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Music

Salamanda – Hard Luck Story

ashbalkum – the new album from Seoul electronic duo Salamanda – is really, really lovely. In the press release, rather than banging on about all the different synths they used and talking about their inspirations, the overwhelming focus is the fun they had making it, and how their friendship inspired them to create music that was playful and soothing. How nice is that! And to quote directly from the PR: “Do dreams always reflect what we think? Is what we feel within dreams real? Ultimately, Salamanda don’t seek to answer these questions, so much as revel in the delightful liminality of it all.” Lush.

https://8salamanda8.bandcamp.com/album/ashbalkum

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Music

Maria BC – ROF

ROF is taken from Hyaline, the debut album from Ohio-born, Oakland, CA based artist and songwriter, Maria BC. Described in the accompanying promo copy as “ghost stories, but not as we know them”, the world building throughout the album is really extraordinary, and the uncanny atmosphere is rarely more dense and intimate than on ROF, where a hushed, Grouper-esque guitar and a glacial vocal takes centre stage as eerie field recordings twist and scuttle in the distance.

https://mariabc.bandcamp.com/album/hyaline

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Music

Mary Lattimore and Paul Sukeena – This Time Juliane Landed Softly

Press releases are usually at best informative and at worst a complete waste to everyone’s time. However the one for Mary Lattimore and Paul Sukeena’s new collaborative album West Kensington struck me as particularly well-penned, so here’s an excerpt that does a better job of evoking its strange and beautiful atmosphere better than I could.

It is shocking what your mind will choose to forget. Almost always it needs a tear, a clean dash, a straight passage into what you’ve already known. Looking back, West Kensington has achieved that very goal: creating a landscape for memory, an imprint of that horizon, suspended in the cosmos.

https://threelobed.bandcamp.com/album/west-kensington

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Music

Hinako Omori – Ocean

Apologies for the complete lack of posts: I’ve been away! In an actual different country! For the first time since 2019! And yes it was great, thanks so much for asking. Hopefully you’ve found other places to get your daily music fix, but if you’re still a bit wound up about it have a quick listen to this ridiculously beautiful track from Hinako Omori’s recent(ish) album a journey. And if you’re still angry, there’s not very much I can do for you.

https://hinakoomori.bandcamp.com/album/a-journey

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Music

Earthen Sea – Felt Absence

The latest album from New York artist Jacob Long recording as Earthen Sea, Ghost Poems spans ten tracks of lo-fi ambient and minimalist melodies created from a combination piano samples and field recordings. I’m usually draw to long, sprawling ambient, characterised by very slow progression and rich, warm pads a al Stars of The Lid. Here, tracks rarely break the four minute mark, and there’s a very defined rhythmic structure, but the sense of space created is nevertheless completely engrossing. I hadn’t paid attention to Earthen Sea before today, but I’m very glad he’s now on my radar.

https://earthensea.bandcamp.com

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Music

Nancy Mounir – Khafif Khafif

Egyptian composer Nancy Mounir is a part of the Cairo new wave of artists who are taking inspiration from historical music to inform their own modern productions. On Khafif Khafif – as with a lot her compositions – she layers her own microtonal, ambient arrangements over a buried 20th century Egyptian cut to pleasantly unsettling effect.

https://www.instagram.com/mounirnancy

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Music

Andrew Ostler – Crossing the line, part 1

Andrew Ostler, you had me at “unashamedly nostalgic for the polyrhythms of 70s Berlin”. One of two extended pieces from his new album, Ostler’s penchant for modular synthesis is expressed across a 20 minute recording that evokes not only the electronic polyrhythms of acts like Tangerine Dream, but also the epic prog-rock of Pink Floyd. No mean feat, but it’s handled here with both skill and subtlety.

https://twitter.com/expertsleepers

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Music

Kee Avil – And I

I really hope that whatever changes are implemented at Bandcamp following their acquisition by Epic Games, they maintain their roundup editorials, as I’ve found some incredible music there over the last few years. Case in point: Kee Avil’s frankly terrifying Crease, which – with its croaky vocals and discordant melodies – is disquieting, but essential listening.

https://keeavil.bandcamp.com/album/crease

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Music

New Mexican Stargazers – Menu

I never heard New Mexican Stargazers’ 2021 album Highway Dreamscape, but I’m reliably informed it was one of the year’s best. Menu is taken from their new release Alternate Soundtrack To: B-Jeweled: a sprawling, near two-hour collection of crushed pop and ambient soundscapes that sounds like the Blade Runner soundtrack as reimagined by The Caretaker.

https://newmexicanstargazers.bandcamp.com/album/alternate-soundtrack-to-b-jeweled

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Music

Jenny Hval – Year of Sky

Taken from her new album Classic Objects, Year of Sky is as evocative and transportive as anything Jenny Hval has created, soundtracking a rite of passage into a world only she can perceive but that she’s desperate to share with us.

https://jennyhval.com