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Fall Music Preview 2023 ~ Ambient & Drone

Написано на 13.09.2023


Could this be the best fall slate we’ve ever heard?  We started to get this impression in mid-summer, as the autumn announcements gained momentum.  While summer may be the biggest season for movies, fall is the biggest season for music.  More than half of ACL’s Albums of the Year were released in autumn, which means there’s a better-than-even chance that 2023’s best album is still to come.

This week we’ll be covering nearly 500 releases with premiere dates of September to December, every one of them hyperlinked for your convenience, beginning today with Ambient and Drone.  We hope you’ll enjoy this sneak peek at the fall music slate, and find many reasons to embrace the new season!


ACL’s seasonal previews take some liberties with the calendar.  Our Winter Music Preview is published at the beginning of the year, because the official beginning of winter is tied up with the holidays.  Our Spring Music Preview coincides with the astronomical season, while our Fall Music Preview follows the meteorological season.  The Ceremony of Seasons series, when paired with VISUALS Wine’s Ritual of Senses Wine Club selections, provides a feast for the senses, no matter when one pops the cork on autumn.  Dark Sines‘ The Space Time Paradox addresses the cosmic angle, noting our lessened proximity to our favorite star.  And for the first time, the label is set to release a standalone album, Ross Gentry‘s House as a Person, which uses music to reassess the past, and as such pairs well with the above.  Both are released on September 22.


Södermalm In Autumn is another season-friendly release, a calm project from Wil Bolton whose first single is the evocative “Spectres of Parks” (Home Normal, October 6).  This is the companion piece to Red to Orange, Blue to Black, released September 1 on the same label.  The most autumnal title: “October.”  Home Normal also goes back in time this fall with Summer Chronicles from David Cordero & Rhucle, looking back on the summer of ’22 (November 3).  The schedule continues with Anthéne & David Cordero‘s Lost Under the Sea, a mournful yet enveloping album that includes a tribute to “Forgotten Sailors” (November 4) and Far away Nebraska‘s Il vento mi parla di te, an ode to the sea written while ensconced in a winter cabin (November 28).  Kirk Barley‘s Verdant may seem a bit out of season, but in the Southern Hemisphere, spring starts now (Odda, September 1).


Mary Lattimore‘s Goodbye, Hotel Arkada uses the renovation of a Croatian hotel as a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life.  The harpist mixes humor in with the melancholy, expanding her horizons.  Roy Montgomery is one of the special guests, along with members of Slowdive and The Cure (Ghostly International, October 6).  Past Palms has always had an ambient side, though until now he’s appeared in our Electronic section; prior projects have focused on spring and summer, while Portraits coincides with the autumnal equinox.  The EP celebrates the little things in life, such as open windows and sunlight through stained glass (September 22).

Tatsuro Murakami‘s An Imaginary Autumn is released just as real autumn begins; seven tracks recalling eight years of autumns in which the artist was unable to return to Japan (Whitelabrecs, September 1, pictured above).  The label is also preparing Interpretations, a compilation of reworked glacis pieces from Last Days, The Humble Bee and more (September 9).


The constently reliable 12k label returns with four releases this September.  First up is the perfectly-timed Drift of Autumn, an EP from Ohio recorded on the Nord Lead 1 synthesizer.  The next comes from Will Samson, who was inspired by Indian devotional music and the peacefulness of the river flowing outside his studio.  Harp Swells also includes a guest appearance from Bell Orchestre’s Michael Feuerstack and Irish performance artist Maia Nunes on “And Yet” (September 8).  Next up is Illuha, now a trio after welcoming percussionist Tatsuhisa Yamamoto.  Tobira is pointillist and precise, tonal passages alternating with percussive (September 22).  On the same day. Zimoun‘s Modular Guitar Passages I-VI does what the title suggests with Tenor Baritone Guitar and modular synth.  The music is minimalistic, progressing through incremental changes in nuance and tone.

Sometimes the kitchen is being cleaned, sometimes there’s conversation, and sometimes Shela is playing piano.  The WhatsApp TV Songs are miniature and peripheral, the very definition of ambience (Discrepant, September 15).  Everyone brings something to the table on Refract: piano, drums, loops.  The album is a team-up between BlankFor.ms, Jason Moran and Marcus Gilmore, and is out September 1 on Red Hook Records.  Billed as a “maximalist take on minimalism,” Chris Abrahams / Oren Ambarchi / Robbie Avenaim‘s Placelessness is ambient and experimental, the influence of The Necks clearly present.  The piece began as one, is now two, yet flows as a single work (Ideologic Organ, September 8).  Forget everything that you think you know about circus music; Rutger Zuydervelt‘s Kaleiding (music for a performance by Lily&Janick) is exciting and variety-packed without between maudlin or twee.  The show will premiere at Korzo, The Hague a day after the album release of September 22.  Multiple remixers tackle the work of Kenneth James Gibson on Further Translations, nudging his work into ambient, drone and modern composition (Meadow Heavy Recorders, November 10).


The cover of Always Beautiful is so lovely we’re not surprised it is also available as an A3 print.  Anna Papij‘s delicate, piano-based EP is also offered as a “mini-zine, with a micro story,” while the music is available in regular and binaural versions (September 29).  Cello, piano, harp, violin, sax and more feature strongly on How to Unravel, which thankfully offers guidance on how to be stitched back together on Side B.  Kilometre Club‘s album is out September 29 on We Are Busy Bodies.  Laurel Halo offers rich hues of ambient jazz on Atlas, with sax, strings, vibraphone and more.  The cover is fuzzy, while the music is smeared: a perfect match (Awe, September 22).  Tape music dominates Nightshade, unspooling alongside the music, which is ironically on vinyl.  Tom James Scott‘s album is out September 1 on A L T E R.  Time Released Sound doesn’t do anything halfway, and their latest release is another over-the-top presentation.  Official Report on The Intransitionalist Chronotopologies of Kenji Siratori: Appendix 8.2.3 includes a 163-page, A.I.-generated paperback novel by Kenji Siratori with a score from Wormwood, in collaboration with the Ministry Of Transrational Research Into Anastrophic Manifolds and mysterious throughout.  A regular edition is also available, but why choose that over the special edition? (September 1).


Oh No Noh | Jenny Berger Myrrh | FS Blumm collaborated on Interstitial last year, and continue their friendship with a new album of the same name, but with different tracks.  Oh No Noh’s video presence has been strong in recent years; we’re hoping for a visual element (Teleskop, September 29).  The cover of Habitat II may look like an egg slicer cup holder frisbee, but it’s actually a sculpture of a water spigot.  In the same manner, little is as it seems on the album, which addresses liminal habitats, like hallways and grounds, rather than the rooms of its predecessor.  Foerster / N Kramer‘s album is out September 15 on Leaving Records, with a tangerine splatter vinyl option.  CV & Jab (Christina Vantzou and John Also Bennett) return with Κλίμα (Klima), using piano, flute, synth, percussion, field recordings and more to reflect the various landscapes of international locations.  The album even travels underwater, and sounds as intimate as a postcard (Basilic, September 29).  The EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) is Justin Walker‘s weapon of choice, although pump organ also appears on Destroyer, a set that shares a name with a classic Kiss LP but sounds like its diametrical opposite (kranky, 13 October).  There’s no reason pots and pans and elastic bands can’t be used on an album, as Kim David Botts proves on Oostwestkruisbest, whose title combines the phrases “home sweet home” and “home has its troubles” (South of North, September 11).


Droneroom turns out to be more ambient than drone, concentrating on guitar and banjo.  The Best of My Love quotes a famous R&B song yet stays instrumental (Somewherecold, September 22).  “A few more vocals than usual” appear on Ben McElroy‘s Beacons of the Universe, but that’s okay as he’s trying to warn people about climate change while wondering how much it will take.  Folk guitar, flute and dialogue are but three of the instruments in his arsenal (September 29).  A decade after Sketches from Afarthe volume settings folder releases Sketches from Afar II, a sequel of sorts containing a decade worth of loop-based work (September 1).  Ferric Expeditions is another tape-based work, this one revolving around the compact cassette.  Loneward‘s album is released September 1 on Ambient Soundscapes.

Carbon in Prose turns his attention to the oceans on Salt Water Blood, lamenting the damage humanity has inflicted.  Water permeates every track, a constant reminder threaded through layers of piano and synth (Dragon’s Eye Recordings, September 29).  Also on September 29, the label will release Dorian Wood‘s Excesiva, a study of inherent contradictions, recorded with a microphone in a milk jar.  Field recordings and synthesizer play in the mangroves of Zoltan Fesco‘s Other Air, which includes a quiet pulse so listeners know it’s alive (Oxtail Recordings, September 22).  Howard Stelzer is releasing two albums on September 1.  Euclid Is a Dead Sponge (Suburban Observances Volume Three) was released out of order, but that’s okay because we love CD3″s; it’s a combination of cassettes and collages, often sounding like field recordings (Oxidation).  Hard/Rainbow is recorded with Brian Grainger as Extra, a single 36-minute piece that continues to delve into micro music and hidden sounds (Mileau Music).

Inner Islands is expecting triplets on September 8.  Channelers‘ Generation / Harvest is a lovely organic offering, featuring piano, guitar and strings.  Sawyer G‘s It’ll Be Gone For A Little While is jazzier and more pensive, with a soupçon of sax.  Golden Brown‘s Wide Ranging Rider exudes a Western tinge, honoring its title and cover, with folk guitar weaving an ambient tale, backed by keyboard and cello.

Robert Hakalski splits the difference between ambient and modern composition on Twelve Planes for the Paper Pilot, which includes copious use of organic instrumentation along with crackle and crescendo.  The album is out September 1 on the artist’s imprint Singularity (pictured left).

Sadly the war in Ukraine continues; in contrast, Igor Yalivec continues to make peaceful music.  If Etudes is suffused with sadness, the reasons are obvious (Whited Sepulchre, November 3).  Broadcast Silence extends the ambient superhero saga of Grant Outerbridge, who started to record as Memorybell after a 2014 accident left him with transient global amnesia, a condition that hinders the brain’s ability to make new memories.  Thankfully, he is still able to make new music, connecting neural pathways through nostalgia (Hidden Shoal, October 13).  One would not expect to find a CRB Elettronica Ancona – Model: Diamond 708 E Electric Keyboard at the local recycling centre, but when Natalia Baylis did, she was overjoyed, and used her new toy to write the nostalgic, memory-tinged Mermaids (Touch Sensitive, September 1).

This season’s Slow Tone Collage bundle is released September 1 and includes Retrograde Amnesia, a soft set from Xu & OberlinNattens Hvide Sten from øjeRum, each disc with a different collaged image; and Tomosia‘s Moor Thoughts, an album-length track representing the musings of friends.

The Shimmering Moods September Package Deal includes five albums: Unearth Noise‘s The Dream of Life is a colorful set that comes in five different colors and includes sitar and infinity harp (no relation to Infinity Stones); Lunar Corp.‘s Shape, Sound & Colours extends the synaesthetic feeling while offering a rare “climate optimism;” Nekomachi‘s Left Behind 201 was inspired by a debris-filled highway on which objects appear and disappear; the similarly-named musician Nemokai‘s Endless Deadlines bemoans the daily life of the downtrodden worker; and Yamako‘s Blurry Photo uses analogue equipment to recall a simpler world (September 15).

Do you love sine waves?  We’ve got the release for you.  MIZI‘s Watch Paint Dry contains “256 gliding pure tones,” and the physical edition is encased in silicon.  Listeners can connect them to their sound systems or use headphones. We’re not exactly sure how this is going to work, but we trust them!  (Abstand, September 1, pictured left).

The quiet details label has been doing everything right ever since their launch in February of this year, releasing one quality album each month.  Their eighth release is anthéne‘s balance, which will be unveiled on September 13.  Marja Ahti‘s Tender Membrane is patient and tone-heavy, an exercise in nuance.  Even organic instruments become layers of texture (Black Truffle, September 28).  Wind and waves mingle with vintage synthesizers on Golden Apples of the Sun, a gently undulating set from Suzanne Ciani and Jonathan Fitoussi (Transversales Disques, October 3).  Ciani is also offering Improvisations on Four Sequences, a live recording that traverses the history of synth (Week-End, September 15).  MIDI and FM synthesis meet on Eso Es, a bathtub of bubbles from Gregg Kowalsky (Mexican Summer, October 27).  Sign Libra‘s vocals are usually wordless, languishing atop layers of synth; but Hidden Beauty includes a Eurhythmics cover (RVNG Intl., November 3).

LINE has announced a pair of releases for September 8.  TU M’Monochromes is peaceful and blue, like its cover image, an archival release appearing for the first time.  Cole Peters‘ Four Unbindings is field recording-based, building to walls of drone.  The original sources have been “removed from external context,” allowing listeners to muse on the conditions of their genesis.


Guitar, reverb and amp are the only sources on Erik K Skodvin‘s Nothing left but silence, easily the artist’s quietest album to date.  Released on Sonic Pieces, the CD may forever be known as “the grey one” for more than physical reasons.  A risoprint art book is also available (September 15).  Andrew Pekler uses only guitar and effects pedals on For Lovers Only/Rain Suite, a gentle set on Faitische released under the same SG (October 5).  Guitarist Raphael Rogiński  steps out from the Shofar Trio to release his own moody solo work.   Talán appears September 7 on Instant Classic, preceded by the single Cliffs and the Sea.  Solo electric guitar with a languid beach vibe is found on Michael Varverakis‘ Blue Dawn, fittingly released on Sonata Blue Music (September 15).  Leo Takami plays jazz guitar, piano and more on Next Door, tackling subjects of “time, seasons and consciousness.”  The mood is relaxing, suffused with calm curiosity (Unseen Worlds, October 6). Guitar is also one of the main ingredients of Late Horizon, a psyche-tinged effort from Michael C. Sharp (MCS), due October 20 on SFI Recordings.


A Strangely Isolated Place is preparing for a busy autumn.  We’re looking forward to the vinyl reveal for the fall slate, which should include one pink, one silver and one rainbow.  One Million Eyes offers gorgeous synth textures on Iris, which should be the first out of the block; Salvatore Mercatante extends the vibe on Ø, a neat name for an ambient album as it implies the minuscule; and Lapsed Pacifist throws us off with the name, as the music of Hypatia is still quite calm, a noid to Greek philosophy.  Vaagner has a pair of intriguing releases scheduled for the first two days of September.  The first is a compilation called A Communion, which gathers a quartet of artists from this year’s Warm Winters Ltd. Showcase.  The second is an expanded version of KMRU‘s Drawing Water, with an entirely new Side B, reimagined by Abul Mogard.  Capping the month, KMRU will unveil Dissolution, the inaugural release on his own brand new imprint OFNOT.  The new record includes two side-long synth excursions plus a digital bonus track (September 29). But wait, there’s more!  On October 20, Other Power will release KMRU’s Stupor preceded on October 13 by Islaja‘s otherworldly, choral-infused Angel Tape, the first offerings from this sub-label of We Jazz Records. And somewhere in the midst of all this, KMRU had the time to make a guest appearance on “Skevr,” a track from BOLT RUIN‘s False Awakening Loops on Infinite Machine.  The EP is a score to the artist’s struggles with parasomnia (September 22).


Atte Elias Kantonen places poetic markers in a path with no name to keep listeners acclimated.  While traversing coast and sea, the artist pauses to admire a snail in love with a moth.  In this “auditive diorama,” the songs are miniatures within miniatures (Students of Decay, September 15).  Bass, synth and light glitch populate R Abacus Lndr, a colorful collaboration between Pulse Mandala & Distant Fires Burning.  The resulting sound is both spacious and concise (Audiobulb, September 9).  If Barbados Wild Horses sounds more like summer than fall, it may be because it was recorded in the Canary Islands.  Spencer Clark, as Monopoly Child Star Searchers, fills the set with blissful synth, along with a guest spot from Sun Araw (Discrepant, September 8).  Loris Cericola calls upon vintage synth, keyboards and loops to construct the aptly-titled Memory Hole, which sounds like a time capsule despite being new (September 11).  Vocabulary alert!  An Isolarion is “a type of 15th Century map that describes areas in great detail, but not necessarily how they are related.”  Dai Watts turns the idea into a sonic adventure, folding in field recordings from his travels.  The album contains spoken word, piano, electronics and an exploratory tone (September 22).


We love the idea that DJ Gonubie took on a new moniker to produce ambient music.  This makes us think of the genre as somewhat subversive, even if its nature is to remain unobtrusive.  Signals at Both Ears also bears the curious tag “green-house,” which is open to interpretation but with any luck could catch on (Métron Records, September 6).   One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and Joshua Marquez uses discarded instruments and field recordings of refuse workers to produce Recycled Soundscapes.  The end result is surprisingly sedate, a loving tribute.  Even the vinyl is made out of recycled materials (September 1).

One would be challenged to get any more ambient than an album whose sounds were transcribed from photographs of clouds, accompanied by a video of said clouds.  Michael Klubertanz is holding down the fort, as Music from Clouds continues in the grand tradition of “Little Fluffy Clouds,” without narration (September 30).  Happy 50th Release to the Handstiched* label, who celebrates with a split set from Robin Saville and the Leaf Library.  Given space, each track begins as one thing and ends as another.  Siphonophore/Versatile Clouds, co-released with Japan’s Tobira Records, is out September 1 with handmade collaged designs.  Chihei Hatakeyama folds field recordings of Hachirōgata Lake into the album of the same name, highlighting the ecological changes that have occurred since the lake was 80% drained, becoming a haven for new wildlife (White Paddy Mountain, September 1).

Random digital sequences promote healing vibes on Excogitation, a calm tonal experiment from One of Them.  On this album, there’s virtually no distinguishing Digitone from chimes (Artificial Owl, September 28).  mayforest  utilizes both bell and accordion sequences on hebrarium.  The organic sources are reflected in the nature theme, with track titles such as “biodegradable” and “phototropism” (September 22).  After a breakdown, Nick Norton found solace and inspiration in vintage gear and sound design.  Music for Sunsets is the sound of his recovery, and perhaps the listener’s as well (people | places | records, September 15).  The next project on Past Inside the Present is Tyresta‘s Small Hours, a “sonic haven” sparking healing and growth (September 11).  comfortLevel7 is an inviting name, prompting images of a space healing center.  Mercurial is midway between ambient and drone, with a sprinkling of piano (Simulacra, September 8).  We really like the title “Latika’s Grace (it’s not what you go through, it’s how you go through it),” from Wayne Phoenix‘s soaring wyyne phoenix story the earth and sky.  First conceived as a multi-media project, the album still retains its unifying concept (RVNG Intl., September 15).


New healing music is forthcoming from Pauline Anna Strom, whose Oceans of Tears is being released along with three remastered reissues as Echoes, Spaces, Lines.  The first single Quiet Joy is a perfect summation of the artist’s sedate sound (RVNG Intl., November 10).  The PCM trio (which turns into PCMTT on the final track) presents Dreamland, a synth-led excursion that travels from insomnia to astral walks to nightmares and awakenings (n5MD, September 15).  The label will follow this with Nouveau Départ, a mindful set from Ocoeur (October 6).  Toki Fuko offers a split decision on the mystical Spirit Medicine. One side is tempo-driven at 146 bpm, while the other is Orb-like at 108 bpm (Astral Industries, September 1).  Still having trouble falling asleep?  Try Max Richter‘s SLEEP: Tranquility Base, a slightly more electronic take on his ongoing Sleep project (Deutsche Grammofon, October 27).

We’ve missed Constellation Tatsu, who didn’t have a spring or summer batch this year but is coming back strong with their autumn batch.  Pictured left, Yui Onodera and Takashi Kokubo offer A Thousand Bells, a meditative exercise that does indeed hold a multitude of bells and chimes; Monokle‘s Ultraflowers is percussive and danceable, while retaining an ambient undercurrent; Brandon Mueller‘s Pathways fuses ambience and restrained techno.  All are released September 26, plus a vinyl edition of Loris S. Sarid‘s Music for Tomato Plants.

On October 13, we welcome new label Vast Habitat.  Leaving nothing to chance, the label is starting with VHS 001, the first entry in an ongoing Vast Habitat Series.  The album contains multiple collaborations and is a fine introduction to the label’s ambient-electronic core.  For those ready to delve deeper, the label offers albums from two of the compilation artists; Daniel Lea‘s Entheogen is dense and dreamlike, while Michael Deragon‘s Dawn plunges listeners into the depths of the sea.  Purelink calls Signs ambient techno, but we also detect a serving of jazz.  The music is eminently relaxing, either despite or because of the beats (September 15).

Geometric Lullaby has two releases scheduled for September 1, representing opposite sides of the ambient spectrum.  PJS‘ Praxis is pure, undulating synth, while desert sand feels warm at night & MindSpring Memories (the latter an alias of Angel Margold of Fire-Toolz) offers Desert Memories, an exercise in the micro-genre of pitched-down vocals known as slushwave.  It’s difficult to make a new word catch on, but Jeffrey Hall gives it a shot with Earmovie II. The sci-fi-tinged synth album is released September 22 on Ravello.

Minor Science‘s Absent Friends Vol. III is the studio version of a live performance that plays with concepts of time.  On the surface, it’s like a “negative” of a club record, but little rhythms surface throughout the set (Balmat, September 8).  Dasha Rush‘s ambient-electronic Contemplating is almost danceable, stopping just short of club tones.  The set celebrates stillness while remaining in motion (raster, September 29).  Kjartan Holm has been releasing sumptuous club singles with Sin Fang and Fischersund all summer, but his album Horizon is pure ambient bliss.  All of these projects are available on Iceland’s lovely INNI label (October 13).  Sonic Ablutions is a split album from autodealer and The Corrupting Sea, who also record one track together as Transverse, splitting the difference between their ambient and electronic sounds (Somewherecold, September 1).  Loops and automatons populate Baba Soirée, a mesmerizing collaboration between Pierre Bastien and Michel Banabila.  The prepared cornet of Slow Dance makes it seem like lounge noir (Pingipung, October 27).

Dark Ambient, Drone and Noise

Dark ambience is represented by Enclosed and Silent Order, who embed violin, trumpet, organ and more in deep synthetic atmospheres.  Entrainment, pictured left, is out September 1 on Hypostatic Union.  Oliver Ho discards his techno guise as Veil, concentrating instead on mood and abstraction.  A Circle in Stone is often dark, drawing on the influences of Druids and 70s horror, with frightening drones and rattling percussion (Other Facts, September 8).  France’s dark ambient/drone label Kalamine is the host for John Reidar Holmes‘ The Lord of Shades Decides, which offers an ususual blend of modular synth and tongue drum, mysterious throughout (September 2).

Sweden’s Sinke Dûs continues in the Cyclic Law tradition with Modus Vivendi, a dark ambient set perfect for early sunsets and cold temps (September 22).  Echoes from the Distance is a scary album with a scary cover, but don’t worry, a collage can’t hurt you; although Augurio Drama‘s music may produce a sense of unease (Subsist & Faith Disciplines, September 1).

Sarah Davachi calls Selected Works I & II “something for everyone,” as they draw from every period in her career, collecting rarities and miscellanies from across her oeuvre, all appearing on vinyl for the first time (Disciples, September 8).  The Inward Circles, a classic guise from Richard Skelton, makes its long-awaited return with Before We Lay Down in Darkness.  Amazingly, the entire album comes from “a 50-year-old, 6-second sample of a Baroque recorder” (Corbel Stone Press, October).


The ever-changing Marc Richter (Black to Comm) returns with the elaborate At Zeenath Parallel Heavens, which blurs the line between organic and electronic while displaying a related and even more disturbing image on the cover: the artist as sculpture, pieces appearing where they should not be (Thrill Jockey, October 20).


After enjoying some well-deserved rest, Lost Tribe Sound returns with not one, but two worthwhile series.  The Therianthrope Series, a massive four-album undertaking from Arrowounds, is already underway, with the second installment, The Slow Boiling Amphibian Dreamstate, released September 1.  All four discs will eventually be collected into a bespoke set.  Now there is also the eleven-album Maps to Where the Poison Grows Subscription Series, with samples of each already streaming.  The series crosses over from ambient to drone to modern composition and more, so we’ll start here with Kaya North‘s immersive Myths, a dark drone album that matches the monster on the cover (September 15, pictured right) and Drawing Virtual Gardens‘ 22:22, which is somewhat lighter yet still mystical, with touches of brass (September 22), and cover the next two albums in Modern Composition on Thursday.


Lisa Lerkenfeldt kicks of the Room40 slate with Shell of a City, an album that reflects its title through forlorn recordings of a highway’s substructure.  This is the sound of deserted roads and abandoned detours (September 1).  A reissue of Annea Lockwood‘s Glass World follows, the 1970 recording concentrating of permutations of single sources such as a deep water gong or vibrating plane (September 8).  Ulrich Krieger‘s Aphotic II – Abysmal is an aural reflection of the “midnight” water layers, which teems with activity despite the absence of light (September 29).  Brad E. Rose recorded I’m Scared of Dying when he was having trouble sleeping; the fear may have inspired him, counter-intuitively curing his insomnia (October 6).  After this, we would recommend that Rose not listen to Beatriz Ferraya‘s collection UFO Forest +, because it might give him nightmares; otherwise, it’s perfect for fall (November 3).  On the same day, Room40 releases Eugene Carchesio + Adam BettsCircle Drum Music, every track named for a letter of the alphabet, the last five letters missing.  Another Lisa Lerkenfeldt album, Halos of Perceptions, is released concurrently on Shelter Press November 3.  And Zimoun, whose first Guitar Studies album appeared on Room40, switches to 12k for a second installment, due September 22.


The cover of Dronal‘s Whilst We Fall looks like a beautiful sunset, but it’s not – unless one considers the sunset of the planet as a whole to be beautiful.  The image is a NASA graph of temperature anomalies over time – cool to hot from top to bottom – while the music is a reflection on climate change (Supple 9, September 28).  Fans of minerals and chemicals, time to rejoice!  blackbody_radiation‘s Ultra-Materials includes tracks inspired by rhyolite, silica and magnesia.  Be sure to bring the Geiger counter (Faitiche, September 8).  Jason Calhoun‘s project small circle folds in field recordings like eggs: rain, trains, birds and more.  This his third album with Dear Life Records, continuing a healthy relationship.  Faithful readers may also know the artist from his work with Hour (September 29).  Miguel A. García launches Eraginie with the sounds of “a hypothetical space junk video game,” and then proceeds to find awe in detritus and debris (Crónica, September 5).  Church bells, fireworks and trains coexist on The Slowest Urgency, a work that stretches from ambient to drone, with quieter passages offset by bouts of feedback.  KUTIN‘s work debuts October 20 on Ventil.  Got time to listen to a new song?  Warning: it’s 77 minutes long.  Rupert Clervaux & Dania‘s Acción y Destino is more like putting on a mood, its taffy-thin notes passing like the aforementioned clouds (OOH-Sounds, September 15).  Remember Saåad?  We sure do.  The artist has been quiet for five years, but returns strong with A Crimson Shore on Hands in the Dark (September 22).  One week later, the label releases Razen‘s jazzier and more percussive Hier l’An 4000, inspired by reincarnation hypnosis, scoring a dystopian future (September 29).


Ah! Kosmos & Hainbach join forces for Blast of Sirens, which alternates between electronic and drone.  An incredible vintage setup can be seen in the video on the release page (FUU, October 20).  Ironically, Throwing Snow’s Ross Tones teams with Otto Lindholm to form a group and record an album called Everything Falls Apart.  Inspired by Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, the set is a cavernous excursion, rich in unexpected turns (Totalism, October 13).  Áhkká, called the “queen mountain” of Lapland, gets her due from Pauline Hogstrand.  The mystical vibe that permeates the set promises more than an aural encounter (Warm Winters Ltd., September 8).  ChiaraObscura exudes a gothic sensibility on Rancor:Succor, with operatic vocals splitting the difference between divination and divinity (Nefarious Industries, September 29).  The Chinabot label, normally known for its percussive ventures, throws us a curveball with In Furnace.  This dark album features the organ and suona, and sounds like an overheating world (September 29).  Most of GhOst is drone, but there’s one surprising dance track (“Lanesplitter”) hiding deep in the set.  fatalism‘s album is as bleak as the encroaching night (Bedouin, October 17).


S A R R A M‘s Pàthei Màthos is thick and ritualistic, attempting to glean what might be learned from suffering.  Guest vocalists serve as hooded cult members (Subsound, September 1).  Field of Fear‘s Beyond the Reach of Light runs from cold ambience to hot industrial noise, a score to the cyclical nature of depression.  It’s not easy listening, but honest and raw (Whited Sepuchre, September 29).  Lapsteel feedback, drone and noise populate Michel HenritzFlowers of romance, which sounds anything but romantic.; it’s a man alone in his room, raging against the machine (Bruit Direct Disques, October 13).   Richie Culver‘s Alive in the living room – على قيد الحياة في غرفة القعدة = serves as a soundtrack to sleep paralysis, with a poem in an accompanying book meant to be read while listening – a nod to the fact that the paralyzed are unable to speak (Drowned by Locals, September 22).  Harsh noise, radio samples and extreme volumes make Static Momentum a speaker-blowing affair.  cdg noir suggests it be played on high volume, but we fear that could be dangerous (September 16).  Finally, we’re giving our Scariest Album of Autumn award to SATØRI.  Bleak from beginning to end, The Woods is noise, whisper and scream-riddled, inspired by the life of the lone wolf.  The liner notes warn it may be so dark listeners will “lose their very soul” (Cold Spring, September 8).

Richard Allen


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