Category Archives: Music

Scott Lawlor

Scott Lawlor is an electronic musician that dabbles in everything from  dark and light ambient, solo piano, cosmic drone and avant-garde. He is also a collaborator, notably with ‘Wings of an Angel’ from Israel.

His albums must number in the hundreds, mainly on Bandcamp and a few on Spotify.  There are also some on the internet archive.

Of  particular interest is his re-interpretation of Pink Floyd Albums:

And a series of (so far) 14 ‘Isolation Concerts’ done mainly in 2020

OHRTROMPETE

OHRTROMPETE by Leitnerjoe

Here is a rare find from Munich, Germany by Johannes Leitner recorded from March to May 2020.

Instruments include Fretless WAL MK1 Basses, Clarinet, E-Bow and MIDI Keyboard. It ranges from funky to rocking and experimental. This reminds me a lot of Bill Laswell in the tone of the bass. I had Bill’s ‘Baselines’ on LP for a long time.

Wal Mk1 Bass Guitar

Quassi

Mareas by Qüassi

Qüassi is an instrumental music band from Mendoza, Argentina that ranges from Jazz-Fusion to progressive rock and experimental electronics. There is a similarity to el tuno elastico from Jerez, Spain and a little of Agent 22.

Collect Music

My Music Collection  is a software database that can catalog a music collection. I have been looking for one for a while, but never found one I like. With a few exceptions, it’s very good.

I tested the demo with the 50 albums I could add. The interface works well and is nicely intuitive. There are lots of customizations you can do to get things just right. The danger is trying to put too much in, with over 2,000 albums and half a dozen fields for each that’s a lot of data.

The first problem I detected was that the searching algorithm seemed to grab any art for a particular album. This resulted in some large files in .BMP and .PNG format that if left unchecked could result in a very large database. I found eventually solution.

The other problem is that there is no way to import a .csv into the database. I solved this by finding another music cataloguing program that would import spreadsheets, that ‘My Music Collection’ could read. So after a lot of work, I managed to import over 2,000 albums with just the artist, album name and year.

For the album art I am doing this manually. Most of the albums are mp3 and the artwork is readily available. It’s just a matter of resizing it down to 250×250 and importing.

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a way to alter a single field of multiple albums in one operation.

Otherwise it works well.

 

 

Smooth

Smooth is a musical project by Marco Rockstroh, dedicated to Dubtechno and Deep House. It’s marvelously funky, fun and upbeat. Taken in small doses it can alleviate stress and anxiety.

There are a dozen albums at bandcamp.

RemixSample

RemixSample from Sweden has no information about who they are and what instruments they use. From the sound and visuals, it’s clear they are using Moog synthesizers. And they do it very well….

Network 23

Network 23 is an electronic music duo comprising Simon Meader and Alan Bruzon. From Eastbourne, UK they play mainly synthesizers producing ambient and Berlin School music.

There are a lot of albums (over 50) on bandcamp. So far my favorites are:

‘Back to Berlin’ a five piece collection that has some rock instrumentation and is in the classic early Tangerine Style.

 

“Calming Sounds for Troubling Times”, a four album set is more ambient, made with guitars and synthesizers.

Bella Donna

Lisa Bella Donna is an American expert in the use of the Moog Synthesizer.  On youtube she is showing them off in great style. Not since Klaus Schulze has anyone been as proficient in the instrument in all its variations.

The best introduction to her work would be Destinations:


It also helps that it has the best album design of her catalogue. All her work can be found on bandcamp.

But for the tour de force, see Mothership II on youtube

Ambient Annoyances

As a fan of ambient music, I have come to realize that there are some things I really don’t like about the genre and will avoid music that has any of these characteristics:

1. Fake Scratches

Emulating something about an antique format that nobody liked makes no sense. Also, it tends to detract from any melody or musical idea as it starts.

2. Twinkling Piano

We have all heard Liz Story’s Solid Colours, one of the albums that defined the ‘New Age’ genre and influenced hundreds if pianists. But now it’s an old trope and can be dispensed with. Anyway, the dynamics of an acoustic piano just don’t work well in ambient music.

 
3. Sounds of Nature

If I want to hear birdsong, I can open the window. Babbling brooks, wind in the pines, willows or poplars are not inventive or interesting. Just drop them, OK

So any ambient music that avoids the above, I am interested in.

Ailia X

I have a soft place for music comprising just Bass Guitar and Female Vocals. There isn’t much it it around. And this is the best I have found so far.

I came across this video:

So often, the guitar gets in the way, or the vocalist just isn’t up to the job. But here everything just comes together perfectly.

An the album has a great cover:

Ailia X comprises Jeliazka Belchilova (Vocal) and Alexander Lekov (7 string Bass guitar) . The guitar is filtered through effects and the songs are built on multi-layered looping.
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