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Juno Recommends Ambient / Drone April 2020

Juno Recommends Ambient/Drone

Juno Recommends Ambient/Drone

Juno Recommends Ambient/Drone April 2020
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1
Cat: ASIPV 018. Rel: 30 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. The Gate
  2. Passage
  3. Meridian
  4. He Became Something Else
  5. Monument
  6. Crevasse
  7. Drawn, Quartered
  8. Dominions
Review: There's no sign of "suspect second album syndrome" on this sophomore set from Brendan "Chymera" Gregoriy's celebrated synthesizer-fired ambient project Merrin Karras. Drawing on his love of 1980s new age and ambient records, as well as a life spent fetishising over electronic hardware, Gregoriy has delivered a set of swelling, slow-burn delights that invite you to share an imaginary journey through the Northwest Passage, a legendary route from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans via the Arctic Circle that's only accessible at certain times of the year. While some of the music is undeniably icy, there's genuine sonic warmth too; after all, when you can traverse the passage it's light 24 hours a day. In a word: gorgeous.
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out of stock $29.21
2
Cat: NDEYA 2LP. Rel: 23 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Toucan Ocean (3:50)
  2. Viva Shona (7:05)
  3. Hex (6:22)
  4. Blues Nile (9:52)
  5. Vernal Equinox (21:54)
  6. Caracas Night September 11, 1975 (1:55)
Review: Reissues don't come more significant than this. Jon Hassell's work new and old has been enjoying plentiful appraisal in recent years, with his outlook on Fourth World music finding fresh relevance with a modern crop of artists. While much of his catalogue has been given a fresh lease of life, they've been saving one of his most seminal works. Vernal Equinox was originally released in 1978, one of Hassell's first albums alongside Earthquake Island. It's essentially the blueprint for outernational music - a heady brew of global signifiers stewing together in one unclassifiable pot marked out only by Hassell's inimitable trumpet style. From ambient heads to sonic explorers, you won't want to miss the chance to own this most precious of albums.
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 in stock $20.01
3
  1. A Pastime Intimate Friend (7:48)
  2. Blume (6:39)
  3. The Fullest Expansion Of Light (7:39)
  4. What We Knew As Children (5:05)
  5. An Other (16:14)
Review: There's a melancholic air running through this five-track collection of ambient overtures that is hard to escape from. Don't get us wrong, the music here - produced, recorded and mixed by Drew Sullivan - is peaceful and beautiful. But it's also destined to break hearts, encouraging refection on what has happened, and what may already have been lost to the sands of time. 'The Disappearing Collective' is, evidently, everyone who encounters this particular release. Track titles such as 'What We Knew As Children' certainly leave little to the imagination on that front. And yet each moment here feels as though made specifically for us to spend some time imagining things to. We can see a forever here, but what that forever looks like may not always be what we were hoping for.
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 in stock $23.35
4
Cat: PITPWLS 01. Rel: 30 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. My Lights Kiss Your Thoughts Every Moment (2:13)
  2. Rushing (3:20)
  3. Stalagmites & Helictites (2:52)
  4. Sun (5:29)
  5. There Is A Space In Between (4:55)
Review: Based in Bristol, UK, experimental musician and vocalist Lucy Gooch is certainly a name to keep an eye on right now. While boasting little by way of discography, this being her debut EP which follows the self released 2018 record, 'Sun', she has all the hallmarks of an established synth-y siren. You heard it here first (possibly). Compris-ing five sumptuous tracks that are pared back but, upon closer inspection, incredibly deep and immersive, elements of Bjork and Imogen Heap are audible in the songs here. Warm notes, sensitive, ethereal vocals and a sense of real passion behind the work itself. The likes of 'Rushing' comes close to a sombre choral mood at times, 'There Is A Space In Between' could stand with the best ambient work, while 'Stalag-mites & Helictites' is a hypnotic journey into the inner mind. Or somewhere near.
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 in stock $21.69
5
Cat: 01 SC. Rel: 11 Sep 17
Ambient/Drone
  1. Ever New (7:08)
  2. Winter Astral (6:25)
  3. Let Us Dance (7:25)
  4. Slow Dance (6:36)
  5. Old Melody (4:32)
  6. Sunset Village (7:17)
Review: Third time around for Beverly Glenn-Copeland's superb 1986 LP Keyboard Fantasies, which Invisible City Editions reissued last year. Since copies of that pressing are hard to come back, this fresh reissue should be welcomed. Musically, it's something of a killer curio: a set that sees Copeland adding weary, folksy vocals to melodious, synthesizer-based backing tracks. Stylistically it's a little more diverse than that, sitting somewhere between art-rock, lo-fi synth-soul, '80s synth-wave and new age ambience. The looseness of the instrumentation and production is particularly alluring, as is the "home-made" feel of Glenn-Copeland's heart-aching songs.
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out of stock $28.37
6
Cat: 483777 2. Rel: 23 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Spring Frost (4:00)
  2. Burnt Umber (4:15)
  3. Celeste (4:21)
  4. Wintergreen (4:04)
  5. Obsidian (4:55)
  6. Blonde (4:03)
  7. Dark Sienna (3:39)
  8. Verdigris (3:53)
  9. Snow (4:34)
  10. Rose Quartz (3:59)
  11. Quicksilver (5:03)
  12. Ultramarine (2:21)
  13. Iris (2:46)
  14. Cinnabar (3:15)
  15. Desert Sand (4:46)
  16. Deep Saffron (4:34)
  17. Cerulean Blue (4:01)
  18. Slow Movement: Sand (5:04)
Review: Brian and Roger Eno have their own accomplished legacies in music - Brian as a polymath producer and artist, and Roger as a composer. Now the brothers have pooled their talents into their first collaborative album, Mixing Colours, which has taken shape over a 15 year period. The overall process involved Roger recording piano parts in MIDI to send to his older brother for processing, resulting in a mass of work which they finally whittled down to this exquisite collection. Lovers of both artists will be immensely satisfied, as the fusion of classical piano composition and adventurous ambient electronics merge for an engaging, hypnagogic listening experience.
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out of stock $31.98
7
Cat: AI 18. Rel: 16 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Part One (20:59)
  2. Part Two (20:56)
Review: Following the death of his one-time Chi Factory partner J.Derwort in February 2019, Hanyo van Oosterom went back to Patmos, the magical island where they once recorded their most famous works, armed with some of the artefacts and hand-built instruments they'd collected together. While there, he made the field recordings and musical sketches that form the backbone of "Travel In Peace", Oosterorm's emotional final album as Chi Factory. Poignant, atmospheric, melancholic, dreamy and otherworldly with a genuine sense of time and place (you can almost smell the surrounding flora and fauna), the album's two lengthy tracks - collages of interlinked sketches and recurring musical motifs - are fittingly fantastic. As curtain calls go, we can think of few better.
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out of stock $21.41
8
Cat: 1 SPALP. Rel: 16 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. For The First Time (4:11)
  2. Mountain Story (4:18)
  3. Reminiscent (3:47)
  4. Memories Of Old Dreams (1:08)
  5. Light & Shadow (3:40)
  6. Wandering In The Fog (5:32)
  7. Rainbow & Human (4:09)
  8. Beauty In Loneliness (4:31)
  9. Overflowing Darkness (3:36)
  10. Travelled Road (3:14)
Review: Dub techno magician Yagya (real name Aoalsteinn Guomundsson) has been releasing music on other people's labels for almost two decades. Now he's taken the logical step and launched one of his own: Small Plastic Animals. The debut release is an album from the man himself, his ninth in total. Many of the tracks on "Old Dreams & Melodies" are underpinned by metronomic, dub-fired techno and house grooves, but it's the various musical elements layered atop - string quartets, cheery synthesizer melodies, hushed spoken word vocals, fluid piano motifs, delay-laden clarinet lines and so on - that really catches the ear. It's a formula that results not only in a string of fine tracks, but also a strong album that's undoubtedly the Icelandic producer's most accessible and expansive set to date.
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 in stock $25.58
9
  1. Yoshio Ojima - "Sealed" (5:50)
  2. Olololop - "Mon" (Orte remix) (5:08)
  3. Kazuya Kotani - "Fatima" (4:52)
  4. Schadaraparr - "NICE Guy" (Nice Guitar dub) (5:17)
  5. Little Tempo - "Frostie" (5:43)
  6. Karel Arbus & Eiji Takamatsu - "Coco & The Fish" (3:26)
  7. Kentaro Takizawa - "Gradual Life" (album version) (5:49)
  8. Yoshiaki Ochi - "Balasong" (4:31)
  9. Kaoru Inoue - "Wave Introduction" (3:29)
  10. Little Big Bee - "Scuba" (6:01)
  11. Coastlines - "East Dry River" (5:05)
  12. Susumu Yokota - "Uchu Tanjyo" (3:14)
  13. Chillax - "Time & Space" (7:03)
  14. Takashi Kokubo - "Quiet Inlet" (7:10)
Review: Music For Dreams' compilations are rarely less than essential, and this collection of recent Japanese music (2008-2018) is no different. Compiled by Ken Hidaka, Tokyo-based Max Essa and Test Pressing co-founder Dr Rob, the set starts with a beautiful and becalmed ambient piece by Yoshio Ojima (the sublime "Sealed") and ends with the lapping waves, vocal harmonies and twinkling pianos of Takashi Kokubo ("Quiet Inlet"). In between, you'll find the Steve Reich-ish marimba movements of Yoshiaki Ochi, the dubbed-out, piano-laden downtempo grooves of Little Tempo, the jazzy Balearic house of Schadaraparr, the sun-kissed dancefloor grooves of Little Big Bee and much more besides. As you'd expect, Hidaka, Essa and Dr Rob's selections are uniformly superb.
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out of stock $21.97
10
Cat: MORR 171LP. Rel: 16 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Miya (10:21)
  2. Lakka (7:30)
  3. Shona (12:46)
  4. Farewell (8:08)
Review: Kicking off, or rather easing in with the lush and absorbing 'Miya', it's hard not to imagine vast landscapes when exploring this effort from Slow Reels. Constant refrains of shimmering sounds seem to pervade most corners of the four tracks, which could be used for background atmosphere one moment, and then act as the driving forces behind a deep cognitive adventure the next. As with many ambient works of this kind, you can find beauty and heartbreak in equal measure, perhaps positioning this end of the canon among the most reflective of the human experience. 'Farewell' might not scream about this from the rooftops, but there's a tangible sense of time passing, thoughts and the thinkers closest to us leaving it all behind. Definitely aimed at inspiring ideas and imaginations, this will be a muse for many.
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 in stock $20.58
11
Cat: FTNLP 008. Rel: 09 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. One & One (2:37)
  2. Two (3:52)
  3. Room 308 (2:49)
  4. Possibility (3:10)
  5. Lips (3:32)
  6. One (2:25)
  7. Gavrush (3:14)
  8. Kurdania I (2:34)
  9. Kurdania II (2:05)
  10. Inquisition (2:34)
  11. 11/8 (2:45)
  12. Things (Hafazim) (3:32)
  13. End (1:49)
 in stock $25.03
12
Cat: ERATP 126LP. Rel: 06 Apr 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. The Roughest Trade (3:24)
  2. Ringing (3:15)
  3. To Thomas (4:03)
  4. The Dane (1:51)
  5. Harmonium In The Well (11:09)
  6. Sweet Little Lie (4:39)
  7. A Walking Embrace (5:34)
  8. Talisman (2:58)
  9. Spells (12:33)
  10. Artificially Intelligent (1:41)
  11. All Armed (11:37)
  12. Amirador (13:19)
Review: In 2018, Nils Frahm initiated the "Encores" series: a trilogy of EPs exploring different aspects of his musical world. Here, those sets get gathered together on vinyl for the very first time. Listened to in sequence, it sees the Berlin-based pianist and composer offer up solo acoustic pieces for piano and harmonium (tracks 1 to 5), before layering up piano, processed field recordings and complimentary instrumentation on a suite of sublime ambient tracks (6 to 9). The final section of the album - originally "Encores 3" - sees him flip the script entirely, working almost exclusively with a combination of modular and analogue synthesizers and electronically processed voices. That the collection hangs together as a coherent album despite these stylistic shifts is testament to Frahm's abilities both as a performer and producer.
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out of stock $33.65
13
Cat: LP 1338. Rel: 23 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Random (1:33)
  2. The Smokefallen (3:11)
  3. Weight (6:35)
  4. Comma (2:02)
  5. Condx QRN (3:05)
  6. Mountains Astray (2:09)
  7. Take (1:38)
  8. Last Of The Lantern Oil (5:29)
  9. Supper (1:42)
  10. Far & Then Farther (3:12)
  11. Open Like A Loss (6:02)
  12. Stories (3:09)
Review: Ian William Craig returns with a new album heavily shrouded in personal experience. The recording took place around the heavy wildfire season in British Columbia, Canada, 2018, during which time Craig lost his grandfather and felt the scepter of climate change hanging heavily over his life and those around him. In exceptional circumstances he made this album with his grandfather's piano and some tape processing, placing himself and his voice front and centre and laying bare the pain of loss and the uncertainty of the future. There is hope and love folded into the music too, culminating in a beautiful moving album that stands as a career high point for one of the most inventive contemporary singer-songwriters out there.
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 in stock $20.01
14
Cat: OMWEAPON 2. Rel: 16 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Our Beautiful Peacock (6:05)
  2. Red Little Rose (5:40)
  3. The Prudent One (9:03)
  4. The Eagle (8:18)
  5. The Dream (5:39)
 in stock $18.35
15
Cat: MATSS 3. Rel: 09 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Crushing Indifference (14:48)
  2. An Inn For Those Not Permitted (15:40)
out of stock $16.97
16
Cat: GCR 001. Rel: 30 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Falling Frontwards Into Pincers (6:30)
  2. O As Satan Took Them (7:44)
  3. Grinner (5:14)
  4. Look From Below (6:01)
 in stock $11.68
17
Cat: KR 076LP. Rel: 30 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Phoenix (7:36)
  2. Fractal Tears (5:02)
  3. Every Forgotten Word (6:46)
  4. The Overturned Abacus (6:09)
  5. Not Enough Memory (6:11)
  6. Rhizomatic Realities (6:17)
Review: Italian electro-acoustic expert and ambient composer Giulio Aldinucci has released some masterful music over the years, in the process delivering albums full of hybrid neo-classical/ambient soundscapes that often seem to look to religious music - or at least the sense of hearing it echoing around a cathedral - for inspiration. "Shard Of Different Times" continues this trend, with manipulated choral tones, reverb-laden church organs, swelling ambient chords and hissing white noise combining to create wall-of-sound pieces that do, indeed, sound like echoes from a bygone age. It's impressive stuff all told and reminded us a little of the 33-minute ambient version of Moby classic "Hymn".
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 in stock $18.07
18
Cat: GTDLP 1. Rel: 09 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Mark (3:42)
  2. Said Cat To A Phoenix (6:15)
  3. Music (7:20)
  4. Part Of (6:24)
  5. Meeting IS (7:32)
  6. T's Prayer (5:54)
  7. Live In Me (7:51)
  8. Mercy (5:20)
  9. Into View (10:28)
 in stock $21.41
19
Cat: HUMM 10LP. Rel: 23 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Loner Party Beginning (2:21)
  2. TITLE (3:55)
  3. Fruit/I Don't Recall Waking Up (3:19)
  4. Vesuvius Dream (1:54)
  5. Theskyispink (2:21)
  6. Plant Girl (2:57)
  7. Singular Plural (1:11)
  8. Degenerate Moon (2:50)
  9. TERRESTRIAL (3:16)
  10. Cosmicdance (1:25)
  11. Dread (3:54)
  12. Yrlvsntmn (1:39)
  13. Synchroniciteit (1:44)
  14. Plural Singular (2:05)
 in stock $17.25
20
Cat: ASM 01LP. Rel: 23 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Rejoice! (1:56)
  2. A Pale Cloth That Cover The Eyes (5:35)
  3. Like A Command (The Life Of The Imperative) (1:59)
  4. Like A Waltz (7:18)
  5. Perfectly Red Ochre (3:00)
  6. Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (0:51)
  7. Abandonment Veil (1:32)
  8. A Few Freed Memories Layed Bare (feat Kelby Clark) (4:51)
  9. Five Vases That Mark The Breast (4:06)
  10. Silence Belongs To Us (1:08)
 in stock $26.68
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