Avant Garde Drone Experimental Review

Various Artists – The Dystopian World of J​.​G​.​Ballard

Zero K – June 8th

“The advanced societies of the future will not be governed by reason. They will be driven by irrationality, by competing systems of psychopathology.” 

J.G. Ballard 

Dystopian writer J.G Ballard needs no introduction and is one whose influence has stretched beyond literature across all mediums. From successful screen adaptations by Cronenberg (see Crash), to influencing lyrics for bands like Joy Division and Hawkwind (to name just a couple).

With this present compilation, curated by Raffaele Pezzella (Sonologyst), ZeroK label (in collaboration with, Lars Bröndum, Eraldo Bernocchi, Gavin Morrow , Joel Gilardini, Esa J. Ruoho, Heikki Lindgren, Mario Lino Stancati, Erik Jarl, Roberto Quezada, Jarko M. Hedenius, Janne Liimatainen, Mombi Yuleman and Christian Schneider) provides sound descriptions of the dystopian world narrated by the English master J. G. Ballard in his novels and short stories, creating an imaginary soundtrack of those s/f masterpieces. 

Avant Garde Experimental Review Synth

Nunton Elektrikz – Did You Know About The Room?

Woodford Halse – Release: July 1st

Woodford Halse keep the tapes coming thick and fast, covering all manner of experimental electronics. This next one from Nunton Eletrikz (aka Nick Edwards) is particularly interesting, a collection of very raw synth jams that could easily be mistaken for an early electronic sound experimentation from someone like Joji Yuasa.

The press release reveals some insight into the tools used in the process (Arturia Microfreak, Korg NTS and stylophone ), however the manner in which the tracks are executed goes far beyond any signature synth preset, which is the essence of what experimentalism should be.

Drone Review

Space Surgeries – New Drone Label

Fresh out the airlock, Space Surgeries appears on the radar with two drone-based releases from Ali Wade and Quiet Clapping.

You may recognise these names from UK ambient/electronic label Frequency Domain and as such, Space Surgeries can be considered a sister label to the aforementioned.

Strictly drone focused with these offerings, Ali Wade’s ‘The Unbearable Quickness of Doubling’ focuses on shorter, focused themes. Whereas on the second release ‘Adversary’, Quiet Clapping goes long form, with 2x 15 minute journeys.

Ambient Review

Fields We Found – Distance

Seil – May ’22

Layers of noise (that good kind) envelope this new LP from Fields We Found. The delicious Cocoquantus artefacts are scattered all over, but the vibe is as much steered by the operator.

There is a looseness to the compositions which has a certain freeform quality, letting sounds play into the loops and letting them bounce around to do their thing. It’s as much about know when to remove an element, as it is to introduce one and this is something executed successfully across the album.

Out now on cassette and digital via Bandcamp.

Ambient Electro-Acoustic Experimental Minimal Review

Andrew CS & Glia – Nimi

Cached Media – May ’22

Gorgeous micro looped tones and fuzzy, cascading drones form the sonic landscape of the 12 varied pieces here. From the organ-like tonalities in ‘Wind for Weighted Keys’ sometimes reminiscent of A Rainbow In Curved Air (albeit mangled in a most pleasant way), to the crunchy tape-like twists and turns in ‘Outcrease’, there’s a real positive energy coming from the LP, of which I’ll be returning for repeat listens.

Out now on CD and Digital via Bandcamp

Ambient Drone Review Synth

Tomas Nordström – Ingentingskogen

Ingentingskogen or (according to google translate) ‘nothing forest’, is a new collection of drone works from Tomas Nordström, noughties techno survivor and one half of cult heroes Transexual Swedish Rebels (TSR), the greatest live techno act to come out of Sweden and possibly the world. So it’s always a welcome sight to see new material transmitting from his Stockholm base.

Ingentingskogen is solely based around the Sequential Circuits Pro One synth, layered through various effects whilst Tomas was learning to repair the instrument. The general vibe is quite dark, but varied in intensity, from the power drone zones of ‘Natten regnade I cmoll’, to the softer palettes explored in ‘Stampvall’. All of which demonstrates the juicy tonal character of the instrument, without drowning it in effects.

Lets hope this is just the beginning of more pure synth excursions from Mr Nordström!

Ambient Drone Dub Dub-techno Minimal Review Synth

Hoavi – Music For Six Rooms

Balmat – November 16th

Russian producer and Shells Rattle label owner, Hoavi brings 10 tracks of dubbed-out dreaminess to the Balearic-based Balmat label. Serious production values here, with filtered echos fluttering across lush, evolving synthscapes. Japanese minimalism meets Berlin-school dub techno.

The sharp attention to detail carries from the sound to the visual, with another gallery-worthy cover piece from José Quintanar.


Vinyl and digital at bandcamp.

Ambient Avant Garde Drone Electro-Acoustic Experimental Review Synth

Anthology of Electronic Music From Scandinavia

Unexplained Sounds Group – 5/11/21

Fast becoming one of our fave labels for cutting edge electronic and experimental music, Unexplained Sounds Group are consistently curating high quality various artist compilations, organised by global region.

This time, the expanding ‘sound mapping’ collection of CDs lands on the Scandinavian electronic underground as its point of focus.

The album is predominately drone-based excursions, ranging from cold, baron soundscapes, to densely layered synth excursions. However, on my first proper listen through, it’s the tracks that venture into more experimental tonal territory which really piqued my curiosity, with the wonderfully wonky ‘Ilmeisesti’ by vÄäristymä and the hypnotic ‘Nightbreeze’ by Havdis being particular favourites.

Order the CD/Digital now via their Bandcamp.

Ambient Drone Review

NEVER TEMPLE ~ ‘Throwing Around An Invisible Ball’

Golden Ratio Frequencies – 5/11/21

Soaring, psychotropic drones, which manage to tastefully meld spoken word, cello and synthesised tones into a deep meditative experience.

An entirely mesmerising release which ticks all the boxes (for me) when it comes to drones. Evolving textures and shifting synth tones combine with beautifully ghostly vocal elements, the resultant effect is somewhat intoxicating. Would love to hear this live.

Order the cassette or digital via their Bandcamp

Avant Garde Electro-Acoustic Experimental Musique Concrète Review

T. Jervell – (K) En sommerdag i Kroken (Ruter)

Picked this up on Bandcamp last week after casually scrolling over a post on the Ciat-Lonbarde FB group. Glad I clicked, as what awaited was a magical sound world, weaving electronic and found sounds into a tapestry of molten and frazzled textures. In parts it reminds me of Cornelius, especially the wry humour.

The nerd in me enjoyed listening out for the signature Ciat-Lonbarde sounds, especially noticeable on the aliased destruction of samples the Cocoquantus imparts on everything it touches. However, this shouldn’t detract from what is a really original, fun and considered body of work.