Saturday, January 5, 2013

Trentemoller-Into the Great Wide Yonder (2010)

We have talked about Trentemoller here before.  I am a huge fan and consider him to be one of the best electronic music producers in the world.  The latest release from this Danish artist came back in 2010.  I will talk briefly about "Into the Great Wide Yonder"

As good as "The Last Resort" was, I felt that that album had a few minor flaws in that it included too many tracks, some of which sounded like filler material.  No such tracks exist on "Into the Great Wide Yonder."  Each of them is a gem. 

The latest album does something different for Trentemoller, treating fans with vocals.  Often, vocals thrown haphazardly into an electronica track sounds forced, uninspired and dull to say the least.  Trentemoller mixes it up nicely here with some lovely guest female vocals that are soulful and serene, adding a complex layer of melody to the synth and sample sounds.  This aesthetic was a smash hit for me, as Sycamore Feeling and ...Even Though You're With Another Girl are spectacles in their own right.  These two tracks in particular are at the same time danceable electronica tunes and easy to sing along to.

This is an addictive release.  Trentemoller includes samples from numerous instruments in this release, even adding a flavorful pedal-effect guitar tone using the whammy bar and heavily drowned in reverb textures.  I know I'm at risk of sounding like a huge hypocrite by saying this, but I wish this album were longer.  It ends far too quickly. 

Another thing I hope for is a brand new Trentemoller release in 2013.  As far as electronic music goes, he is simply as good as it gets.  Below are a few tracks smashed together in one soundcloud sample.  I also added ...Even Though You're With Another Girl because you just have to hear it.  As always, thanks for reading and enjoy!!

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Music from Shatter Silence and Funeral for a Friend

We haven't done one of these new music posts in a while, mostly because the pool of new stuff to share is so small.  So far 2013 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for music, what with new albums from Omnium Gatherum, Soilwork, Sarah Brightman, and The History of Colour TV promised for early year releases. 

Today brought us two more new items.  The first is from a Japanese metal band called Shatter Silence.  They have a new album entitled "Glory Will Under the Sun".  This album is out and is allegedly offered as a free download, if you have the right software to unzip the file.  This band doesn't have a bandcamp or a soundcloud page, but luckily they have a few YouTube videos. 

Shatter Silence play an interesting brand of melodeath with heavy, screamed vocals and layered cleans.  This takes place over a canvas of fast, chunky riffs, augmented with melodic keyboard sections.  I found this to be a very interesting album.  I'm still looking for a reliable place from which to purchase this record, but I am digging the music.  Check out the video below.

We are huge Funeral for a Friend fans here at ThinkMuzik, so imagine how ecstatic I was to find that they will be releasing a new album next month.  The new album, "Conduit", is due out on February 5.  We have added this to our list. 

If you are unfamiliar with Funeral for a Friend, this Welsh band takes a modern hard rock approach with catchy melodies and melds it with a slight metalcore edge.  The vast majority of their vocals are clean singing with excellent hooks, though screams and shouts remain a part of their sound.  So far this new track doesn't sound as memorable as songs from "Memory and Humanity" or "Welcome Home Armageddon," but then again, the entire album has not been made available yet.  Come February 5, you can gaurantee you will be reading a review of the new album here.  Listen to the new track below.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Free Downloads-Sequence compilations

I am generally not a huge fan of compilation albums, usually because I purchase albums from the bands I am interested in, making the experience of the compilation album obsolete.  That said, there are certain times when I find compilations to be exciting and rewarding, particularly when they are offered for free.

Future Sequence, from the best that I can tell, is an independent record label featuring ambient electronic artists.  Their bandcamp page has loads of interesting looking albums and five "Sequence" compilations, each of which are free downloads.

The latest, "Sequence5", is just as good a listen as the first, which I downloaded immediately.  I have just found out that there is loads of free music to be had at the Future Sequence bandcamp page.  Since I am a sucker for well-made ambient music, I really dig these albums.  Their cover images, usually depicting modified mountain scenes, are beautiful and abstractly serene, helping to further the cause of the music.

"Sequence5" includes 42 tracks that run the gamut from all-out drone to minimalistic, instrumental neo-classical tunes.  Some tracks include hushed and distorted vocals.  Each track is a down tempo masterpiece, laden with electronic reverb, spacey atmospherics, and blissful harmonies.  This is the type of music with which you just sit and relax to get lost in the various and unique tastes the album exhibits. 

Ambient music, like most genres, is not for everyone.  If you enjoy well-constructed ambient electronic tunes, then chances are you will like most of the tracks on this compilation. 

I have not been an avid follower of ambient music for an extended period, so I don't know many of the artists whose music appears on this compilation.  Among the many artists represented in "Sequence5" are Brambles, Moon Zero, Olan Mill, Prayers, Shredderghost, and much, much more.  These are simply the names that jump out at me. 

This compilation is completely free.  I have embedded a few of the standout tracks below, as opposed to offering the stream of all 42 tracks.  Download this compilation.  You literally have nothing to lose.  As always, thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Karl Verkade-Water review

I often cringe at the 'experimental' label that so frequently gets used as a genre tag.  For starters, what does 'experimental' music sound like?  Second, there are literally hosts of different genres of music that could be described as 'experimental' in nature.  Thus, it is no more a descriptive term than metal or rock.  I could go on, but what is the point?

Today it is my task to review the music of a solo artist who is tagged as 'experimental' ambient music.  Karl Verkade is a Los Angeles musician who strings together beautiful and thought-provoking music that borrows ideas from ambient, post-rock, and new wave.  This music pushes the boundaries of genre classification, which is, in my opinion a good thing. 

This album offers 14 tracks of slow-burn style ambiance that is both guitar-driven and electronic atmospheric, giving it a careful shine that is as deep as oceans.  "Water: Music for Meditation" is not something one should simply sit and listen to.  It is best-served as background music for tasks requiring thought and pondering.  I find that it also works for driving with, but that is my taste for you. 

By now most of you know that my taste in music is extremely varies and decidedly unpopular.  This album fits that niche perfectly.  Verkade's music is quality and enjoyable, even in an extrasensory, spiritual sense.  It is difficult to describe the feeling these tunes produce.  The music often draws the line between sorrowful atmospheric tones and sensational, exciting post-rock tunes.  As a general rule, it is more somber and reflective than most post-rock, but more melodic and deeper than the majority of ambient music.

I found this album to be a welcome addition to my collection that was worth the money (none) that I put into it.  When I downloaded "Water: Music for Mediation," it was a name-your-price purchase from Verkade's bandcamp page, but now that I'm writing this I see that it is six dollars or more.  That is still more than a bargain, considering that most of the tracks on this album exceed seven minutes in length.  If you were to purchase each song individually from Amazon or iTunes, the price would easily be double what Verkade offers it for.  If you are in the mood for some beautiful, melodic, ambient post-rock tunes, you should enjoy this.  Below we have the full album stream, courtesy of Verkade's bandcamp page.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Les Miserables Soundtrack

The poster shows a young girl in the background of a dark night. Text above reveals the cast listing and text below reveals the film's title.
Greetings my friends.  So many of you know that my husband and I post on this blog.  We can have very different tastes in music sometimes and this is a good thing because it gives you the reader more music to listen to and bands to read about.  Today I have chosen to share the music from the new installment of Les Miserables.  I took my husband on a date to see this new movie on Saturday and have had the music imprinted on my brain for days now. 

First thing you should know is that I love musicals.  I saw Phantom Of The Opera like 5 times in the theater and bought the soundtrack the second we were able to.  I really enjoy the Broadway soundtrack and knew that I had to see this new film.  Not to mention the star power behind the singing.  One thing you should know about this movie is that all of the singing is live and recorded during each scene.  None of the music you will hear is prerecorded.  That is and of itself is amazing.  You can feel the emotion behind the song and you can definately see it on screen.  The soundtrack features such actors as Hugh Jackman playing Jean Valjean, Russel Crowe is Javert, Ann Hathaway is Fantine, Amanday Seyfried plays Cosette, plus you hear Sasha Baren Cohen, Helana Bonham Carter, and many more.  In my opinion they do an amazing job.

Les Miserables is a famous play adapted from the book written by Victor Hugo.  The book has been adeapted at least 5 times with the most famous being the 1980's musical complosed by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg.  This is the music that the cast sticks with this new film.  The songs are very familiar and yet you get to hear them as if for the first time.  You can purchase the entire 1980 version in stores or on Amazon.  Unfortunately the new film soundtrack has selected tracks and so you do miss out a little on some of your favorites, but what is featured on the album is well your time and your money.  It is available at most retailers and on I-Tunes. Below is a track from the new film soundtrack, it features almost the entire cast singing One More Day.  Enjoy

  If you like what you have heard I encourage you to go out and experience this for yourself.  The music in this movie is incredibly moving and the actors do a great job singing. -Kristy
P.S.  I have also included a brief album preview.  It lets you sample some of the music on this soundtrack.

Monday, December 31, 2012

JMSL-Elle M'aime review

Another unexpected 2012 gem, by 19-year old California artist Jay-Miss-Elle, otherwise known as JMSL, "Elle M'aime" is an interesting listen that excites the senses. 

Not only is the cover art for "Elle M'aime" fantastic, but the music is unbelievably mature.  Like so many other great records released this year, this music is difficult to categorize.  The best one can possibly do in most instances would be to call this a creative amalgam of avant-garde trip-hop, chillwave, and electronic ambient music.  Even that does not begin to describe what graces listeners' ears with this album.

"Elle M'aime" is a diverse listen that covers plenty of space and many different styles of music, but is mostly rooted in electronica.  The 13 track invoke numerous emotions, from lighthearted electro-pop, to dreary, down tempo chillwave that carries a certain vibe of trip-hop.  This is something you must hear to get a proper feel for what the music is like, and it takes several tracks to understand at that.

Each track is sparsely populated with trip-hop beats set across a canvas of emotional and atmospheric experimental ambiance.  JMSL's vocals are an electronically distorted array of interesting pop singing, carefully modified with exceptional digital effects that are at the same time out-of-this world and strikingly down to earth.  Though it is mostly impossible to understand the lyrics, the style of singing and vocal effects manage to convey the emotion behind the words succinctly. 

As I mentioned before, this was an unexpected discovery in a genre I rarely stray into.  It was also rewarding, keeping me interested throughout.  You really have to hear this record.  "Elle M'aime" is on offer as a name-your-price download from the JMSL bandcamp page, which also supplies us with the complete album stream.  Be sure to listen to a few tracks.  If you should feel inclined, please donate a few bucks to her cause, as she is a promising young artist who will hopefully offer many future releases to enjoy.  As always, thanks for reading and enjoy!