And now for some good news from Ukraine – Nice Wings, Icarus is a post rock outfit based there and they have two albums, both excellent, of their own brand of post rock. I’ve posted the first, self-titled one here before way back in 2010. Their more recent one, Aurora, is every bit as fantastic. Heavy guitar driven tracks peppered with violin melodies create a unique style that’s a pleasure to listen to. If you loved their first album, you’re going to love this one as well.
For a limited time, Civil Protection is giving away their release Stolen Fire for free. Merry Christmas, go get some free music. Support them if you can. It’s a great release with a powerful intro that sets the mood for the rest of the set. Constantly swelling and calming, Stolen Fire has a compelling energy that will grip you all the way through. They have a polished sound, with guitars slicing through the mix like a knife, and elements of post rock, alternative and math rock combine to create a unique sound. This is definitely one you don’t want to miss out on.
A four-piece band that offers an excellent postrock release on bandcamp, Arbor Lights has worked on this release for two years. I especially like the name of the band – it makes me think of a stranger walking through a forest, noticing odd glowing orbs floating in the tree tops. This album just rolls along, seemingly nonstop, with five tracks clocking in at just over thirty two minutes. Starting out with an experimental noise type of sound, it quickly coalesces into a bright and rhythmic stroll through a deserted city block. Then it’s off to outer space and back, running the gamut of sonic textures in the process. It’s not too light – just the right amount of heaviness. The last track ties the whole album together nicely, and completes a total package of artistry that is very moving. One more thing – the cover art is perfect.
Name your own price (even free) but please consider supporting the artist.
Here is a superb collection of postrock tracks from Stereofox, a fantastic music resource that deals many different genres from electronic to punk to hip hop. This collection features artists who do postrock just the way I like it – not too light, lots of motion and far-away sounding, heavy guitars. These rocking songs are like postrock was back in the day when I first stumbled across it, back in the days of bands like The Big Sleep and Milhaven. If you like driving, heavy, instrumental more info
postrock then you should drop by Stereofox and give a listen. Also, explore the rest of the Stereofox site – there are tons of great tracks there to listen to.
UPDATE – There is a track here that is definitely not “family-friendly”, which is how I like to keep this blog. I intended to pull this post when I got home tonight, but on second thought I’ll leave it with the warning. Sorry folks – completely my fault. I got lazy and did not do my due diligence on the first couple of listens.
A beautiful post rock record, Sora Shima offers five tracks of melodic and slightly severe music, cleanly produced – this doesn’t sound like bedroom studio quality stuff. Starting with a monster of a track, clocking in at over 9 minutes, the album goes in all sorts of directions, yet neatly ties everything together – even barely venturing into electronica itself with the breakbeat in track #4, Hello Big Sky. The last track is an almost minimal sounding drone of texture that reminds me of the surface of a cold. barren planet for some reason. Track #3, Calor Humano, is one of the best tracks I’ve heard so far this year. The chord progression does something for me, and the strings are an excellent choice of instrumentation for it. There is a little bit for everything here, and it’s a free download if you want, although I would recommend supporting the artist and offering at least a couple of dollars. Really, Sora Shima deserves it for the work and effort that was put into the production of this release.
The fairly incredible indie netlabel Deep Elm Records has a ton of samplers available for free download. There is something for everyone here – from postrock to punk, it all rocks hard. I started with the sampler Postrockology, and I’m working my way through the rest. It’s a mixed bag, and some of the tracks are better than others (there are a few that I just don’t care for at all, but only because if style and substance – everything I’ve heard so far is technically excellent). Definitely go here, check things out. I’m sure you’ll be kept busy for quite some time.
A facebook friend recently steered me in the direction of the album Dive by a band called Tycho. Tycho is an ambient electronica act that is really superb if you like Boards of Canada. Tycho releases albums on Ghostly.com – which is not exactly a record label, more like a storehouse of art-related items that happen to include music. So Ghostly.com has a handful of free releases, by their own collective of artists. So far I have listened to the 2012 release, and it is nice. Not quite post-rock, not quite ambient, it’s all mellow and chilled and relaxing and pretty much perfect. I am looking forward to checking out all of their artists, and in the meantime I have Ghostly 2012 on pretty much on constant repeat in the Jeep. It’s really perfect driving music. So go check them out asap. You will not regret it.
More ambient goodness from Good Weather For An Airstrike, a UK project that was originally intended to create relaxing sounds to combat tinnitus and aid in falling asleep. Their sound is definitely relaxing, and inspired by such artists as Brian Eno and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Overall this is definitely worth checking out.
Andrew Othling, aka Lowercase Noises, offers a superb album of ambient guitar music. Clocking in at almost two hours, the music barely moves but is somehow filled with motion, giving the sense of floating along on a galactic river full of light while watching the universe move from past to present to future. This is a sort of ambient postrock, as it is guitar driven with heavy use of effect pedals. Andrew posts much of his work on youtube, along with instructional videos of how to achieve his effects, He also offers three of his other albums (which I have not listened to yet, but have on my short list) on his website. You can also visit his facebook page and let him know his work is appreciated.