A good friend of the show, Kieron James, has started up a record label called Clear Notice Records. With the beginning of this venture comes the label's first release, Enter Calico, which features some favorite artists which have been featured here on the Chilldown Period.
Does this mean I'm biased? ummm... yes and no.
Yes, to the fact that a few of these artists I follow on twitter and I truly enjoy their music.
No, because the music on this album is just fantastic - don't get any funny ideas that the no is somehow biased by the fact behind the yes.
The album starts out with David McSherry's "U∂+", a fitting mesh between chillout, IDM, and Number Station recordings. It's a tasty minimalist venture with a feeling of intrigue and suspense. The electronic sounds mixed with haunting vocals really do the trick.
Samarah's "Falling Away" took me a few spins to come around to it. I'll admit, at first, it wasn't one of my top tracks on the album, but as I listened to it a few times I came around to the song's beauty. I'm glad I took the time to become a fan. If you like the self-titled EP by Clytem Scanning, you'll enjoy this album. Experiments with chimes(?), vocals, beats and other sounds focus the listener that the sum is greater than the parts. The parts, on the other hand, are fun and intriguing to listen to on their own! Just like moolen's Post Rock experiments with sound on "art of heartwork", this little venture is a treasure trove of auditory delight.
Then comes "sOMn ambulance" by alka. This dealer of IDM is proving his sounds, once again, with another step in his progression as an artist. "sOMn ambulance" has a beat which ventures down the road into 2-step with layered keys on top to bring us a nice haunting, yet danceable feel to the track. An instant hit for me!
I've followed tricil for a while on twitter, and I've also given his music on soundcloud a go which has brought me around to his camp of sounds. The "Emancipation"... I'm at a loss for words. The doppler effects of some of the synths, the cut, repetitious samples, the fluttery - almost insect like - beats... there's a reason this song was one of my top picks of recent date. My wife makes the comment that I really like this song. And yes - I really like this song. The video's stop motion effects and dark Tool's "Stinkfist"/Chevelle's "Mia"/Add N to X's "Revenge of the Black Regent" feel do the song justice.
stretta's song "Calculus" brings one word to mind: traffic. The build up and release of the sounds remind me of going through Ogden, UT while Interstate 15 is under construction. It is a constant ebb and flow! Going to the press release on "Enter Calico", you'll find out that the style which is being used is called the Risset Rhythm, all I know is I can hear big rig breaks squeal outside my car window. The, uhhh, "inconsistent" pattern of the song makes it all the more interesting. (And it doesn't come with the stresses of traffic)
The light, airy, breathy sound of "Echoes and Whispers" by cloudchair bring a tenderness to the album. The static in the background mixed with the delicate strings and vocals will drive this song into your memory! Great ambient/Post Rock(?) piece to help you unwind after getting out of traffic or after the office or just to highlight a perfect night.
Another interesting piece on this album is "Sea of Memories and Dreams" by Auditory Canvas. If you are familiar with his ambient, downtempo sounds - this one might catch you unawares. Here's what I mean. It has the downtempo, ambient sound which I have come to enjoy from his work, but with thrown in wobble (reference for me - dubstep, the wobble which produces that high octane "filth" which drives my toes to tapping) and there is just something different about this song. Delightfully different. Now, I know that my musical vocabulary is limited - but this innovative mixture is terrific.
"Août" comes up next by the one and only Thomas Raukamp. If you've ever heard his previous recordings, you'll know he likes to mix everyday sounds with unique patterns layered into an experimental-ambient-electronic sound (musique concrete?). Vocal patterns with distorted drums with eerie synths with feedback with a cinematic/art feel to it.
Another friend of the show's, subterminal, takes to the tracks next, with his ambient flow on the song "For afo...". I think as I've said before on this blog; you'll need to check your pulse while listening to this song. It is such a relaxed and dreamy piece! All of the parts are pushed to the limits of being stretched, almost like a child on tiptoes trying to look over the counter to see what sweets he/she can find.
rktic's "Nordic Walking" helps continue the flow with a lo-fi electronic feel at first. The tape feedback feel generated by synths, the Detroit sounding synths in the front, the muted beats in the middleground, and the chimes and melodic synths make this song perfect for Astreaux World (an ambient online-radio station)!
Another artist I follow, Futuro Primitivo, and his electronic/post rock song "Wake Up!". The crazy drum-and-bass beats with glitchy radiation take the rock melodies to the next level. The skittering effects of the guitar will make your head nod. Reminds me of earlier Chemical Brothers (specifically Dig Your Own Hole) but without the bombastic sounds. Definitely another keeper!
And finally, Tapage rounds out the record with his IDM-fueled chiller, "Wounds" (If I'm wrong about the IDM, please let me know!). If you're a fan of alka and axiotronic, you'll definitely love this song! The throbbing background synths meshed with the rhythmic chimes, skittery synths and beats, and frantic drum loops help this song become what it is... great!
Kieron, you've done yourself a service here! If Enter Calico is the precursor of things to come, you at least have one fan in me, and will bring in more fans to come!
Don't worry - they WILL come! :)
Enjoy this album!