Posts Tagged ‘Nature’

Arriving as a third and final glimpse into their upcoming sophomore album,  Wylderness have unleashed a scintillating new shoegaze cut, ‘Chet Chat’. 

Boasting their knack for creating sprawling soundscapes and deeply textured instrumentals, Wylderness’ latest offering arrives as the band gear up to release their long-awaited second album Big Plans For A Blue World (out 15th July, via Succulent Recordings).

Written when Marz of Wylderness experienced the full, frightening force of an earthquake while on a trip to Greece some years ago, the new track finds the singer and guitarist reflecting on what was a life-changing event and seeking to emulate the force of nature that reverberated through him that day. As Marz remembers:

“I was on the balcony of an apartment in Athens writing lyrics for this song when all of a sudden there was this enormous roar and the building started shaking. The earthquake lasted about 15 seconds but seemed like it went on forever. Everyone was fine thankfully and I wanted to write something about what had happened, but not make it too obvious and clunky, so it ended up being a bit cryptic.”

Echoing the raw sonic energy of a tectonic shift, ‘Chet Chat’ ripples like an agitated seismic wave impacting the earth’s surface. From its sparse and seemingly tranquil beginnings, the track builds towards an immense crescendo as towering electric guitars, warped organ grindings and distorted rhythmic pulses stretch-out into a six-minute shoegaze epic that evokes the likes of DIIV, Spacemen 3 or Sonic Youth at their climactic heights.

Recorded at Giant Wafer Studios on a farm in rural Wales, and with wonky organ sounds added in by producer Rory Atwell, the enigmatic new track sees Wylderness further find themselves in their sound as they deftly forge their own cataclysmic and confident path on their second studio outing.

Check the slow-burning ‘Chet Chat’ here:

 

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Wylderness

In the magical volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote, Jana Irmert found images for the ideas, moods and feelings that fueled the work on the tracks of What Happens At Night: For me this release is a window through which I could express my thoughts and feelings about our planet in turmoil. Starting out from a point of hopelessness, my fascination with travelling into Deep Time and learning about geologic ages grew. After all, what will be left of us will only be a delicate layer in the rock.“

‘Stratum’, named after the word used in geology for a single layer of sediment, attempts to dissolve time and space, merging the abstract and the concrete. The volcanic landscapes, which are very young from a geological perspective, thereby become a place where human existence plays only a marginal role.

Watch the video here:

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Jana Irmert _ Stratum _ video still 2

DROTT have released hypnotic new single and video ‘Arch of Gloom’. The song can now be streamed/downloaded on all platforms . The video was directed and edited by Jens Kristian Rimau.

The band comments on ‘Arch of Gloom’: “At the end of a dark and bouncy road lies the Arch of Gloom. Through persistent bass and drums, Arch of Gloom is driven to the point of desperate collapse by a haunting guitar solo. Mesmerizing in its mystical attraction, it hypnotizes desperate souls into a surrealistic dance before they are lured down the abyss to face the verdict of Orcus.”

DROTT is comprised of Arve Isdal (Enslaved), Ivar Thormodsæter (Ulver) and Matias Monsen and hails from Bergen in the west coast of Norway. With their varied musical background ranging from metal and jazz to classical music, they create the genre which can only be described as DROTT. Inspired by forces of nature, superstition and spirituality the trio explores light within darkness through their music. 

The group, recently established (2020), released their self-titled EP in March 2021 and received great reviews. It established the Drott’s instrumental Progressive Rock sound as a breath of fresh air in the genre! Their first full-length Orcus album takes Drott in a new creative and artistic direction. With 10 tracks they dive deeper into sonic, experimental landscapes!

Check the video here:

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Pic: Jens Kristian Rimau

Fabrique Records – 18th June 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

Berlin-based composer and sound artist Jana Irmert has approached her third album for Fabrique with a view to exploring the way in which sounds have a certain sensory aspect. There’s a way in which music touches us, not just aurally, nor emotionally: some music you really do feel. Beyond music at the louder, harsher end of the spectrum – be it electronic or more conventional in its instrumentation, this is something that is perhaps more common to experimental forms, where contrasting sounds and the shapes and textures of those sounds are more the focus than the unity of a collection of instruments for create ‘songs’.

Articulating how music makes you feel is one challenge, but articulating how music itself feels – or moreover, how the sounds themselves feel – is an immense challenge. Because writing, like any other art, can often reveal its authors limitations, however well they’re working. Every artist has their own personal limitation. Francis Bacon was unable to paint feet, for example. The greatest limitation is invariably the disparity between concept and execution, and often, for musicians, it’s articulating the sound in their head using actual instruments – or, if not articulating the sound, conveying complex emotions through the medium of sound.

Jana Irmert’s challenge here was to render one sensation through another. “I felt I wanted to get closer to the sounds, feel their structure and surface and how they contrast each other,” she says. And, during the process, her recordings yielded some quite unexpected results: “It turned out the processed sounds resulting from hard materials would often have soft and tonal qualities whereas those made from ‘soft’ materials like water or air would ultimately be of percussive or harsh and noisy character.”

The opening bars of the first piece, ‘Lament’, are unexpectedly dense and heavy, a rugged, grainy tone that grinds from the speakers before slowly tapering down to something rather more tranquil, yet draped with the weight of melancholy. Moving into ‘Against Light’, Irmert creates a much more upbeat ambience, a shimmering, shuffling stuttering of sound, and it’s gentle, but not entirely calming or comforting, like being stuck in a tractor beam, a glitching loop that affords no forward trajectory.

With the sounds of the sea, the title track initially seems like it will fulfil the description, offering something soft, soothing, immersive. But as layers build, darker sounds clunk and rumble and loom and lurk in thickening shadows.

There is a certain sense of progression over the course of the eight compositions, with more percussive sounds coming increasingly to the fore. In doing so, the album gradually moves from intangible to something altogether more substantial, its physicality developing an almost corporeal tangibility.

Listening to The Soft Bit, one feel as though one is somehow in nature, and surrounded by nature, from the clouds, and the air – invisible, yet capable of substantial force when moving as a wind – to solid objects – stones, trees, the ground beneath the feet. Listen, inhale it all in, and feel it flow.

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10th September 2018

James Wells

Sweden’s Noemie Nours promises ‘All-ages slo-fi lullabies, supporting a non ideological, vegan and drug-free lifestyle,’ and all of the proceeds from digital sales this, her third LP, will be donated to the charity Orphaned Wildlife. Such selfless acts are increasingly rare in a (rapidly changing) climate dominated by Brexit and right-wing, hardline capitalist ideology, while we still feel the repercussions of the last economic downturn which followed the sub-prime housing crisis of 2008-2009. For an artist to make art for the greater good rather than for gain is admirable, and Noemie Nours has made it her mission to do whatever she can to save the bears. Bears are her thing. As is slightly off-kilter folk music. And I’m not going to mock.

Following on from debut single ‘The Life of Bears’ and album Bear Meditations, her love of bears remains undiminished with As a Beare Doth Her Whelps.

The album’s seven songs are primarily constructed around picked acoustic guitar and vocals, and if the titles betray the thematic leanings of the lyrics or musical intent (‘Bearsplaining’, ‘Den’, ‘Brought into a Wilderness’, ‘Ursa Minor Forest’), there’s also something of a sparse primitivism about the songs, too. There’s an innocence and openness about Noemie Nours’ music that’s refreshing and utterly charming, while occasional passages of jagged fretwork and melodies which wander off the path of conventional key and notation are very much part of the appeal.

With its sparse arrangements, slow tempos, and overt lack of complication, you might say that it’s an album that’s very much about the ‘bear’ necessities.

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Noemie Nours – As a Bear Doth Her Whelps