Wednesday, November 14, 2018

KMFDM - Xtort

TVT Records/Metropolis: 1996/2007

KMFDM were on the verge of a mainstream breakout, the likes of which seldom seen in the industrial scene. Like, if teenagers in the hinterlands of Canada were now familiar with your tunes, it wouldn't take much to push your careers into the rarefied air breathed upon by Trent Reznor, Rob Zombie, and Al Jourgensen. Never mind that such commercial popularity is antithetical to the industrial mantra, you gotta' grab that brass ring in the one opportunity it comes around. Naturally, in their follow-up to the breakout album Nihil, KMFDM did the only sensible thing an industrial thrash-rock band should do: step back from the brink of all that was commercial and untrue.

Oh, Xtort was still a commercially successful album, indeed their highest charted record ever. That's almost certainly due to the positive buzz previous singles like Juke-Joint Jezebel generated though, all that hot soundtrack licensing getting folks into the stores searching for the latest KMFDM album. The turnaround from Nihil to Xtort was quick though, the band's ninth album hitting the shelves just a year after (and Symbols came a year after that ...KMFDM were a studio machine in the mid-'90s). Thus when folks were looking for the latest KMFDM album, it was probably Xtort they first saw – the return of iconic Brute! artwork didn't hurt either.

If you fear you're inching just a tad too close to the domain of pop, however, then one must get back to the raw, aggressive thrash that could only be loved in the underground. And KMFDM done did that, Xtort one of the heaviest albums the band had produced to that point (ever? I haven't heard enough of their post-2000 material to know otherwise). That didn't stop TVT Records from aggressively promoting the album, not to mention 'suggesting' the band make at least one radio friendly jam in lead single Power. Band leader Sascha Konietzko makes no bones it's a “dumb and catchy” tune, what with an ear-wormy hook and 'soul-mama vamping' singing from Cheryl Wilson on the chorus. Didn't stop him from making a similar track in Inane though. Really, Mr. Konietzko seemed to have a lot of fun both praising and trashing Xtort in his own promotional cycle. Oh, you know there were some doubters creeping into the fandom following their crossover success – the industrial scene's ridiculously anal about such things. Why else would Sascha do such a pisstake on Xtort's promo?

Then you get outright thrash tracks (Apathy, Son Of A Gun), the jack-booted industrial stompers (Ikons, boogie groover Rules), some nods to the burgeoning digital hardcore sound (Craze, Blame), plus a couple spoken word portions too. Dogma has anarchist poet Nicole Blackman spouting some anti-establishment rhetoric over thudding, marching beats, while secret song Fairy is a cheeky, dirty children's tale recited by Jr. Blackmale over piano. It'll make you laugh, if not blush.

So a solid album, all said, KMFDM delivering a properly aggressive response to their commercial success. Take that, wishy-washy fans!

Monday, November 12, 2018

raison d'être - Within The Depths Of Silence And Phormations (Redux)

Cold Meat Industry/Old Europa Cafe: 1995/2013

I wouldn't call Peter Andersson a giant in the realm of dark ambient, but dude's definitely seen some shit. His early career had him doing industrial, EBM and sound experiments under various aliases, which naturally led him to doing dark ambient under other various aliases. In recent years, he's created more aliases to explore other facets of the industrial scene, but throughout it all, raison d'être has been his most prominent project. Atomine Elektrine and Stratvm Terror (with Tobias Larsson) give it competition in terms of total output, but at twenty-five albums under the guise, Mr. Andersson's other handles have some catching up to do.

I'd like to say Within The Depths Of Silence And Phormations is the raison d'être album that came highly recommended, was given the ultra re-issue treatment for its Very Important status in the annals of dark ambient, but I can't confirm that. For one thing, quite a few albums from that era of his has seen the re-issue treatment, especially those that came out on the now defunct Cold Meat Industry print. There's also little in this particular album I hear that signifies it being a giant leap forward in Peter's songcraft compared to what came before. And while I'm sure there are those who hold Within The Depths... as the best release from raison d'être, without taking in everything from him during this period of work, I cannot confirm such a proclamation. Nay, I honestly only scooped this album up because, as I was perusing an online store, I saw a boat on the cover. If there's one thing I've learned about dark ambient, always buy the albums that feature boats on the cover – they're like the Saturn beauty shots of the genre.

So diving in with no idea of what I was diving into, I was immediately struck by a steady drum beat and Gregorian chants. I didn't know what to expect, but I certainly wasn't expecting ritualistic dark ambient. Incidentally, the track is called Sephiroth, and considering this came out in 1995, it makes me wonder if Nobuo Uematsu is somehow a raison d'être fan. No, just a coincidence, I'm sure.

The album mostly flits between intense chanting pieces and droning atmospheric dark ambient compositions, painting a remarkable canvas of a church society on the verge of crumbling ruin. Not just in the field recordings and orchestral additions either, but also the sporadic dialog samples too – something about murder and the like. It all rather reminds me of Delerium's older works, but with a stronger narrative from start to finish and less noodly experimentation. Cool stuff, if you like depressive dark ambient with hooded monks in the periphery.

This Redux version includes a bonus disc of assorted material released around the same time. It's mostly of the same variety of dark ambient – repeated chants, minimalist drone, melancholic melodies, though under-produced compared to what's on Within The Depths.... Having a specific tale to tell can do wonders for one's presentation.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Herbaliser - Wall Crawling Giant Insect Breaks

Ninja Tune: 1998

I've enjoyed Ninja Tune for as long as I've known they existed, yet there's a significant gap of their catalogue within my CD shelves: artist albums from their early years. It was all about the compilations from the Ninja folk, see, the most eye-catching of the lot always featuring their logo splayed across the front, unmissable, unmistakable. Aside from a couple CD singles though (because cost), it wasn't until Coldcut's Sound Mirrors that I actually bought a proper LP from the label. I've since scooped up a few '90s releases, but more as explorations of specific artists than the fact they were on Ninja Tune. Well, time to rectify that, fill in more glaring gaps in my ever expanding collection, starting with one of the print's longest contributors that isn't Coldcut: The Herbaliser. Erm, by way of a CD single. Can't knock old habits, I guess.

Have I talked much about The Herbaliser, beyond the requisite name-drops? I don't think I have. Let's talk about The Herbaliser. First off, despite a handle assuming a single individual performing an action involving herbs, The Herbaliser is in fact two London blokes, Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba. They've added additional members over the years, but these two remain the core, turntablists rinsing out jazz and hip-hop with scratchtastic aplomb. Okay, maybe not ultra DMC-champion aplomb, but respectful enough to be included in discussion with many UK heavyweights of the '90s. I'm sure the Ninja Tune bump helped, though they'd been making the live rounds a couple years before getting their break with the Coldcut crew.

Wall Crawling Giant Insect Breaks was among the lead singles for their third album Very Mercenary. Ain't nothing fancy about this outing, Wall Crawl a straight-up hippin', hoppin', scratch breaks throwdown that'll get the b-boys pounding the ground - I don't know if that's the proper lingo. There's two versions of Wall Crawl, the first featuring a bunch of spoken samples about hip-hop's history, sound frequencies, time travelling, and some teenager astounded by his ability to scale a wall just as easily as a giant insect, like a wall-crawling human... spider! Ooh, I know this one, I know this one! The Blue Beetle, amirite? There's also a shorter, instrumental version just featuring the drum breaks, but isn't as much fun to hear without all the cheeky samples.

Instead of remixes, we get two live recordings of tunes from The Herbaliser's previous album, Blow Your Headphones. The first, Ginger Jumps The Fence, does more of the funk-hop jimmy jam with an earwormy string section in the lead. There's a scratch solo ('natch), a saxaphone solo (eeug, me ears), and an... organ 'n flute solo? Something like that. 40 Winks is more on that downtempo vibe, a smooth bit of soul-jazz for the end of an evening. Finally, an untitled Bonus Beats track replays a bunch of breaks from Wall Crawl, supposedly for your own turntable sessions. Wait, is that even possible in CD form?

Friday, November 9, 2018

Rapoon - Vernal Crossing Revisited

Staalplaat/Zoharum: 1994/2013

As I continuously marvel at our modern marvels of finding and gathering all forms of music, I wonder if I'd have had any hope at all of finding Rapoon's Vernal Crossing back in the day. Like, I barely even knew who the chap was, my only reference point a lone track on a Hypnotic compilation called Ambient Rituals. Still, such recognition was enough for me to nab a copy of any artist album if I so happened upon them in the Vancouver music shops: compilations were very handy in the discovery process of music hunting.

So let's assume Rapoon's Vernal Crossing somehow crossed the Atlantic Ocean, crossed the North America continent, and crossed every distributor's hands to end up on a shelf that I just so might have happened to cross paths with. What section of the store would it even be filed under? Not the 'Electronica' one, that's for sure, the music within far too tribal and 'ethnic' to rub shoulders with house and techno CDs. The 'World Music' section then, but man, there's something far removed from any sort of reality in Rapoon's music, hardly fitting in with the likes of [endless name-drop session of culturally influential musicians abroad]. Heck, it could very well have migrated to a New Age corner, what with the meditative qualities lurking in the endlessly looping chants and rhythms coupled with hypnotizing pad work. Maybe it'd have ended up in the 'Industrial' section, if the music clerk was savvy enough to know of Rapoon's Zoviet France background.

And even if I had found it, what on Earth would I have made of it? For sure the world beat dork in me would be intrigued by all the chanting and drumming, but this stuff is on an entirely different plane of existence compared to what I was familiar with (Banco de Gaia, Deep Forest, etc.). It's, dare I say, erotic, opening track The Same River Once creating an atmosphere of primal jubilation and haunting ecstasy, a celebration of the coming season of fertility. Makes me want to strip naked and dance in the spring sunshine with someone of the Wiccan faith.

What gives all these tracks an other-worldly edge is the same dusty, dubby filter Robin Storey used throughout Zoviet France's run. Best I can describe is as though you're watching a grainy, black-and-white documentary, a short film repeatedly flickering against a stone wall in the claustrophobic dark. You recognize elements of human culture, especially those involved in ancient rituals predating anything the West has conceived, but it doesn't seem real, more like a fever dream of what once was.

Vernal Crossing was apparently the album that got folks noticing Rapoon on a unique wavelength when it came to ethno-ambient, such that it received a 2013 remake from the man himself. While it certainly captures his recent, more polished songcraft, there's still something entrancing about the primitive, dubby looping going on in the original. Feels like a more appropriate vibe, given the subject matter.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Moss Garden - Understanding Holy Ghosts

Kaico: 2013

And... we're back to our regularly scheduled ambient excursion via Lee Norris mailing list Bandcamp giveaway! No, no, don't all go cheering all at once, I know how much y'all yearn for me to endlessly wax the bull about dreamy pads, droning layers of timbre, and fuzzy, crackly field recordings. We all have our lanes, our strong suits, our specialties, and for me, this is apparently it. I did not ask for this responsibility – nay, it was foisted upon me, when my ears perked towards the digital winds that binds everyone's interwebs into that which is the grand tubular info super-highway. And as I carry on checking out these musics that Mr. Norris remains a generous gent over, it seems appropriate that I finally return to the project that first clued me into his music, Moss Garden.

Okay, technically I came into contact with his sonic souffle when I got that fantabulous, instipicuous Pete Namlook tribute box set, where he appeared twice as Ishqmatics and Autumn Of Communion. Had no clue who he was at that point though, indeed the main names luring me in old familiar favourites. Man, when I look back at that box set now, and all the artists I've come to learn of since, it feels like Die Welt Ist Klang's become an ambient advent calendar, where I'm slowly ticking off each artist.

Anyhow, despite that box set being my initial lure, I did peruse Carpe Sonum's catalog for anything else that caught my eye, of which the Moss Garden album In The Silence Of The Subconscious did. That was in fact Moss Garden's second LP, their first coming out a year prior on the Japanese sub-label Kaico (that print's first release, apparently – crazy that it was done by a foreigner group). While not vastly limited in its run, it's was still scant and obscure enough that there's no way I'd get to snag a copy for myself, so yay on Lee Norris for providing it this way to hear now!

And might I say, Understanding Holy Ghosts is a smidge better than In The Silence Of The Subconscious? Obviously any album that opens with a track titled No Prayers For The Mosquito is ace in my books (die, blood suckers, die!), but I feel there's more interesting songcraft in this album. Obviously both make wonderful use of dreamy, dubby pad work and droning timbres, though the second album rather blended together throughout. However, each composition in Understanding Holy Ghosts has a unique element standing out from its brethren. Overlooking Oceans has a soft rhythmic clatter as though you're traversing a railroad or bumpy road bridge. Ritual Solitaire and Structures Of Patience features lethargic, dubby metallic percussion, the latter time-stretched into a sonic haze as gentle choir and string pads blanket you. As for that melody in The Fabric Of Sentinal... dear God, my heart turns to melted butter on a fluffy waffle topped with cinnamon icing sugar. Bliss, is what.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Supercar - Futurama

Ki/oon: 2000

(a Patreon Request from Philoi)

I know rock music has been a major component of Japanese culture for many decades now, but I don't hear much of it. Their chief sonic exports into my earholes remain j-pop and traditionalist modern classical, with some minimalist ambient and techno celebrating neo-Tokyo on the side. All these retain some hint of Japanese influence, adding to the rich tapestry these genres encapsulate across the globe. Rock music, on the other hand, is almost entirely devoted to Americana, forcing its musicians into its mold. Any innovative deviation from The Source is often ridiculed (krautrock, stuffy British progressive rock ...Norwegian death metal?), making the once rebellious scene almost as conservative as country (the true bastion of all that is Americana).

Thus whenever I hear Japanese rock, I give it a respectful nod, but seldom hear much that differentiates it from its American counterparts (screaming j-Punk noise an exception – no one screams like the Japanese!). Indeed, if I didn't explicitly know going in, I wouldn't have guessed this Supercar band was Japanese. For sure they sing in Japanase, but because they do so in that shoegazey method of elongated syllables, it doesn't sound much different from an English singer, in that I haven't a clue what either are saying most of the time. But man, do such vocals ever sound cool in the wall of sound that is indie rock.

Supercar cranked out seven albums in a decade of activity, before disbanding in 2005. They seem adored enough to get vinyl re-issues as of late, but even the Empire Records soundtrack got a vinyl reissue, so what's that worth? No, but seriously, Futurama is the sort of album that could use a little resurgence, a catchy assemblage of dream pop indie jams and club ready electronic rhythms. In fact, this album is far more electronic than I was expecting, tracks like opener Changes, Karma, and Fairway laying the techno-kicks on thick.

Mostly though, we get a variety of chipper indie rock (Playstar Vista, White Surf Style 5., Restarter), quirky synth-hop ditties (Baby Once More, Shibuya Morning, Everybody On News) and dreamy jams (Flava, New Young City, I'm Nothing). Some tracks add in a unique element from the usual shoegaze tones (what is that bleepy sound in Star Fall?), while others revisit musical themes from earlier in the album. Still, Supercar seem incappable of ending Futurama, the last clutch of tracks sounding like they're the capper on the album. No, wait, here's one more song. And one more. And one more. And...

And lyrically? From what I can glean from sporadic translations, most of these songs deal with relationships, which is a little disappointing, if I'm honest. With a title like Futurama, and clear album flow going down, I was kinda' hoping for songs about, well, the future, or at least living in some 'futurama' future. Heck, maybe they are, and the translations simply didn't capture that theme. Wouldn't be the first time something Japanese is lost in translation.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Hybrid - Morning Sci-Fi

Distict'ive Records: 2003

(a Patreon Request from Omskbird)

I'm sure I liked Wide Angle - I definitely know I liked Wider Angle for the Live Angle bonus CD. Unfortunately, a few things held back a love for Hybrid's debut album, none more prominent than a sense the duo's artistic pretensions didn't always match the finished product. They wanted to move beyond the easy club fodder, creating high-culture music for a cultured audience. Cool, bro, but that leaves those who adored the breakbeat science wanting in the wind. How can such folks get their flail on when a French rapper is crooning over a trip-hop rhythm?

I won't deny being in that camp, making me wary of checking anything after Wider Angle. Figured Hybrid would continue the super-sophisticated music explorations, the blinding breaks they made their name on a mere stepping stone to higher, loftier goals in the music world, thus a journey I wasn't much interested in joining with. As continues being the case, I should have got that tree trunk out of my rump sooner, because fuck me if Morning Sci-Fi is better than Wide Angle by a... erm, broad space.

It starts as I initially feared (well, properly starts, discounting the secret song hiding in the CD's negative space), with Hybrid throwing oh-so many ideas into a soup of genre fusion, with production ultra-crisp and clean such that it kinda' neuters whatever teeth the song has. Like, there's things I like in True To Form (can never go wrong with a Reese bass growl, and it's nice hearing those New Order vibes from Peter Hook), but with the obligatory orchestral swells and limp lyrics from Adam Taylor, it once again sounds like Hybrid's clutching for musical opulence they just can't quite grasp.

Then Know Your Enemy hits, and hits fuckin' hard with the progressive breaks action I love from these guys, and all is right again. Then third cut Marrakech hits, and I'm thrown for a loop, the tune some sort of psychedelic trip-hop outing that wouldn't sound out of place in a FSOL Environments LP. Ain't no way that's gonna' get a “most moving pieces of electronic music” plaudit, but it definitely earns an uber thumbs-up from me! And while I prefer Hybrid's instrumentals, Adam Taylor sounds great in I'm Still Awake, the music complementing rather than burying him as though his voice is just another layer in an overstuffed cake.

And goodness, how are there so many kick-ass club tracks on this album? It's not as relentless as Live Angle (obviously it couldn't be), but the block featuring Visible Noise, We Are In Control and Higher Than A Skyscraper gives that CD serious competition. The final clutch of tracks gets back to the lyrical stuff, with Kirsty Hawkshaw providing a full range of octaves on the closer Blackout. This was honestly what I was expecting out of Morning Sci-Fi, but given the highly kinetic, super energetic tuneage that preceded it, by all means, Misters Truman and Healings, have at your sophisticated songcraft.

Friday, November 2, 2018

James Blake - James Blake

Universal Republic Records: 2011

(a Patreon Request)

I was in serious music exploring doldrums in the year 2011, due to albums like this. Nothing specifically on it, mind you; heck, I didn't even bother checking if I might like it or not. When an act gets as hyped as James Blake did leading up to his debut album though, I can't help but give the ol' side-eye in response. The likes of Pitchfork and TinyMixTapes are praising him as their latest second coming, you say? Must be some insufferable indie-twat doing music outside conventional lanes, thinks I. Naturally, that's an entirely douche-nozzle position to take, but after so much indie-rag hype leading me to mediocre music, you can understand knee-jerk reactions to their recommendations.

Having now taken in James Blake from James Blake, I can honestly say: really? This is what all the hullabaloo was about? For sure, it's a perfectly pleasant little soul album, with a few contemporary UK garage tricks giving it additional flair and personality. And man, does Blake ever know how to maximize sonic space, his tracks remarkably sparse and empty, letting his voice linger not just with the delay and echo effects on his vocals, but even in the nothingness between another piano chord or bass throb. I've always felt the best soul casts the singer isolated and laid bare, with little distraction impeding what should be an intimate dialog between artist and listener. Obviously that doesn't always happen – Hell, at the pop level, soul can't help but get caught up in theatrics just like everyone else (do I really need to hear five octaves to know how much you feel that agonizing emotion?). Blake though, he shows welcome restraint in such gimmickry, things like multi-tracking his voice or digitally manipulating it into different octaves serving the needs of a particular song and nothing more.

So as an understated, honest little soul album, I did like James Blake, but still don't understand where all the hype comes from. Check that: I do understand where all the hype came from, especially from the indie-rags. They adored it because it's an understated, honest little soul album, when it wasn't supposed to be an understated, honest little soul album. James Blake was anticipated to be a saviour for a dubstep scene having succumbed to all that was bro, bringing class, cleverness, and prestige back to a once-hot underground movement. He was supposed to do that within dubstep's parameters though (or post-dubstep, or future garage, or etc.), and he didn't do that here. Yeah, there's some sub-rattling bass frequencies in tracks like Limit To Your Love, and twisted garage-soul in I Mind, but those are exceptions to the general style James indulges in here.

And honestly, his soul doesn't sound much different from stuff on Dusted's album, though as released via Hyperdub. And that's fine – I likes me some Brit soul every now and then – but in subverting everyone's expectations, yeah, small wonder indie folks tripped over themselves showering the hyperbolic praise.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

ACE TRACKS: October 2018

Just how important is it that I physically own a CD before I review it? Clearly not the most important factor, as I've reviewed a number of releases without holding a tactile object within my fingers beforehand (wait...). Even beyond digital-only items as found on Bandcamp, there's a few vinyl-options I've skipped on in favour of the digital (egh, I feel dirty typing that) because beginning a collection of the Black Crack is just not a feasible option for your truly. Plus, I've started the painful acceptance that some CDs are likely never attainable for any reasonable price, so why deny myself of releases (and the artists their financial compensation) if the non-physical option is available. And let's not forget, way back in my TranceCritic days, a large number of reviews were written from, erm, less-than legit sources. We were young, we didn't have the money!

That's probably part of why I feel it necessary that I do things proper-like now, to make amends for cheating the game before. More than that though, I feel reviewing something off a stream – legit or otherwise – is cheating as well. What right do I have in dropping extended critiques of music if I'm not willing to put in my own personal time and money into it? It's no better than writing an overlong YouTube comment, and I'd like to think this blogging thing has a smidge more class than that. Also, if I did open my reviewing options to everything Spotify has available, then I'd be obligated to cover all the new stuff, all the time. When will I have time to review Moonshine compilations from 1999 then? Alright, soul bearing over, here's the ACE TRACKS for the month of October:


Full track list here.


MISSING ALBUMS:
Scott Grooves - Key Statements - The Beginning: The Soiree Collection 1992-1995
Miami Beach Force - The Revenge
Scott Grooves - Pure Mixin' It: A Decade of Natural Midi 2007-2017
Autumn Of Communion - Polydeuces
Cryogenic Weekend - Polar Sleep

Percentage Of Hip-Hop: 0%
Percentage Of Rock: 6%
Most “WTF?” Track: Easy choice would be a GosT tune, but I didn't include any of the truly WTF?? tracks off Possessor.

I don't know how this playlist sounds! Okay, I know how the music goes and all that, but how it flows together, I haven't a clue. I simply had no time for it, see. I usually throw these together a day or two before the end of the month, give it a once over, and move on. However, with a couple Patreon Request items finally arriving in the mail, those have taken up my prime listening time instead of this. So, uh, y'all may be venturing into musical territory I've yet to experience with this one, friends. Have at 'er!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Nacht Plank - Third Sacraments Council

self release: 2013

I've taken in a few Lee Norris projects now, though I haven't returned to his Nacht Plank one too often. In fact, aside from my earliest dabblings into his works which included Alien and the Moss Garden album In The Silence Of The Subconscious, I've barely touched upon his second-to-third most prolific alias. Gosh, looking back on my coverage of Norris' music, the first five were via Carpe Sonum Records releases – I didn't really begin branching out from that label until Lee started offering his older material as free Bandcamp downloads. Makes sense though, as much of his older material was of such limited manufacturing runs that most of it's been long out of print, save the occasional reissue or box-set gathering. I did nab up a couple other CDs from ...txt while they were still available, including one of those Nacht pairings with Ishq, but yeah, seems the only way I'll get to continue exploring Mr. Norris' older music is whenever he offers up these downloads. Or, I dunno', find streaming alternatives (but... physical!).

This particular album though – indeed, this particular series, if the 'third' in the title wasn't a clue – I couldn't have bought a CD if I wanted to. During that whole Italian Works period, Lee performed at the Basilica Don Juan temple in Piemonte - two nights and two recordings - from which Second and Third Sacraments Council come from. Though he has a dedicated fanbase, it isn't substantial by any stretch, folks looking to buy hour-long live drone compositions from Mr. Norris few and far between. But hey, post that stuff on Bandcamp, and make whatever cream comes your way from it, right? He also included them on the Sacraments Council thumb-drive, so you could technically have a physical copy of it, though just how 'physical' USB releases really are is a debate I've already had (jury's still out).

Oh, yeah, that's what Third Sacraments Council is, an hour-long live drone composition, and friends, does this one ever drone. It's the good kind of drone, mind you, if you're looking for minimalist ambience for calming meditative moments. For the first five minutes, we're dealing with little more than atonal pad work with some crackly treatments that almost sound like some loose wiring in Lee's gear (Nacht Plank is primarily his outlet for music created with analog equipment). A gentle, breathing two-tone melody emerges, acting as the steady rudder for the duration of the piece, with additional effects building overtop this minimalist melody, though never straying from the path its laid out. At various points additional sounds like mechanical bird or whale calls punctuate the mood, but that's about as dynamic as things get.

Despite a little flaking in its duration, Third Sacraments Council surprisingly held my attention throughout. Even more surprising was a co-worker noticing it too, commenting how relaxing it is. My co-workers never comment on the ambient music I play! Can't get a better recommendation than that, my friends.

Things I've Talked About

...txt 10 Records 16 Bit Lolita's 1963 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2 Play Records 2 Unlimited 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 20xx Update 2562 3 Loop Music 302 Acid 36 3FORCE 3six Recordings 4AD 6 x 6 Records 75 Ark 7L & Esoteric 808 State A Perfect Circle A Positive Life A-Wave A&M Records A&R Records Abasi Above and Beyond abstract Ace Trace Ace Tracks Playlists Ace Ventura acid acid house acid jazz acid techno acoustic Adam Freeland Adham Shaikh ADNY Adrian Younge adult contemporary Aegri Somnia Aes Dana Afrika Bambaataa Afro-house Afterhours Agoria Aidan Casserly Ajana Records Ajna AK1200 Akshan album Aldrin Alex Smoke Alex Theory Alio Die Alphabet Zoo Alphaxone Altar Records Alter Ego alternative rock Alucidnation Ambelion ambient ambient dub ambient techno Ambient World Ambientium Ametsub Amon Tobin Amplexus Anabolic Frolic Andrea Parker Andrew Heath Androcell Andy C anecdotes Aniplex Anjunabeats Anodize Another Fine Day Antendex anthem house Anthony Rother Anti-Social Network Aphasia Records Aphex Twin Apócrýphos Apollo Apple Records April Records Aqua Aquarellist Aquascape Aquila Arcade Architects Of Existence arena rock Arista Armada Armin van Buuren Arpatle Arts & Crafts ASC Ashtech Asian Dub Foundation Astral Waves Astralwerks AstroPilot Asura Asylum Records ATCO Records Atlantic Atlantis atmospheric jungle Atomic Hooligan Atrium Carceri Attic Audion AuroraX Autistici Autumn Of Communion Aveparthe Avicii Axiom Axtone Records Aythar B.G. The Prince Of Rap B°TONG Babygrande Balance Balanced Records Balearic ballad Banco de Gaia Bandulu battle-rap Bauri Beastie Boys Beat Buzz Records Beatbox Machinery Beats & Pieces bebop Beck Bedouin Soundclash Bedrock Records Beechwood Music Benny Benassi Berlin-School Beto Narme bhangra Bicep big beat Big Boi Big L Big Life Bill Hamel Bill Laswell BIlly Idol BineMusic BioMetal Biophon Records Biosphere Bipolar Music BKS Black Hole Recordings black rebel motorcycle club Black Swan Sounds Blanco Y Negro Blasterjaxx Blend Blood Music Blow Up Blue Öyster Cult blues Bluescreen Bluetech BMG Boards Of Canada Bob Dylan Bob Marley Bobina Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Boney M Bong Load Records Bonzai Boogie Down Productions Booka Shade Botchit & Scarper Boxed Boys Noize Boysnoize Records braindance Brandt Brauer Frick breakcore breaks Brian Eno Brian Wilson Brick Records Britpop Brodinski broken beat Brooklyn Music Ltd Bryan Adams BT Bubble Buffalo Springfield Bulk Recordings Burial Burned CDs Bush Busta Rhymes Calibre calypso Canibus Canned Resistor Capitol Records Capsula Captured Digital Carbon Based Lifeforms Carl B Carl Craig Carol C Caroline Records Carpe Sonum Records CD-Maximum Ceephax Acid Crew Celestial Dragon Records Cell Celtic Cevin Fisher Cheb i Sabbah Cheeky Records chemical breaks Chihei Hatakeyama chill-out chiptune Chris Duckenfield Chris Fortier Chris Korda Chris Sheppard Christmas Christopher Lawrence Chromeo Chronos Chrysalis Ciaran Byrne cinematic soundscapes Circular Cirrus Cities Last Broadcast City Of Angels CJ Stone Claptone classic house classic rock classical Claude Young Clear Label Records Cleopatra Cloud 9 Club Cutz Cocoon Recordings Cold Spring Coldcut Coldplay coldwave Colette collagist Columbia Com.Pact Records comedy Compilation Comrie Smith Connect.Ohm conscious Control Music Cor Fijneman Corderoy Cosmic Gate Cosmic Replicant Cosmos Studios Cottonbelly Council Of Nine Counter Records country country rock Covert Operations Recordings Craig Padilla Crazy Horse Cream Creamfields Crockett's Theme Crosby Stills And Nash Crosstown Rebels crunk Cryo Chamber Cryobiosis Cryogenic Weekend Cube Guys Culture Beat Curb Records Curve cut'n'paste Cyan Music Cyber Productions CyberOctave Cyclic Law Cygna Cyril Secq Czarface D-Bridge D-Fuse Dacru Records Daddy G Daft Punk Dag Rosenqvist Damian Lazarus Damon Albarn Dan The Automator Dance 2 Trance Dance Pool dancehall Daniel Heatcliff Daniel Wanrooy Dao Da Noize dark ambient dark psy darkcore darkside darkstep darkwave Darla Records Darren McClure DAT Records Databloem David Alvarado David Bickley David Guetta David Morley DDR Dead Melodies Deadmau5 Death Row Records Decimal Dedicated Deejay Goldfinger Deep Dish Deep Forest deep house Deeply Rooted House Deepwater Black Def Jam Recordings Del Tha Funkee Homosapien Delerium Delsin Deltron 3030 Depeche Mode Der Dritte Raum Derek Carr Detroit Devin Underwood DFA DGC diametric. Dido Dieselboy Different DigiCube Dillinja dirty house Dirty South Dirty Vegas disco Disco Gecko disco house Disco Pinata Records disco punk Discover (label) Disky Disques Dreyfus Distant System Distinct'ive Breaks Disturbance DJ 3000 DJ Brian DJ Craze DJ Dan DJ Dean DJ Gonzalo DJ Heather DJ John Kelley DJ Merlin DJ Mix DJ Moe Sticky DJ Observer DJ Premier DJ Q-Bert DJ Shadow DJ Soul Slinger DJ-Kicks Djen Ajakan Shean DJMag DMC DMC Records Doc Scott Dogon Dogwhistle Dopplereffekt Dossier downtempo dowtempo Dr. Atmo Dr. Dre Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show Dr. Octagon Dragon Quest dream house DreamWorks Records Drexciya drill 'n' bass Dronarivm drone Dronny Darko drum 'n' bass DrumNBassArena drunken review dub Dub Pistols dub techno Dub Trees Dubfire dubstep DuMonde Dune Dusted Dynatron E-Mantra E-Z Rollers Eardream Music Earth Earth Nation Earthling Eastcoast Eastcost EastWest Eat Static EBM Echodub Ed Rush & Optical Editions EG EDM World Weekly News Ektoplazm electro Electro House Electro Sun electro-funk electro-pop electroclash Electronic Dance Essentials Electrovoya Elektra Elektrolux em:t EMC update EMI Eminem Emmerichk Emperor Norton Empire enCAPSULAte Engine Recordings Enigma Enmarta EP Epic epic trance Erased Tapes Records Eric Borgo Erik Vee Erol Alkan Escape Esoteric Reactive ethereal Etnica Etnoscope Euphoria euro dance Eurythmics Eve Records Everlast Ewan Pearson experimental Eye Q Records F Communications Fabric Fade Records Faithless Falcon Reekon Fallen fanfic Fantastisizer Fatboy Slim Fax +49-69/450464 Fear Factory Fedde Le Grand Fehrplay Feist Fektive Records Felix da Housecat Fennesz Ferry Corsten FFRR field recordings Filter filters Final Fantasy Firescope Five AM Fjäder Flashover Recordings Floating Points Flowers For Bodysnatchers Flowjob Fluke Flying Lotus folk footwork Force Intel Fountain Music Four Tet FPU Frank Bretschneider Frankie Bones Frankie Knuckles Fred Everything freestyle French house Front Line Assembly fsoldigital.com Fugees full-on Fun Factory funk future garage Future Sound Of London futurepop g-funk gabber Gabriel Le Mar Gaither Music Group Galaktlan Galati Gang Starr gangsta garage Gareth Davis Gas Gasoline Alley Records Gee Street Geffen Records Gel-Sol Genesis Geometry Combat Gerald Donald Get Physical Music ghetto Ghostface Killah Ghostly International glam Gliese 581C glitch Global Communication Global Underground Globular goa trance God Body Disconnect Gorillaz gospel Gost goth Grammy Awards Gravediggaz Green Day Grey Area Gridlock grime Groove Armada Groove Corporation Grooverider grunge Guru Gustaf Hidlebrand Gusto Records GZA Haddaway Halgrath happy hardcore hard house hard rock hard techno hard trance hardcore Hardfloor hardstyle Harmless Harmonic 33 Harold Budd Harthouse Harthouse Mannheim Hawtin Hearts Of Space Hed Kandi Helen Marnie Hell Hercules And Love Affair Hernán Cattáneo Hi-Bias Records Hic Sunt Leones Hide And Sequence Hiero Emperium Hieroglyphics High Contrast High Note Records Higher Ground Higher Intelligence Agency hip-hop hip-house hipno Home Normal Hooj Choons Hope Records horrorcore Hospital Records Hot Chip Hotflush Recordings house Huey Lewis & The News Human Blue Hybrid Hybrid Leisureland Hymen Records Hyperdub Hypertrophy hypnotic records I Awake i! Records I.F.O.R. I.R.S. Records Iboga Records Ice Cube Ice H2o Records ICE MC IDM illbient Imperial Dancefloor Imploded View In Charge In Trance We Trust Incoming Incubus indie rock Industrial Infected Mushroom Infinite Guitar influence records Infonet Inner Ocean Records Insane Clown Posse Inspectah Deck Instinct Ambient Instra-Mental Inter-Modo Interchill Records Internal International Deejays Gigolo Interscope Records Intimate Productions Intuition Recordings ISBA Music Entertainment Ishkur Ishq Island Records Islands Of Light Italians Do It Better italo disco italo house Item Caligo J-pop Jack Moss Jacob Newman Jafu Jam and Spoon Jam El Mar James Blake James Horner James Murray James Zabiela Jamie Jones Jamie Myerson Jamie Principle Jamiroquai Javelin Ltd. Jay Haze Jay Tripwire Jaydee jazz jazz dance jazzdance jazzstep Jean-Michel Jarre Jefferson Airplane Jerry Goldsmith Jesper Dahlbäck Jiri.Ceiver Jive Jive Electro Jliat Jlin Joel Mull Joey Beltram John '00' Fleming John Acquaviva John Beltran John Digweed John Graham John Kelly John O'Callaghan John Oswald John Shima Johnny Cash Johnny Jewel Jonny L Jori Hulkkonen Jørn Stenzel Josh Wink Journeys By DJ™ LLC Joyful Noise Recordings Juan Atkins juke Jump Cut jump up Jumpin' & Pumpin' jungle Junior Boy's Own Junkie XL Juno Reactor Jurassic 5 Kaico Kay Wilder KDJ Ken Ishii Kenji Kawai Kenny Glasgow Keoki Keosz Kerri Chandler Kevin Braheny Kevin Yost Kevorkian Records Khooman Khruangbin Ki/oon Kid Koala Kiko Kinetic Records King Cannibal King Midas Sound King Tubby Kitaro Klang Elektronik Klaus Schulze KMFDM Koch Records Koichi Sugiyama Kolhoosi 13 Komakino Kompakt Kon Kan Kool Keith Kozo Kraftwelt Kraftwerk Krafty Kuts krautrock Kriistal Ann Krill.Minima Kris O'Neil Kriztal KRS-One Kruder and Dorfmeister Krusseldorf Kubinski KuckKuck Kurupt L.B. Dub Corp L.S.G. L'usine Lab 4 Ladytron Lafleche Lange Large Records Lars Leonhard Laserlight Digital LateNightTales Latin Laurent Garnier LCD Soundsystem Leama and Moor Lee 'Scratch' Perry Lee Norris Leftfield Legacy Legiac Legowelt Leon Bolier Les Disques Du Crépuscule LFO Linear Labs Lingua Lustra liquid funk Liquid Sound Design Liquid Stranger Liquid Zen Live live album LL Cool J Loco Dice Lodsb London acid crew London Classics London Elektricity London Records 90 Ltd London-Sire Records Loop Guru Loreena McKennitt Lorenzo Masotto Lorenzo Montanà Lost Language Loud Records Loverboy Luaka Bop Luciano Luke Slater Lustmord M_nus M.A.N.D.Y. M.I.K.E. Madonna Magda Mahiane Mali Mammoth Records Marc Simz Marcel Dettmann Marco Carola Marco V Marcus Intalex Mark Farina Mark Norman Mark Pritchard Markus Schulz Marshmello Martin Cooper Martin Nonstatic Märtini Brös Marvin Gaye Maschine Massive Attack Masta Killa Matthew Dear Max Graham maximal Maxx MCA Records McProg Meanwhile Meat Loaf Meditronica Memex Menno de Jong Mercury Mesmobeat metal Method Man Metroplex Metropolis Miami Bass Miami Beach Force Miami Dub Machine Michael Brook Michael Jackson Michael Mantra Michael Mayer Mick Chillage micro-house microfunk Microscopics MIG Miguel Migs Mike Saint-Jules Mike Shiver Miktek Mille Plateaux Millennium Records Mind Distortion System Mind Over MIDI mini-CDs minimal minimal tech-house Ministry Of Sound miscellaneous Misja Helsloot Miss Kittin Miss Moneypenny's Mistical Mixmag Mo Wax Mo-Do MO-DU Moby Model 500 modern classical Moist Music Moodymann Moonshine Moss Garden Motech Moving Shadow Mujaji Murk Murmur Music link Music Man Records musique concrete Mutant Sound System Mute MUX Muzik Magazine My Best Friend Mystery Tape Laboratory Mystica Tribe N-Trance Nacht Plank Nadia Ali Nas Nashville Natural Midi Nature Sounds Naughty By Nature Nebula Neil Young Neon Droid Neotropic nerdcore Nervous Records Nettwerk Neurobiotic Records New Age New Jack Swing new wave Nic Fanciulli Nick Höppner Night Time Stories Nightwind Records Nimanty Nine Inch Nails Ninja Tune Nirvana No Mask Effect Nobuo Uematsu Nomad Nonesuch Nonplus Records Nookie Nordic Trax Norman Feller Northumbria Not Now Music Nothing Records NovaMute NRG Ntone nu-jazz nu-skool Nuclear Blast Entertainment Nulll Nurse With Wound NXP Oasis Octagen Offshoot Offshoot Records Ol' Dirty Bastard Olan Mill Old Europa Cafe old school rave Ole Højer Hansen Olga Musik Olien Oliver Lieb Olsen Omni Trio Omnimotion Omnisonus One Little Indian Oophoi Oosh Open Canvas Opus III orchestral Original TranceCritic review Orkidea Orla Wren Ornament Ostgut Ton Ott Ottsonic Music Ouragan Out Of The Box OutKast Outpost Records Overdream Paleowolf Pan Sonic Pantera Pantha Du Prince Paolo Mojo Parlaphone Patreon Paul Moelands Paul Oakenfold Paul van Dyk Pendulum Perfect Stranger Perfecto Perturbator Pet Shop Boys Petar Dundov Pete Namlook Pete Tong Peter Andersson Peter Benisch Peter Broderick Peter Gabriel Peter Tosh Phonothek Photek Phutureprimitive Phynn PIAS Recordings Pink Floyd PJ Harvey Plaid Planet Dog Planet Earth Recordings Planet Mu Planetary Assault Systems Planetary Consciousness Plastic City Plastikman Platinum Platipus Pleq Plump DJs Plunderphonic PM Dawn Poker Flat Recordings Pole Folder politics Polydor Polytel pop Popular Records Porya Hatami post-dubstep Prince Prince Paul Prins Thomas Priority Records Profondita prog prog psy prog-psy Progression progressive breaks progressive house progressive rock progressive trance Prolifica Proper Records Prototype Recordings protoU Pryda psy chill psy dub Psy Spy Records psy trance psy-chill psychedelia Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia Psychomanteum Psychonavigation Psychonavigation Records Psycoholic Psykosonik Public Enemy punk rock Pureuphoria Records Purl Purple Soil Push PWL International Quadrophonia Quality Quango Quantum Quinlan Road R & S Records R'n'B R&B Rabbit In The Moon Radio Slave Radioactive Radioactive Man Radiohead Raekwon ragga Rainbow Vector raison d'etre Ralph Lawson RAM Records Randal Collier-Ford Random Review Rank 1 rant Rapoon RareNoise Records Ras Command Rascalz Raster-Noton Ratatat Raum Records RCA React Red Jerry Refracted reggae remixes Renaissance Renaissance Man Rephlex Reprise Records Resist Music Restless Records RetroSynther Reverse Alignment Rhino Records Rhys Fulber Ricardo Villalobos Riley Reinhold Rising High Records RnB Roadrunner Records Robert Hood Robert Miles Robert Oleysyck Roc Raida rock rock opera rockabilly rocktronica Roger Sanchez ROIR Rollo Rough Trade Rub-N-Tug Rumour Records Running Back Ruthless Records RZA S.E.T.I. Sabled Sun Salt Tank Salted Music Salvation Music Samim sampling Sanctuary Records Sander van Doorn Sandoz Sarah McLachlan Sash Sasha Scandinavian Records Scann-Tec sci-fi Scott Grooves Scott Hardkiss Scott Stubbs Scuba Seán Quinn Seaworthy Segue Sense Sentimony Records Sequential Seraphim Rytm Setrise Seven Davis Jr. Shaded Explorations Shaded Explorer Shadow Records Sharam Shawn Francis shoegaze Si Matthews SideOneDummy Records Sidereal Signature Records SiJ Silent Season Silent Universe Silicone Soul silly gimmicks Silver Age Simian Mobile Disco Simon Berry Simon Heath Simon Posford Simon Scott Simple Records Sinden Sine Silex single Sire Records Company Six Degrees Sixeleven Records ska Skin To Skin Slaapwel Records Slam Sleep Research Facility Slinky Music Sly and Robbie Smalltown Supersound SME Visual Works Inc. Snap Sneijder Snoop Dogg soft rock Soiree Records International Solar Fields Solaris Recordings Solarstone Solieb Soliquid Solstice Music Europe Soma Quality Recordings Songbird Sony Music Entertainment soul Soul Temple Entertainment soul:r Souls Of Mischief Sound Of Ceres Soundgarden Sounds From The Ground soundtrack southern rap southern rock space ambient Space Dimension Controller Space Manoeuvres space synth Spacetime Continuum Spank Rock Special D speed garage Speedy J SPG Music Spicelab Spiritech spoken word Spotify Suggestions Spotted Peccary SPX Digital Squarepusher Squaresoft Stanton Warriors Star Trek Stardust Statrax Stay Up Forever Stephanie B Stephen Kroos Steve Angello Steve Lawler Steve Miller Band Steve Porter Stijn van Cauter Stone Temple Pilots Stonebridge Stormloop Stray Gators Street Fighter Stuart McLean Studio K7 Stylophonic Sub Focus Sublime Sublime Porte Netlabel Substance Suduaya Sun Station Sunbeam Sunday Best Recordings Supercar Superstition surf rock Sven Väth Swayzak Sweet Trip swing Switch Sylk 130 Symmetry Sync24 Synergy Synkro synth pop synth-pop synthwave System 7 Tactic Records Tall Paul Tammy Wynette Tangerine Dream Tau Ceti Taylor Tayo tech-house tech-step tech-trance Technical Itch techno technobass Technoboy Tectonic Terminal Antwerp Terra Ferma Terry Lee Brown Jr Textere Oris The Beach Boys The Beatles The Black Dog The Brian Jonestown Massacre The Bug The Chemical Brothers The Clash The Council The Cranberries The Crystal Method The Digital Blonde The Dust Brothers The Field The Glimmers The Green Kingdom The Grey Area The Hacker The Herbaliser The Human League The Irresistible Force The KLF The Misted Muppet The Movement The Music Cartel The Null Corporation The Oak Ridge Boys The Offspring The Orb The Police The Prodigy The Shamen The Sharp Boys The Sonic Voyagers The Squires The Tea Party The Tragically Hip The Velvet Underground The Wailers The White Stripes themes Thievery Corporation Third Contact Tholen Thrive Records Tiefschwarz Tiësto Tiga Tiger & Woods Time Life Music Time Warp Timecode Tipper Tobias Tocadisco Todd Terje Tom Middleton Tomita Tommy Boy Ton T.B. Tone Depth Tony Anderson Sound Orchestra Tool Topaz Tosca Toto Touch Tourette Records Toxik Synther Traffic Entertainment Group trance Trancelucent Tranquillo Records Trans'Pact Transformers Transient Records trap Trax Records Trend Trentemøller Tresor tribal Tricky Triloka Records trip-hop Trishula Records Troum TRS Records Tsuba Records Tsubasa Records Tuff Gong Tunnel Records Turbo Recordings turntablism TUU TVT Records Twisted Records Type O Negative U-God U2 U4IC DJs Überzone Ugasanie UK acid house UK Garage Ultimae Ultimae Records Ultra Records Umbra Underworld Union Jack United Dairies United DJs Of America Universal Motown Universal Music Universal Republic Records UOVI Upstream Records Urban Icon Records V2 Vagrant Records Valiska Valley Of The Sun Vangelis Vap Vector Lovers Venetian Snares Venonza Records Vermont Vernon Verus Records Verve Records VGM Vice Records Victor Calderone Vince DiCola Vinyl Cafe Productions Virgin Virtual Vault Virus Recordings Visionquest Visions Vitalic vocal trance Vortex Wagram Music Warp Records Warren G Water Music Dance Wave Recordings Wave Records Waveform Records Wax Trax Records Way Out West WEA Wednesday Campanella Weekend Players Weekly Mini-Review Werk Discs Werkstatt Recordings WestBam White Swan Records Wichita William Orbit Willie Nelson world beat world music writing reflections Wrong Records Wu-Tang Clan Wyatt Keusch XL Recordings Yello Yes Youth Youtube YoYo Records Yul Records Zenith ZerO One Zoharum Zomby Zoo Entertainment ZTT Zyron ZYX Music µ-Ziq