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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mytrip - "Empty"

Artist: Mytrip
Album: Empty (7")
Year: 2015
Label: Amek
Genre: Dark Ambient, Drone

It's been about 3 years since I last heard from Bulgarian dark ambient producer Mytrip. I recall his previous efforts to have been lo-fi, gritty explorations of darkened sewers and claustrophobic catacombs. I liked these, but there was certainly room for growth. Now in 2015 he has released his first vinyl, Empty, courtesy of the Amek label.

There are only 2 tracks here, so:

"Wait For Me" - the first thing I noticed was that his production has made a colossal leap since his previous cassette releases! This track is incredibly spacious, deep, and everything sounds very clean. I really like this new hi-fi sound. The song has a very low, deep droning that makes up its foundation and serves to move it along, while over top play a variety of other sounds. The controlled, heavy low-end makes it feel as if you are descending deeper into a long forgotten cave system. The real beauty in this pieces lies in the somewhat amorphous sounds that meander above the drone. They have a distinctly melodic, yet nebulously un-graspable nature which gives them a tantalizing, highly sacral / divine quality. The combination of these bits and various sound effects is incredibly visionary and evocative. Towards the middle of the track it feels as if you have discovered a subterranean temple, long ago lost within this underworld, filled with relics of high magic still radiating white light. Overall this is an exceptional track and perfectly showcases how to evoke visionary spaces from a fairly minimal composition.

"Wherever You Are" - this song reminds me more of the previous Mytrip material. It is darker and more densely confined, focusing on lo-fi sounds and gritty textures. This one is not as interesting to me, but it does convey a darkened, claustrophobic sense of being trapped in a cave and losing your source of light. Again, he does a good job with keeping the tone minimal and giving different elements room to breathe. This track goes through several movements as it ebbs and flows for it's six minute duration. Overall, I would have liked more of the melodic elements from the first piece, but I suppose this offers a good "darker", unsettling balance to "Wait For Me"'s more ascended sound.

A couple of solid tracks for fans of dark ambient, both of the spacious, hi-fi, and the danker, more gritty varieties. It's good to hear Mytrip progressing and evolving his sound and I am interested in seeing what else he comes up with in the future. This is easily the best stuff he has ever created and if you are a fan than it is a must hear.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Wounds of the Earth DJ Mix 003 - DJ Seraphim

"Industrial soundscapes paint vivid pictures of the world in which we live, soundtracking its very movement. Seraphim, also known as Chris Halstead, is a DJ from Seattle, Washington who got his start in the Los Angeles subculture club scene. His sonic aesthetic is rooted in industrial-scapes, minimalist atmospherics and experimentalism. His influences can be heard throughout his mixes, where heavy industrial beats and the experimentalism of IDM meet EBM rawness or the more atmospheric forms of ambient. DJ Seraphim pieces these harsh electronic beats together, making a more cohesive chaos for the modern day dance floor."

DJ: DJ Seraphim
Mix Title: Damaged Human Component
Genre: Post-Industrial, IDM, Ambient

01 Tineidae - Damaged Datastream
02 SubtractiveLAD - New World, Old Wound
03 S Cage - Gone (Undone)
04 Nullgrad - Departure
05 Haujobb - Dead Market (Engineers Dub)
06 Erode - Detect
07 Known Rebel - Mogarakom
08 Tineidae - Paper Birds
09 Atiq & EnK - Moonlit Tea Party (Atiq`s Cup Of Tea Remix)
10 Architect - St. Vodka (Mother Russia)

total time: 49:45

download mix (192kbps)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Albums made from scratch in one month

Apparently Keef Baker issued a challenge asking people to write a full album in 1 month (January 2015) entirely from scratch using no presets or samples whatsoever. So far here are some of the (excellent & free) results I have seen:

Zxyt - "Method & Shape"

Some great atmospheric IDM from Zxyt (previously known as n5md's Portland).


Michael A. Morton - "Nine Syllables"

Excellent groovy, atmospheric, nostalgic electronica from the man behind Displacer.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Wounds of the Earth DJ Mix 002 - Phasenmensch

"Travelling without any specific destination in mind can be a much more expedient process than determining exact goals beforhand ... at least for me. It is a dialogue with oneself and can be a state of mind consisting of a feeling of always arriving while still in motion.
When I sat down to do this mix I didn’t really know which tracks I would spin and was aware that this modus operandi might produce something a bit rough around the edges (which it did); but the willingness to take chances was dominant at that moment.
Recently there have been certain developments in our societies and all around the world that create the impression that life in modern societies has gotten out of balance due to different circumstances that affect our being in the present, our future and the way we think and interact with one another. Life accelerating, people burning out while constantly aiming for success without any regard for each other and unmindful of the consequences of their doing as long as there’s profit. There are questions and constant conflicts about being right or wrong leading to inhumane acts of hatred and cruelty while the reflecting mind trying to step out of those behavioural cycles is treated as a disobedient factor of interference by the majority. We’re doomed to encouter each other not as human beings but as beings of belief that keep up those protective barriers almost manically.
This is were music comes into play for me. As a force or punctum that pierces those barriers unexpectedly, as a form of communication, meditation and necessary catharsis of the mind.
Diving into the hypnotic sounds of techno and industrial and dedicating yourself to the raw and monotone sounds and structures of these genres, letting go of the world around you and  letting your existence surrender to an almost primitive but pure state of mind is what keeps me sane when the insanity of everyday life seems to get the upper hand. Hopefully the next 53 minutes will also allow you some cognitive drifting or at least make you dance like there’s no tomorrow. Enjoy and let us love more again!"

DJ: Phasenmensch
Mix Title: Behavioural Problems
Genre: Rhythmic Noise, Techno

1. Giorgio Gigli & Obtane - Industrial Assaults
2. Shifted - Sector D
3. Function & Vatican Shadow - Bejewled Body
4. Kangding Ray - Tempered Inmid
5. Ancient Methods - When all is said and done
6. Phasenmensch [feat. ICD-10] - Immunisierung
7. Geistform - High Energy Physics
8. Nullvektor - Ohne Zweifel
9. Monolith - Rotated
10. Phasenmensch - Thesis [Spiritual Communion Remix by Ecstasphere]

total time: 53:20

Download (320kbps)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Wounds of the Earth DJ Mix 001

This marks the beginning of our new DJ Mix series in which we present to you exclusive DJ mixes created by various Dark Ambient / IDM / Post-Industrial producers. I, the curator of this terrible site, have created the first one which showcases some fantastic tracks that we have released over the years on our compilations.

DJ: Dan Barrett
Genre: Dark Ambient / IDM

1. Havan - Vasatya
2. Parhelion - Dark Star Origins
3. False Mirror - Charybdis
4. Shrine - Sulphur Heart
5. Flint Glass - Talawaitichqua
6. New Risen Throne - Orbiting Gates
7. Dirk Geiger - Autumn Life (Cold January Mix)
8. Therradaemon - Tekel
9. TeHoM - The World Ended
10. Paranoia Inducta - Apokatastasis
11. Apocryphos - A Lonely Structure In Ithaca Chasma
12. Huron - Ice Flower
13. Access to Arasaka - Seraphic Variate
14. Sabled Sun - Home Planet
15. Visions - Eclipsed

total time: 58:25

Download (320kbps mp3)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Various Artists - "Cthulhu"

Artist: Various
Album: Cthulhu
Year: 2014
Label: Cryo Chamber
Genre: Dark Ambient

I want to open this review by praising Simon Heath and his Cryo Chamber label for consistently working to push the capabilities of a digital label and striving to put out high quality, innovative work. Cthulhu is certainly an interesting release, not only for it's sound, but for it's methodology as well. It's a collaboration between the artists on the label (alt3r3d stat3, alphaxone, aseptic void, atrium carceri, cryobiosis, halgrath, neizvestija, ugasanie, mystified, asbaar, dark matter, and sjellos) who came together to create one monster track running nearly 80 minutes in length. From my limited understanding, each artist worked on a collection of sounds and submitted them to Heath/Atrium Carceri to more or less put together. As a huge fan of the works of H.P. Lovecraft I was of course interested to see if these artists (including many newcomers) were up to the task of creating a work of audio that captures a concept/entity of such epic proportion and renown. The cover art alone is excellent and fitting, so things are off to a good start.

As you would imagine, this album is filled with murky, aquatic, and subterranean ambiance. At any given point it's fairly minimal, but as you'd expect there are many shifts and different tones explored throughout the nearly 80 minute duration. I can pick out bits here and there that remind me of certain artist's individual work, but as a whole it sounds like a coherent, flowing song with singular direction and purpose. It also seems that any flaws present on individual artists releases have been polished here, such that it retains the usable essence of the work while the filler / extemporaneous material has been all but stripped away. I can't say that overall this conjures visions of specifically the great Old One Cthulhu per say, but there are certainly points that feel like standing in awe inside a colossal, dilapidated temple hidden within the earth (around 30-35 minutes), or swimming through sunken black catacombs, drowned for eons and unseen by the eyes of men (47-58 minutes). Sadly, no discernible sounds of squamous fish monsters. This somewhat subdued sound could be seen as an adequate representation for the search for R'lyeh in the dark, uninhabited places of the earth, and swimming around the sunken tomb of the one who lieth dead but ever dreameth.
While I did enjoy the bulk of this record, I would have liked to hear more defined elements such as melodies, choirs, percussion, "strange flute music", etc. Especially with something this long it would have been nice to have more diverse sections rather than 80 minutes of drone. I was also disappointed to find that I was, in fact, not driven to madness by this song.

This collaboration offers a strong example of why Cryo Chamber has, since it's recent inception, been a steadily rising force in dark ambient music. Definitely something fans of dark ambient should hear, and an label that absolutely should be on your radar. I really hope that Cryo Chamber offers more collaborative releases in the future!

Friday, January 9, 2015

New record from Arovane!

I'm a huge fan of Arovane so I was quite excited to see that he will be releasing a new 10in record soon on the Touchin' Bass label.

Check it out, listen and pre-order HERE

Theologian premiers new video "Piss and Jism"

Check out this excellent new video from Theologian for the track "Piss and Jism" from his new album The Pain of the Saints on Malignant records. Directed, shot, and edited by Gretchen Heinel.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

50% off sale from Tympanik Audio!

via Tympanik Audio:

Happy New Year from your friends at Tympanik Audio!

Start off the the new year with some new sounds. During the month of January, take 50% off all CD and digital releases in our catalog. Use discount code: tympanik15 as you add items to your cart.

Tympanik Web Shop

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dronny Darko - "Outer Tehom"

Artist: Dronny Darko
Album: Outer Tehom
Year: 2014
Label: Cryo Chamber
Genre: Dark Ambient

Here we have a new album from one of the most oddly named dark ambient projects, Dronny Darko (not even Droney Darko?? come on...). Outer Tehom (Tehom being the great primordial watery abyss / mesopotamian goddess Tiamat) consists of 4 tracks, each exactly 13 minutes in length. According to the press release, this is an album of the darkest black, whose purpose is to summon elder gods that have been forgotten in time...which is definitely something you'd want to do.

The opening track "Black Arts", sets the stage for this release: a track that sounds promising, but never quite ascends to notable heights (or depths as is more fitting here). It definitely captures extremely dark and otherworldly moods, but it's nothing you haven't heard before. It's quite minimal and relies on slowly moving drones and the occasional sfx, clanking, and so forth. New Risen Throne immediately comes to mind, but this isn't as refined or unsettling. While I appreciate the sound, during the first half of this track there is a lot of stop & go - where a drone will come in and then sort of fade out and nothing happens for a bit before another drone rises up out of the void. It leaves you eager for things to get properly started. Things do eventually "get started" and lead the listener into an unimaginative, but usable dark sanctum.
"Mortal Skin" is up next and is twice as loud for some reason. We hear him utilizing similar murky and formless atmospheres. There are a few vocal samples used throughout although I can't understand them. This track drowns you in wave after wave of slowly ebbing droning blackness - like the sewers of hell.
"Snake Hole" is the most interesting piece so far. It utilizes an outer space-y rising drone, very reminiscent of Phelios, along with highly reverbed melodic bits and distant clanking. Unfortunately, it doesn't really go anywhere, and by 6 minutes in it's still playing nearly the exact same thing. It mellows out towards the end and for several minutes the listener is illuminated with a hallowed drone coupled with sporadic percussion.
The final track, "Arcane Shrine", is probably the least interesting quarter of the album. I don't have much to describe it with other than: barebones, underdeveloped, and genericly "dark ambient" sounding. There are a few interesting bits sprinkled in here and there, but I'm not going to wallow through 13 minutes just to hear them. For example, there is a part around 9 minutes in that started to pull me in, but everything faded out by 10 minutes and then nothing was happening again and it lost my attention. Repeat cycle at 11 minutes in, and so forth.

While this is an adequate collection of dark textures and black atmospheres, it doesn't stand out to me from any other droning dark ambient. It's kind of like looking at an old, faded mesopotamian artifact: the idea of the thing is pretty cool, and it hints at something deeper and more interesting, but most of the writing has been broken off and you're left with a tiny fragment of something much larger and more complex; as such there is little substantive value to you. There are some good ideas here but stretching everything to 13 minutes is overkill. I'd like to hear him keep tracks to 4-6 minutes in order to condense the good ideas and cut all the filler. Everything here: the track names, the description, the art, and the sound all point to "generic dark ambient" and that's what you get. Overall very average.