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.
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.
I usually enjoy the mixes on Fluid Radio so Danny Norbury’s new mix was almost anticipated. A wonderful low-key blend of quiet melodies and sounds and vocals, this is a delicious album-length (41 minutes) outing.
00:00 The Humble Bee – A Century Of Sea Stories (Xmas 1936)
03:20 Cornelius – Omstart
07:46 Sunwrae – Autumn Never Fall
13:36 John Fahey – Night Train Of Valhalla
15:48 Dick Annegarn – Coutances
18:38 Moondog – Fujiyama 2
23:03 Hope Sandoval – Baby Let Me
24:23 The Boats – The Arrow Home
29:52 The Medium Necks – My Mane
31:56 Vincent Gallo – Yes I’m Lonely
35:38 Squarepusher – Goodnight Jade
38:19 Gabriel Fauré – In Paradisum
I’ve been listening to a few CDs from Ryonkt’s Slow Flow Records lately. On high rotation has been Stanze di te by Misound. This is a deep and delicious immersion: a great way to relax through an hour of writing. Some wonderful sound patterns, deep, moody, at times a little glitchy, at times quite melodic, sometimes with some distant and almost recognisable field recordings to it.
You can stream a track here through Soundcloud – well worth a listen.
I am an unabashed fan of Taylor Deupree’s 12k label – an imprint that focuses on minimal music, but has evolved over the years. I frequently listen to Shuttle358, Sawako, Steinbruchel and others from the roster as I write. Taylor has made an hour-long mix of tracks For all the things we did in May which has just come out as a stream on Fluid Radio (of which I’m also a fan). The mix is wonderfully low-key, beginning with one of my favourite pieces, Shuttle358’s “Gone”, then progressing fairly organically through tracks I’m familiar with, and some I’d never heard.
A wonderful introduction to 12k’s roster and style.
Mark from NTNS radio – a show on Still Stream an internet ambient radio station, has made numerous compilations of creative commons recordings, available for streaming and download. Stroll is an eclectic mix of sometimes busy, sometimes very quiet pieces, that runs the length of a decent CD – full disclosure: Stroll includes a Venus Vulture track from Heavy Skies. Certainly for me that is part of the appeal – to hear my own track in a different context, next to pieces by different people.
Stroll is one of four sets making up the best of NTNS radio from April, May and June 2009 – the others, Meander, Trip and Cruise, are all similar in length and tone, all easily available and very listenable.
I’ve burned Stroll to CD and fire it in to write to – after all the reason I first began making ambient music was because I couldn’t find enough readily available to listen to as I wrote (the Internet has really changed that – there’s more than enough now). It was great over the weekend to listen to an hour and a quarter while I worked hard on a longer, pacey dieselpunk story – it was just the right kind of laid back but still edgy kind of music to really help keep the words flowing.
I’ve listened to Cabaret Voltaire since I was a teen – something about their slightly techno/slightly industrial feel really works for me. Their music is at once dark and uplifting. The main protagonists, Mallinder, Watson and Kirk have gone their own way, still making music in their own right, but Cabaret Voltaire continued, with some ambient music, and club disks and odds and ends.
Under the Cabaret Voltaire moniker, Richard Kirk has remixed the album by New Zealand band Kora with very distinctive results.
Kora is a New Zealand roots/reggae act. Four of the five members are the Kora brothers. Their self-titled album was pretty popular in New Zealand and around the world.
The remix album Kora! Kora! Kora! (steamable and available for purchase at the link) is less roots and more techno, with clear elements from the original. To all accounts it’s more popular with Cabaret Voltaire fans than with Kora fans (who probably want that reggae feel, more than is present here).
I love the energy and drive of the pieces, it’s great for rarking up my writing pace, kicking me out of slumber, and at the same time taking me back to the eighties, but keeping me current. Whew.
I often sing the praises of Fluid Radio – an eclectic internet radio station from Experimedia in the UK with a couple of varied channels. Usually I listen to their mixes more than the radio stream – it’s cool having artists I recognise bringing some of their favourite tracks, whether their own or those of others, together in a honed set.
Something I’ve been listening to lately is the Taster – a mix of tracks from forthcoming projects on Fluid Audio. Best, I think, for listening to with the lights low, perhaps only with the light from your screen.
I listened to The Sleeping Morning, a 21 minute ep, last night while I edited a new story. Two of the four tracks include vocals, which is a bit different to the usual stuff from 12k, and different to what I’d normally write to, but it works. The tracks are quite distinct, minimal and controlled. Ysatis and Deupree have worked together a lot over the last decade or so, with some long gaps – this came out after quite a long gap (many years), and they have worked again more recently on another piece – hourglass – which is available on vinyl, but also (as with Sleeping Morning) as a download through itunes. Definitely worth checking out.
Fluid Radio is hosting a four track, forty-five minute mix of some of Michael Tanner’s fairly unreleased tracks. I didn’t really know Tanner’s work before this – there’s plenty of information about his bands and musical history at the Fluid Radio site there. What I enjoy about the selection is how unhurried it is, slow delicate builds of guitar and piano over some lovely soundscape washes – absolutely fantastic to write too: so moody and haunting.
Each of the tracks is already a mix of other tracks, so it’s intriguing:
1. A Pelagic Recital – Dawn reflects in the East
2. Bridegroom of Snow – Solicitude
3. Summerhouse – The rest I leave to the poor
4. Gloaming – Sirens