Review: Raising Holy Sparks – A Mendicant Hymnal

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. […read more…]

A Year In The Country — United Bible Studies – Doineann

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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. […read more…]

Review: Musk Ox – Woodfall (2014)

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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. […read more…]

August 2014 Short Reviews (Alasdair Roberts & Robin Robertson, Immortal Bird, Kentin Jivek & Miro Snejdr, Wolves in the Throne Room)

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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). […read more…]

A New Wave of Jazz

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Dutch label tonefloat and the prolific Flemish musician Dirk Serries have been working together closely for years now, but this month, they are taking their collaboration to a new level. A New Wave of Jazz is the title of a new sublabel of tonefloat and its description suggests that it will be home to music with a dedicated improvisational approach, inspired by the free jazz and DIY philosophy of Sun Ra and the El Saturn label. In this case, that means albums curated by Serries, released on limited edition LPs in custom sleeves. […read more…]

Cloudscape: Weird Evening Lament

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“Weird Evening Lament” is a result of my collaboration with fellow mixer WeirdwithBeard. We’ve been following each other’s mixes for quite a while and decide to knock some shit together. The result is very eclectic, as you might expect. Hopefully it’ll make as much sense to you as it did to us. […read more…]

Cloudscape: For the Returning Sun

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For the Returning Sun by Evening Of Light on Mixcloud

A special long mix, without presentation, for the people who are in need of a bit of Sun in their lives. I hope this will give you warmth and hope.

Thanks to Michael Tanner for inspiration, and to Jack de Quidt for allowing me to use his music. De Quidt’s song is the soundtrack to a short videogame by Cameron Kunzelman, which you can play here: […read more…]

Review: AUN – Alpha Heaven (2013)

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It’s been a few years since I got to know Canadian duo AUN (Julie Leblanc, Martin Dumais) from their album Black Pyramid on Cyclic Law. Compared to that album, Alpha Heaven feels a bit less dense, with less focus on heavy drones, and more on open spaces, although both are still present. The main chunk of this album is extremely pleasant and mostly calm. More so than previous works, Alpha Heaven seems to have something of an outer space setting for me, which is of course stimulated by some of the titles, which suggest celestial bodies and exploration. […read more…]

Cloudscape #42: November 2013

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Cloudscape #42: November 2013 by Evening Of Light on Mixcloud

Art: The Veil by Claudio Bravo.

Tracklist:

00:00 | Sabled Sun | Through the Gates | 2146 | 2013 03:06 | Postdrome | This Ship Creaks | Where the Kind Will Land | 2013 04:23 | Brethren of the Free Spirit | Аποκαλνψις, The Lifting of the Veil | All Things Are from Him, through Him and in Him | 2008 11:48 | Jessica Curry | […read more…]

The Floating World and the Wood Beyond

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The Floating World is the main artistic project of Amanda Votta, specialising in flute-based ambient music with dark and mysterious undertones. Starting as a solo flute project with its first releases eight years ago, it has since attracted numerous collaborators on various instruments and, occasionally, spoken word. Recent albums The Apparition and We Hunted have appeared on Cyclic Law and Reverb Worship, respectively, and this label attention will hopefully propel Votta’s music into a wider audience. Her latest album, The Wood Beyond the World, is just out on Eclipse, the subsidiary label of Cyclic Law. […] The interview below is the result of an email conversation I had with Amanda. My intention was not just to give her the opportunity to tell us a bit about the history of The Floating World, but also to get her to delve a bit deeper into literary and art history, a topic I know she enjoys. As you’ll see, those promises were fulfilled, as Amanda has a lot to say on the subject. […read more…]