December 27, 2015
Holiday surprise, as without warning I’m putting out this album featuring some of my own texture-focused ambient electronic tracks. I’d been sitting on it for a while and the time felt right…heck, it’s Spectropol’s 40th album!
Winding is a collection of tracks recorded between 2009 and 2012. Despite marked contrasts between them they comprise a coherent playlist of “ambient” electronic music. Some of the pieces work well for meditation, others are themselves meditations on sounds or ideas. Many of the works employ continuous slow-change forms and drones, others are keyboard-centered and have faster moving harmonies; some employ field recordings and most embrace noise. Microtonal elements are also present throughout, in different forms, including just intonation (this, muuf, window, furse, koni); mixed tunings (hoomz, hae, ronqq), and micro-inflections (elegy, furse, ronqq, dropov). As a whole I think of it as an ambient album realized with an avant-garde electroacoustic aesthetic.
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri.
It’s available now as a name-your-price download. You can also purchase ($10+s/h) an extremely limited edition CD-R (shipping in January).
August 8, 2014
We are delighted to provide the wider international release of Iranian composer/electronic musician Ehsan Saboohi’s Chaos in the Cosmos. The album is available as a digital download and comprises two fascinating experimental tracks, microtonal and hypnotic, weaving tapestries of sculpted sound.
From Mr. Saboohi: “Chaos in the Cosmos” (Shahr-âshub in Persian) is an experimental music inspired by the well-known components of Iranian culture such as literature, miniatures, calligraphies and the art of carpet. Being aware that meta narratives have no place in today’s world, it is aimed to be a micro narrative of the Persian traditional poetry and music.
Chaos (Âshub) is a metaphor for the invention and discovering the new disciplines and Cosmos (Shahr) is a metaphor for the established disciplines.
We respect other nations’ music and believe that what constitutes the future of the music is a dialogue between the contemporary and traditional music. Thus, we look at the western music from the second half of 20th century (from1950 onward) and consciously bracket all the appeal of tonal music in order to rediscover the harmonics and non-harmonics of the music by itself.
May 20, 2014
The third installment in Spectropol’s microtonal compilation series, this collection is another highly varied snapshot of current xenharmonic practice from international artists. As with the previous albums in the series, the stylistically diverse tracks here explore just intonation, equal divisions of the octave, mixed tunings, fretless instruments, and extended playing techniques.
The music here ranges from chamber ensemble spectralism to catchy electronica, from surreal soundscapes to strange funk, intimate classical guitar work to electric feedback, and from free improvisation to evolving drones.
With contributions from Taylor Brook, Paulo Chagas, Brendan Byrnes, Susan Ann Brewster, Greg Hooper, Jon Lyle Smith, Agustín Castilla-Ávila/Giacomo Fiore, Elis Czerniak, MonoNeon, Ben Wylie and Peter Nagle.
We hope you enjoy this playlist as much as we do; please share widely!
SpecT 32, May 2014
April 19, 2014
A fascinating collection of de/re-constructed experimental pop tracks from Marcus Rubio.
SpecT 30 – I don’t think I see a difference
“Last year, I became fascinated with the acoustic possibilities of the banjo in conjunction with various electronics and pedals and created a number of works that utilized these alien sounds while still warping them into folk songs of sorts. However, as I delved further into the instrument’s extended technique, I realized that there were ways to create a kind of polyphony with just the acoustics of the instrument itself and set off working on many of the pieces heard here. With these particular songs, I wanted to both play with the instrumental specificity of the banjo but also try to reduce those sounds and the formal elements of pop songs to their most basic elements. These pieces are equally indebted to the work of reductionist composers/improvisers like Tetuzi Akiyama and Taku Sugimoto as they are to the folk music of Washington Phillips and Abner Jay. As such, most of these works were built off of the raw banjo/voice material and feature minimal overdubs save for some vocal harmonies and organ on a few tracks. The banjo material on the album (tracks 1-5) is very concerned with how much of a song/sound you can remove yet still have it resemble that thing and the remaining two pieces are further non-banjo explorations of this idea. “the war on christmas” places a cynical pop song into a minimalist/modular situation notationally while the bagatelles take extremely small melodic song fragments and spreads them out very quietly over an extended period of time.”
April 12, 2014
Spectropol is excited about the release of Marcus Rubio’s “I don’t think I see a difference” next Saturday (April 19). It’s a compelling album of banjo/voice-centered deconstructed pop songs that’s as pleasing as it is challenging.
Here’s a tiny teaser:
Here’s a cool piece on Marcus from last summer.
Meanwhile, here’s a nice review of LiL’s THE SPACE BETWEEN from What’s Up! Magazine.
And here are some thoughts on the tracks of Possible Worlds Vol. 2 from the esteemed Music Street Journal.
Get the albums here:
March 19, 2014
‘desolation’ is an album of sonic hauntings, a collection of experimental ambient explorations by two longtime collaborators. This release continues Spectropol’s side project of unearthing older gems from the back catalogs of interesting artists, as these tracks were recorded in 1999. Bennett and Galloway have since collaborated many times, recently in the west coast based psychedelic-electroacoustic band Respectable Citizen. ‘desolation’ has aged wonderfully, with composer Bennett putting his considerable synthesis & keyboarding expertise to use against Galloway’s trademark experimental guitar work. It’s full of force and beauty and beckons new listeners in 2014.
Streaming and name-your-price download available at the bandcamp site:
B & V over the years...
February 27, 2014
This collection of acousmatic pieces from Saint-Petersburg’s Ilia Belorukov melds electroacoustic, ambient-chill, and free improvisation into a unified whole. Granular soundscapes fuse with hypnotic pads, providing shifting moods and often a calm repose. Processed saxophone enters the picture, weaving insistent loops and beautiful lines through forests of gentle noise.
Check out the album on the bandcamp site where you can stream & download I Did What Was Possible to Quiet Us.
more about Ilia: http://www.belorukov.blogspot.com
January 3, 2014
Polish artist Marcin Tomczak has been producing music and sound art for well over 15 years. His early work involved audio collage, as well as programming early drum machines and the Commodore computer. His BRUIT project (late 1990s) mixed spoken word poetry with sound collages. He then began mixing and composing with various sound sources under the alias LIL. The hypnotic, ambient music on THE SPACE BETWEEN was completed in 2013 and combines field recordings with subtle electronic textures and processed voices. LIL frequently collaborates with other artists and has an upcoming solo release on Tom Flesh Records/Sirona Records in the first quarter of 2014.
Stream, download (name your price), or purchase the CDR from the bandcamp link.
December 26, 2013
Here’s a round-up of some recent reviews.
Andrea Borghi – Musica per Nastro in Wonderful Wooden Reasons and in Kathodik (Italian)
C Dufallo/P Derivaz – Bass Violin, & Vincent Bergeron – Il y a seulement des apparitions in Monsieur Délire
J.C. Combs – Gazing, Andrew Young – Inkplaces, & Joel Taylor – Night Stories in Vital Weekly
Get the albums:
November 11, 2013
Check out this sampler track from Spectropol’s upcoming (11/15) microtonal compilation, featuring excerpts from Jacky Ligon, Mirjam Tally, Lewis Krauthamer, Lois Lancaster, Karen Keyhani, Christian Molenaar, Todd Harrop, Scott A. Moore, D. Edward Davis, Claudi Meneghin, Michael Vick and Kraig Grady.