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Soundtrack

Music

Electronica and Neo-Classical Converge in Ben Alexander’s Strikingly Arrestive Single “Daybreak”

If you’re looking for aural escapism (and let’s face it, in these insane times you probably are), look no further than the latest release “Daybreak” from composer, producer and artist Ben Alexander.

The stunning contemporary take on neo-classical piano soundscapes is peerlessly efficacious at arresting your own rhythmic pulses and making sure that each striking note hits with masterful accuracy.

I would give you spoilers and tell you what to expect from the momentous crescendo, but I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise of what’s in store once Daybreak reaches its climax. And quite honestly, I’m in awe. While it doesn’t bode well for this review that I’m fairly speechless, it definitely bodes well for Ben Alexander’s captivating composition.

You can check out Ben Alexander’s single Daybreak which was released alongside the other single “Upeo” on a 2-track release via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Excellent Jacket releases eleven-track sonic album ‘1000 eyes’

A sonic experiment at it’s finest, taking you on a crazy journey through their evergrowing change of sound is Excellent Jacket’s new anthology ‘’1000 eyes’’. It embarks on a discovery of unique styles, feeding of a wide range of human emotions.

Throughout you’re taken on a rollercoaster of ups and downs through a series of sounds that create short, poignant yet catchy tracks.

Some are mysterious and dark others have a more joyful element. There is a combination of sadness, confusion, and happiness and the way that in every single song it gives off a different feeling through the use of high and low tempos, it’s creative and talented.

Without even having to use vocals, they’ve managed to create something for the listeners solidly based on sound taking them through an absolute whirlwind of emotion. With the first few tracks sounding like a horror game theme tune, to infiltrate panic and confusion, with a heart-racing beat and thrilling laughs.

Excellent Jacket have created a piece of art, it’s something that gets you hooked and proves that you don’t always have to have vocals to make an excellent album.

Be sure to check it out, you can listen to the album here on soundcloud.

Review by Karley Myall

Music

DAGREYMATTER – Escape Run: Progressively Immersive Experimental Electronica

Canadian Experimental Electronica artist DAGREYMATTER’s latest feat of Downtempo Breakbeat Hip Hop “Escape Run” is a darkly despondent driving work of progressive ingenuity.

Their artist title gives you plenty of clues as to what you can expect on any of their singles. But Escape Run acts as the perfect introduction to their trance-inducing production style. It was quite a struggle staying lucid enough to string coherent thoughts together to review Escape Run while listening to the alchemic ambience in the full-bodied sound.

If you ask your average person to check out a track by an unknown artist, they’ll probably greet you with the same enthusiasm you’d get if you asked for a lift to the airport. It’s understandable, acquainting yourselves with new artists can be an excruciating endeavour. But with Escape Run, the payoff is instantaneous.

You can check out DAGREYMATTER’s progressively immersive single Escape Run for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud. The only criticism that you’ll have is that it didn’t stretch on for longer.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Ryan Douglas Michelsen – Camaraderie: A Profoundly Evocative Neo-Classical Composition

Strap on a pair of headphones and prepare yourselves to be consumed by Ryan Douglas Michelsen’s recently released orchestral composition “Camaraderie”.

The US-based songwriter and artist has demonstrated their ability to construct intensely emotive soundscapes in the past. Yet, Camaraderie stands as a testament to their virtuosic talent when it comes to making melodies bleed emotion.

With the unpredictable crescendos, expect tension to linger in the ethereally-composed instrumental Neo-Classical work. But with their distinctive improvisational style, the best way to understand Ryan Douglas Michelsen’s epically cinematic work is to indulge in it for yourself. It will probably be in a cinema near you before long. Until then, you can use your imagination to fill in the visual gaps by allowing the orchestral instrumentals to arrest your emotions through the long, tensile notes.

You can listen to Camaradereie for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Martin Krampl Music – Things That Are Coming: The Most Intense Cinematic Neo-Classical Album You’ll Hear This Year

If you’re anything like me, the title to Martin Krampl Music’s debut 13-track album “Things That Are Coming” will leave you with the desperate itch to find out the nature of the things which are coming. Is it a ubiquitous threat, or is it a promise of good things to come?

There is no immediate answer which lies in the multi-layered tonality. The first single only serves to build the tension in this Classical Crossover album as dark harsh tones conflict with the light and optimistic effervescent notes. By the time the first single had drawn to a close, I was left with the affirmation that Martin Krampl may have one of the most Machiavellian composing styles we’ve ever heard.

Throwing an unexpected sample of a crying baby following a prancingly pensive piano melody in the second single was a positively Lars Von Trier-Esque move. Their ability to create urgency through perfect timing and seamless cinematic instrumental evolutions is unparalleled. Each soundscape has its own alchemy, from haunted ethereal mesmerism to dystopic Alt Rock tribalistic tones. I feel as though I’ve been put through an epic aural journey.

If anyone has any tips on how to remove your heart from your throat, it would be greatly appreciated.

You can check out Martin Krampl Music’s debut album which was released on January 17th for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Darren Wilson – Echoes: A Chilling Cinematic Debut

Artist and producer Darren Wilson made their discernible talents audible to the world with their debut EP “Echoes” on January 1st 2020. The title track stands as a true testament to just how much chilling emotion can be poured into an instrumental arrangement.

Their compositions vary from full orchestral scores to ambient soundscapes – which you can delve into if you press play on Echoes. It may be harsh, cold, and dystopian, yet, there’s an arrestive air to Echoes which makes every haunted progression feel meaningful.

It’s only a matter of time before you see Darren Wilson’s name in the credits to feature films worthy of their alchemic approach to creating soundscapes.

You can check out Darren Wilson’s EP for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Lumiere – Nyctophillia: Darkly Cinematic Electronica Meets Neo-Classical

Lumiere

A song dedicated to the feeling of finding comfort in the darkness was never going to evade our radar without piquing our bleak curiosity. Lumiere’s stunning composition Nyctophillia certainly didn’t disappoint.

The neo-classically infused cinematic Electronica score hooks you in from the first stabbing piano note. From there on out, you’re guided along by a bitter-sweet melody which allows you to embrace the aural darkness and find the fractures of effervescence through the lighter notes. Nyctophillia is so much more than an arrangement of deftly played instrumentals. It’s an offering of pure, resonant, cathartic emotion.

If you could imagine what it would sound like if the Verve started crafting instrumental scores, you’d get a good idea of what Lumiere has to offer.

Watching the visuals which Lumiere has put together with the evocatively arrestive soundscape in the official music video is an absolute must. You can check it out for yourselves via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast.

Music

The ÆTHER – Instrumental: The Instrumental Album of the Year

The ÆTHER became one of the most unforgettable emerging artists of the year with the release of their single Alone which featured on their third album Ætherville. No matter how many times I listen to it, it still feels like I’ve had lead injected into my bloodstream.

Their latest 2-hour mammoth project “Instrumental” which consists of 32 tracks affirms that if anyone can be considered the Glenn Branca of our time, it’s The ÆTHER.

By sharing the same avant-garde composing style and the same tendency to experiment with volumes and tones it was never going to be an endurance test. From transcendentally light arrangements to piercingly sharp progressions, to droning guitars, each track swallows your conscious whole.

Rather than taking sole inspiration from other artists, The ÆTHER found inspiration in the work of filmmakers such as David Lynch and Duncan Jones. For the project, they used instrumentals used in their previously released self-produced albums. But with the absence of lyrics, there was no absence of expansive poignancy. The ÆTHER set out to create a new language by creating soundtracks to imaginary films, they more than succeeded. Listening to Instrumental almost feels like a collaborative experience. He’s laid out the explorative soundscapes with easily found aural passages. Then it’s up to find your own narrative.

Instrumental comes highly recommended to any fans of Thurston Moore’s latest extended-release “Spirit Counsel”. The ÆTHER may not currently share the same international acclaim as Moore. Yet his instrumental ability easily sits in parallel alongside their illimitable ingenuity.

You can listen to Instrumental along with their earlier releases on Spotify.

Keep up to date with new releases via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Wesley West – Leaving Earth: Reflectively Delicate Aural Catharsis

“Leaving Earth” is just one of the conceptually resounding singles which feature on Wesley West’s debut instrumental album “You’re Doing Well, Kid”.

With soundtracks being a major influence on Wesley West’s songwriting style, there’s a poignantly reflective air to each of the singles, especially with Leaving Earth. The highly evocative soundscape was inspired by an imagining of how it would feel to lie on a deathbed, moments before you leave your body behind and your soul ascends.

While that may seem like a morbid sentiment, Wesley West ensured that Leaving Earth is anything but melancholic. The delicacy of the lucid notes allows you to explore your own nostalgia while you get a taste of the artist’s through their home recordings of their family.

Leaving Earth is available to stream along with the rest of the album from December 20th via Spotify and Apple Music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

‘Fading’ – Tainted Dream

Tainted Dream, founded by Ziad Sarieddine, have released the first single from their debut LP. The band, also comprised of Jack Grossman, Courtney Grace and Warren Blackwell, create art that is designed to reflect the pain we all feel. But their music simultaneously makes us see the sharp glimmers of devastating beauty within our struggles.

‘Fading’ is the first track from their album, Flip The Page, to be released in video format. The visuals within it paint the same eerie, mystifying silhouette that the vocals cause us to envisage while listening to the song. The tinkling pianos, soft, strumming of strings and breathy, ethereal vocal create a ghostly, yet somehow vital timbre. All of these sounds mingle together to create a track that will most definitely not be Fading into the background anytime soon.

As the song progresses, it becomes clear that we are witnessing a lyrical farewell. The singer professes that there is one she will “never kiss again”. ‘Fading’, then, captures the fleeting, euphoric moments that inevitably come to an end and become distant reveries located in the past. But the entrancing melodies and hopefully instrumentals force us to find the poetic resonances in the love now lost.

As the sultry vocal and downtempo sounds draw to a close, we hear an interlude that can best be described as a whispering of souls. Then, the guitar fades into a quiet void: the end.

Listen to ‘Fading’ Here

Review By (by Alicia Carpenter)