ambient Archive

Hundred-word Reviews for April 2022, Part 2

Picking up where I left off yesterday, here are five more brief capsule reviews of new albums. This is a remarkably eclectic assortment. Speedfossil – No Anesthesia If you like your rock tuneful, forceful and intelligent, focus your attention on this album, from a New England quartet called Speedfossil. The tunes are strong and memorable,

Album Review: Popol Vuh – Vol. 2: Acoustic & Ambient Spheres

In 2019, BMG put together a boxed set of five important albums by krautrock/ambient group Popol Vuh. The Essential Album Collection Vol. 1 featured vinyl re-pressings of Affenstunde (1970), 1972’s Hosianna Mantra, the band’s high water mark of Einsjäger & Siebenjäger from 1974, Aguirre (1976) and the group’s Nosferatu soundtrack from 1978. Taken together, those

EP Review: Limina – Hidden Spaces

Tyler Durham is best known for scoring film and games. His latest project is Limina, and Hidden Spaces is a 12-inch vinyl EP. Recorded over the course of May to July 2020 (in other words, during the most unsettled portion of the pandemic era), the six tracks are designed by the creator as an immersive

Album Review: Blue Glass – Jardin des Étoiles

The placid aural landscape that opens Jardin des Étoiles sets the tone for this collection: contemplative, slightly woozy and with a hint of danger. The artist describes the album as seven mood-orientated spaces and starting points for travel and exploration.” I’d say that’s a description that exhibits some healthy self-knowledge; these pieces are evocative, yes,

30 Days Out August 2021 #2: Jason Ringenberg, Magic City Hippies, Bill Frisell, Steve Earle, Los Lobos

Ohhh…kayyyy… Here we go again. There are some great live music shows scheduled over the next 30 days in and around Asheville. But scheduled isn’t the same thing as “guaranteed to happen.” Your unvaccinated friends and neighbors may put the kibosh on things. Check with the venue as close as possible to show times. And

Album Review: Humanbeing – Humanbeing

Rossano Baldini has a background in soundtrack work and scoring as well as jazz. This new release takes his music somewhere that’s both consistent with those pursuits and pushing the boundaries of his styles. Wholly instrumental, Humanbeing is an album of gentle soundscapes, often realized using electronic instruments yet wonderfully organic in its realization. The

Album Review: Richard Barbieri — Under a Spell

For several years, Richard Barbieri was the keyboardist in art rock band Japan; his atmospheric work was a key component of that band’s sound. And once Steven Wilson transformed his DIY project Porcupine Tree into an actual band, Barbieri performed a similar role in that group. (No-man was a sort of bridge between those projects,

Album Review: Robert Jürjendal – Water Finds a Way

Keeping up with such matters as I do, I’ve learned that there are quite a few different ways of coping with the realities of 2020 and beyond. That’s especially true for creative types. Some have gone to ground; others are in full creative flower. Estonian guitarist Robert Jürjendal is most definitely in the latter category.

Hundred-word Reviews: February 2021, Part 2

These five fall loosely – okay, sometimes very loosely – into the progressive and jazz categories. The Mastelottos – Too Much Happiness Though Robert Fripp’s recent video series with pulchritudinous wife Toyah Willcox have shown that he, too has a sense of humor and a light touch, it’s King Crimson’s Pat Mastelotto who perhaps reigns

Hundred-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Two

Here’s five more quick reviews. Powerpop, ambient, jazz and more. Nick Frater – Fast & Loose The title might lead the uninitiated to suspect that Nick Frater’s album is something along the lines of the Stooges. Well, it’s not. Instead, it’s melodic, tuneful and highly appealing rock that has the best elements of subgenres (classic-,