Brian Eno Thursday Afternoon
Just recently have I started to pick up the ambient releases from Brian Eno. I got Neroli earlier this year and finally Music for Airports a few weeks ago. This one was shipped to me from a user on the CD trading site lala and contains a single hour-long track, similar in style to the Music for Airports stuff. It was also supposedly the first album ever to be released exclusively on compact disc. The music is pleasant and functions well as ambiance, but I don't really think it compares well to more modern compositions like Biosphere's Substrata, especially considering that by 1985 this style wasn't exactly anything new. Still, it's a nice thing to have in my ever-expanding collection of ambient music.
Another Lithops release already for me? Well, these next six albums were all found in the clearance bins this week for 95 cents each, and I can't pass up prices like that. This release is a lot noisier than Uni Umit, the other Lithops album I have, in fact it often approaches hard to listen to. The effects of Jan's collaborations with Oval as Microstoria really start to show through here, a lot of the album making use of very glitchy sounds. Tracks like "Play Through" showcase a lighter mood, but much of the album is very aggressive.
Désormais Climate Variations
Désormais is a project of Mitchell Akiyama, who I don't really know much about but I understand is an important player in Montreal electronic music. I would describe this album is noisy ambient glitch music, maybe sort of like Tim Hecker, but generally with more going on. I might not even call it truly ambient. Most of the tracks have some percussive elements and well-defined melodic parts. I haven't actually heard very much music like this at all, but after hearing it it sounds like such a logical direction for music to progress in, very "genuine" sounding unlike a lot of non-dance electronic music these days. The packaging is pretty cool too, I haven't seen anything like it before — it's in a cardboard case with a little paper sleeve for the CD and a tab sewed on that holds the cover in place.
kiyo Chaotech Odd Echo
Schematic Records. I haven't heard anything from them in a long time. Last I heard they were only putting out mp3 releases or something like that now. This release falls within the glitchy IDM camp, from some Japanese guy I don't know anything about. I actually heard this Kiyo guy before on a Schematic compilation disc, but his material didn't impress me much there. I don't listen to this kind of stuff much anymore, but it's actually not bad at all. The album's flow is a little disjointed (for some reason I knew it would be this way from the cover art), but that tracks stand well on their own. I really like the song called "Flow", which is like a glitched up, ambient The Gentle People track.
Bird Show Lightning Ghost
The people on last.fm have this tagged as "ambient", "electronic", and "post-rock", but I can't really agree with that at all; I think it has more in common with the "freak folk" movement than either of those. It's very similar to another artist I've been listening to recently, Glissandro 70 from the Constellation label. Both have a sort of "tribal", rhythmic, chanting sound and make use of plenty of unusual instruments. The first song has fairly accessible vocals that remind me of the Finnish artist Sala-Arhimo (though they are in English), but most of the other tracks are a lot more "free".
I bought this not because I knew anything about Parmentier, but because this album was released on the Sigma Editions label, which is the label that put out Vladislav Delay's first album, Ele. (I kept hoping to find other stuff from the label while browsing around the shop, but unfortunately didn't see anything.) It turns out Parmentier are an ambient or drone music group from New Zealand. I was actually very impressed with this one, and have been using it to fall asleep to several nights during the past week. It's an amazing feeling listening to this when in half-sleep, like being in heaven and hell simultaneously I thought when it first happened.
D. DIGGLER Atomic Dancefloor
It's been a while since I got a real dance music album. I think the last ones were Akufen's My Way and Luomo's The Present Lover about a month ago. I have a compilation with a few tracks from D. Diggler on it, I think it was the Hypercity compilation from Force Tracks, so I decided to pick this one up when I saw it for 95 cents. The music is nothing that I haven't heard before, really, just your typical dub-influenced micro-tech-house, but it's very solid, probably one of the best I've heard in the genre. All the tracks here are great, no filler at all. The title is sort of lame, though.
White Rainbow Box
This is a five CD, one DVD box set, and I got it for eight dollars and change online, shipping included. I'm not sure where I first heard of White Rainbow, actually, maybe it was on the last.fm radio, or maybe I just noticed he had an album coming out on Kranky. It's just one guy, and he makes beautiful, organic ambient and drone music. I'm also loosely associating this music with the "freak folk" scene, though last.fm doesn't seem to agree with me. The Box is really way too much music for me to try to take in during just one week, but I tried. I didn't get through the entire DVD, but watched a few things on it. It was OK but nothing really stood out for me. I'm coming to the realization that I really don't care for the concept of music videos and DVDs, though I did like the one that came with Pan•American's Quiet City. The packaging for the Box looks nice, but functionally it's pretty weak. It's basically three Kranky-style cardboard sleeves that hold two CDs each glued together, and it's extremely hard to get the inner CDs out of the thing, and in doing so I probably scratched them up a little bit. Needless to say, I'm never going to put them back in there again, and am instead storing each disc in an individual slim jewel case.