Simon Waldram - Songs without Words
Simon Waldram hails from Mansfield, in Nottinghamshire, in the United Kingdom. In other releases, he writes conventional rock and acoustic pieces, featuring Simon singing intelligent lyrics. At Negative Sound Institute, we love a good conventional song, but we particularly believe in the lyrical beauty of "Songs without Words". Simon Waldram's new release is, pleasingly, entitled just that "Songs without Words".
Perhaps jazz music best exemplifies the lyrical nature of instrumental music, as the instrumental solos "stand in' for actual singers. Yet the jazz spirit is not bound to a single genre--as in the truism, the definition of jazz is that it defies definition. In "Songs without Words", Mr. Waldram makes music in which he uses his Les Paul Epiphone replica guitar to visit places usually visited by synthesizers and sequencers. The music ranges from the slow-drive tones of "Elements" to the gentle ambience of "Elegy" and "Rowing Toward Hope" (the latter is a collaboration with Gurdonark).
The old song posited a kind of meaninglessness in songs that "ain't got that swing". We posit instead that the meaning in music involves taking the old beats and the old swings and putting them into songs without words. The lyrics are in the sounds of a gently pulsing guitar.
What are the things we say when we write instrumental songs? They cannot be written out as one sentence, or even as one page. The song's "speaker" and its listeners hear different words. In "Songs without Words" Simon Waldram provides a rich palette of paints for the listener to use to fingerpaint her or his own destiny and story. Too often music is described as "experimental" or "abstract', but in the release of "Songs without Words', let us praise music which helps the listener find her or her own narrative in its sounds.
Pseudo - Gnostic Guitar ii
The search for truth proceeds in endless sequels. In ambient music, an idea turns into a line of melody, a wash of drone or a moment of silence. Pseudo's previous release, Gnostic Guitar Vol I, was a live improvisation recording in a single audio rack. This prior release sought to find the truths in an improvised moment.
Gnostic Guitar Vol II introduces a spirit of compositional commitment to the method. Here one finds layered sounds, rhythm patterns, melodic phrases sometimes, voice speaking and whispers. A guitar, effects, and a speaking voice give rise to a melange of sound.
Is there a “gnostic next step”in ambient language of guitar? Can one find new places within as a listener? Nothing is entirely new under the ambient sun, yet the spirit of minimal composition and the sense of transforming stasis has its virtues.
Gnosis and paradox go hand in hand. Song titles contradict themselves. Melodies are focused meditations, within aimless drones. We invite you to suspend your various disbeliefs, yet indulge your faithlessness, and find a release from Earth in these simple songs.
BOUND TO EARTH
All the love you could give
might be the less you'll receive
and the lands you may walk
and the people who talk
may breathe your own breath
may speak about depths
You should turn back your head
to what ancients been said
The spirit may fly
and drugs may take you high
all the gurus on earth
and the saints and their search
all this paths to the depths
make your soul feel upset
You could turn back your head
to what ancients been said
Bound to earth
bound to this earth
never frighten of depths
'couse depths here they are
Hepepe.hu - Tabula Smaragdina
Hepepe.hu hails from Budapest. Because Budapest functions so often as a crossroads of cultures, it is tempting to write the standard liner notes in which the eclectic nature of Hepepe.hu's muse is neatly dissected and labeled as a product of place. We live so often in a time in which nationality or ethnicity or religion or gender leads to easy labels and smooth, if inaccurate, definitions. The reality about this release, as with the reality about larger things in a larger picture, is that the neat definitions are less important than the music itself.
The Tabula Smaragdina, or "emerald tablet", refers to a mystical idea from the Rosicrucian tradition. One can also try to fit this music into some mystical "honor box of designation", and glibly term it an electronica for inward practice. This, too, simplifies the music into words, when the music itself does not fit so neatly into paragraph-size packages. This "Tabula Smaragdina" is not a quasi-religious track, but a set of tracks for the listener to enjoy.
Hepepe's calling card is that he makes eclectic electronica with a deep reverence for the traditional idioms which predate the harnessing of the diode and the capacitor to the cause of melody. Tabula Smaragdina is less an exploration of the jazz phantoms of the past, however, than a breathing set of electronica songs in its own right.
Although hepepe.hu has often remixed fascinating blends at http://www.ccmixter.org, Tabula Smaragdina comprises entirely new material blended from within the artist's mind.
We at NSI swim often in the deep waters of the idea and of the evocative nature of music. We are less an ambient label per se than a label in which the experience of sound gives rise to an atmosphere in which ideas and emotions merge into music. We present Hepepe.hu's intriguing electronica without manifesto or dogma, as songs uploaded for your listening pleasure, in the inward mystiscism of the music. If "getting the holy ghost across" is here less a spell and more a set of songs, then so much the better. We invite you to leave behind bells, books, and candles and experience Hepepe.hu's tablet as music rather than commandment or myth.
The Thomas Nunnally Ensemble - The Tunnel At The End Of The Light
"The tired old saw proclaims that the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train. Essayists and songwriters also explore the further paradox of the "tunnel at the end of the light". On this EP, the Thomas Nunnally Ensemble ride the hand-car down the rails in an recording about the way in which the process of living renders both sweet and bittersweet the transfers and railway stops that characterize coach travel in the human condition.
Dark/light imagery permeates the popular consciousness, with rigid notions of "good" and evil". Yet in the tunnel live the Good Samaritan, the dolphin in glacial waters who only looks like a killer whale, and the bat who will emerge to eat the malarial mosquito. My light is your scorching laser. My darkness is your cool Summer night.
TNE create music in juxtaposition---an ambient drone might be accompanied by an electro beat, a narrative about passing clouds might be married to an urban frenzy. In so doing, they seek to neither darken the light nor lighten the tunnel. They aim instead to provide a pleasing reality in the fantasy of divergent musical ideas. Life is not lived in neat packages, but rather in scarce liberations and omnipresent redundancies.
TNE take their contentment where they can, and share it, as they feel they must, with near-religious fervor,
with all inclined to download it. As ever, Verian Thomas brings to this album the foreground of the painted subject, while Robert Nunnally contributes the fervent atmospheres of a droning cloud-cuckoo-land. Yet the goal is not fantasy, but interconection. The music is not gamesmanship, but the game itself. TNE hope you find the game worth the candles the listener must burn to hear its catcalls. When the train reaches station, may the sounds and silences conduct you to the first class section of the TNE line".