Sunday, April 16, 2017

DMD highlights from 2016 Part 3: DUST…Volume One...Hip-Hop, (More) Ambient, Dark Ambient, Drone, Experimental, Noise and Musique Concrète

We’ve wandered the Desert, climbed the Mountain, now it’s time to return to Dust.

With such a huge amount of music prepared, I decided to split the final list into two volumes rather than have one list with miles and miles of headache inducing text. 

I hope you enjoy this list and discover some cool music that you missed out on.

Catch up on DMD’s other picks from 2016 here:

Thanks for reading!

Salvador Dali photo for no apparent reason...


Moor Mother - Fetish Bones
In recent years, we’ve been blessed by groups like Death Grips and clipping. (to name a few) who've dragged Hip-Hop kicking and screaming into a new age of experimentalism. 

But one can’t help but notice a distinct lack of female figures in this rebellious wave, to spit defiantly in the face of the scantily clad, constantly twerking stereotype of women in the genre.

Enter Philadelphia’s Moor Mother (Camae Aweya) and her debut for Don Giovanni Records ‘Fetish Bones’. An album packed to bursting with tracks written suitably for our current political climate as well as diving back into the bloodstained past. 

Songs like ‘Deadbeat Protest’ and ‘KBGK’ captures the agitation in the battle for change all the while there’s no forced anger when Camae spits lyrical venom like Zach De La Rocha on ‘Tell Me About It’ or dishing out theatric vocals like Diamanda Galas on ‘Creation Myth’. The accompanying multifarious sound art suits her voice well, often walking the line between calming and downright demented.

The tearstained notes of ‘Time Float’ finish up a record personified as a raised voice, eyes burning with determination and a clenched fist. Get it!
Listen / Purchase here:

Watch the video for ‘By The Light’ here

Watch the video for ‘Parallel Nightmares’ here

Folk / Ambient

Imbaru - Vigías EP
Imbaru is a Chile based music project with elements of Classical, Neofolk and Ambient with all instruments played by Caminante Silencioso and includes rural field recordings that add emphasis to the tracks.

‘Amaneceres’ (Dawn) is an evocative piano track, with tiny pauses that give the music an air of mystery. Second track ‘Vigías’ (Watchers) features duelling Acoustic guitars reminiscent of early Opeth, and flute work that seems to have been lifted from Led Zeppelin IV. Recordings of singing birds and a crowing rooster conjure up images of rolling hills and meadows stretching out as far as the eye can see. 

‘Espíritu Nocturno’ (Nocturnal Spirit) is probably my favourite track on the EP, a dramatic but slightly disquieting piece accurately portray a shadowy nightfall occupied by a playful spirit rather than a menacing one. The solo piano performance of ‘Atardeceres’ (Sunsets) is another example of Silencioso’s virtuoso but heartfelt playing. 

‘Wither’ (Vergissmeinnicht) (Forget Me Not) sees the return of the duelling guitars accompanied by piano and an eloquent guitar solo. An excellent release from start to finish and a fantastic introduction to Imbaru, does anyone else feel the urge to move to a cabin deep in the woods? 

Listen / Download here:


Shambhala - Agyptiaká
Introducing the musical force of Shambhala, a Peruvian Free Jazz / Experimental Rock quartet. Recorded in an abandoned Gymnasium, ‘Agyptiaká’ is a monster jam soaked in raw energy that doesn’t let up in it’s 37 minute life span.

Opening track ‘Montaña de Arena’ (Mountain of sand) is a striking prelude beginning with a tribal, ritualistic drum beat and feedback that allows the glassy guitar chords, winding saxophone and vocals that sound like the cries of some apparition to navigate through the haze. 

At the track’s final point, a spray of cymbals cue up the the next track ‘El Rito y Batalla’ (the rite and the battle) held together by slow, marching drums. A guitar break lets the beat re-build itself into a sway with entrancing riffing.

The Bass solo is short but sweet, and upon ending drops into the jazzy intro of longest track ‘El Tiempo a través de los Tiempos’ (the time before the time) a cascading orgy of maniacal exclamations, head spinning saxophone leads, guitar noise and hay-wire drums to name a few.

Next up, accompanied by the still screaming vocals is an alluring solo for the saxophone based around the motif heard on Montaña de Arena. The crooked sax lines carry over into the closing track ‘La Danza del Viento’ (the dance of the wind). A theatrical buildup into one final eruption of chaos, a ghostly breath and we’re done. 

The band members remain glued to the same musical wave length, allowing the pandemonium to brew and die down while putting forth nothing but their best. Any overspills, talking between parts or perhaps unintended results (such as the buzzing snares on the Bass solo) are all a part of this avant-garde conjuration, and give the record a beautiful human feel.

Let’s hope to hear more from Shambhala this year! At the time of writing there’s only a handful of tapes left…

Listen / purchase cassette here:

Purchase CD here:


Famous Breathers  - Mosquito Buzzer
The debut album from the Rochester, NY duo is a bizarre schizophrenic mover that Mike Patton and Frank Zappa would be proud of.

In a case of including everything but the kitchen sink we have: stoner doom jams, soulful but versatile vocals, mind scattering poetic ramblings and even a few commercial breaks. FB also have an inventive, unique approach to the percussion including toying with Industrial sounds, beat boxing and what sounds like household objects.

Mosquito Buzzer kept me guessing the whole way through and is unpredictable in every sense of the word. It’s clear that much thought has gone into the placing of every part so it doesn't become a sloppy, jumbled mess. I can’t wait to hear what the Famous Breathers put out next!

Listen / Download here:

Comfort Food - Waffle Frolic
Hailing from Chicago, Comfort Food tend to focus their musical efforts on funk and free jazz through an experimental scope. Their third release Waffle Frolic (captured in the bright and crisp production of Alex Borozan) shoots a nod and a wink to their influences while simultaneously carving out their own musical path.

Daniel Wolff is full of masterful horn parts and dishes out intriguing bass lines like nobody’s business, his hypnotic vocals suit the experimental aesthetic well, on the drums Jake Marshall lays down some bombastic and in-escapable grooves.

Not just content with run of the mill instrumentation you will hear party horns, field recordings and small sections of looped noise that help bring out the unhinged insanity of this record. Hungry for something new? Indulge in some Comfort Food!

Listen / Purchase cassette here:

Existence Cemetery - Nothing
Containing unreleased and new tracks recorded when Kansas based experimental / noise artist Treven Damo had no access to a computer, ‘Nothing’ is all the proof you need that technological limitations can never extinguish creativity. Treven has also included the back story / recording methods for each track, which I think was a nice extra.

Each track is a different trip: there’s eerie synth mixed with light drum touches on my personal favourite ‘Alone and Confused’ surreal Ambient pieces and spastic cassette manipulation (‘Tape on Tape’ and ‘Nothing’) and a calming guitar track (‘Tomorrow, You and I’) although that doesn’t stay peaceful for long. 
Put simply, ‘Nothing’ is a shining example of well executed minimalism and what it truly means to experiment.

Buy the physical CD here: 

Official Bandcamp here

Trapped In A Burning Car - S/T
In the same manner that ‘nothing’ was conceived, Trapped In A Burning Car is another Damo project, this time focusing on both edited and pure field recordings.

With sounds gathered across an entire year, plenty of thought has gone into the placing and direction they take on TIABC’s debut. The fact that it was assembled only using a tablet app (Wavepad) makes it all the more impressive.

There’s sonics reverberating off walls, snippets of conversation, classroom recordings (‘algebra’ and ‘interview’) as well as experimental drumbeats and short outbreaks of noise but this isn’t a record that’s dead set on frying your ears. 

The ending track is more of a dark ambient trip, but it doesn’t stay on the darkened path the whole time, and switches to a field recording at odd moments just like hitting pause if you were to keep hearing something in the background.

In conclusion this release from Trapped In A Burning Car that the resources matter not, but only whats in the creative mind.

Listen / Download here:

Baby Teeth - Liberation in Liquid Form
This first release by spoken word artist Baby Teeth is an inebriated ramble akin to a Doug Stanhope live set that hits on all that’s wrong with consumerism and society. Just remember it always gets done tomorrow…(like this list)

Listen / Download here:

Bonemagic - Prism Imperfect
Straight out of Oklahoma, Bonemagic smashes together poppy synth beats with throat grating extreme metal vocals resulting in a weird but wonderful audio cocktail that pays off handsomely.

The beats and synthscapes are anything but boring and haven’t just been lazily thrown together (‘Coral Grief’ ‘Gravestoned’ and ‘Sleeper / Awaker’ stand out for me) plus you can tell that Matt Hex (also of power electronics outfit Disaster Gentleman) is coming straight from the heart with his vocals as well. The only thing I feel like I’m missing is a lyric sheet…

Hex proves he’s more than just a screamer with the ghostly whispers of ‘The Teleported’ and does his best Ian Curtis impression in the more peaceful ‘Coldtour’ before finally ending things with ‘Break Love’.

Overall, Prism Imperfect is an interesting record that I would recommend if you find joy in combining things that aren't normally put together. 

Listen / Download here:

Also Try:
Hymns For Her

Filipo Laresca - Ritmos Autistas + El imperio de los Sentimientos 
(Autistic Rhythms + The Empire of Feelings)
The master of electronic substance abuse returns with a double album effort that utilises field recordings, found sound, turntables and more resulting in 14 spellbinding experimental tracks that must be heard if they are to be believed.

Probably the best example of this is ‘Fenocopia’ which begins with a bed of surface noise and what sounds like birds chirping, before lapsing into a frenzy of jabbering noise and mad electronic bleeping at one point impersonating R2-D2 reaching climax. There is so much going on in this track it’s insane, and some of the best use of manipulated field recordings I’ve heard yet. 

There’s also a strong influence of dark ambient in the vein of Lull afoot, especially on tracks like ‘Compendios Anti-Sonoros’ (Anti-Sound Compendium) meanwhile ‘Mal Diagnóstico’ (ASD) (Bad Diagnosis) is a pure horror score.

Closing track ‘Arthur Doyle on Crack’ features a saxophone sample and mutating electronic noise that contorts around it, an intercom chimes through randomly before leaving just the flatulent sax to see us out, an abnormal end to an abnormal record.

In Conclusion ‘Ritmos Autistas…’ is an impeccable sound salad from Colombia’s finest audio curator. Don’t sleep on this one!

Listen / Purchase CD here:

Also try:
Dedicado a Adolf Wölfli (Dedicated to Adolf Wölfli)

Listen / Download here:
Much of the Filipo Laresca discography is available digitally via Big Pharma Records (physicals via the BPR kunaki page) Ton Doigt Dans Mon Cul and Petroglyph Music.

Read an interview with Filipo Laresca here

Ambient / Dark Ambient / Space Drone

The Deep Silence - Weather Machine
Los Angeles based Progressive Space Ambient The Deep Silence has been wowing listeners since forming in 2016.

First track ‘Climate Center' is a dreamy cinematic, with many flourishes that only hint at what lies ahead. ‘Superstorm Symmetry’ is a rather tense build up, signifying the sun vanishing behind gathering storm clouds. 

On ‘A Walk Through Rain’ a heavy drone swoops in, accompanied by recordings of crackling rain, passing cars, disembodied voices and echoing footsteps which all help to conjure up this powerful soundscape.

Euphoric closer ‘Sacred Science’ features some almighty soaring synths, with the finale peppered with some gorgeous keyboard tinkling against the soft clicking percussion to fade. It isn't deep silence, it’s deepest joy!

Listen / Download here:

Also try: Entropy 1
Another triumph from ELOD with a fantastic remix track by label owner Ben Hudgins (more on him in a bit)

Listen / Purchase cassette here:

African Ghost Valley 
Anonymous Canadian/European duo African Ghost Valley craft infectious sound ecosystems designed to free your mind and let it travel into the unknown.

Dark Tropicals

Dark Tropicals shows off the duo’s capabilities well. Combining synth-scapes with natural noises: ‘Kings Slippers’ features what sounds like scuffled footsteps while ‘UDD’ goes from echoing taps in front of a vibrant synth backdrop to a surface noise orientated dub. ‘Polma’ starts off in more of a noise direction but becomes a soothing ride ‘AU’ also hints at some abnormal darkness but opts for a more positive sound stream. 

Never staying in one spot too long, and carving out a sound all their own, Dark Tropicals is yet another reason why AGV are one of the hottest names in underground ambient music right now.

Listen / Purchase cassette here:

Also try:
Purchase cassette here:

Purchase cassette here:

AGV soundcloud here:
AGV tumblr here:

Noctilucant: ‘Neath the Cerulean Abyss
This was the release that introduced me to the works of Dark Ambient artisan Joseph Mlodik and made me a Noctilucant fan.

Referring to the description: “Neath the Cerulean Abyss follows a mysterious object that falls from the sky and journeys from the top of the ocean waves all the way to the deepest darkest parts of the ocean where unknown horrors dwell…”

To this day, for me the sea still holds both fascination and terror, any attempt to transport the listener off to this specific location is certainly quite a tall order, but Joseph pulls it off swimmingly.

In the first segment, a haze of synth symbolises the light seen from above and illustrates the plentiful ecosystems teeming with life. But as time goes by and more ground is covered, the music turns a modest shade of sorrow, at this stage I imagined witnessing a sunken graveyard of wrecked submarines and sailing boats reclaimed by the sea. 

Further descending the many depths, and with the replicated sound of the currents rushing past us we have a glimpse of horror as low frequency swells mimic the roar of some unseen leviathan, or was it just a gentle sea giant? 

As the end nears and our object begins to arise, the instrumentation shifts to an uplifting tone and upon re-emerging, basks in the light of the full moon. An extremely vibrant soundscape in a constant state of progression that manages to capture both the ocean’s outstanding beauty and unfathomable terror.

B side 'Buried Alive in Mud’ contains doctored snippets of the 'Back to the Mud' album. Acting as something of a theatrical trailer, but not the typical trailer that gives away all the goods and leaves nothing to the imagination. Instead, we have an engaging 28 minute darkened sound sphere that compliments the A side well.

One thing that I cannot stress enough is that both these tracks need to be listened to through a good pair of headphones or else you risk missing out on all the fantastic sounds at play, yes I’m afraid that your flimsy laptop speakers just won’t cut it!

Listen / Purchase Cassette here:

If you’re left wanting more adventures in Noctilucant-Land the first two instalments in the apocalyptic dark ambient series (‘Back to the Mud’ and ‘Oblivion to you all’) are where I would recommend you head next. There’s also an upcoming cassette release entitled 'Crumbling Cities Echoing Their Terror’ which is definitely one to keep an eye out for.

Read an interview with Joseph J Mlodik and a review of ‘Oblivion to you All’ here 

Bonechurch - Hymns For An Ending 
Bonechurch is the Dark Ambient / Drone project of Ben Hudgins, founder of tape labels Endless Landscapes of Decay and Zero Sum Recordings. Hymns For An Ending was the first cassette to be released on ELOD back in April 2016 and is of the level of quality that you can expect to find on the aforementioned labels.

‘Hymn For An Ending 1’ is a lush opener made of soft thumps, a choir of heavenly chants and whistling effects helping the listener reach nirvana. ‘HFAE2’ takes things down a more darkened and unlit musical path, where the vestiges of noise textures and abstract synth tones float by eerily, guaranteed to give you goosebumps.

‘HFAE3’ resembles an audio gateway into some kind of purgatory where you can hear the desperate cries of lost souls wandering the realm endlessly. 

Closing soundscape ‘Hymns For An Ending (Ended Mix) intensifies and lifts the foundations laid in tracks 2 and 3 to extraordinary new heights, as well as adding suffocated drones and spine tingling rattles and vibrations. The effects, intertwined into a pounding concentration of sound, build up climactically toward an un-settling end.

A magnificent release, if you’re still yet to attend a service at the Bonechurch, then ‘Hymns For An Ending’ is the perfect introduction and will no doubt make a convert out of you! Listen in a darkened room for maximum effect.

Listen / Download here:

Also try:
The Sour Results Of Bitter Promises
Listen / Download here:

Iron Desert Blues
Listen / Download here:

More from Ben Hudgins here:

Saturn Form Essence - Fall Into Void
Let the Ukraine Space Drone take you on a sonic journey in and out of various parts of space with plenty of different shades of ambient and drone depicting the cosmos in all it’s glory through sound. 

Listen / Download here:

Saturn Form Essence / Struggling Beacons, Fading Headlights split
On the A side we have Saturn Form Essence with ‘Structure 1/49/32’ featuring mournful synth and a heavy space drone riding an ambient noise wall.

Our B side artist is Austrian project struggling beacons, fading headlights whose contribution ‘9 AM’ begins as a gloomy hum, then becomes a flickering drone cloud that drifts off into the distance, bringing this short but sweet split to a close.

Listen / Download here:

also check out:

Saturn Form Essence / N0123NOISE split - Isolation

Tuonela - Transientity

Back in February 2016, Australian Dark ambient / Dronemaker Ian Rochford brought out his 44th digital release ‘Transientity’. Album opener ‘Appropriate Response’ brings in the dark ambient swarm, setting the tone for much of the record while ‘Breathless’ is a frozen audio ice block which continues the chilled path into ‘Draining Away’.

‘Lost in Failing Light’ begins with a Drone filled with hope that quickly expands into more sinister territory, then returns to a more peaceful tone but not before flaring up one last time. Closing track ‘Transientity’ is a jangling soundscape with much of the tension filled dynamics displayed on the record. 

If you have a craving for dreamy dronescapes with a few jump scares thrown in for good measure, Transientity awaits.

Listen / Download here:

You can read an Interview with Ian here

Graham Williams 
(Fencepost / Less Than One / Tungsten Grasshopper / R0[nought])
Whether it’s Dark Ambient worship or tinkering with surface noise, UK artist Graham Williams has it covered and since return to the online music scene has been making up for lost time with numerous singles, EPs and full lengths. 

Most notably was 'The Fencepost Reclamation Project' an ongoing release which has been active for a year now and has since spawned a second instalment, currently standing at over 220 remixes from 119 artists in total.

Fencepost - Surface Noise Iteration
One of several new releases from Graham’s newly resurrected experimental / field recording project Fencepost that originally became inactive 2002.

The positive results of throwing together a musical formula with parts consisting of soft vinyl scratching, low fizzes, short drones, as well as ambient imprints both dark and light helped make ‘SNI’ my personal highlight from GW in 2016.

Listen / Download here:

Less Than Tungsten - Phantasmagoria
Made up of re-worked previously unreleased Tungsten material under the moniker Less Than Tungsten, ‘Phantasmagoria’ is an immersive dark ambient universe that brought me back to my younger days spent running around the Alien cyborg infested levels of C-12 Final Resistance on the Playstation One.

Listen / Download here:

Less Than 1 / R0[nought]  - The Carrion Sessions [yellow]
Another notable effort was The Carrion sessions [yellow] an ongoing saga of fusing together two of Graham’s projects R0[nought] and Less Than 1 that re-imagines a small number of samples, seeing how many different sonic consequences can be made. Inside the 6 tracks of [yellow] lurks a haunting spirit that creeps up on you.

Listen / Download here:

I briefly caught up with Graham for a few words

DMD: Hi Graham, what have you been up to since we last spoke?

GW: I released an alternate version of the R0[nought] Ebloavirus concept album EHF and a remix version of that too. A second carrion sessions [brown] was also released along with another split between Less than one and R0[nought].  I also recently released a split with Brazilian artist Rauppwar containing live excerpts of EHF material.

DMD: What else can we expect from you in 2017?

GW: There will be further excerpts from a 12 hour live session of the EHF work, I'm currently editing it down, but it looks like it will clock in at about 6 hrs, I shall release it under the title ‘Filoviridae’. I think that will bring an end to the EHF work; it's made me feel a bit like Von Frankenstein at work in his lab!  

The Fencepost Reclamation Project continues apace and has just passed the 200 track mark, there will also be a Less than one rework of the old sci-fi film Plan 9 from Outer Space, along with a Less Than One tribute to H.P. Lovecraft to mark the centenary of the completion of 'The Tomb'. Several split releases with artists from the Fencepost Reclamation Project are also planned.

DMD: You tackled the Black Death on ‘Pestis’ and more recently the Ebolavirus with ‘EHF’ are there any more disease related music works on the horizon? 

GW: There will definitely be more R0[nought] projects in the future, with the next being a currently untitled malaria based work, which will be released as a physical only CD via my new record label Ague Documentation. 

Whilst I do not yet have a definite date for the launch of the label, plans are well underway. The label will be run on a non-profit basis and will hopefully give a platform for some different types of project.

The first release is due to be a message in a bottle containing a link to a hidden album on the label's bandcamp page. I will be launching the bottle in early summer and hopefully it’ll be discovered at some point on a beach somewhere. 

The bottle will contain the link to the album along with two requests: that the label is contacted with a time and location of discovery and that the bottle is relaunched from its point of discovery. Other releases will follow in limited edition runs with handmade packaging etc. The first of these being the R0[nought] malaria work.

You can read a full interview with Graham here

Metzger Dark Ambient and Agura Matra split - Neo Romantic Synthesised Era 2: Naturally Occurring Transitions

The sequel to the collection of Steven Beaumont’s magical drones heard on ‘Neo Romantic Synthesized Era’ is a split with Indonesian Ambient musician Agura Matra.

As always, Metzger Dark Ambient keeps his drones cathartic and bold, often providing the soundtrack to the break of dawn or flowers blooming in slow motion. While AM has contributed three hypnotic tracks: ‘Riverland’ a calming ambient electronic piece mixed with riverside field recordings, while eerie meets melancholy on ‘Sleeping Catfish’ and ‘Nocturnal Flyer’ the latter full of crickets chirping. 

The works of both artists on this split compliment each other well, producing an item destined for drone lovers everywhere.

Listen / Purchase CD here: 

Steven’s label Paracelsian Productions also released a three part compilation entitled ‘Cybernetic Ecosystems’ containing 30 artists from all over the globe, including fellow Canadian Building Castles out of Matchsticks (who appears on part 2)

You can read an interview with Steven here

A recent release from Steven is the beat orientated, Fallout themed project Kondensator.

Listen / Purchase cassette here:

Echoes Throughout the Caverns of Leytonstone - Live At Bell Culture
A performance of James Shearman’s solo dronegaze project recorded live at Bell Culture, an exhibition held by Russian artist Ilia Rogatchevski in St John’s church in Bethnal Green, London during October 2015.

The gorgeous 36 minute reverie entitled ‘Come Unto Me’ closed the exhibition and features layers of soft scrapings, spectral drones with James hitting his guitar strings like a clock striking the hour.

Listen / Download here:

You can read an interview with James here

Endless Chasm - The Myth of Sisyphus
Having not read the Albert Camus (20th century french philosophical writer) novel of the same name upon which this release is based, I automatically related the record’s title, kaleidoscopic cover and music to the classic sci-fi TV show Dr Who. I still thoroughly enjoyed this release despite my personal interpretation not being aligned with the intended themes of the creator.

Part 1 introduces a pulsing ball of musical energy, littered about the place are atonal buzzing synths and drones that move in-between the track’s oscillations. In Part 2, the pulsing energy drone is corrupted by static and gurgled speech like some weird alien dialogue. As the track carries on more gain is added, turning the drone into a thick sludge. 

Much of the final part is scraping noises laden with echo effects but then out of nowhere warped organ chords mimicking a spacecraft in flight rise up and out of earshot, bringing the trilogy to a conclusion. 

Endless Chasm has constructed an enjoyable, impactful piece and if we were to get in the TARDIS and travel back in time to that classic era of TV there is no doubt in my mind that the sounds heard on ‘Myth of Sisyphus’ would be also put to good use by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Listen / Download here:

We Cannot Keep This A Secret Any Longer
This release incorporates a more traditional Dark Ambient / Drone approach, as well as piling on the avant garde sonics, all while uncovering what lay beneath the distortion heard on it’s predecessor.

Two standout tracks for me are the Kid A-mbient ‘Death The Proud Brother Comes Suddenly And Without Warning’ and the drop to lower frequencies on ‘Finding A Mess Like This Oughta Make Anyone Frightened’.

‘Visits - That Would Indicate Visitors’ and ‘We Then Have No Alternative But To Destroy You Before You Destroy Us’ sound like they are hellbent on pushing Drone and Dark Ambient to breaking point while the closing track ‘God Help Us In The Future’ hints at a return to the sounds heard on ‘Myth..’

We Cannot Keep This A Secret Any Longer proves that Endless Chasm is indeed an Endless Chasm of fresh ideas, able to travel between both ends of the Ambient spectrum with ease. This album is currently available digitally for ‘name your price’ on the Big Pharma Records bandcamp page, and I would advise you to snap it up immediately.

Listen / Download here:

More from Endless Chasm:

Official bandcamp here:

Dosis Feralis 
The drone orientated side project of HNW act Dosis Letalis had it’s Zero Sum Recordings debut back in September 2016, the beautiful 4 part ambient drifter is full of breath-taking audio landscapes that hint at planetary exploration and admiring barren environments.
 I do wish these were a bit longer but let’s hope for a full length release sometime this year!

Listen / Purchase Cassette here:

Doris Feralis & Dosis Letalis - Constant Conflict
A schizophrenic split with Dark Drone Ambient side project Dosis Feralis ‘In The Darkest Corner Of My Mind’ is an ominous, shadowy cloud of gloom while the Dosis Letalis track ‘There Is Constant Conflict That Never Ends’ is an excellent wall seemingly made of crackling gravel stones. Both sides compliment each other well, making it a successful split.

Listen / Download here:

You can read an interview with Nemanja here

Drone / Noise / Metal

Bastard Sons of a Judas Goat - Hexahedron 

‘Hexahedron’ is the second release from the Mount Sterling, US metallers Bastard Sons of a Judas Goat.

‘Hexa' starts off as a buzzing noise drone with a few echoing shots going off in the distance. These quickly become a long exhale and blend with the drone to become a wall of sound, eventually shrinking down carrying over to the next track.

After the remnants of the wall have passed, a repeated round appears that’s littered with background effects before launching into a Sludgey Post Metal riff, completing the second track ‘Venus’.

Final track ‘Carbon’ lays down a Doomy groove, bringing back the noise and drone elements heard on ‘Hexa’ and features the kind of percussion you would hear in a christmas song. It’s definitely an eclectic mix of ideas, but my favourite track out of the three.

‘Hexahedron’ is an interesting release, definitely worth checking out if you enjoy long form songs and expecting the unexpected. These Bastard Sons are Kentucky fried to perfection, so dig in! 

Listen / Download here:

Experimental Electronic / Ambient

Sunshine Girl
With Sunshine Girl, Kyle Trujillo both builds and tears down his musical creations, re-arranging them in a meticulous fashion. After the 2016 full lengths ‘Everything is Real / Everything is Not Real’ ‘Breathe Through Machines’ plus a string of singles, the EP ‘-naut’ was released on the Serbian net label Splitting Sounds Records, marking a new direction for the Washington based Ambient / Electronic project.

Sounding like it’s held together by tiny wisps of notes, ‘-naut’ is unpredictable at the best of times, but that makes it more enjoyable. While there are specks of melody to latch onto (Clarence Bury) the frequent changes help Sunshine Girl stand out from the crowd.

From the wonderful glitch-fests of digital sound art akin to a malfunctioning Game Boy cartridge to embellished dial tones, this is an eclectic experience I urge you to check out for yourself.

Listen / Download here

Liminal Sinew
A good companion to ‘-naut’ is ‘Liminal Sinew’ 4 short instalments of surreal sound. Expect to find: chattering insects, an impressive display of bleeps and breakouts in jitters over isolated vocals.

Listen / Download here:

Read an interview with Sunshine Girl here

Follow on Soundcloud

official website

Musique Concrète
Mare Di Dirac - Fumes  
One of my favourite releases to grace my inbox, the Italian electroacoustic, Musique Concrète duo‘s second full length is a transfixing tour de force that’s not to be missed under any circumstances! ‘Fumes’ will take you in search of an esoteric utopia, but it is not afraid to drag you through purgatory to reach enlightenment.

Read a full review here

Listen / Purchase CD here:

Shanyio - C

Recorded over three years in different locations across Germany (Berlin & Weidenthal) and Romania (Rittberg, Ciarda, Cârțisoara and Timișoara) ‘C’ is an ambitious release beautifully captured in Alexandru Hegyesi’s sublime mix.

Made possible by a vast number of instruments ranging from more orthodox choices: Bass Guitar, Clarinet, Flute, Glockenspiel, Piano and Recorder. Traditional instruments of the region: Bowed psaltery, Cymbalom/Dulcimer and Gusle. Everyday objects: kettle, wine bottle and stones. As well as drones, experimental ambience, various nature recordings and dabblings in musique concrète. 

There is a strong primal feel to this release, often verging on tripping (Cucocz and Ceampaliu). Probably my favourite track is ‘Coroziv’ a luscious drone tape loop with rich, absorbing textures, but each of the soundscapes on ‘C’ are of a different flavour and never outstay their welcome.  

If you’ve ever yearned to travel to Eastern Europe, ‘C’ is the perfect audio ticket so don’t miss out!

Listen / Purchase cassette here:

Shanyio soundcloud here

Ambient / Noise / Drone
Kinbaku Process - Self Titled 
Named after the Japanese art of rope bondage ‘Kinbaku Process’ was a release that completely blew me away, just from looking at the cover prior to listening I could tell this was going to be something special, and I was right! 

Both cover photo and artwork are a perfect match for the music, which positively sparkles with psychedelic, mesmerising, and organic noise lifeforms. 

Opener ‘Dance With Rope’ is a magic carpet of ghostly synth flying above shimmering noise clouds then ‘King Nawashi’ blasts through the threshold. 

True to it’s name, ‘Unravel’ is a tangled mass of knotted, snaking sound caught in an electrical storm, ‘Echo in a Cell’ goes from ethereal droning to a bezerk din, while ‘Lay’ is a tapestry of cassette manipulation noise.

‘Tether’ (which is bound to wake up any sleepers) leads us into the majestic finale ‘Lost in Worship’. A towering sound temple bubbling with vivid effects, building up to a final soaring note, then it’s all over. A truly incredible release that I keep returning to.

Cassettes have sold out but this release is still available digitally. 

Listen / Download here:

official soundcloud here

Alocasia Garden - Survival
The third release from Folkestone, UK based ambient project Alocasia Garden.

‘Deceive’ starts things off on a harsh note, it’s noisy limbs lashing out between shivering feedback, the next track comes in the form of some spellbinding ambient work on ‘Retracing Weakness’ which features a dreamy keyboard motif that would suit a tannoy system, a weaving counter melody and a delicate use of textures bring out the charming mystique in one of the album’s standout tracks.

‘Under’ is another harsh outburst albeit more fully formed compared to ‘Deceive’ while ‘Prisoner of One Another’ begins with a peaceful drone that becomes a dancing melody and a distorted answer phone message with added specks of noise. 

‘Survival’ deals out the harshness once again, distinguished characteristics include the sound of a train slamming on the brakes and an ethereal sound chamber during the outro.

On the flip side, ’Marble Built Above Bone’ shows off more cathartic keyboard tones, cueing up the final track ‘Scars To Pave A Future’ a grim Harsh Noise Wall slowly introduces a whimpering choir track to fade leaving nothing but the ongoing wall that rattles off into the distance, making for a haunting exit.

At the meeting point of beautiful ambient and corrosive noise, ‘Survival’ is an incredible audio trip that yearns for further exploration. Don’t miss out.

Listen / Download here

You can read a review of another Vanity Pill tapes release ‘False Horizon’ by Amulets here

Also check out:
Alocasia Garden - Shifting your position 
Purchase tapes here:

OLM - Little Boy
On first track ‘A man sees the sky (detail)’ begins as an ominous build up then the addition of a fluttering sound similar to passing birds and the triumphant, luminous organ bathes the surroundings in a positive life-force. 

Next up, reminding me of Ulver, ‘Missing Children’ features a beautiful subtle melody with a smooth, gliding tremolo pulse. ‘Sorry, We Got Lost’ is a mess of mangled radio noise layered with piercing higher frequencies, a bit of a rude awakening compared to the soft tranquility that preceded it.

Returning to the ambient side of things, my favourite track ‘Little Boy’ is full of looped, bleak ivories. Meanwhile, the tremolo pattern creeps in, a more positive sounding ying to the piano’s yang. At it’s finale, nothing is left but one shivering note as the track fades. Mixing melancholic, beautiful and abstract sounds, Little Boy is a very well produced piece of musical art. Highly recommended!

Listen / Download here:

Verhalten - Never Miss An Opportunity To Miss An Opportunity
Self labelled as ‘minimalist machine music’ Chicago’s Verhalten crafts an industrial march of rhythmic noise assembled into heavy beats (‘Their Buried Men’) or well layered epic soundscapes (‘Our Death Smells Thin And Hollow’ and ‘Asthmatic In A Bathysphere’ ) that are extremely powerful and easy to get lost in.

‘Never Miss An Opportunity…’ is a release perfectly suited for the dark ambient traveller, noise enthusiast and old school industrial raver. Break out the glowsticks but make sure you have somewhere to sit down and look pensive.

Listen / Download here:

We Also Let Blood - Love is Always Mingled with Grief
The works of Rock Island, Illinois based artist We Also Let Blood always tend to be of the sharpest quality, and his 2015 debut established a tendency for experimentation keeps the sound fresh and never boxed in.

‘Unease’ is the thumping, chaotic prelude before ‘A Lingering Dread’ descends with rapid fire noise blasts and hellish piercing spirals, but is suddenly switched off allowing my favourite track ‘In The End I'll Probably Be Okay’ to whisk you away on it’s soul cleansing keys. 

‘I Will Salt The Ground On Which You Walk’ and ‘As Yet, I Am Unrepentent’ embody unstoppable currents of screaming feedback, both lashing out like caged beasts. Droning closing canvas ‘You And I Will Always Be Parallel Lines’ feels like it is almost going to build up to an outburst of harsh noise but instead stretches on for miles like an infinite metallic sound tunnel. 

With lethal levels of ear-shattering noise and bags of melancholic melody ‘Love is Always Mingled with Grief’ was one of the best records to reach my ears in 2016.

Listen / Download here:

Alexander Adams - Kolkhoz Blues
Track one ‘Knowing Drift’ begins as a warm, saturated drone with a halo of surface fizz then retreats into a dilapidated sound bunker bombarded by noise debris, with the drone making attempts to re-emerge. Out of the rapidly demolishing composition rises a discordant clash akin to throwing a piano off a cliff, which makes way for the drone to successfully materialise.

There are threats of another imminent noise strike but it is overcome. The calm is restored to a quivering hum that feels like it’s going to build into another eruption but instead chooses to quickly settle down again, after a short string arrangement, the knowing drift fades away into the unknown.

Track 2 Knowing Drift (Unknown, Unknowable) Remixed by ELD owner Ben Hudgins is a volatile harsh noise behemoth embedded with a few escaping hisses, book ended by sinister synth vibrations. 

In conclusion, ‘Kolkhoz Blues’ is an engaging piece of audio work and further proof that any self respecting Noise / Drone fan should be following the output of Mr Alexander Adams.

Listen / Purchase Cassette here:

Also try:
Nothing Left But To Watch The Fire And The Night
Collaboration with Harrison Phillis (We Also Let Blood)

Listen / Purchase cassette here:

How I met Lauren 

How I Met Lauren is an Ambient / Drone / Noise project from Germany. Active since May 2015, and has attracted a healthy amount of attention in the experimental community. 

HIML was recently appointed head of Big Pharma Europa, a European offshoot of US label Big Pharma Records with digital and physical releases and other content planned for 2017. Watch this space!

Im Spektrum
The debut release on the NYC tape Label Zero Sum Recordings, this exceptional uplifting drone piece ‘im spektrum’ was quite literally how I met How I Met Lauren and I’ve been hooked on the music ever since. Have a listen for yourself if you fancy being taken for a ride high above the clouds.
Read a full review here

Red Army Faction (RAF)
A release documenting the events of the 1977 ‘German Autumn’ that peaked with the hijacking of the airplane Landshut by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) the deaths of incarcerated RAF members plus the kidnap and subsequent assassination of German Industrial leader Hanns Martin Schleyer.

Spoken word excerpts in English and German help add context to this encapsulating experience full of brooding atmosphere that often made me envision myself walking the cold corridors of Stammheim Prison.

2 tracks and 45 minutes of music expertly carried out by How I Met Lauren recalling a turbulent period of European history often glossed over. Headphones recommended.

Keep those eyes peeled for a limited edition physical cassette release coming soon from Big Pharma Records!

Listen / Download here:

With The Blessing Of Satan
A compilation record featuring such excellent artists as: Amor Breach, Black Sheet Servitude, Endless Chasm, Hallwayss and See Through Buildings who all either contributed finished tracks or collaborated on material. 

It’s a wide plethora of genres including energising ambient, ice cold dark ambient, groovy D&B beats, chin stroking musique concrète, relaxing drones and tape manipulation. 

A surreal sound buffet that I couldn't recommend more!

Listen / Download here:

A Wet Palace - [ ]
A split with See Through Buildings that features both artists coming together at the mid point collaborative track ‘a wet palace’ containing lighter noise touches, field recordings of cars passing in the rain and what starts as an atonal cello theme (that belongs on an avant garde film soundtrack) and towards the end is fed through more alien sounding effects.

On either side of this, How I Met Lauren’s ‘at the rift’ begins with an abstract piece featuring explosive noise and ghoulish dark ambient / drone. To counter this, See Through Buildings launches an incendiary attack on ‘leaving the flesh’ dealing heavy blows of Harsh Noise and writhing strains of metallic Death Industrial.

A short but very strong release. Part 2 coming soon!

Listen / purchase Mini CD here:

Another How I Met Lauren and See Through Buildings encounter that also includes a wicked track from NYC based Harsh Noise / HNW project Melinoe. An outstanding effort from all involved. Gaze into the Abyss! Embrace the Void!

Listen / Download here:

More Noise in Dust Volume Two...

‘//////’ series 
If How I Met Lauren tickles your fancy then a worthy investment of your time is the sixsixsaga, a highly engrossing series running introspective themes up against finely crafted dark ambient, drone and noise with a progressive mindset.

Listen / Purchase CD here:

Listen / Purchase CD here:

Listen / Purchase CD here:


Follow Desert Mountain Dust on bandcamp here:

LINK to volume two

Catch up on DMD’s other picks from 2016 here:

Once again, thanks for reading!

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