Liquid Stranger – Cryogenic Encounters

Interchill Records strikes again…

Liquid Stranger – Cryogenic Encounters

I’ve been a fan of Liquid Stranger since his first Interchill release years ago.  He’s really willing to push the boundary of how far one can apply the dub paradigm.  His first record was a great bouncy ethno-dub affair.  His last record was a foray into dubstep, with a lot of ethno-instrumentation in the offing.  I wasn’t a fan of that album because I’m constitutionally allergic to dubstep, but I had a lot of intellectual appreciation for the experimentation and super-hadron-colliding of styles.

This album is on a different level than all that previous work.  This album is paced much slower, with many songs having l o n g  ambiences, only punctuated by percussion in the middle stanzas; Frostbite and Cryo are perfect examples.   Ectoplasm is one long ambience that makes me slightly teary.  I wonder if Liquid Stranger has been hanging out with Solar Fields lately…They’re both in Sweden, not sure if Stefan is from Gothenburg.  Something about the way the songs move between ambience and rhythms (not to mention the crystal clear sound design) seriously screams SOLAR FIELDS at you.

As the album name implies, the sound has a crystalline and ice-cold feel to it.  It’s a sound you’d expect to hear from a Scandinavian.  Again, I applaud the experiments in moving most of the themes of his sound into new thematic areas.  We grabbed every thing from the album except for one song and slid it happily into the OEM library.

Pick this one up.

Ishq – And Awake

I completely missed this album late release last year, but I’m really glad we dug it up.

Ishq – And Awake

Mr. Ishq is a dear friend, and I’m really happy to see his second release on Interchill Records, a long pause since 2004’s Orchid; one of my top 5 favorite ambient records ever.  Compared to Matt’s other projects in the intervening years, And Awake sounds more like the next chapter after Orchid than anything else he’s put out.

There are a few new production techniques that can be heard, but largely Ishq keeps to his tried and true methods of shimmery melodies with organic and synth ambiences providing a backdrop.  It’s a beautiful record.

A problem that a lot of Ishq’s work presents (and that of a lot of other very talented ambient musicians) for the radio station is the length of the songs.  It’s ill-advised difficult to add a lot of 8-14 minutes songs.  Especially with our multi-genre multi-tempo format, you have to trust that folks won’t tune out after a few minutes of ambient music.  Thus, I try to keep the 8-14+ minute ambient tracks few and far between, and when they are added to the library, they are damn good. 

Also, with Mr. Ishq’s full support, we posted for free download recordings of the live concert her performed for us in San Francisco back in October 2003.  You can download them for FREE right HERE, including the amazing 20+ minute rendition of Fluid Earth.

Dubtrak – Rapture

Clearing out the back log of CD’s that had been sitting on my desk since the Autumn, I found this little ditty.

Dubtrak – Rapture

This is a heavy psychedelic dub album.  We’d received his first album a couple of years ago.  If I recall correctly, it was a little too heavy…at the time..  This record has the feel of an Interchill Records release, exploratory dubbed out electronics with plausible … nay, competent organic instrumentation interleaved.  As with a lot of psychedelic dub albums in the last few years, the bass crosses over to the WOB WOB WOB dubstep bass sounds.  But on this release, I’m not too bothered because Mr. Dubtrak keeps his bass lines under control and doesn’t let them spaz out into blown-out rubber tire land.  Two tracks that really caught me were Ghostly Caravan and Chant For Crossing Over.  The song TransKarmic Portal has an old school 100 bpm downtempo trance-stomper with ethno flutes and percussion. When done right, I’m a total sucker for a good old fashion downtempo driving ethno-trance stomper.

Check out Dubtrak at his website.

Projective Module – Other Things That Happened

Only a certain (fluctuating) fraction of the CDs that are sent in make it to the OEM Radio library.  I am usually super-elated when an unsolicited submission really sounds interesting.  Thus, I was terribly pleased when I finally put my ear on this album from Black Note Music:

Projective Module – Other Things That Happened

An interesting electronica album with a notable dub undercurrent and often, an organic rhythm section.  The track that hooked me was Circumvolo (as noted out on the info sheet, nice one guys), a beautiful and minimal ditty with delicate melodies counterbalanced with the right amount of clicks and whirrs.  This one track made be stop and listen back through the entire album several times, and we wound up with 6 new and very interesting dub/electronica songs for the library.

The info sheet/page on the album is here.

New Ultimae Records albums in…

I have been a little slow keeping up with the new albums sent in.  Ultimae’s got one compilation and one artist album that we just added to the OEM Radio library.

Various Artists – Ambrosia (selected by Fishimself)

A lovely compilation with entries mostly from Greek artists hitherto unheard of, at least from the Ultimae catalogue.  Beautiful and interesting songs that lend to the Ultimae style, but definitely have their own unique trends.  Also heard from: Aes Dana and Asura.

Solar Fields – Until We Meet The Sky

Magnus always impresses me when I hear a new album.  A lot of delicate ambiences at the beginning.  Just when you think this is an extension of Extended (deep ambient), all of a sudden in Phase 05, you get the electronica version of a power-ballad, but only for a minute or so to punctuate the track, which lulls back into ambiences.  Magnus pulls this trick off several times as the album progresses.  Beautiful record.

Check them out at Ultimae Records.