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Its time for everyone to take note in your diaries. On Thursday March 17th, the stunning Kontakte are to launch their next full length album We Move Through Negative Spaces via Drifting Falling Records at Vibe Bar on Brick Lane (London). Stream the album in its entirety HERE
Let me say for now that the prospect of seeing them gets more exciting by the day and that their live show (with visuals!!) is a fantastic mix of electronica, soundscapes, good old fashion post-rock, beautiful, delicate guitar melodies and thunderous walls of sound. THE ULTIMATE CINEMATIC MUSIC EXPERIENCE. And not only is there something for everyone to enjoy in Kontakte, the rest of the line up also features some mighty artists especially chosen to complement the occasion.
IAMBIC from Brighton whose music blends neo-classical elements with electronica. IAMBIC made the amazing remix of Distant Street Lights featured on Codes In The Clouds‘ Paper Canyon Recycled album released last November. Check it out here.
Also on the bill are Wild Dogs In Winter, a band signed to Gravid Hands Records along side cinematic popsters Fighting Kites. Think Sigur Ros crossed with Do Make Say Think – that Canadian lot from the Godspeed You! Black Emperor days.
And finally we have some newbies on the scene Waking Aida. They’re getting quite a lot of attention on the south coast so we thought we’d give them the opportunity to play to the London crowd.
Advance tickets are only £5 so grab em here: wegottickets
I would like to introduce a band with true potential; Leicester based 4-piece Silent Devices. As far as I know Two Decades is their debut EP, and you can tell by the quality of the recordings, not that its off-putting, but its not yet as good as it should be. The style of production used by Justin Lockey in The British Expeditionary Force‘s first album (Erased Tapes) would sound incredible I reckon!
What makes these guys stand out is the simplicity of it all. You can really tell that this band have grasped the absolutely essential concept that making a record is not about complexity, its about crafting a warm sound and layering each individual part meticulously, as to make every note, hi-hat, chord change and so on count and affect the listener. There is certainly something about them that brings Sigur Ros to mind, as well as This Will Destroy You, but these artists are in such high standing that a) who isn’t trying to emulate them? and b) what they convey is pure, egoless, accessible emotion and any band who gets near that is on the right track.
The opening song “Playing Fields” is my favourite. The song is nicely paced, with a beautifully simple melody on the guitar, nice use of cymbals and xylophone, and above all a very seamless progression from start to finish. The build up at the end is brilliant as well, with a most satisfying resolution on the alternation of chords I and IV. I know I don’t need to explain these technical bits, but I want to show that under the simple exterior Silent Devices understand that simple tricks like ending a song on certain chords of a scale appeals to our ears and spyche on a scientific level (hence why blues is SO important), and these tricks are as old and engrained in western culture as Bach. Most people don’t realize that making simple digestible music is actually a whole lot more difficult than making complicated music.
We at Cinematic Music would like to congratulate them and give The Quiet Lamb the much sought after award of:
CINEMATIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR!
After numerous EPs and splits, the first real full-length album by HNIC has raised the bar and set a new standard for what this band can do. The Quiet Lamb possesses all the tasteful minimalism of previous material whilst retaining an extremely rich tapestry of sonic textures, and what truly makes this album special is how seamlessly and consistently it weaves from track to track, taking you from one end of the spectrum of human emotions to another.
I’ve noticed that many other bloggers have said similar things, and I believe we may need to brace ourselves for the next Sigur Rós. HNIC seem to have fully developed their unique sound and channeled it through these 12 pieces which present themselves as a barrage of simplistic grandiosity. I reference Sigur Rós because what they created was outstanding unique music which was still accessible to a wide range of listeners- and HNIC have captured that essence and applied it to their sound.
As Cinematic Album of the Year, if you’re a regular visitor to this blog and haven’t yet heard The Quiet Lamb, you must get hold of a copy right away.
Anyone for some German instrumental post-prog? YES PLEASE
Aeronautix are an instrumental 3-piece band with guitar, bass and drums. Their debut EP “Eartheption” is available for free download HERE. I think this EP is a small testament to what the band can really do- the tracks are tight but Eartheption isn’t much more than a collection of mediocre live recordings. With the right producers Aeronautix could really blow your brain!
Their sound blends post-rock/ambient influences with clean, broken-up mathy riffs and heavy What The Blood Revealed-esque drops. I’m quite confident these guys will deliver some tasty releases in the near future! On a similar note, you should look up these Italian guys Up There The Clouds, they also have a brilliant EP out for free download! Thank you internet. If either band comes to London I’ll definitely be putting them on!
Codes In The CLouds are an instrumental 5-piece apparently from Dartford, but I’m just going to say London because they seem to spend more time here than there. They are signed to brilliant little label Erased Tapes, also home to the British Expeditionary Force, Olafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm. They haven’t been around for long but have definitely made their presence known on the London scene, and, maybe to a lesser extent, on the entire UK scene. Following the release of their first record they toured with now post-rock legends This Will Destroy You and recently went on a small headline tour through the UK with Barn Owl and Katerwaul (worth checking out!).
‘Paper Canyon’ is their debut full-length album and despite coming across as a little easy at first, this record soon becomes a brilliantly subtle delight, going from bright uplifting songs to dreamy ambient numbers, to others filled with a deep sense of lament. It is so easy and common for post-rock bands to makes 2-dimensional records, only expressing the teenage-like solitude and angst part of the spectrum of human emotions. However, after seeing them live on many occasions, Codes In The Clouds stand out from the crowd of post-rockers as a band who express that but also happiness, hope and above all sincerity. It is when you realise that Paper Canyon does in fact have these powerful highs and lows that the record begins to make sense and the subtle authenticity within it comes out and sucks you back in along for the ride.
The opening track ‘Fractures’ sets the scene for a pleasant, dreamy frame of mind, then ‘Don’t Go Awash In This Digital Landscape’ hits with a relentless force, which carries on through until the epic finale of ‘Distant Street Lights’. ‘We Anchor In Hope’ is a charming uplifting waltz perfectly suited to the aftermath of the previous songs and ‘The Distance Between Us’ closes the album on a very powerful, hesitant, yet positive note.
Although it may seem like an obvious thing, the statement on their myspace that says ‘we like playing pretty music’ is strangely exact, and completely sums them up once you’ve fully absorbed the record.
Their eagerly anticipated follow up LP should be out by the end of this year so keep a look out and make sure you catch them live if they play in a town near you.
Although my interest in and appreciation of ambient music rarely goes beyond the genius of Eno and Stars Of The Lid, Dunn’s work captures a similar essence and provides a magical sonic space ideal for reflection and immersion. His most recent release: A Young Person’s Guide To Kyle Bobby Dunn (AYPGKBD) is extremely minimal and may not suit people who aren’t fans of the genre already, but serves as a great platform for those of you looking to explore it.
As a piece of sonic landscape or sound design, AYPGKBD is wonderfully put together merging many different textures which glide steadily and infinitely in the realms of abstraction. If it catches you in the right frame of mind, it carries you straight off into a world of your own making 2 hours seem like 2 minutes. Before you know it you’ll be putting the album back to the beginning for further introspection.
Dunn leads to believe that people who say that you can’t be in more than one place at a time, are wrong.
Deerhunter are an American four-piece from Atlanta, USA. This album Cryptograms (2007) is one of many and I can assure it is a rare gem of post-punk/psychedelic ambience!
Every track blends into the next one, alternating between simmering ambient soundscapes and psychedelic shoegazey numbers. They are signed to Kranky (US) so the label of quality is there from the start. Their delightfully ethereal blend of dream-pop and punk-rock makes for one of the best albums of the decade.
I find this album really easy and pleasant to listen to. You can just listen to it all the time and it just chills you out without you getting sick of it. Its kind of like a series of magical landscapes that evolve with some really tight driving rhythms- one of the best things you can listen to when Lucy’s around. The wonderfully breathy vocals are quite reminiscent of shoegaze bands like Jesus & The Mary Chain and the guitar texturing is similar to more ambient post-rock acts like This Will Destroy You (not that there’s any direct link between them). When you break it down its clear the brilliance of this record is rooted in the fact that the fusion of different influences creates unique sounding music. On top of this, tracks like “Octet” and the title track “Cryptograms” are actually quite simple, and I think this makes them easier to get into and enjoy.
They’re playing at Heaven (London) on the 6th of May and I’ve read that Deerhunter live is like a religious experience… so I’ll see you there basically.
Until next time…
Guitarists Chris and Jeremy from TWDY are interviewed after their gig @ Rockpalast in Germany. Brilliant attitude guys!
Also, see this quite rare performance of Freedom Blade from the same gig, the violin and the cello sound amazing! This is a faith restoring video…
Swallowing The Seas are a new band drifting in and out of London venues such as the Enterprise in Chalk Farm. I saw them there on Tuesday 8/12/09 and liked it so much I thought I’d write a little review of their gig.
Their music is very much as they describe it; ambient, down-tempo shoegaze. Its extremely cinematic but in a different way to other bands that I have written about so far. Their sound is very distinct, like a cross between ‘post-rock’ and shoegaze. They have the ethereality and ambience of shoegaze but with the scope and instrumentation of ‘post-rock’- a very exciting prospect indeed!
I find their music quite confusing (in a good way) because they somehow manage to convey completely different emotions at the same time. Its hard to explain, but during most of the set I was unsure whether the music was bleak and gloomy, or simply hopeful! The lead guitar parts are mostly arpeggiated chords which give the songs an air of perseverance (as opposed to depressing idleness) and Leni White, the violinist/vocalist’s angelic soprano voice gives the music its fantasy, but the nature of the chords and the arrangements come across as bleak. On top of that, the vocal harmonies between Leni and Beanie B. (lead guitar/vocals) sound really nice, but are darkly textured with reverb and delay- the lyrics also seem to go from dreary imagery to hope-filled assertions…. I haven’t been able to get over the unsettled feeling I got from the show yet, but maybe I shouldn’t..
Moving on, I thought the set progressed well, but I think a bigger range in dynamics would have helped to suck the audience in. With music like this that presents itself as a sort of ‘experience’ for the audience, its important to explore every corner of the soundscape you’re cultivating, i.e. breakdown to almost nothing, and play as aggressively as possible- where its appropriate of course.
Overall, the show was great and definitely worth seeing, and I recommend catching them live to all of you who enjoy thought-provoking music- especially the kind that seems like it would be perfectly at home in a bipolar-deaf-blind person’s head!
Catch them LIVE @ the Road Trip Bar on Tuesday 15th Dec, or @ Proud Galleries on the 16th Feb 2010!