Hours alone. Low lights, late nights, and soft melodies.
This is how NH-born composer Brad Couture crafts his music from start to finish - writing, playing, recording, and mixing all his own material in the isolation of his studio. From the first hammer strike on piano string, to the last synthesizer wrapping up all in a warm blanket, his sonic structures are constructed with care - emotionally inspired and acoustically defined.
From the sparse, ambient piano arrangements stretching to full orchestral swells backed by chiming guitars, his melodically driven songs weave uplifting crescendos with melancholic introspection to paint cinematic soundscapes.
With the release of Brad’s new album, Lower Tones, Brad has drawn additional inspiration from neo-classical styles of composition, replacing some the roaring guitars and pounding drums of previous releases with the gentle swells of ambient noise and solo cello. Lower Tones provides the perfect atmosphere to plug in earphones, and unplug from the world.
This is Brad Couture's a first full length album - He wrote, played, recorded and mixed every song himself.
Psychonavigation Records founder, Keith Downey returns with his latest musical offering, Buddha Bowl. Under the guise of No Mask Effect, the prolific Downey has just released his fifth project in under two years through Psychonavigation Records.
The album opens with “Be Good To Us”, a diverse mix of industrial complex beats, electronic and Afro-Caribbean inspired vocal snippets alongside an ear worm of a saxophone groove. On “Siren” the mood shifts with a lush sea of sound drifting from the speakers. A sinister yet tranquil string melody lurks beneath the audio waves, eventually emerging to create a beautiful piece of effortless ambient.
Meanwhile the mysterious bells, chimes and subtle, pulsing rhythm of “Hidden Surprises” takes Downey's long time love of Ambient music to new territory. With chattering electronic beeps and bleeps, celestial vocal samples and an ultrasound inspired bassline that is both intriguing and unexpected.
“Dark Emotion” however, reveals itself to be more enigmatic rather than pessimistic. An eight minute sensatory expedition of obscure samples both organic and electronic, nature sounds, glorious synths spiraling electronic loops are all included in the production. Music for headphones, this track's intricacies can only unfold with repeated listens.
With what is undoubtedly his most accomplished and eclectic collection to date, Buddha Bowl should satisfy long time No Mask Effect fans while exposing his unique sound to many new listeners.
Montreal experimental band AIM LOW is set to release Scratched Out on 12" format, a record that has been plagued with numerous issues from disappearing band members, lost recording stems, a messed up vinyl test pressing, artwork problems, and numerous other issues. Toss in a hospital visit (via ambulance, no less), and you can understand why the band is happy to finally release this three song collection of dense shoegaze-y drone density in the vein of early-Sonic Youth, Nadja, and Rhys Chatham. AIM LOW practically took everything into their own hands to get the lp out, right down to the spraypainting process of the lp jackets that can be seen here - https://youtu.be/bbZvcHV2HqQ
Lead off track "Tacit Approval" sets the sound for their forthcoming full length, currently being mixed by Jon Drew, bridging the more experimental nature of their now sold out CD-R Foulards and sold out cassette String Theory with a more structured sound based around the controlled chaos surrounding fuzzed out crackling spoken word vocals. The 12"'s centerpiece "Low Hanging Fruit" was recorded in a church in Montreal West to capture as much natural reverb possible to achieve a contextual Beach Boy sound, complete with "oooh" vocals that are heavily processed with the band's penchant for knob-twiddling effects pedals. And closing track "Phantom Cat" is a twelve minute highway ride of multiple layers and textures in the key of A with lung-straining chanting.
AIM LOW has previously played with the likes of Disappears, Weekend, Moon Duo, and Stephen O'Malley, and plan to support Scratched Out with more dates and a tour in the late Summer of 2017.
"The Vacation" is a fifth album by Endless Melancholy. It is a follow up to project's rather acclaimed full-length "Her Name In A Language Of Stars", released back in 2015. "The Vacation" was lovingly crafted over the span of two months, processed through the vintage reel-to-reel tape recorder for some analog warmth and received a thoughtful master from Stephan Mathieu at Schwebung Mastering studio. Wonderful artwork was created by Lita Akhmetova. The album was released on 27 June, 2017 via Hidden Vibes (CD + digital) and ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ (tape + digital).
They had wakened one morning and the world was empty - 04:35
Stillness mixed with stillness - 05:29
"Wouldn't we be lonely?" - 05:59
His voice faded - 03:06
Sunflower wildernesses - 05:12
Earth that was now no more than a meadow - 04:19
Enough to cost us a lifetime - 05:12
And he had walked her through the still and empty city streets - 04:41
A combination of retro aesthetics, enduring lyrics and alt-rock grit.
The best music happens when artists refuse to remain stuck in their own comfort zones and creative boxes. Whenever this happens, they are free to give full range to their vision, and they can really come up with something that’s groundbreaking and personable. This is certainly the case here with Tommy Red and his brand new EP release, “I Wanna Be Exploited.”