It has been a while since I’ve posted about new music here. Some of you may know that while I’m primarily a writer, I also tinker with ambient music. I release solo works as Venus Vulture, but I am also one half of the band Shadows on the Snow, with Kendall Keeler of December Nightskies. We trade files back and forth, building up tracks that way (Kendall’s based in the U.S, I live in New Zealand. Our plans to meet up earlier this year were put on hold thanks to the pandemic).
We have two new releases, available now from Bandcamp.
The first is Shadows in the Architecture. One long, evolving track, complemented by three shorter tracks.
I really like this one. Unusual. Experimental. Quirky, even.
I’m especially happy with the cover. That’s taken from a building near where I live. Photographed around sunset, with the strange light and shadows highlighted. It feels appropriate for the release.
The second is Vapor Release. Again, a long evolving track that goes through several phases.
Kendall and I are fans of dark, moody tracks and I feel that this one really exemplifies where we’re at with our approach to music.
Kendall also collaborates with Charlie Naked, release music as Something Like Squids – check out those releases, all available through the December Nightskies Bandcamp page.
While for the most part I pursue writing as my main creative outlet, from time to time I also create ambient music.
With Kendall Keener of December Nightskies I make up one half of Shadows on the Snow. We exchange music back and forth, remixing snippets of each others work to create something new. Most of our combined music appears on archive.org, some on netlabels and occasional pieces appearing on compilations.
Solo I make music as Venus Vulture. My latest release is Muscari TZ.-1. The long, ambient tracks, with deep levels of repetition. I’m a fan of FM3’s Buddha Machine, so much of my recent music has reflected some of that repetition aesthetic.
I first started writing music because I liked having something in the background while I wrote stories. I couldn’t find enough, so Venus Vulture was born.
Musicari TZ.-1 is available on Bandcamp. You can stream it there. If you’ve read this and it sounds like you might like a listen, PM me/comment and I’ll send you a free download link sometime in late May.
The Venus Vulture album phantomshadows, which was originally released on the Resting Bell netlabel, is available again. It can be streamed or downloaded (for free) on the Venus Vulture Bandcamp page. phantomshadows is a minimal ambient drone album of four tracks, each around 14 minutes. The release was combined with a set of images, which are available on the Flickr page.
The funny details:
The release went out of print because I, silly me, had joined APRA – the New Zealand branch of the Australian Performing Rights Association. I think they do good work, but they’re not really compatible with creative commons licences. Christian, who does an extraordinary job at Resting Bell, was faced with paying GEMA (the German equivalent of APRA) fees for releasing my music – even though it was never my intent to generate money from this release. My bad. I’m no longer a member of APRA, though GEMA’s rules are different, it appears possible that I will never be able to release music through Resting Bell or any other German netlabel.
I’ve just listened to Jerome’s new ambient/glitch ep 17:14 (yes, that’s the duration and the title) – here on his Bandcamp site. It’s a moody, drifty piece, with little hints of melody, tiny quiet jabs of subtle static and some delicious drones. Jerome usually releases music as NNY, and has a pretty full catalogue of downloads and media. Some of his work is a bit edgy and too glitchy for my taste, but this new ep tags it just right – enough drone and melody to balance the strong frequencies and clicks. Great music to write to – available both as a stream and free download.