Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Disaster Amnesiac swims in two streams of the Ambient River!

Disaster Amnesiac finds it very interesting that these two releases have come my way in recent days, both presented after some type of work done for their principles. Additionally, they are both collaborative pieces, produced largely by way of technically aided interface between their creators. Synchronicity abounds!
Both of them strike me as being rooted within the Ambient Music movement. As most readers well know, this stream has been somewhat quietly growing for the past four decades or so. It is one that is alive with diversity, as thousands of musicians and artists are working within its wide flows. Releases such as In the Other House and Inuksuk, while probably never getting massively hyped, are all the more fascinating for this listener; they are the products of people that want to express themselves, most likely for the simple pleasures achieved from the act of doing so. Let us slip into and swim within these two individual tributaries to the larger Ambient river of sound.

Deison & Uggeri-In the Other House; Old Bicycle Records/Oak Editions, 2015
Utilizing an Electro-Acoustic mixture of instrumentation, the duo of Deison & Uggeri offer six tracks of somewhat darkened Ambient on In the Other House, each one naming a given room of an imagined dwelling. Violins are bowed, piano keys stroked, horns blown, and all kinds of electronically modified field recordings are transformed into somewhat eery drones in this rumination on "uncomfortable rooms which were populated by dark invisible presences". Disaster Amnesiac can hear this discomforted vibe: listening to In the Other House has at times had me in a somewhat perturbed state of mind. This disc's ambiance is pretty murky and unsettling, as hinted at by the cover art. This is not fluffy New Age Ambient music. I've often thought that Blackened New Age would be a good descriptor for these kinds of sounds, but am not exactly comfortable with the contradiction in terms implied there. Comfort and discomfort aside, Deison & Uggeri have cooked up an intensely intimate statement here. Despite its outward darkness, this is a perfect soundtrack for padding around your own domicile as you quietly marvel at the small mysteries of life and its physical manifestations.

Hertz & Mystified-Inuksuk; Aural Films, 2015
Recently in conversation, Jack Hertz explained the motivations behind his Aural Films label: he releases a lot of stuff, most in the purely digital format, but the best get the coveted physical treatment.
With Inuksuk, Hertz teams up with Mystified to produce an enhanced CD of eight chill(y) blasts of Ambient sound, all intended to take the listener on a ([J]ourney into the mysticism of Arctic cultures". As such, it's a very effective release, and Disaster Amnesiac can hear why Aural Films wanted to release this one in a bit more of an archival form.
High-end peals of sound evoke the brightness of the Arctic sunlight, pairing with low, long, and deep drones that give the timeless feelings that one can imagine rising within a person as they traverse the ice and tundra of the region. Great shamanic percussion is pulled from drum heads and resonant metals, which gives pieces such a Tcakabesh a stately, ritualistic feel. The music of Inuksuk is filled with deeply esoteric spaces and moods, and it's perfectly suited for many types of activities: deeper listening, ritual soundtrack, or those times when some (seemingly) unobtrusive tones are needed. Any of these types of experiences would be enhanced by the sounds produced by Hertz & Mystified herein.
Along with all of these mysterious sound worlds, the CD provides detailed liner notes/guides in pdf form, reproductions of several great, abstract paintings by Thomas Park-Jackson, and brief video snippets. This one is jam packed with sensory goodies!

To reiterate, Disaster Amnesiac realized that there are thousands of Ambient releases for listeners to choose from, just as there are thousands in any other given genre of the post-Internet world. I don't know who will choose these two from that stream, but I can say with certainty that I'm glad that these two swam my way. Perhaps you'll find their sounds refreshing as well.

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