CONNY OLIVETTI: Discomfort with Benefits CD/DL Self Released
A peculiar artist, with an eclectic approach to electronic music; Olivetti’s latest album work comprises of analogue synth and an array of vocal and instrument samples that do at least provide a touch of originality to the quirkiness of his work.
Ambient backdrops interweave with chirpy bleeps and arpeggiated dancing notes, which are as emotive as they are peculiar and child-like. It is of course the latter description, which for me best portrays Conny’s output. There is a sense of carefree abandonment with much of the album approaching the listener from a playful and somewhat sunny disposition.
You could be forgiven that there is little complexity to the arrangements on ‘Discomfort with Benefits’. Whilst the application of sound provides an altogether easy listening experience, there is method behind the simplistic madness, which does somewhat ease the hooks under the skin with little resistance.
DISPLACER: Missing Warriors DL Component Recordings
Once more Michael Morton passes his listeners another album, in his endlessly prolific release assault. This time with a compilation of ambient tracks that fell by the wayside, or may have become lost amongst the many front of house, beat driven numbers that have taken prominence in his musical career. This is not to say these tracks are any less noteworthy, but the majority of music buyers do sadly steer away more from ambient numbers. It’s time to readdress the balance and remind them of what they’ve been missing.
From the watery subtle complexities of ‘Grey’, the soundtrack grit of ‘The Needs of the Many’, the ghostlike ‘Masterless’ to the hopeful chimes of ‘The Rescue’, Morton re-displays here a multitude of hidden gems that bedded out and glued their comparative releases together when they were fist aired.
Music such as this can be surprisingly harder to produce that your standard rhythmic affair. Creating the correct balance of pattern and layering can be an arduous and frustrating task, but ultimately a rewarding one for the producer; and those that care to take the time to kick back and listen. Morton has evidently sharpened these skills over the years and evidence of his prowess filters throughout the ten tracks generously given back to you the public, once again. Take a moment to listen this time around.
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.
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.