Experimental music compilation
This is the seventh edition in the SEQUENCE experimental music compilation series. Curated from artist submissions over a six week period, this release differs from its predecessors in length and selection process. After feedback from the community we have reduced the number of tracks from 42 to 30, hopefully making it more managable album. With the final submission count coming in around 200 tracks, the task of picking a final tracklist was even harder.
I asked friends and artists Pascal Savy, Ed Hamilton and Karl McGrath to help me (big thanks guys) curate the album, meaning every track submitted (correctly, following the guidelines!) has been heard by four sets of ears, so I think we have a fairer selection process.
Thank you for listening, we hope you enjoy it. Please do share the album on your networks, this really does help with its success and brings these artists to new ears.
Download the album for free at our Bandcamp or click the Download link in the player on this page.
A Mist of Grey Light
Siavash Amini's thoughtful piece starts in a quiet and careful way, the first ray's of light in the morning. It's slow build and patient end bring's us to a place reminiscent of the best work of Max Richter, measured instrumentation, a sense of hopeful anticipation and an assured self aware progression.
Paint It Black
Great production and feeling in this drone-noise piece from Polish artist Sundrugs. The attention to the textural detail is strong, and whilst the track is only three and half minutes long it still manages to emmerse the listener in an expansive panoramic soundscape.
I became aware of Alex's piano based work about the time of the previous SEQUENCE compilation, and was immediately taken with it. 'Hidden' is a great example of his unique approach; delicately intimate, the recorded live sound of the piano (not just the keys) and the air around it creating atmosphere, producing real character. There's a rise and fall in the composition, a stop and a start, nothing in the phrasing being obvious.
I first came across the music Alex Alarcon in 2010 when he released the wonderful 'Vertice' EP under his Sustainer moniker and I think I've been a fan ever since. Originally his music had this purity and clarity of sound that you would easily find on labels such as Raster-Noton, but more recently Alarcon has moved towards warmer and calmer territories. This new track 'Magenta' sees him exploring more organic soundscapes where amorphous guitar loops and subtle field recordings coexist alongside expanding sinewaves. A new direction perhaps but approached with grace and understatement.
Anticipation is the root of this building piece. EUS adds the layers of feedback and tight chords up and up to a critical mass and holds it's there in a blissful marriage of noise and harmony.
I'd never heard of Iranian composer Tegh (Shahin Entezami) until very recently and I was immediately struck by the depth of his musical vision. As suggested in the track-title, the piece perfectly oscillates between light and shadow and never reveals its real intentions but instead conjures dense and opaque atmospheres that at first feel suffocating but over the course of track expand towards luminous fields of purity. I hope to see more of his music released in the near future.
Shores of Midgard
The ocean, guitar, reverb, hiss and feedback thread together in Eeem's mournful piece, into a wall of texture. The starting and finishing waves drive the piece, undulating the progression and taking the listener washing on tide. This brings to mind a keen ear for the ebb and flow of nature that shares similarities with the ethos of the work of Richard Skelton.
Sohrab is perhaps one of the better known Iranian experimental musician in activity today, but Porya Hatami would come very close in my book and he has certainly been incredibly successful in his musical explorations in the last two years or so. For this compilation, he joined force with Liverpool-based Liam Coleman to make this new composition aptly name 'Fuse' that sees scratchy sine-wave surfaces fused with tremolo-laden drone augmented towards the end with guitars reminiscent of Christian Fennesz - a great and promising collaboration.
Monadh is the moniker of Seattle artist Jake Muir. With his internet down in the submission period, Jake sent his track in through a friend and we're very glad he did. Kawa emerges through a mist of field recordings and tightly sequenced ambience, metamorphosising into an orchestral melody worn with time and layers of looped textures.
The story goes that Abul Mogard spent most of his life working in a Serbian factory and started making music only as he approached old age. I don’t know if that's completely true but one thing is certain, he's absorbed an awful lot of influences in the mean time. I could hear echoes of Angelo Badalamenti passed through the laptop of Christian Fennesz in this track. It will break your heart not once but twice and in the process will take no prisoners - a incredible composition to say the least.
After an intense year of touring the USA, Carl Ritger aka Radere is working again on new things. 'Come Alone' showcases the beginnings of where Carl is moving to. It feels to me like a culmination of everything that has come before; 'I'll Make You Quiet' on Futuresequence, albums on Full Spectrum Records and Basic Sounds, and Rural Colours release where I first heard his music. 'Come Alone' is both architectural and granula, with brilliant production and attention to detail.
A field recording of a hang drum player in a berlin park is used to stunning effect as it is merged with organ and the reverberations of a london church to create this hauntology piece that sits proudly with the likes of the caretaker or burial, and shares their sorrowful reflective roots.
San Francisco Broke My Heart
David's track was a clear yes from all four of us, his prolific output to date as Linear Bells has focused on drone, whereas we're beginning to see him develop his sound, incorporating new elements. The heart-wrentching strings that form the core of his track are Skelton-esque in a way, he adds looping melodies from an array of instruments in an aligned beauty which is undeniably striking.
0824 feels like the deconstruction of a 70's jazz progression, or maybe the soundtrack to a reimagined taxi driver. The oakland producer guides through it's movements with a confident and assured hand.
Another very minimal composition, not much going on at first sight, just a modular synth moving through gentle chord progressions, a few effects, nothing more, nothing less. But the simplicity is quite deceptive as those sine wave tones advancing in slowed-down echoed deambulations will break your heart as much as they'll feel you with joy while slowly disintegrating in a warm plasma of distortion and feedback. I had this piece on repeat one night and couldn't stop listening to it - a pure aural delight!
UK artist Ben Worth has had releases on Rural Colours and previous SEQUENCE editions, and participates in Disquiet's ongoing Junto experiments. There's something of a cataclysmic melancholy to Arkhangelsk, a soundscape swathed in darkness and mystery to get lost in.
Austrian-born multi-instrumentalist Berhand Weiss delivers the contemplative drone-noise piece 'Varanasi' (Indian city on the banks of the Ganges river). It's big sound somehow manages to communicate delicate emotion, broken by field recordings of the city.
There is in Tides something more urgent and more poignant than in anything else Tom Honey's done under his Good Weather For An Airstrike alias. The composition is sparse and quite minimal, just a delay-laden piano hovering over tearful strings in the background, but impeccably produced so it conjures a strong sense of space and narrative that hesitates between sadness and elation and goes unresolved until the very last note.
Based in Brooklyn, New York, Japanse artist Masaya Ozaki is known well for his film music compositions. 'Alkaline Days' brings together all sorts of unusual sounds with thoughtful instrumentation. We could be experiencing a memory, or a dream.
The Never Ending Tape
I guess this one is for fans of William Basinski and while Verwijmeren undoubtedly wears his influences on his sleeve, this composition is rather really accomplished in its own right. Muffled tape loops and reverse tones slowly develop their subtle narrative over modular (?) synths pulsing in the background and create a rather wonderful mesh of shifting textures that gain in appreciation upon repeated listens.
Tintinnabuli Mathematica 12d
Guy Birkin combines fractal integer sequence A194832 and the tintinnabuli method of Arvo Part to create music that pulses with emotion and soul. Perhaps giving a glimpse into the humanity of the inner workings of theoretic methods and digital instrumentation.
This track builds from arid stark noise into heat induced visions, visceral yet controlled it seques into a pulsing melody accompanied by rising chords. The French artists music can be found on Fluttery Records, and more recently Time Released Sound.
Syän 0.1 - November 4th, 2013 - 06.43 a.m
I really like the assemblage feel to this piece from new-comer Ethan Syann; wide loops of percussion hits, notes and random sounds, held together with drawn out electronics
London based composer Gavin Singleton recording as Accelra has a cinematic/soundtrack focus to his work. 'The Woodworker' is well constructed, and brilliantly produced, adding another angle to piano ambience and to this compilation.
Bound in Sea
The treatment of the recording is the key this neo-classical piece from Lucy Claire. The string quartet is always at a distance, at the other end of a warm country garden or on the other side of a house, with the all the windows open, emanating from a dusty record. Claire's production give's this orchestration a sense of place and time, and enhances it.
De La Pierre Bleue
French composer Mathias Van Eeclo, under his Monolyth & Cobalt, has been going from strength to strength since the inception of his solo project 3 or 4 years ago. As opposed to earlier works, Van Eeclo’s new composition, De La Pierre Bleue, is less about narrative and more about mood. Mournful sinewaves ebb and flow over expansive bass tones as distant recordings of waves crashing over the shore conjure feelings of sadness and isolation. The pace is glacial and the atmosphere rather sombre but the piece explores its solitude with a wonderful sense purity and depth.
A last minute submission from Italian artist M. Beckmann who works under TVSF name, and whose sound has its roots in guitar. Although knowing the name, I was unfamiliar with his work until now. 'Fratto' is near perfect drone, and whilst you could argue its difficult to innovate within this genre, Beckmann achieves something which has strength of presence, emotion and composition, drawing on a minimal beat to add dimension to the overall sound.
This track from Michigan artist Michael Rice emerges into enveloping ambience, a non-intrusive meditation to soak the mind within, gradually building in overlapping loop structures and then fading again.
Macedonian artist fydhws' track carries a heavy monolith of sound through synth, strings and other sounds, but with a melody or movement throughout - a kind of story.
Another new name to me, Glass House is the moniker of Ian Collier. His track sparks with electrical reverberations, high-end feedback, granular and expansive combined. This is an exciting track, with so much going on - you have to listen to it more than once to hear everything.