Travels in my Armchair

All Is Silence
JAPAN NOTHINGS66 N66CD003 (2012)

Ametsub is the Tokyo-based musician and producer, hailed in 2006 with the perfect debut album released by the respected Progressive Form label. All Is Silence is his third CD published by the Japanese Nothings66 label which is quite new on the scene, but which has already impressed the post-IDM crowd with its multifaceted Duskscape Not Seen compilation and further releases of Sketches For Albinos and Moshimoss fame. Throughout those five years, Ametsub achieved appearances on many prestigious festivals and performed with such great artists as Plaid, Fennesz, Alva Noto, Vladislav Delay etc. – his talent gained necessary experience and now is in full bloom, resulting in the exceptional work he did with All Is Silence. The combination of floating melodies and melancholic mood with spacious and aloof beats leaves us with the sense of a dreamy place, where everyone can find his hidden thoughts, and becomes clear and appealing. There is the sort of contemplation stimulated by sonic colours and atmospheres, situated by harmony and ending up with the nostalgic sadness. What really make it different from the other IDM sounding efforts is the peculiar use of field recordings, giving us the sense of travelling and never-stopping movement. The compositional techniques are also far from the standard and boring computer programming – the prepared piano and taped sounds arranged through the old fashioned recorder makes the listening experience kind of unique and unforgettable. If you like soundscape-oriented electronic music with some beats thrown in, you should check out this stuff before exploring the new Tympanik Audio releases schedule.

Budhaditya Chattopadhyay
Eye Contact With The City

Oh yes, the Gruenrekorder label turns 10 this year, and through this decade it gains the deserved reputation as one of the finest European labels dealing with field recordings and electronic music utilising field recordings. Operated by German sound-artists Lasse-Marc Riek and Roland Etzin, Gruenrekorder has released over 130 albums up to this moment, and most of them are highly interesting for all of you phonography lovers. All these releases are on digital format (CD, CDr or downloads), so you can expect outstanding recording quality with each new release, but also very special aesthetics of listening to the world surrounding us, and wonder how musical these ordinary sounds from everyday life can be. One of the most recent outings is the new album by Budhaditya Chattopadhyay – sound artist, audiovisual media practitioner and researcher from India who currently based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Based on the field recordings made in Bangalore (the capital city of the Indian state of Karnataka), it became a sound/video installation-project involving the audio from old reel-to-reel tapes found at the city’s flea markets. What really differentiates this work from other published field recordings is the narrative quality of music, which flows continuously for about one hour, forming the massive soundwalk without any certain direction, guiding us only by some strange crash/squeak-like sounds and distorted voices. There’s also a bit of processing over there, but not in a soundscape manner, just to sustain certain sounds and create a sort of hypnotic alignment. If you have heard the Buildings New York album by Francisco López, you will feel some similarity in structure. At times the soundflow receives a very ambient-like sonority, ending again with strange Eastern harmonisation and a definitive musique concrete quality. So you see, the music here is something that’s always changing but with no overall progress, just like a state of mind. Interesting album, not to miss out if you like to travel in your armchair.