A music interlude

With all my focus on being a pulp fiction writer these days, on occasion I neglect the music side. Many years ago, unable to find enough ambient music to listen to while writing, I began making my own. Most of it was pretty awful – not even listenable by me – but some of it was okay. Over time, I got better too. Even to the point that some of my music has been released on some netlabels and has been played on the radio and by DJs. (This is also the reason why the blog URL is venusvulturenews – the music comes out under the moniker Venus Vulture, and music was why I first started the blog). It’s been a while since Pylon Suite came out on Zenapolae, but it was cool to see it very positively reviewed recently on acts of silence. I am slowly working on new music, but it’s more sporadic these days: more will definitely be coming.

Pylon Suite is about 40 minutes long and is intended to be background music while doing more concentrated activities (such as writing). It’s a free download.

Blueprints for Insect Architecture – stunning ambient

http://testtube.monocromatica.com/releases/tube234.htm>Blueprints for insect architecture by Daniel Maze and Dave Zeal is on high rotation at the moment. Wonderful immersive soundscapes with just hints of melody and rhythm and a very well attuned little glitchiness – almost like the background sound of scuttling termites constructing a mound. At a little under 40 minutes this makes for a nice little writing session.

Cheval Cheval – This Night Reflection on Zenapolae

In between writing furiously and developing some new Venus Vulture music, I’ve created another drone-ambient piece. Well, four tracks. The music is even less busy than the usual Venus Vulture fare, especially the direction VV is taking now, with more beats and melody, so this new work has been released under the name Cheval Cheval. The 30 minute EP titled This Night Reflection is out now on Zenapolae, as a free download. This is a quiet work, best listened to a low volume, perhaps even while going to sleep. One of my favourite cover pictures too. Enjoy.

My thanks to Arnd and Zenas of Zenapolae for the release.

Stockfinster: All Becomes Music

Sutemos is a Lithuanian netlabel, releasing a variety of music, but specialising in electronica. A good introduction would be any of their Intelligent Toys compilations – the latest is “We Make Music” – described as “Style: Ambient/ IDM/ Experimental/ Instrumental/ Techno”. 51 tracks, divided into three “CD”s. You can stream any of the music from the website.

Lately I’ve been listening to the 2005 10-track release by Stockfinster – All Becomes Music. Unusually for me – with music to write to – this has vocals, especially the haunting title track, where the build is gradual, the voice-over eerie and refreshing. You can both stream and download the release for free. The release (as with other Sutemos releases) comes with a cool rotating gallery of photographs – example at left.

Pylon Suite – Venus Vulture soundscape on Zenapolae

A new Venus Vulture soundscape release doesn’t come along that often – the last were “Heavy Skies” on TurkbyTone Rekkids and “Stick With Me Giselle, Things Can Only Get Better” on Testtube, both in the first quarter of 2009. So after a year and a half of near-silence I’m excited to have a new extended piece released.

Released on the Zenapolae netlabel, Pylon Suite is a set of four tracks, making up a continuous thirty-eight minute movement. The set is deep and brooding, based on a long field recording (which wafts in and out through the album), together with long ambient drones. The tracks share elements, but progress, gradually becoming more complex – track four is the busiest (well, as busy as ambient drone music might be). Probably good to listen to at low volume while taking a bath or reading a horror novel.

The fabulous cover art was created by Arnd Klotz, based on photos I’d taken around the time I was composing the music.

Moss Wall Collection – ambient music by Sounds The Songs Of Seabirds

Sounds The Songs of Seabirds is the moniker used by Bob Singley, a prolific ambient/improvisational folk artist from the Pacific Northwest. With numerous releases available through Bandcamp there’s a huge array of music available.

Moss Wall is a series of releases – seven long albums in a variety of low key styles. Bob allowed me to curate a collection of tracks for Zenapolae as a kind of overview of the series. Nine tracks, at least one from each release:

1. one rain drop
2. freezing rain
3. green leaves hanging on a limb
4. spores
5. as the high winds carry the birds
6. love (four)
7. frozen fog
8. marmot
9. purple nettle at trail 8

You can stream or download the compilation from Zenapolae here.

Zencast 012 – mix by Venus Vulture

Zenapolae is a netlabel that releases a range of ambient and experimental music. They also have regular ‘Zencasts’ of hour-long mixes of tracks from the label and from other netlabels.

Recently I completed a mix exclusively made up from Zenapolae releases and it’s available from Zenapolae as Zencast 012 – you can download it here. The mix is a very blended piece, using long sections of various tracks overlaid with long sections of others.

1. Todd Christopher – aurumplateau
2. Saffron Slumber – Of Ice, Water, and Steam
3. Petal – Meridian
4. Ingredient – Striations
5. zenasprime – esion2 (edit)
6. Maszyna 01 – kosmos
7. d/form – 00:11:59::00:21:15
8. Petal – Occlusion
9. lolpix – Ephialtes
10. Weird Fields – Carousel
11. Raumwerk – Mitte (edit)
12. AmgSphont – zatpacu
13. Instruction Shuttle – Further Adrift
14. d/form – 00:51:09::00:60:00
15. Saffron Slumber – Of Ice, Water, and Steam


Paleocene Palecopeia.mp3 – Venus Vulture track on Reverbnation

I’ve uploaded a little noodling to the Venus Vulture Reverbnation site – just some drones with a few processed guitar sounds (and those inevitable field recordings) – as part of the 2010 music project. A shade under three minutes long.

Download the track – yes, Paleocene is a real word, Palecopeia is made up. More on that later.

See, stream and/or download the full list of 2010 tracks here.

Brunk – Winter ep

Well, it’s the height of winter here and, by coincidence really, I’ve been listening to my cd copy of brunk’s Winter ep released through Resting Bell. Winter ep is a nice short collection of four tracks, mostly laid-back guitar, about 20 minutes long, just a nice warm up with hot chocolate and a new story on the go. The cd seems to be sold out now (it was a limited edition), but you can still download from Resting Bell, or from Brunk’s bandcamp site, where he has some other material available too.