Melting ambience, warming electronics and beautiful sounds sweep across the room as I assume the kick back position and lose myself in the clouds.
Tilo Voigthaus, (one half of German due ‘Coral Cave’), releases his latest lovely ambient single in the form of ‘Mezza Luna’. A soothing and slowly evolving rhythmic journey into deep relaxing space. I get a overwhelming feeling of sensory deprivation as my whole self is consumed within this beautiful cocoon of noise.
There’s no rush to any of this, it is all well balanced in every way. Each sound slowly melts into the next with subtle ripples that rise and fall, floating through the surrounding ambience. The synth textures are so well crafted they ooze so much character.
A truly beautiful piece of soundscape and a lot of it at just short of 12 minutes, so no excuses, tune in and lose yourself over on Bandcamp, Out Now.
Back in July 2020, Canned Static reviewed the wonderful Blue Laser album from Humm Bugg. An excellent venture awash with retro bleeps. Sooooo… Megadrive at the ready, Humm Bugg returns to the fray with more 8-bit glitchness(is that a word?).
‘Charging the Chopper Ray’ is a two track single release consisting of said title track with accompanying ‘Marvellous Fanfare’. Although both combined tracks barley reach the 4 minute mark, short and sweet is what this genre s all about. First few listens and I feel my head is being mashed (sideways) into an 8-bit arcade machine so I just had to try it…. Yeah, I broke out the games emulator and dived into various Sega, Nintendo and Atari classics accompanied by the Humm Bugg anthems. It works, it really does work.
Short and sweet (as singles are), this release is every bit that nostalgic leap into the 8 bit console. Moving between the tracks on to ‘Marvellous Fanfare’ feels like reaching level 2, you know; that level where you just sense there is something lurking in the bushes. Yet again, more fabulously happy chip music from Humm Bugg, very tuneful it is too.
Another highly recommended must have choice. Go listen and grab your copy over on Bandcamp
The Querox full debut album was released back in 2012 and certainly hit a few nerves quickly becoming crowd favourites in the Berlin scene. Life has carried on, so how does it fair 6 years on…
I’m certainly no expert when it comes to EDM, I’m more so the sort who just likes what I hear when I hear it. Once I’m tuned in to something I become slightly obsessed and tend to run with it for a while. This is the case with this little gem of an album. I love it, play it to death, get bored and forget about it. Several months pass, I rediscover… and so the cycle continues.
Released on Syndicate records, this was Berlin based Tobias Schiermeier’s first full album under his Querox banner. Officially it is described as prog trance but in my limited EDM understanding, I’d give it more of a lean towards prog house with minimal tendencies. It certainly has melodic encounters in Arpy heaven but on the whole it remains minimal scattered with very clever touches that keep you interested.
I first happened upon this release while surfing YouTube looking at trippy Berlin Festival footage. Suddenly this sound reached out and grabbed me. No description regarding said video so it took a little detective work to figure out the song identity. I just love the use of single word and part human expressive noise samples used with such minimal expanse. It has tons of atmosphere with so much room to move.
In a nutshell, I cannot see much wrong with this hybrid of minimal progression other than maybe at certain points it does sound a little samey, particularly around the middle part of the album but this I can forgive. It’s not a bust album after all.
Yes I love ‘How Life Goes On’ all over again and so it continues…
Is it a bird, is it a plane…. dunno? we’re in 8 bit so it could be a flying saucer. Yes, 8 bit quirky tunes floating on a backdrop of FM waves, if that floats your boat, be the Commodore and read on…
Very much in the realms of the home-grown; 8-bit music has always had a certain fan base within the experimental scene. It’s an area of music I sometimes drop into with open mind and a little excitement as generally you will never be sure of what you are gonna get. Generally you get the ‘Mental’ in ‘Experimental’.
I certainly let out a “Hmm” when I dropped on the ‘Humm Bugg’ Bandcamp page. Met with 8-bit imagery , the cover of ‘Blue Laser’ is straight to the point. This is exactly what you are going to get. Chip tunes a plenty, short and sweet buzzing, tweaks and mods all the way.
There are 10 tracks mostly a little over 2 minutes with just the one track exceeding 4 minutes (Undiscovered Bird Planet). Very tuneful, quirky as expected from this format. I like the feel, as always from chip tunes. It’s not meant to be serious or deep music, this is fun and should draw a smile.
There are some clever twists along the way showing the programming is much deeper than what appears on this chirpy surface. Call it Sine language (sorry, can’t help myself). Seriously though, some clever stuff going on here.
There is an element of B-Movie horror going on at times. I can visualise opener, ‘Clash Manor’ dropping into an Ed Wood jr tribute. ‘Everybody is Dead Dave’, playing over the Red Dwarf cruising through deep space. The slightly more serious sounding ‘Blood’ accompanying some mad alien doom game.
The shortness of the tracks add to the appeal along with a certain comedy aspect to some of the themes. ‘Blue Laser’ is a happy, feel good experience, although short, it feels a like a shot in the arm, a quick boost of happyness to get through the day.
Currently available via Bandcamp and soon to be released on all platforms –
Beams of light may shine over this synth pop extension release…
At times you’d be fooled into the era your ears are in. It does have a flashback style of sorts projecting back into the 80’s but in essence has all the credibility of current time and space. There’s also a pace to this, no rush at all, more of a canter throughout with no urgency or direction. It meanders on in a bubble of electronic melodies from one song to the next.
Opening track ‘Her Fantasy’ is the real stand out of all. It clearly transcends the relative polite mediocre that follows. This really is a feast in synth pop heaven, a trip back to times gone by when the original electronic wave collided with pop and all was cool with a chic swagger. Think ‘Fade To Gray’, Soft Cell the heart of New Romantics… Its one cool track.
The rest follows dutifully but nothing ascends the heights of the opener. Its not bad in any shape or form. All quite good really but the hedonistic feel loses ground rapidly and the temptation is to replay track 1. The following offerings take more than on the fly to appreciate as I did on the second and third play.
There is a lot going for Beams and it does grow on you. Excellent production all the way but for me it needed at least another as good as the opener, at least one would have given it shift to another place. A very good album but not a classic, certainly worth the playlist though.
Oh hell, this has been covered a thousand times over but I’m diving into the abyss to revisit an old favourite of mine, Closer.
If you have not heard this legendary cornerstone of indie music then go sit in a corner and suck your thumb. If you’ve never heard of Joy Division then shoot yourself in the nuts with a Taser gun…. twat.
“This is the way step in side“ chimes out of my speakers with nasty glorification and a massive smile spreads across my face. There really is no words for this, it is pure originality that went before the history of clone heads. Paved the way for a new music revolution in sound. Post punk godliness and not a muso in sight. Errors n all to digest the magic.
The stories I’ve heard over the years about this album are legendary and too numerous to account for here but I started to hear all sorts of things way back in the day before I ever played it. Most notably are the ones about having listened once and dare not replay due to suicidal thoughts. I heard this first hand from a close friend who thankfully is still around. I do understand the reasoning as it is very dark and thought provoking. Personally it makes me happy, I want to drive through cityscapes and urban jungles with Colony and Heart and Soul blasting out. I’m young and angry all over again.
Casting back to October 2016 I found myself listening to (and reviewing) ‘The Hermit – The Gate’. The significan link here is the label to which our current focus shares. As I said in that review, ‘Broque’ records of Germany have a history of releasing superb electronics which cover the leftfield.
Tim Susa hails from Berlin in the heartland of Germany and his latest release does nothing to dissapoint the broque legacy. The 6 part album gives 54 minutes of minimal electronics that motors onwards and upwards like a fine tuned machine.
Opening with the title track ‘Masquerade’ has lovely ripples of synthiness panning around my head before moving on to the machine like ‘Owl’. Were two tracks in and I’m already sold. This is great stuff, could it raise the bar.
‘Swan’ turns the pace and the mood into a soothing wave of anologue warmth. Probably my favourite on the album but I do also love ‘Owl’. Already sold, I’m forgetting about writing and just enjoying the moment. Moving on to the final 3 tracks of pure minimal house, they twist and evolve bringing you closer to the core.
Highly reccommended release for electronic music lovers as is all of broque releases over the years. Forget the World, forget your human chemestry and dive into the machine.
Release date – 15-5-2020 www.broque.de (and all major download sites)
London band , The Oscillation, formed in 2006 reach album number 6 with this 2018 release ‘Wasted Space’. Don’t do drugs kids, just play this…
Its a psychedelic ride all the way and had me on board from the off. I’m partial to having my brains mashed every now and again so off we go. Trip out synth bubbles and reverbs on mass, it’s musical escapism.
Title track ‘Wasted Space’ holds the candle for me but the rest is neat too. I love the narco feel, it’s electronic but not quantised squeekyness. Ok, no such word but I’m allowed, it’s music journalism.
I really cannot add any more other than go out and buy this album, it is memorable and different. Weird beyond most peoples boundaries and it’s like free drugs every listen.
A recent jaunt over on the Isle of Wight has me drinking coffee in the Sports Centre at Sandown. Flicking through a local news paper I came across an article about one of the Islands bands plugging their new release. I’m intrigued by the ‘Mr Strange’ name so iPhone in hand, a quick dive into Apple Music and I have ‘Contact’, literally, that very same album in the plug.
Well this is a bit different from my more recent listening, almost a bit of a throwback at times with layers of influence sometimes difficult to pin down. I hear all the way back to 70’s in places, its funky, electronic, rock, indie with a sprinkle of strangeness.
You could arguably compare (this album) with many other bands but only for fleeting moments during whatever track is playing. The Cramps, T-Rex, Zappa, Julian Cope and a whole boat load more of whatever your background brings to this table; I dunno? Psychedelic glam could coin it… Also, it’s lovely and ‘goth’ throughout.
‘Contact’ keeps you interested and plays with you in strange ways. It has humour, fun and even a dark serious side. This is the 6th studio album from Saul, Damian and Ant Strange so I’m gonna have to go check their other stuff after I’ve worn this one out.
I like Mr Strange, they remind me so much of many other bands I’ve loved over the years. Not being able to nail their genre is probable their best appeal, so I guess they are one of the few out there doing their own thing, (cool) and this is something I’ll always gravitate to.
Highly recommended album, go grab a digital copy or a CD…
Alternative experimentation in zero gravity with an atmosphere denser than Venus, Astronauta Slow Dance really is out of this World.
I’ve been playing this download from Apple Music for quite a while now and I gotta say it’s mesmerizing. There’s so much going on in and around the background, lovely delayed guitars, shimmering synths and so much warmth.
DIY Single, released as a single in 2016 features 3 tracks so in reality its almost an EP. Nothing is straight forward about ASD. Delving deeper I find a helmet wearing Astonaught playing guitar surrounded by gear. It looks bizarre, a look that goes well with the sound, it adds a certain mystic charm to the whole package.
Back on Earth or rather back in Peru is where ASD makes these wonderful sounds with a British Novation synth in the middle of it all. Plenty of atmosphere, it’s a breath of fresh air, go grab a copy of D.I.Y. Single over on the following links –