Ambient Review

Cat Tyson Hughes – Roses in the Casement Window

Rounding off an impressive debut year for Quiet Details, we have the gloriously ethereal ‘Roses in the Casement Window’ from Cat Tyson Hughes. The album unfolds like a dream, with Cat’s vocals cascading over deep, undulating bass, creating expansive sonic realms that resonate with emotion and honesty.

Delicate melodies emerge through the clouds of sound, revealing a meticulous layering of textures and harmonies. The combination of vocal and synth harmonies, intertwined with field recordings and electro-acoustic elements, results in a sonic tapestry that is unmistakably Cat’s own. Her ability to weave constant movement and endless layers creates soundscapes that transport the listener to an otherworldly realm.

Out now via Quiet Details bandcamp

Ambient Avant Garde Electro-Acoustic Experimental Field Recording Minimal Review

Top Freqs of 2023

Another fine year for music here in the flatlands.
Here are our ten most frequented frequencies of the past 12 months. Go check them out and support the artists!

1. Tape Loop Orchestra – Onde Sinusoi​̈​dale Et Bande Magne​́​tique

2. S. Costa – The Radiant Point

3. Cate Brooks – Easel Studies

4. T.Jervell & ChromaDots – Faksfjord / Fragsfjord

5. Field Lines Cartographer – Tone Maps

6. Elia Piana – Sotto l​’​Albero Tutto Si Copre

7. Anagrams – Blue Voices

8. Night Gestalt – The Staring Night

9. VirusMoto –

10. Sundheim – Glades of Flowering Stone

Review Software

Rob Papen – eXplorer-9

Rob Papen Inspiration Soundware has unveiled the eXplorer-9, an enhanced bundle featuring 30 plug-ins.

Notable additions include the upgraded Go2-X, an improved version of the original Go2 virtual instrument. Although this is described as having a ‘friendly’ interface, I found the colours and UI a little dated and somewhat busy personally (a visual trait that could be addressed across the entire product range). However, it’s a good sounding instrument! The upgrade introduces features like waveform drawing and morphing, expanded ARP functionality, and the inclusion of MAGIC MODE for musical variation.

The second addition is the Albino-3 Legend, a resurrection of the groundbreaking Albino-3 virtual instrument with updated features such as VST3 support and adjustable GUI sizes. I was a keen Albino user back in the day (loved the filter types!), so it’s great to see it back again for modern OS systems.

eXplorer-9 also offers nine legacy products and the PRISMA plug-in, allowing users to creatively combine up to four virtual instruments.

Overall, the bundle promises a comprehensive suite of powerful tools for music production, blending new features with nostalgic elements from the past.

Available now at Rob Papen

Ambient Live Review Synth

Polypores – Live 2023

Polypores Live 2023 showcases a departure from his previously released musical endeavors, opting for an exploratory approach rooted in improvisation and continual discovery. A patchwork quilt of modular delight, the snippets of each live performance incorporate selective repetitions, ensuring that each rendition remains a unique and distinct experience.

Ambient Avant Garde Experimental Review Spoken Word

Maya Hardinge & David Louis Zuckerman – Penny (Original Soundtrack)

Very interesting spoken word narrative over synth, guitar and eastern instrumental ambient scapes. Each track on “Penny” resonates with emotional depth and musical richness, creating a compelling soundscape that captures the essence of Penny’s life.

Maya Hardinge & David Louis Zuckerman skillfully use a diverse range of minimalist arrangements to evoke the various stages of Penny’s journey, from the soulful melodies representing her introspective moments to the rhythmic beats mirroring the pulse of her adventurous encounters.

Drone Review

Mosaic Tapes – God Grows Bitter; Time Drowns Him

A range of heavy dronescapes from Mosiac Tapes aka Simon Thomas, which traverse from fucking intense and dark, to submersed deep underwater, to noisy industrial wastelands. The sound, often reminiscent of distant machinery and ominous rumblings, hangs in the air like a spectral presence, filling the void with a disconcerting and mysterious energy.

Out on cassette and digital, this Friday 1st December via bandcamp

Review Synth

Pulselovers – Cotswold Stone (re-issue)

Lovely golden-era synth music, with a library slant, from Pulselovers. ‘Cotswold Stone’ has just been reissued on mad multi-coloured vinyl.
Released in 2019, this album is a captivating journey filled with warm analogue sounds that seamlessly transport listeners to a picturesque countryside setting, albeit through a sepia lens. The retro-inspired beauty and traditional song structures of the music effortlessly capture the vibe of being in a truly enchanting place.

Grab the vinyl and digi here

Review Software

Fabfilter – Pro R2

You may recall we have occasionally reviewed music instruments on the blog (like the popular Ciat-Lonbarde reviews for example). But this is a first for Flatland Frequencies. We’re going to start featuring select new software that we feel fits the type of music we support and would be of interest to our readers. So what better way to start, than a extremely high end, gorgeous sounding reverb?

So what’s new over the Pro-R 1? Pro-R 2 introduces two new reverb algorithms, ‘Vintage’ and ‘Plate,’ each bringing a unique retro flavor to your mixes. ‘Vintage’ is a nod to classic digital reverb units of the ’80s and ’90s, delivering long, bright hyper-real spatial ambiences 🤤 . Meanwhile, ‘Plate’ serves up the evocative metallic sound of vintage plate reverbs, making it an ideal choice for drums and vocals. These additions expand Pro-R 2’s spatialising capabilities into more synthetic textural territory.

What caught my ear, is the fact it now supports impulse responses. Something as an Ableton Live user, I’ve never had catered for (like those lucky Logic users for example). Pro-R 2 also adds the ability to import impulse responses and have them automatically recreated as algorithmic setups — including Decay Rate and Post EQ shaping — that closely match their sonic characteristics. Whether wanting to binge on the vast array of free impulse responses available online, or capture and emulate favourite vocal booth, drum room, or hardware reverb in Pro-R 2, IR import opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

Anyway, to bring back into context, this thing did AMAZING long tails, perfect for drones and washed-out synth-scapes (which is what we’re all here for, right?)

Available now at £144 from their webshop

Avant Garde Experimental Review

Elia Piana – Sotto l​’​Albero Tutto Si CopreElia Piana –

Elia immerses listeners into a sonic odyssey, Sotto l​’​Albero Tutto Si Copre weaves a mesmerizing tapestry of avant-garde soundscapes that transcend the boundaries of conventional music. A daring fusion of esoteric instruments from makers like Ciat-Lonbarde and Monome creates an otherworldly atmosphere, transporting the audience to uncharted realms of auditory exploration. This album stands as a bold testament to the artist’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of sonic artistry, inviting us to embark on a transcendental sonic adventure.

Cassettes and digital at: Bandcamp

Beats Experimental Review Synth

Nick Joliat – Casio Music 2

Casio Music 2, the latest addition to Nick Joliat’s series, unfolds as a heartfelt exploration of obsolescence, a poignant reflection on musical identity, a meticulous investigation into polyrhythms and timbre, and a poignant transmission from the secluded realm of chronic illness.

Out now via Bandcamp