The Bug delivers a new album that reads more like two decent EPs.
Erik K. Skodvin is the real name of Norweigian avant-garde, dark ambient producer Svarte Greiner. As Svarte Greiner, Skodvin has released a handful of well-crafted, lurching albums, such as his great debut Knive, and 2013′s Black Tie. He has also recorded music as half of Deaf Heaven. But it is not very frequently that he puts out music under his birth name. In fact, only one album, 2010′s Flare holds the name. But now Skodvin is releasing a follow-up in Flame, and has debuted a glorious new song from it, entitled “Red Box Curves.”
The music Skodvin makes under his name is a little more succinct than the music he makes as Svarte Greiner (who is no stranger to epic-length dirges), but they retain similar elements. “Red Box Curves” consists of not much more than a hollow, relentless percussion, screeching strings, and some dissonant atmospherics and subtle distortion. It sounds a little like something that wouldn’t be so out of place on The Knife’s bizarre Shaking the Habitual, and it is really made of the same things as many Svarte Greiner tracks. The difference is in its pacing: “Red Box Curves” is over in less than 4 minutes, and doesn’t waste any time. Its elements dance around each other, slowly increasing in intensity. If this were a Svarte Greiner song, it’d all be much more discordant, elongated, and droney. But under his own name, Skodvin feels free of the heavy chains that can sometimes burden his alias’ music.
Flame is out next week via Sonic Pieces.
You probably know Dave Harrington best as the guitarist of Darkside, his collaboration with Nicolas Jaar that yielded the brilliant album Psychic last year. Dave has since put out a couple of tracks through Jaar’s Other People label, appearing in issues 38 and 39 of its weekly podcast. Both tracks clock in at around ten minutes each and are made up of presumably Harrington’s guitar work maniuplated and stretched into a series of enthralling drones. They’ve been put together as a sort of 20-minute-long EP (formally his solo debut), with the hefty title Before This There Was One Heart but a Thousand Thoughts. Stream it above via Other People’s Soundcloud and lose yourself in the multi-phased ambient and micro-house magic!
In 2009 Steven Hess and Michael Vallera, two of the figureheads of Chicago’s experimental music underground, formed the duo Cleared. They conceived of a sort of trilogy, starting with their 2011 self-titled debut, continuing with 2012′s Breaking Day, and now finishing up with Drown, out later this month. This last LP is effectively the refinement of everything the twosome set out to do in the first place – explore the dark/light interplay between murky, distorted drone music and lush ambient and dream pop textures and compositions. It’s an interestingly captivating juxtaposition. Stream it in full above; happy listening!
Drown is officially out May 20 via Immune Recordings.
If you need something to counteract the resulting anxiety of Russia’s latest bids for world domination, then ABC Galaxy (Roman Skarednov) has made the album for you. Captain Eureka offers an impossibly optimistic outlook of the world in these stressful time, laden with some of the most colorful, kooky breakbeats you are going to hear all year. Just look at that exuberant cover art and some of the song titles – “Holy Synthesaurus,” “Monkeyshopping,” “Happydelica” – and you should have a good idea of how this thing’s gonna sound…So basically it’s a must-listen!
German gloom jazz quartet Bohren & Der Club of Gore have a new album out of some more of the moodiest “fahrstuhlmusik” (elevator music) you’re likely to ever hear. It’s called Piano Nights, and above you can check out the fittingly surreal and noir-style music video for cut “Ganz leise kommt die Nacht,” starring sax and keys player Christoph Clöser. Good night.
A collection of alluring tones from the new Ricky Eat Acid record, Three Love Songs. While the LP might seem like a bit of false advertising due to it’s track list offering many more than three songs, the idea of these textured, quaint, instrumental pieces being about love doesn’t seem far-fetched. They’re certainly lovely to my ears, anyway. Stream the album via the embed above, and enjoy!
A gorgeous drone from Scottish music producer Steven Shade a.k.a. Sevendeaths, which comes from his latest LP, Concreté Misery. In a perfect world, this track is how the collaboration between Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin collaboration that dropped in 2012 would have sounded. Sporadic synth sequences lay against monolithic drones of distortion that cycle through a somber chord progression. While the music seems simple in theory, it’s powerful in practice. Enjoy!
Ambient composer Nils Frahm sneakily dropped one of 2013′s prettiest albums, Spaces, near the end of the year. A puzzling mixture of live recordings and reenvisionings of past tracks, it was moving and interesting nonetheless. And now one of its best cuts, the striking “Says”, gets the video treatment. The YouTube page for it says it is an improvised experiment with “inks on glass and a video feedback device,” which results in the beautiful, abstract black and white visuals.
Watch it above and go lend an ear to Spaces, out now on Erased Tapes.