The circles of the experimental and contemporary music scene grow ever clearer as they are revealed in the recommendations of our New Voices. This month, we visit a variety of sonorities from across the aural plane, including (albeit, loose) categories such as electronic, glitch, ambient, soundscape, and classical contemporary.
Top picks include artists:
Sarah Angliss // Recommended by Aleks Kolkowski
Joanne (‘a half portion of ALGOBABEZ’) // Recommended by Alex McLean
Lawrence Lek // Recommended by Larry Achiampong
spatial// Recommended by Sally Golding
phantomChips// Recommended by Sally Golding
Ellen Fullman // Recommended by Lawrence Dunn
Vladimir Gorlinsky // Recommended by Lawrence Dunn
Have a listen!
Ices Lawrence Lek
With its retro glitch accents and melody reminiscent of a lazy synth harp, Ices meanders peacefully and nostalgically into a sonic landscape comparable to that of Minecraft’s early sound artist C418. The abrupt decays of the retro ‘crash’ sounds balance themselves dangerously close to the marmite-genre of chiptune (otherwise known as 8-bit music), nagging subtly at the never-forgotten Nintendo Game Boy sound-world. Without forcing an emotional connotation too much, the mood that naturally emerges is within the realms of nostalgia and a passive sort of melancholy. Yet, there is a kind of amity to be found within the track due to its lulling lethargy and heavy movement, which easily makes it a favourite amongst this month’s recommendations.
^1+2 joa30nne (ALGOBABEZ)
On first listening to ^1+2, the presence of a consistent pulse or tempo at first seems ambiguous. Progressively, the sounds evolve and patterns reveal themselves to expose the ‘dance’ elements of the Algorave genre synchronously. Half way through, the complex polyrhythms temporarily surrender themselves to a measured and quantised robotic sort of march with a more conventional rhythmic structure. An atmospheric stratosphere of 90s-esque synth seems to roof the percussive symphony now ‘below,’ creating the impression that this is a 3-part work, with each of its constituents possessing slightly different themes. With a recurrent focus on filtering and envelopes, the piece lends itself to a sort of ‘psychedelic’ motif, due to the morphing tone of a sound’s duration – typical within psy-genres. Algorave is an exciting adventure into the boundless territory of sound, casting a vote for ‘experimental’ techniques to infiltrate the dance music scene.
Windy Garden Ellen Fullman
As a progressive drone piece, this arrangement of sounds has no challenge in maintaining the listener’s attention. Full, mesmerising, and inexplicably evocative of a synaesthetic kind of abstraction, Windy Garden chases one’s emotions like an inevitable cloud approaching overhead. It’s looming, dignified, serious – but by no means menacing. The arrangement exudes an authoritative and intense kind of power, the low pulse at the start of the piece continuously reasserting itself upon your attentiveness like the Buddhist tingsha chime. The sound-world, although narrow, connotes large spaces with its characteristically ‘big’ bass sounds and distinctive low, mid and high sections. The concept of the ‘soundscape’ is epitomised within Windy Garden, and is a treat for anyone with a wandering imagination.
For more recommendations of who to look out for in the near future, have a gander at our exclusive Q&A interviews with the New Voices, featured weekly on The Sampler. Thus far (from 6th May to 17th June), we have profiled: Alex McLean; Sally Golding; Andrew Thomas; Sarah Hughes; Nick Morrish-Rarity; Larry Achiampong; and Aleksander Kolkowski.