"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Capelli camicia

Ineptitude or high-mindedness? Either way (both, really), LMYE's Festive 33-1/3 - a selection of the releases that meant most to us in 2016 - again emerges on the last day of the year...

The song remains the same too: a clunky but sincere attempt to acknowledge how much more great music was released over the year, even just in our narrow corner of endeavour, than an inevitably partial list like this can begin to embrace. 

To spread the love as far as possible the two of us select 15 releases each, but no more than one per label or artist. After a bit of jostling & horse-trading over duplicates (though barely any this year, when we've evidently been further apart in our listening than previously...), we supplement the 30 with four projects that fall outside the normal 'release' boundaries - bigger &/or more ambitious (in multiple media, for example), or not strictly new - to derive our 33-1/3. 

This year's list has been unusually challenging since a number of key labels were in overdrive. Grand projects have multiplied too. So our self-constraining methodology became even more masochistic.

How, to take an especially painful example, to choose between Bethan Kellough's Aven & Claire M. Singer's Solas? Two exceptional releases that each expanded notions of sound palettes & what could be done with them, but both on Touch (about whom more shortly...). 

& that's to exclude Yann Novak's Ornamentation, Simon Scott's Floodlines, Anna von Hauswolff's Kallan (Prototype) & Fennesz's Mahler Remix, despite all four clearly demanding recognitition as part of the year's 'best'. 

Ditto conflicts between multiple pieces of outstanding work on Dragon's Eye, Editions Mego, Line, Room40, Sonic Pieces & Students of Decay - to highlight the concerns of only one pair of LMYE ears. 

Note to self: a follow-up without the hair shirt may be needed to honour all these exclusions.

At the very least, for a less partial picture of our listening priorities please check out the monthly Lend Me Your Radio series on SoundCloud, al's Mixcloud & jl's Bandcamp (collection & wish list)

2016 Festive 33-1/3:

Jeremy Bible - Music for Black Holes (Aole) [jl]
Dirty Hope/Graham Dunning/David Fyans/Mark Lyken/Orphax/TVO/Arne Weinberg - li series (Broken20) [jl]
Stephan Mathieu - Radiance series (Schwebung) [jl]
Abul Mogard - Works (Ecstatic) [al]

1991 - No More Dreams (No More Dreams) [al]
Chris Abrahams - Climb (Vegetable) [jl]
anthéne - Black Carbon (Assembly Field) [jl]
Beautumn - Bordeaux (Infraction) [al]
Benoît Pioulard - Thine / Radial (self-released) [al]
Bruised Skies - Guide (Blank Editions) [al]
Celestino - Beyond Enemy (A Guide To Saints) [al]
Dominic Coppola - Ladylike EP (Overview Ltd.) [al]

drøne - reversing into the future (Pomperipossa) [jl]
Drottning Omma - Iris av is (offworldcolonies ltd.) [al]
Christian Fennesz & Jim O'Rourke - It's Hard For Me To Say I’m Sorry (Editions Mego) [jl]
Francesco Giannico & Giulio Aldinucci - Agoraphonia (Dronarivm) [jl]
Billy Gomberg - Slight at that Contact (Students of Decay) [jl]
Tobias Hellkvist - Vesterhavet (self-released) [jl]
Chris Herbert - Katushki (Low Point) [jl]

Braeyden Jae - Fog Mirror (Whited Sepulchre) [al]
KETEV - I Know No Weekend (Portals Editions) [al]
Bethan Kellough - Aven (Touch) [jl]
L’eoscombu Couti - Five Cambridge Utilities (Constellation Tatsu) [al]
Sophia Loizou - Singulacra (Kathexis) [al]
Sana Obruent - Prince of the Air (Blackjack Illuminist) [al]
Marsen Jules - Shadows in Time (Oktaf) [jl]
Moss Covered Technology - Speicherbank (Eilean) [al]

New Rome - Nowhere (Room40) [al]
Nils Quak - Ad Interim (Phinery) [jl]
Alex Smalley - JAN SBR 15 (Rural Colours) [jl] 
The Swifter - Wall Sailor (Sonic Pieces) [jl]
Triac - Here (Line) [jl]
Willamette - Diminished Composition (Scissor Tail) [al]
Uwe Zahn/Porya Hatami/Darren McClure - Veerian (Eilean) [jl]

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Friday, 30 December 2016


It's hardly a surprise from the home of Cosi, Ielasi, Orsi & Ratti, of course. But so much ravishing music emerged there in 2016 that if we were indifferent enough to the category's absurdity Italy would surely be LMYE's Country of the Year...

As our Festive 33-1/3 - out tomorrow, allegedly - will show, some of the 2016 releases that mattered most to these ears are by Italian artists. A number of those that fell victim to our hair-shirted methodology (only one release per label/artist) are too. 

This, ahem, renaissance embraces a host of styles - from post-rock to ultra-minimalism. Given that, is there anything distinctively Italian threading them together beyond nationality? 

Perhaps. Many of the artists below manifest notable care & restraint over their sounds - a commitment to selection & balance that seems rooted in the country's broader culture. Che figata!


Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Dark calm

Contrasting pieces from two very different artists united by inspiration from Coil

David Fyans/Erstlaub's Sedna follows being "on trains the last few weeks looking at the sea & thinking about what a great chasm has been left in the absence of Coil" & "is dedicated to Peter Christopherson on the 6th anniversary of his passing". Similarly, Fred Welton Warmsley/Lee Bannon's Dedekind Cut "draws out the dark calm of Coil, in the guise [of] a modern approach to Noise, New Age & Ambient music". 

DC's ravishing Conversations with angels (from $uccessor [Wikipedia]) draws on an appropriately celestial palette. Where Conversations is vast & nearly weightless, Sedna carries a queasy, wilting physicality. Although both have a satisfying spaciousness, Fyans' diverting piece (bearing his characteristic 'experimental drone eurorack modular magick modular synthesizer noise ritual synthesis' tags) draws its weighty power from a sense of machines running down - indifferently repeating tasks, but with growing warp & drift...

Hat-tip to Shimmering Moods, whose new Resonance Extra #5 tipped these ears to DC... 

Bonus: Surgeon's immense Peter Christopherson tribute mix ("The first hour of my DJ set at Bleep43 on December 3rd was a tribute to Peter Christopherson, who died on November 25th. I chose tracks that either featured his voice, or that I especially connected with him. Recorded at Corsica Studios, London, between 11pm & midnight on December 3rd, 2010.")

NB: top photo by David Fyans

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016


Ian Hawgood's Love Retained is laced with poignancy. These 10 sketches - "simple pieces...tracked to cassette, & contain[ing] no editing or mastering, so you know, filled with 'mistakes'" - are deeply affecting. Their restraint & directness amplifies the sense of frailty around their "beautiful & freeing" incompletion.

Hawgood originally intended to pass the mostly piano tracks on to potential collaborators. But he came to use them unadorned: "looping on low levels at night, or when the mind wonders/wanders."

The release - numbered homen100, formally out on Christmas Day & with a photo by Melanie Hawgood - is also intensely valedictory. Due to depression, Hawgood "will likely not complete a new album ever again." As a result, it marks "my first & last solo release on the label [Home Normal] I founded with my friend Ben many moons ago, & also marks me fully stepping down from the label after returning for a bit in 2016."

Profits will go to Mind

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Whispers, torn paper

So endlessly creative & so relentlessly collaborative are Jan & Romke Kleefstra that it's disconcerting to find that LMYE's favourite Friesians have gone over a year without a formal release. But the hiatus is over, thankfully.

A trio of new & imminent albums starts with the long-gestated first offering of their venerable Tsjinlûd collective - a book ('full colour hard cover, with black & white contents, containing photography, drawings, paintings and poetry by all seven Tsjinlûd-members') & CD package. Mixed, edited & graphic designed by the great Machinefabriek - the Kleefstras' partner in Piiptsjilling - it is freighted with their characteristic drowsy, somehow ceremonial atmosphere but takes on a chattering, hall of mirrors quality through the collective's salty suite of North Sea voices. 

In addition, the brothers' trio with fellow Tsjinlûddite Anne Chris Bakker has new cassettes due soon on both Low Point (previously responsible for KBK's lovely Griis) & Tombed Visions. A richly, darkly droning instalment of the former - some of which was previously on Ambientblog.net's 10th anniversary collection a year ago - emerged yesterday...

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.
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