SHIMMERING MOODS :: Multi-View

Attempting catch-up on unretentive Dutch ambient-electronica label, Shimmering Moods, we content ourselves with fleeting flick-throughs—passing post-its popped on a shamelessly billowing summer-winter catalog.

MULTI-VIEW :: Shimmering Moods

First up, Dimitar Dodovski, sometime co-tender of Moss Garden (here and here), who bestrides pure ambient and cerebral electronica, rhythmic electronic music and soundscape In Every Direction with a meld of mallet and pad, counter-melodic and poly-rhythmic, skitter and pulse, spectral (ID)Motion and distant (DubT)echo. Much shrouded in hiss mist and delay haze, incl. Porya Hatami’s remix, complete with string-pluck ebb-flow and piano come-and-go.


The only previous manifestation of Glaswegian Mark Knight’s Projektions seems to have been #28, a work of cryptic ambience on Assembly Field. On ne ias a he hosts some experimental soundscape vignettes threaded with analog electronics, and acoustic and environmental suture; it’s distinguished by a compelling depth of field, as on the topographically teeming “Shells.”


South London producer Alex Ives, aka Specimens, cites artists such as William Basinski, Fennesz, Lawrence English, Ben Frost and Tim Hecker. An impressive canon against which ‘to channel some inner calm and create something reflective of his more introspective leanings.’ Shared inspirations and influences fuel his EP, II, one a winter trip to Warsaw, captured in a soundscape wherein he seeks to reflect the architecture and history of the city along with the weather’s bleakness; the other memories of life in remotion, detached from the city’s vibrancy.


Next, Kris Dubinsky, fresh from an outing for Kabalion, and Warmth, last seen on Retrospective Zoology, bring Nature in Its Forms, conjoining the environmental influences of their differing provenances: the dense mystical pine forest of Tjusbol, Sweden and the sub-tropical coastlines of Valencia, Spain are brought into musical communion in a designer set of Dub Techno-fuelled ambient pieces. Hypnotic textural oneiromancing.


Akron resident Joe Maas, aka Zander One, is behind Emerald Awaking, an album reflective of the seasons passing in his local Cuyahoga Valley, where spring’s awakening is heralded by warm pads and reanimate rhythms. Then, as the sky is stretched over with incandescent vapor, sun and storm culminate in summer-autumn transition. A resonant remix comes from prolific Milieu-man, Brian Grainger, in Coppice Halifax guise. Something of an urban counterpart, in a sense, is the briefer Glowing. More beat-driven, but still suffused with a hazy dim glow, refracted through blurry chords, colliding and coalescing with evolving dub-technoid kicks and pads, the sound of streetcars colliding with uneven pavements runs through its cityscape.


Autumna deals in ‘lost in worlds filled with melancholia and memories of summer sunbeams, often dark but always with a soft shimmer or hint of diamond dust,’ a métier pursued across a number of works on his bandcamp, for which anchorage comes from the legend ‘broken music for happy people.’ This Belgian bloke brings a beauty that’s about the best of the bunch: the Unfurl EP, apparently ‘written around the concept of human interaction failing, a displacement of needs; and a misinterpretation of wants,’ though you’d never have guessed, as its beguiling ambiguity would appositely attend any space for reflection or repose, doleful or dreamy alike.


We know next to nothing about Light Sleeper other than that The Goodbye That Keeps On Giving is an album ‘about memories, the past and goodbyes […] an attempt to find balance between holding onto memories, living in the present and looking forward to the future.’ Fair enough—its five tracks of wistful ambience and transient melody create conditions for a beguiling oblivion via a web of woozy drones and shadowy spaces.


Mystery man of non-conformist nomenclature ~~^^^macheteoxidado^^^~~ returns with Agua Santa Limpia Me, apparently part prompted by the dread disappearing of 43 Mexican student teachers in 2014. Attended by intimations of something wicked this way having come, “ASLMe pt 1” is a dark immersive void-seeking drone piece, while “ASLM pt 2” is more future-basing in its queasily questing sound design.


Ending with some mood-shimmer lite-bites: a mini-trailer for Sage Taylor, whose Parallelism provided one of SM’s first and best, as he follows up ambient dub techno high point, Untitled, with Angular Geometry. And a second SM cassette/download from shadowy Swedes Thet Liturgiske Owäsendet, whose Järtecken is on the TLO bandcamp. More mood altering is Chandeliers, neophyte Detroit spinner of ambient tableaux with post-Basinskian disintegrative shades, whose Artifacts offers a slow-mo submersion that ‘seeks to capture the deep sadness and nostalgic feeling of abandonment.’ Germany’s DR offers another space to get lost in Bordun, a sweetly perfumed set of ‘synthesizer coffee drone ambient’ and ‘gentle granular synthesis minimalism’—sub-genre coinages aleatorily derived from the artist’s bandcamp tags. And a fine finish in the form of NL-er Aleks‘s debut, Frame of Reference—dusky dreamscapes and twinkling techno ambient dusted with tape saturates; synthetic streams and currents of pulse and atmo lightly limned with fertile fields.


Shimmering Moods releases are variously available from Stashed Goods (UK), Norman Records (UK), Experimedia (US), Databloem (NL), Delsin (NL), and SM bandcamp.

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