Lost Children netlabel and The Silent Ballet have put together an absolutely stunning 75 minute long adventure through the universe of post-rock with the release of The Silent Ballet Compilation volume 14. Featuring some very diverse artists from all over the world, the stand out track on the album is from a Ukrainian band called Nice Wings, Icarus! Their track, Eagle, is absolutely superb. I have a feeling we will be seeing more of them here on the orbit in the very near future. Back to the current release, it grabbed me from the very first track – a very ambient piece by The Sight Below – and wouldn’t let go. I literally listened to the entire album as soon as I clicked play – given my schedule, thats a rarity for me. The intensely mellow first track quickly gave way to an onslaught of post-rock, shoegazer, psychedelic and even modern piano composition. Each track is unique, making this a difficult album to describe. I’ll simply say this: it’s an incredible album, and I urge you to give it a listen.
Nic Bommarito offers seven tracks on Harp Fragments, a postrock release that is filled to the brim with washy pianos and strings, and great big drum sounds. Not afraid to incorporate any instrument at all, the overall style of the album drifts, but not too far, away from postrock and brushes against bluegrass, folk, and classical. Sometimes quiet and thoughtful, Nic’s music can suddenly burst into a cacophonous explosion of drums only to quickly fade back into a quite anesthetic synth line, all the while keeping it together with distant, echoing guitar patterns.
3epkano is an eight piece band from Ireland that does cinematic / soundtrack pieces. It’s a nice break from the standard postrock – this is post rock with a more mature, intelligent sound, post rock the way only the Irish could do it. 3epkano is definitely unique, incorporating violin, cello, and other instruments among the standard fare of guitar, bass and drums. They offer eight tracks on their website, for a whopping total of an hour and fifteen minutes worth of music. Each track tells its own story, each one has its own personality – this one sedate and thoughtful, that one a bit rowdy, and of all of them, the track Faust stands out the most. Starting out quiet and introspective it cuts loose near the end with a noisy rock composition that moves your body as well as your mind. 3epkano gets 5 stars in my book.
A Hawk In The Heavens, from my home state of NC by the way, brings us a single twelve minute track combining two works. AHITH fits the post rock / shoegaze genre, with a dreamlike melodic overture that leads us to an equally languid, droning piece that can put you in a trance if you’re not careful.
Link: A Hawk In The Heavens
Four tracks of very heavy postrock, could even be called postmetal. This music grew on me, it wasn’t until the second time around that I began to hear the details that make this type of music rock. Listen carefully, in headphones if you can, to get the full effect.
An Italian post rock band – the Italians do it a tad bit different, a little heavier. Clocking in at thirty four minutes, M.a.z.c.a. has some nice wall-of-sound type music coming at us with this release from the Selva Elettrica net label. I’m not a big fan of the vox on track 6, as it causes us to step into the realm of shoegazer for a moment, but other than that this is an excellent release. M.a.z.c.a. isn’t afraid to try new and experimental things, such as all sorts of various instruments, adding vocals here and there – with and without words – and other interesting details that aren’t common in your garden variety postrock band. Enjoy!
Hermelin brings us 53 minutes of outstanding postrock, comparable to Milhaven and Explosions In The Sky. Starting out with a Nine-Inch-Nails-esque noise track, we suddenly break into an all over the place guitar riff that introduces a track that completely grabs your attention until it dissolves back into noise at the end of the track. The rest of the album follows suit – droning and pulsing guitar riffs with a touch of wah pedal here and there, piercing powerful melodies and gentle rolling variations. This is the best album I’ve found in months, be sure to give Hermelin a listen.
This album is a moving journey through space to an ocean on a distant world. Walls of sound, guitar textures and occasional vocals blend together to form this ambient cosmic trip, over fifty minutes long – I would’ve thought it would take much longer than that to get to where A Beautiful Machine is going.
Milhaven is such a great find for me. I don’t know what you’d call this type of music, but it’s the same as The Big Sleep and Brian Jonestown Massacre. I think this is called psychedelic or some such. At any rate, this release is so outstanding, I don’t even know where to begin to describe it. The first three tracks are ten to fifteen minutes long, almost like mini rock symphonies. The compostitions are excellent, and the recording / production has this low quality atmosphere to it, which really brings the music straight into your head. This is great music for chilling out with, a relaxed type of vibe but it grabs you and doesn’t let go until track 4, a mellow acoustic piece which is a perfect way to end the set, as if it were letting you go gently. Definitely give Milhaven a listen; it’s my first find of the year so this will be a hard act to follow.
BTW, Happy New Year everyone!