ROUGGE: Cordes DL Rougge Production
Sometimes the best things come in small packages and this is non more evident than on this latest EP from Rougge.
Split into six ‘Fragments’, the opening intro of ‘Fragment 12’ is treated much in the same way as an ensemble’s warm up, to the first song proper, ‘Fragment 53’; providing a beautifully evocative structure, comprising of piano, strings and vocals reminiscent of Antony & the Johnsons. ‘Fragment 45’, follows much in the same vein, albeit at a slower pace; and the rest of the EP follows suit with gusto.
‘Cordes’ is effective in keeping everything concise and compact, with a stunning attention to detail and genuine musicianship. It borders on the criminal that this guy is just releasing this on download and not through some major classical label.
With a precise focus on pace and key, Rougge dances between the sombre and sublime, with an outstanding polished production and grace.
V/A: Drone-Mind//Mind-Drone Vol.5 LP Drone Records
This is the 5th compilation in a series of 12” records from the well respected and long enduring Drone Records. This German label has been pumping out releases for many a year now. Starting out initially with an explosion of 7” records, exploring the genre to great effect.
It will be of no surprise, even to the uninitiated, just what field of music this compilation covers; but what would be illuminating to those whom have not dipped their toes into these waters, is just how approachable this album is.
Gydja opens up the proceedings with a sturdy wave of low-end Dark Ambient texture that allows the odd smattering of outer noises to dance through the dips and rises. Clade, follow this up with two tracks that push out a breath of frosty spacious air, with a rich wealth of harmony, that draws through the fog and envelops the listener with ease. Monocube play with ghostly apparitions of sound on the second side of this album, guiding appropriately the almost arcane sounding approach to YRSEL’s work, to round things up.
Overall, this is another effective collection of work; that argues the strengths that lie in such a genre. This latest release does play more on the ambient nature of the scene rather than actual drone music; but of course they are forever related. Either way, there is much to become lost in with the tracks chosen here; and if this area of music is something you haven’t ever considered listening to, I would heartily recommend purchasing this as a worthy representation.
LARS LUNDEHAVE HANSEN: Terminal Velocity LP Tonometer
Danish composer Hansen’s latest output appears on gorgeous heavyweight blue vinyl through his home countrymen’s quality label, Tonometer. This debut full-length, comprising of 21 concise tracks feels value for money, even if the songs themselves are relatively short in length.
Hansen approaches the listener through a series of rich Dark Ambient and crisp drones. Occasional rasps of distortion grind a welcome appearance into the mix, driving an edge to the proceedings; alongside gasps of frost-tinged ambience, that breathe an accompanying chilled mist for atmospheric weight.
Balancing distance between the varying degrees of sound is something that Hansen has achieved to great effect. Creating a floating tempo, where resonating and often conflicting pitches meet in the middle; Lars manages to fill any empty space that can arise when dabbling in this genre, as the varying degrees of tone glue themselves as one.
As debut releases go, ‘Terminal Velocity’ is one of those albums that set the musicians’ personal bar to an exceedingly high level. As a genre related item, this is as quality as many of those that Hansen’s peers are releasing at this current point; nay, as good as anything that has come before.
DECODER ENSEMBLE: Fùr Aktuelle Musik CD Ahornfelder
Founded in Hamburg in Germany circa 2011, the Decoder Ensemble comprises of six composers producing a collection of Avant Garde curiosities that frankly are barely listenable.
Track one, ‘Nischenmusik mit Klopfgeistern’ bounces along with bells, whistles, electronics, scattered piano and screaming banshee yells; the end result being me sat in in my chair, laughing out loud.
‘Superimpose V’ crashes along with percussion and various sounds that sometimes belt out like one long fart, whilst ‘Flug P’ has a degree of ambient that works, but is ultimately interrupted by god knows what.
Being bizarre is one thing, but producing one long album of random instrumentation and chucking them round in a proverbial tub with purpose, must take some real effort; or missed medication intake. Whilst Decoder Ensemble have produced one of the craziest releases I have been exposed to in an age, it is one of the happiest and carefree examples of clowning about I have heard in some time; even if it is unadulterated pointless shit.