I couldn’t find a free, legal download (maybe you? Drop me a note…) of the Quatuor pour la fin du temps (also known by its English title Quartet for the End of Time) by french composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), but to be honest, I couldn’t think of many other tracks I’d like to present here, after this weekend.
Without any more words…
It doesn’t have to come out of an obscure club in New York or from some 1960ies-recordings featuring Miles, Trane or Mingus to be a nice little jazz gem, even if it is a little old fashioned. I’ve heard some excellent jazz from bands that come from parts of the world, you wouldn’t consider the center of the jazz universe.
Here’s the début release »Namouche« (named after their recording studio in Lisbon) by the Spanish band Special Quartet with Narciso González (ts), Javier Alcántara (g), Pablo Romero (p, org) and Pepin Muñoz (dr), featuring their guests Alexis Cuadrado (b), Perico Sambeat (as) and Hugo Alves (tp), playing some very nice, technically elaborated, high class jazz. Yeah, they didn’t reinvent the wheel but still there’s something quiet original and entertaining in this reminiscence to the olden days.
Not only because Earlyguard’s track “Monoku” on the yesterday released new Free Floating compilation »Conception« is a wonderful new track and a perfect addition to the shiny Earlyguard discography, but also because there are so many stunning good artists I know and love (Bing Satellites, Benjamin Dauer, Altus) and so many more to discover, do yourself a favour: Get »Conception«, it’s good, it’s free and it is a friendly companion for your travel through the day. A brilliant start for an interesting new netlabel with a clear vision.
Ambient isn’t for everybody, I know. Not everybody wants to deal with rhythmless, slowly floating electronic music, without familiar patterns (let’s say ABACAB), without hook lines, without lyrics to sing along with. But sometimes it’s just what I need: Sheer sounds with no (or almost no) ornament, only to listen to and to explore.
One of my favourite ambient artists (oh, I have quite a few, don’t you worry, guys!) is Thomas Frühwacht from Dortmund/Germany aka. Earlyguard. I simply love his »slowly and tenderly evolving, soothing, almost healing sounds«, as I described them before in my review of his Haiku-release.
But there is more than his excellent »Haiku« release (which I strongly recommend). Now, if you’ve already followed my advice and have downloaded Haiku, you may want to continue with his very charming EP »Far Out«, which he has produced with his daughter Melina (!) and his most recent release to date, »The Gaia Theory«. Listen for example to this enchanting track:
Surrounded by Life
These three releases should give you a good overview on his musical world (so far). But then, in the end, every Earlyguard release is worth listening to and may impress you with its simplicity, its slowness and its poetry.
One last note: If you dig the epic Haiku as much as I do, make sure not to miss his most cryptic, reduced, minimalistic 180-minutes-release »禅 Zen«.
Since December last year, every month Thomas has been releasing every month (!) an all new, ever surprising and always excellent album, exploring many angles of his musical imagination. I’m looking forward to continue this fascinating travel.
I’ve just read this rather sad news on the Carl Sagan’s Gost Facebook-page:
R.I.P. - Carl Sagan’s Ghost. January 2009 - July 2011. ~100 tracks. ~11 hours worth of music. One final album on its way called, Remnants. A short album comprised of tracks from unfinished albums. Thanks for listening everyone. It’s been a great, and weird, couple of years.
and some replies later
It’s just time to move onto something else (…) My projects have always been kind of specific to a sound, or theme or something. Once I feel like I’ve explored that sound or theme for a bit, I feel the urge to move on to something else.
Now Daniel Davis (who is the man behind CSG) was one of the very first CC-related artists I discovered and I still find some of his releases true gems of the free ambient music world. I’m sure, he will come up with something interesting soon, in the meantime, you should check out some of his releases, if you don’t know his music yet.
Check out these very fine three releases … and of course the other stuff on his website.
2009: Music for Home Offices, Vol. 1
2009: At The End Of It All
2009: Darkness And The Light
See you soon, Daniel and thank you for your wonderful music.
There’s so much awesome music in the world to discover … check out this track (roughly translated into “I’m going to go to the desert to die”) from Mexico, it might change your ideas about what Mexican music sounds like… this is simply awesome, wow!
I’ve found it on the new compilation (simply named “Compilado 002”) from Mexico-based music platform Estándar.
Get it here at the Free Music Archive (I love this site!)
And check out the first Volume of that series too… plenty of stuff to discover…
Do you like contemporary classical music as in Atonality (with a major A)? If not, you can skip this article, really, because the music of the Norwegian composer and pianist Thomas Bjørnseth (*1957) I am going to suggest to you today, is in its very essence atonal in the tradition of Arnold Schoenberg, Edgard Varèse, Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luciano Berio ecc.
Atonal music lacks of familiar harmonic concepts (actually it doesn’t lack of anything, it has overcome the old concepts of harmony), yet I find Bjørnseth’s music surprisingly (or not surprisingly) versatile, intelligent, original, sometimes even sweet, if sweet can mean more to you than kitschy romantic piano music.
You may know Thomas from his excellent blog about contemporary music atonality.net (or you’re one of his many twitter-buddies @atonalitydotnet), where he presents hidden treasures of the music of the 20th and 21st century. But he is more than just another blogger, he is a skilled composer and musician and has released seven albums to date, bringing together his works for piano (sometimes prepared piano, sometimes accompanied) from 2009 to 2011.The quality of his releases is surely not inferior to those of other contemporary composers, but instead of releasing them on a small label for very few connoisseurs, he releases them with a CC license for free at jamendo.com. So if you have even the smallest interest or curiosity in contemporary music, this isn’t the worst place to start from. There is classical music beyond romanticism.
It’ll be …
I haven’t uploaded anything in a while.. been working on an album. In the meantime, here’s a cover of (Just Like) Starting Over. (Included in the .zip are two mixes, one stereo and one mono, just for fun.) Enjoy.
OK, you know the drill: This list doesn’t claim to be complete. It’s a rather personal choice of the most remarkable releases of the last month I happened to stumble upon. This list may be expanded later. Check the “latest update” below.
- Lyndsie Alguire - Suspended in light (Camomille) - Ambient / Piano / Neo-Classical / CC-licensed
- Ambienteer - Luminous (self release of Bandcamp) - Ambient / CC-licensed
- Benjamin Dauer - Saturation Event (Feedback Loop) - Ambient / CC-licensed
- Earlyguard - Haiku (self release of Bandcamp) - Ambient / Drone / CC-licensed
- Gosprom - 20 (Headphonica) - Drum’n’Bass / Pop / CC licensed
- Lauki - 69º54´S?-?135º12´E (Audio Gourmet) - Ambient / Drone / Neo-Classical / CC-licensed
- Leonardo Rosado - Opaque Glitter (Feedback Loop) - Ambient / Experimental / Field Recordings / CC-licensed
- 16 Lovers Lane - Don’t Try To Push Me [EP] (Clinical Archives) - Pop / Dark / CC licensed
- These Animals - These Animals EP (Aaahh Records) - Summer-Pop/ Rock / Indie / CC-licensed
- The Sunshine Factory - Sugar (BFW Recordings) - Pop / Rock / Indie / CC-licensed
- Voder - Motes (Distance Recordings) - Ambient / Experimental / CC-licensed
Latest Update 30/06/2011
Check all other monthly Remarkable releases lists