This new album of The Floating World is even softer than the previous album that I reviewed. I decided to ‘tag’ this “ambient” rather than “dark ambient”. What you get are very soft soundscapes with flutes and sometimes vocals. It all comes to me a bit ‘new agey’, “meditation music” like. Not really my kind of ambient. It is not terribly boring though, so perhaps if you do like your ambient less dark, you might be interested in Amanda Votta’s latest release.
Links: The Floating World, Cyclic Law
Cyclic Law has also been around for ten years and to celebrate they looked up unreleased material of their projects. Knowing the “roster” of Cyclic Law, you will not be surprised that the larger part of this compilation is formed by dark ambient soundscapes. There are but a few exceptions and they are Karjalan Sissit, the surprisingly noisy track of Therradaemon and a great track of Sophia. Bringing 2,5 hours of music, this is a must-buy for people who like the ambient sound of Cyclic Law.
Link: Cyclic Law
I do not think that I ever heard of Aabzu, but since I also never heard of the labels that released the first two albums, this may be very well possible. In 2010 Aabzu released a cd called “Rambo” and Zoharum presents recordings of a live performance in the same year. The music can be described as ambient IDM, often soft and soothing, at other times a bit more rhythmical and technoish. The overall atmosphere is ambient though, but I think that people who like those tranquil sounds of dub/IDM might enjoy this album as well. For me there might have been a bit more variety, but I guess this album goes well as background music.
Links: Aabzu, Zoharum
This is the second album of Rapoon that Zoharum sent me. The first two tracks are soft, melodic and minimalistic, but like on the previous cd that I reviewed, there are also more dark ambient like tracks, however still ‘soundscapish’, or perhaps “soundcollages” is a better description. There is also some ‘idm’ experimentation and a slightly more ritualistic sound here and there. Just as on “Disappeared Redux” I prefer the darker tracks over the lighter ones, but there are not too many of them.
Links: Rapoon, Zoharum
Desiderii Marginis joined the ranks of Cold Meat when the label had already become a hype. To me, they have never been able to catch up with the projects of old when dark ambient was still new and exiting. The 2001 album “Deadbeat” was somewhat interesting since Desiderii Marginis experimented a bit with beats. I have lost sight of the project for the most part since. Apparently they still released a couple of things and ended up on Cyclic Law together with other former label mates. “Procession” does not bring much new. The dark ambient is a bit softer and certainly more minimalistic, perhaps even soundscapish and somewhat monotone for my ears. A new element are soft melodies that may come from real instruments such as flutes and violins and these are the things that makes this album more interesting. When you like your ambient not too dark and with some melody as well, “Procession” may be an album you want to try.
Links: Desiderii Marginis, Cyclic Law
I must say that both artists are new to me. “Ways” contains weird and experimental soundscapes with singing and instruments. This is definately not your average dark ambient release, but more meant for people who like a more experimental sound. There are more ambient parts, then the sound is more trance-ambient and some parts are even IDM. Not all that dark and not always great, but something different for sure.
Links: Maciek Szymczuk, Slowtion, Zoharum
It looks like that this is the third time these recordings are released. Discogs has a 1993 cd releasec by the Antwerp Zoo and listed as “Vidna Obmana / Hybryds * Soundtrack Voor Het Aquarium”. Two years later there is a release on Daft called “Soundtrack For The Aquarium – Antwerp Zoo”. I used to have that cd. It probably did not make it in times when I was getting rid off ‘overstock’. 16 Years later the Polish label Zoharum releases the cd anew and describes it as music of Ah-Cama Sotz with dolphin and whale samples. The music is very minimalistic and soundscapish and indeed, the animals swiming in the aquarium are also present. Towards the end there is a saxophone, but this does not break the ambient sound. The music is interesting and the album is long sold out, so this may be a way of you getting to hear this music of almost two decades ago. Personally I find it a bit too monotous.
Links: Hybryds, Zoharum
I have known Z’ev for many years, but only by name. Zoharum released a cooperation with Hati (who are new to me) which you can get as a single cd, as a double cd (limited to 423 copies) and as a double cd with shirt (limited to 23 copies). The album contains a live recording from Torún, the second cd a live show from Gdansk, both from March 2011. My idea about Z’ev is (unfortunately) confirmed by this release. The music is monotous, ambient and ritualistic in the sense of using singing bowls and the like. There are a few parts with deep drones which are alright, but the more minimalistic parts are not my cup of tea. A reason to buy the 2cd version, by the way, is that they did not give the same show twice, so if you do like this kind of music…
Links: Z’ev, Hati, Zoharum
This compilation has an interesting line-up, going from well-known projects such as Hybryds, Ah Cama-Sotz, Nordvargr and Atomine Elektrine to names that I never heard of, such as Kia Karma, Unknown Caller and Electric Uranus. The line-up also suggests a variety of music. The latter is not really true though. All tracks were recorded exclusively for this compilation and apparently the label requested soundscapes inspired by Aleister Crowley or something (strange that Coph Nia is not present therefor). All tracks are (relatively) tranquil and not all are all that interesting. Some are nice, others less so. One reason to buy this compilation was that I am interested to hear something of Ouroboros (a Zoharum project), but since the projects that I did know, do not necessarily sound ‘like themselves’, I do not know how representative the Ouroboros track really is.