Dutch musician Eelco Topper returns to Soundway with 14 lo-fi, instrumental, jazz-infused sketches on guitar, cascading 'pocket piano', vibraphone and drum machine.Echoes of the dreamier end of 1980s English indie-pop, minimal ambient music and Brazilian bossa-nova, Topper’s musical storybook includes touches of The Durutti Column, hints of Antônio Carlos Jobim and Baden Powell, whilst all set firmly in the summer fields of Germany and the Netherlands.
Debut, self-titled album from a.s.o., singer/songwriter Alia Seror-O'Neill, and producer Lewie Day. 'a.s.o.' is a thematic consolidation of the previous three singles and an impressive artistic progression. Day and Seror-O'Neill show they've mastered the format of the radio-friendly pop song and found how to subvert it completely. Across eleven songs, they have built a rich and compelling body of work.We know where we are now, emotionally complex, trip-hop torch songs for club freaks. But the palette has broadened to encompass ethereal dream pop à la Cocteau Twins, slow-burning AOR-soul, and dubwise stylings. As a result, 'a.s.o.' is a satisfyingly coherent listen but never a musical monoculture. Variously there are nods toward Julee Cruise, Fleetwood Mac, and the uneasy listening of Portishead. It's an album that wears its influences lightly, is never weighed down by them, and always sure of its own identity.It's anchored by Alia's unique voice. Her words speak of restraint and release, taking us from the elegiac to the euphoric. This elegantly crafted, perfect pop music sounds like it has had enough of your shit. And Day's music is the perfect foil; deep, slightly menacing, restrained, and powerful. The album has a cinematic texture, as with David Lynch; the seemingly familiar becomes uncanny and strange the closer we look. a.s.o. take our emotions for a joyride before leaving us floating in space.
Mysterious Dutch outfit Doxa Sinistra have been operating on the fringes of the industrial-experimental and sound collage tape scenes since the very early 1980s. Their output has long been coveted by fans of DIY and left-field music since their earliest transmissions, and this featured 1983 recording 'The Other Stranger' might well be one of their most known. A truly strange offering, the track is a cascading acidic and minimal stripped piece, bathed in disparate resonant sample sources that could possibly have been recorded straight from the TV set. Nobody really knows what it all means, but it doesn't matter as the end result is an engaging mesmerising hypnagogic masterpiece of sampling and rhythmic free sound. A true classic from the outer reaches of electronic music.Midnight Drive label owner Brian Not Brian featured 'The Other Stranger' on his now infamous 'Holywell Session' cassette tape for the sadly missed Blackest Ever Black ever label in 2014, and the track was also a highlight of Boards Of Canada's cult 'Societas X Tape' for NTS in 2019. This special 7" vinyl only edition also features the more stripped back rhythm track version entitled 'Strange' on the b-side that is a slightly longer mix with a different arrangement and no samples, letting the minimalist acid and drum machine workout unfurl at its own steady woozy pace. This is the first time both versions have been remastered and have appeared together as a single and it is presented here with the blessing and involvement of Doxa Sinistra.
Quality alt-pop on AD 93 from Crete born artist. RIYL Yves Tumor, Kate Bush, Tori Amos, or early, gothy Cocteaus.Composed, produced and arranged by Evangelia VS, the artist behind Abyss X, Freedom Doll is the culmination of a year of emotional unloading through songwriting, offering an introspective journey into the ocean of her mind. Produced and recorded between an artist residency near the Mayan jungle in Mexico and her Berlin home, the album chronicles transformations the performer tackled mentally during the writing process, tracing the rollercoaster of falling in love during the pandemic, as well as the pleasures and tribulations of womanhood.
Earthtones is the musical identity of Serge Bandura, an electronic artist, former jazz musician, meditation teacher and ritualist based in LA. Kevin Nathaniel channels sound as a universal healing force through traditional African instruments and is a former student of legendary master musicians such as Ephat Mujuru and Chief Bey K. Sending files back and forth during the pandemic, the two artists deepened a musical friendship and began a dialog between the Mbira Nyunga Nyunga, the Kalimba and analog synthesizers. Their music is offered in the spirit of peace + healing for all. ‘Of The Earth’ (Full Meditation) is 21 minutes long and the B side offers 25 minutes of music.
New LP by Krefeld-born, Berlin-based artist Philipp Otterbach entitled 'The Dahlem Diaries'.Recorded in a little-visited corner of the German capital, 'The Dahlem Diaries' is a convergence of ideas, sketches and tracks, both old and new, most of which were produced between 2020-2022. Whilst eerie atmospheres, electronics and drums have played a pivotal role in Philipp’s earlier releases, his latest is a rather more introspective affair, in which the guitar takes a leading role. A role Otterbach uses to quietly bring light and hope to his music.
Modern classical/ ambient soundtrack by Polish pianist/ composer on Matthew Halsall's Gondwana imprint.Invited by film director Susanna Fanzun, to score her forthcoming documentary on the legendary artist Alberto Giacometti, Hania Rani took herself to the Swiss mountains to compose in blissful isolation. As Rani explains eloquently below the compositions are based on improvised melodies, simple harmonies and structures and inspired by the silence of the mountains as Rani returns to her main instrument, the piano. The results are beguilingly reminiscent of her beloved debut album Esja, but with subtle extra layers of synthesiser, and on two tracks cello from friend and long-running collaborator Dobrawa Czocher.'On Giacometti' is presented as a limited edition LP with bespoke packaging featuring Les Naturals - Chocolat (Gmund) sustainable recycled paperboard made from 100 % recovered paper with Foil Artwork by Łukasz Pałczyński. Plus Double sided printed insert and download code inside.
Super mellow, desert island library/ exotica stunner from Melbourne trio. Highly recommended if you like Martin Denny, Eden Ahbez, Shuggie Otis, Maston, Domenique Dumont, or Sven Wunder. Sleeve has been signed on the front by the artist.
110 previously unreleased mellow guitar / drum machine instrumentals rescued from the late fashion photographer-guitarist’s Paris Tapes (1986-1997). Naïve melodies that chart a missing link between Vini Reilly’s ventures into electronica and Booker T, sounding like sun-warped takes on wordless, fractured non-hits from his heroes The Beach Boys.Includes 4-page booklet of liner notes and photography.
Wilson Tanner’s 69 returns to Australian soil for a new season. A uniquely provincial take on ambient music, Andrew Wilson (Andras) and John Tanner (Eleventeen Eston) assembled their prized debut over a shared love of seafood, wine and LPG. Recorded in a Perth backyard, these two new friends reached for the tools at hand and made the best of the fine weather. Instrument and implement combine in a languorous bricolage of synthesizer, clarinet and building materials - interrupted only by the occasional flutter of pigeon wings or a call to lunch. Back in print for the first time since 2017, Wilson Tanner hop into Efficient Space’s expanding pot.
Palto Flats & WRWTFWW Records reissue of Japanese percussionist Midori Takada's sought after and timeless ambient / minimal album "Through The Looking Glass", originally released in 1983 by RCA Japan.Considered a Holy Grail of Japanese music by many, "Through The Looking Glass" is Midori Takada’s first solo endeavor, a captivating four-song suite capturing her deep quests into traditional African and Asian percussive language and exploring contemplative ambient sounds with an admirably precise use of marimba. The result is alternatively ethereal and vibrant, always precise and mesmerizing, and makes for an atmospheric masterpiece and an unparalleled sonic and spiritual experience.
Santilli returns to Mad Habitat after a European sojourn on Growing Bin! The Eora-based multi-instrumentalist is one half of Angophora, but his solo work exists in the lineage of electro-acoustic visionaries like Steve Tibbetts. With each subsequent release, Santilli strikes the balance between mining his well-defined personal aesthetic and expanding his vision.The instrumental palette of this record is centred around guitar and synthesiser, bolstered by an incredible array of idiophones and membranophones. There is no shortage of spellbinding moments, like the glacial synths that pan across “Mirrors”, the cascading beauty of “Colours” or the woodland symphony of “Hollow” - the latter even recalls the environmentally-focused work of Waak Waak Djungi’s Peter Mumme.There’s a common thread across this album in the way it evokes the expanse of nature that Santilli spends much of his time in. All 9 tracks feel like a glimpse into an exquisitely realised scene and across all of them, Santilli's music is suffused with an unhurried sense of ease. The music here feels immersive and panoramic as a result, and we’re grateful to share a glimpse into the worlds Santilli captures.
Originally released in 1986, “World Of Echo” is a deeply intimate and meditative work, that remains a timeless document of sublime beauty. Newly remastered from original 1/4″ sequenced masters, 18 tracks are featured including drumless versions of his Disco classics “Let’s Go Swimming”, “Tree House” and “Wax The Van” along with four previously unreleased tracks from “Sketches From World Of Echo”.
Natural Wonder Beauty Concept is the immersive debut collaboration from Ana Roxanne and DJ Python. Spanning moody ambience, melodic jungle, and off-kilter synth-pop, Natural Wonder Beauty Concept combines Roxanne's ethereal vocal prowess with Python's innovative electronica to arrive at a bold new sound. Black vinyl edition.Natural Wonder Beauty Concept by Natural Wonder Beauty Concept
Like a perennial that returns with each new spring, the Mort Garson archives (Plantasia, Ataraxia, Lucifer) have brought to bear yet another awe-inspiring bloom. Journey to the Moon and Beyond finds even more new facets to the man’s sound. There’s the soundtrack to the 1974 blaxploitation film Black Eye (starring Fred Williamson), some previously unreleased and newly unearthed music for advertising. Just as regal is “Zoos of the World,” where Garson soundtracks the wild, preening, slumbering animals from a 1970 National Geographic special of the same name. The mind reels at just what project would have yielded a scintillating title like “Western Dragon,” but these three selections were found on tapes in the archive with no further information.The crown jewel of the set is no doubt Garson’s soundtrack to the live broadcast of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing, as first heard on CBS News. That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for Moogkind. For decades, this audio was presumed lost, the only trace of it appearing to be from an old YouTube clip. Thankfully, diligent audio archivist Andy Zax came across a copy of the master tape while going through the massive Rod McKuen archive. So now we get to hear it in all its glory. Across six minutes, Garson conjures broad fantasias, whirring mooncraft sounds, zero-gravity squelches, and twinkling études. It showcases Mort’s many moods: sweet, exploratory, whimsical, a little bit corny, weaving it all together in a glorious whole.Journey to the Moon and Beyond by Mort Garson
First ever vinyl pressing of Haruomi Hosono's full album N.D.E. Featuring Goh Hotoda, Yasuhiko Terada, Yasuaki Shimizu, Bill Laswell & François Kevorkian. Big TIP!Ever since his days as a pioneer of Japanese electronic music in the 1970s, Haruomi Hosono has constantly pushed forwards musically. The 1990s was a particularly fertile decade for the Yellow Magic Orchestra co-founder. Following two decades spent creating and releasing innovative electronic pop, imaginary sound worlds and inspirational ambient music, Hosono established the Daisyworld label to showcase cutting-edge ambient, techno and electronica, while also embarking on a wide range of often overlooked collaborative projects.N.D.E. - , one of the headiest, psychedelic, evocative and gently mind-altering albums in Hosono’s vast discography, is one such project. It formed part of a run of albums that saw the Japanese producer embrace contemporaneous influences – think Spacetime Continuum style ambient techno, DJ Spooky-esque illbient, weighty ambient dub and the ‘ambient house’ antics of The Orb – in his own inimitable, far-sighted style.He was ably assisted on N.D.E. by an undeniably impressive roll call of collaborators, most notably no-wave hero turned ambient explorer Bill Laswell (who Hosono subsequently worked with on joint album Interpieces Organisation), NYC DJ/producer Francois Kevorkian, and fellow Japanese ambient pioneer Yasuaki Shimizu.With such a stellar cast-list, it’s perhaps unsurprising that N.D.E. has achieved cult status over the years, despite being near impossible to find outside of Hosono’s native Japan. Remarkably, it never received a full vinyl release, with only five of the set’s cuts appearing on an ultra-limited sampler. Now Rush Hour is putting the record straight, delivering a DJ-friendly, remastered version that spreads that album’s seven tracks across two slabs of vinyl.N.D.E. remains an impressive, unearthly and otherworldly album. Its unique and distinctive sound makes use of multiple nods to Eastern musical culture – think Tabla rhythms, heady violin courtesy of guest musician Arun Bagal, and transcendental synth sounds – but also throbbing techno grooves, Pete Namlook style ambient electronics, spaced-out dub rhythms, bubbly melodies reminiscent of Warp Records Artificial Intelligence-era IDM output, trippy tribal drums, and immersive electronic dream-scapes that recall the greatest exponents of Japanese new-age ambient music.Highlights are plentiful, from the Test Department-at-dawn brilliance of Bill Laswell co-production ‘Edge of the End’ and the sunrise-ready, dew-fresh dreaminess of ‘Aero’, to the surging ambient techno hedonism of ‘Strange Attractor’ – a near cult cut that remains a timeless slab of hallucinatory dancefloor excellence – and the slow-motion space-dub of Francois Kevorkian collaboration ‘Teaching of Sphinx’, whose oddly processed sounds and low-slung bass subtly reference the Orb’s earlier remix of YMO’s ‘Tong Poo’.There’s also the impeccable, pleasingly experimental ‘Spinning Spirits’ – all addictive Indian rhythms, punishingly distorted bass, raw electronics and paranoid aural textures – and the sparkling bliss of ‘Heliotherapy’, a woozy chunk of sun-bright electronic hypnotism that encapsulates everything good about Hosono’s mid-90s productions.