O3: Trashumancia CD/DL Sofa Music

O3: Trashumancia         CD/DL Sofa Music

All the makings of albums I hate come to mind, when the words ‘Free Improvisation’ are uttered.  It really does set me off on bad footing before I hit the play button, as history has told me most of the stuff in this field is nothing short of bloody awful.

Again, whilst being quieter than expected, this is a rambling concoction of bells, chimes, stumbling instrumentation and percussion that endlessly fumbles and falls over with no apparent nod to any form of musical gumption.

There’s no structure, no form and most importantly, no point to this genre and I am aghast at the amount of labels that churn this stuff out year on year.  The sad thing is; occasionally you can hear a glimpse of musicianship that criminally hasn’t being capitalised on.  If I never hear another album of this ilk, it will be too soon. Life is far too short to waste on monotony such as this.


MIGUEL ANGEL TOLOSA: Ephimeral CD Sofa Music

MIGUEL ANGEL TOLOSA: Ephimeral       CD   Sofa Music

Tonal Dark Ambient is the order of the day, on this third full-length affair from Madrid’s Miguel Angel Tolosa.

Rich undercurrents of grit scuttle over a sea of low-end pads; that reach out to the heavens in a subtle desperation.  With the odd flash of field recordings to pad out an atmosphere, Tolosa has left space for his gentle drone work to provide light where there is shade; and when they do appear, they provide a welcome respite from the murky depths from which this album was born.

As a whole, this is by no means a game changer in the DA community.  However, with this album, Miguel can safely sit on the fringe of the genre; providing value to that scene, whilst crossing over to other ambient territories as a stable bridge.

As calm as it is unnerving, ‘Ephimeral’ is a solid piece of work that is as necessary and as urgent as that produced by many of his peers.


JIM DENLEY: Cut Air CD Sofa Music

JIM DENLEY: Cut Air     CD   Sofa Music

Taking a globalist approach as the concept to his latest album, Australia’s Denley; has taken on board a variety of acoustic instrumentation to produce here, an organic sounding release that crosses ethnicity.

Bamboo from Papa New Guinea, vibrating guitars and field recordings; play alongside his trademark flute, producing a tribal-like affair that is lightly brushed with the percussive elements.  It’s not entirely my cup of tea, but I can visualise what he has tried to achieve on this lengthy two-tracker.

As a blend of tones and sounds this does achieve a great deal, with the title track being drone based; as opposed to its counterpart being a tad messy with its experimentalism.  These two halves providing a duality for a couple of listening bases, that is interesting in one element for one or the other.

Overall, this has obviously taken a bit of work to accomplish; and the effort displayed has to be applauded in its own right, even if it won’t set the world alight.


PHILIPPE LAUZIER: A Pond in my Living Room CD Sofa Music

PHILIPPE LAUZIER: A Pond in my Living Room   CD   Sofa Music

Lauzier’s second full-length album is a sequential exploration into drones obscure noises, created with a variety of instrumentation, such as horns and bells and whatnot.

Reading in the blurb that he has provided sound installations is of no surprise whatsoever.  The haphazard and nonsensical nature of the release fits in well with the ethos of art taking precedence over music; unfortunately though, it’s a format I don’t appreciate.

For the most part, this album feels jumbled and unorganised, with out-of-key notes flying in from all angles haphazardly; like a series of never ending tuning forks, which slowly over the course of this release, drives you utterly bonkers.

I am sure there is a limited market for this piece of work; but for me, as an avid lover of Drone as a genre, I was surprised to find nothing I could sink my teeth into.


KIM MYHR/LASSE MARHAUG: On the Silver Globe LP/CD Sofa Music


KIM MYHR/LASSE MARHAUG: On the Silver Globe   LP/CD   Sofa Music

Myhr and Marhaug are both well-respected artists in their own right.  This debut originated as a commission from the MetaMorf Art Bienale in Trondheim for them to collaborate on an 8-channel piece for 2016.

Set as a science-fiction story on a distant planet, the concept works well with the music itself coming across as sound waves picked up from a distant galaxy.  Squelching radio frequencies scatter themselves over a rumbling, steady bed of bleak Dark Ambient, as machines grind alongside high fluttering beeps.  The end result is minimal and well thought out for the most part.

It’s not all perfect. Sometimes the tracks themselves, took too long to get going; and this in turn left a tendency to become disengaged, only to be dragged back in when there was an immediate abrupt shift in sound.

As a whole though, this is a steady and solid piece of work, even if it will only appeal to a relatively small market.