The Ambient Drones of Bill Baxter

0011134456_10It’s not often that I come across an ambient artist I haven’t already heard of.  It’s even more rare when that artist comes with an already-established catalog that is even larger than my own.  And in the case of Bill Baxter, that catalog is many times larger.  Like, incredibly large.

In fact, I can count on one hand the number of artists who are more prolific.  And yet, somehow, the music is consistently superb.  If you are a fan of deep, contemplative, hypnotic,  constantly-evolving ambient drone, then Bill Baxter is someone you should know about.

Check it out!

Craig Padilla – Below The Mountain

A-25044-1105022029.jpgToday I’m listening to Craig Padilla while I work, and – wow – what a good choice.  One of my very favorite electronic artists, Craig is one of those musicians who produces simply beautiful compositions alongside his trademark lush synthesizer timbres.   Well-rounded, mature, and thoroughly enjoyable electronic and ambient music.

One of my favorite albums by Craig is his wondrous 2008 release Below The Mountain.  Billed as “progressive ambient”, this is a collection of melodic ambience replete with gentle pulsations and lush sweeps of sound.  Just superb.

Check it out!

The ambience of Sarana

Some more work music for you, this time from prolific live ambient virtuoso Sarana.

If you haven’t listened to Sarana before, you are in for a real treat.  Sarana is Janne Särkelä, a brilliant artist who performs extended ambient sets live at concerts, raves, and online venues all over the world.  His catalog is quite extensive, and nearly all of it is available for free listening and enjoyment.

Whenever I listen to Sarana, I am struck by how he can create such enormous works that ebb and flow perfectly.  You can hear the artist playing his instruments in each piece, constructing a sound world that sounds both organic and synthetic.  And the sound design balances perfectly, always changing, always evolving, but never overpowering.  Just delightful.

Check it out!

New Palancar release: Final Theory

00-thumbnailIt’s with a great deal of pleasure that I announce the release of Final Theory, my latest solo release under the Palancar project name.

Over the past several years, I have been increasingly fascinated by the pulsing electronic music of the Berlin School. Iconic radio programs like Star’s End educated me on this style of electronica and ever since I have been trying to create music in this vein. Somehow I always ended up starting with a sequence but ending up in a quite different place altogether. This is not at all a bad thing, in my view; but it does mean that I still have not been able to fully embrace the genre.

With my latest release, Final Theory, I am again attempting to dive headlong into the Berlin School ocean. And though I branched off onto tangents in several places, I feel that this is the closest I’ve yet come to releasing an album that might be called an example of the Berlin School. How close? Well you be the judge.

However I label the style of music, I’m very proud of the result. This album represents literally years of effort, and, for the first time in a decade or more, contains more use of outboard synthesis than software synthesis, something long overdue. In addition, I started using the guitar, both six string and lap steel, in ways I have not before. To say that I had fun creating this music is to greatly understate the case.

Put simply, this album was a blast to create. I hope you enjoy hearing it as much as I did recording it.

If you’re interested, you can find the album for free download in two places:

https://archive.org/details/Palancar_Final_Theory
https://palancar.bandcamp.com/album/final-theory

 

NEEMFEST 2018

For anyone who makes electronic music, the electro-music.com site ought to be a common destination.  One of the many great things about that community is the festivals that they regularly put on at various locations throughout the year.  These festivals are sort of a combination of live concerts, seminars, workshops, breakout sessions, group meals, general mayhem, and even a Synthesizer Petting Zoo.  Who could ask for more?

The granddaddy of them all is the northeast festival, affectionally called NEEMFEST, which is going on right now.  Fortunately for those of us who couldn’t make the trip, RadioSpiral is simulcasting it live.

Check it out!

Steve Roach and Byron Metcalf – Tales From The Ultra Tribe

1eb4ba90d3a4496aa76fde2fc49af9d0While in a coding frenzy at work today, I decided I needed a little tribal ambient to energize and focus me.  So who else should I reach out to but the two masters of this genre, Steve Roach and Byron Metcalf, whose legendary collaborations have produced some of the finest tribal ambient music ever recorded.

So I spun up their iconic release Tales From The Ultra Tribe.  And I am reminded, yet again, why these two guys are regarded so highly in the ambient world.  Absolutely pristine, mature ambience with Metcalf’s signature trance-inducing hand percussion.  If you are looking for some good music to work to, or just some good music, look no further.  Highly recommended.

Two exciting live concerts this weekend

It turns out that this weekend, August 4-5, is going to be a great one for lovers of electronic and ambient music.

First off, none other than Steve Roach will be performing live on SomaFM.com, both Saturday and Sunday evenings at 10p ET / 7p PT.

roachhttp://somafm.com/live/

I heard his last on air concert, and it was a masterwork.  Don’t miss this!

And if that wasn’t enough, on Star’s End early Sunday morning, Jason Sloan will be performing live.

sloanhttps://www.facebook.com/events/2263316207028957/

I’ve heard Jason perform numerous times and he is always brilliant.  Check it out!