A WINTER TRANSMISSION :: Siavash Amini, Mark Harris, Martin Nonstatic, Flowers for Bodysnatchers

Futuresequence, n5MD, Ultimae and Cryo Chamber charge the winter arena, each with its own pearl of absorbing sonic designs.

A WINTER TRANSMISSION :: Siavash Amini, Mark Harris, Martin Nonstatic, Flowers for Bodysnatchers

Siavash Amini :: Subsiding (Futuresequence)

With Subsiding, Siavash Amini further establishes himself as a refreshingly unique creative force. Throughout five compositions, the Iran-based expressionist texture maker and dream weaver confidently maneuvers with cinematic grace. He ebbs and flows, surges and caresses, demonstrating great knowledge of his instruments and generating intense, magnetic development while eschewing clichés. It’s a powerful, multilayered work full of siliceous yet not abrasive textures. Although driven by drone characteristics and modern classical tendencies, it doesn’t exclusively attach itself to any genre. Amini uses the electric guitar and electronics as his main looms, and occasionally gets enhancement from Babak Koohestani (violin and viola) and Soheil Peyghambari (clarinet). An expertly conducted emotional outburst. A beautiful, passionate album.

Mark Harris :: In The Forests_The Animals Are Moving (n5MD)

It’s amazing how Mark Harris can be so turbulent and effective with such minimalist constructions and subtle textural work. In The Forests_The Animals Are Moving is a striking manifestation of provocatively controlled electricity. Across a space of forty six minutes, Harris smoothly paints panoramic emotional landscapes for us to glide through and submerge in. The UK-based ambient, electro-acoustic musician had already released two albums on n5MD, but I feel this latest work is his most expressive and hypnotically atmospheric yet. It shines brightly with sincerity and cinematic elegance. Whether via a pair of headphones or not, nighttime is the best time to listen to it, preferably late at night, when the streets are empty and everybody is asleep. Fans of Slow Dancing Society, Hammock and Northumbria will find plenty of magic to absorb in this fluid, pensive work. That said, Harris doesn’t imitate anybody, he has a voice of his own.

Martin Nonstatic :: Granite (Ultimae)

Martin Nonstatic is known for his crafty ambient-ish dub techno electronica productions. After releasing several EPs and a couple of excellent albums—Inner Landscapes (BineMusic, 2014) and Back On Earth (Subspiele, 2014)—the Germany-based Dutchman makes a move to Ultimae and provides another audio delicacy that was forged with great attention to details. Granite is not a typical Ultimae album; it effortlessly carries the seductive darkness and ethereal sense of panorama the French label is famous for, but with its own imaginative manner. Granular drifts and glitchy glittering circulate vigorously, wrapping stirring motifs that stand out like sumptuous strata; clever beatwork and deep basslines push forward assertively. Nonstatic captivatingly manages to explore new territories in his sonic universe while keeping his signature characteristics alive and kicking. The ambient, dub techno and electronica elements are here, but chopped up and blended into a genre-defying whole. This is definitely Nonstatic’s most colorful and adventurous output yet. Ultimae strikes again.

Flowers for Bodysnatchers :: Aokigahara (Cryo Chamber)

Under the evocative pseudonym, Flowers for Bodysnatchers, Australia-based Duncan Ritchie makes ambient music that holds an alluring balance between darkness and light. Aokigahara, Ritchie’s debut album for Cryo Chamber, demonstrates his ability to create refined minimalist compositions with haunting atmospheres and dynamic motion. As the title suggest, the album deals with the mysteries of Aokigahara Forest, also known as the Suicide Forest (Aokigahara is a popular place for suicides, reportedly the most popular in Japan) or Sea of Trees, because of its high density of trees and dark areas (the sun doesn’t penetrate deeply inside the forest). Just like in Aokigahara Forest’s deep areas, it’s easy to get lost in the ghostly routes of Ritchie’s Aokigahara. Delicate crooning of piano and powerful murmurs of strings bear the struggles, the pains and hopes of lost souls and ancient spirits; electronic designs give a strong representation for the supernatural activity believed to be occurring in the forest—Aokigahara is considered to be haunted by demons in Japanese mythology. Field recordings from Ritchie’s voyage through the forest serve as a chilling authenticity certificate. Aokigahara is a convincing display of quality musicianship and production rarely found in the dark ambient districts.

Siavash Amini | Mark Harris | Martin Nonstatic | Flowers for Bodysnatchers

Featured image (moon cutting through clouds) by Simon Heath.

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