“MO-III” by Shoal, on Vincent Rang’s instalment at MACA:
Imagine a dark room with, at the centre, a glass jar filled with liquid… No, it’s not a psychological test, but an experiment at an art event in a trendy area of Amsterdam: chemical reactions are unleashed in the jar, creating random movements, illuminated in various ways from the inside. Shoal improvises organic music and by doing so, gives life to the instalment…
This is the MONOLITH project, which occurred at MACA (Moving Arts Centre Amsterdam) in March 2022. This seemingly anecdotical story is at the heart of Shoal’s music, instinctive, visceral, and “alive”. With undulating drones and atmospheres, the Dutch artist sets movement and lightness at the core of his artistic expression, providing high trippy effects and pleasure.
“Terugblik” (“Retrospect” in Dutch) gathers re-edited past live performances, including “MO-VI”, played for MONOLITH. Through the warm ambiences of the compilation, Shoal relates a story of a dim light in the darkness, and succeeds in giving life to it.
Dear Japan, there is so much to learn from you; how you embrace “the beauty of imperfection” (“Wabi-Sabi”), how you give art the purpose to live healthier and happier (“Ikigai”), how you encourage “forest bathing” for relief and mindfulness (“Shinrin-yoku”), how you value simplicity and modesty (“Shibui”), how you suggest going more often out of the comfort zone (“Datsuzoku”), how you enjoy the beauty of impermanence (“Mono no aware”)… Links between these lessons and the present tracks? You’ll sense them…
We invite you now to play a thrilling ping-pong game between some original and remixed versions to compare them. No winner in our humble opinion, just dope music…
Deepbass & Massa – Articulate EP [Hidden Traffic, 2023-06-16]
More from Massa on Semantica almost at the same time:
More from Deepbass on Navigare Audio one month ago:
After “Deepbass & Toletski”, “Deepbass & Ness”, “Deepbass & Nax_Acid”, “Deepbass & RVO”, “Deepbass & !nertia”, here is “Deepbass & Massa” ladies & gentlemen…
Any new collab by our dear Scottish maestro awakens our nerdy groupie heart, and Massa is for sure another smart choice.
If Deepbass, Fernie, Repart and Edit Select are the “Four Musketeers” of the Scottish School, Massa could definitely play the fifth one (even though he’s Spanish) (even though Dumas’ novel only highlights four musketeers) (even though there is no Scottish School).
Massa has been into this sound for years, to the point that it’s difficult to guess who did what in the present EP on his label. At the same time, creating artistic symbiosis is intentional for Deepbass in all his collaborative projects, which he achieves thanks to passionate jam sessions. Such a process seemed to have been at work again in the present EP and we love it…
Andrea Zapata – Intuitium [KVLTÖ Records, 2023.06.06]
Andrea Zapata in front of the ocean in Peru:
Be careful what you say about this release… At the source of it: a little diamond from Peru, placed under the protection of our dear hypnotic techno…
She learned how to mix a few years ago, grabbing some influences here and there and getting some experience on local stages. She already collaborated with Master Päsch on a few occasions: a nice mix in KVLTÖ Podcast, a conceptualised VA in which both participated.
“Intuitium” is her very first solo release: the plunge to the Unknown; the first musical kiss that you never forget… To what we can’t resist answering:
“You did great, your production is rock (punk?) solid, impressive for a first one, pursue this path, it is made for you!”
Northallsen Records – Raices II [Northallsen Records, 2023-06-06]
The first part was also “spectacular”…
Two releases in one month on Northallsen is a pleasure to see, even if it is two volumes of a five-part compilation. We missed you Northallsen, from your two years of absence…
The label is for us “a Colombian version of Affin”, sharing some obvious common points with Spieth’s project: a commitment to excellence and a similar atmospheric sound signature, conveyed by artists who produce on both imprints, such as RVO, Deepbass, The Alchemical Theory, Svarog and Sanchez herself. Yet Northallsen distinguished itself with its “Colombian generosity”, spoiling us each time with “spectacular artists”, such as Mike Parker, Oscar Mulero, Dino Sabatini and Magna Pia, half of Cassegrain. With such names, we can get lost in the music peacefully, knowing that we are in safe arms…
Hoedus – Into Dust EP [Mental Modern, 2023-06-16]
The “Hoedus effect”:
Active since the mid-2010s, the Rome-based artist has always stuck to his sound signature from day one: electrifying beats made to degrease the engine, electrocute your body and throw it much trembling on the dancefloor.
If Mike Parker’s School can be felt in the distance with his alienating spirals, Hoedus pushes the concept further, by directly burning the central nervous system, for our greatest pleasure.
It explains why notorious clubber Katerina Maragou shared the release and made us discover it, because yes, we love to shake.
Particularly impressive on Monday Off last month, Hoedus honours Ray Charles’ quote again with the present EP:
“Soul is like electricity, we don’t really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light a room.”
Vādin – Juegro [Offen Music, 2023-05-31]
More of Vādin, just for the pleasure:
Sometimes, when turning Bandcamp’s pages, we may find a hidden gem, creative, different, reviving the pleasure of digging.
Introducing a poetic release, in the true sense of the word, as the ambient layer of the opener envelops the recitation of a beautiful poem.
It is then followed by two mesmerising tracks, catching the soul with their intriguing moods and subtle rhythms…
We are on Offen Music, a German label worth exploring, chock-full of rarities, from abstract beats to experimental psychedelic music. It’s a genuine museum of original sounds, with Vādin, a duo of brilliant London-based storytellers, taking on perfectly their role of guide…
Through his studio Artefacts Mastering, our guest today is simply “the” most demanded sound engineer of our scene, as illustrated in this article, containing three releases tweaked by him. Hailing from Berlin, he belongs to a high caste of ambient music lovers, not engaged in any sort of elitism but drawing musical love from an infinite passion. Brian Eno’s quote “Ambient music is intended to induce calm and a space to think” could have been told by our guest, deep by nature and seeking peace, while breathing life into music. Humble and kind, he shares his passion with pleasure, as well as the steps of his technical processes. More importantly: the result of his work is systematically impeccable, impressive, with a recognisable identity: it convinced legendary labels to collaborate with him, such as Lucy’s Stroboscopic Artefacts, Spieth’s Affin, Rrose’s Eaux, Deepbass’ Informa, Svreca’s Semantica and many more. His review below says a lot about his inner nature, elegant, smart, obviously profound and imbued with a hint of poetry…
Gio: “Essay (Remake)” is a soft ethereal glow, fragile and suggestive, suspended in an endless present with too much past to rehash and no future to hope for. It is one of my favourite ambient albums, hitting close to the heart and resonating with no mercy through my current emotional spaces. “Odessa” is the track I keep going back to, the first that left a lasting impression, somehow reminding a long-lost lover, whose face dissolves as you try to recall in the mind’s eye.
Agustín Mena has generated an impressive discography as Warmth and SVLBRD. His labels Archives and Faint keep delivering prime quality introspective journeys. “Essay (Remake)” is a revision of his first-ever ambient album, stripped to the core, expanded in a delicate balance between silence and memory, inviting us to walk towards the void within and let it speak.
I remember working on this album a few months ago. It has been an exercise in restraint to reveal beauty without burning the shadows, charging colours in the background while fading the edges, letting all of its particles float without constraints, attractors or excessive forces. It is never too close for comfort or overblown, like an eternal flow, part of the thread of life itself.
Being force-fed sounds all day, every day, it is rare that I enjoy listening to music when not working, but this album definitely makes me want to play it again and again, soothing and unassuming, and let my thoughts drift through silence.