Not kept up with any Flashbulb since Soundtrack to a Vacant Life (10 years ago?!!), which I enjoyed, so looking forward to this.
as ever with these spotify playlists there’s a mix of good and bad but i think there are some really worthwhile, hidden gems on these two:
(ignore the pitchfork-y genre names, imo "future garage"and “witch house” and “chillstep” or whatever are just hipster for “drone/ambient with beats”)
Wrong thread bruh.
jfc this is twice i’ve done this
Late to the party but keen to join in - going to attempt to get through all the recommends to date and post my thoughts if that’s cool. Happy to suggest stuff from time to time too. Good threading!
Ace, always happy to hear more thoughts on the earlier picks.
Sorry, slow reply! Definitely agreed that the second track incorporates the bad things from the first much better. I know he’s done some music more in that vein on other records, but even if you like it (which I don’t), it’s just so horribly out of place here.
I agree on the vocoders too – they’re another thing I started to mention in the OP, but cut for the sake of brevity. Vocoders are often something that induces eye rolling nowadays, but he somehow hits a great balance with the cadence and texture of them throughout and I think they really add to the record here.
Yeah, vocoders are unfairly maligned. Can be used really well at times (BoC’s A Beautiful Place in the Country being the obvious example)
I wish I hadn’t read that patchwork blanket comment because now I can’t get it out of my head when I’m listening to this. It’s almost too diverse, which I know sounds like a weird complaint to make. It jumps about all over the place and just as I’ve got settled into one vibe, a completely different one takes over. There’s a few tracks I really like, but I’m not at all sure it hangs together as an album. I think I’ve got to live with the thing as a whole for a while longer before I can decide if it’s a keeper or not.
Ah sorry about that! I’m inclined to agree, though - I think there’s a really solid n5md-esque album in here if you trimmed it down. Can imagine though that what feels initially like patchwork could come to feel really comfortingly familiar over time.
I also have a real soft spot for artists like this who churn out shedloads of tracks which traverse the various IDM sub-genres. As someone who once did that but most of it was a bit shit I have a respect for folks like The Flashbulb who keep up a veneer of quality.
I’m definitely at the ‘comfortingly familiar’ stage with the album - I’ve listened to it a lot, and so all those little melodic hooks are well and truly buried into my head. I’m not quite sure whether it’s familiarity that’s meshed it all together for me and given it some coherence or that I’m just more predisposed to this approach than some others.
For me, the coherence comes through in some of the instruments that feature throughout like the acoustic guitars, piano, vocoder etc. rather than necessarily the slow gradual development of a theme. If that makes sense?
I do think agree it’s overlong, and possibly frontloaded mind.
So this week is my choice. Not going to lie, I’m not as au fait with the more IDM/minimal side of things that have been posted in this thread so far, and I’m pretty out of touch with the more droney end of this spectrum, and not as into it as I was 4 or 5yrs ago. But I’m going to give it a decent crack, and hoping that it’s a good choice.
I’ve been wrestling over which album to choose since @AphexTwinkletoes messaged me a week or so ago. I narrowed it down to 2 in the end, and decided to plump for one that I haven’t listened to in a long while.
So I’ve chosen…
Alphabet 1968 by Black To Comm
hoping that these links work tbh
I’m not one for writing blurbs or previews, so will keep this short. Released in 2009, on Boomkat favourites, Type Records. A pretty succinct record at 43 minutes and probes the deeper end of the ambient genre and delves into patches of drone at times. For Fans of Fennesz or Tim Hecker I suppose.
I’ve enjoyed getting reacquainted with this album over the past week, having not listened to it since 2010. So I’ve got something out of this thread, even if this choice is a dud with you guys.
First artist I’ve not even heard of so far. Sounds up my street though.
One of the first ambient LPs I ever bought tbf. Just never appreciated it as much as I should have done. Was more into An Imaginary Country and SOTL at the time and never really gave this the time it deserved.
On my first listen. Never heard it before either. Cranked it up on headphones. Not sure I was ready. Forst is incredible.
Probably the high point (I’m listening now too, just about 15 mins ahead of you). But yeah, actually pretty happy with this choice tbh
It felt like the aural equivalent of that moment at the IMAX where the screen stretches out. Except, like, forever.
I presume that’s a good thing. I’ve never been.
Thinly veiled etc
(It’s a good thing)
Yep. Very impressed on first listen. It felt like it was falling into a black hole towards the end (Houdini Rites/Void), which I was loving, but delighted when it bloomed into warm strings for the final track. Really love the use of field recordings and general scratches/crackle throughout. Can see the Tim H/Fennesz references. Thought of Yellow Swans and even Ben Frost in some of the noisier sections. Some of the sudden transitions and drop-outs between tracks were especially Hecker-esque, and that sort of processed organ sound in Traum Gmbh is like proto-Ravedeath. Very much its own thing though. Awesome choice!