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Music

Daniel McCagh – Imagining Machines

Imagining Machines is a twenty-minute digital-only work in three parts by Australian sound designer Daniel McCagh which, if you’re a fan of William Basinski, is probably going to be right up your street. Focussing on the slow decay and disintegration of its main, constantly shifting pads while a whirling bank of machines limber up in the background, I guess all the individuals elements are fairly morose and disquieting. Except when you put them all together, it’s beautiful. And not just, “oh, that’s pretty” beautiful, but a kind of aching, longing appreciation of something that you can’t quite comprehend existing.

https://gutterbox.bandcamp.com

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Music

Grøte – Prognosis I

Sometimes all your want to do is sit back in a comfy chair and be made to feel increasingly anxious for 12 or so minutes. And while, sure, you could just drink several strong coffees and watch the news, there are better ways of achieving this sometimes weirdly pleasurable state of disquiet, so here come Grøte – a drone collective based in Croatia – with Prognosis 1 – which slowly overwhelms you to the point that all you can think about is the vastness of everything and the futility of your own existence in comparison. But, you know, in quite an enjoyable way.

https://grote.bandcamp.com

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Music

Lasse Tapio Junnila – Recall

Finnish artist Lasse Tapio Junnila released his debut album Childhood Amnesia last week, and Recall comes from that collection. The album tenderly and poignantly explores memory and nostalgia: specifically those half-forgotten early experiences of childhood that can lie dormant for years before coming back in a rush, triggering strong – if not entirely fully understood – emotions. Recall is gleaming, surging ambient electronica, and is just lovely.

https://lassetapiojunnila.bandcamp.com

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Music

Patrica Taxxon – Crocus 3

Patricia Taxxon released two entire albums this weekend, but I watched four entire games of rugby and cooked a roast, so, you know, who’s to really say what’s of more benefit to the world? This is my pick from the first of those albums, Crocus, which in some ways throws back to her 2019 masterpiece Beauty, minus the samples and frenetic drums: a gorgeous, synthy instrumental that once agains manages to remind me of Lemmings.

https://patriciataxxon.bandcamp.com

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Interviews Music

One Track Mind: A Winged Victory for the Sullen

The ambient duo’s Adam Wiltzie talks about Talk Talk’s genre-defining masterpiece Spirit of Eden

The premise of One Track Mind is pretty simple: I ask artists to pick one track that means a lot to them – either something they’ve discovered recently, something that’s been with them for years, or one that reminds them of a specific time in their life or career – and tell me what makes it so special to them. I get to talk to the artists I love, and they get to talk about the artists they love. Love all round!

Today we welcome A Winged Victory for the Sullen’s Adam Wiltzie. An ambient music duo composed of Wiltzie alongside Dustin O’Halloran, A Winged Victory for the Sullen are set to release their fourth studio album Invisible Cities later this month. Before forming the group, Wiltzie was involved with various ambient projects including The Dead Texan (with Christina Vantzou) and Stars of the Lid (with Brian McBride), and has been responsible for what I would confidently say are some of the most beautiful, powerful and important albums ever made, in any genre. So to say I’m very happy to have him on TPW is a bit of an understatement.

Here, Adam talks about the first time he heard Talk Talk’s post-rock masterpiece Spirit of Eden, and the lasting impact it had on him, and how it influenced his own work.

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Music

Tangent – The Origin Of Structures

The Origins of Structures is the lead track from Cycles, the forthcoming fifth album by Dutch ambient duo Tangent, and very nice it is too. Combining heavily processed, grainy drums with shifting pads that sound as if they’ve managed to find a way to actually record sunbeams glinting through the clouds, I’d be very happy to listen to this on repeat for the next hour. Which reminds me! Try listening to TMS cricket commentary with wordless ambient playing underneath. There really are few better ways to spend a Friday afternoon.

https://www.facebook.com/musictangent

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Interviews Music

One Track Mind: Elori Saxl

The US musician and filmmaker writes about the delicate balance between improvisation and composition in big dog little dog’s Panorama

The premise of One Track Mind is pretty simple: I ask artists to pick one track that means a lot to them – either something they’ve discovered recently, something that’s been with them for years, or one that reminds them of a specific time in their life or career – and tell me what makes it so special to them. I get to talk to the artists I love, and they get to talk about the artists they love. Love all round!

Today we welcome US musician and filmmaker Elori Saxl to the blog, whose album The Blue of the Distance has just been released. Combining digitally-processed recordings of wind and water with analog synthesizers and chamber orchestra, The Blue of Distance is an enchanting blend of ambient and neo-classical pieces, with the album taking its title from a phrase coined by Rebecca Solnit in A Field Guide to Getting Lost, referring to the phenomenon of faraway mountains appearing blue due to light particles getting lost over distance.

For her One Track Mind feature, Elori has written about big dog little dog’s Panorama with an eloquence and level of detail that makes me want to massively up my game. Over to her…

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Music

a new line (related) – love in a unitary authority part 1

Recording under his a new line (related) moniker, Andy Johnson has just released a rather lovely electronic album, love in a unitary authority part 1-7. Party ambient, part deep house, part dub, it’s a really engaging listen from start to finish and this is the epic 10 minute opener, which starts as life with what sounds like indistinct, looped field recordings before developing a delicate, patiently evolving 4/4 structure.

https://anewlinerelated.bandcamp.com

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Music

58918012 – Street Spirit

Given that this is a cover of one of my very favourite songs from one of my very favourite bands, I’m surprised I enjoy 58918012’s version of Street Spirit as much as I do. But then, I would challenge anyone to identify the source material for this without prior knowledge, as aside from a very (very) mangled, occasional cry of “and fade out again” that sounds like it’s coming from beyond the grave, there is pretty much nothing that links the two. It’s amazing, though, and makes Radiohead’s original sound like a jaunty pop banger by comparison, so deep is the despair it evokes.

https://58918012.bandcamp.com/releases

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Music

Pigeon Breeders and Ghost Cars – July 19 2020, Part 2

Pigeon Breeders and Ghost Cars two experimental groups from Edmonton, Canada, and this is the second part of a session recorded on a muggy night in the summer of 2020, with guitar, bass, percussion, and electronics played live and improvised in a single take. Over the course of 12 minutes or so it ebbs and flows, building and receding with heavily reverbed guitars and eerie atmospherics taking centre stage, and while it doesn’t end up with anywhere near the same level of demented ferocity as something like Swans, it’s definitely in the same ballpark.

https://soundcloud.com/mangledtapes