Reviews


Branded by Constellations

Colohan / Moult team up with an organic dark ambient tribute to nautical lives, waves, and the Atlantic.


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In the cities of your eyes

A benefit compilation for refugees in camps on Greek islands, collecting 23 tracks in the experimental folk, ambient, and drone realm.


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Dream Realms

When the world you're in feels alien, even the ambient state of your environment is a torrent of noise. Your brain isn't attuned to what impulses to filter out. The only way to quiet it down is to move back to your own world. And sometimes, you open your dreaming eye, you start travelling, and go on forever.



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In Search Of Calm

When I'm looking for a calm moment, some lo-fi guitar and ambient ramblings are definitely my thing. The recent Nin-o-Van by Cedar AV led me to look up some older work by Songs of Green Pheasant as well, and I ended up with Gyllyng Street. Both albums are well worth looking up.


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July 2015 Short Reviews (Dirk Serries & Rutger ...

July 2015 short reviews: Dirk Serries & Rutger Zuydervelt - Buoyant (2015, Consouling Sounds); Richard Moult - Last Night I Dreamt of Hibrihteselle (2015, Wild Silence); Andrew Weathers Ensemble - Fuck Everybody, You Can Do Anything (2015, Full Spectrum).


Raising Holy Sparks - A Mendicant Hymnal

Review: Raising Holy Sparks - A Mendicant Hymnal

A mendicant is a travelling monk — one who begs for subsistence, accepting what people and to world have to offer, in humility. The music on this double album could be a distillation of the world experienced in such a way: a flowing by of landscapes and visions, an endless sequence of steps carrying one to some unknown destination. This is the final act of begging and acceptance: to see where the journey leads you, always deferring to decisions made outside of the self; offering up the self. Raising Holy Sparks is the project that rose from the ashes of Agitated Radio Pilot and saw David Colohan shifting from lo-fi and singer/­songwriter releases to something more instrumental, raw, and abstract. The division is far from clear-cut: Agitated Radio Pilot had its share of lush ambient improvisations, and the occasional harsh guitar solo, while Raising Holy Sparks has had plenty of songs interspersed on its earlier releases. All the same, there is a tangible contrast between the two projects.



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A Year In The Country — United Bible ...

In my 2012 review of The Cloisters, I had written about how the imagined landscape (Britain, in these cases) features so strongly in some strains of contemporary experimental folk music. Granted, this has been a central theme in folk since the 60s revival, but as I argue, the ease with which electronic manipulation can be applied these days has really influenced some of the more experimental folk works in the past decade or so. This heightened interplay of the 'acoustic' and electronic, and in a broader sense, between the rural and the urban, makes for a liminal artistic and imaginary field that is finding different forms of expression these days.


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Review: Musk Ox - Woodfall (2014)

Nathanaël Larochette’s Musk Ox is now a trio, and with the new album Woodfall, the music has evolved to fully fledged chamber folk. Larochette's classical guitar works in unison with the violin and cello parts added by Evan Runge & Raphael Weinroth-Browne, the latter of whom also co-composed the album. The result is a suite taking parts from both classical music and the acoustic romantic neofolk from the mid-nineties and later.


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August 2014 Short Reviews (Alasdair Roberts & Robin ...

Short reviews of: Alasdair Roberts & Robin Robertson - Hirta Songs (2013, Stone Tape); Immortal Bird - Akrasia (2014, Self-released); Kentin Jivek & Miro Snejdr - Voir Dire (2014, Self-released); Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestite (2014, Artemisia).