Articles By: Elan Samuel

Everyday Dust :: Further Studies Beyond Decay (Sparkwood)

Further Studies Beyond Decay maintains my view that Sparkwood has a host of visionary artists at their fingertips, as comfortable stringing together grooves that bounce and move as they are weaving cinematic ambient tracks that engage in subtle brain hacking. Further Studies Beyond Decay marks Everyday Dust’s fifth release with Sparkwood records, and fills a […]

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Understated Theory :: Critical Drift EP (Sparkwood)

Understated Theory’s 2015 EP, Critical Drift, is another example of the fine ears on the folks at Sparkwood Records. Must be something special about the Norwegian cold. Understated Theory’s 2015 EP, Critical Drift, is another example of the fine ears on the folks at Sparkwood Records. Must be something special about the Norwegian cold. At […]

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Dean De Benedictis :: Salvaging The Present (Spotted Peccary Music)

It’s almost like Salvaging the Present is a journal of De Benedictis’s travels, a collection of discarded sounds and ideas brought together to paint outlines of emotional states, leaving silences that encourage conscious listener participation, eventually filling with vocal samples, strings, or the idiosyncratic beeps and whirs of IDM. Eleven years after releasing Salvaging the Past on […]

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Everyday Dust :: The Green Decay (Sparkwood)

Combining outdoor recordings with retro synths and epic chord progressions, The Green Decay is an homage to the sounds of the 80s and horror fiction that eschews cheesiness and revels in the rush of terror. The album is delicious. Just like The Principality of Dustland, it yearns for stories to be told alongside it. Nearly two years […]

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Everyday Dust :: Multā Nocte / Combinatio Nova (Sparkwood)

Everyday Dust appears to be working on a Dustworks series, the first two EPs of which were released in mid-May. Multā Nocte and Combinatio Nova exemplify what I consider to be Dust’s trademark sound: far-stretching synth noise that borders on wind, and somehow sounds like a distant sandstorm in a sweltering midsummer while simultaneously sounding […]

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To Destroy A City :: Sunless (n5MD)

The effortless combination of post-rock and electronic music; the music of a city in perpetual night, lit artificially and flowing with life and energy. The marriage of electronic music and post-rock has lead to the birth of beautiful music. To Destroy A City joins groups like The American Dollar, God is an Astronaut, and Hammock […]

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Scyye :: From EP (Sparkwood)

With only 6 tracks, From showcases Scyye’s variability as a musician, his fantastic skill on the piano, and the emotional nuance involved in creating his music. Norway’s Sparkwood Records, from whence came the brilliant Principality of Dustland by Everyday Dust, is home to a group of similar artists, who play with etherial darkness, ominous noise, and […]

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V/A :: Europe (A Strangely Isolated Place)

Europe features 10 absolutely incredible works of ambient exploration. These pieces of music are very different from one another, though they all occupy the same emotional space as they traverse a wide array of traditional, ambient, and electronic landscapes. An outstanding compilation; Europe features 10 absolutely incredible works of ambient exploration. These pieces of music […]

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Ecovillage :: One Step Above (Nature Bliss)

There is a constant stream of new and alluring sounds that approach and vanish during the course of the record, each of which is so crisp and clear that the tapestry as a whole can be seen for each individual thread that composes it. Swedish duo Ecovillage recently released One Step Above, their third album, […]

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Stereo Hypnosis :: Morphic Ritual (Extreme Chill)

A three-man team that generates a wondrous sound that combines field recordings seamlessly with synths and live instrumentation, which together forms a spectacular, organic sound that flows effortlessly between ambiance and groove. Our endless aural journey returns us to Iceland, where excellent music flows like water, and gifted, creative musicians are more common than a dish […]

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Everyday Dust :: The Principality of Dustland (Sparkwood)

Everyday Dust has achieved a record replete with stimulating visuals, haunting quality, and lasting impact. I have listened to Everyday Dust’s The Principality of Dustland somewhere in the vicinity of 40 times now, and find myself still at somewhat of a loss on how to go about describing this album besides saying that I absolutely love it. […]

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Christopher Willits :: Opening (Ghostly International)

Opening is a fantastically constructed record that boasts a proud, consistent theme, smoothly transitioning between mellow ambient and a solid slow groove, all while remaining highly interesting, visual, and most-importantly, enjoyable. Christopher Willits’ Opening on Ghostly International is a fantastic work of ambient expression, sprinkled with slow and groovy rhythmic activity, and melodies that remind […]

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The Future Sound of London :: Environment 5 (FSOL Digital)

Scene by scene, the album unfolds and embodies a new archetype. What carries through the record, somehow translated through these elegantly arranged pieces, is a thoughtful melancholy that Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans describe as the “space/time/dimension that exists when we die. The moment of departure.” From its opening notes, Environment 5 exudes tremendous and powerful […]

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bvdub :: A History of Distance (n5MD)

Van Wey is able to take themes and stretch them until they are a fine thread, weaving so slowly and smoothly that actual minutes pass the listener by almost unnoticed. SF-Bay-Area-to-Shaoxing-China transplant Brock Van Wey recently released his thirty-third solo album, this time on n5MD under his moniker bvdub, and he is on exquisite form. […]

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Calika :: Blelly (Abandon Building)

Calika lives comfortably between the realms of acoustic and electric, incorporating elements of both styles into tunes that have great groove and sonic depth, while still embodying a high level of experimentation and subtlety. Calika, née Simon Kealoha, returns with Blelly, his seventh release, through Abandon Building. Musically, he lives comfortably between the realms of […]

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Near the Parenthesis :: Cloud.Not Mountain (n5MD)

The album is a sine wave. It climbs and drops in smooth, regular intervals, and carries the listener through a calming journey supported by grand pianos traveling a two-note polyphony, which drops further into high-reverb sequences, smoothly rising again to take us to an arpeggiated wonderland. San Francisco based Near the Parenthesis unleashes his sixth […]

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Infinite Scale :: Living Moments (Ecoshock)

Living Moments eschews pretense in structure, favoring short tracks that transition in and out of different atmospheric visions by the bar. Living Moments is the fifth release from UK-based Infinite Scale (aka Harmi Palda), whose work has been featured in radio and television, likely due to its delicately understated and evocative nature. Living Moments eschews pretense […]

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Sóley :: Kròmantik (Morr Music)

The fact that consonant melodies can feel out of place speaks to the success with which Sóley was able to communicate her vision through her aggressive use of unbalanced discord and harmony. There’s just something about Iceland. I don’t know what’s in the water, but there seem to be a disproportionately higher number of incredibly […]

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Tycho :: Awake (Ghostly International)

An easily digestible expression that teases a marriage between Boards of Canada and Explosions in the Sky. By day, Scott Hansen is ISO50, an outstanding photographer and graphic designer. By night, he is Tycho, creator of lush, yet mellow soundscapes that have played accompaniment to many nights’ sleep, or a particularly clear late night’s drive […]

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