microphones in the trees: September 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

pandelindio ~ spirits of valtellina

Spirits of Valtellina was recorded live at I’abbazia di S. Pietro, a romanesque abbey built in 1078 by the monks of Cluny, in Cosio Valtellino, province of Sondrio, Italy ~ novitic ind.

Despite the plentiness of acoustic instruments very well adapted or even specifically made for drone music, there are not so many artist in the world plying purely acoustic drone music.  Of course one can said that this is well known route and that it's much more interesting to build something upon drone – as it does New Age music, folk and actually almost any known music. With centuries (or thousands?) of development the presence of the drone has reduced  significantly, and, probably, only Indian music tradition preserved careful attitude to it. All sounds are emerging from drone. Like a primal ocean of energy, it contains the potency of any sound. Melody is just a fleeting splash, surface ripple, but it can reflect some of the inner processes inside of this unknowable continuum. Repetition of melodic phrases and game of overtones are as natural for the music, as a murmur for water. Drone is a stalk for the flowers to bloom... And it happens time after time on this album – as natural, as in a spring garden. At ease, as the wellspring goes through stones. Pandelindio magicians learn the organic way of things through music and bestow us their admiration, which we happily share!

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Monday, September 11, 2017

rhucle ~ raw

Without exaggeration, Tokyo-based sound magician Yuta Kudo aka Rhucle really flooded ambient scene with his music since last year, having tapes and discs released all around the world at labels like Oxtail, Constellation Tatsu, Adhesive Sounds, A Giant Fern, ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ, Beer On The Rug... One could only dream about such list of publishers, but it is actually well deserved attention if you ask me – there are many prolific ambient artists, even in Japan only (take Hakobune, Hatakeyama, Celer...), but Yuta developed its own sense for ambient vibe so quickly that we could speak about being just a medium here. It's always seems unearthly, when artist picks his style so carefully that you can recognize his tunes with the first minutes of playback. It seems like he simply mediates the frequencies of another dimension into our reality, and it's true with Rhucle. On the other hand, Yuta's music is very well rooted in nature, in bucolic recordings of water streams and birds voices, which are inseparable from his tunes. Mellow spheres of sound slowly echoing through those recordings remind me voice of wind in the electric wires, serenity of summer days, afternoon laziness and sparkles of the starlight falling with the dusk... And when I remember those days, I can't really say how many of them were in my life – it looks like infinity in my mind. One omnipresent moment. It's so unreal, yet I can feel any slightest sensation I had! So, I guess this is why it doesn't matter how many albums Rhucle has in its catalogue, how many summer days I spent alone with nature, how hot they were, how gentle was the whisper of the water... I can only wonder how such music can be done in Tokyo, which must be loudest place on Earth, but guess such wonder as this music gives to me can only be transcendent from inside. An it brings a lot more than I can express in a review, it comes with different story every time, so Rhucle can be viewed as an amazing cure from despair, from transience of our daily life, vanishing point of the mind, halfway between the memories and dreams.


a r c a d e ~ bilberries and mushrooms

Hypnotic whirl of grooves and hums, layered over the ground of weird echoes. Dance of electric impulses of mycorrhiza. Drops of water on the spider web. Moonlight reflections in the crystals hidden between leaves... I can go on like this forever while listening to this tape. It came a while ago, but every time I listened to it, the more hypnotizing it was. I know that term "psychedelic" can be attached to anything these days, so let's just say it's magical. And it truly is! Once you fall into these grooves and catch the vibe of those slightly unbalanced loops, it will spin in your deck for ages. Tuluum Shimmering  tropical canoe trip with Julia Bloop and Rod Hamilton, smiling to each other under the moonlight. High Wolf-y relaxing tunes to lazy Sunday mornings, Black Joker's game of never-ending loops which erase the difference between sounds which are actually there and imagined ones. And believe me, you'll be getting many of them even when tape stops. Maybe it's just a result of long-time addiction to weird cassette loop music, but a r c a d e definitely brings some tricks along with its seemingly simple compositions. The name behind is Nathan Stephenson and I strongly suggest to keep an eye on his output - "bilberries and mushrooms" is only a debut work!

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