughout the layers, and doesn't give away too much at all, giving the composition almost a malleable affect. A swarth of guest musicians and singers add their own special touch to the music, be it Violins, Cellos or Saxophone. The music benefits from these stylistic cues and it all works towards that lighter tone I talked about earlier.
Ever since listening to the album Notes for the Synthesis by The Seven Mile Journey, I have had a soft spot for stringed instruments (Violin, Cello, Double Bass etc..). This albums hits that spot well, but not perfectly, however overall this was an enjoyable album that I urge the rest of you to listen to.

Sunday 14 July 2013

Cities Last Broadcast - The Cancelled Earth

[Click on Image for official Cities Last Broadcast page]
Country - Sweden
Composer - Pär Boström
Released - June 2009

- Tracklist -
1. Cornerstone
2. Antenna
3. Bascule Bridge
4. Railroom
5. Deadpost
6. Cella
7. Architecton

- Review -
Another difinitive album of quality Dark Ambient, and this one has been around for quite such a while, it's gathered a cult following. From the mastermind who gave you Kammarheit, Pär Boström has excelled again with his unique new project, Cities Last Broadcast, giving us chilling distorted sounds of his closest inspirations.

This album uses no synth work, no keyboards, no instruments at all. No, this is completely distorted sounds, be it originally the sounds of a subway, railway bridge or busy road, They sound completely different when given the Boström touch. Seven creepy crawling soundscapes give insight to a world after, a post-apocalyptic land long forgotten by humanity. Of course I cannot review this album by means of musical capability, there is no music, but in terms of sound shaping and layering, The Cancelled Earth is benchmark. Thick with atmosphere, it either drifts through the listeners head, or smothers them, and if you survive this album, well Stockholm symdrone sets in and you'll crave for more.

Unfortunately, there isn't anymore, Pär Boström has only released one album under this moniker, and not much has been heard since. But this only adds to the mystery of this musical dimension.

A must for any Dark Ambient fan. Or any fan of sounds.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Moloch - Abgrund Meines Wesens

[Click on image for Official Moloch website]
Country - Ukraine
Composer - Sergiy Gordiuk / Сергий Гордиюк (A.K.A Pr. Sergiy Fjordsson)
Released - September 2012
- Tracklist -
1. Als die abstrakten Spiegel des Universums vom Puls des menschlichen Lebens zerstört wurden
2. Wo die Winde für immer weinen
3. Berge umhüllt von uraltem Nebel
4. Abgrund meines Wesens
5. Die letzten Strahlen der Sonne verglimmen in der Kälte der Gleichgültigkeit
6. Im dornigen Zwielicht schwand das Leben
7. Graue Wolken unter dem Meer
8. Ein strenger Winter kommt

- Review -
Now don't worry, I haven't changed this to become a Black Metal blog. Yes, Moloch is well-known in Black Metal circles, but Sergiy's most recent releases, this album, and the release before (Abstrakter Wald) are full Ambient albums.

Not much in the way of complexity, Sergiy used his Ambient skills to create more of a background atmosphere, Black Metal usually taking centre stage. He has done away with his guitar and kit on this release, and lets this beautiful soundscape unfurl with no obstacles. Like I said, it isn't ground-breaking, and you may get a little bored with the repetitiveness of it, but in reality there isn't anything overly wrong with the concept and composition of the release. It depicts a wintery landscape which Moloch has perfected.

Recommended if you really like Dark Ambient music, or a diehard Moloch fan (which I am), The rest of you can still get it, to increase your music list (it will blend right in).


Friday 7 June 2013

Diagnose: Lebensgefahr - Transformalin

[Click on image for official Diagnose: Lebensgefahr page]
Country - Sweden
Composer - Mikael Nilsson (A.K.A Nattramn)
Released - 2006
- Tracklist -
1. The Level Beyond Human
2. Transformalin
3. Flaggan På Halv Stång I Drömmens Västergård
4. Upon the High Horse of Selfdestruction
5. Situazion: Lebensgefahr
6. Anoxi
 7. The Last Breath of Tellus
8. Mani vs Apati
9. Tillsammans Men Ensam i Stillhetens Kapell
10. Obducentens Dröm
11. De Vårdar Mig in I Döden
- Review -
One of the most controversial stories in music spawned this highly unusual album, I'm not going to explain it, just to tell you that this was by a notorious Black Metal musician while he was in a mental asylum.
Each song represents the fragmented mind of a mental patient, and each song has its own story. In terms of music, the composition is all over the place, covering many different genres such as Drone, Industrial and Dark Ambient, the album never loses interest. Mainly composed on one synthesizer (all he was given at hospital I guess) Nattramn is able to competently create ethereal and disturbingly good soundtracks through different effects and plug ins (Obducentens Dröm is the best synth/piano sound I've ever heard).
Sampling from movies given to him from the AV room, books he's read from the tiny hospital library and of course his own deranged head give so much into the music. He even decides to sing in some songs (if you can call it singing, just check out the last track).
Many of you will think I've gone mad myself calling this a good ambient album, but the story behind it, and the cold atmosphere itself contained within, of the music give it a terrifying new dimension.
Easily my favourite Dark Ambient album of all time. No contest.

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Atomtrakt - Sperrstelle Nordost

[Click on image for official Atomtrakt page]
Country - Germany
Composer - Christoph Ziegler
Released - 2010

- Tracklist -
Blut Unde Erst
Ins Verderben
Über Grenzen Hinweg
Flug in Den Tod
Stunde Null

- Review -
Christoph Ziegler is already known for his main project Vinterriket, mixing elements of flawless Dark Ambient with Black Metal distortion, but his other project coming into the spotlight is Atomtrakt. While Vinterriket is nature-based, this endeavour is war/conflict-based.

Almost Neo-classical in description, war-like drum patterns, followed closely with amazing ambient barrage. German (what I guess) dialogue throughout the songs give another element not usual in most Ambient bands, the pieces feel stronger, more powerful, almost a inspirational to go on in the music. Deutsch language is beautifully harsh and during World War 1 and 2, a cold reminder of the power the country was in, Atomtrakt reflect this element so well through the music. Sampling of war has been done well, and is not overused, adding again to the cold atmosphere perceiving war-torn Germany. And Christoph himself adds deep, shouty vocals, which is a nice surprise, and fits well with the dialogue.

Beugen Sie unten zum allmächtig Atomtrakt!

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Alenda - Mermaids

[Click on image for Official Alenda page]
Country - Belgium
Composer - Déhà
Released - January 2013
- Tracklist -
1. Mermaids
- Review -
You may remember back when I reviewed Phaenon's His Master's Voice a little while back, and how I explained that it was quite an endurance test, fours songs for about an hour and fifteen minutes.
This is longer.
One hour, twenty minutes, one second. The length of one song, so if you are really bored and have time to spare, see if you can listen the whole way through (I have thankyou very much). To some, or many, they will find this extremely boring, it is a case of whether you are a fan of Dark Ambient, or a FAN of Dark Ambient. For me there are some parts which seem repetitive, but overall the production keeps my interest piqued throughout the song (it's not often that songs this long are released). The piece includes good whale sampling (you heard me) and piano work, the 24 minute starts off with a deep drum beat, an instrument not often seen in this genre.
So, for what is it worth, it is actually pretty good, due to the length though, deemed to obscurity, which maybe it should stay. Take a listen, go on, i dare you.

Monday 27 May 2013

Parhelion - Midnight Sun

[Click on Image for official Parhelion page]
Country - United Kingdom
Composer - Ihor Dawidiuk
Released - December 2010
- Tracklist -
1. Tunturia (Part II)
2. Midnight Sun
3. Polar Night
4. Echoes From a Restless Sea
5. A Lament for Whales
6. Interlude
7. Meditation Over Open Waters
8. The Transmission
9. Atmospheric Refraction
10. Beneath
11. Forgotten Outpost
12. Solitude
- Review -
The cold, isolated landscapes, the sun shining through freezing winds, giving false warmth. Parhelion's Midnight Sun is a journey to lands unexplored, and the shivering atmosphere of this album take Dark Ambient to a whole new level of professionalism.

Themed around arctic landscapes, the music does not defer from this train of thought, giving the album an almost story-like feel (a concept album of no speech), in which the listener can truly be swept into and lost. And that is this album's drawcard, the atmosphere evolopes so easily, it can be easy to differ between the songs, it streams so smoothly. It relies heavily on distorted sampling (almost identical to Cities Last Broadcast) and, in most cases, keyed work is given a low priority.

Experimentation is what this album is, the use of unusual materials to create elaborate soundscapes is, and I'm sure everyone will agree with me, is the backbone of a good Ambient release, and Midnight Sun has it in spades.

Monday 20 May 2013

Subinterior/Selaxon Lutberg - The Meeting

[Click on image for official Subinterior website]
Country - Italy
Composer - [Unknown]/Selaxon Lutberg
Released - February 2010
- Tracklist -
1. Last Day
2. Prayer Behind the Sun
3. Il Sole Muoree Noi con Lui
4. October
- Review -
A small collaboration between two Italian ambient bands, Subinterior and Selaxon Lutberg, gives us a refreshing look a clichéd genre. Nothing here is new, but all in all this album isn't meant to break boundaries, yet give the listener something familiar to enjoy.

It might be me being too harsh though (only so much can be done in Dark Ambient before it becomes too avant-garde, which may make some musicians uncomfortable), but if your looking for anything exciting, this isn't it. Redeemable only by it's capabilities of sticking to the stereotypical formula of ambient music, which it does well (I'm not saying it's a terrible release). Clean production, sampling, keyed work, even some guitar work thrown in (very similar to Deep-Pression).

If you like your music to stick to 'tried-and-true', than this is it, and, if you're not looking for anything too amazing, you'll be amazed by this album, and enveloped into its atmosphere. Be grateful for simplicity.

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Fredrik Klingwall - Works of Woe

[Click on image for official Fredrik Klingwall website]
Country - Sweden
Composer - Fredrik Klingwall
Released - March 2009
- Tracklist -
1. The Sleeper
2. Alone
3. Spirits of the Dead
4. An Enigma
5. The Conqueror Worm
6. The Valley of Unrest
7. The City in the Sea
8. For Annie
9. A Dream Within a Dream
- Review -
Fredrik Klingwall is well known already as an established metal musician, but his more ambient and classical (which go hand in hand for Fredrik) works seem to go by unnoticed.
Works of Woe is his undoubted compilation of his musical talents, inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Each song is a testament to the legendary poet, and the musicians capability of composing Dark Ambient to create such dark pieces, sounding like they're prepped for a horror movie (Silent Hill anyone?). The simplicity of this album, which is made entirely from one piano, creates soundscapes so similar to more established Ambient projects, so knowing that, all Klingwall has to do is take his music to the masses. All he needs is one instrument to do it.

Monday 13 May 2013

The Parlour Trick - A Blessed Unrest

[Click on image for official The Parlour Trick website]

Country - America
Composers - Dan Cantrell & Meredith Yayanos
Release - December 2012

- Tracklist -
 1. {intro}
2. Half Sick of Shadows
3. The Lady of the House of Love
4. Mare Desiderii
5. Pandora
6. Planchette
7. The Yellow Wallpaper
8. Leafy Sea Dragon Nursery
9. Sheol
10. Scryer
11. Laudanum

- Review -
Every now and then, there is a musical project pushes its genres boundaries, dare say, even the boundaries of music itself. Okay, The Parlour Trick may not push the boundaries of music (per se), but as a dark ambient 'ensemble' (a word I choose wisely) they create an atmosphere often not heard in Dark Ambient, the only other offering coming close to this is Karjalan Sissit (maybe Fredrik Klingwall). They play their own form of ambience interlaced with classical and chamber music influences.

But unlike Karjalan Sissit, this is more brooding than hectic. This solemnly blists as if directly taken from a horror movie. Intersperses of choir-like elements and weird plucked acoustics also poke heads out from among the orchestration, giving the album a much more dimensional sound. But what really gives this album its drive is that amazing orchestration, a mixture of Violin, Piano, Accordion and Harpsichord, just to name a few. This album is, I believe, one of the best examples of just how amazingly complex Dark Ambient can be, and how this genre is, unfortunately, undermined so often. This is a perfect release, trust me, you'll enjoy every bit of it.

Friday 10 May 2013


Well, I've thought out a plan, from Monday to Thursday, I'll post and review albums, on Friday, However, I wish to post something different, but I'll leave that up to you, my Email is, so just drop me a couple of ideas, and I'll take the weekend off blogging. I hope this won't stress too many of you out, I'll be back with some great albums to review on Monday
(p.s. Give me some ideas for what I can do for Fridays)
Keep Listening, James

Wednesday 8 May 2013

Brambles - Perennial Flux Edition One: Half-Gramme Holiday

[Click on Image for official Brambles page]
Country - Australia
Composer - Mark Dawson
Release - March 2013
- Tracklist -
1. Half-Gramme Holiday
- Review -
I love finding little gems like these on my eternal hunt for music, this one surprised me. A short piece comprised mainly of brass and woodwind to an ethereal ambient backdrop, this song is so enjoyable to listen to. Visions of a bustling city come to mind when listening, the composition is quite avant-garde, with odd time signatures all around, giving the sound a hectic-but-somewhat-calming sound.
It may be a short release, but it explains it's purpose better than most full length albums. And by the time you've finished listening, it will have already taken on that journey, to that far away city. Really can't wait for more from this project.

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Forgotten Backyard - Shattered Plastic Angels

[Click on image for official Forgotten Backyard page]
Country - France
Composer - N/A
Release - May 2012

- Tracklist -
1. Portraits of Travma
2. House of Lunatic Silence
3. Lightless Phenomenon in Hallway Darkness
4. Whispers of the Crawling Limbs
5. Anorexic Figures in Dust
6. Shivers of Fading Lights
7. Hum of Torture Contraptions
8. Hot Nyctophobic Drama (Pt 1.)
9. Origin of the Vomit Stench
10. Hanging Plastic Angels
11. Instructions of the Paranoid Minds
12. He Hanged Himself
13. Crying Among the Beheaded Ones
14. Awakening in the Shattered World
15. Moment of Realization
16. Hot Nyctophobic Drama (Pt 2.)
17. Constructions Near Death (Short Version)
18. Untitled
19. Moment of Realization (Remix)
20. House Under Transparent Saucer

- Review -
Song titles like these just scream stereotypical Dark Ambient, and that's what you find on this album. To the likes Atrium Carceri, Forgotten Backyard came from humble beginnings, finding his (composer actually unknown) sound, and slowly evolving to this monstrous album.

The album, like I said, is mainly what you listen to on any Atrium Carceri release. It includes the same amount of sampling, shaping, distortion and keyboard work that you would find on, for example, Ptahil. In terms of musical prowess, this has all been done before. However, it has been done well, the atmosphere is drifting, with a lead weight, it feels deep and industrial, but still has a special sort of flow to it all (thanks to that amazing piano work). Another main element is the amazing dialogue throughout the album (done by Xun's Phil), almost like what The Axis of Perdition did with their Urfe release. An interesting side note, and one that probably helps with the flow, is that this is a concept album, which is what Phil was explaining through his dialogue. But you'll have to check the Bandcamp page to see what this composers on about.


Phaenon - His Master's Voice

[Click on image for official Phaenon page]
Country - America
Composer - Szymon Tankiewicz
Release - July 2010
- Tracklist -
1. His Master's Voice - part 1 - Neutrino Radiation
2. Dark Energy - Silentium Universi
3. Soul Virus - Interstellar Semantics
4. His Master's Voice - part 2 - Ignoramus

- Review -
I love albums like this, still the same length as a full length album, but with less songs. In this case four monolithic pieces of dirty dark ambient, all tracks clocking over ten minutes long (first and last being over 20 minutes). This will be an endurence test.

Now this isn't your dreamy, peaceful ambience, oh no, this is dirty, raw and industrial. It feels like stepping into some wrecked and decayed ship, the creaking and unexplainable noises, the low hum from a machine still switched on. This is professional sample-based ambient, however the only drawback is the length of individual songs, and the lack of exciting elements to keep you interested. But if you can stand the length, you'll love the sounds.

Sunday 5 May 2013

KoldVoid - Roadside Ghosts

[Click on image for official KoldVoid Page]
Country - Romania
Composer - Rob
Released - October 2012
- Tracklist -
1. Start
2. Equilibrium
3. Phantasma
4. Nostalgia
5. Ephmeral
6. Dream
7. Arctic Silence
8. Eyes of the Bottom-People
9. Radiance
10. Sailing Without Sails
11. End

- Review -
Now this isn't a brand new baby project, KoldVoid have been around since 2008, producing some consistently good pieces of music, all which have now culminated into this album, Roadside Ghosts.

The album does include some older writings back from years ago, and the piece Arctic Silence seems to be just a rehash of an older song with a different name (whether this is just a rename or is an evolution of the older song is unclear). But the album flows so seamlessly from Start to End, it feels as if all were written together. The tempo is at a mid to slow pace, which gives the album quite a lush and dreamy atmosphere, It doesn't rely on sampling and when there is some it is generally of a lesser importance to the piano/synth elements. Distorted guitar effects are also used.

This album is such a breath of fresh air, many ambient artist get carried away in the production, adding too many elements to songs and ruining it in the process, they feel rushed. But not this album, this is perfect,  simple synth work from a talented artist, and should be a benchmark for aspiring musicians.

Sundrugs - Hidden Scenes

[Click on image for official Sundrugs Page]
Country - Poland
Composer - Patryk T Kawalarz
Released - April 2013
- Tracklist -
1. Pandora's Box
2. Moving Borders
3. Void's Anatomy
4. Radio Depth
5. If You Call That Living (feat Saåad)
6. Desert Tales
7. Hidden Scenes
8. You Know That Place
9. Euphoria Euthanasia
10. Just Leave Your Backdoor Open
11. Warm Like December's Sun

- Review -
When I first saw this album, floating around on other blogs, the cover immediately caught my eye, I'm sure we've all impulse bought (or downloaded or listened) an album just for the amazing cover. A lady smoking, doesn't seem too much, but the distortion of the picture makes it look very "dark ambient".

Now I shall focus upon the music, because once opened, this album will lead you into a whole new world. The composition is simplistic, but not amateurish, and perfectly suited for those cold, wintery days of easy listening. Some sampling is strewn throughout the album, and while this is effective in adding to the atmosphere, a little bit of extra work distorting and shaping could have helped the production. But this doesn't at all let the music down, gorgeous soundscapes have arisen from that lovely cover, and from an amazing project. And I hope to see more soon from Patryk.

Saturday 4 May 2013

Looking Better

 Looking much better now isn't it? Well this is going to be a professional blog (or as professional as i can get it to be) so I need it to look its best.
If you don't know what this is about, it's about dark ambient, which is such a special form of music. I'll be reviewing albums, taking interviews with musicians, and just general D.A talk. So be on the lookout for great content.
I already have a couple of albums lined up for the blog.
Keep Listening, James

Up and Running

Page up and running, it will take a while to get to the level I want the page to be, but until then this will do. I have some good ideas for posting. but not until  next week.