A genuine ode to the softer sides of the early 90s indie pop scene, could have been cherished by either coasts back then.
Positive Noise, the debut album by Sam O.B, is not a ‘journey of a record’, but it’s also not Party Time USA. It’s nuance: cloud patterns: like good progressive jazz. Like the refinement of refinement, the elegance of elegance. Sound propelled by its own smoothness. A coolness that isn’t cold. The earnestness of an old friend. Expanse. Experimentation. Actual warmth.
Sam O.B. is (and has always been) a man of classics. When you hear the sax on ‘Salt Water,’ you will understand this ambition with precision. Arpeggiated horn delay and female oohs fall like geodesic rain. The blasting synth leads on ‘Midnight Blue’ and ‘Nearness’ waver and find their way (“Always on time”). The sing-and-play harmonies of ‘Sirens’ refer to the stunning bliss of smooth jazz, which has been in Sam’s arsenal of interests for longer than anyone can remember.
“The story of “See” is metamorphic. The track emerged instrumentally — as per Tycho’s characteristic output — on the 2014 LP Awake. Months later it was remixed into a bubbling pop song by New York duo Beacon. 2017 brought the next phase, as Beacon’s Thomas Mullarney III joined Tycho at Coachella to perform “See” (the first time the band has ever featured a vocalist). Now “See” has reached its final stage, re-recorded as a proper collaboration. Tycho touchstones abound, swirling melodies, stuttering percussion, lifted by a voice in flight.”
“Marion” is the first piece of new music from Beacon’s Thomas Mullarney III and Jacob Gossett since the New York duo’s 2016 album, Escapements.
At the heart of “Marion” is a hammered dulcimer. The percussive, stringed instrument—an ancient ancestor of the piano—acts as the composition’s harmonic and dynamic guide. Samples ebb and flow, projecting into the mix at moments of brightness and clarity. Other times they recede beneath Mullarney’s crystalline voice and a bed of feathery, pneumatic production. This is the mode in which Beacon have always thrived: wistful amidst pulsing electronics and soft-washed hues.
From the new Danny Wolfers Unfolding The Future With Amateur Space Jazz album. Out now!!! On Nightwind Records NW014 Available on Cassette, CD and digital. Comes with a 24 page graphic novel. Digital version has the graphic novel in PDF format.
What is Amateur Space Jazz?!
Its exact dimensions are not yet known…
Its philosophy not yet defined…
One could call it a Lo-Fi minimal wavish version of cosmic space jazz and anything closely related to it…from spiritual soul, g-funk, ethiopian jazz to ambient and everything in between…
No knowledge of musical theory is required…played with a D.I.Y punk approach on crappy digital synthesizers – preferably with dubious renditions of real instruments. Warmed up to the right temperature with some offbeat effectsbox. Multitracking is a technique widely used…to create a “one person band with all its members oneself’s multidimensional copies in time”
As co-founder of spatial audio platform Envelop, pioneering producer and electronic musician Christopher Willits navigates the new universe of three dimensional music composition. The technology positions sound around the listener—full spatial orientation—whether inside an Envelop space or at home with ordinary headphones. A logical step for an artist whose output, spanning over 25 releases, has inched increasingly towards rich, immersive audiovisual experiences. His new project, Horizon, culminates a career-long journey for space, physicality, and serenity in music. Fitting, a decade after Willits marked Ghostly International’s first ever exclusively digital full-length, that he brings the label its first spatial audio album.
Willits began to share his diverse vision of ambient music in the early 2000s, releasing a string of critically acclaimed albums on the 12k label. The minimal sound introduced on those recordings remains at the core of his work: warm guitar tones woven into smooth, harmonic surfaces. Willits would expand the spectrum of his catalog next through collaboration, working with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Zach Hill (Death Grips), Taylor Deupree, and, for 2014 LP Opening, the whole band of Tycho.
In the period since Opening, Willits and friends successfully crowdfunded Envelop, allowing further development of its open source software, which integrates with production tools like Ableton Live as well as virtual reality platforms, and its 3D sound space locations for performance, research, workshops, and other non-profit projects. He also composed the original score for documentary The Art of Listening, and continues to lead music production and meditation classes in San Francisco.
Both Willits’ teachings and his mission with Envelop inform the deep ambient terrain of Horizon. Spanning one hour and thirty minutes, the album surrenders to the sentient fabric of time and space, and by design, aligns with sleep patterns, meditation, and other mindful practices. This is slow music, mapped to surround listeners whether in states heightened or muted. Space, literally and figuratively, to reflect in.
The innovative 3D mix is evident within the first sweeping, spherical pan of “Comet” (access to Envelop’s software or spaces not required). As one orbits, on occasion the panoramic view touches down to the surface by way of ambisonic field recordings, like the Peruvian Amazon at night on “Return” and the Hawaiian ocean waves of “Waipio.”
This weightless motion—shifting between gaseous and textural, macro and micro—offers a unique and transcendent proprioceptive experience. Listeners are ushered through atmospheres with indeterminate length, breadth and depth. It is as if we are at once above, below, within, and alongside the skylines of sound.
Floating Points gets properly psychedelic in the Mojave Desert with his bandmates, trying out a new song on-site.
Floating Points’ forthcoming short film and soundtrack – ‘Reflections – Mojave Desert’ finds Sam Shepherd and the Floating Points band in a thrilling sonic exploration of the environment under an endless desert sky. This video ‘Silurian Blue’ is the first full release from the project. ‘Reflections’ will be released on June 30.
Wonderful new single from Octo Octa, reminds me of an ambient song but I can’t put my finger on it. Either way I thought all of you would enjoy the gliding journey.
“Please enjoy the title track of Octo Octa’s new single on Argot, “New Paths“. “I believe this was the last music I finished before [coming out],” Maya shares, “So it has a special place in my heart.””