Inspired by two peripheral characters in Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Klara and The Sun, Brendon John Warner’s new single explores the dissonance of reconnecting with society after years of separation; a theme expanded on by Alex Botton in his visual accompaniment to the song, framing the odd behaviours among and between random individuals in public spaces. Evoking both the awe-inspiring neon-soaked soundtracks of Vangelis and the earthily raw, visceral power of Vladislav Delay’s Rakka, Coffee Cup Lady & Raincoat Man is extremely impressive.
ELSZ, Ganavya – Holy Water Meditation
I don’t often just copy in release hype for posts, but this is an important one, and gives you an indication of the tone of the album better than I ever could, so here you go…
“Blue Scar Vol I , is the first installation of a long form album. This tapestry of songs is a personal mythology of love and survival, I have been patiently writing and working on this since 2013, the year I almost died because of intimate partner violence.
“This body of work brought me back to my body, and continues to do so everyday, my prayer is that it does the same for all trauma survivors, that this music is a place we can tend to our personal and generational wounds as well as a place to honour our scars. This is for youngest selves , for my child self and my god self, who always seek to protect and heal me – this is a quest to relearn what love is.”
Daniel Avery – Spider
Daniel Avery has assembled an impressive raft of caollborators on his new album Ultra Truth, with production from Ghost Culture and Manni Dee, vocals courtesy of HAAi, Jonnine Standish (HTRK), AK Paul and the “voices” (not sure why that’s different from ‘vocals’, but apparently it is) of Marie Davidson, Kelly Lee Owens, Sherelle and James Massiah. It’s a more contemplative record that he’s produced before – way more afterparty mong than peak time rave up – and is probably the release of his I’ve enjoyed the most, which tells you everything you need to know about my current levels of rave-readiness. Spider is 90s-evoking ambient techno with all the OTT heartfeltness that entails, and I love it.
Xena Glas – To the A
Brooklyn-based visual artist, poet and musician Xena Glas released her new Movement EP last week, including To the A: a restrained and beautiful slice of electronica heavy on choral vocals and atmosphere. Xena employs content from a single field recording of her walking from her Crown Heights apartment to the A train, and then off the train to the Hudson River in Manhattan, which adds a flavour of the mundane in this otherwise ethereal track.
Joy Helder – Life of the Party
Joy Helder’s fantastic recent EP Blurt flits between creeping ambient and more energetic electronica, with Life of the Party sitting slap bang in the middle. Skeletal in the sparseness of its structure, every echoing glitch or crispy delivered hi-hat has been painstakingly crafted to deliver maximum impact, burrowing deep into your brainholes and sending satisfying shivers down your spine.
Loraine James’s new album Building Something Beautiful For Me lands today and fucking hell it is amazing. I never really clicked with last year’s Reflection, but loved her ambient album as Whatever The Weather from earlier this year. Building… seems to sit somewhere between these ambient and club spaces and comes across almost like a work in progress, with tracks stopping abruptly or changing tone midway through. There are so many highlights picking a single track was very tough, but I went for Black Excellent (Stay On It) due to the simplicity of its construction – pretty much just a single, undulating synthline throughout – resolved perfectly by the bleak beauty of its final third.
Clark – Autumn Linn
Celestial ambient wanderings from Clark that should appeal to anyone who enjoyed last year’s Playground In A Lake. Taken from a compilation of new tracks, unreleased archive material and rarities, collected by the artist to release alongside the remastered reissue of his 2006 LP Body Riddle.
Rex Kalibur – Benign Abyss
Get lost in the digital waves…
Quiraing – SU1-269MU
Incredibly chill and glassy ambient from Quiraing, written on an island in Northern Michigan and created mainly from field recordings made on the artist’s journey to reach it. Simple and very effective.
Precipitation – Sundown in Orgi
“Don’t judge a book by its cover” etc, but in my experience definitely do judge an album by its cover. Or at least give it a listen. There is literally nothing about the cover of Precipitation’s new album Glass Horizon (or the artist name, or the title for that matter) that suggests I won’t completely love it. And I do! Kinda house, kinda ambient, 100% lush. Sundown in Orgi comes in like Laurent Garnier’s Last Tribute to the 21st Century – all sad pads and longing – before skipping happily off on lo-fi broken beats over a squidgy bassline. Aaaaand… melt.