No writing news lately, but the Zenapolæ netlabel has just released my Venus Vulture ambient album Nudibranch.
On a visit to the small but cool Santa Monica Aquarium, I saw these wonderful, graceful and peaceful creatures, drifting and swimming. Their langorous movements and transparent bodies inspired some tranquil music and I’m glad it’s found a home.
The cover is from a photo I took at the aquarium. These are Lion’s Mane nudibranches, one of dozens (well 2300 maybe) of species. Nudibranches are molluscs that shed their shells when they move into adulthood.
Some of you know that while I’m serious about writing, I also have a hobby of making ambient music. There are several releases around the web – some self-released and a few on netlabels. Most of the music comes out under the moniker Venus Vulture, but I’ve used some other names too (though I’m not anything to do with Vultures of Venus, whose music is quite different). This new work, on the Zenapolae netlabel is a combined release with Cheval Cheval – another name I use. It’s kind of like a side A/side B thing. Both are stand-alone three-track EPs, but taken together they combine to make an album-length work. I do see Cheval Cheval as different to Venus Vulture (Venus Vulture is a bit denser, darker and weirder), but Arnd at Zenapolae suggested combining the two and I think it works: two aspects of my music next to each other for the old compare and contrast.
Zen 091 Cheval Cheval – Restless Gases/Venus Vulture – I am lost upon a heartless sea amongst the ice and sharks is free download from Zenapolae.
I’ve been so busy with writing, and jabbering on about writing, of late, that I haven’t been up to much music. But I have been up to some. I have a new Venus Vulture release coming out on Zenapolae soon, but in the meantime I managed to put together a podcast mix that’s out now.
zenCast016 is an hour-long mix of ambient(ish) works from various netlabels – I’ve put a full track list below. As you may know, I listen to music as I write; and this is the kind of thing I would write to. I hope you enjoy it.
I’ll update again when the Venus Vulture release comes out.
Tracks in zenCast016
1. Lump – Kohina#2 – textone\txtn015 – 3 feet down and sinking e.p.
2. Rod Modell – Harmonics Of Ether – sutemos\Flow.ers (Sutemos008)
3. Ingredient – Striations – zenapolæ\zen051 – Ingredient
4. Minus Pilots – Sunshine Final Cut – testtube\[tube010] – Central Industries EP
5. milieu – over hills – [unknown]\milieu
6. Lezrod – Domrich – zymogen\[zym014] – Genki Vol. I
7. Ryonkt – transparence – Resting Bell\transparence
8. Venus Vulture – Times Sq. – [unreleased]
9. Dolby – [B2] Outward – thinner\thn008 – dub expo ep
10. Sleepy Town Manufacture – Kabyn – sutemos\intelligent toys 2
11. Minim.all – Branches – arh021\les mots inconnu
12. Arditi – Struggle for Victory – [equilibrium music]\(Destiny of Iron)
13. Zero a m m 0 – Uncomforting Variations – Resting Bell\
14. Anti- – ewwa – PUBE\ – tufts
15. 833-45 – Säänöttömyys – autoplate\apl004 – Solar Cycle 23
16. Muhr – Le Gouffre En Nous – zymogen\zym010 – muhr drames et precipices
17. Marko Füstenberg – Option21 – thinner\thn031 – option
18. Lys – Tolis – sutemos\Naunee
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.
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.