Album Review: Lcoma – Evolve EP

Label: Inner Ocean

The faint ringing of a faraway alarm wafts over airwaves, dispersing an alert agitation to the ears it reaches. A continuous drone spirals its way out as the ringing ripples across the land. A change has occurred somewhere nearby and all organisms give off a sudden reaction; a biological response to the tough times that will soon arrive. The evolution of the planet takes one more small painful step towards serenity.

Lcoma’s Evolve EP is a cyclical story about the struggles of anxiety. All living beings in this dimension battle this ailment at one time or another and it’s always in a circular pattern. We start off feeling apprehensive and concerned. This gradually descends into a worrisome obsession. We begin to dwell on every miniscule aspect until all of it means nothing. A darkness washes over and the smothering stench of desperation overwhelms the mind. The progression of time brings us back into the light. A harrowing experience always end with a dose of wisdom as the world feels inviting and cheerful again, all fright vanquished. Further on down the road a new obstacle appears and the cycle begins again.

Evolve starts in a bleak dream state, a swelling ethereal loss of physical perception. The music transports you to another world, dark and eerie at first but soon comforting. Distorted particles caress the skin and send shivers throughout the entire nervous system. This aural out-of-body experience is new yet strangely familiar. It is a refuge for the soul to escape to whenever peril arises. This is replaced by deep tones of anxiety palpitating on the window. A floating sensation takes over; you are now suspended in a riotous wind. Various spirits and emotions try to pull you in different directions and end up ripping you apart. For one brief incalculable moment all hope seems lost.

By the time the eponymous track at the end appears, a wondrous process of regeneration has begun. The harrowing experience has come to pass and time begins its eternal task of healing. Docile tones enliven your molecules, repairing your understanding and clearing your mind. A mild enlightenment has just occurred as the circle arcs to its completion, ready to begin again. Every time we finish a circle we evolve a little more. As the drones fade and the guitar tremors all alone, we walk into the horizon ready for whatever may come next.

Rating: 4.5 Stars
Standout Track: Evolve


Album Review: L_coma – Unwanted Noise

Floating on a rippling pond, gently rocked away by a placid lullaby. Layers of treated guitars are carried on the wind, entwining with the sweeping tears of distorted water. A column of dense echoes wraps around, different colors swirling into a vortex of soft noise. A whirlpool begins to twist, silently absorbing all the essence of life. A watery black hole inhales all existence and keeps it safe beneath its glassy surface. This is where all unwanted noise goes.

Descending deep into the gleaming crest, soft trembles of sound emanate from walls of water. A lustrous world is revealed where lucid dreams go to sleep and unchained spirits roam free. All the unwanted noise discarded by the world is recycled in the deluge and transformed into a soft stream of calming drones. They slowly flow past, trickling away from the pond into the forest to merge sounds with the outside world. Something that was once undesirable to the ear is now a pleasant ambiance awash in smoky aquatic reverberation. It has made its cyclical journey back to the source only to be regenerated and sent out again. A continuous flow of enchanting sound designed to cleanse the mind and relax the soul.

L_coma’s dreamy world blocks out all distractions. It is very easy to get lost in this music and forget about everything. All negativity is washed away, all sense of time and reality put on hold while the encompassing soundscape caresses the body. Drowning in ringing murmurs and guitar twinges is almost suffocating and when the surface is broken and air fills the lungs once more, there is only a thick fog full of arresting sound, forcing the body to return afloat. Once again suspended and lulled by the embracing water as it slowly returns the brain to the conscious and dreary world.

Rating: 4.5 Stars
Standout Track: Released Anxiety

Album Review: Schemawound – They Want to Make Your Body Move. I Want to Hold You Perfectly Still

Label: Waxen Wings
Catalog No: wwa0000

Schemawound is the brain child of J. Siemasko and employs a variety of electronic genres. Ranging from ambient, glitch and IDM to noise and industrial, his works has broken the genre rules. They stand alone as being completely unique, impossible to categorize. This has given him the freedom to expand his sonic horizons with every new release. Being confined to the strict criteria of a specific can often be a creative hellhole where you end up creating the same songs over and over again. Schemawound’s newest release They Want to Make Your Body Move. I Want to Hold You Perfectly Still breaks free from the musical canon, fusing genres together while simultaneously inventing new definitions for what we perceive to be music.

Grains of synthesis sprinkle on the ceramic counter as a lightly jarring ambiance pulsates through a fuzzy television screen in a beige waiting room. Meticulous drones crawl across the hospital floor. A completely clean and sanitized noise slithers through the air vents, wafting into the nearby surgical suites. The room becomes a foggy chamber, encasing you in fragments of sound ricocheting back and forth. Subterranean vibrations and high-pitched chimes descend from above like a flying saucer coming to take away our dead. The whole experience plays trick with your mind as time, perception and intonation morph into something new and frightening.

The songs fluidly blend into each other, seamlessly bound together by an intricate stream of ligaments and tendons. You don’t know where to begin or end; you simply continue. Life goes on and as one thing ends you drift into the next one without even realizing. The concise rigidity to this album is due to the fact that it was composed entirely from code on a computer program. The technical aspects are awe-inspiring. Such fastidious generation takes hours of precise calculation and detailed analysis. The end result is an avantgarde robotic composition that is devoid of emotion.

There is very little human expression; it all sounds so cold. The bleak empty cavity is instead filled with a revealing creativity. Siemasko has shown us the computer’s soul without its heart. It’s a very stark display. The entire ensemble has a very otherworldly quality making it strange and intriguing. The computer, though artificially powered, is still a living being. It’s thoughts might be programmed but it still has spiritual vibrations. This is a glimpse at the capabilities of metaphysical computer music. Deeper exploration will reveal entire new dimensions of music and sound to our senses.

Rating: 3.5 stars
Standout Track:

Stellardrone – Echoes

Label: Energostatic
Catalog No: Stasis009

The clouds up above shroud the stars from our view. The sun slowly emerges from behind the mountains, shining heavenly light on everything you can see. Colors blossom before you as your mind and body prepare for another beautiful day in this existence. You are rested, peaceful and eager to experience everything the world has to offer.

These are the first thoughts generated when listening to Stellardrone’s Echoes. This Lithuanian composer has joined forces with nature, space and music to create stunning ethereal soundscapes. The drones paint an abstract landscape across an atmospheric canvas. The sounds are very gentle and calming. They shelter you from a cold rain while still giving you opportunity to look out upon the wondrous spectacle nature is creating. An Ambient flow is unceasingly felt as sounds effortlessly flow back and forth into a beautiful spectrum of tones.

Stellardrone’s orchestra of the spirit is a placid journey, taking you through the space up above and the space around you. It guides you across barren terrain’s as you get a birds-eye view of the world through a different set of eyes. The whole experience puts your own vision into perspective as you slowly learn that what you see is not all that’s really there.

Rating: 4 Stars
Standout Track: Nightscape

Review: Aristidis K. – Zero Point

Label: Webbed Hand
Catalog No: wh191

The world has collapsed into a single point. All known life has vanished. The only thing that remains is a guitar creaking the faint light of hope back into existence.

Aristidis K. has turned a dark corner on Zero Point. Subhuman effects rumble alongside the dreamy atmosphere creating a bittersweet sensation. The songs are simple and modest, leaving your mind to wander amongst the tones. The mild experimentation flutters on the side, only making its presence known when the need arises. Static and guitar warbles fog up the room, making you feel like the only soul to survive the apocalypse.

The sounds were crafted for that one person who somehow manages to live after the demise of Earth. You get the feeling that you are that one lucky human allowed to stay on this plane. As you float aimlessly the vast mists of time and space, this soundtrack plays. It echoes off the stars themselves and wraps you up safely, protected by the spirits of the universe.

Rating: 3.5 stars
Standout track: 4:37 AM

Review: Aristidis K. – #11038

Label: Earth Mantra
Catalog No: earman142

A subtle guitar echoes across the deserted landscape. Sudden vibrations are cast into the air from an unknown source and only you can feel them. You are the only soul for miles around. The desolate terrain stretches as far as the eye can see, covering your known world. A lonely feeling washes over and your only solace is in the layer of melancholic music slowly blanketing your cold body.

Greece’s Aristidis K. has painted a soothing yet sad soundscape in this release. With little depth, guitars float high in the sky and slowly decay downward upon the ears below. The album creates a comfort. With an undisturbed flow between songs you can journey within and come to terms with your emotions. It’s gloomy enough to make you feel trapped in a web but it is also uplifting enough where you can feel safe inside a cocoon, ready to emerge. At times, blips of modern jargon disrupt your sojourn, forcing a rift in the web woven by placid guitar strums.

In our fragile world, there is comfort in the knowledge that sometimes you can escape the despondency and get lost in your own landscape. Our most unexplored land is within and there is where we will find all the answers.

Rating: 3.5 stars
Standout track: The Sun and Night

Review: Subterrestrial – Nature Is Infinite

Label: Webbed Hand
Catalog No: wh177

Nature. The material world. The sum total of the forces at work throughout the universe. Nature has a hand in everything that happens on this plane of existence. Everything you have ever seen, heard and experienced and everything going on inside of you at this very moment. Thanks to nature, you are able to read this review right now. Every atom currently in existence in the universe owes a serious debt to nature.

Subterrestrial’s homage to nature goes beyond what most of us think of when we hear that word. Nature is more than the sunset reflecting off a still pond. It is everything. The intricacies that are found in every square millimeter of this planet could not be if the forces that be toiled for eons. It has been at work since the dawn of time and will continue to work well after you and I have faded from existence and the keyboard I am typing on decays into its natural state. Nature truly is infinite. Some might even say that nature is God, if you believe in that sort of thing. They would be correct. If you want to be closer to God, worship nature.

Six organic soundscapes waft about in the space between your ears. The cascades of sound numb your outer senses and give you an idea of what is going on inside. Your heartbeat becomes the only clock you need to follow. You can feel the blood racing through your veins, the flashes of lightning in your brain, the trillions of movements from your nerve endings. You can begin to get a sense of your connection to the rest of the universe. A tiny window opens as you slowly start to understand that we are all a part of nature. We are all one, part of the ever-turning wheel that makes up our existence.

Standout track: The Lava Tube
Rating: 4 stars

Review: Earlyguard – Solitary Moon

I would like to present you with an introduction to a new chapter in Drone music. Earlyguard has handed over the keys to a craft on which we can further explore sound and our own minds. These four tracks take us on a voyage few of us could have ever imagined. A blissful void where the mind is clear and the heart flutters with euphoria. And he does this simply by sending us on a trip to the moon.

Sonic celestial journeys has ventured much farther than the moon. The distance traveled does not matter. What happens during the travel is an experience few appreciate. The wisdom absorbed into our souls can tell us all the answers to our wildest questions.

Drones drift through your ears with flashes of electronic blips. They sound like the controls of a spaceship as the orchestra plays along, gently carrying you off to a faraway place. The heavens of space seem to be parting right in front of you, creating a show of bliss and solace. An acceptance of loneliness washes over and you slowly begin to realize that the closest living thing, everyone you love and everything you’ve ever known is thousands of miles behind you in the vast emptiness of space.

Prepare to open your eyes and soul with this lunar journey soundtrack. Your senses will appreciate the trip away from home.

Standout track: Solitary Moon
Rating: 4.5 stars!/Earlyguard

Review: BGUDNA – Attended Only by Birds EP

Label: None
Catalog No: N/A

Iceland has always been known for forward-thinking music and BGUDNA is no exception. Hailing from the haven of fire and ice, BGUDNA (AKA Björgvin Guðnason) creates dreamy and harrowing soundscapes using only one tool – his piano. The 8 songs on this EP are not ordinary classical compositions. They exude much more raw emotions ranging from joy to sorrow. The atmosphere created is beautiful, confusing and savage. Guðnason has displayed a wonderful interpretation of the perplexing intricacies of life. He uses the piano to pour out all of his fears, insecurities and elations. The music produced is a misguided and unorganized outpouring of atmospheric tones. You get swept up by its chaos and travel the ups and downs and are left with a reflection of your own life. Attended Only by Birds is one of the most discouraging yet identifiable releases to have come out in a long while.

Standout track: With You There, Everyday
Rating: 4 stars

Review: Somnarium – Frost

Label: Earth Mantra
Catalog No: earman160

Somnarium is the work of Michael Meara’s ambient orchestral movements. His goal is to create soundscapes for sleep states and various forms of inner journeys. This album is very atmospheric but not in an engaging way. It is something to have on in the background. I don’t recommend it for a conscious state. It is best played while meditating or while trying to achieve an subconscious state of mind. It is difficult to consider this an album in the normal sense; it’s more of a series of orchestral movements for the soul.

There is not much emotional expression in these pieces. They were inspired by isolation and human endurance during the polar expeditions of the early 20th Century. There is a sense of loneliness but it is not dark enough to truly express the isolation felt by someone in the middle of nowhere. The album starts out very dull with a long monotonous track. Repetition is essential to drone works but there still needs to be enchantment to keep someone listening. As the album continues the pieces get progressively more stimulating, like an advancement to a higher state of consciousness.

An album of this degree is meant to be played while attaining spiritual fulfillment. If listened to the way it was made for, it can help you drift along your brain waves and awaken your senses to a more aware world.

Standout track: The Cape
Rating: 3.5 stars