Electronic / IDM / Ambient / Drone listening club


#723

Second pick for me (thanks!). Heading to the guitar side of ambient, which I think is well established now, but was relatively new in the 90s. As a fan of both shoegaze and electronica through that time, guitar textures married to ambient and dance music (like Seefeel and Bowery Electric) really did it for me. While Chapterhouse possibly took that a little too literally, the burgeoning “post-rock” scene was a great place to find experimental music that still had a focus on melody. A key record for me was the Monsters, Robots & Bugmen compilation which was billed as a post-rock primer and really stands up today as a fantastic 2CD (mixed!) compilation of many of the best post-rock artists of the time (and now). One of those artists was Windy & Carl.

‘Preparation’ from that double was taken from their debut, and that introduced me to their subsequent rich seam of form through to Consciousness in 2001, which is my pick this time round. They’ve always built their sound around guitar, with an absence of drums (any rhythm from strums), and so have been on the ambient side of post-rock – I hope they fit in this thread as a result! Over a relatively concise 46 minutes, they demonstrate why ambient can be just as much about guitars as synths, paving the way for Mark McGuire and others. Opening with a classic example of the ‘lead in’ first track (The Sun), a sublime follow-up in ‘Balance (Trembling)’ (one of my all time favourites tracks) and then shifting in and out of shimmering 10 minute+ minute epics (‘Elevation’, ‘Consciousness’) via pretty and more concise interludes (‘The Llama’s Dream’, ‘Resolution’), it’s a keeper for me. I hope if you haven’t heard it you like it too. Interesting to see that they popped up in the recent Sadcore thread, which I’d have never lumped them in with…

They’ve continued recording (with the odd hiatus) into last year, with their last album being a protest piece about corporate America and a fundraiser for friends of theirs who suffered the accidental destruction of their bar (The UFO Factory) and all the associated trouble that came with it.


#724

Never heard this before, but it sounds right up my street. I’ll give it a listen tomorrow.


#725

Just logging in to post a “Finally UPTODATE” and realise that there’s another to listen to… will get onto Consciousness next.

Deaf Centre - Owl Splinters is pretty magnificent isn’t it? I spend a lot of my (unfortunately minimal) production time at the moment playing at blending ebow, voice, synth and strings in different ways and so much of this record does it wonderfully.

I’ve got a running playlist I keep on Apple Music of ambient / downtempo electronica stuff - updated very sporadically (more frequently since trawling through the recommendations here). Would it be appropriate to share it?

Also - can I get on the rota for recommendations too? I’d love to contribute.


#726

You’re on the rota! Next week is going to be a special edition on the Friday for everyone’s FYI…


#727

This is a great choice, Windy & Carl are one of those Kranky acts that I’ve meant to listen to for ages but never got round to. Half way through my first listen and this sounds super lovely so far, top work.


#728

Another vote for one of those artists I’ve been aware of for ages but never checked out. Balance (Trembling) is a really good song title.

I thought you might go with Quique - not too far off the mark!


#729

Seriously considered it, I really did, but l wondered whether it was too well known? (like Biosphere’s Patashnik, or B12’s Electro Soma, etc). My third pick is already sitting in the stack…thanks for supporting this pick though!


#730

Bet there’s a whole bunch of new-to-the-party Ravedeath-drone-upstarts who haven’t really delved into the classics of that era :wink:

Electro-Soma as well! Have you been following the stuff B12 have been curating / producing on Firescope?
https://firescoperecords.bandcamp.com/


#731

Best to whack this in the regular rolling ambient thread


#732

Ooo when the vocals come in on The Llama’s Dream :yum:


#733

No, I haven’t, but thanks for the pointer. I thought Time Tourist was almost as good, having not been aware of it for yonks.


#734

Oh and me too! I never really investigated because I thought it was such a stupid name and I hate wacky name bands (except King G and the WL of course). But apparently ‘Windy’ is a real name? Lovely stuff regardless. Do like a hazy guitar shimmer me. Not as sold on the vocals; on first listen sounds like Grouper but without that intangible something that keeps me hooked to her.


#735

I suppose so (guess that’s where the ‘sadcore’ bit comes from), but Grouper post-dates this by some 15 years, so she had a lot of time to think about how to improve the formula… and on that front, if you still haven’t listened to Midwife’s Like Author, Like Daughter you’re in for a real treat…


#736

Just pretend you’re a Kiwi meeting a Wendy


#737

Isn’t it basically a US version of Wendy? Like how they can’t say Craig or something.

Anyway, Windy and Carl are one of those bands I know a little by, but should investigate more because I’ve really liked what I’ve heard. I only really know Antarctica and Depths and they’re both great. Going to have a proper listen over the weekend!


#738

So much of that early Kranky stuff is great. Growing, Charalambides, Autistic Daughters, Pan American and the big hitters like W&C, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Dead Texan, SOTL and Loscil.


#739

Pan American :heart_eyes:


#740

The guitar which opens the album has a bit that makes me think of Coldplay…


#741

I’m enjoying this week’s pick. Wasn’t 100% sold on first listen but it has grown on me - one you can really sink into. I think it’s best at the points when it’s bit louder like on the title track - get’s quite swirly and all-encompassing.


#742

Ok, this week’s pick is a special edition where I abuse my power as the listening club manager.

And the context is in the opening post here…

I’ve already written an actual essay on the music on this collection which comes with purchases via Bandcamp. But yeah, this is music I am deeply passionate about and I think it’s an incredible collection of ambient / drone / techno / IDM. Consequently, I feel almost no guilt about this shameless plug.