experimental posts


Sunday, December 30th, 2007 by Kyle

electro-acoustic // experimental

Distant echoes return with a subdued haze, in an audible maze that approaches your ear. Matthias Grübel’s voice sparingly appears to direct and translate, through his Phon°noir dialect, as songs often build, unfold, surprise and sometimes delight with a scattered, spackled, mysterious transformation of blips, glitches, instrumental and skyward noises that become waves and bursts, then disappear. He credits Leonard Cohen and Four Tet as influences; I agree.

Suspicious, hypnotizing collages of reminiscent tinkerings.
Phon°noir – My Paperhouse On Fire
Phon°noir – The Objects Don’t Need Us

Update! 2008.06.21: Annie points us to an excellent video of the former track:
Phon°noir – My Paperhouse On Fire (video)
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Erik Enocksson

Sunday, November 25th, 2007 by Julija

shoegazing // experimental

Throughout his strongly evocative pieces for the soundtrack of Farväl Falkenberg, Stockholm-based composer Erik Enocksson reverberates the stories of a small sea-town life. As Erik Enocksson merges his minimalist folk tunes, sweeping instrumentation of acoustic guitars, piano, creaky wood, ethereal choir chant, and the simplicity of whistles and hand claps, he perfectly captures the feelings of isolation and hopefulness. Influenced by the coastal area, the soundscapes stimulate the sensation of brooding notes and a subtle hint of threat.

Losing yourself in a cinematic-shoegaze experience.
Erik Enocksson – The Joy of D.H. Lawrence
Erik Enocksson – The Lingering Procession
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El Ten Eleven

Sunday, November 11th, 2007 by Anne Cloudman

post-rock // instrumental

While post-rock fans have been enjoying El Ten Eleven‘s textured, atmospheric instrumentals since their 2004 self-titled debut album, it wasn’t until I saw Helvetica, which heavily features tracks from 2007’s Every Direction is North, that I discovered this creative duo. The music meanders and crescendos, calms and invigorates, adding layer after layer to an emotional journey. You can’t help but want to go along for the ride.

Double neck bass guitar, electric drums, and effects pedaling delight.
El Ten Eleven – My Only Swerving (stream only)
El Ten Eleven – Living on Credit Blues
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Julia Kent

Friday, October 19th, 2007 by Kyle

classical // experimental

Cellos excitedly dance and play as subtle sounds find their way; like clouds taking shape in the sky, a vivacious harmony is perceived as Julia shares her Delay. She’s contributed music to Leona Naess, Devendra Banhart, Rufus Wainwright, among many others, and is currently performing with Antony and the Johnsons. If her name seems familiar elsewhere, you may remember her as an original member of Rasputina. All tracks on Delay were composed and performed by Julia, at home, in-between touring and traveling for about a year. An abundant warmth and persistence bellies this music; making most songs feel like a soundtrack in themselves.

Cellos folding like clouds rolling.
Julia Kent – Idlewild
Julia Kent – Dorval
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Silent Land Time Machine

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007 by Paul Irish

post-rock // shoegaze

Originating from Austin’s diverse, musical underbelly, Silent Land Time Machine draws its influences from such cult hits as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and A Silver Mt. Zion. This one-man symphony features the viola, violin, guitar, accordion, piano and anything else he can get his hands on. While he credits much of his instrumental inspiration to violist Anni Rossi and Zion’s Sophie Trudeau, his dynamic self-recordings successfully create his own polyphonic brand of music. It’s the perfect music to attach to the soundtrack of your sentimental memories and dreams.

Nostalgic polaroids flip past while your odometer flips forward.
Silent Land Time Machine – Everything Goes To Shit
Silent Land Time Machine – The Thing This Doesn’t Mean Is Nothing

Words and music contributed by Abhinav

Jomi Massage

Monday, January 1st, 2007 by Julija

danish singer-songwriter // brooding // experimental

Jomi Massage is not the name of a woman. It’s an “electric massage device” from the early 1960’s, back when marketing such a device was rather daring. Songwriter Signe Hoirup Willie-Jorgensen wanted embody the sensual, touching and alluring feeling with her brave music as Jomi Massage. Listen to “Undressing Aloud” with your headphones plugged in: it is filled with sensuality, thrilling tenderness, and contains a certain vulnerable and fragile feeling. “Like weather” sounds melancholic, slightly moody and sorrowful.

Daring and baring, expressive and sensitive.
Jomi Massage – Undressing Aloud
Jomi Massage – Like Weather
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Under Byen

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006 by Julija

danish post-rock // experimental // shoegazing

I suppose many of you would associate Denmark with good music and cinema. Under Byen is no exception, and to me it’s all about extraordinary beauty. So far, everything I’ve ever heard by Under Byen I’d describe as floaty and sensual, sharp and intense—all at once. It’s the kind of music that captures and allures you with the beautiful arrangements, sensitive female vocals and poetic lyrics. (Yes, it does sound poetic and magical even if you don’t know a single word in Danish.) Melodic and dreamy “Byen driver” gives an idea of the earlier works. “Den her sang handler om at fÃ¥ det bedste ud af det” from Samme Stof Som Stof (2006) sounds intense, very powerful and fascinating for seven and a half minutes.

“Between the pleasant dream and the nightmare.
Under Byen – Byen Driver
Under Byen – Den Her Sang Hander Om At FÃ¥ Det Bedste Ud Af Det
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Mickey Eats Plastic

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006 by Paul Irish

idm // indietronic // abstract instrumental

Mickey Eats Plastic is very kind and friendly duo, Lucz & Bluermutt, from Rome, Italy. With custom-written software they toss together field recordings, guitars, electric bass, synths, and squeak toys into their compositions. Electronic music fans will feel the flavors of Kim Hiorthøy, The Books, and Xploding Plastix in M.E.P’s creations. If you’re not an electronic music fan, these might not twiddle your brain as nicely. The tracks below are off their new album, People Eating Tasty People, which they generously licensed under Creative Commons. (That means its free, kids!)

They say, “We’re simply trying to make nice music.” They succeed.
Mickey Eats Plastic – A Transitorily Abstract Piece Of Music
Mickey Eats Plastic – Every April
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Birdy Nam Nam

Monday, June 12th, 2006 by Paul Irish

turntablism // downtempo

I hear you asking. “How precisely does a group of four Parisian DJs snag the DMC World Team Champion title?” (You’re asking that, right?) Well, let me let you in on a secret. It has to do with eight turntables, half as many mixers, and four Frenchmen that know how to cut, copy, paste, and manipulate songs into healthy grooves. The impressive thing here is that Nam Nam’s music is enjoyable by itself, yet similar to DJ Kentaro and C-Mon & Kypski, their performace and video techniques add the extra piece that establishs their obvious dynasty in the realm of team DJs. Peep the languid track below and then drop into the video of ‘Absesses’.

Downtempo masterpieces, composed scratch by scratch.
Birdy Nam Nam – Kind of Laid Back

Birdy Nam Nam – Absesses

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Saturday, March 11th, 2006 by Paul Irish

glitchy folk // experimental indie

“It’s surely the most poignant songwriting ever to be underscored by toy animals and kitchen utensils. The pleasure of listening to Psapp (pronounced sap) is how the two, Carim Clasmann and Galia Durant, develop songs with beautiful melodies accompanied by a tasteful touch of found sounds. After their 2004 release on the amazing Leaf label, Psapp took off with appearances all over the net and landing the Grey’s Anatomy theme song. In May, they’ll be releasing their second LP, entitled Only Thing I Ever Wanted, a strong collection of tracks that sneak fun into great songwriting. While you wait for that record to drop, pick up Tiger, My Friend if you don’t already have it. You need it.
Songs with little noises poking out.

Psapp – The Words from Only Thing I Ever Wanted (2006)
Psapp – Tiger, My Friend from Tiger, My Friend (2004)
Psapp – About Fun (video) from Tiger, My Friend (2004)
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