SML025 w.x – Radial Circuit

Radial Circuit

Radial Circuit is drones in circles. It’s a pulsating ride through a soft storm in the dark. It’s planets spinning. A cascade down a canyon into the rushing water below. The seemingly infinite bliss at the moment lightning strikes.

After 5 years away from music, w.x has returned with 9 brand new tracks presented in a lush atmosphere. This next step comes in the wake of the Mini / Capsule / Evening Sunrise compilation of lost work with new remixes of them. Radial Circuit is likewise steeped in the old and the new, keeping treasured drones and noises alive while adding new rhythm and mixing techniques.

Radial Circuit comes at a rather stern time of uncertainty, but it is an opportunity for momentary escape, a chance to tune out. It is recommended that you listen to this album in the absence of screens.

Track Listing:

  1. Vertebrates (3:04)
  2. The Merging of Spheres (6:56)
  3. Like Spirals (3:28)
  4. Shadowpost (6:16)
  5. Chrome and Viscous (5:42)
  6. Rocky Mountain Drone (14:44)
  7. Entrypoint (6:10)
  8. Eye Blossom (6:38)
  9. The First Frost (4:21)



SML023C w.x – . – The Best of w.x, Part III


. is a 3 part series featuring the best material from w.x. Since 2007 Ian Witzel has been releasing music covering a varied selection of genres under the name w.x. He has since decided to retire that name and expand the horizons of his music. After 5 years and over 20 releases the time has come to lay w.x to rest. This compilation features an assortment of different styles and textures ranging from harsh experimental noise to the more ethereal ambient and drone.

Part III showcases the end result from years of experimentation. Unlike the harsh noise and disjointed electronics of the past, this release leans more toward the sublime and transcending ambient. Deep drones murmur underneath slowly dreaming melodies as a soundscape emerges, sending the listener to a driftless plateau where one can see all the beauty of the world. Most of these songs capture the meditative bloom of our minds and make us all glad we possess the power of hearing. Songs like “Far Away From the World” and “Orpheus” have a dazzling charm that opens up our eyes to beautiful sights never perceived before. There is also the flip side of the coin, with songs like “Frozen Kaleidoscope” and “Erosion Decay” presenting the darker aspects of life that still need to be embraced. This release also includes 3 never before released remixes all remixed by the artist.

This is final part of a 3 part series featuring the best music from w.x. The time has come to retire the name and move on to bigger and better things. Thank you all for listening and keep in touch for new sounds in the future.

Track 8 “Above the Horizon” contains samples from Overtone Drones by Mystified.

Track Listing:
1. Certain Species (5:56)
2. Dead Sea Depression (4:27)
3. Frozen Kaleidoscope (4:21)
4. Far Away From the World (7:36)
5. Erosion Decay (4:01)
6. The Space Between Galaxies (6:16)
7. Whirlwind (4:17)
8. Above the Horizon (5:47)
9. Organism (9:29)
10. Orpheus (4:45)
11. Solstice (4:54)
12. Grace Mutilation (Brochial Remix) (6:57)
13. Odyssey Scream (Slow Motion Warfare Remix) (4:24)
14. Borealis (Celestial Endorphin Remix) (6:33)

Album Review: Steven R. Hess / mise_en_scene – Non-Distinction

Label: Los Discos Enfantasmes
Catalog No: LDE 030

We all thought the days of cassette tapes were over but like vinyl it’s trying to make an artistic comeback. The economic world has no use for this obsolete medium; it doesn’t make enough money. Creative people who care about the essence and art of things rather than their dollar amount can still find a sense of joy in such outdated material. It brings back a whim of nostalgia, a distinct smell that only tape conveying past metallic heads can make. This vintage sensation creates a unique experience for the music featured on the tape. It is a transatlantic collaboration featuring Chicago drummer Steven R. Hess and Israeli minimalist mise_en_scene. The project was recorded and edited on tape with some sounds added later. The textures and deep vibrating motions circle and hover around, asphyxiating the listener with extended drones. A translucent cocoon is sonically woven around the body. Heavy rumblings sneak through the membrane and gradually make their presence known, filling the chamber like a soothing vapor.

These distinct artists have forged a delicate intertwining of industrial and organic noise, melding into one uniform whole. Waves of oceanic distortion crash into silvery drones, ringing beautifully for an eternity. The hums of machinery constantly whirr behind the subterranean growls protruding from the purgatorial underworld. All life suspended in mid air while an aural tapestry unravels a minimalist arrangement. Harmony resonating from the convergence point of two different worlds. A new perspective is presented as another chemistry experiment is performed. From halfway around the world a sensory collision fused this impressive display of sound. The density from such cavernous thunder weighs deep into the body; it absorbs it like some therapeutic balm. This intense release is a reassurance that there are still people out there willing to take great risks in music.

Rating: 4 Stars
Standout Track: E.g_3

SML023A . – The Best of w.x, Part I

. is a 3 part series featuring the best material from w.x. Since 2007 Ian Witzel has been releasing music covering a varied selection of genres under the name w.x. He has since decided to retire that name and expand the horizons of his music. After 5 years and over 20 releases the time has come to lay w.x to rest. This compilation features an assortment of different styles and textures ranging from harsh experimental noise to the more ethereal ambient and drone.

Part I focuses more on the noisier aspects but still includes drone pieces. It starts off with the very first w.x track, “Instant Replay Sequence”, originally found on the Vines for the Electric Pant Leg EP. It continues to cover sounds across the entire spectrum of the w.x catalog, including 2 songs from the last release, Hailstone. Dark sprawling epics coincide with noisy smashes of electronic distortion. Even though these songs were created years apart from each other they are able to coexist beautifully and help display some of the best this artist has to offer.

This is part 1 of a 3 part series. Stay tuned in the next couple weeks for the releases of parts 2 and 3 of this compilation. Thank you for listening.

Album Review: SYNEK – Paradiba EP

Paradiba is a short and sweet preview of the foreboding world where SYNEK resides. Consisting of two original songs and one remix, it catapults us on a dark and menacing descent into blackness. The first track, “Fathom”, is a slightly disturbed symphony of industrial sounds saturated by metallic reverberations. They unceasingly bounce off each other until they crash into a point directly in the center of the tunnel we are falling through. The tunnel presumably leads to the center of the Earth but we have no way of knowing. It is simply constant darkness and a lifetime of plummeting.

“Paradiba” is a 13 minute minimalist measurement of atmospheric pressure that lifts us out of the tunnel into the light radiating from above and further. We continue to rise and gently float in space toward a set destination far beyond the galaxy’s horizon. Off in the distance sharp screeches of painful echoes can be heard, though they are not threatening. They still send a shiver down the spine as they inject a fearful strength into your nerves.

The third track is a remix of “Fathom” done very well, with layers of punchy noise strangling the dense clanking echoes into a beautiful and harrowing drone series. It captures the essence of a deranged descent into madness whilst creating a dreamy atmosphere that comforts the tortured mind.

This debut is an excellent starting point for such dark atmospheres. Hopefully we will see more from this artist very soon.

Rating: 4 stars
Standout Track: Paradiba

Review: No-xygen and Mike Radice – From Darkness to Renaissance

Label: Eg0cide Productions
Catalog No: Eg0_052

The latest collaborative effort in the Dark Ambient cosmos has emerged from the atmospheric masters No-xygen and multi-instrumentalist Mike Radice. They have presented us with a soundtrack for the ultimate journey of humankind. Their concept surrounds our struggle to relinquish the darkness and dessication within us and be reborn in an enlightened existence.

These subterranean compositions feature catatonic orchestral progressions that flow in between avant-garde bursts of Industrial despair. With various tones from all over the globe, these movements fuse our anguishes together and give us all a common goal to reach for. Genres clash into each other as Drone intertwines with ethnic beats. The end result is a sui genereis affair that covers the entire atmosphere. From the deepest cave to the exosphere, waves of Ambient murmurs drape over everything, covering our souls with a comforting despondency.

The collaboration consists of four songs from each artist. They each take one end of the spectrum: No-xygen forges the difficult and sorrowful uphill climb out of dark times while Radice shows us the ethereal beauty that awaits us at the top of the mountain. Each song exhibits the yin and yang of their concept. They each contain sentient beauty alongside daunting torment. From this we learn that even though we are in dark times there is still beauty everywhere. We must also not forget that when we are reborn there will be still be desolate gloom to combat. As eternal beings we cannot live without one or the other. In order to evolve we must find the delicate balance between darkness and renaissance.

Rating: 4 stars
Standout track: Renaissance

SML022 w.x – Hailstone

Internet Archive

As the Northern Hemisphere hides from the frigid forces of nature, creative energies are regenerated and sow the seeds for glorious times ahead. Hailstone was created by harnessing the darker aspects of weather and forging them with a wide-eyed optimistic view of the future. It sends us on a journey to find true happiness in our lives, no matter what desolate horrors lie in front of us. We can all channel the dark energies of the evil surrounding us and transform them into a positive reinforcement.

Hailstone utilizes subterranean drones drenched in delays that slow down time and immerse us in a rejuvenating environment. Place headphones on and slip into a dimension created solely for us to experience rebirth. The dark and cold winter is a chance every year to reset the controls and start anew with a wiser insight and more level spirit.

This is the last release under the “w.x” name. Keep in touch as bigger and better things await us all in the future.

1. Glacial Mass (4:05)
2. Black Hole At the Center of the Earth (5:52)
3. Whirlwind (4:17)
4. The Vanishing Sea (5:22)
5. Petrified Forest (6:12)
6. Wings Melting (4:46)
7. Denouement (7:00)

Review: Palancar – The Tender Hand of the Unseen

Label: Buddhist on Fire
Catalog No: BOF-016

The soft waves of the open sea glide onto the beach, casting a molecular drone ashore. This serves as the foundation for an orchestrated ceremony saturated with dark looping textures and elaborate echoes. Overlooking a cliff that stares into the ocean, the sounds collide with nature in a repetitive cycle and showcases the beauty and suffering of this existence.

Palancar is the man behind the Ambient netlabel Earth Mantra which has tantalized our ears with sweet sounds from other worlds. On this release Palancar puts our feet on the ground and drowns us in a harsh reality. These seven sweeping movements circle around the concept of pain and what it can teach us. The extreme suffering of our beings is something we never want to confront; we would much rather not think about it and be free from all pain. One thing we must learn is that we need to understand suffering before we can be free from it.

The solemn nature of these tracks does not inflict a pain many of us are used to. The mournful tones penetrate your skin and gives your soul something to weep about. You can feel your heart slowly melting away and the sounds murmur past you, dragging time into an infinity that’s constantly repeating itself. There is a desolate feeling, as if everything has been forsaken, leaving you to sink to the bottom of the sea. This album gives us understanding of the pain our souls feel every day. We must learn to care for them, heal their spiritual wounds so they can help guide us to wherever it is we are supposed to go.

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Standout Track: Bitter Potion—the-tender-hand-of-the-unseen/

SML021 w.x – Convergence of Time

Set some time aside and just go away to a place of comfort. It could be found in your favorite getaway, deep inside your mind, or both at the same time. We all need a source of escape in these dreadful times. A place where we can forget the stresses and negativity of the world and find solace, insight and peace. A place untouched by modern desecration and lovingly embraced by the arms of nature. Here, you can sink into the tapestries of life and time itself seems to stop as you recharge your spirit, energizing your soul.

Convergence of Time is an homage to our personal retreats. These six tracks cut off the cords that attach us to this dimension and take us on an inward journey towards better times and better places. The drones and placid synths carry the seeds of contentment, sowing them inside us. These seeds will sprout into positive feelings and clearer minds. Slow down and enjoy the miracles of nature. You will emerge a more enlightened being.

Free Download at Bandcamp
Free Download at Internet Archive

Review: Lusruta – Roh EP

Label: Aesthesea
Catalog No: STC011

Drilling a hole deep into the earth, in search of new enlightenment, the underground rumblings of Lusruta emerge. The new EP is a departure from Solemnizing the Trivial, featuring electronic beats and speeds more suitable for the dance floor than your meditative conscience. The earth still quivers under the industrial mindset brought forth as pensive tones break through the wall of noise. There is an experimental edge to the sounds presented. Your inward travels are manipulated and you get tossed in a different direction. You end up in unexplored crevices of your mind and come out illuminated.

The two distinct styles of dark ambient and industrial trade off, forming a unique harmonious connection. They bind our complex feelings of peace and discontent and find a balance. It teaches us that we will have both sides within us at all times and that one cannot survive without the other.

Rating: 4 stars
Standout track: Habitude