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Video by: Misha Shyukin
Music by: Offthesky – from the album “Through the Lines” – out now via SEM label: shop.semlabel.com/music

There are 19 tracks of superb remixes here by a phenomenal lineup of artists including Fieldhead, Bryan Ruhe, Loscil, The Remote Viewer, Field Rotation, Pioulard himself, William Ryan Fritch, Graveyard Tapes, Part Timer, and Cock & Swan,  to name but a few. The original Hymnal by Benoit Pioulard was released on the Kranky label and was influenced by religious architecture in the UK and Europe. The remixes hold the reverential tone of the original, but also take it in a dizzying array of new directions. The first CD fuses Pioulard’s delicate vocalizations into most of the tracks while the second CD takes a more instrumental path through the  vaulted aisles of the original.

This is definitely going to be one of my most played albums this year and has already seen lots of rotation.  Highly recommended !

I’ve caught snatches of Bryan Ruhe’s work on various remixes and compilations, but somehow overlooked his full releases until now. Easing was released in January last year on the excellent Cotton Goods label run by Craig Tattersall  (more on that label here http://tape-dust.tumblr.com/cottongoods ). The album sold out fast, but fortunately you can download the digital album on Bryan’s bandcamp page below. Granular synthesis can produce some harsh and jarring sounds in the wrong hands, but the manipulation of real world sounds and acoustic instruments on this album is a lesson in subtlety and the art of patient sound creation. Reality is processed into grains that reform here into expansive, shimmering drones accompanied by fluttering and panning guitar, piano notes, gossamer light hiss and deep distorted churn. Everything is fractured, gauzy and dreamlike, but perfectly realized into a pleasing whole.

Do check out more of Bryan’s work here http://worksbyruhe.net/ and the products of his own label, Clothbound, here http://clothbound.net/

Some new experimental pieces created by Jonathan Siemasko aka Schemawound from Naugatuck, USA. These tracks were originally produced for the Disquiet Junto communal group of artists on Soundcloud http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/ Schemawound’s work explores generative processes with the aid of Supercollider http://supercollider.sourceforge.net/ and these tracks cover output in the ambient, drone, experimental areas of music. He often releases the code for his projects which can be used in your own Supercollider projects and frequently invites people to re-work his pieces.

More on Schemawound and his earlier releases here : http://schemawound.com/releases

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/Schemawound?ref=hl

Soundcloud:  http://soundcloud.com/schemawound

 

New release from Virlyn on the Subterrannean Tide label curated by Emily Loren Moss Ferrell. More info. on the website here http://www.subterraneantide.com/st10-aguirre-ep—virlyn.html

Fieldhead – Of October

Fieldhead live in Dordrecht 2012. Video by Marcel van Ast.

Superb track which develops slowly into the classic spacious, gently crackling and heavily reverbed textures of Paul Elam and Elaine Reynolds. The slow muffled beats and delicate strains of electronic violin add to the expansive sound, which perfectly evokes the vast Canadian landscape that inspired the music.

Fieldhead will be on tour with Loscil from 7th – 16th Feb 2014

More info. on Fieldhead here http://www.fieldheadmusic.com/

From The Inheritors album released last year and one of my most played electronic albums. Skilled use of modular and other analog synths with chaotic beats and hints of psychedelia

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A Comet’s Tale originated from early discussions with Emily Ferrell about a release with the Subterranean Tide label. I had mentioned that I always wanted to do a release based around my interests in astronomy and a day later Emily came back with the evocative poem that graces the cover art. That poem directly triggered the idea of following the path of a comet from its origins in the distant Oort Cloud of our outer solar system, to it’s perilous journey past our Sun and return home, if it survives!

A comet is basically a large boulder-like mass of ice, gas and dust, which closely resembles the smaller rocky asteroids in form. Very slight gravitational forces from nearby stars, including the Sun, can pull these objects out of their normal orbit and onto a new path which sends them careering into our solar system. The Oort Cloud is the most distant home of comets and forms a sort of spherical shell of objects orbiting our solar system way out beyond Neptune. The musical journey follows a typical long-period comet (a comet that takes more than 200 years to complete it’s orbit), which has been dislodged from the Oort Cloud and is on an incoming trajectory around our Sun. Aphelion is when our comet is at it’s furthest point from the Sun, coasting in through the outer solar system, it’s dust tail streaming majestically behind it and increasing in speed all the time. As it reaches it’s point of closest approach to the Sun, or Perhelion, the speed picks up and the comet faces it’s most dangerous time buffeted by the solar wind and in a constant tug-o-war with the powerful gravitational pull of the Sun. A special group of comets, the Sungrazer’s, are the adrenaline junkies of the comet world and either survive, or die by evaporation, as they skim close to the Suns upper atmosphere. If a comet survives this passage around the Sun and passes close to Earth on it’s way back out to the Oort Cloud it can turn into one of the most spectacular objects seen in the night sky. The sun heats up the comet and triggers the expansion of internal gasses, which explode through the surface. The comet then goes into an outburst phase where it dramatically increases in size and brightness and becomes visible to us with small telescopes, binoculars or the naked eye. One of the common gasses vented is Cyanogen and this can give the comet’s coma (head) and tail a lovely green hue. The dust left behind in the trail of an orbiting comet makes up most of the material we see as meteors flashing through the sky during a meteor shower as the dust burns up in our atmosphere. Many of the main meteor showers can be directly linked to a particular passing comet or asteroid. The comet then passes out of our visible range to return again in a few hundred, or perhaps thousands, of years and is therefore truly a once-in-a-lifetime object to see.

If you get a chance this winter do follow the story of Comet C/2012_S1 (ISON) as it becomes visible from November onward http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C/2012_S1 This is a newly discovered sungrazer comet which has the potential to be one of the most spectacular comets visible this century…if the Sun doesn’t melt it!  Edit 27-12-13 – which it sadly did, Comet ISON is no more :(     ~Savaran

Cover Image: No Copyright, courtesy of NASA. The cover image is from the ancient Chinese Mawangdui silk which is a ‘textbook’ of cometary forms and the various disasters associated with them. It was compiled sometime around 300 B.C.

Subterrannean Tide ST03. Released July 2013. Savaran: A Comet’s Tale – Download from Archive.org here http://archive.org/details/ST03ACometsTaleSavaran or from Bandcamp here http://subterraneantide.bandcamp.com/album/a-comets-tale

All tracks composed & mixed by Mark Walters
Mastered by Wil Bolton
Artwork & Poetry by Emily Ferrell

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