Modulations from the future with Romania's 'Electrons in Slow Motion'

Electrons in Slow Motion (EISM) is a cross-genre electronic project developed by Bucharest-born artist/producer Marius Copel. Combining analog synths with sparse soundscapes, Copel weaves immersive audio environments rich in dissonant drones, field recordings, and far-off arpeggiations. One part sci-fi dream world and one part distant dystopian universe, EISM dabs from his monochrome palette to create a sound that is uniquely his own.

His recently released debut album ‘Ecstatic Technologies’ boils down these central themes and concepts into a cohesive 8 track journey into the abyss. The album opens with ‘Breaking Eleusis’ which Marius describes as a “virtual pilgrimage to an ancient site”. Electronic chatter contrasts with reverb-soaked keys to slowly draw the listener into this mysterious and enigmatic world. The journey continues through a number of environments ranging from the subdued sounds of ‘Nyonoksa’ to the more tumultuous, beat-driven ‘Satomi’.

I would even go so far as to call the release a kind of ‘concept album’ as the tracks flow so well together and feature a steady narrative throughout. Marius describes the tracks as some sort of “sonic vehicle” or “machine” each with a unique initiation stage, environment and context. Regardless of the descriptor, ‘Ecstatic Technologies’ by Electrons in Slow Motion shows us that perhaps the future is closer than we think.

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Quebec city's Gramofaune blends the electronic and acoustic in new album 'Fear Not'

Gramofaune is the project of Gabriel Gagné, a musician and producer based in Quebec City. Originally a classical guitarist, it wasn’t until Gabriel heard artists like Bonobo and Four Tet that he started experimenting with more electronic soundscapes. His compositions are characterized by their diverse sound design palette ; melding acoustic and electronic elements to form deeply moving emotive collages.

His new album ‘Fear Not’ is a smattering of finely tuned electronic environments to lose yourself in. 10 tracks of tastefully prepared landscapes rich in micro percussion, voltage charged melodies, and the occasional acoustic expression. The album is a definite start-to-finish listen that offers up a new sonic treasure around each twist and turn. Featuring a number of musical guests such as: Étienne Masson (drums on "Trails") Philippe Gagné (handpan on "Grande Faune") Pascal Ouellet (dulcimer on "For Pascal") and La Renarde (voice on "Entanglement") - these collaborations add another dimension to an already stellar album.

Support ‘Fear Not’ on Bandcamp or stream it on Spotify

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Audio of the Urban with Sweden's Victor Öberg

Victor Öberg is an urban planner and musician residing in the southern most part of Sweden. His music goes hand in hand with his research, and focuses heavily on interpreting urban issues mainly concerning urban alienation and identity creation of both people and place in urban society.

Utilizing an array of hardware effects and modular synths, Victor designs and configures sonic environments to reflect these urban issues. His Instagram features a variety of dawless jams and sketches pleasing to both the audio and visual palette. Today’s track ‘Insula’ serves as a progression from these shorter jams into what will be Victor’s first solo album set to release later this year.

Insula features a minimal landscape of plucked arpeggiation, undulating clouds of noise, and rich resonant harmonies. A kind of playful utilitarianism permeates throughout the track, which really shows Öberg’s concept coming into fruition. ”The song itself is a brief sketch of the insula as a building type; part home part business. A concept that has shaped the way we think of city centers throughout history."

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Primate's new EP 'Out of Time' is anything but Primitive

Human life is on the edge of being wiped out, while nature is taking back over” 

A simple dystopian description from Brighton-based producer Joe Vince, aka Primate, describing his latest EP ‘Out of Time'‘. The release imagines a future where our disaster-ridden civilizations approach extinction as the organic creep of the natural world begins to set in.

In many ways ‘organic’ might just be the key word here, as synth-rich soundscapes, textured atmospheres, and naturally swung percussion frame the release as a whole. But it’s really the balance between organic and electronic elements that makes this release shine.

Take the opening track ‘Exposed’ as the perfect example. Organic arpeggiated bells dance up high while slithering electronic synths lurk in and out of the soundscape. As Vince explains-
"Exposed is apocalyptic story telling music, heavily inspired by cinematic sound design."

’Out of Time’ achieves a rare balance of organic and electronic elements, musical and technical, all the while presenting the larger narrative of our temporal existence alongside the ever-present natural world.

Support the release on Bandcamp out now via Small Print Recordings

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Cuts addresses our Uncertain Future with 'A Gradual Decline'

Anthony Tombling Jr a.k.a. ‘Cuts’ is a British film maker and composer who approaches his productions with a sense of purpose, which is palpable in his upcoming release ‘A Gradual Decline’ out Nov 30th on Village Green Recordings.  Tombling says “We are living in the age of the Anthropocene and it feels like everything is in decline. We’re in a moment where extinction is regular. I wanted this record to reflect these frailties.” It is obvious from this statement that Anthony deeply feels the decline of these corroding landscapes plagued by global warming and industrial pollution. Although Tombling is commenting on dire facts most of us are already aware of, it is his unique, skillful and even hopeful interpretation of this tipping point that really sets this work apart.

Music can bring us to many different places. We can seek comfort in nostalgia, we can seek escape in hedonism, we can seek joy in stories that are told in which we can relate to and sometimes, when we can bare it, we seek truth in music like this. ‘ A Gradual Decline’ is an urgent call to action reflecting all the bleak sobering realities of a contemptuous zeitgeist. It is a record that gives a raw and unfiltered look into the harsh, hard to swallow truths of environmental decay. And in an auditory sense, this is exactly how the album feels. Crushed percussion, a dark driving bassline, harrowing melodies and somber sonic textures sustain a focused feeling of frailty. ‘A Gradual Decline’ is a project of political importance. It is a drop in the ocean of music, with the potential to be powerful, moving and poignant as we stand facing a most uncertain future.

Pre-order the album on Bandcamp

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Audio / Visual Overload from Richard Devine and Numbercult

In case you missed it, IDM guru and sound design genius Richard Devine just dropped what is arguably one of the deepest modular synth records of all time.

’Sort/Lave’ was composed almost entirely on his custom built Eurorack modular system and features 12 tracks of dizzying percussion, galaxy-deep atmospheres, and utter sound design opulence. It’s an album that really sets the bar for what is possible with modern-day modular systems while still retaining all the rich musicality we’ve come to expect from the Atlanta-born producer.

Adding a visual dimension to the already incredibly detailed track ‘Revsic’, digital artist Craig Ritchie Allan aka Numbercult focused on unpacking the tracks densely packed constituent parts.

”When I set about constructing the video, I wanted the visual elements to engage the dynamics of the music, it felt like there was something elemental about the acoustic elements, so I starting thinking about about travelling through inner space, sub atomic structures forming and splintering apart and electric flashes of colour. I finished off by dropping in some sci-fi inspired interface elements to give the feeling you’re in a craft traversing a microverse.”

Get the full audio/visual immersion by checking out the clip above in full 1080p or by supporting the release over on Bandcamp.

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Deep, Dubby atmosphere from Russia's Inchange

It’s not an easy task to make music that sounds good on a system, in headphones and is suitable for chilling or going out, but the versatile Russian producer- Michael Soldatkin aka ‘Inchange’ does just that.

Beginning his musical journey in 2013, slowly tinkering with sounds in FL studio and eventually teaching himself music theory and the guitar, Michael wasted no time in developing his own signature style of deep, atmospheric electronic grooves.

Upon closer inspection of his back catalog, it quickly becomes apparent that Inchange is a flexible producer creating everything from hip-hop to house. His output includes a broad range of sounds, from mainstream remixes to more niche underground tracks.

Utilizing a variety of studio gear such as the Elektron Digitakt, Analog Heat, and Native Instruments Maschine alongside live instrumentation ensures a dynamic production process creating tracks with a wide sonic palette and deep, texture-rich atmosphere.

’Night Shift’ is a track that ticks all definitely ticks all of these boxes. Dubby guitar plucks dance around a lofi 2 step beat, while a gently resonating hand pan floats up high and a billowing sub ties in all together down low.

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Ambient dream-time from Germany's BLCKCSTLS

As Brian Eno once said “Ambient Music must be able to accomodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.“

We’d definitely like to think of the ambient music of German producer Georg-Christoph Stadler, aka BLCKCSTLS, as falling in the latter category, being dynamic and intriguing sonic creations deserving the listener’s undivided attention. And while this is certainly true, there is an effortless unobtrusiveness flowing through his productions which also makes them the perfect companion for an evening of studying, relaxing or getting work done.

And this is the real beauty of a good ambient album, appealing to the various layers of a listeners attention without imposing any sort of will upon the observer. Leaving it upto us to decide how closely to listen or how deeply to dive. Allowing the listener to complete other tasks or close their eyes and let the sounds envelope them. This is indeed a unique freedom, rarely afforded by other genres of modern music.

This kind of passive beauty can be witnessed in Stadler’s recent EP entitled ‘Secorder’. The album description reads “A quick and unmastered EP made on a cold Autumn evening to shorten the wait for Notes from the Dust.” Although only running about 15 minutes in length, the uncluttered and spontaneous EP gives us a good taste of things to come from the rising ambient composer.

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Getting lost in Machines with Poltrock.

Belgium producer David Poltrock is not like most producers. He is somewhat of a rarity. He doesn’t come from a traditional producer background, should it be Hip-Hop or some form of computer music. Instead, David comes from an Indie background. And when you are influenced more by bands rather than strictly producers you are naturally more instrument-focused and tend to be more focused musicianship.

Not saying that producers are not skilled musicians, many of them are, but in most cases beat makers tend to focus on drums and layers to create an overall sound in all of their various sequences. While a producer coming from a band background will tend to put instrumentation front and centre. This is very much the case in ‘Titanus’.

Throughout the track you can sense how passionate David is about his vintage synths and as he describes it himself, his “old and stubborn Steinway upright”, which takes centre stage in the second half of the track. You can tell how deeply connected with them he is because of how he records them, clean, crisp and raw!

The mastering of Titanus makes you feel like you are standing next to David in a intimate space while he lays everything down, pounding out pulsing and soaring synth lines and gently coaxing out notes from his Steinway. The piano sequences are edited together in a rough and ready fashion, forgoing unnecessary sheen and polish for a kind of rare authenticity. It is like Poltrock wanted you to feel every frequency vibrate through your body like he does throughout his sessions. And in this he succeeds. The synths resonate powerfully and majestically, taking flight as the track builds in its intensity, while the old, stubborn Steinway gives us relief in it’s still and gentle melodies.

If you are a fan of Nils Frahm, Jon Hopkins or Moderat be sure to check out Poltrock as he is definitely one to watch in the coming years. Also be sure to check out the pre-order for David’s ‘Machines’ album which is due for release on the 16th of November. 

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'Humanity at a crossroads' with Deru's new album- Torn in Two

One part cutting edge digital art project and one part snapshot of a dystopian future, Emmy award winning film composer and music producer - Benjamin Wynn, aka Deru, puts forth some his most poignant work to date with his new album ‘Torn in Two'.’

With a rich musical background, Wynn has taken his years of technical and musical experience and boiled them down into this 9 track concept album, bringing some of humanity’s most pressing challenges to the forefront and dissecting them with laser sharp sound design and texture rich productions.

There are delicate moments, tumultuous times, and walls of sound powerful enough to disassemble your physical self. Ultimately this is a concept album on the human condition, our vulnerability, strength and uncertain future. What would Earth be like without humans at all?

Attempting to tackle such large, philosophical questions in a coherent form of presentable art is a monumental task to say the least, luckily Wynn had some help in bringing these concepts to life. Take our video above for example, ‘Refuge’ is the 2nd track off the album and in many ways the counterweight to the bone-crushing opening track ‘Torn in Two’. With billowing acoustic elements and slow, cinematic builds of white noise, the audio syncs perfectly with the monochrome and desolate visual landscape.

The film is directed and edited by Wynn himself, in collaboration with Bryan Konietzko, the animator and director best known for Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, who provided the concept, art direction and digital sculpting. Longtime collaborator EFFIXX provided visual effects, 3D rendering, and artwork design. Tim Navis supplied the tintype photographic plates used as backdrops and cover art, and Xander Smith served as 3D Sculpting Assistance.

’Torn in Two’ is available via LA imprint Friends of Friends.
Grab it on limited edition translucent splatter double vinyl with gatefold or digitally over on Bandcamp


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