Search

BEATTOPIA

by William Hancock.

Tag

ambient

New Downbeat Electronica DJ Mix by Will Hancock.

New Chill Mix featuring some of the tracks written up over the past few months.

Track List:

1. Heart Green Contentment – Matt Coldrick – Music* For A Busy Head. (Rogue Reptile Records).  2015. (Re-Release).

2. Nature Boy – Another Fine Day – A Good Place To Be. (Interchill). 2015

3. Losing My Mind – Honeyroot – Sound Echo Location. (One World Music). 2003

4. Floating World – Spatialize – Radial. 2015

5. Run – Sunmonx – In The Trees EP. (Interchill). 2015

6. Tide – Amanaska – Escape. (One World Music). 2014

7. Garuda – Pravana – Eastern Meditation. (Simon Lewis Music). 2009.

8. Embrace – Endorphin – Embrace. (Sony). 1998.

9. Low Sun – Chicane – Behind The Sun. (Xtravaganza Recordings).  2000.

A relaxing mix of mainly fresh, new tracks with a couple of golden oldies thrown in for a sweet finish and lingering aftertaste on the palate.

Check out some Experimental Downtempo Electronica and other DJ Mixes at

Advertisements

Spatialize – Radial and On The Edge Of Forever.

cover copy cover

“Double Release Hints At Triplets”.

Neil Butler self–released two albums at the same time in early December of 2014 under his Spatialize moniker. Enjoying the option of offering high quality 24bit FLAC downloads and the efficient, cost effective means of digital sales allowed Butler to let the two ‘birds’ fly together, allocating more of the budget to France based Hermetech Mastering. The high production quality is second only to the inspiring composition on both albums.

Radial and On The Edge Of Forever each come in at about 55 minutes. “Any longer than that [for electronic music] and you start to lose your concentration and the album just becomes background music”. It’s this type of meticulous attention to detail that is prevalent in the production of both his latest releases. After sifting through the unreleased material from the past couple of years “there was a core of tracks developing around a slightly different, darker, groove-based, electronica style”. “All-in-all I could see three albums emerging through the fog. Radial in a darker electronica style (and) On The Edge Of Forever in a psychill/global mood…”

Radial’s first two tracks sit comfortably in that groove-based niche. Driving progressive beats with cracking hats, and bridging synth melodies make for an exciting and inspiring introduction to the album. Later in the list we find a collaboration with Matt Hillier of Ishq.

On The Edge Of Forever seems to follow the same format. Two quick ones to start, dropping into several slow to ambient selections and a collaboration in the tail end, this time with Matt Heath aka. Krusseldorf.

The Downbeat Electronica genre has been defined by producers like Butler. So much so that this producer has gone on to define his own. Ambisonica. Downtempo, spacious, crisp, melodic and musical. These tracks are well composed and executed by someone who is obviously creatively talented and well educated in the art. A real pleasure to listen to. Both as individual tracks and as a progression through the albums. One can only hope that the hinted-about third album of the litter, Encrypted Transmissions is as good if not better. Apparently it is closer to the styles found on Radial. You little beauty.

Supercozi – Bioshifter.

A-126319-1339074147-5748.jpeg

“Cozi Gets Super To Shift Up With Bio-Body”.

Yukimi Yonezawa released her third full length album as Supercozi in early May, 2015 on Wakyo Records. Bioshifter spans the Electronica, Techno and Downtempo genres showing her talent and diversity as an artist. With releases in many genres and a reluctance to pigeon-hole her production styles or music to any particular one, Cozi seems to thrive through enjoying the many different sounds of Psy Chill, Dub, Glitch, Trip Hop, Ambient and Downbeat.

After dropping out of university to work in a record store whilst gigging on vocals and guitar, Cozi taught herself audio production using Mac and an Akai sampler. Around 1997 she had an epiphany with the new school tech, quit the band and started DJing in clubs and parties around Tokyo.

Looking at the downtempo tracks on Bioshifter we find; Nebula to Nebula feat. Martin Denev. A dreamy almost ambient electronic creation drenched in reverb and large expansive pads, expressed in a watery atmosphere. Owl in Me is slightly quicker with a percussive voicing, highlighted by hard-edged tech punctuations to give an almost trance feeling. A nice carry to the track and well- timed drops are a pleasure. D.I.V.E. feat. Reason bops along in a solid, funky bed with glitchy undertones and some washed out vocals. Auto-tuned samples worked into the tech-inspired sound give a timeless tune that could sit well in several different situations. Feels Like Yesterday feat. Sophie Barker embraces strings and a female vocal hook voiced in a gentle context, again with glitch undertones.

As a part of Zen Lemonade and with releases on Iboga, Flow, Dragonfly and her own label Hypoespresso, Supercozi is a well proven Bioshifter as she jumps between genres with natural ease.

Now available on Beatport, Itunes and Bandcamp.

Another Fine Day – Remix EP.

cover

“Another Fine Remix EP from Another Fine Day”.

Now here’s an interesting spin on some new tunes. A few weeks ago Interchill released Tom Green’s new album A Good Place To Be under his moniker Another Fine Day. A few days ago Interchill released the Remix EP of that album. 5 tracks. 36 minutes. Well worth the look. Two of the track Spanish Blues and three of And Dream Of Seals.

Off the cuff the first tune is a ripper. Entitled Spanish Blues – Hibernation Remix this one has all the jazzy subtleties of the original. The keys, the cymbals and the delicacy coupled with a big bass synth locking in with the solid yet gentle bed of the beat. A few punctuations over the top with a grinding, dirty, textured sound and this instrumental/electronica masterpiece grooves away with the jazz contrasted beautifully with the electronic component to give a balance that is solid, toothy and downright funky. Hitting the mid-section we open into a section of pure electronica before cutting back over the top with the jazz elements of the piano. These two teams jostle back and forwards for the remainder of the game that ends in a friendly back-slapping draw of smiles and beers. The composition gives both the jazz and the electronica due process, recognition and executes it in a way only a true artist could pull off.

More of the same meaty electronic goodness in the second track, Spanish Blues – Greg Hunter Remix. Maintaining the integrity of the jazz elements and balancing the palate with deep, dark electronica. The grinding shadows give focus and clarity to the original. A slower beat count is welcomed.

Then we leave the Blues in Spain to Dream of some Seals…..

And Dream of Seals – Another Fine Day Chaos Theory Remix. The chaos comes into this one with a discordant cacophony of almost irrhythmic percussive-style background. And it seems to work musically. While not the sweetest sounds an ear can hear it certainly brings an interesting spin as the contrasting chimes float over the top.

The Alucidnation Remix of And Dream of Seals is indicative of the composer in his true style. Right at home in the ocean of sound, Alucidnation has embraced the watery feeling, kept the seals frolicking in the sunshine and even seems to be able to write the sunlight streaming through the water into an almost ambient feeling downtempo track.

And Dream of Seals – Ishq Remix. Each of these three seems to get slower and more spacious and this is one very chilled piece. With the addition of some haunting vocals and chanting, spacious atmospheric pads and a little caressing, the environment is conveyed to the listener in a way that reminds one of floating around a pool on a clear summers day.

Greens been writing music for years and after the last album, its very refreshing to see people with similar tastes working with some of his material. The release is nicely balanced with some darker electronic elements, ambient sections and mid-range downtempo all present.

Another Fine Day – A Good Place To Be.

cover

“Another Cult-Classic From Solo Downtempo Producer Finds It’s Place”.

21 years after Another Fine Days’ Tom Green released the ambient-dub, cult-classic Life Before Land, he returns with a fresh basting of ambient-jazz styling in their latest release A Good Place To Be, out now on Interchill.

Fusing natural soundscapes with jazz, percussion and a smattering of instrumental electronica, the ambient and downtempo styles embraced in A Good Place To Be provide the listener with a captivating journey into the realms of natural music and sound. Birds and insects blend with jazz infused keyboards, ambient percussive punctuations, atmospheric synth pads and halting time signatures. Covering a spectrum of musical styles and genres this album doesn’t fit into any narrow slots, with synthetic and natural sounds and music creating a collage of sonic artwork across the board.

Greens’ colourful and varied past is apparent in the composition of this album. Rising from a post-punk outfit in the late seventies, blending with outfits including Baka Beyond, The Orb and Natacha Atlas and writing screen music for the likes of the BBC through his music production company Apollo Music, he contributes regularly to quality music libraries for Universal Music, EMI Production Music and Accorder Music. Tom also dabbles in various unique side projects including an ambient commission released in 2012 called Music For Tai Chi and a composition designed for installation in a new MRI scanner complex at the Royal Infirmary in Bristol, UK; Music For MRI Scanners.

Track 2 on the album A Good Place To Be, called And Dream of Seals blends affected bird calls with melodic keyboards and mallet percussion to create atmospherics that sit delicately over a bed of subtle beats, set back in the mix. Rising to an excited cacophony of oscillators supplying the playful seals in a wash of percussive waters, this downtempo creation is topped by an icing of electronic synthesis.

Enfolded is an ambient piece, wrapping the listener in temperate washes of electronic waves created using progressively arranged atmospheric synth pads, punctuated quietly yet powerfully with almost a hint of angelic brass in the wind.

From Tiny Acorns embraces Eastern-influenced strings and mallets in a percussive melody lifted by a bed of progressive, oscillator-effected beats. Atmospheric pads complete the palette as the track rises to the rhythmically melodic crescendo of a string-infused summit, all while the beats track nicely through the piece.

The influence of World Music on A Good Place To Be should not be overlooked. Subtle yet distinct, the instrument selection and devices used in the composition reflect a global connection transcending cultural boundaries and merging into a cohesively international blend of sound. Greens background producing with the likes of Abdul Tee Jay and his side project Newanderthal clearly influence this albums creation and its Remixes.

Even at these early stages of release, Another Fine Days’ new album A Good Place To Be obviously has the heavyweight staying power to become another cult classic in the lighter and more delicate styles of the ambient and downtempo music genres.

by William S. Hancock.

Pravana – Eastern Meditations.

pravana2

“Yoga and Meditation Soundtrack Takes an Epic Flight”.

For any music buff now and then a song comes along that stops us in our tracks. It’s the stuff dreams are made of. A nugget of gold plucked from the soil. Searched for, wished on and carefully panned out of the river. One of these such tracks is a piece from downtempo electronica act Pravana. Its called Garuda, from their 2009 album release Eastern Meditations. With a carefully selected angle into the yoga, meditation and relaxation sector this asian-flavoured menu’s main course is named after a large, humanoid bird from Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The Phoenix is a contemporary representation of the animal and Indonesia has adopted a more stylistic representation as its national symbol, the Javanese Eagle.

The track starts with a percussive bed reminiscent of the hammered dulcimer over tabla inspired beats. It’s the strings that take flight in a well arranged and brilliantly delivered scalar sequence of epic proportions. For a chillout track this is one gigantic bird taking flight. The bed tracks forward on the rails, filled out with the melodies of bells as the strings wind progressively through a duet of viola and cello that is breathtaking.

It’s a well thought out album angle with the relaxation, meditation and yoga all bound into the production. Not too busy, yet not too quiet it hits the spot for any downtempo inner-work accompaniments, providing a fresh and uplifting soundtrack for meditation, yoga and dreaming. Well composed, easily digested and beautifully produced it is the third sonic adventure from Simon Lewis, creator of the chillout/world music outfit, Amanaska. It fuses typically ancient stringed and percussive instrument sounds of the east, with the Australian indigenous call of the didgeridoo, bringing together sonic lands as far away as Bali’s Gamelan and the Tibetan Harmonium.

A great album to chillout, work or just breathe with. Complex in its simplicity and unassuming enough to sit subtly in the background or to turn up loudly and dominate a yoga flow, assisting in introspection or a flight of fancy.

Marconi Union – Weightless (Ambient Submissions Vol.2).

cover.170x170-75

“Ambient Heavyweights Keep The Juggernaut Rolling”.

The best way to describe the music of Marconi Union seems to be not so much in terms of jargon or lingo relative to the music industry but in terms of watercolour-painting techniques in the art world. Illustrative and impressionistic the colours and washes associated with these sound-scapes are both dark and bright, vivid and cloudy, coloured and contrasted yet always textured, balanced and spacious. If their paper is wet, the colours bleed together to form new blends and boundaries. Brushes are changed, sometimes the paper is dry and allows for more defined borders. Yet throughout their creations the standard of composition is astounding, the production and mastering impeccable. True artists in the very sense of the word.

Their new album Weightless (Ambient Submissions: Vol.2), released 22nd of September 2014 on the Just Music label levers off the back of their 2011 release Beautifully Falling Apart (Ambient Submissions: Vol.1). This album, combined with the seminal, heavily career- defining and until now unreleased track Weightless, created on the 16th of October 2011, was a defining moment in the bands career for many reasons and is still being written about to this day.

Beautifully Falling Apart was a junction in the career of the band, indicating a departure from the darker, more percussively punctuated albums including A Lost Connection (originally on the bands own digitally-based label Mu Transmissions in 2008) and an embarkation into deeply-ambient soundscapes with almost no rhythmic bed. Although risky in terms of career choice, this decision was well-received by critics and indeed the industry at large, obviously bolstered by a unique and until then unrecognised approach to collaborate that would see the band rise in terms of production, composition and acceptance into a standing applause from the mainstream.

Marconi Union created the first Weightless track when a representative from the British Academy of Sound Therapy approached them to create a piece of relaxing music. The piece was to be tested by the Mindlab Institute to try and ascertain its effectiveness for relaxation. Marconi Union jumped at the chance to be involved in such an interesting project and began writing in earnest. After testing was completed involving many subjects, scientists concluded that the music indicated reduced blood pressure, a slowed heart-rate and decreased levels of cortisol, a stress related hormone. Immediately after the results were published there was huge media reaction with some channels reporting that Weightless was “the most relaxing song ever!”. The track was reported in Time magazine as one of the “2014 Inventions of the Year” and one newspaper even warned motorists not to drive while listening to it. On the recent September, 2014 release the track is labeled as Weightless Part 1.

The band came together in 2002 when Richard Talbot met Jamie Crossley at a record shop they both frequented called The Polar Bear in Birmingham. It wasn’t until after the 2010 re-release of their now CD format album A Lost Connection that the band formally welcomed Duncan Meadows as a full time member. Meadows had previously played with them at a number of live gigs and 2012’s release Different Colours (again on Just Music) was the first for the now three-person outfit.

The culmination of this historical evolution has resulted in the release of Weightless (Ambient Submissions: Vol.2). An album that while not particularly lengthy at 42 minutes more than makes up for in terms of quality. Released at the same time was a video clip for the first and title track on the album, the 2011 juggernaught Weightless (Part 1). The video shows a remote-controlled ‘drone’ flying above the lake district, lit up with LED lighting at night. The frame-rate has been slowed and effected to create an hypnotic and highly effective piece of video.

Inspiration for the band comes from many places. The more usual books, films and travel but also cities (their 2009 album Tokyo), buildings and even records they really don’t like, using them to inspire adaptation and change.

If the pop charts are the fast food empire of the music industry, then Marconi Union are the a la carte, 5-star restaurant. The soundscapes are designed to inspire and relax, pulling you forward into an adventure in the air, rather than a journey on the ground. With tones one could be forgiven for believing are relatively simple, this complex and highly engineered sound design is of a calibre only masters could create. Both relaxing and highly-invigorating at the same time, the tracks create a timelessness divorced from the bondage of this dimensional body. A dimension that while necessary for our earthly survival may one day become simply a step into the greater universes bound by the forces of sound.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑