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Anna Wall: Missing Moments (digital, Dream Theory, March 2022)

Anna Wall is a resident a Fabric, but you wouldn’t really know it from this album. It takes in a number of styles, but we’re a long way from any kind of a beat. There are shiny synth melodies like some kind of retro-futuristic sci-fi soundtrack; there’s vaguely Eno-esque electronic ambience (Murmurations has some lovely […]

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William Basinski & Janek Schaefer: …On Reflection (digital, Temporary Residence, April 2022)

William Basinski needs no introduction here. Janek Schaefer is new to me, but he’s in the Guinness Book Of Records for inventing “the most versatile record player. Called the tri-phonic turntable, it can play three records at once through a built in mixer, play them forwards or backwards, and possesses a vari-speed which can play […]

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Music

Natalia Beylis: Invaded By Fireflies (digital, Cafe Oto, December 2021)

I stumbled across Natalia Beylis recently because her 2020 record Love-In-A-Mist, Edible has just had a vinyl re-release or re-pressing or what-have-you. But when I went poking around her Bandcamp page, it was this 35-minute piece from last December which I was captivated by. The focus here is a collection of recordings of the composer’s […]

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Maria Moles: For Leolanda (digital, Room 40, January 2022)

This record kind of straddles the boundary between ambient and new age. But in a good way! I mean, a Laraaji-without-the-chanting way. I read that Moles’s main influence here is Indonesian Kulintang music. At any rate, it combines various chiming gong sounds with electronic pads and washes, and it’s all rather beautiful. The most urgent […]

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Claire Rousay: A Softer Focus (LP, American Dreams, April 2021)

There is a strong lockdown vibe to this record, but in a sunny, blissed-out, lemonade-making kind of a way. The six tracks here take in gauzy, ambient synth sounds, strings both gently droning and elegantly melodic, field recordings that tend towards the splashing water and the passing buses and the children playing in the distance […]

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Abul Mogard: In Immobile Air (LP, Ecstatic, January 2021)

There was a lot of hype when this retired Serbian steel plant worker turned modular synth ambient wizard hit the scene. I managed to resist it until 2018’s Above All Dreams, when I fell hard. Or rather, I didn’t, because there’s nothing hard about this music: better to say that I plunged deeply into its […]

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Jacaszek: Gardenia (CD, Touch, October 2020)

It’s the best part of a decade since I last encountered Michał Jacaszek. Glimmer is one of those records I’ve been dead into, then kind of forgotten about, then been delighted to rediscover all over again. I seem to love it a little more each time around. I kind of fell in love with Gardenia […]

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Lisa Lerkenfeldt: Collagen (LP, Shelter Press, August 2020)

A promising debut LP from this Australian ambient artist. We open with In Her Hair, a big shimmering ambient synth number, and we close with Champagne Smoke, a rather lush strings-and-static melody-versus-noise track (spoiler alert: the melody wins on points). In between, things are decidedly more sparse: the title track’s thin, high-register drones almost play […]

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Nozomu Matsumoto: Sustainable Hours (LP, The Death Of Rave, April 2020)

I’m not sure, but I think that Nozomu Matsumoto might use the same speech synthesis programme as Eartheater does on, say, C.L.I.T — or, at any rate, it seems to make the same kinds of errors in its prosody. This is pretty emphatically where the similarities end, though. This record is the soundtrack to an […]

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Music

Rafael Anton Irisarri: Solastalgia (LP, Room 40, June 2019)

It came as a surprise to me when I realized I actually only own two records by Rafael Anton Irisarri. It Falls Apart, the 2010 release from The Sight Below, was a pretty cracking record, and it caught me at a formative moment in my listening journey, and I guess he’s felt like a part […]