Drifting Resonant moments in Non-Functional Harmony's ---a---

Non- Functional Harmony is a British-born producer based in Berlin who since 2017 has been steadily releasing ambient, techno/house inspired music. While there is little online that reveals a profile of his identity and back-ground there is enough to establish that N.F.H is a diverse and highly skilled producer with an impressive range in skills that see spectrum leaping genres come together under his brand of electronica. Jumping from synth pop, to house to ambient, to drone and the avant grade N.F.H. leaves a deep emotive imprint in all he touches. 

—-A—- is a collection of field recordings, distorted vocals and lush harrowing synths that creates a clutter-free collage of sonic stills that feels like the breath of space. It feels as if you are orbiting in the inner working of some kind of underlying sub-conscience. Snapshots that focus on a multitude of different moments that drift in and out. N.F.H. creates a lucid landscape that has the power to be very emotionally resonant, the reason being that no matter what genre or track you are listening to from N.F.H. you are fully immersed, fully engaged, feeling every note because N.F.H. is; it’s transparent and transcendent. 

While N.F.H. does have more than one ambient/drone release under his belt I would urge you to check out his Spotify or Soundcloud page to discover how broad and fully realized N.F.H. range is. While doing my research some tracks stood out to me and I think they are worth your attention, ‘The Fire’ and ’18 Frames’ in particular but be sure to check out more for what I am sure will be some new firm favourites waiting for you.

Catch more from Non-Function Harmony from the links below: 

Spotify, Soundcloud, website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Fervent Frequences in Fevrmoon's 'Summer Rain'

Fevrmoon is a singer (Jon Weston) and producer (Anton Patzner) combo hailing from Sacramento and Oakland in the U.S. On first listen to ’Summer Rain’ I became an instant fan. Not just because of the level of talent between the duo but also because of their story which reads like a script to that film you always wish would get made. 

Weston who decided long ago to leave behind any musical ambitions took up a secluded residence in Sacramento to farm walnuts and sell antiques. Struggling with depression and deciding to face it undertaking a spiritual journey that would change his life, opening him up to vulnerability and fear, Weston embraced all that lay before him and was able to put his demons to rest. 

Patzner was some what lost in today’s modern musical landscape coming from a traditional career within pop music, arranging strings that left him wanting to adjust to a whole new digital world that had changed so dramatically and rapidly. 

While working in his studio in Oakland, Weston had visited to loan Anton some antiques. Being friends, Anton asked Jon to lay a vocal track over something he had being working on. What happened next was a meeting of pent-up passions perfectly complementing each others release of sincere angst. That afternoon ‘Summer Rain’ was produced and holy moly is it something that makes the hairs on your arm stand to attention. 

Between Weston’s fervent vocal and the highly polished production value of Patzner, we are treated to a track that is lavish in harmonies and aware enough to pull back when it’s time to be more minimal and introspective. “Summer Rain’ is a song that explodes with feeling when it gets going, you can feel all the emotion of being found again after you have travelled for so long being lost. This is a beautiful piece of contemporary song writing that well deserves its place within your music collection for moments when being lifted is all that matters. 

Summer Rain is one of nine tracks from the self titled album ‘Fevrmoon’ available to stream or download from the links below:

Spotify, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram

Minimal and deep with Romania's NTFO

‘Ro-minimal’ is the often used term to describe the unique blend of minimal techno and micro house crafted within Romania’s boarders. Pioneering DJ / producers Rhadoo, Inspirescu and Raresh worked within a tight knit community to build early iterations of the sound throughout the 90s and 2000s. But it wasn’t until 2006 when the wider world began to take notice, thanks largely to Chilean-born techno trailblazer Ricardo Villalobos. Booked to play an event in Bucharest with Raresh as the opener, Villalobos was so impressed with the encyclopaedic musical knowledge of the local producer / DJ that upon returning to Germany he advised Cocoon (his booking agency at the time) to immediately add Raresh to the roster.

Then in 2007, a much-needed platform for the rapidly growing home-grown sound was created with ‘Sunwaves’ festival. A 5 day festival on the picturesque Black Sea Coast in Mamaia, it’s quickly garnered international attention for it’s excellent lineups, lengthy sets and passionate crowds.

As the Ro-minimal sound keeps evolving, it will no doubt continue to be characterized by it’s strong local community and eclectic, drawn-out sonic modulations. And today’s guests- NTFO, certainly fits the bill as being a continuation of this dynamic, minimal Romanian sound.

The duo’s recent release ‘Dobr’ serves as an excellent entry point not only into this unique minimal sub-genre, but also into their already rich personal discography. The EP opens with the title track ‘Dobr’ establishing the clean and technical approach that unfolds throughout release. With just the right amount of coloration within the mechanical framework, Dobr EP is a shining example of not only the underground electronic scene in this region of the world but also of two experienced musicians at the peak of the powers.

Grab the EP- vinyl and digital

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Iain Howie goes beyond the blueprint for 'Living & Dying'

“Living & Dying,” the brand new single from local Vancouver resident Iain Howie, is unmistakably modern dance music. The production quality, four-on-the-floor beat structure, and sound processing all make sure of it. But to leave it at that would simply be a disservice to what is, underneath the arped-out synths and thumping kicks, a lyrical ballad bursting at the seams with melancholic despair.

Compositionally, ‘Living & Dying’ breaks far out of the loop-based patterns that are commonplace in the dance world, with instrumentation that comes closer to the feel of a session musician or live band — a testament to Howie’s musicality. His soft vocals counterpoint the airy pads that are omnipresent throughout the track, giving it a sombre tone. The lyrical quality of the track makes it perfect for home listening, and yet provides just enough structure that DJs won’t have any problem fitting it into a set for a bit of a changeup.

You can buy it now from UK label Needwant’s Bandcamp, or stream it on Spotify. And if you like this one, keep an eye out for a forthcoming remix by Bob Moses…

— review by autonomy

Keep up with Iain Howie
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Listen to more from Needwant
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Lost in an ocean, Caramel Smooth Heaven finds you

It’s hard to imagine the overwhelming solitude of drowning in the ocean. But that’s exactly what New Zealand artist Caramel Smooth Heaven aims to portray in this new album, “The Shallows.” Heavy stuff, to be sure. Though while the emotions are weighty, the production here on the lead single, “Blue Clouds,” is restrained. The skittering garage-influenced drums, no doubt familiar to fans of Jamie xx, provide just enough structure for the pulsing, saturated synth pads that propel the track. The result is a moody, vulnerable composition that pays respects to the beautiful tyranny of nature.

Releasing this single is Kaiseki Digital, a unique label that aims to sonically capture the spirit of Kaiseki, a Japanese culinary technique that tells a story with food. If you enjoyed “Blue Clouds,” you’ll love the full album, which is available now for just $2 on Bandcamp. Support!

—review by autonomy

Keep up with Caramel Smooth Heaven, part of the Caffeinated Collective:
SoundCloud
Bandcamp
Caffeinated Collective

Hear more from Kaiseki Digital:
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Spiritual music from a Tokyo Dragonfly

Next up for your listening pleasure is a local (for those of us in Japan, that is) Japanese artist, Tonbo (meaning Dragonfly in Japanese). Tonbo has been flying around the Tokyo underground electronic music scene for some years now, exploring the spiritual side of music and Japanese culture. Tonbo produces, DJs, plays guitar and even gets on the mic from time to time. He also puts on a regular party dubbed the Tonbo Matsuri, (Dragonfly Festival) which is described as, "...a crazy bash to make a place for releasing spirits." Our featured track, "Gion", comes from the recently released Yellow Trance EP. It’s been released on the Psymatics label and follows Tonbo's first full length album, released in early 2017, Tokyo Mad Cave. Tonbo works and collaborates with numerous musicians and creators, "Gion" follows that trend. The tune features the Japanese traditional string instrument the shamisen, as played by Tokyo Ghetto Shamisen.

"Gion" is hard to pin down, it dabbles in the ambient, downtempo and psychedelic genres, while also containing elements of minimal, acid house and trance. As a whole it has a deep, transcendental feeling, combining analog and digital sounds. There's both traditional Japanese drums and our aforementioned shamisen playing a dominant role in the track, along with electronic drum beats, treble droplets, and a constant bassline. At times the track feels foreign and cold but always maintains a feeling of Japaneseness; a certain ancient spirituality, that lingers throughout.

Tonbo is an interesting experience listening to in single track form. A given tune feels like it belongs to a piece of a much bigger expression. I have a feeling a full set from Tonbo is an experience that is sure to transport participants to another world and may very well be up to the task of releasing a spirit or two in the process.

If our Dragonfly man Tonbo has enticed you, as he has me, make sure to give him a look on the following platforms.

Soundcloud
Youtube
Instagram
Spotify
Web
Bandcamp

A lesson in Minimalism from Swedish producer- Fabian Rosenberg

Fabian Rosenberg, is a Swedish artist located in Stockholm. He has roots in the jazz tradition as a trumpet player but he moves seamlessly between being a producer, pianist and composer. His intimate piano compositions and field recordings blend together with acoustic instruments and electronics, a hybrid process used to create his signature haunting ambiance and heartfelt melodies.

His pseudonym Klangriket has received international recognition as ”a breath of fresh air” in ambient and contemporary classical music circles. Among his soloworks there have been several international and local collaborations, with artists such as Sjors Mans, Dominique Charpentier and Jakob Lindhagen. Just earlier this year, Rosenberg and Mans recorded ”The Amsterdam Sessions” a beautifully delicate 5 track album that was the result of four days spent in Mans’ Amsterdam studio. During this time, they improvised and experimented as much as possible, while taking turns on different musical instruments. The result is a deeply personal sound that serves both as a conversation between two talented, creative minds and as an homage to the power of collaborative improvisation.

Continuing down this path of musical exploration and boundary dissolving sound experimentation, Fabian presents his latest offering in the form of a 4 track solo EP entitled: ‘Tjärn’. Written mostly in 2016, the release represents Fabian’s journey in finding his own voice as a composer and producer; creating a new identity away from his background as a jazz trumpeter. The closing track “Skogsrå” not only brings the riveting album to a contemplative conclusion, but also represents a kind of fresh shift in Fabian’s creative process. As he explains “Skogsrå is one of the first pieces of music where I explored beats and how one could make beats that wasn't locked in to being a drumkit. I couldn't let it get buried on a hardrive somewhere, so I decided to release it along with three compositions I made around the same time. It's been long overdue!”

Head over to Bandcamp and grab the ‘Tjärn’ EP. Out now on Peruvian imprint ‘Piano and Coffee Records’.

Hear more from Klangriket
Website
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Check out Piano and Coffee records
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NEW FEATURE: ADSR blog 022- "Jar 94"

Once known as "Space Monkey" through the radio airwaves, our special guest soars gracefully from the Pacific Northwest. We are delighted to shine the spotlight on audio engineer: Sabrina Dzugalo. In one line, Sabrina is a maven in ambience, processed minimalism, and thoughtful layering.  However, the depth of her mind, creativity and skills extends beyond words. Come for a cyber dive and read the full interview here. Yes, you can double dip into "Jar 94" while you're at it.