October 8, 2009

Loscil - Strathcona Variations (2009, Ghostly International)

[Once again, I find that 'real life' has impinged on my internet/music review time. I also wrote most of a post the other day and then had the whole thing spontaneously delete, with no ability to "undo", so I am not really feelin' it. My "144 Pulsations Of Light" CD is now out on Kranky, and I have been busy preparing live Ethernet sets as well as DJ sets of deep house, Kompakt and minimal-oriented techno stuff and dubstep. I found two local club spaces with good sound systems, and will begin a hopefully-regular series of gigs in the next week or so!]

Until recently, I never paid much attention to Myspace, but since I've been trying to promote my Ethernet material, I set up a myspace page and added a bunch of my favorite musicians as my "friends", although I know only a handful of them in real life. What I like about Myspace, though, is that many artists use it as a place to post links to new free stuff they've made, which otherwise tends to get missed, or is unreleased elsewhere. In this case, I happened to come across Loscil's page, and noticed a new MP3 release announcement. Loscil's previous release was the '06 Kranky album "Plume", which I have to admit I haven't actually heard (although I recently found his excellent '01 debut CD "Triple Point" and was intrigued to find that parts of it had a lot in common, sonically, with my own CD, though I wasn't familiar with his work before a couple months ago). More recently, I found a very nice free full-length netlabel release compiling Loscil's more minimal drone-scapes, called "Stases: Drones 2001-2005", featuring twelve extremely subdued but pleasant textures, some apparently "based upon the backgrounds" from his Kranky album tracks. The netlabel release makes a great companion for Loscil's new "Strathcona Variations" EP, a collection of three ambient pieces totalling about 20 minutes. The tracks are a soothing blend of organic pads and pulsing electronic sounds, with subtle hypnotic rhythms and moody, classical-sounding orchestral passages. The third piece of the set, "Midnight Princess," has a somewhat forboding atmosphere, but overall the EP is low-key and pleasant deep listening music. Best of all, its only $3, so go grab it along with the free "Stases" collection (and don't forget Windy & Carl's "Akimatsuri" for $2 from Amazon.com)! Bargain drone bonanza!