A funny thing happened on the way…

circumnavigating the edge...

circumnavigating the edge…

For further proof that you never can be too sure where the next point of inspiration will come from, I present this post. As you know from the link at the bottom I also throw the occasional mix up on Mixcloud.com. And as I am a fanatical stats follower, I’m always curious where any of my work shows up. A couple weeks ago I noticed Antropik had created an inspired mix of Petroglyph Music‘s A X-Mas Compilation which included my would-be messiahs‘ compisition, seasonal affected disorder (distant rains arrive mix), in his tracklist. As you might imagine, I immediately think, hmmm, I like his choice of music… I wonder what else he has out there? So, lo and behold, the next thing I know I’m fixated on his recent self-released collection, Absydion – [collected works 2012-2013]. Low, grumbling drones ebb and flow beneath crushed bits of static and hiss, time stands suspended, laconic in layers of reverb and echo leading you across soundscapes of disjointed geography through unsettling, indistinct vistas. Yup, this release is getting massive amounts of play in johnny’s headphones right now.

Of course that’s only the beginning of this week’s thread. Further unraveling revealed Antopik has also released an EP, Persistances on Bruits Netlabel, a label I was completely unfamiliar with less than a month ago. And wasn’t I more than pleasantly surprised once I’d begun searching through their back catalogue to find an extensive selection of releases from Moonsugar, who I’d only just become aware of through their recent release, Lost from Electric Light, on Petroglyph MusicBruits Netlabel, to follow down this rabbit hole, has also just released Oystein Jorgensen‘s Inside EP (which I was very pleased to add to the vault.) Petroglyph’s influence on my musical selections over the last year or so has weilded surprisingly hefty return and one for which i am extremely grateful. So, to bring this bit of nonsense full semi-circle, Petroglyph Music has also just released label co-founders Oystein Jorgensen and Rune Martinsen‘s, The Four Elements, EarthAirWaterFire, a 4 part suite that is as monumental as the topic implies. Built entirely on samples and layers of effects, these releases are epic in their undertaking, having taken the last couple years to produce. Much too encompassing to discuss in detail, these are releases that I will be returning to again and again. Do yourself a favor, download them now. Now.

But, back to the thread, Moonsugar, one of several projects from Gennady Vladimirov, and the one which features a more classical structure than his darker, more experimental monikers, has also released material on the French netlabel, Sirona Records. Sirona Records, which you may recall from my mention of Substak‘s release These Days a couple weeks back, and for hosting a handful of Mystified productions over the last year or so, have just released Mystified’s Nocturne. Comprising 16 tracks of manifest realities built on field recordings, sound collages, and evocative, disparate samples, which once held personal import for the composer, but are now part of the collective internal consciousness where each listener adds their own individual interpretation and expression, this is an intriguing release, and, as always, very entrancing material from Thomas. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg with Sirona Records, whose releases cover a wide range of experimental styles including IDM, techno, noise, ambient, hip-hop, trip hop, glitch, breakbeat and hardcore, among many other. Having only begun releasing material in 2011, this is definitely a netlabel to keep an eye on.

Revisiting another label that has become a favorite of mine, Nostress Netlabel has recently launched a sister label, Batenim Netlabel, focusing on ambient releases. Their first release, Morphine Bandit‘s, subtle shift theory, is a collection of 6 tracks that are built on subtle, transcendent drones interspersed with seemingly random noise samples that highlight the collection’s title/modus operandi as they slowly shift both the compostion’s relentless cycling tones as well as the listener’s mental equilibrium. Not to be outdone, Nostress also has a new release, this time the debut release from Black Cocks, Sweet Illutions. A lo-fi affair built on Mauricio Diaz Varela’s decidedly punk attitude and his love of “Japanese science fiction from the ’60’s” (really, how can you not love someone whose self-reference point is that obscure!), these 6 tracks hum and thrum with lower ranges drones and endlessly looping  ringing fills as discordant, disembodied vocals float untethered to soundscapes never imagined playfully lay waste to preconceived notions. A decidedly strong release from a talent to watch.

The find of the week for me, though, has to be The Shimmer Effect, and their new release, Mechanosensitive, on South Africa’s Bushmen Records. A deep, dark dubbed out drop into the underside of dub-techno and discordant beats scoring soundtracks for worlds unimagined inhabited by generations yet to be born, this release grabbed me by the throat and just wouldn’t let go. How this duo has passed beneath my radar for so long boggles my mind! And despite extensive searching, I can’t for the life of me piece back the thread that lead me to Bushmen Records, but whatever it was, I’m glad I picked that thread up. A whole new world of beats and attitude have opened through their focus on experimental South African music and I’m the richer for it. Yup, this is one label I will support empathically.

Finally, I spent a few days last month checking back in on some of the netlabels that have been my trusted companions for the last several years. While most continue to host great alternative netlabel releases, a few that jumped off the websites and into my consciousness were Gargan Record‘s Bim, by aris_h, a sublime set of downtempo tracks that were released as a promo for his latest album, Tep Zepi, Huron‘s latest release on Crazy Language, Pictures from the Past, a melange of idm beats and sputtering staccato riffs that is among his strongest work yet, and headphonica‘s release of Jan Grunfeld‘s A Trace, a stunning collection of cascading, somnambulant layers of flowing water sampled beneath strummed chords and free-floating melodies (and whose words to describe this release may come closer to summing up this blog than I could myself, ” The last four or five years I followed a trail. Plenty of footprints. I collected tracks, pointing in different directions. Now the traces are almost beyond recognition. But you can still listen to it.” Exactly!) All should be reviewed in full, but that’s not this blog’s point. I merely act as a guide, pointing out the visible signposts that lead from one landmark to the next, each journey a trek only the curious begin and the intrepid embrace. Each label hosting many, many more treats that may appeal to your tastes without my prompting. Enjoy!

http://www.mixcloud.com/johnny_nowhere/sounds-from-the-outer-edges-a-funny-thing-happened-on-the-way/

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